The Town and Village of Nunda's New Government Center
4 Massachussetts Street, Nunda, NY 14517

                    twon hall when it was a private residence of the
                    DePuy family


Nunda Town and Village Historian Reports 2000 - 2009
Town Historian - Valerie J.V. Griffing

Nunda Town and Village Historian Report
2009 Annual Report

      The Town Historians office was relatively quiet during 2009, following over five years of  planning and executing a Bicentennial celebration.  The early winter months were cold and snowy which meant more time outside shoveling the driveway rather than in a warm chair by the computer compiling Nunda’s past. 
      Some Bicentennial details still remain to be wrapped up as of this writing.  The Time Capsule presentation has not been made.  The box has been constructed and most of the contents collected.  Our January, 2009 meeting was cancelled due to weather and has not yet been re-scheduled.  The committee will present the time capsule to the town  along with a bronze plaque to mark the existence of a time capsule, including the directions to open it on our towns Tricentennial in 2108 in 2010.  Once this detail is complete, the bank account can be closed and the excess monies turned over to the Town. 
      Perhaps the highlight of the winter was the surprise birthday party given in my honor at the February meeting.  Correctly assuming that I would insist on attending the regularly scheduled board meeting rather than going out to dinner on my birthday, my husband conspired with the town clerk and birthday cake was served to all.  Thank you all for your remembrances.
      Needing to get into a project and begin to move forward, I began a research project on the Hamlet of Dalton.  I started with the tax rolls and tax maps available with the assessor and spent many hours looking up deeds at the court house for properties within the Hamlet.  I started with the known and am working backward.  I intend to show property ownership over the last one hundred fifty years as well as highlight people and businesses and events. Looking at old maps and reading deeds is a fascinating and sometimes very frustrating exercise.
      I also began to research the home built for the Issac J. DePuy family in 1902 and 1903 and now occupied by Nunda’s town and village government offices.  Bob Lloyd helped me review the original building plans and pointed out some interesting facts.  As government center renovations progressed and records were found and made more accessible, I began abstracting information relating to the Nunda Community Hospital.  There is still much information to be gleaned from these records and this effort will continue. 
      I attended both the spring and fall regional meeting of the fledgling Government Appointed Historians of Western New York (GAWNEY) organization.  Persons speaking in-depth on local/regional research projects they had undertaken and the final format they presented their research in was the focus of the spring meeting.  The fall meeting focused mostly on the Viet Nam war and included speakers on Operation Morale, the Livingston County Historians current Viet Nam War research project and John Ketwig’s talk on his perspective of the Viet Nam war from a GI’s standpoint.
      Livingston County Historian Amie Alden further elaborated on her Viet Nam project at the November, 2009 Nunda Historical Society meeting.  Dr. John Somerville, a retired SUNY Geneseo professor will speak on Operation Morale, a civilian volunteer organization that sent packages and wrote cards and notes to Livingston County servicemen from 1967-1972, as well as other ways women helped with the Viet Nam war effort at the November, 2010 Nunda Historical Society meeting.

      December ended my 2009 reporting year with the traditional historical trivia quiz with questions taken from the Nunda History wagon tour that ran as part of Christmas in Nunda. 

      In conclusion, I appreciate your continued interest and support of my efforts.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve at your government historian in 2009, and I thank you for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie JV Griffing

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2008 Annual Report

      March 11, 2008 marked 200 years since the Town of Nunda was officially proclaimed a town by an act of the New York State Legislature.  Five years of planning came to fruition as each month special events to commemorate many events from our town’s history were held.  In spite of the fact that the beginning of this project was rather untimely (September, 2003, just a month after the worst flood in our towns history) the committee worked very hard to plan events that would be of interest to a wide range of people.  We worked equally as hard to raise funds to help defray the cost of our various activities.  We appreciate the town’s financial support in this endeavor.  The committee and I wish to express our sincere thanks to the town and village governments, town highway department, Village DPW, Keshequa Central School and our towns emergency services personnel for their enthusiastic help and support during 2008.

