SINCLAIRVILLE - The annual Valley Historical Society Christmas dinner was held at the South Stockton Wayside Chapel, with Elaine Palmer-Titus as the hostess. Titus said she had been a member of the church for 41 years. Table decorations were set up by Linda Parmenter. Food was brought by members, including a sloppy joe-casserole with cornbread on the top by Betty Jean Ridout, and a special goulash by Tyler Worden. All enjoyed the large variety of food for the dinner. The blessing was given by Vice President Larry Barmore prior to the dinner.
Following the meal, the Lord's Prayer was said by all, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Treasurer John Sipos. Sipos began with "Put your shoe heels together, stand straight, and remember that there are only 31 words in the pledge, three commas and one period at the end. There is no comma in the phrase 'one nation under God.'"
Secretary Mary Shearman read the minutes of the previous meeting. Barmore then conducted the annual election of officers. Elected for 2012 were Albert Olmstead as president, Barmore as vice president, Shearman as secretary, Sipos as the treasurer, and Marna Terry Wolaver as one of the trustees. Since there were no other nominations from the floor, Barmore instructed the secretary to cast one vote for all officers. Sipos is the Village of Cassadaga historian, and also present for the evening was Helen Piersons, Stockton Town Historian. Diane Shaw made a motion to donate money to the Church for the use of their dining hall.
The historical group will be taking a winter break, and convene with the annual maple sugar party on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7 p.m. Computer artist Susan W. Sipos will be creating the programs for the new year, and members signed up for providing refreshments, and programs were discussed.
Barmore then discussed some possible improvements to the museum building depending on funds available. Barmore also presented the historical account of the William Bliss family from Sinclairville who moved to Gettysburg, Pa., in 1857 to escape the winters in this area. The Bliss farm in Gettysburg was the site for a three-day battle, and after the war, the Bliss family moved back to Western New York. Most of the family are buried in the Sinclairville Cemetery.
The Valley Historical Society is the historical group for the Cassadaga Valley area. It was formed in 1977 by the late John and Ruth Smith, who saw a need to preserve the history of the valley. One year later, the museum building in Sinclairville, at the corner of Main and Lester streets, was purchased and after many years of renovations, was opened to the public with a display of old area items. The museum is open from April through September, with a special annual History Fair in the entire village on the second Saturday of September.
Plans are being made for the 2012 History Fair, scheduled for Sept. 8. One of the added features will be the outhouse race. Outhouses used in the race, according to Barmore, are to be constructed of wood, be 9 square feet, no more than 6 feet high, and on wheels for the race. There should be five participants, four pushing the outhouse and one seated inside. Barmore said that if needed, the racing outhouse may stop for repairs such as changing the toilet paper roll or the corncob. Barmore said the race is to inspire a lot of fun during the history fair day.
For more information on the Valley Historical Society, write to P.O.Box 1045, Sinclairville, NY 14782. New members are always welcome.