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Heritage Festival returns with focus on local historic resources

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 September 2019 at 10:32 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: A bronze statue of a soldier, resembling a doughboy from pre-World War II, was placed atop a monument on April 17 in front of the Orleans County YMCA. The statue will be dedicated on Saturday during a ceremony at the Orleans County YMCA, which was an training site for soldiers for 76 years when it was an Armory.

The fourth annual Orleans County Heritage Festival returns Sept. 6-15 with 10 days of events highlighting local historic sites.

The Cobblestone Museum, Orleans County Tourism, the Orleans County Department of History and a group of volunteers teamed to organize the event.

“There are many family-friendly events,” said Lynne Menz, tourism coordinator and creative director for Orleans County. “There are well-rounded programs for adults and children.”

There are historical enactments at the Medina Railroad Museum, Cobblestone Museum and Genesee Community College in Medina.

The Medina Railroad Museum and Cobblestone Museum, which Menz said are both “anchors in our community,” will host events during the festival.

Doug Farley, Cobblestone Musuem director, stepped up to co-lead the festival this year. He said the county has many historic resources. Working together with the Heritage Festival helps all of the sites, he said.

“This area has so much history,” he said. “It will do nothing but help us if we promote it right.”

Each day of the festival from Sept. 6 through Sept. 15 will include genealogy sessions led by Holly Canham. She will assist new and advanced researchers in tracing their family trees. She will be at Hoag Library each day from 10 a.m. to noon and 7 to 9 p.m., except on Sunday, Sept. 8, when she is there from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The schedule includes:

Friday, Sept. 6

• 1 p.m. – Albion NY Rocks at the Gazebo, Albion: Paint rocks with an Orleans County theme. Free.

Saturday, Sept. 7

• 11 a.m. –  Company F Statue Dedication: The Company F Statue on the grounds of the Medina Armory/YMCA will be dedicated with several guest speakers, veterans, honor guard, and sculptor Brian Porter. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony. Located on the corner of Pearl & Prospect Ave., Medina.

• 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – Medina Railroad Museum, Medina: Scene/skit set in 1920’s depicting actions of railroad freight agents and customers (two performances). Free admission for the day.

• 1 p.m. –  Rudely Stamp’d Performance at GCC, Medina: “Now We Stand by Each Other Always” –  an engaging conversation between Civil War Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman portrayed by Tracy Ford as Sherman and Derek Maxfield as Grant.

• 1 p.m. – Cobblestone Kids Day at the Cobblestone Museum, Childs: Illustrator Patty Blackburn will read “Cobble the Museum Mouse.” Each child will receive a copy of Cobble’s Coloring & Story Book. Make & Take a Cobble the Mouse holiday ornament. Tours of the Museum will be available at 3 p.m. with no admission charge for kids. Cobble the Mouse Scavenger Hunt forms are included with a full campus tour. $5 per child, accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required: CobblestoneMuseum.org or 585-589-9013.

GCC professors Tracy Ford, right, and Derek Maxfield portray Civil War generals during a performance of Rudely Stamp’d in April at Hoag Library. Ford is General William Tecumseh Sherman and Maxfield is General Ulysses S. Grant in a 45-minute theatrical “conversation” between the two Civil War generals for the Union. They will perform Sept. 7 at GCC in Medina.

Sunday, Sept. 8

• 2 to 5 p.m. – Town of Murray & Village of Holley Museum of Local History, Holley: View Holley’s “Halloween Bell” cast by the McShane Bell Foundry in 1894 in Baltimore, MD. Free admission.

• 6 p.m. – Tour of Hillside Cemetery, Holley: County Historian Matthew Ballard and Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan will lead guests on a tour of Hillside Cemetery featuring stories about people buried there.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

• 7 p.m. – Roswell Burrows Lecture, Hoag Library’s lobby: Town of Albion Historian Ian Mowatt will be giving a talk about Roswell Burrows and a part of his estate.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

• 12:30 p.m. – The Heritage Fruit Farm Luncheon & Tour at Hurd Orchards: The luncheon will feature recipes taken from historic Orleans County recipe books from 1895 through the mid 20th century. A short talk after the luncheon will share the colorful history and development of the Hurd fruit farm properties – from Mattison’s Tavern to the Ridge Barn foundation, to a plank pioneer tenant house. Then there will be tour of a recently restored Greek Revival farmhouse, the oldest house in the Town of Murray, and a 1910 family home built from wood sawn from the Hurd woodland. Reservations required by calling 585-638-8838.

• 7 p.m. – Forensic Anthropology, Modern History and Honoring Our Dead, GCC Medina: Dr. Ann Bunch, Professor & Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, SUNY College at Brockport, along with her husband Steve (LT COL, US Army-Retired), will present a lecture titled, “Forensic Anthropology, Modern History and Honoring Our Dead.”

Ann is a nationally recognized expert in identifying remains of the deceased.  She and Steve were members of Joint Defense Department repatriation teams searching for the remains of fallen Americans in Southeast Asia. Ann will explore the compelling crossroads of forensics, history and emotional closure as she traces several multidisciplinary investigations – from the Vietnam War and the World Trade Center attack to recent criminal investigations in New York State.

Thursday, Sept. 12

• 7 p.m. – Author Melissa Ostrom at the Yates Community Library, Lyndonville: Melissa Ostrom, author, will discuss her novel, The Beloved Wild, with its setting of Orleans County in the early 19th century.

• 7 p.m. – Bill Lattin’s “Trivial Tales” at the Hoag Library-Curtis Room, Albion: local author & historian Bill Lattin will be sharing a few passages from his upcoming book Trivial Tales which feature various humorous historical tales related to various figures from Orleans County. (The release date for the book is still pending.)

Friday, Sept. 13 & Saturday, Sept. 14

• 8 p.m. – Murder & Mayhem Tour – Torch-lit Tour of Downtown Albion: Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian, will lead guests on a night-time tour of downtown Albion. Come hear the stories of the disappearance of William Morgan, Nehemiah Ingersoll’s crafty plan to secure the county seat, the murder of Pierpont Dyer, Albert Warner’s theft of thousands from the First National Bank of Albion, the murder of Alice Wilson, and many more! Guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight, wear comfortable shoes, and pack an umbrella (just in case!).

Saturday, Sept. 14

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Old Timer’s Fair at the Cobblestone Museum: The Cobblestone Museum will come alive with artisans and re-enactors as we recreate the feel of Orleans County life in the 19th century. A chicken BBQ is available for dining al fresco or take-out.

Theresa Jewell of Clarendon weaves with a loom during a Historic Trades Fair at the Cobblestone Museum on Aug. 27, 2017.  The fair highlighted 19th century craftsmen. The museum on Sept. 14 will host the Old Timer’s Fair.

Sunday, Sept. 15

• 1 p.m. – Medina Sandstone Society’s Hall of Fame, City Hall, 590 Main St., Medina: Established in 2013, the Hall of Fame is a display of informational plaques of sandstone structures in NY & PA that have been deemed worthy of inclusion in the Sandstone Hall of Fame. Free admission.

• 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Medina Sandstone Society Bus Tour: County-wide narrated bus tour of Medina Sandstone structures with Bill Lattin, narrator (above right). Refreshments included. Reservations required, email shollan2@rochester.rr.com. $25 members, $30 non-members.

• 4:30 p.m. – Concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Medina: A concert featuring soloist, Patricia L. Worrad, Soprano with songs of years past at the church built in the middle of the street as stated in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”. St. John’s church is built of Medina Sandstone and home of the oldest church congregation in the county.

For more on the festival, click here.

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