      This annual report will reflect my participation with the Bicentennial program since that consumed most of my time this year.    
      March 11 began with a postal cancellation.  A huge sandwich board sign outside the post office with a colorful Bicentennial logo and the words “Bicentennial Event” gave the hint that something special was inside.  The festivities continued into the evening when we formally kicked off our year of celebration.  We were able to have the ceremonies at our new government center and it was the perfect setting.  Speeches by our town and village officials as well as the chairman of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors were followed by birthday cake and punch.  The postmistress was also present to continue the postal cancellation.  The postal cancellation continued for 30 days beyond March 11, in accordance with postal regulations. 
      The following Sunday, March 15, the first presentation of the dramatic production “Nunda, 200 Years and (Re)Counting” premiered to over 100 people.  It charted over 90 years of Nunda and Dalton history and gave an excellent cross-section of Nunda and Dalton Americana. 

      Later in March, Hope and Brewster DePuy and I toured the government center building from cellar to attic.  Mr. DePuy commented that it had been years since he had had such an opportunity.  In November, Doris Marsh and I partially inventoried the contents of the community home in preparation for further discussion of the disposition of the contents by the town council. 

      Jan Hudson coordinated “A Fashion Retrospective”, on Sunday April 27 at the Dalton Cafetorium.  Wedding dresses from the past 60 years were featured as well as fashions from other eras. 
      The committee felt strongly that we should commemorate the sacrifices of our veterans from all wars.  Appropriate ceremonies were executed during the year that appropriately recognized each war.  On May 31, a traditional Memorial Day program will be held at Soldier’s Rest in Oakwood Cemetery.  A Civil War reenactment group participated and presented a memorial service in fitting with the period.  The program was complete with music and volleys fired over the graves.  The American Legion allowed us to use the upstairs of their very historic building for a presentation of “Johnny Carter:  Nunda’s Horatio Alger”.  The American Legion building was built by John Joyce Carter as a memorial in honor of his Civil War comrades in 1906. 

      On Flag Day we honored veterans from the Korean War to the present day military operations.  Carolyn Lowell, the inspiration and driving force behind the Flag Day ceremonies at the Dalton school organized this observance.  A flag that was flown over the United State Capitol was used for the event and donated to the Historical Society.  July 4th was the official dedication of the graves of three Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Oakwood cemetery in unmarked graves.  Tom Coates worked on this project as part of his Eagle Scout project.  The event was attended by about 70 people.

      Homecoming Week July 12-19 was the single biggest event of the celebration.  The Rancheros returned for one final performance and were a much anticipated part of our parade.  The day was blisteringly hot but that did not deter parade participants or watchers along the route as floats, antique cars, marchers, elected officials and of course the Ranchero’s made their way up East Street to State to Mill to the front lawn of the school where Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Daniel Burling read official proclamations to commemorate Nunda’s 200th.  The parade was videotaped and available for purchase at Renaissance Photography.  The next day, Mother Nature cooled things down substantially with a heavy downpour that precluded us from holding our Victorian Sunday afternoon in Oakwood Cemetery in the cemetery.  Not to be deterred, we went to Plan 7 and moved into the high school gym.  The event featured dancing, Victorian crafts for the children, a Victorian-era fashion show and pictures in period costume and period music.  Sandy Bonadonna gave a pictorial tour of the Richmond-Axtell house and Merilee Walker was present with the Oakwood cemetery map to help persons locate their family plot. 

      A bus tour of historic Dalton and Nunda was the Tuesday highlight and it give the riders and the tour guides an historic perspective on routes less traveled.  The Historical Society celebrated its 25th  anniversary Tuesday evening with a program on the Fritz family of Nunda.  On Wednesday we repeated a very popular tour of “Upstairs’ Nunda.”  This provided an interesting perspective of meeting places of over a century ago.  A walking tour of the village was compiled and distributed to numerous businesses, etc.  It highlighted homes of historical and architectural significance in the Village of Nunda.  The Gazebo concert Wednesday evening was The Full Swing Band. 
      The Bell Memorial Library was the scene of a book signing and concert provided by the Genesee Valley Mountain Dulcimer Club.  Bicentennial publications and other books by local authors were on sale and several authors were present to sign their books.  On Friday night we gathered at Rymer field for a rousing baseball game played between members of two local teams.  It was a great event, concessions helped to raise money for one of the school sports teams and brought out Nunda’s hometown spirit. 
      The grand finale came Saturday with a joint Keshequa Alumni Association and Nunda Reunionists banquet followed by the second presentation of the production, “Nunda, 200 Years and (Re)Counting”.  This event was attended by over 300 persons who enjoyed a tasty meal followed by the production.  Several members of the audience participated at the end by sharing their memories of Nunda. 

