Cobblestone Museum hosts annual patriotic church service with picnic on Sunday

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 July 2019 at 9:39 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: There were several American flags out in July 2017 for the Patriotic Service at the Cobblestone Church.

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Museum’s annual patriotic service on July 7 will have a new twist this year.

After the 11 a.m. service in the historic 1834 cobblestone church, a picnic will take place on the side lawn of the church.

The Rev. Don Algeo will give the keynote address titled “A Spirit of Independence.” There will be a performance by Albion High School alumni Enoch and Elijah Martin, accompanied by Richard Della Costa.

The Martin brothers are preparing patriotic songs, said Maarit Vaga, who is helping to organize the service. She is also a member of the museum’s board of trustees.

Vaga has attended several of the patriotic services in the past and considers the tradition a precious acknowledgement of Orleans County’s unique and significant history, she said.

“Next to the Erie Canal, Western New York’s cobblestone heritage is singular in the United States,” Vaga said. “Therefore, I find it very fitting that, as a community, we would celebrate our nation’s birthday in the oldest cobblestone church in North America. Since childhood, I have had an affinity for museums as portals into times long past. Whenever I visited museums, I liked to imagine myself in another time and place. I don’t think that yearning has ever left me, so it was very natural that I would become enthralled with volunteering at the Cobblestone Museum. Studying to become a docent for the museum has been inspiring.”

Vaga added that the men and women who established the communities around Orleans County were remarkable, resilient and industrial people.

“As I sit in the Cobblestone Church on July 7, I will be thinking of their tremendous efforts which laid the groundwork for all the opportunities we currently enjoy, and I will offer a prayer of thanks,” Vaga said.

The soloists, Enoch and Elijah Martin, are no strangers to anyone who has been fortunate enough to see an Albion High School theater production, Vaga said. Elijah graduated in 2015 from Albion and his brother Enoch graduated last Friday.

The service and picnic are free, but a free will donation will be accepted.

Anyone wishing more information may call the Cobblestone Museum at 589-9013.

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