New interpretive panels added at State Street Park for WWI monument, Burroughs family

Photo courtesy of Chris Busch: Interpretive panel No. 12 was recently installed at the World War I monument in State Street Park, describing the British field gun situated there.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 May 2024 at 7:59 am

MEDINA – Medina’s trail of interpretive panels just became a little larger with the addition of two new panels in State Street Park.

Installing interpretive panels throughout Medina’s downtown historic district was a project conceived more than 10 years ago by the Orleans Renaissance Group and The Print Shop owner Ken Daluisio, said Chris Busch, ORG’s president.

Medina was seeing a growing number of tourists and it was felt something was needed to provide visitors with a more meaningful experience, according to Busch. The interpretive signs would tell the story of historic people, events and architecture – interpreting local history and giving visitors a further reason to explore downtown and the village, Busch said.

The 2013 project was spearheaded by the ORG and Print Shop, with backing from the former Medina Business Association, now Medina Area Partnership. Several sponsors paid for the sign bases and The Print Shop donated the panels. The panels themselves were researched and designed by Busch.

Since then, visitors from around Western New York and the country have been observed lingering over the 11 sign panels, immersing themselves in the rich history of Medina’s people, events and architecture, Busch said.

The panels, now 10 years old, were beginning to show signs of wear and needed to be replaced. Again, ORG, working with Daluisio and The Print Shop tackled the job, ensuring the story of Medina’s culture and history would continue to be preserved and told. ORG has underwritten the cost of replacing the panels with fabrication being done by The Print Shop and installation by the Medina Department of Public Works.

“The new panels will be exactly as the originals, with a few minor corrections,” Busch said. “It’s really gratifying to have seen so many visitors enjoy them over these past 10 years. The panels tell the incredible story of a 19th century boom town on the Erie Canal – and that is a story worth telling. People who visit Medina and experience that remarkable story will come away from their visit knowing this place truly matters.”

This interpretive panel just installed in State Street Park, tells the story of Silas Burroughs Jr. and his contributions to Medina and Orleans County.

In addition to the 11 original panels on the trail, Panel No. 12 recently installed in State Street Park features the World War I monument and field gun. Panel No. 13 describing the Burroughs family and estate which once existed on the site, will be installed soon.

“These two new panels tell the story of the British field gun and World War I memorial, along with the remarkable story of the Burroughs family, whose mansion once stood in what is now State Street Park,” Busch said. “The story of the Burroughs family’s contribution to the history of our state, nation and the world is one of Medina’s little known, but greatest tales.”

Each year, the panels are removed for the winter and reinstalled in the spring by the DPW, Busch explained.

“To save on wear, tear and damage throughout the winter months, the signs are removed and stored by the DPW until they are reinstalled in the spring,” Busch said. “The guys take great care of the signs and we’re extremely grateful for it. Their efforts have added years to the life of these signs.”

Over the past 10 years, the signs have generated tremendous community pride and have boosted awareness of Medina’s historic, architectural and cultural resources – all of major significance, Busch said.

The panels, now numbering 13, feature a wide scope of the village’s history – its sandstone; Erie Canal and railroad prowess; its notable characters, entrepreneurs and community leaders; the impact of immigrants who worked on the canal, in the foundries and in the quarries; and now the World War I monument/British field gun and the Burroughs family story.

“This is one of the best projects I have ever been associated with,” Daluisio said. “It’s been an absolute success and I think people have been quite pleased, not only with how they look, but with the incredible stories they tell. They illustrate how Medina matters in both our regional and national history. It’s a point of community pride.”

Sponsors of the original 2013-14 project include the former Medina Business Association, Gabrielle and Andina Barone, Andrew W. Meier, ORG, David and Gail Miller, Hartway Motors, Rita Zambito/Zambito Realty, Medina Sandstone Trust, the late Marcia Tuohey, Christopher and Cynthia Busch and the Medina Fire Department Local 2161.

The new World War I monument panel was sponsored by Butts-Clark American Legion Post No. 204, under commander Jim Wells. The Burroughs family panel was sponsored by the Medina Sandstone Society, Christopher and Cynthia Busch and the Hon. James P. Punch.

Text and photos for the Burroughs panel were contributed in part by British author Julia Sheppard, who has authored a book on Burroughs.

Information Busch shared from states, “Julia Sheppard graduated in history from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and has spent her career working with military and medical archives. She was recently chair of the British Records Association, and as head of the research and special collections at the Welcome Library, she was instrumental in the acquisition of Burrough’s papers. He has fascinated her ever since.

“I am personally grateful to Julia, not only for her contributions to this project, but for her encouragement and support,” Busch said. “Her assistance was invaluable. She was a true champion of this project and of the Burroughs story.”

More information on ORG can be found at

The Burroughs family home is pictured on one of the latest interpretive panels to be installed in State Street Park, site of the former Burroughs estate. The mansion was considered one of the finest residences in Medina.