Sheridan Historical Society plans summer events

SHERIDAN – The Sheridan Historical Society is planning two upcoming events for the remainder of this summer.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the SHS will display items from its Civil War collection in Barker Commons as part of this year’s Fredonia History Days. Among the artifacts on hand will be an 1863 letter describing action in and around Chancellorsville, Va., in early May 1863, when Union and Confederate forces collided in a fateful set of engagements. Although the South lost its beloved general “Stonewall” Jackson to friendly fire, Chancellorsville is often called Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. More important for local history, however, the letter is believed to have been penned by a local soldier serving in the 154th New York Infantry, a regiment recruited from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties that suffered its greatest casualties of the war as part of the Union 11th Corps at Chancellorsville. A full transcription of the letter is printed in the latest edition of the society’s newsletter.

On Aug. 12 at 7 p.m., the historical society is pleased to host a special program on antique milk bottles by Alberta Oonk of Clymer. An avid collector, Oonk is the author of “Milk Bottles of Chautauqua County and Their Stories.” She recently presented for the Chautauqua County Historical Society. The talk will be held on the first floor of the former Sheridan Town Hall, on the corner of U.S. Route 20 and Center Road in Sheridan. Refreshments will also be served.

The current edition of the society’s newsletter will be available at both events. It also features a biography of Sheridan native Rep. Daniel A. Reed written by Richard H. Benson. Reed served in the U.S. Congress for 40 years, from 1919 to 1959. Benson’s book about the Reed family was published by the Newbury Street Press of Boston in 2005 and won the Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists as the best genealogy published that year.

For more information about the historical society or upcoming events, call 672-2201. All events are free and open to the public.