The Barn Building Legacy of J.T. Wells & Sons
May
5
2:00 PM14:00

The Barn Building Legacy of J.T. Wells & Sons

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John Talcott Wells (1843 - 1932), a native of the Town of Wheatland in Monroe County, NY, invented, and patented in 1889, an ingenious method of barn building that departed from traditional post and beam construction. Instead, he used a system of laminated trusses that balanced inward and outward forces, creating soaring, open spaces allowing access to the interior by horse-drawn wagons. The Wells family built at least one hundred of these majestic structures between 1889 and 1946, most of them in Monroe County and Western New York. About fifty of them are still standing, including two in Avon - the Century Barn and neighboring barn on North Avon Road.

Barb Chapman will provide historical background and biographical information about the amazingly talented J. T. Wells. Katie Andres will use vintage photographs and original Wells drawings to describe in detail the structure of the barns and the construction process. Dick Thomas will use his barn photographs to illustrate the importance of Wells Barns in our agricultural history and to our local rural landscapes.

Sunday May 5, 2019
2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.


PRESENTERS:

Katie Andres 

Katie Andres is an educator, an Emmy-Award winning television producer with a passion for local projects, and a School Library Media Specialist.  She fell in love with her first Wells barn while working weekend weddings at the Avon Century Barn.  The awe inspired by the barn’s design, construction, and adaptive reuse served as the catalyst that led her to research the story of its builder, J.T. Wells. Her quest for information led her to historian Barbara Chapman and prompted her to reach out to photographer Dick Thomas for the purpose of documenting the remaining Wells barns in New York State.  

 

Barbara Chapman

Barbara Chapman is an educator whose interest in preservation began when New York State made local history the focus of the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum. She wrote a local history program for the Churchville-Chili schools and served as Town of Chili Historian during the 1980s. Barbara and her husband, Clifford, moved to Wheatland in 1988, where she has written and presented programs and exhibits and conducted school classes and architectural tours for the Wheatland Historical Association. Since 2007, she has served as Deputy Historian and then Historian in the town that was the birthplace of John Talcott Wells and the patented Wells barn truss. 

 

Dick Thomas      

Dick Thomas is a professional photographer specializing in both natural and rural heritage landscapes.  He lives with his wife Mary on an old farmstead in Caledonia, New York that they have been lovingly resurrecting.  Dick has been photographing barns for years, with the intention of using his images for the preservation of those remaining monuments from the past. His artwork is available at dickthomasphotography.com, or on Facebook at Dick Thomas Photography. He is currently working with Katie Andres and Barbara Chapman to bring about a greater awareness of the remaining Wells Barns and the Legacy of J. T. Wells and Sons.

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If Knives Could Talk
Sep
8
2:00 PM14:00

If Knives Could Talk

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Tom Kalcevic, researcher, collector and author, will present a history of the Robeson Cutlery Company from its start in 1880 to its demise in 1977. Robeson Cutlery was a local firm that manufactured kitchen and table staple ware and appliances in Rochester and pocket knives in Perry, NY. Six phases of Robeson’s history will be discussed. How the company responded with pocket knives and cutlery to meet the demands of the times will be shown, along with examples from each era.

Sunday September 8, 2019
2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.


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History of the East Avon Fire Department
Oct
6
2:00 PM14:00

History of the East Avon Fire Department

The East Avon Chemical Company was founded on August 26, 1926 by a group of residents. The company occupied what was the Davin Implement building at the four corners of East Avon. The alarm was a steel ring, originally being a tire from a steam locomotive, which would be struck by a large maul to alert the volunteers of an emergency. The first pumper truck was a built on a 1938 Ford chassis. Expansions to the company brought more trucks and new facilities, and a need for more water. The East Avon water tower was eventually built as a result of a petition circulated by the fire department.

Want to know more? The rich history of the East Avon Fire Department will be presented by Mary Morey. Do come!

