Tuesday, July 24, 2012



I have the original glass negatives of the Feb 20th 1885 Locamotive Accident at Batavia NY. My father owned the Main St.Photo Studio where they were found. I would like to find out what they are worth and might be willing to sell them.

Does anyone have any information that would help me? Thank you.

Reylene van Geldern 
reysweeds@ verizon.net.

Post any suggestions as COMMENTS or reply to

Monday, July 16, 2012


Hello New Society members:

The July meeting will be on Saturday, July 21 when we will visit the Greece Historical Society at 595 Long Pond Road, located 1/4 mile north of Latta Road, next to the Greece Town Hall.  The tour will begin at 10:30.

Following the tour we will go to the Pier 45 Restaurant at the Port of Rochester (think Fast Ferry), 1000 North River Street,  where we have a reservation at 12:30.  The restaurant is about five miles from the Greece Town Hall,   Visit their website at www.pier45attheport.com.

Please reply to me by July 18 if you are planning to attend.

Thanks to Bill Sauers, who  has made the arrangements for us and has prepared the attached sketch of the Greece Historical Society. 

Martha Johnstone

NEW SOCIETY OF THE GENESEE visit to the Greece Historical Society JULY 21, 2012
The Greece Historical Society was formed in 1969 and received its charter from the New York State Department of Education Board of Regents in 1974. In 1988 the former home of Gordon Howe, Greece Town Supervisor for 26 years and former Monroe County Manager, was donated to the Society and moved one half mile to its present location. The 1855 farm house has been restored by the Society and sits on land leased from the Town of Greece. The house, which the Society owns, is the home of the Society’s administrative offices, research library, museum exhibit hall, museum shop and the office of the Town Historian.

The society strives to provide the community with an awareness of the past, an appreciation of the present, and a vision for the future, giving a sense of “roots” and a greater feeling of belonging.  The society is operated by an all volunteer staff.

Our tour will include a history of the house and its transformation to the Greece Historical Center, we’ll visit the many permanent and changing exhibits and possibility get a behind the scenes visit the historian’s office, storage areas and learn about the operation of this very active historical society.

Following our visit we will have lunch at Pier 45 Restaurant in Charlotte (about 5 miles from the Greece Museum.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


                                                   George Henry Historian

Dec. 8, 1961 first recorded meeting.
Rober Mody-Chairman
Mrs. Marion Thomas elected President
Gerald Gage -Vice President
Luella Pulver Secretary
Kenneth Roat -Treasurer
Mrs. Marion Decker -Publicity Chairman
It was voted to name the organization "Town of Gorham Historical Society"
Dues were $1.00 the membership was 127.

I started with the business of the "first recorded meeting". With a membership of 127 it is safe to assume that there were many unoffical meetings prior to that date. Email, Instant Message and Face Book did not exist at that time. Someone spent a great deal of time writing letters sending announcements to the newspapers and on the phone to generate that much interest. Robert Moody was the unoffical Town Historian and the driving force behind this organization.

Jan. 23, 1962 an organizational meeting was held at the Reed Corners Grange with a dinner put on by the Grange. Over 100 tickets were sold for the dinner at $1.50 each.

With that many tickets sold it is obvious that interest was high and members enthusiastic about this new organization.

March 23, 1962  a meeting was held at the Rushville Methodist Church. There was no dinner, just a business meeting and still the attendance was 65 members. Indeed folks were interested in making this organization a success.

A motion was made to accept the offer of the Gorham Library Association to use a room over the Library for use as a Museum. The library was located on South Street between the Town Hall and the Odd Fellows building.
Molly Melious was appointed Curator and Grace Oswald Assistant.

Many  volunteers set to work stripping paint and wallpaper and the room was soon ready to use as a museum. It was not well suited for this purpose, cold in the winter, hot and dry in the summer, but it was what they had to work with.

The Town Board was always supportive and paid to send Molly Melious to Cooperstown for a two week seminar on the "Care and Handling of Artifacts".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now they had a Museum and needed items from the past to display. Word was sent out and the community generously responded. There were 126 people who donated over 350 of their priceless possessions. Many are still on display in the current Museum.      

In reading through the minutes of the next years one finds many projects this group undertook to preserve and chronicle the history of the town. One stands out. At that time all the old cemeteries of the town were grown up to brush and the stones broken and knocked over. With many volunteers and help from the Town the brush was cleared, grass mowed, head stones repaired and replaced. Now anyone looking for ancestors can easily walk through any of the old burial grounds.

