Valley Historical Society holds Treasure Trove program

SINCLAIRVILLE – Members and friends of the Valley Historical Society met recently in the Sinclairville Village Park for their annual summer picnic meal and Treasure Trove program. President Albert Olmstead welcomed all to the event, and past president Elaine Palmer-Titus gave the blessing. Everyone attending enjoyed a fine meal.

Treasurer John Sipos gave a brief summary of the recent quilt show held at the museum, and thanked quilt show coordinator Betty Jean Ridout for her efforts. Sipos also reported on the recent entry of the Valley Historical Society in the Chautauqua County Fair, Floral Hall. Sipos said the booth depicted an old time general store, and earned a blue ribbon award. Sipos read the treasurer’s report of the organization, and said that the museum is open for tours on Sundays from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. with tour guides on hand. Vice President Larry Barmore said that the annual history fair is on Saturday Sept. 14, all day in the village of Sinclairville, and had posters of the many events happening that day.

President Olmstead opened the treasure trove program with a black handle, which many pondered as to its use. Many answers were given. Treasurer Sipos showed old time advertising pencils which were used in the 1930’s and 1940’s. June Woollett showed a glass Willys Jeep toy which she received with Easter candy in it many years ago. Mrs. Titus showed an old beer bottle which had a brewery in Dunkirk near Sixth Street and Canary Street. Evelyn Thorndike showed a pair of old earrings made of silver and a stone. Diane Shaw showed an old bell made for the Alfred bicentennial out of material in the area. Doug Arters talked about a diary of his grandfather’s dating back to 1929, and also a diary of his grandmother’s dating to 1946, which had the description of when Doug first began to walk. Helen Pierson showed a pail from the meat market which was located in Stockton, and would be used to put the lard in, and then sold. Mrs. Pierson then showed some old school books from the late 1880’s which had her husband’s name in them. Phyllis Ames showed a book which described the 10 generations of the Miller family. Susan Sipos showed an old cast iron nome, which was used in a garden.

Sally Dickinson showed old salt dishes, which were etched with cupids. She said that each place setting of a table used to have salt that the person could dip their food into.

The last item was an 80-year-old photograph of the Reed building in Sinclairville, which was built in 1854. Once located next to the current grocery store, the building housed a hardware store, grocery store and tin shop on the first floor. On the second floor were law offices, and the third floor held lodges. The history of the photograph was provided by historian Walter Waite. Barmore was donating the photograph to the museum then.

The Valley Historical Society had its beginnings in 1977, when the late John and Ruth Smith saw a need for preserving the valley history. The museum, located at the corner of Main and Lester streets in Sinclairville was purchased one year later, and tours are held on a regular basis. For more information on the Valley Historical Society, write to P.O. Box 1045, Sinclairville, NY 14782. New members are always welcome.