Pomfret historian addresses Valley Historical Society

The Valley Historical Society held its monthly meeting at the Cassadaga. American Legion. The society’s museum is now closed for the winter months, and will reopen in the spring.

President Albert Olm-stead welcomed those attending. Secretary Mary Shearman read the minutes of the previous meeting, and treasurer John Sipos gave the financial report. Re-freshments were provided by member Diane Shaw.

Olmstead said that some improvements to the museum building will be made in the near future.

Sipos and his wife winterized the building by installing window and door covers, and moving many items away from the sunshine to avoid fading. Sipos will be checking the museum on a regular basis.He had a schedule of meetings for 2014 ready for possible activities and programs. The annual quilt show of the museum, chaired by Betty Jean Ridout and Lois Anderson will be held on Aug. 2 and 3, 2014.

Todd Langworthy, Pom-fret historian since 2005, spoke about Dr. Milton Fenner. Langworthy said Dr. Fenner was in the Civil War, and was the assistant surgeon of the Navy. He practiced first in Jamestown and then in Fredonia. He was active in publishing medical journals, and later became involved in politics. Fenner developed Fenners Golden Relief a patent medicine sold nationwide into the early 20th century.

Langworthy said that the old bottles of the patent medicine can still be found in auctions, and people are interested in owning them. The medicine factory was located in Fredonia at the corner of Center and Barker streets. At the turn of the century, Dr. Fenner twice became the Pomfret town supervisor. He helped local businessmen and the fire department. Langworthy said, of course, most have heard about the Fenner Fire Hose. Dr. Fenner was part owner of the Columbia Hotel, replaced by the Russo Building.

Mary Bernard Holton added information about a liniment sold in the Cassadaga Valley area. Historian Walter Waite showed an old book on the patent medicines.

The next meeting of the Valley Historical Society, the Christmas dinner meeting,is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the South Stockton Wayside Chapel. All those attending are asked to bring a dish of food to pass and table settings. During the December meeting, reports of research by members in the last year will be presented.

New members are always welcome.