As part of this restoration thanks need to be given to Floyd and Gladys Gage for their work inventorying, recording and mapping the graves in the town cemeteries. This work was completed about 1996.

In 1966 when Robert Moody became supervisor Molly Melious becam Historian. This became an official town position in 1970. Molly resigned and Mr. Moody again filled this position in 1971 until his death in 1992. Molly was again appointed Town Historian. 

With the creation of the Marcus Whitman Central School District Mr. Moody thought the Historical society should encompass the same area. At a meeting on February 15,1972 a motion was made by James Makeups seconded by June Pendleton that the name be changed to "Marcus Whithman Historical Society"

As folks from Middlesex didn't care about Gorham, Stanley about Potter and so and on  Interest and membership dwindled. To quote one lady on the last meeting she attended. " there were three old ladies and the undertaker present".

The Museum room in the Library was in a bad state of repair and was not safe for people or artifacts. The cost too repair to great. At a meeting on March 3, 1984 it was decided to abandon the Museum and move the displays to storage.

Clyde Beebe, Supervisor from 1986 to 1993 formally declared the room in the basement of the present library a place for the Museum. The process of moving all the artifacts from storage to the present museum space began. Molly Melious should get a vote of gratitude for her diligence and hard work in saving these artifacts from destruction and damage during the storage and moving process.

The last recorded meeting of the Marcus Whitman Historical Society was held in 1988. During the period from 1988 to 2002 there are no recorded meetings.

Laurie Turner on a visit to the Gorham Oil Company discovered that an old building behind the company was to be torn down for the lumber. Something sparked in her head that this building had some historical value to the town. She contacted Molly Melious. Molly being the great historian did some research and discovered that it was once the gorham Post Office building. It was a small building, 416 square feet built in 1905. It was located on Main Street near where the Park is now.  Laurie and Molly somehow stopped the destruction of the building and started to work on the project of saving this bit of history.

People who were interested in town history were contacted and finally, on February 18, 2002 a meeting was called.  Present at that meeting were Don Blodgett, Laurie Turner, Dick Newcomb, Nancy Rebmann and Allyson Anderson. The catalyst that pulled this group together was saving the old Gorham Post Office building. A formal organization would be needed to accomplish this. Therefore it was decided to breath life back into the Town Historical Society.

The next meeting  was held on April 16 2002. Present were Laurie Turner, Don Blodgett, Sharon Cornelius, Betty Bay, Nancy Rebmann, Allyson Adam Anderson, Al Rebmann, Christine Ayers and Tom Bay.

It was decided to change the name to "Town of Gorham Historical Society".
 Laurie Turner was elected President. She had contacted the Town Board and obtained their support both financially and in the use of equipment for the project of moving the building.

A monumental amount of work was done in organizing fund raisers, gaining support of merchants both financial and in materials and a grant from the state. Finally on Nov. 6 2002 the old building made it's way down Main St. and placed on the foundation behind the Museum. For anyone interested there is a photo album put together by Don Blodgett documenting the move. Now the hard work and long hours of restoring the building began.

This was not the only work done during this time. There was a Museum to organize. artifacts to be displayed or stored and all to be cataloged. Special events that chronicled the town history and bake sales to fund the society had to be planned and maned. The Museum is open every Wednesday afternoon volunteers are on hand to greet visitors and do the work of the Museum.

Another project, organized be Steve Mumby was the moving and restoring of the old Aerial Observation Building. This building, during it's use,  was located on the first farm East of DePew Rd. on County Rd. 18. During WW2 we were on guard against enemy attack by air. This building was manned twenty four hours a day and any planes the passed over were reported to a command post in Buffalo. It is a small building, about 8X8, with a coal stove a chair, telephone and some reading material. It is now located behind the Museum.

Another important task of the society is the "New Age Newsletter". This publication is of vital importance in communicating with the folks of the town and chronicling the history of the town.

It would be impossible to list all the volunteers that give of their time and talents, and if I tried I would be sure to miss some. But I would also be remiss if I did not mention  a few. Laurie Turner, President 2002 to 2004, Steve Mumby President from 2008 to present and Eileen Fake, Treasurer.  Then there is one name that cannot be separated from the Town of Gorham Historical Society. The present Curator, Sharon Cornelius, It is her energy and organization  that has made the museum a first class small town museum. She is also the editor of the newsletter and makes sure it is quality paper published on time.

I would encourage the readers to visit the museum and to tell your friends about it.