Chautauqua Township Historical Society To Host Open House At Mayville Depot Museum

Submitted Photo The Chautauqua Township Historical Society will be hosting an open house at the Mayville Depot Museum at the end of May.

MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua Township Historical Society will be unveiling a new video system in the Mayville Depot Museum during an open house event at the end of the month.

Located at 16 Water St. near Mayville’s Lakeside Park, the open house is set for May 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. throughout the summer season, lasting from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. While admission is free, modest donations are appreciated.

Kent Mathewson, Chautauqua Township Historical Society video project coordinator, said he was in charge of getting the video system for the museum. The system is similar to what can be found at the National Comedy Center or Grape Discovery Center in Westfield. The video system and other upgrades to the museum are being funded through grants.

The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation’s $10,000 lead grant has underwritten the video display system. The DFT Communication/RMM Golf Tournament Community Betterment Fund has provided $1,500 toward fiber optic installation and broadband internet service. The Lake Shore Savings Bank Community Reinvestment Program has contributed $1,300 for the purchase of a computer, printer and associated software. Future funds will be sought for an outdoor touch-screen video kiosk.

“With the grant money we were able to put in a simple touch screen display for the museum,” Mathewson said. “Some videos come from Channel 5, which used to be Access Chautauqua. They can be found on YouTube and there will be 18 videos we show during the event.”

The series of 18 short videos will be about 10 minutes each. They are edited from full videos produced by Chautauqua Town historian Devon Taylor, covering a number of local historical topics, including “126 Years of Historic Mayville: A Pictorial Tour,” “Chautauqua County Historical Markers,” “The History Stored in the Mayville Cemetery,” “Ice and the Ice Industry,” and a selection from John Luensman’s series “Chautauqua Lake, Past, Present, and Future,” produced for Access Chautauqua under the direction of Chuck Kelsey and assistance of Chris Burt.

Mathewson said the Chautauqua Township Historical Society is always looking for more members, and they are hoping the event will bring in some. Also at the event will be local politicians, door prizes, modest refreshments and a showing of other museum holdings. The museum houses numerous artifacts related to former Mayville residents and businesses. Its archives also have selected holdings of genealogical material. Some of the representative artifacts include an early printing press from the “Mayville Sentinel”, an early voting booth, ice harvesting and ice fishing equipment, the Sea Lion room featuring artifacts, including a brass cannon, from the famous replica of a 16th century English three-masted sailing ship. The walls display numerous framed historical photos of local sites and artifacts.

The museum occupies one half of the former train depot, and Mathewson said they may open into the other half, which used to be an art gallery, if overflow is needed. The original two-story depot was built in 1871. It served the regular rail service that passed through Mayville. In 1923, the original depot was destroyed by fire, and in 1925 a new one-story depot was rebuilt in the same location. Train service ceased on December 29, 1978. Over the past forty-five years, various community-oriented organizations have occupied the depot building.

Additionally, Mathewson said that the village of Mayville itself has also been seeing some upgrades, including new grants and businesses. This includes receiving $675,000 in funding to enhance The Landing Plaza near the Chautauqua Belle steamship, build a new kayak/canoe launch, and make improvements to the waterfront multi-use trail system. New businesses, including The Mayberry Jungle and Handcrafted From the Heart have come into the area, along with new restaurants such as music-themed restaurants Music for Your Mouth and She Sings Cafe. Webb’s was recently sold and set to be renovated and the village is also expecting a Tim Hortons and has its own food truck, The Best of Buffalo by Bryon.

Local businesses sponsoring the historical society’s open house include, Andriaccio’s Restaurant; Art Cloth and Craft; Boxcar Barneys Ice Cream; Bellini Lounge; The Best of Buffalo; Big Inlet Brewing; Brazil Lounge; Brigiotta’s Farmland Produce; Chautauqua Golf Club; Chautauqua Liquor and Wine; Evergreen Outfitters; Fenton History Center; Haff’s Acres Farm; Handcrafted From the Heart; Heirloom Restaurant at the Athenaeum; Johnson Estate Winery; Lakeview Restaurant; Lighthouse Grocery; Mayville VFW Post 8647; Mayberry Jungle; Music for Your Mouth; National Comedy Center; Portage Hill Art Gallery; She Sings Café; Truffle Honey Eatery; Webb’s Candies; Webb’s Miniature Golf; Willow Run Golf Course; Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing; Olde Corner Deli and more.

Mathewson invited everyone to come out and not only see the new video system but to see the museum as well.

“We want to invite everyone to come and discover the museum,” Mathewson said. “I don’t think people know much about it. People can come and look at the videos, and I think it should be of considerable interest to anyone in the area.”


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