      The Bicentennial Memory quilt was completed in September and its official unveiling was October 19.  It is eight feet by ten feet and has about 93 squares made by different persons from near and far.  Our “celebration on a shoestring” attracted the attention of the Rochester Regional Library Council and Joan Schumaker and I presented our efforts to the attendees at the NYS Archives Week “Celebration!” conference at the Strong Museum October 21.  This conference provided a fascinating look at how other groups had celebrated significant historical events and how groups could enhance their historical celebration. 

      We participated in the Chamber’s Christmas in Nunda celebration by narrating local history from a horse drawn wagon.  Altho a very cold evening, it was a lot of fun there was a lot of interest from the riders.  Following the Christmas in Nunda festivities, we sponsored a fireworks display complete with a “Happy 200th” fireworks display.  Our year of celebration concluded with a round and square dance with Kelly’s Old Timers at the Dalton School Cafetorium.  About 85 people enjoyed themselves and the refreshments provided by the committee.  The community continues to comment on the effort that went into planning and executing our towns celebration, and for this we are grateful.

      I continued to network with fellow historians by attending all countywide historians gatherings as well as the two regional meetings in East Aurora and Medina.  A new regional historians organization formed last November that will provide for better programming and educational opportunities for western New York historians. 

      Keshequa graduate Nathan Tallman is attending the University of Buffalo as a Library Science major with a concentration in Archival Studies.  He has spent a considerable amount of time and effort to inventory, sort and organize the holdings of the town historian.  We have purchased some archival supplies and hope to write a grant to complete the purchase of necessary supplies as well as to finish cataloging the collection.  Nathan will continue to work on this as time permits and is continuing to write the documentation even though he is back in school. 

      I would like to thank the town council and the village board for the privilege of serving as your municipal historian.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie JV Griffing
Town and Village Historian

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2007 Annual Report

      Highlights this year included a visit on February 20 from Robert Englert from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Cynthia Howk from the Landmark Society of Western New York.  They toured Trinity Church, the Community Home and the American Legion properties, all three of which are eligible for National Register nominations. 

      I spent several hours researching early maps and deeds of houses along the old Keshequa Trail – now known as East Street, in preparation for the May Nunda Historical Society program.  I had to recreate a couple early maps of East Street so I could plot early lot locations and lot sizes. The program attracted much interest.  Several area residents attended the meeting and shared their knowledge of owners and tenants of various East Street properties.

      I attended both Region 12 public historians meeting.  In May I traveled to Lily Dale, Chautauqua County.  Lily Dale is the “largest spiritualist community in the world.”  Numerous topics were discussed including Ethics and Credibility as a Public Official and Indexing Scrapbooks.  In October, the meeting was in Warsaw and worked on grant funding sources for storage of records and historic preservation programs. 

      In May, I was honored by my fellow historians with the Julia Reinstein Award for distinguished service.

      The Bicentennial Planning Committee expended large amounts of time planning for this event.  Meeting were held monthly and discussions on all aspects of this event were had.  Several news releases were published in the Dansville Genesee Country Express and the Committee had a table at the annual Yard Sale days and at Nunda Fun Days.  Wilma Willey and Caroline Lowell were the recipients of bundles of local publications. 

      Fundraising included a fourth book, Churches of the Town of Nunda and Vicinity.  We also published our 2008 Bicentennial calendar which features a picture from yesterday and the same location today.  We have just received a limited edition of Bicentennial plates showing the Nunda Village Building and village square of about 100 years ago.  These sell for $30 and already sales are off to a good start.  When they are gone, they are gone.  A memory quilt project is underway, deadline for block submission is now April 1st.  The town purchased a block which will become part of history. 

