SINCLAIRVILLE - Despite the rainy weather that caused cancellation of its morning parade, the Village of Sinclairville was a busy place Saturday during the 14th annual History Fair. The event is held each September by the Valley Historical Society in conjunction with the Village of Sinclairville.
As Larry Barmore, vice-president of Valley Historical Society, stated at the last meeting of the Sinclairville Village Board, "There should be enough stuff going on so you can find something you like. If there are things you can't get to, that's a reason to come back next year.
An important event that went on despite intermittent rain was the dedication of a bronze statue "Soldier at Parade Rest" at Evergreen Cemetery to replace a copper statue of the same name that was stolen in 1966.
It took a six-year effort to raise enough money to replace the statue. The effort was spearheaded by Dimon Smith.
His wife, LouAnn, spoke to thank the many individuals, organizations and businesses who made the replacement possible.
"Our goal was to recreate this statue that was once part of Sinclairville's history and return it to Evergreen Cemetery where it stood so proudly representing all of our veterans," she said.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: Poopie Power, the winning outhouse, with Bonnie Culvert at the throne is pushed back down Lester Street after winning its first heat.
Above: Sheryl Christy demonstrates the use of a crank churn which she believes dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s. Once butter was created, it was available for sampling.
Town of Charlotte Coun-cilwoman Varci Peterson and Charles Sylvester also spoke, explaining some of the history of the original statue. The base of the statue was erected in 1891, while the statue was erected in 1909. The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic), veterans from the Civil War, and the Women's Relief Corps were instrumental in erecting the original base and statue.
The Cassadaga American Legion honor guard participated and a gun salute was fired.
Other events were moved into the Sinclairville Fire Hall. In the afternoon, the weather cleared enough so that outdoor events could be held.
One new event this year was the outhouse race. A crowd of onlookers watched the four entries vie for the golden toilet seat award. The outhouses were constructed in different ways, but all featured wheels so they could be pushed up Lester Street. Teams consisted of three pushers and a person riding on the "throne." Toilet paper was used instead of tape at the finish line.
One of the glitches was that the toilet paper wasn't sturdy enough to stay in place at the finish line.
Barmore joked, "Next year we will have to get double ply."
Two heats were held. In the first heat, the Soldier's Fund Outhouse narrowly beat the Dorman Dumper. In the second heat, the entry called "Poopie Power" won. In the final, Poopie Power was the victor. The winning team consisted of Bonnie Covert, who was the throne rider (and tried to steer) and pushers Darren Covert, Daniel Gilbert and Jason Dorman. Donald Dorman was credited with the design.
Donald explained that the Dorman Dumper "was designed by my cousin Larry (Dorman)." The designers of the outhouses, who knew each other, admitted there was good deal of kibitzing among themselves during the building of the entries.
The all-breed dog show was another first-time event. Nineteen dogs competed, ranging in size from a toy Shih-Tzu, Mahli, handled by Shannon Heath to the large Great Dane, Gaia, owned by Jennifer Mack. In between sizes were a shelti, Angel, owned by Joy Mano and a King Charles Spaniel, Oliver, owned by Mariana Waite.
"If the big dogs eat the little dogs, you're disqualified," quipped Barmore.
Lori Brockelbank of Sinclairville judged the show, creating specialized categories such as laziest dog, most colorful, most obedient, best barker, cutest, best dog trick, and most disobedient dog. The top 14 dogs were awarded bags of dogfood. Each competitor received a bag of busy bones. Purina in Dunkirk donated the prizes.
As usual, the historical society's building was open during the fair. Inside, visitors could view some of the artifacts on display, including old fashioned tools and books. Sheryl Christy demonstrated the use of a crank churn which she believed dated from the late 1940s or early 1950s. She put two quarts of cream inside the glass bottom and then churned it into butter. Susan Sipos alternated weaving and spinning.
In the town park, vendors displayed wares ranging from jewelry to spices. The Chautauqua County Dairy princess, Katrina Nickerson of Clymer, the alternate princess, Samantha Nickerson, Katrina's sister, and the Dairy Ambassador, Mackenzie Perry of South Dayton held court, smiling and offering pencils to passers-by.
At the Sinclairville li-brary, a variety of activities were held. Village historian, Joanne Marsh, Town of Charlotte Historian, played a jeopardy type game using facts of local history. John Sipos spoke about Cassa-daga history. Indian artifacts were on display. Jody Houser did face painting.
A variety of food was available. In the morning there was a pancake breakfast. At lunch time a pulled-pork dinner was available as well as a chicken barbecue. Supper featured a sloppy joe dinner.
For those who wanted something else, the Cassadaga Kiwanis supplied hotdogs and hamburgers. There were other vendors who sold funnel cakes, sausage and pepper sandwiches, taffy, candy apples and more. In the historical museum, baked goods were available.
In the evening there was a teen dance, a movie, and fireworks to end the day.
The fair appealed to those who have attended many times before as well as to newcomers. Jane Krzyzan-owski from Sinclairville said, "We have got to learn our history."
Jennifer Sherman who attended with her husband, their dog, and her 1-year-old son Glen, said, "This is our first time here. It's a nice little festival."
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