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New video tells the story of the Cobblestone Museum

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 July 2019 at 8:14 am

‘Our Cobblestone Heritage’ highlights the cobblestone masonry from the 1800s

Photos by Tom Rivers: Doug Farley, director of the Cobblestone Society Museum, presents a new video on Sunday during a premiere in the lower level of the Cobblestone Universalist Church.

CHILDS – Supporters of the Cobblestone Museum got to attend a premiere showing of a new video, “Our Cobblestone Heritage,” on Sunday afternoon at the historic Cobblestone Church.

The video was produced by Oh!Davidson Creative of Rochester at the request of Diane Palmer, a former board member and vice president of development for the Cobblestone Museum. Click here to see the video.

Megan O’Hearn-Davidson, left, joins Diane Palmer, a former Cobblestone Museum board member, and Drew Davidson in cutting the cake on Sunday during a premiere of a 10-minute video the Davidsons produced for the museum.

“Around the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, Diane was instrumental in our efforts to begin rebranding the museum,” said director Doug Farley. “This included our new logo and the creation of a video, which we could use to not only promote our museum, but would allow us to extend our season into the winter. That way, if a visitor stopped in the winter and we didn’t have a special event going on, we could show them a video.”

Palmer was familiar with the work of Megan O’Hearn-Davidson and her husband Drew. They photograph and film weddings and other special events in the Rochester area. Megan is an Albion native. Palmer contacted them with her idea.

“The video is about more than promoting our museum,” Palmer said. “It is also promoting the heritage of our cobblestone history. It’s an honor to be part of something like this.”

Farley said the museum is very proud of the video and he credited Palmer with being the driving force behind it. Palmer, who has moved to Washington, D.C. with her husband Keith, returned to Albion for Sunday’s special showing.

“Our rebranding is a process which is still underway,” Farley said. “Our video can be used in a number of ways. Our goal is to become a 12-month facility and now we have a product we can use all year. It is also an outreach tool which tells our mission and our goals for the future.”

While the original idea was to have a video to show visitors to the museum, the project has evolved differently than they first thought, Palmer said.

“Now with a full video of the history of the museum, we can use it to train docents, as well as give visitors a full overview of the museum,” she said.

While the full video is 45 minutes long, those at Sunday’s presentation saw only a 10-minute version. The full-length video includes Bill Lattin, the retired director of the museum, giving a tour of the museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.

Palmer explained she worked closely with the Davidsons in creating the video.

“I gave them an outline with the information, and they created the script,” Palmer said.

She also said Megan has a special interest in history.

After moving to Washington and visiting museums there, Palmer said she realized their video needed closed captioning, and that was added to the Cobblestone video.

Drew said it was definitely a fun project to work on. Former Cobblestone director Bill Lattin was interviewed for much of the video.

Lattin served as director for 40 years – from January 1971 to December 2010. He called cobblestones a “glacial legacy of the Great Lakes.”

The museum also has new signs featuring its new logo.

Lattin also said there were 900 cobblestone structures built in New York state between 1825 and 1860. Today, 90 percent of all the cobblestone buildings in the country are in Western New York.

While Lattin was responsible for major acquisitions by the Cobblestone Society during his years as director, and for its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1993, he also said he realized it was time to retire.

He is very pleased with the direction Farley is taking the museum.

“I had always hoped somebody would come along like Doug and move the museum into the 21st century,” Lattin said. “I am so happy the museum has become so much more technically adroit.”

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