      Plans for a postal cancellation on March 11, 2008 during postal hours and again in the evening are underway.  This will be our official kick-off event.  I hope to be able to have an event in the evening at our new town hall as well.  The dramatic production preview of December 2 was well received by over two dozen members of the community.  The full presentation will be March 16, 2008 at the Dalton school.

      Amie Alden, Livingston County Historian, has requested that each historian list goals and objectives for 2008.  Here are a few of mine:

            1) collect and organize available information on each Nunda area veteran.  Currently, much information is scattered in numerous                 locations.
            2) research and submit periodic articles to the respective town and village websites, and local
               newspapers. More and more people rely on the internet for information and entertainment and I would like to take advantage
                of this avenue.
            3) attend at least two Documentary Heritage and/or State Archives workshops.  Attend all Region 12 regional meetings.  If                       programming is relevant and the location reasonably close, attend one state or national history conference.
            4) continue other projects - conduct research on Barkertown, the hamlet of Dalton and the schools that centralized into Nunda                 Central and Dalton Central, continue the inventory, care and preservation of the holdings of the town historian.  Assist town                 officials in transitioning into new office space.

      In closing, I wish to thank the Town and Village boards for their continued support and enthusiasm during 2007.  I also thank the Nunda Historical Society and the Livingston County Historian for going out of their way to help make my job easier.

Respectfully submitted,
Valerie J.V. Griffing
Town and Village Historian

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2006 Annual Report

      It is once again time to summarize the activities of this town historian for the last twelve months.  2006 was a quiet year with only a few long-term projects undertaken.

      In an on-going effort to organize and update my current filing system, I adapted the historical societies accession sheet so as to capture additional, specific information on the type and condition of photographs in the town collection.  I provided the board with a copy of my accession sheet to demonstrate the amount of detail I consider when looking at each item.

      In June the spotlight was on Nunda when Livingston County Historians gathered for lunch and fellowship at Bill’s.  Several people complimented me on the fine talk Supervisor Phil Brooks and I gave outlining the evolution of the relationship between the town historian and town council.  Planning for the fall conference of the Association of Public Historians was ongoing during the year.  By all accounts the location and the programs piqued the interest of many and 175 historians and their traveling companions rewarded our efforts and attended the conference.  Later in October, I attended the Archives Week Conference at the Genesee County Museum.  This is always a great conference and this year highlighted many historical societies and projects in the Rochester area. 

      In  December I concluded the year with my annual local history trivia quiz.  This year, the Early Years written by Marjorie Frost and published by the historical society to commemorate the towns 175th anniversary in 1983 was the source of information.  In between, I researched genealogy and local history questions and expended time on Bicentennial planning. 
      The Nunda Bicentennial Committee continued its planning activities during the year.  Last fall Charlie Ostrum’s and Tom Cook’s research and writing yielded A History of Fire Fighting in Nunda and just in time for Christmas, we published our first calendar.  Sales of both of these have been very good and the calendars are almost sold out.  Two publications are presently in the works for mid- to late 2007 as well as a special commemorative calendar. .  The Events committee is planning several activities to be held during the year.  A theatrical production depicting an early town board meeting and a postal service cancellation will formally kick off our year in March.  Commemorations to honor military personnel from different wars at key points during the year, a town parade, book signing and musical and cultural events are planned.  Fundraising this year has included popcorn sales at the Nunda Village Park Gazebo Arts series, a mountain dulcimer workshop in July, a 50/50 drawing at Christmas time and our publications.
      Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your town and village historian.

Respectfully submitted,
Valerie J.V. Griffing
Town and Village Historian

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2005 Annual Report
      Following is the annual report of the Nunda Town and Village Historian for calendar year 2005.

      During the first quarter of 2005, my project was to index the faculty and staff photographs in the Nunda Central School O-Nonda-O yearbook.  The main focus of a school yearbook is the student, but persons searching for their relatives who were closely associated with the school but who were not students for the period in question are also received.  This project will enable me to quickly locate those persons in a yearbook. 

      I attended both of the regional APHNYS Region XII meetings this year.  The programming was very good and included such topics as finding information in out of the way sources, heritage tourism, changing county lines and the many different county seats we in western New York have had over time and information on the registered historian program.  I also attended a local history documentation workshop at the Rochester Regional Library Council and participated in an informational tour of the local history collection at the Rochester Public Library.

