2 restored paintings return to Cobblestone Museum

The paintings of Charles and Mary Ann Danolds have been restored and returned to the Cobblestone Museum, where they will be introduced to the public at a reception Sept. 23 at the Visitors Center.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 September 2022 at 6:01 pm

CHILDS – A $6,800 Conservation Treatment grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and Greater Hudson National Heritage Treatment Network have allowed two 19th century heirloom paintings from the Cobblestone Museum to be fully restored.

The paintings of Charles and Mary Ann Danolds, pillars of the Universalist churches in Childs and Albion, have been returned to the museum after conservations efforts performed by Great Lakes Conservation of Grand Island.

“The paintings are stunning, to say the least, and will be re-introduced to our Museum community at a public reception at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Visitors Center,” said Cobblestone Museum director Doug Farley.

Bill Lattin, former museum director and Orleans County historian, will offer reflections on this storied couple, and will explain how these paintings came to be in the museum’s collection.

The paintings are unsigned and estimated to have been painted between 1850 and 1855, Farley said. They were donated to the museum by a relative, Margaret Cole of California, in 2005.

Mr. Danolds lived in the town of Gaines from 1833 until his death. Charles was a successful entrepreneur who, at various times, operated a hotel, mercantile, flour mill, farm, potash business and owned four canal boats for shipping goods.

During the Civil War he held large contracts to sell horses to the government. But perhaps his most significant accomplishment was becoming one of the leading contractors in New York state. He was involved extensively on the enlargement of the Erie, Champlain and Chenango extension canals. He also built locks, including six on the Welland Canal. For three years, he was general superintendent of the Western Division of the Erie and Genesee Valley Canals.

Of importance is the fact Charles was the person responsible for encouraging his friend, George Pullman, to finance the building of a new, larger Universalist Church in Albion, which eventually replaced the 1834 Childs cobblestone church.

Charles asked Pullman to make a $5,000 donation toward the new Universalist Church. Pullman said if the church could raise $5,000, he would pay for the full cost of the church.

Wine and cheese will be served at the reception and Raymond Santoro will provide light musical entertainment. This will be a free program, but donations will gladly be received.

Reservations are requested by calling (585) 589-9013, as space is limited.