Independence Historical Society, Whitesville, NY

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The Town of Independence Historical Society was established in the spring of 2005. The purpose of this organization is to gather and preserve historical information for future generations. In an effort to provide this to the public. Our mission through this page is to share pictures, stories and facts of our local history. We hope that this will encourage people to join our efforts, either by sharing stories, pictures, or other artifacts. Please feel free to contact the Independence Historical Society at P.O. Box 121, Whitesville, NY 14897 or at: [email protected]

05/06/2019

The first public meeting of the newly organized Bicentennial Committee will be held at the Whitesville Fire Hall at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, May 8th.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

03/21/2019
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please plan to attend!WHAT:  COMMUNITY PLANNING OF THE 2021 BICENTENNIALWHEN:  Wednesday, March 13th ...
03/11/2019

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please plan to attend!

WHAT: COMMUNITY PLANNING OF THE 2021 BICENTENNIAL
WHEN: Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Whitesville Fire Department - Fire Hall

PLEASE COME JOIN US AND BRING YOUR IDEAS. ALL IDEAS ARE WELCOME.

Shallee Lauzze
Independence Historical Society

Remember how much fun our last celebration was back in 1971?!

Do you remember when? The Sesquicentennial was celebrated in a grand scale back in 1971 to recognize the formation of the Township of Independence in 1821. The committee worked for months organizing and forming "chapters" to bring the community together for this special occasion. During the week of July 11-17, 1971, activities such as a carnival with a ferris wheel, outside vendors, kangaroo court with an outside jail, etc. were some of the festivities. The week concluded with the crowning of the Sesqui Queen along with a large parade. During the week, men, women and children were dressed in the 1800's period clothing and men sported beards and mustaches with contests honoring the best of show. It was quite the event. It is hard to believe that the town will be 200 years old in 2021!
Hopefully, there will be enough interest in making that happen! We hope to see you at the meeting!!

Can we do it again?! We have BIG shoes to fill! Our 1971 Sesquicentennial celebration was HUGE! We will need all hands o...
03/03/2019

Can we do it again?! We have BIG shoes to fill! Our 1971 Sesquicentennial celebration was HUGE!
We will need all hands on deck for our 200th.
Please consider helping! Come to our public meeting to discuss the Town of Independence Bicentennial in 2021! We need you and your ideas!
Where: Whitesville Fire Hall
When: March 13th
Time 6:30pm

A great NYP display made by Dean Lewis!Dean cut a section of an actual full size rail from the old NYP track.  A railroa...
11/21/2018

A great NYP display made by Dean Lewis!
Dean cut a section of an actual full size rail from the old NYP track. A railroad spike from the track is also mounted on the board in the photo. He also included a picture of one of the trains that ran on the track. The rail was discovered in the area of where the Whitesville Wood Plant is today. Mike Sutley was the person who found and later donated the full size rail to the IHS. Dean found the spike while walking in the area where the track was once located. The framed information in the 3 frames was reprinted by Rowdy Denhoff from "The Booster" published in 1913. The other framed items are part of a display that we have had at the IHS. It includes an actual NYP passenger ticket.
Thank you for all of your work!

09/28/2018

There are only 2 days left to view the historic and interesting Displays on
WW1 & WW2 at the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville for “ Allegany County History Week”.
Don’t miss it! So many historical items on display from every town in Allegany County!

07/19/2018

INDEPENDENCE HISTORICAL SOCIETY SUMMER HOURS!

We are open every Tuesday and Saturday through August 25th.
Tuesdays 4-6 PM and Saturdays Noon - 2

We will also open by appointment if you like to
Stop in any other day! Message us here!

Preorders due by June 10th!
06/06/2018

Preorders due by June 10th!

IHS ANNUAL FATHER’S DAY CHICKEN BBQPRESALE ONLY can be purchased through Sunday, June 10th From any IHS Member! Chicke...
06/05/2018

IHS ANNUAL FATHER’S DAY CHICKEN BBQ
PRESALE ONLY
can be purchased through Sunday, June 10th
From any IHS Member!

Chicken Halves only, no sides at $6.00 each.
Pick up is at the fire hall from 12 - 1 PM on Sunday, June 17th.