      This historian grew up in the Barkertown area and I brushed up on my knowledge of the southeastern corner of Nunda in preparation for a slide presentation November 9 to the Nunda Historical Society.  In spite of a driving rainstorm that night, I was gratified to have a large turnout.  Today the area is a nice residential community.  In the past it boasted a one room school house, a church, a valuable agriculture crop that brought thousands of dollars to the area each fall for nearly a quarter century.  It borders on lands inhabited by an endangered reptile and has suffered  two catastrophic flood events within a 31 year time frame.  I briefly mentioned the Rattlesnake Hill area but since it does not border Barkertown, I did not dwell on it.  This will be a subject for further study. 
    The largest project this year was the Bicentennial Committee.  The committee meets monthly except December and the meetings are advertised in the What’s Happening page of the Mt Morris Shopper and are open to all.  A bank account was established and a PO Box rented in early 2005 for the duration of the planning and execution of the towns bicentennial event.  Fund raising events this year consisted of a bicentennial brochure, 50/50 raffle (won by Dana Russell) and reprinting Tink of Nunda.  Our first bicentennial brochure was published and mailed to all tax payers in the Keshequa Central School district as well as to those receiving the 2005 Alumni Association mailing and the Reunionists mailings.  Many thanks to Superintendent Miner and Keshequa School for allowing the committee to use the schools bulk mailing permit.

      Our Events Committee has attended some different events in the area with an eye toward adapting them for Nunda.  Our Publications committee was particularly active this year.  In addition to publishing our brochure, we also republished “Tink of Nunda”, written by Clarence Koeppe at the turn of the 20th century.  The book tells the story of life in a small town from a 12-year olds point of view.  Koeppe paints a verbal picture of life as he lived it and several of his adventures.  We are grateful to Mary Patton, the author’s daughter, who gave us written permission to reprint the book as well as provided us with a biography of her father and added a few pictures for the photo section.  The book arrived from the printer three days before Christmas and we managed to have most of the pre-orders distributed in time for Christmas.  A second publication on the Nunda Fire Department written by Charlie Ostrum is expected to be published in early 2006.     
      In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Town and Village boards for your continued support of my various projects and for my reappointment as your historian.  I also wish to acknowledge the contributions of the Nunda Historical Society to the historic preservation of the Nunda area.  This historian and the historical society continue to enjoy a strong mutual relationship and I look forward to continuing that association in 2006.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie J.V. Griffing
Nunda Town and Village Historian               

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2004 Annual Report

      Following is the annual report of the Nunda Town and Village Historian for calendar year 2004.

      I began the year by undertaking a long overdue, in-depth inventory of the holdings of the town historian.  This effort was in response to Cindy Essler’s request that I help her with the task of inventorying all records in the town offices as part of a records management grant the town received in late 2003.  My part in the process was to inventory the historians collection where it sat and document the content and condition.  A wide variety of historic items were discovered including local and area historical booklets, ledgers, pictures, textiles, arrowheads and reference books.  Also copies and clippings from area news papers, Nunda Central School Yearbooks and numerous memorabilia from school events, topical files, research files, subject files, and etc.  As a result of this project, I hope to reorganize several boxes and further catalogue their contents.  Several items in the collection need better archival storage containers and I hope research the availability of grant monies available for this purpose.    

      I continued an ongoing project of collecting tombstone inscriptions in the Oakwood cemetery.  I learned that if there is snow on top of the ground in a cemetery, don’t walk on top of the snow.  Come back another time instead.  Tom Cook and his history classes are also working on this project and our hope is to have all cemeteries in our town read and available on an electronic database by 2008.

      Newly appointed Livingston County Historian Amie Alden visited Nunda in February and toured the holdings of this town historian.  Amie visited each town historian and discovered more treasurers and resources in the county than any of us realize.  Also this year, the County Historians office moved to new quarters on Murray Hill.  While Amie and her staff are still sorting thru numerous boxes and crates, the additional space has already provided for much improved access to resource materials.

      In May and again in September, I attended the APHNYS Region XII meetings and fulfilled my responsibility as the regional coordinator.   We learned about the local history of the respective areas and engaged in lively discussions on topics of mutual interest.  Networking is a large part of these meetings and I learned a lot that I can apply to my job here. 

      During 2004, the town appointed the Historians Committee of Marcia Ayers and Dave Thompson and the writer to meet with the Nunda Historical Society board and explore the possibility of utilizing office space in their building, thereby consolidating cultural resources in the town.  Our committee asked the society to determine what their long term goals and objectives were prior to further action on this item.  

      Thelma Harris Bartholf attended the Keshequa Alumni Banquet in June and shared her memories of teaching in district school #9 at the southwest intersection of Scipio and Shute Roads during the 1937-1938 school year.  This spurred the Alumni Association to put together a display on one-room school houses and to continue to gather information on school houses and peoples memories of them.  The results of their efforts will be contributed to the bicentennial event.  This office is sharing several of its resources on this topic with the association.

      The highlight of 2004 was the unveiling of the official Nunda Bicentennial Logo that marked the formal kickoff of the Nunda Bicentennial Planning committee.  About 50 were in attendance as local artist George Lucas unveiled the logo.  The Genesee Country Express carried a front-page article complete with pictures of the event.  The committee continues to meet regularly and hopes to distribute its first informational brochure soon.  The groups first fundraiser raised over $300.  Coincidentally, a phone message on my answering machine on a dreary November afternoon got me thinking.  A member of the Nunda Township, McHenry County, Illinois historical society and museum wondered if Nunda, New York would be interested in establishing a mutual relationship with them and possibly become a “Sister City”.  Frequently when people moved to a new area, they named their new home after the area they came from.  Such was the case with Nunda Township, Illinois.  This suggestion has merit and we look forward to establishing communications with our counterpart in Illinois. 

      When I retire, I want to be like Barbara Wells who stopped in Nunda last August in search of information on her Warren family. Mrs. Wells and her husband travel the eastern seaboard in an Air Stream fifth-wheel motor home complete with computer, copier and all of her research files.  A researchers dream, for sure!  Genealogy and local history continue to be popular topics and several entities in Nunda very willingly share what they have with the many researchers who contact us. 
      In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Town and Village boards for your continued support of my various projects and for my reappointment as your historian.  I also wish to acknowledge the contributions of the Nunda Historical Society to our cultural enrichment.  This historian and the historical society continue to enjoy a strong mutual relationship and I look forward to continuing that association in 2005.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie J.V. Griffing
Nunda Town and Village Historian               

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2002 Annual Report

      Tonight’s historians annual report will reflect on the work done by this town historian for calendar year 2002.

      During 2002 I researched several early area families and interests including:  McFall, Henry C Jones, Eldon & Rachel Covey, Henry Walker and Susan Perry , the Barber house/Chestnut Place in neighboring Portage, Claude W and Betty (Gallton) Bates, Chauncey Perry Dodge from the Dalton and Grove area, and also Carrie (Josephine?) Bentley Bliss.  The Bliss research was requested by an attorney and a local family who was trying to settle a land deed issue.  Philip Paul Bliss (no known relation to Carrie Bentley Bliss), the Chautauqua Hollow Cemetery for James Bennett in preparation for his Eagle Scout project. Also available information on veterans from the Nunda-Portage area. The alumni association asked for a list of veterans who are graduates of our schools and classmates who quit school early to enter the service and identification of the graduating class of 1939.

      In an effort to get a better handle on the historical holdings of the town, I began the task of cataloguing items in the historians collection.  The data sheet format is the same as that used by the Nunda Historical Society so the information recorded will be compatible for both organizations.  This will be an ongoing project for the next few years.

      I again served on the Rochester regions Archives Week Committee to organize the 2002 archives week workshop “Telling Our Stories”.  Tom Cooks class of students spoke on using primary documents to do their veterans research project. 

      An Archives week display entitled, “Telling Our Stories” was in place for the October 6 meeting of the Nunda Historical Society and for the balance of October at the Bell Library.  The town and village each proclaimed October as Archives month in Nunda. 

      The 2001 Archives Week exhibit entitled, “Rediscovering Some Nunda Area Churches” was on display in the Grange building at the 2002 Caledonia Fair, at the Nunda Reunionists Luncheon in August, at the Genesee Valley Antique Dealers Association show at Nazareth College last March and the October 5 APHNYS meeting in Mt. Morris.

