Historic home tour was sweet

The Historical Society of Dunkirk would like to thank those who enabled us to have its successful first tour of historic houses.

First and foremost Harriet Tower from the Academy Heights neighborhood group and Michele Bautista from PARC group worked very much with the museum to create this tour. Their steadfastness in trying to improve our neighborhoods is admirable. Those homeowners who volunteered for us to use their homes, who have the dedication and the responsibility and the pride in caring for their homes are to be praised.

Tower, Henry Pucciarelli, David Rudge and Terry Beck, Cindy Tuning and Ted Wronski, Hattie and Charles Clark are stellar residents of the city of Dunkirk. Being allowed to look into their homes has been a privilege. Tom Whitney, executive director of the STEL House, and his staff, were very helpful in our using the former Mindszenty rectory-Gross mansion for the art reception and the tour.

We are especially grateful to the Burchfield Penney Art Center of Buffalo, specifically Mary Helen Miskuly, for their loan of 12 pieces of art by Dunkirk native George Eggers. She brought the art to Dunkirk on Friday for the successful art reception that drew around 100 people to admire Eggers’ work. Equally important were Michael and Kaie Smith. Michael, the grandson of the artist Eggers, shared his knowledge of his grandfather’s work at both events.

Many served as docents, including museum board members Ed and Kathy Kolodziej, Walt Drag, Roy Davis, Sharon Purdue and Denise Griggs. Others included Pat Sysol, Jim McIlvain, Judy and Ann Hollander, Jo Ann Mancuso, Mike Civiletto, Claudia Ansell, Nancy Mayer, Ann Bingham, Judy Singer and Virginia Surlas.

We thank St. John’s United Church of Christ for providing the sign in front of the STEL house for advertising. Bonnie Schneider created the blue house tour banners. Sue Drag and her Bud and Bloom members Judy Wilcox and Audrey Parker helped provide flowers. Wendy Straight and Doug Shepard provided important historical details about each house, while Dr. Dan Reiff, retired SUNY Fredonia professor, provided architectural information. Casale Plumbing’s supplies and Feather Your Nest’s consulting also assisted.

We are grateful to NCCF, who provided a grant to assist in meeting various costs to prepare for the event, and as well to those who assisted in selling tickets: the Dunkirk Library, P&G Foods, and Papaya Arts, Midtown Realty, and Time Pieces. Jill Purol of Mancuso’s Greenhouse provided mums for sale. The OBSERVER did a wonderful job with the printing of several articles that prepared participants for the event.

And most of all we would thank the 252 people who purchased tickets and attended the event. It is our hope that they recognized that beauty that can be found in the architecture and history of these Dunkirk structures. Those wishing for more information or who wish to become a member of the museum, may do so by calling 366-3797.

Diane Andrasik is a Dunkirk resident.