Chautauqua County Historical Society Holiday Open House is Dec. 11

Volunteer docent Beth Tarplay decks the boughs of a Christmas tree at McClurg Museum with ornaments from an extensive collection donated by Marlin Casker of Jamestown. The 12-foot tree is in the parlor of the McClurg mansion in Westfield, one of five rooms on the first floor elaborately decorated for the holiday open house, which is 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11.

Volunteer docent Beth Tarplay decks the boughs of a Christmas tree at McClurg Museum with ornaments from an extensive collection donated by Marlin Casker of Jamestown. The 12-foot tree is in the parlor of the McClurg mansion in Westfield, one of five rooms on the first floor elaborately decorated for the holiday open house, which is 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11.

WESTFIELD, N.Y. – Chautauqua County Historical Society will say goodbye to 2016 with its annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the McClurg Museum in Westfield. The open house provides an annual opportunity for visitors to learn more about the museum and the historical society, free-of-charge.

The day will feature music provided by The McClurg Street String Band, which is comprised of music students from Westfield Academy and Central School, under the direction of acclaimed WACS music director Kent Knappenberger. The event will also once again have refreshments and delectable desserts, provided by members and friends of the Chautauqua County Historical Society.

The historical society holds the open house each year to provide visitors the opportunity for to see the latest items that have been added to the collection, as well as learn about renovations and new exhibits that have been added during the past year. It’s also an opportunity for the organization to recruit new members for the new year. A single, annual membership is just $20 and provides free admittance to the museum throughout the year, plus a subscription to the award-winning Timelines newsletter – which is mailed to all members five times each year.

There is no cost to attend the open house. It will take place on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the McClurg Museum in Moore Park, Westfield. For more information call (716) 326-2977 or email cchs@mcclurgmuseum.org

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Support Local History by Donating to Community Foundation’s #BigMatchDay on Giving Tuesday

big-match-day-graphicWESTFIELD – Chautauqua County Historical Society (CCHS) is asking community members to consider donating to CCHS on #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. #GivingTuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

As an incentive to give on #GivingTuesday, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF) is giving away $5,000 to local charities for its first ever #BigMatchDay.

McClurg Mansion SignThrough #BigMatchDay, all donations designated for CCHS on Tuesday, Nov. 29 will be matched by CRCF, up to $25 per gift until the pool of $5,000 matching funds is exhausted. Donations can be made, starting at 8:30 a.m., on the #BigMatchDay website (www.crcfonline.org/bigmatchday/).

All donations and matched funds will be granted to CCHS for immediate use.

As a kick off to #BigMatchDay and in celebration of the community members and organizations that give back in so many ways throughout the year, CRCF will be hosting an Open House from 9 a.m. until Noon on Nov. 29. Light refreshments will be served and WJTN’s Dennis Webster will be broadcasting live.

About the Society: The Chautauqua County Historical Society was established in 1883 and is the oldest historical society in Chautauqua County. Since 1951, the organization has been based out of the historic McClurg Mansion (built in 1818) in Westfield, N.Y. Annual Membership rates start at just $20. All members are given free access to the museum year-round and a subscription to the quarterly “Time Lines” newsletter.  For more information, call 716-326-2977.

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History of Ice Harvesting Lecture Set for Saturday, Nov. 12 in Dewittville

An image of Ice Harvesting on Chautauqua Lake, provided by Fletcher “Ned” Ward, who will deliver a lecture on the topic on Saturday morning, Nov. 12 in Dewittville at Camp Onyahsa.

An image of Ice Harvesting on Chautauqua Lake, provided by Fletcher “Ned” Ward, who will deliver a lecture on the topic on Saturday morning, Nov. 12 in Dewittville at Camp Onyahsa.

DEWITTVILLE, NY – The Chautauqua County Historical Society’s final lecture for 2016 will take attendees to the shore of Chautauqua Lake for a special presentation on the history of ice harvesting.

Local historian and author Fletcher “Ned” Ward of Bemus Point has spent a number of years researching many events, attractions and industries found on and around Chautauqua Lake. Among those topics is ice harvesting, a thriving industry that spanned from about 1870 to the 1930s. Earlier this year, Ward released his third book entitled “The History of Chautauqua Lake’s Ice Industry” and which includes much of the research that will be featured during the upcoming lecture.

An image depicting the Johnson Ice Company on Chautauqua Lake, one of several regional businesses that thrived during the Ice harvesting and shipping era.  Local historian and author Fletcher “Ned” Ward will deliver a lecture on the topic on Saturday morning, Nov. 12 in Dewittville at Camp Onyahsa.

An image depicting the Johnson Ice Company on Chautauqua Lake, one of several regional businesses that thrived during the Ice harvesting and shipping era. Local historian and author Fletcher “Ned” Ward will deliver a lecture on the topic on Saturday morning, Nov. 12 in Dewittville at Camp Onyahsa.

During its heyday, the ice harvesting and ice company industry was the nation’s sixth largest industry.  Locally, Chautauqua Lake was the primary source of ice for the lake’s many hotels, breweries, ice cream factories and doctors. The ice would be cut and stored during the winter months and then distributed during the spring, summer and even into the following fall.

In addition to being used by local businesses and residents, the ice was shipped to areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio and put to use by businesses in those areas. The ice was also used to help keep meat shipments cool as they moved from large-scale meat processing centers in the Midwest to areas along the Atlantic coast, such as New York City.