      I have presented monthly reports at each board meeting that outline my activities for the month as well as providing ample learning opportunities through monthly trivia quiz questions.  Trivia quiz subject matter has included the colored mosaic on the floor in front of the auditorium doors at the Nunda Central School building, the Lewis stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad, Rochester Branch, the youngest person ever elected town councilperson, the Barber house in neighboring Portage and Civil War Medal of Honor winners Chester B. Bowen and John Joice Carter, both of whom once called Nunda home. 

      The Livingston County Genealogical Society continues to transcribe tombstone inscriptions in Oakwood Cemetery.  Transcription of tombstone information in other town cemeteries remains a project for future attention.

      I briefed members of the Livingston County Joint Museum Board August 14 of past and future events of county town and village historians.

      The town and village boards approved the historians participation on the Nunda Historical Societies website:       Additions to the website are anticipated in 2003.

      August 16, I facilitated an Archives Week  preplanning workshop at the Wadsworth Public Library in Geneseo.

      On April 27, I attended a preservation workshop in Geneseo.  Tracing the history of the house using both the written history of the house as well as the actual visual clues and barn restoration initiative were discussed.

      I attended the spring and fall regional meetings of the Association of Public Historians of NYS (APHNYS).  Documenting September 11, Universalism (religion), New York State Geology, interpreting your story for all age groups, planning a celebration, and a tour of the Mt. Morris Dam and its significance to flood control along the Genesee River were discussed.  The registration of municipal historians plan was discussed in some detail.
      I thank you for your continued support and look forward to continuing my endeavors in 2003

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie J.V. Griffing   
Town and Village

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2001 Annual Report

      Tonight’s historians annual report will reflect on the work done by this town historian for calendar year 2001.  After joining my fellow county historians in a collective sigh of relief in January following successful completion of the counties millennium history book, I settled down to handling historical issues in Nunda.

      On the State and Regional Levels

      In April, we bid Dr. Joseph Meany, acting state historian, farewell and wished him the best as he began a much-deserved retirement.  With his departure, oversight of the municipal historians program was shifted to the Cultural Resources section within the State Education Department.  For various reasons, the state has not sent its annual mailing seeking statistical information from each municipal historian in the state. 
      I have included a statistical summary compiled by the county historians office from Livingston County reports submitted to the state for the year 2000.  Such information as years of service, education, research and publications, finances, in-kind resources, programming, etc. were tabulated.  Of particular interest to me was the variety of topics being researched by my counterparts. 

      Local Research

      On a local note, I have researched several early area families and interests including:  Brace, Burch, VanWinkle, Cooper, Lovejoy, Bergen, Hewitt, Spencer, Coryell, Howe, Smith and Coe and the Phelps and Gorham purchase of lands.  I do not consider my research for this information to be “doing genealogy” for someone, but rather a way to find and share information about our forefathers.  If information is available locally, such as in the Nunda News papers or in town records, I feel it is worth expending the effort to retrieve the information to add to the depth of knowledge available in town files.  Genealogy ranks just behind gardening in popular hobbies and requests for information continue to flood my office.  2002 promises to be another banner year in the family research department. 

      Archives Week

I had the privilege of serving on the Rochester regions Archives Week Committee to organize the 2001 archives week workshop ‘Rediscovering New York State History’.  Family history, business history and religious history were highlighted in presentations and panel discussion. 

      I adopted the state theme into “Rediscovering Some Nunda Area Churches” and together with the historical society we presented our second exhibit.  We jointly came up with pictures and facts of sixteen churches in six towns and two counties.  It is hard to believe that we were simultaneously able to support so many denominations in such a small area.

      The Year 2000 Archives Week exhibit, “Food Through the Ages in Nunda” was on display at the alumni banquet in June and at the Reunionists gathering in August.  It garnered considerable attention at both functions and encouraged us to continue this endeavor again.  I am grateful to the Bell Memorial Library for their assistance and to the historical society for their support.
      Public Participation

I have presented monthly reports at each board meeting that outline my activities for the month as well as providing ample learning opportunities through monthly trivia quiz questions.  Subject matter of the trivia has included the Nunda sewer plant, the favorite appetizer served in Elba, Genesee County, early area settlers, the mystery church for our Archives Week display and Dalton.

