Sandstone Society celebrates active year, welcomes new president

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2022 at 12:00 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jim Hancock is the new president of the Medina Sandstone Society, succeeding Dave Miller (in back) who led the organization for three years. They spoke during the society’s annual meeting last Wednesday in the conference room of the new Comfort Inn & Suites in Medina. The hotel has a display about the Medina Sandstone industry.

MEDINA – The Medina Sandstone Society held its annual meeting last week, and the organization recounted an active year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organization looks forward to an even busier 2022, perhaps with bus tours and other projects to boost the area.

The society praised David Miller for leading the organization the past three years. Miller chose not to seek another year as president. He will be succeeded by Jim Hancock.

Miller developed a new Wikipedia page about Medina Sandstone. He also is on the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame Committee which inducted a new class of honorees – the Bent’s Opera House in Medina, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Brockport and St. Mary’s RC Church in Canandaigua. The ceremony was cancelled in 2021. There have now been 32 sites inducted into the Hall of Fame since it started in 2013. The Hall is in the main meeting room at City Hall in Medina.

“We have found so many beautiful buildings in New York and western Pennsylvania,” Hancock said about the Hall of Fame initiative.

Miller also has created a database of Medina sandstone buildings and is up to 211 buildings so far.

His dream is to see a Medina Sandstone Museum with interactive exhibits, and public databases.

Miller and Treasurer Craig Lacy reported the Sandstone Trust grew in revenue by about $45,000 to $270,000 through investments and donations. That fund started in 2010 with $18,000. Last year the Sandstone Society used $4,000 from some of the investment revenue for grants to support projects in the Medina.

The society would like to assist more organizations this year, and take the lead on upgrading one of the gateway signs leading into Medina.

The organization also offers a $1,000 John Ryan Scholarship to a Medina senior with a passion for history. That scholarship is named for the man who opened the first commercial sandstone quarry in Medina in 1837.

The society welcomed four new board members including Matt Holland, Kathy Blackburn, Kathy Bogan and Reinhard Rogowski. (Outgoing members include Dave Schubel, Barbara Waters and Scott Robinson. Schubel has been with the organization since it formed in 2003, and his service goes back to the Armory Action Committee in the late 1970s which worked to find a new use for the old Armory building on Pearl Street. It became home of the YMCA. The Armory is in the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame.)