Valley Historical Society 20th Annual History Fair
SINCLAIRVILLE — Preserving the history of the Cassadaga Valley area, and sharing the history with others has been the main objective for the Valley Historical Society. This historical society dates back to 1977 when the late John and Ruth Smith, and Rev. John Rough saw a need to form a historical group to preserve the history of the valley area.
Twenty years ago, Valley Historical president Larry Barmore said we need to invite the public to share our historical museum, and to make it a day of memorable events. It proved very successful and recently the 20th annual history day in Sinclairville was held. President Barmore is the “spark plug” of the event, contacting individuals to participate and arranging for parade participants, village park vendors, and people to help out with the events.
Other groups have joined in with the annual event, including the Sinclairville 76ers Meals on Wheels program with an early morning pancake breakfast open to all, followed by a chicken barbecue by the Sinclairville Library, and various lectures and speakers at the library, including a magician’s show and a lecture on old tombstones. Included in this year’s event were local officials including State Sen. Catharine M. Young, Andy Goodell of the New State Assembly, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace and Chautauqua County Sheriff candidate Jim Quattrone.
The opening ceremony was introduced by David Christy who said he has been a part of Sinclairville now for 40 years. Introduced were Pastor Phil Shay, retired from the South Stockton Wayside Chapel, Pastor Dan Bender of the Sinclairville Baptist Church, and Pastor Joseph Pascoe of the Park United Methodist Church, who all provided a special blessing to everyone with a message. Following the ceremony, the grand parade was led by the New York State Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff. The Cassadaga American Legion Post No. 1280 Honor Guard led the parade participants, and the Lord’s Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance was led by President Barmore. A large group of automobiles were in the parade, and later provided a show for all.
There were many participants in the parade which began at the Sinclairville Elementary School and followed the Main Street through town. All participants were introduced by President Barmore as each passed by the museum building at the corner of Main and Lester Streets. The Sinclairville Fire Department and the Sheridan Fire Department were included in the annual parade.
Sen. Young presented to the Valley Historical Society committee and President Barmore, a proclamation commemorating the 20th annual Sinclairville History Fair. In her proclamation, she wrote that “it’s an opportunity for people throughout the Cassadaga Valley to come together and enjoy the day’s activities…”
During the day’s events, the museum was open for tours by members Charles Sylvester, Diane Shaw, June Woollett, Bonnie Larkin, Carol Barmore, Linda Parmenter, Victor and Kay Richardson, Pastor Phil and Sherry Shay, and Tyler Worden. Member Susan W. Sipos was giving spinning wheel demonstrations throughout the day. Treasurer John Sipos answered many questions during the day. All enjoyed the many food vendors including the Masonic Lodge hamburger and hot dog stand, and cotton candy, lemonade and taffy stand by Don and Jean Fowler. Other vendors were set up in the village park and which was organized by Jane Dorman. Helium balloons were available and distributed by Mrs. Barmore and Mrs. Larkin. The Sinclairville Samaritan House feature a food stand at their location.
Music was provided by Andy Cusimano, The Harmony Express, the Rustic Ramblers, the Mountain Railroad, and Crossfire. Bounce About had a bouncing house for the young people. The day’s events concluded at 9 p.m. with fireworks by Young’s Explosives. A very memorable day was enjoyed by many.