Heritage Scrapbooking Workshop Saturday June 14th with Dawn Westfall

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On Saturday, June 14 from 1-4pm, Dawn Westfall, a local genealogist and family historian, will present a Heritage Scrapbooking workshop at the Olean Public Library.   In this workshop, Ms. Westfall combines her love of old photos, scrapbooking, and family history and will share how-to techniques with you.  This is a make-and-take project.  Bring 3-4 old photos or copies to use to make your very own heritage scrapbook page.

Ms. Westfall is an avid and experienced family historian with over twenty years of experience.  Florida-born and raised, she has called Western New York her home for over ten years.

Space is limited; please call (716)372-0200 to reserve your spot.  There will be a $4 materials fee due on the day of the event.  The Olean Public Library is located at 134 N. 2nd St, Olean, NY.  

Join Us for a War of 1812 Presentation on Wednesday May 28th

Join Allegany County Historian and Olean Public Library favorite Craig Braack for a presentation on the War of 1812 in our area on Wednesday May 28th at 6:30pm.

The nation is now celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the “Second War for American Independence.” Come learn about WNY’s role in the war. Mr. Braack will also cover the final burial of 28 soldiers from the war of 1812 which we uncovered by accident in Niagara Falls, ON in 1987. In June 1988, they were re-interred in the National Cemetery at the Bath, NY Veterans Administration Hospital.

Mr. Braack has held the position of Allegany County Historian and County Records Management Officer since 1985. He served in the United States Navy and is a graduate of the State University of New York in Geneseo.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Olean Public Library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean, NY.   For more information please call the Reference Desk at (716) 372-0200 or visit the website at http://www.oleanlibrary.org/

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Low Bridge, Everybody Down…The Story of the Genesee Valley Canal

Saturday  October 20, 2012 @ 2:00 pm—Olean Public Library

 

 

Allegany County Historian Mr. Craig Braack will present Low Bridge, Everybody Down…The Story of the Genesee Valley Canal Saturday October 20th at 2pm at the Olean Public Library.

The Erie Canal opened across NYS in 1825.  Its success was immediate and led New York State to becoming “The Empire State.”  The need for lateral canals in parts of the rest of the state stirred local interests into creating the Genesee Valley Canal starting about 1830.  This canal ran from Rochester south to Belfast next to the Genesee River and turned southwest heading to Cuba, Olean, Portville and ended just into Pennsylvania.  Cuba Lake and dam were constructed to provide water for the canal.

Unfortunately, the popularity and growth of railroads ultimately put the Genesee valley canal out of business in 1877.  Several railroads soon built track on the canal’s tow path in the next few decades and the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Rochester Division was the last line to use it, closing about 1963.  Now almost all of the canal’s towpath is the Genesee valley Greenway hiking trail.  Mr. Braack’s program illustrates this history.

Mr. Braack has held the position of Allegany County Historian and County Records Management Officer since 1985. He served in the United States Navy and is a graduate of the State University of New York in Geneseo.

This program is free and open to the public.  The Olean Public Library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean, NY.   For more information please call the Reference Desk at (716) 372-0200 or visit the website at http://www.oleanlibrary.org

Heaven’s Gate & Hell’s Fire By Allegany County Historian Craig Braack

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 @ 7:00 pm—Olean Public Library

 

Allegany County Historian Mr. Craig Braack will present Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Fire Wednesday, July 11 @ 7 pm at the Olean Public Library.

Central & Western NYS was a hot-bed for religious movements in the early and mid-1800s.  Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Fire covers 5-7 religious movements that had tremendous influence on our Nation and our area.

Mr. Braack has held the position of Allegany County Historian and County Records Management Officer since 1985. He served in the United States Navy and is a graduate of the State University of New York in Geneseo.

The Olean Public Library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean, NY.   For more information please call the Reference Desk at (716) 372-0200 or visit the website at www.oleanlibrary.org

Sand Pumpings Now Available Online

Sand Pumpings was a part-literary, part-history magazine published by the students of Olean High School that featured interviews and articles of local, historical interest in addition to literary pieces. This digital collection features eleven issues dated 1976-1983. Like the content of this publication, the title has historical and geological significance to the area and is best explained by the students who created it:

We, perhaps, spent as much time sifting and searching for a name for the literary magazine as we did interviewing, taping, researching and writing the articles. We wanted a name that would in some way relate to the reader, Olean’s past environment of lumbering, oil, and rivers, as well as Olean’s businesses, industry, trade and pioneer origins.