Any questions please ask Shallee Lauzze, Roger Easton or Fawn Waters

Independence Historical Society, Whitesville, NY's cover photo
05/29/2018

Independence Historical Society, Whitesville, NY's cover photo

Who’s ready to help us celebrate the Independence NY 200th year anniversary in 2021?!
05/28/2018

Who’s ready to help us celebrate the Independence NY 200th year anniversary in 2021?!

Here are a few artifacts from our collection! Come on in and poke around the IHS building this weekend! We hope to see y...
05/25/2018

Here are a few artifacts from our collection!
Come on in and poke around the IHS building this weekend! We hope to see you there!
We are located in the former Catholic Church on Main Street in Whitesville NY
>>>>Please Share

05/20/2018
>>>>Please Share
05/20/2018

>>>>Please Share

The WCS Class of 1968 Class Will from 50 years ago!
05/13/2018

The WCS Class of 1968 Class Will from 50 years ago!

More of the WCS Class of 1968! Check out these stellar athletes...
05/13/2018

More of the WCS Class of 1968! Check out these stellar athletes...

Happy Annie Allen Day! May 7th 1967
05/07/2018

Happy Annie Allen Day! May 7th 1967

There is no official date for the first phone lines strung in the village. Sometime around 1912 the telephone office was located in the building between the Whitesville House and the now vacant building at the corner of Main and Putnam Avenue.

There had been a number of telephone operators during these early years but the name that is most memorable to many is Anna Allen, or as she was lovingly referred to as “Annie”. Annie’s mother Delos Allen was the operator from 1923 through 1926. Annie assisted her mother during these years and later became the permanent operator in 1930. The Allens lived in this building as well as worked the switchboard on a 24/7 basis.

When the Armstong Telephone Company came in and replaced the old crank phone with a rotary dial phone, Annie retired. This was in April 1967. On May 7, 1967 the town of Whitesville declared “Annie Allen Day”. A large gathering was held in her honor in the Whitesville Central School gym. On December 25, 1967 Annie passed away. Quoting from the 1971 Sesquicentennial book,” She endeared herself to one and all in Whitesville and environs for her total personal commitment to her work which often involved her so closely with the crises of our lives. We still sorely miss her reassuring, efficient, and friendly voice.”

Things that come to mind when thinking of Annie and the old phone system:
• Party lines – you would have to wait until the person sharing your line was done with their conversation before making a call. Eavesdropping was the norm.
• Instead of a phone number per se, you identified a call coming in by the number and length of rings. Our ring was 2 longs and 1 short.
• You could call Annie by cranking the phone one long ring.
• She was available to assist you with your call. You could ask her where the fire was when the fire whistle rang.
• During the war years she dispatched many calls and messages between the soldiers away from home and their families.

We are starting an album called the WCS Class of 1968 to celebrate this being their 50th reunion year!
05/07/2018

We are starting an album called the WCS Class of 1968 to celebrate this being their 50th reunion year!

Looking back on some great times when the entire town pitched in to make the Whitesville Fireman’s Ham and Leek Dinner...
05/03/2018

Looking back on some great times when the entire town pitched in to make the Whitesville Fireman’s Ham and Leek Dinner happen! Leek week was the best!
In memory of Marge Bledsoe Erdmann and her generosity to our organization.
9/12/42-4/24/18

Pics are from the Marge Erdmann scrapbook collection

The Whitesville Central School 1968 Yearbook Dedication to Velma Buchholtz Westlake❤️50 years ago!
05/03/2018

The Whitesville Central School 1968 Yearbook Dedication to Velma Buchholtz Westlake❤️50 years ago!

The answers to our IHS Mystery Photo
05/02/2018

The answers to our IHS Mystery Photo

IHS Mystery Photo! Can you name any of the folks in this photo? We know the names but not the exact year
04/29/2018

IHS Mystery Photo! Can you name any of the folks in this photo?
We know the names but not the exact year

Here are a couple of photos from the Whitesville School during the 1914-15 school year.  Student, Helen Heselton Barney ...
10/15/2017

Here are a couple of photos from the Whitesville School during the 1914-15 school year. Student, Helen Heselton Barney (seen in photo 2) was a teacher at Whitesville for many years. These photos come from a small 1914-15 book of photos, probably one of the very first "yearbooks" of Whitesville. She and her niece, Doris Coats Pfeiffer (also a teacher) tried to identify the students as best they could.

