Mayville historian guest speaks to the Valley Historical Society

Submitted Photo Devon A. Taylor, historian from Mayville, was the recent guest speaker at the Valley Historical Society in Sinclairville.

The monthly meeting of the members of the Valley Historical Society was held recently in the Society’s museum building at the corner of Main and Lester streets in the village of Sinclairville. Vice President Betty Jean Ridout opened the meeting, leading all in the Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer John Sipos read the minutes of the previous meeting, and also read the treasurer’s report. Sipos said that the Valley Historical Society was represented in the last weekend’s Memorial Day parades, with photographs in the newspaper. Sipos had decorated his green car, and participating were Susan Sipos, Diane Shaw and Jim White. The framework of the car decoration was recently rebuilt by Eddie Roberson of Cassadaga. Sipos said that the Chautauqua County Fair will be on July 16 through July 22 this year, one week earlier, and that he will put on a display in Floral Hall for the Valley Historical Society. Sipos said that there was a county historian’s meeting recently to plan the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on November 11, 2018, and that he will have a display board and be a 15-minute speaker that day. Shaw reminded all that Flag Day was Thursday, June 14 and that the Cassadaga American Legion had its flag-burning ceremony at the Legion Hall on Wednesday, June 13. Sipos said that the 200th anniversary of the Stockton Community Church was Sunday, June 10. Sipos also had copies of the recently printed brochure on all of the Chautauqua County museums.

Devon A. Taylor, historian from Mayville, was the guest speaker. He spoke on many interesting notes of history about the county and Mayville. Chautauqua, he said, was first spelled with a “que” on the end, and this was changed in 1859. The Holland Land Company had much to do in the establishment of the area. The records vault is still standing in Mayville, but was moved there from its original location. He said that the town of Chautauqua was formed in April 11, 1804 before the formation of the county, as being broken off from Batavia. The town of Pomfret was the first town separated from the town of Chautauqua. The first jail was constructed for $1500, and housed the jailer and his family. The ice industry flourished in the winter time in this area. However, people were moving away because of the climate. 1812 saw the first post office in Mayville. 1828 was the first steamship. Hartfield once had a post office and was closed. The first railroad in the Mayville area was after the Civil War in 1865, to help with oil industry, and ran from Oil City, Pennsylvania. The Chautauqua Institute was created from an area known as Fairpoint. The Liberty Bell was on tour in 1915 and stopped in Mayville. The train in the area brought much transportation of goods, and was abandoned by 1979. This was a meeting of many historical facts, and enjoyed by all.

Following the meeting, cookies and lemonade were served by vice president Ridout.

The next meeting of the Valley Historical Society will be on Tuesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. in the museum. A birthday cake for the birthday of America, will be provided by John and Susan Sipos. The program will be a patriotic moment in time.

The Valley Historical Society was formed in 1977 by the late John and Ruth Smith, and the Rev. John Rough who saw a need to preserve the history of the valley. The museum was purchased one year later, and houses many historical items. For more information on the Valley Historical Society, write to P.O. Box 1045, Sinclairville, NY 14782. New members are always welcome.