County Historical Society plans annual meeting

WESTFIELD – The Chautauqua County Historical Society will hold its annual meeting on April 20 at the Westfield Methodist Church in Westfield. The event will feature an annual report from the board of trustees and a lecture, “Milk Bottles of Chautauqua County and Their Stories,” to be presented by Clymer resident and historian Alberta Oonk. A luncheon will also be available at a cost of $15 per person.

“This is going to be an exciting day for members of the society and local history enthusiasts,” says James O’Brien, president of the Chautauqua County His-torical Society. “Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about all that the Chautauqua County His-torical Society has accomplished over the past year, as well as learn more about some of the events and exhibits we have planned for 2013. Plus, we’ll have Ms. Oonk on hand to share with our audience her effort to preserve the rich dairy history of Chautauqua County.”

The business portion of the annual meeting will begin at 11 a.m. O’Brien will provide his annual report and Trustee John Paul Wofe will provide an update on the exhibits and collections within the McClurg Museum.

At 1 p.m., Alberta Oonk of Clymer will deliver her presentation on the milk bottles of Chautauqua County. Oonk may very well be the foremost expert on the dairy industry of Chautauqua County. During her years of research, she has compiled a thorough and extensive list of nearly all the dairies that operated in the county in the past – from the early coop dairies of the mid 19th century to the various distributors that served area residents all the way up to the second half of the 20th century.

Much of the information she’s acquired has been put together in a book that she is in the process of updating.

In addition, Oonk has acquired a large collection of milk bottles from various businesses and several of these artifacts will be on display. Anyone with an interest in Chautauqua County’s rich dairy heritage and history will not want to miss this presentation, which is free and open to the public.

Between the meeting and presentation, a luncheon will be provided at noon for anyone who made prior reservations. The meal will feature a chicken dinner from Bark Grill in Westfield, along with beverages and dessert. The cost is $15 per person with reservations due by Satur-day, April 13. Payment can be made the day of the event. Reservations for the luncheon can be made by calling 326-2977, or by emailing No reservations are required if only attending the meeting and/or lecture.

For more information, visit the Historical Society’s events page online to