🇺🇸IHS Summer Hours 🌺                  Tuesdays and Saturdays July 18th - Aug 22Tuesdays from 4-6 PM Saturdays f...
07/18/2017
Town of Independence, NY

🇺🇸IHS Summer Hours 🌺
Tuesdays and Saturdays

July 18th - Aug 22
Tuesdays from 4-6 PM
Saturdays from 12-2 PM.

Come over and check out our ever growing collection of local artifacts

540 Main Street Whitesville NY
For St. John of the Cross Church

http://www.independenceny.org

text/html; charset=utf-8

SUPPORT THE IHS 2017 CHICKEN BBQ AND TREAT DAD!
06/05/2017

SUPPORT THE IHS 2017 CHICKEN BBQ AND TREAT DAD!

05/24/2017

IHS HISTORY AT A GLANCE #4 BOOKS ARE HERE!
The books are for sale NOW. Ask any IHS member! Visit the IHS over Memorial Day weekend, we have all HAAG volumes 1-4 available
The book can also be ordered by writing us at the Independence Historical Society, P.O. Box 121, Whitesville, NY 14897.
Checks payable to: Independence Historical Society ($8.00 per book + $2.00 shipping).

Our new 28 page History at a Glance IV Table of Contents is below!

Spring Mills / Cobb Family
1875 Spring Mills Business Directory
Bernie’s Chips
Mystery Man Revealed
Gas Street Lamps
The Band Stand
Cemeteries in Town of Independence
Community Contribution to WW II War Effort
History of US Mail Delivery in Whitesville
The Whitesville News
Whitesville Wood Products Today
Photos of Yesterday and Today

Let's have a little fun! Can anyone name the men from this 1948 group photo? This photo was taken at a birthday party he...
05/23/2017

Let's have a little fun!
Can anyone name the men from this 1948 group photo? This photo was taken at a birthday party held to honor Fred Wildman. This is one of the many pics from our new History at a Glance IV book!
*SO the front line of names for this picture was mistakenly omitted from our HAAG 4 book. We apologize. We are so sorry for the mistake! Each HAAG book has had a mystery man. The gentleman in the back right is our HAAG 4 mystery man The men in the photo are: Back Row: (this line is in the book) Roy Hazlett, ? Travis, Fred Wildman, ? Kelly / Front Row: (this line was omitted) Arling Cobb, Bill Fish, Ernest Kear. We won't reveal the Mystery Man. You will have to buy the book for that. LOL

IHS HISTORY AT A GLANCE IV BOOKS ARE HERE! The books are for sale NOW.  Ask any IHS member! Visit the IHS over Memorial ...
05/22/2017

IHS HISTORY AT A GLANCE IV BOOKS ARE HERE!
The books are for sale NOW. Ask any IHS member! Visit the IHS over Memorial Day weekend, we have all HAAG volumes 1-4 available. Please give a BIG Thank You to our President, Shallee Lauzze for all of her hard work making this book happen!!
The book can also be ordered by writing us at the Independence Historical Society, P.O. Box 121, Whitesville, NY 14897.
Checks payable to: Independence Historical Society ($8.00 per book + $2.00 shipping).

