Foote and the Anti-Slavery Movement Kicks off 2015 Program Schedule

Note: The following article originally appeared in the historical society’s February 2015 edition of our Timelines newsletter. Timelines is exclusive to all CCHS members, who receive the newsletter as part of their annual membership. To become a CCHS member, print, fill out and return our membership form, or register online using the link at the bottom of our homepage.

WESTFIELD – The Chautauqua County Historical Society’s programming committee has finalized its 2015 Program Schedule with several unique lectures and events planned.

Highlighting this year’s program calendar is our annual meeting featuring a lecture on the important role Elial T. Foote played in helping to learn more about the anti-slavery movement in the county.

The year will also focus on the winemaking pioneers for the county, the history of the Amish in our region, and a fascinating presentation on the natural landscape of the county prior to settlement.

We will also once again present several long-standing events, including our Annual Gala, 9th NY Cavalry Encampment, Antique Show, and the Book and Paper Show.

Elial T. Foote

Elial T. Foote

April 25 – Foote and the Local Anti-Slavery Movement

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Elial Todd Foote to Chautauqua County, a man who made countless contributions, including collecting numerous first-hand accounts on the early history of the county.

In an effort to pay tribute to Dr. Foote’s contributions to historical preservation, the historical society’s programming committee has invited Douglas Shepard and Wendy Straight to present a lecture entitled “Elial T. Foote and the Anti-Slavery Movement in Chautauqua County” during our annual meeting on April 25.

Sheppard and Straight will focus on how various notes within the Foote Papers have significantly aided them in their research of the local abolition movement that was alive and well during the pre-Civil War era of our county.

In addition to the 1p.m. lecture, the day will also feature the society’s annual meeting (11:30 a.m.), open to all members, and a luncheon will follow, open to the general public. The Westfield United Methodist Church (101 E. Main St., Westfield, NY) will serve as the host venue.

A fee of $15 will be charged to anyone wishing to eat lunch, otherwise the annual meeting and lecture are free of charge. RSVP for the luncheon is required before April 17 by emailing or call (716) 326-2977.

May 9 – Remembering Jamestown’s Trolley Cars

Jamestown Trolley Car 93 will be the centerpiece of a lecture presented by CCHS Trustee Bob Johnston during National Train Day at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station on May 9, 2015.

Jamestown Trolley Car 93 will be the centerpiece of a lecture presented by CCHS Trustee Bob Johnston during National Train Day at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station on May 9, 2015.

Chautauqua Historical Society trustee and trolley car enthusiast Bob Johnston will provide an insightful presentation on the history of trolley cars in the Jamestown region during a lecture that coincides with the annual Train Day festivities in downtown Jamestown.

Johnston will not only provide details on the rise and fall of the trolley car industry, but also provide details on his effort to restore Jamestown Trolley Car 93.

Bob will actually do two presentations. One will begin at noon and the other will take place at 5 p.m. Both will be in the east wing of the Jamestown Gateway Train Station and is free and open to the public.

June 13 –Cushing Medal of Honor on Display at Annual McClurg Gala

The Cushing medal of Honor on display at West Point. The medal will also appear at the McClurg Museum in Westfield in 2015 from Memorial Day to Labor Day. (Image courtesy of Jessica Loring)

The Cushing medal of Honor on display at West Point. The medal will also appear at the McClurg Museum in Westfield in 2015 from Memorial Day to Labor Day. (Image courtesy of Jessica Loring)

On Saturday, June 13 (6 p.m.) the Historical Society will hold its Annual Gala, our biggest fundraiser of the year at the McClurg Museum in Westfield.

This year’s Gala will also coincide with the displaying of the Medal of Honor that was recently awarded to Civil War Hero Alonzo Cushing.

The medal will only be on display for a limited time only. In addition to the Gala, a Civil War Encampment, featuring the 9th NY Cavalry, will also be taking place throughout that weekend in Westfield’s Moore Park, where the museum is located.

June 17 – Annual Picnic and Lecture on Pioneer Winemakers

The Historical Society’s annual summer picnic will take place at the Grape Discovery Center, 8305 Main Rd., in Westfield at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. The event will feature a lecture entitled “Pioneer Winemakers of Chautauqua County” presented by John Slater.

The event is free and open to the public and attendees are also encouraged to bring a dish to pass. If possible, please RSVP before June 14 by calling (716) 326-2977 or emailing

August 15 – Exploring the Pre-Settlement Chautauqua Landscape

holland land co markerChautauqua County was a much different looking place prior to the arrival of settlers during the first part of the 19th century. On Saturday, Aug. 15, Stephen Tuloweicki, a Western New York native and University of Buffalo PHD candidate, will provide a presentation on the topographical terrain of the county prior to early settlement, with a focus on the virgin forests that were found throughout the region.

Much of Tuloweicki’s presentation is based on land records and surveys taken by the Holland Land Co.

This free event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Jamestown Audubon Center, 1600 Riverside Rd., Jamestown.

(A marker used by the Holland Land Company during the early survey of the county. (Special thanks to Mickey Sorenson, Surveyor, Jamestown, NY for his assistance in finding this.)

October 18 – The Amish and Their History in Chautauqua County

Oct. 18, we’ll take a detailed look at the rich history of Amish settlement in the county with a presentation by Carol Lorenc at the Cherry Creek Inn, 1022 West Rd., Cherry Creek.

In addition, a traditional Amish-inspired meal will be provided by society trustee and Cherry Creek Inn owner/operator Sharon Howe Sweeting.

The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Cost for dinner is $15/person. RSVP for dinner before Oct. 10 by emailing or call (716) 326 – 2977.

Annual Events also on Schedule

Several other events will also take place throughout the year:

  • On May 2, the Historical Society will host the annual Westfield Book and Paper Show at Eason Hall.
  • The annual Westfield Antique Show, which is coordinated by the Historical Society, will take place July 18 and July 19, also at Eason Hall.
  • And on Sunday, Dec. 6, the historical society will present its annual Holiday Open House at the McClurg Museum.

There’s also the possibility of an additional program or special event happening in 2015 and we may have more details later this year!

To stay up to date on all programs and any possible changes that may take place, check our website at

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