By the 1930s the age of refrigeration had arrived in most businesses and homes, making the ice harvesting and shipping business obsolete.

Ward will present his research findings on this long-defunct industry during a program scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the YMCA’s Camp Onyahsa Lodge, 5411 E Lake Rd (Rt. 430), Dewittville, NY. In addition to his presentation, copies of his book will also be on hand and available for purchase and signing by the author.

The event, presented by the Chautauqua County Historical Society, is free and open to the public. For Information call 716.326.2977 or email cchs@mcclurgmuseum.org.

About the Society: The Chautauqua County Historical Society was established in 1883 and is the oldest historical society in Chautauqua County. Since 1951, the organization has been based out of the historic McClurg Mansion (built in 1818) in Westfield, N.Y. Annual Membership rates start at just $20. All members are given free access to the museum year-round and a subscription to the quarterly “Time Lines” newsletter.  For more information, call 716-326-2977.

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Proposed Amendment to CCHS Constitution

Notice:  Proposed Amendment to our CCHS Constitution for membership review.  This notification of a proposed amendment to the CCHS constitution, appears here on the CCHS Blog and on our website in PDF form.  It also appears in print on page 4 of the October/December edition of TimeLines.

Click here to view amendment.

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Learn the “Seven C’s of Chautauqua County” at Audubon on Saturday, September 17

Photo caption:  Whether your fascination is local history or local waterways, you’ll want to hear Dr. Tom Erlandson’s presentation on “the Seven C’s of Chautauqua County” at the Audubon Nature Center on Saturday morning, September 17. The event is a collaborative presentation by Audubon and the Chautauqua County Historical Society. Erlandson is pictured here in Chautauqua Gorge, through which flows Chautauqua Creek, one of the 7 C’s with a rich history all its own.

Whether your fascination is local history or local waterways, you’ll want to hear Dr. Tom Erlandson’s presentation on “the Seven C’s of Chautauqua County” at the Audubon Nature Center on Saturday morning, September 17. The event is a collaborative presentation by Audubon and the Chautauqua County Historical Society. Erlandson is pictured here in Chautauqua Gorge, through which flows Chautauqua Creek, one of the 7 C’s with a rich history all its own.

Did you know there are seven different waterways in Chautauqua County that begin with the letter “C” and each played a prominent role in the settlement and growth of various communities?

You are invited to join the Chautauqua County Historical Society, in collaboration with the Audubon Nature Center, on Saturday, September 17, at 10 a.m. when Dr. Tom Erlandson delivers a unique presentation on “The Seven C’s of Chautauqua County.”

Well-known locally by both historians and naturalists, Erlandson will not only answer the question of which are the seven waterways that start with the letter “C,” he will also provide details on how they contributed to Chautauqua County’s rich history.

A retired Jamestown Community College professor, Erlandson is a long-time resident of Chautauqua County, public servant, author, and member of the Chautauqua County Parks Commission.

Thanks to the Chautauqua County Historical Society, this is a free event. Reservations are not required.

The Chautauqua County Historical Society was established in 1883 and is the oldest historical society in Chautauqua County. Since 1951, the organization has been based out of the historic McClurg Mansion (built in 1818) in Westfield, N.Y. Annual Membership rates start at just $20. All members are given free access to the museum year-round and a subscription to the quarterly “Time Lines” newsletter.  For more information, call (716) 326-2977 or visit McClurgMuseum.org.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and the Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays.  The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, the Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about the Nature Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Chautauqua County History Fair is August 13 – 14

50 different historical groups will be in Mayville, NY

The 2011 Chautauqua County History Fair took place to celebrate the county's bicentennial. Five years later County Historian Michelle Henry is coordinating the second such event.

The 2011 Chautauqua County History Fair took place to celebrate the county’s bicentennial. Five years later County Historian Michelle Henry is coordinating the second such event.

MAYVILLE, NY – Chautauqua County’s historical museums, associations and historians will come together in Mayville, Aug. 13 and 14 for a History Fair. The event will take place at Chautauqua Suites Conference Center and feature 50 historical organizations from all corners of the county. Admission is free.

Scene from the 2011 Chautauqua County History Fair. The History Fair returns to Mayville Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14, 2016.

Scene from the 2011 Chautauqua County History Fair. The History Fair returns to Mayville Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14, 2016.

“This event offers a rare opportunity to bring together historical objects, documents, and program information from a wide range of not-for-profit organizations, all dedicated to preserving and promoting some aspect of the county’s history. The wealth and breadth of historical collections in this county is really remarkable,” notes Chautauqua County Historian Michelle Henry.

The participants include historical and genealogical societies, libraries, heritage and preservation associations, reenactment groups and even an archival supply vendor. Each of the participants will feature unique and fascinating artifacts relating to their local history, many of which are rarely displayed. From the Dunkirk Lighthouse Museum, to the Bemus-Point Stow Ferry, the Concord Grape Discovery Center, and the many local historical societies, every community in the county will be represented at the fair. The displays will offer something for history enthusiasts and heritage tourists.

In addition to the displays, there will be demonstrations by the Hilltop Spinners and the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry, Civil War reenactors who will be in uniform.

The fair will run Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend the event and parking is free.

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