05/20/2017

IMPORTANT FUND DRIVE! WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Whitesville Rural Cemetery Association is reaching out to the community, and relatives of those buried in the cemetery, to ask for your help in replenishing our operating funds.
Over the years, people have turned to cremation as opposed traditional burials, many of which are never buried. In 2016 we had only 6 burials, 4 of which were cremations.
Many of the people buried in our cemetery were buried in the 1800’s for the cost of $2. These graves are still being taken care of 150 years later.
We take pride in trying to keep the cemetery looking the best it can. Quite frankly, it cost money to hire a groundskeeper, pay for gasoline, seed, insurance, state fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
It will cost a bare minimum of $4000.00 to run the cemetery this year. This includes nothing but operating cost. Not even as much as a bag of grass seed. Unexpected expenses are not uncommon, and do pop up every year.
With the decline in burials, very low interest rates, and the increase cost to run the cemetery, our fund is depleting rapidly. If things continue at this rate, it will be less than two years before the cemetery will have to be turned over to the town.
Once a cemetery gets turned over to the town, and the money set aside to take care of it is depleted, the cost to take care of the cemetery would fall to the taxpayers.
By state law, the town is only required to mow the cemetery 3 times a year. Ours is generally mowed at least two or three times by Memorial Day. Many of you walk through the cemetery everyday as part of your normal walking routine. Imagine what it would look like were it to be mowed only three times a year.
With Memorial Day approaching, we are asking you to not only honor your loved ones by putting flowers on their graves, but by also considering making a donation to help our community keep our cemetery looking the best that it can.
No donation is too small. Be it $10 or $100, every dollar counts.
Donations can be sent to:
Whitesville Rural Cemetery
c/o Janet Talbett
PO Box 323
Whitesville, NY 14897
Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration
Janet Talbett Sec/Treas.

WCS has an alumni FB page!
04/17/2017
Whitesville Central School Alumni Association

WCS has an alumni FB page!

This page is for graduates of Whitesville Central School in Whitesville, NY. We will use this page to connect with graduates and information about events.

Mrs. William Stephenson (Nora) in 1941,2nd pic is "after ice storm. March 18th 1936".   These 2 photos appear to be the ...
01/11/2017

Mrs. William Stephenson (Nora) in 1941,2nd pic is "after ice storm. March 18th 1936".

These 2 photos appear to be the home where Edith and Ralph Jones now live on Main Street (which is directly across the street from the IHS headquarters and former St John of the Cross and Universalist church.)
photos courtesy of Gene Seelye.

06/13/2016

Announcing IHS 2016 Summer hours!
Come on in and take a look at our local collection.
We now have summer hours for July & August!
* A BIG Thank You to Don Nelson, Shallee Lauzzee, Jeri Reichman, Sue Dempsey, Fawn Waters, and Roger Easton for volunteering to make this happen!


Tuesday, July 19 - from 4-6 PM
Saturday, July 23 - from 1-3 PM
Tuesday, July 26 - from 4-6 PM
Saturday, July 30 - from 1-3 PM

Tuesday, August 2 - from 4-6 PM
Saturday, August 6 - from 1-3 PM
Tuesday, August 9 - from 4-6 PM
Saturday, August 13 - from 1-3 PM

Don't forget to order!
06/07/2016

Don't forget to order!

Decoration Day March 31, 1941
05/31/2016

Decoration Day March 31, 1941

Memorial Day in Whitesville! Support your local community, it's important we keep these traditions alive!
05/30/2016

Memorial Day in Whitesville!
Support your local community, it's important we keep these traditions alive!

Remembering our past!
05/30/2016

Remembering our past!

Before it became known as Memorial Day, it was referred to as Decoration Day. The man leading the parade was Joe Matteson, so they say. For many years these parades were led by him riding his big white horse. It would be great if we could more history behind this story.
Pictures are from the Barbara Fish Heimel collection

Stop by the Independence Historical Society's Open House this weekend! Everyone is welcome! Here is a Sneak Peek pic of ...
05/28/2016

Stop by the Independence Historical Society's Open House this weekend! Everyone is welcome! Here is a Sneak Peek pic of our Triple Crown
Display
PLEASE SHARE!
MEMORIAL DAY – OPEN HOUSE

SATURDAY, May 28th from 1 PM – 4 PM
SUNDAY, May 29th from 1 PM – 4 PM
MONDAY, MAY 30TH from 10 AM – 3 PM

This year we will feature a display noting the 25th year of the WCS Girls’ Triple Crown accomplishments. The display will include photographs, newspaper clippings, and champion team jackets from each of 3 teams (soccer, basketball and softball). Thanks to the WCS athletic department, we have on loan the 3 Section V trophies from the 1990-91 seasons. If you were a member of any of these teams, we would love to have you visit and share your memories of this remarkable accomplishment.

HELP! Does anyone have the basketball jacket picture?
05/22/2016

HELP! