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Cobblestone Museum will present awards during annual meeting Nov. 10

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2018 at 9:45 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Rochester Area Community Foundation has provided $44,000 in grants for the Cobblestone Museum to work on three cobblestone buildings built before 1850. Some of the grant funds were used to repair the windows of the Cobblestone Universalist Church, which was constructed in 1834. The Foundation will be recognized on Nov. 10 as the museum’s “Community Partner of the Year.”

GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum will recognize several key supporters during an annual meeting at noon on Nov. 10 at Tillman’s Village Inn.

The public is welcome to attend to annual meeting to hear about the past year at the historic site. Officers and trustees will also be elected for the museum, a National Historic Landmark with buildings on Route 104 and Route 98 in the hamlet of Childs.

In 2016, the museum started presenting awards to supporters and volunteers.

This year’s winners include:

• Community Partner of the Year – The Rochester Area Community Foundation which has provided $44,000 in grants the past two years for a series of building improvements on the three cobblestone buildings that are pre-1850.

A grant for $23,000 went towards restoring windows and some repointing on the Cobblestone Church, as well as work on the next-door Ward House, which was built around 1840. The stairs on the house have been crumbling and were fixed with the grant funds.

A grant for $21,000 this year is focused on the schoolhouse from 1849. The schoolhouse will soon get a new roof, repaired masonry and fresh paint on the window trim and soffits near the roof.

• Business Partner of the Year – Hurd Orchards for many years has promoted group tours for the museum. Hurd Orchards touts the museum in the community and with the farm’s customers. Hurd also has collected funds for the museum, a total that has been on the rise.

The late Betty Hurd was an early supporter of the museum and the Cobblestone Society more than a half century ago. She has instilled a love of history and the cobblestone buildings in her daughter Susan Hurd and granddaughter Amy Machamer.

David Mitchell, left, donated this couch made by George Pullman in the 1850s to the Cobblestone Museum. Mitchell is pictured with Doug Farley, the museum’s director, in the Danolds Room on the first floor of the Cobblestone Church.

• Pullman Award – This is a new award given to recognize a generous donation that enhances the collection at the Cobblestone Museum. In July, David Mitchell donated a couch made by George Pullman, when he was a furniture manufacturer in Albion, before he moved to Chicago and developed the Pullman’s Palace Cars for the railroad industry.

Mitchell acquired the Merrill-Grinnell Funeral Homes in Albion and Holley. The Albion funeral home had a Pullman couch. Mitchell made that couch a stipulation of the sale of the funeral home. He then donated it to the museum.

• Proctor Award is named for the founder of Childs who helped establish the Cobblestone Church. The award is given to someone who goes above and beyond to assist the museum in an extraordinary manner. The museum is presenting three Proctor Awards to recognize people for their efforts in 2018.

• Gail Johnson developed and coordinated a Membership Dinner and the Underwriting component, plus new initiatives for Development and Membership. That work resulted in about $40,000 for the museum. She has welcomed new donors to the museum. She also is a significant donor herself, offering the museum land, barns and monetary gifts.  She also volunteered in many roles this past season.

Maarit Vaga dressed as Cobble the Museum Mouse for the Cobblestone Museum at the Holley June Fest parade. She rode in a 1911 Reo truck owned by Russ Bosch of Clarendon.

• Maarit Vaga organized a Progressive Organ Concert on May 12 and also prepared the main dinner which was served at Christ Episcopal Church. The concert and meal were very popular with the participants. Vaga also wore the Cobble the Mouse costume in local parades to promote the museum.

• Gregory Lawrence of Holley has been working to digitize a collection of about 3,500 photographs of 700 cobblestone structures in New York State, images from Robert L. Roudabush between 1976 and 1980. The images and scans of maps from 21 counties will be available online through the Cobblestone Museum and the Landmark Society of Western New York.

• Volunteer of the Year (2 winners)

• Gerard Morrissey has been a dedicated volunteer as a docent, stepping in whenever he is needed, including the Ghost Walk on Oct. 6 when he portrayed Rufus Brown Bullock, the former Georgia governor who grew up in Albion and moved back to his hometown after his career.

• Marty Taber was one of the coordinators of the Ghost Walk, and wrote the script for the different characters highlighted on the tour. He also helps the museum by giving tours, working on landscaping, and with buildings and grounds projects.

The annual meeting is open to the public. The deadline to RSVP is Nov. 5. For more information, call the museum at 589-9013 or click here.

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