Sunday October 6, 2019
2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.


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Nov
3
2:00 PM14:00

Ted Coyne: Memories Around Avon

Ted Coyne and son, David, will talk of their memories of Avon.

More information soon!

Sunday November 3, 2019
2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.


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The Stephensons: Funerary History in Avon
Mar
3
2:00 PM14:00

The Stephensons: Funerary History in Avon

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Thomas “Van” Stephenson was the first of three generations to do business in the village of Avon. He first occupation was as a harness maker, but in 1904, as cars were becoming more popular, he chose to become an undertaker. Van opened his first shop in what is now the Coyne Laundromat. Undertakers often operated a furniture store along with the funeral business. The first and second floors were dedicated to furniture, but in the back of the store one would find the embalming room, and a display of caskets.

Two more generations followed in the family business, resulting in the fine funeral home in its present location on Genesee Street.

Steve Stephenson will present the history of over 100 years of funerary services in Avon

Come join us!

Sunday March 3, 2019
2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.


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Preserving the Architectural Styles of Avon
Jan
27
2:00 PM14:00

Preserving the Architectural Styles of Avon

The Jolly Farmer, 5240 E. Avon Road, now a community residence. Photo courtesy of the Livingston County Historian

The Jolly Farmer, 5240 E. Avon Road, now a community residence. Photo courtesy of the Livingston County Historian

Cynthia Howk, Architectural Research Coordinator from the Landmark Society of Western NY, will be our first speaker of the 2019 season. Her program will highlight the rich architectural heritage of the Avon community and how preservation planning can benefit Avon residents.

The Landmark Society has been appointed by the Village of Avon to conduct an inventory of buildings 50 years old and older within the Village. Cynthia will present the importance of how Avon’s history can help our community thrive by

• Increasing public awareness and appreciation for properties that reflect our local history

• Directing new development through contientous land use planning

• Encouraging re-use of historic buildings

• Establishing priorities for preservation projects

• Promoting tourism

• Identifying properties that may be eligible for National Register listing and therefore may be able to make use of commercial and homeowner tax credits and grant programs.

Cynthia is a dynamic speaker, with a wealth of historical knowledge. Her understanding of our local history and how it unfolds is brought to life with her quick wit and humor.

Come join us for this free program!

Bio:
Rochester native Cynthia Howk is the Architectural Research Coordinator on the staff of The Landmark Society of Western New York and serves as that organization’s principal researcher for surveys, educational programs, landmark nominations and community projects.  Now celebrating its 81st anniversary, the Society serves a 9-county area and is one of the oldest preservation advocacy organizations in the United States.  Ms. Howk works with individuals, organizations, and municipalities on issues concerning local planning, building rehabilitation, and economic development.  As part of her preservation outreach, she also lectures widely on regional history and architecture.

You are welcome to join us for our Annual Meeting, which will take place at 1:00 pm.

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.

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Bottles - All Shapes and Sizes
Nov
11
2:00 PM14:00

Bottles - All Shapes and Sizes

The Avon Preservation and Historical Society is pleased to host expert local bottle collector, Jim Bartholomew, on Sunday November 11 at 2 pm, at the Avon Village Hall, 74 Genesee Street.

Jim Bartholomew started collecting bottles in 1992, and then began to specialize in local bottles in 2002. He finds them at antique sales, online sales and even digs for them. He has developed an extensive collection of Livingston County containers and specifically Avon related ones, some dating back to the Spa Era of the 1860s, when water from the sulfur springs was sold for health benefits.

Jim will showcase his rare and unusual bottle collection from Avon and Livingston County during this free program. He invites you to bring in your own historic glass containers to be identified, and to inspire discussion amongst attendees.

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.

Come join us for this free program!

