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  • Writer's pictureAngela Moonan

Returning to your roots during COVID-19

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Half-Shire Historical Society, June 1, 2020

The summer edition of the Half-Shire Newsletter is being prepared for mailing as we write. Our lead story is penned by Dr. Steven Bovee of Churchville, NY on his ancestors and photos he has restored. Updates on the building renovations, and on our members and towns through the pandemic are found on the remaining pages. A tentative date for our resumed meetings is for Saturday June 13th. We will keep our members notified by social media as the date approaches.

Meanwhile at the building a skeletal crew has worked variously through the spring months. In the past two weeks the Sandy Creek Alumni newsletter was printed by contract, and the Pulaski Alumni Newsletters assembled for mailing. Our own newsletter was completed and is now being run. To complete this printing regimen, we will print and mail the Rural and Migrant Ministry newsletter later in the week.

Work on our grounds has picked up, with the remaining brush from side lawn trees disposed of the past few days. The gardens have been worked on, with spring bulbs removed for splitting and replanting in the fall. New rose bushes have been added to the front gardens. Work on the back lawn raised beds that are managed along with Rural and Migrant Ministry for the Richland food pantry has continued with most planted over the past weekend.

Inside the building, Secretary Fay Ann Colvin has been updating the obituary files. On Saturday May 23rd Fay and President Doyle drew the raffle tickets from the last newsletter during a live Facebook feed. Margaret Abran of Norwich, NY won the first draw and chose the afghan made by Doreen Tilton. 2nd place was Ann Hopkins of Blossvale, who chose to come up and select a book from our sales cabinet, as did Janet Gross, a summer Resident of Redfield who was the third drawing. Congratulations to all winners! In the summer newsletter a similar selection will be offered with a fresh afghan by Doreen and an DNA kit as prizes.

Also, while working inside we have continued to place books in the new Pomeroy Genealogy library and reorganize the Southwell town history Library. Additional cleaning up from a winter of construction has kept everyone busy. Upstairs are carpenter has continued the work at installation of molding around the newly framed and reset doors. There is a great deal of sorting to be done in the SW classroom Library where additional acquisitions await placement on the shelves by Greg Monette who keeps the inventory.

In the Balcom Library, we received many valuable law books from the town of Volney, which will be shelved here. Doug Campbell of Skaneateles has been working on our old organ from the Redfield Church that has been in need of repair. We are awaiting work on the 2nd floor restroom that will complete the year’s capital projects. Most material is on site now awaiting installation.

We have continued to work with many people who have done research from home. We are still trying to catch up on the many inquiries. A special mailing of the newsletter is being sent to graduates of the class of 1970 from Pulaski and Sandy Creek school districts. 50-year class members from these schools, as well as Camden, APW and Mexico are all eligible for a year’s free membership. Please contact us with your addresses for your newsletters to be sent. Our mailing address is PO 73, Richland, NY 13144. By doing this over the past few years we have made many new friends and increased our genealogical holdings.

We have been having many troubles with our website, which as we prepare this column is back up. We are looking to change servers and have been discussing changes with a web developer. Half Shire news and updates can always be found on our Facebook page found at Mary White/Half Shire. Our email is and our phone number on site is 315.298.2986. We look forward to again seeing our friends and guests as we begin to reopen following this long pandemic break.

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