We finally settled upon what we call a “Pete Brunnerism,” an oil driller’s term, sand pumpings…the process whereby the baler brought up the drilling sands and spilled the sludge and foam into our environment.

Like the drillers of yore, we hope to explore, research, and record our past, our culture, and our pioneer days. We hope to relate an insight through student efforts, to these pioneers, the times, and events that helped shape us as a people. (Source: Sand Pumpings, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1976)

The Sand Pumpings publications provide a wealth of information for genealogists, researchers, and local historians. In these little magazines readers will be able to learn about various local history topics such as different ethnic groups that settled in the area, stories of the Underground Railroad, the oil industry in Western New York, as well as local celebrities and first-hand accounts of the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and Prohibition.

Located along the Allegheny River and on several major railroad routes, Olean, NY, was once an important stopping point for travelers moving to other parts of the country and served as a transportation hub for Buffalo, Rochester, New York City, and Pittsburgh, PA. Olean was home to manufacturing industries such as oil, glass, leather, tiles, and machinery. It also served as a bootlegging juncture during Prohibition. Slaves escaping through the Underground Railroad passed through the Olean area en route to Canada. Because of this history, many families from across the United States have roots and connections in Olean, NY. Sand Pumpings tell the stories of the people who once lived in the Olean area.

Each year the Olean Public Library receives numerous requests for local history and genealogy information from people all over the country and the world who had relatives who once lived here. The Sand Pumpings series is such a valuable local history resource and receives many requests for reprints. Digitizing and providing online access to the Sand Pumpings allows patrons from all over the world to freely access this information.

The collection is now part of the New York Heritage digital collection and can be found here: http://www.newyorkheritage.org/sand-pumpings.php

Program on Grave Symbolism Just Announced

We’ve got a couple of interesting programs via video conferencing coming up at the end of April.

History of the Rural Cemetery Movement and Grave Symbolism

April 24, 2012

5pm-7pm

This is a video conference program in conjunction with Carthage Free Library PCC.

What can a grave stone tell you about a past relative? Why did they select certain images for their markers? This is the perfect introductory class for the genealogist, historian, or cemetery care taker. Harold Sanderson, a Carthage, NY historian and Jefferson County Community College professor, will be presenting a class on the symbolism behind the grave marker images as well as a brief history of the rural cemetery movement.

 

The How To of Stone Cleaning and Repair

April 26, 2012

5-7pm

This is also a video conference program in conjunction with Carthage Free Library PCC.

Pine pitch, moss, and lichen can be commonly found on grave stones. In addition, older stones may be broken and in need of repair. This class will cover the basics of stone cleaning and repair. Harold Sanderson ran his own business, Sand-Tech and Associates, which specialized in cemetery stone cleaning and repair for eleven years. This is the perfect class for anyone who would like to expand their cemetery maintenance skills, who would like to learn easy ways to maintain family grave stones, or who is interested in starting their own small business.

Women from Olean’s Past

When you visit the Olean Public Library currently, in the lobby you will find a wall filled with pictures of women.  These women are some of the women who helped shaped Olean over the years. Below are brief summaries of the women.  Please take a moment the next time you come in and read more about these notable women of Olean, NY.


 Annie Conyne Wood Franchot

(1859-1928)

Mrs. Franchot directed several benefits for Olean men serving in World War I.  She also wrote several children’s books which were widely sold.

Mary Fitzgerald

(1870-1937)

Miss Fitzgerald was a beloved Olean High School Math teacher who co-authored a book on algebra.

Ailene Eaton Norton   

(1901-1988)

Mrs. Norton was founder of the former Olean Civic Music Association.  She was also concert mistress of the Olean Community Symphony Orchestra.

Henrietta D. Stowe    

(1902-1975)

Mrs. Stowe founded Olean’s Welcome Wagon in 1939 and the Newcomer’s Club in 1941.

Dr. Ruth Mountain

(1905-1993)

Dr. Martin was one the United States first female dentists.  She practiced for over 60 years at Olean’s Mountain Clinic Hospital.

Dolly Brown

(1907-2002)

Mrs. Brown was supreme royal matron of the Amaranth from 1971-1972.  She represented the organization during tours to various foreign countries.

Nancy Donovan  

(1924-2003)

Mrs. Donovan was a renowned band singer who performed with Danny Kaye and Bob Hope in the 1950s.

Gloria Bilotta  

(1933-1991)

Mrs. Bilotta was a business owner and Cattaraugus  County Clerk from 1974-1990.  She also founded Trees for Everyone, Inc.

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