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The Impact of  World War One on Livingston County
Sep
16
2:00 PM14:00

The Impact of World War One on Livingston County

Avon Homecoming Parade, 1919 at the Village Circle Park in Avon.   Photo courtesy of the Livingston County Historian

Avon Homecoming Parade, 1919 at the Village Circle Park in Avon. Photo courtesy of the Livingston County Historian

 In commemoration of the World War One Centennial, Livingston County Historian, Amie Alden, will provide an overview of the prelude to U.S. involvement, local civilian efforts and sacrifice during the Great War. 

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.

Come join us for this free program!

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Our 35th Anniversary!
Sep
9
2:00 PM14:00

Our 35th Anniversary!

Enjoy refreshments with friends and neighbors at our Open House! Visit our museum to browse our Avon history displays. You also can step back in time when you take an historic tour of the Opera Block's third floor! 

Free and open to the public. Handicap accessible.

23 Genesee Street
Avon Opera Block

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Avon Rotary Corn Festival
Aug
11
10:00 AM10:00

Avon Rotary Corn Festival

Come visit our tent at the Avon Corn Festival! Browse our sale table of memorabilia, books, and the newly published 2019 Avon Inn calendar. Make sure to buy raffle tickets to win a handmade vase generously donated by our local potter, Mike Carroll.

Our Museum, located at 23 Genesee Street, will be open during the Corn Festival. We will also be offering tours of the third floor of the Opera Block at 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm. Come check it out!  


Consider becoming a member!

As a member, you will receive four excellent newsletters a year, brimming with articles about local history.. Becoming a member helps us preserve the rich history of Avon. Thank you!

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History of the New York State Troopers
May
20
2:00 PM14:00

History of the New York State Troopers

New York State Trooper Historian, Albert Kurek, will present the history of the police force that serves our area. A retired officer and accomplished author, Mr. Kurek will share his historical research gained from personal interviews, court records and newspapers, highlighting the Western New York area that he served for forty years.

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. Light refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted to support future programs.

Come join us for this free program!

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Review of Avon Churches
Mar
18
2:00 PM14:00

Review of Avon Churches

Come hear about the early days of Avon's religious groups. Representatives of seven churches will spend ten minutes sharing the unique history of their organizations. AP&HS President, Bob Westfall, will lead the panel discussion for these major churches who have had a long history in Avon:

United Methodist with Alex Albany

Zion Episcopal with Michael Meath

First Presbyterian with Rev. Toland

Lutheran with Clinton Zuber

Central Presbyterian with Karen Farmer

St. Agnes with Maureen Kingston

Wesleyan with Gloria Reynolds

This event will be held at the Avon Village Hall, 74 Genesee Street 

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. Light refreshments will be served.

Participants are encouraged to enter in a drawing to win a free individual membership to the APHS!

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History of The Penny Saver
Feb
11
2:00 PM14:00

History of The Penny Saver

Steve Harrison, second generation owner, will present the detailed history of the Penny Saver, which had its 1948 beginnings in an Avon garage! 

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. Light refreshments will be served.

Come join us for this free program!

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Nine Wonder Women of Toys
Nov
19
2:00 PM14:00

Nine Wonder Women of Toys

Christopher Bensch, curator of the Strong Museum of Play, returns to APHS to share his research on women who invented toys. Did you know that Elizabeth Magie patented the first Monopoly game in 1904,  then known as the Landlord's Game? What might be the history of Barbie? Come find out, as Christopher reveals their histories and those of Slinky, Candy Land and Jenga!

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. 

Light refreshments will be served.

Come join us for this free program!

