MAYVILLE - Chautauqua County history was enjoyed by county residents and non-residents alike this weekend.
The Chautauqua Suites Conference Center on Route 394 in Mayville was the site of the Chautauqua County Bicentennial History Fair, with many people from all over the county and even those not from Chautauqua, enjoying the displays from town historians to re-enactments.
The fair was held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OBSERVER?Photo by Andrew Carr
The Chautauqua County Bicentennial Fair was held Sunday in Mayville.
Fifty-four organizations throughout the county were involved, sharing the history of the towns, the county transportation system and Civil War history.
Tony Pingitore, who has lived in Chautauqua County for 40 years, said that he was very impressed with the turnout and the organization of the fair.
"I was very interested in seeing the machinery that has been made in the county, in Cassadaga and Sinclairville," he said.
The fair has also helped local people "connect the dots" said Arlene Christopherson.
Christopherson, who was born in Lakewood and now resides in West Ellicott, explained that having all these organizations together helps her in her mission to gain information while she researches genealogy in the county.
"It solidifies things for people, and can help connect the dots," she said. "I have been doing research in different communities, and this helps when everything is right here in one spot."
With a half-hour left to the fair, she mentioned the fact that the floor was still buzzing with activity.
"We only have a little time left and you can see how excited everyone is," she said. "You would really need a couple of days to get through all of this."
When asked if she had learned anything new about the county, she responded with, "too many little things."
"It really puts things in perspective," she said. "We shouldn't have to wait another 200 years for this to happen again."
But you don't have to be from the county to enjoy the immense history it has to offer.
Gail Hoff, who is residing at the Chautauqua Institution for the summer, and Neal Mosher, who is from Ontario, Canada, visited the fair on Sunday.
"I think it's great that people from an area can refresh themselves with their history," said Mosher.
Hoff said they decided to drop in and see what all the buzz was about.
Hoff mentioned seeing information regarding a very large, old tree in Hanover, which she thought was interesting.
Mosher said it was interesting to find out about the Clymer area and the people from Holland as well as the introduction of Amish into the area.
One Chautauqua resident who wished not to be named said that having all these historians in one place was like having an encyclopedia of the county available.
"You can go and ask any question you have," she said.
Members of the community and those from elsewhere could also see Civil War re-enactors, demonstrating the weapons, tactics and even musical instruments of the time.
Four videos were shown.
This was a Chautauqua County Passport to History event and was free of charge. The event was made possible through a grant from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.