      I have continued to work with the Livingston County Genealogical Society as they have continued to transcribe tombstone inscriptions in Oakwood Cemetery.  Transcription of tombstone information in other town cemeteries remains a project for future attention.

      Personal Development

      This year I attended workshops on contemporary, architecture common in the Rochester and surrounding areas, a photo preservation workshop and a workshop on working with students on researching local history. 
      I attended both conferences of the Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS) state meetings.  Discussions at these meetings coincidentally focused on the common themes outlined above and included tours of the Rochester Historical Society, the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) and the George Eastman House.

      I also attended both regional meetings in 2001. Cemetery preservation, abstracting land records and finding women in history and a tour of Graycliffe, a structure designed and constructed by Frank Lloyd Wright where the highlights of the meetings.
      I thank you for your continued support and look forward to continuing my endeavors in 2002.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie J.V. Griffing   
Town and Village Historian

Nunda Town and Village Historian
2000 Annual Report

      The Year 2000 was productive for this historian as I continued to rummage through Nunda’s past.  Certainly a noteworthy event was the completion of Nunda’s piece in the just published Livingston County Millennium History book, “Celebrating Our Past:  Livingston County In the Twentieth Century.”  Foote’s Manufacturing Company was my topic and thanks to the excellent working relationship with the Nunda historical society, I was able to use their photos of the interior of the facility to enhance the text.  The culmination of the millennium in Livingston County was the celebration held September 18 on Murray Hill.  The historical society and I again participated in this event with our Rose Shave exhibit and video of the exhibition at SUNY Geneseo in 1999.  This display was well attended.  The Livingston County Board of Supervisors recognized the historians for their contribution to the book at their re-organizational meeting January 2, 2001.
      The historical society and I successfully completed our first joint archives week exhibit modeled after the state theme, “Sink Your Teeth Into History:  Food Through the Ages in New York State”  The Bell Memorial Library offered us space and publicity for our exhibit titled, “Food Through the Ages in Nunda.”  At least 40 people carefully inspected the exhibit during its five week tour.  The collection of the Nunda Historical Society and town historian are a fantastic resource and one that is wasted if it is not shared with the public through displays and exhibits.

      Training was an important part of this years agenda.  I have attended the semi-annual Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS) conference in Binghamton.  Of particular interest was a discussion on the importance of archaeology in completing the picture of mans existence in an area.  At the APHNYS Region XII fall meeting, the roles and responsibilities of the local government historian were outlined, namely:  research and writing, education, historic preservation and assisting with all efforts to commemorate or celebrate any historical event in our community.  The interest and enthusiasm shown in historical society events and in discussions with members of the public proves this point.  Under education, this historian provides historical anecdotes and questions in most monthly reports for the enjoyment of all.  I again wish to thank town and village board members for helping me with the homework assignment of finding your class mates names and addresses. I also completed two speaking engagements on genealogy; one to the Livingston County Pomona Grange and the other to the Conesus History Keepers.  These presentations were designed to help people start their on genealogy.
      In March, I attended a four-week session at the Landmark Society of Western New York on architectural styles.  The culmination of this was a walking tour to several locations in downtown Rochester and the Corn Hill district to cement the concepts in our memory.  It is my goal to adapt this program for Nunda and Livingston County.  I attended a workshop on exhibits at the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies fall meeting and came home with new ideas on improving future exhibits.  Our “Food Through the Ages” display attracted attention from several conference goers and was referenced in both work shop sessions.

      Letters and phone calls from the public on genealogical and historical questions continued to be the bulk of my research.  In late 2000, calls centered around the barn restoration initiative.  This program proved extremely popular and resulted in phone calls inquiring how one could document the life of their barn.  Also of note were requests for information on Holy Angels Church in preparation for a written history and Emma Lampert Cooper.

      The annual report submitted to the State Historian is attached.  I thank you for your interest and support in 2000 and look forward to learning and sharing more about Nunda in 2001.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie J.V. Griffing
Town and Village Historian


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