 

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Poinsettia Sale
Oct
30
to Dec 6

Poinsettia Sale

It's time for our Annual

POINSETTIA SALE

$9.00 each
for your choice of White, Red, Variegated Red and Variegated Pink

Order before December 6
They will be delivered to your door December 8

To order:
Call 585-226-2729
or Contact Us

 

Proceeds benefit the Avon Preservation & Historical Society

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Recovering Women’s Writing, Revisiting the 19th Century
Sep
17
2:00 PM14:00

Recovering Women’s Writing, Revisiting the 19th Century

Dr. Caroline Woidat will share her experience in the archives researching nineteenth-century women’s writing and discuss reasons why the larger project of textual recovery—that is, the process of locating and re-evaluating their work—is so important to our understanding of history. Beyond tracing connections of prominent women authors to Western New York and its social movements, the talk will provide practical advice for hands-on exploration of nineteenth-century books, newspapers, magazines, and stories. Public access to rare, overlooked, and forgotten texts has been greatly expanded with the availability of digital archives and online collections, and some of these resources will be introduced. Dr. Woidat’s literature course teaching students to create their own editions of nineteenth-century women’s writing is the subject of her forthcoming essay in a book on digital pedagogy, and this lecture will take a similar approach by offering a glimpse of the ways that scholars have shaped literary history and encouraging others to engage with the past through archival investigations of their own.

Caroline Woidat is Professor of English and coordinator of the American Studies and Native American Studies programs at the State University of New York at Geneseo. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University and her B.A. at the University of Notre Dame. Her research and teaching focus upon American women writers, Native American literature, captivity and migration narratives, and nineteenth-century social reform. She received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. Her publications include a Broadview Edition of Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories (2015) and essays in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, Twentieth-Century Literature, and The Journal of American Culture.

Sunday, September 17,  2:00 pm

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be served.

Come join us for this free program!

 

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Avon Corn Festival
Aug
12
10:00 AM10:00

Avon Corn Festival

The AP&HS will be set up in front of the Library during the 2017 Corn Fest. Come browse our table of memorabilia, books, and the newly published calendar. We will have two raffles this year - a quilt featuring the East Avon Native American, and a cordless String Trimmer donated by Cub Cadet! Tickets are 1 for $1.00 or 6 for $5.00.

Our Museum, located at 23 Genesee Street, will be open during the Corn Festival. We will also be offering tours of the Third Floor of the Opera Block at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm!


Please consider becoming a member!

Your donation supports our free programming we provide throughout the year. Your benefits include four excellent newsletters a year, and knowing you are helping retain Avon's rich history.


 

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Suffragists in Every Town and County: How NY Women Won the Right to Vote
May
7
2:00 PM14:00

Suffragists in Every Town and County: How NY Women Won the Right to Vote

Avon News  
October, 1918:

“At the yesterday election women had their first chance to vote under the full suffrage granted them last fall. Heretofore they have voted only on appropriations and only such women voted as paid taxes. Yesterday they were equal with men. We hoped to report that they turned out in large numbers, but they didn’t. These five were Mrs. G.R. Ogilive, Mrs. Alexander Russell, Mrs. A.C. VanAllen, Mrs. H.R. Gilbert, and Mrs. H.R. Gibson. Mrs. Ogilvie has the honor of being the first Avon women to exercise the full right of franchise.”   Source - APHS collection

 

When we go to the voting booth we are offered a little sticker claiming “I Voted” and think nothing of it. All residents have the right to vote in local and federal elections, but what was it like before this privilege became so easy? New York State is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote this year. An extraordinary movement that began in Seneca Falls and Rochester in 1848 saw its goal achieved in 1917, three years before a federal amendment extended that right to all U.S. women. The Avon Preservation and Historical Society is pleased to honor this event on Sunday, May 7 at 2:oo pm. with Rochester City Historian Christine L. Ridarsky, who will provide an overview of the women's rights movement and an introduction to some of the lesser known women who worked diligently to make this success possible.

Christine L. Ridarsky is Rochester City Historian and manager of the Local History & Genealogy Division of the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. She is co-editor with Mary M. Huth of Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights (University of Rochester Press, 2013) and also edits the biannual Rochester History journal.

Avon Village Hall
74 Genesee Street Avon, NY 14414

Free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. 

Light refreshments will be served.

Come join us for this free program!

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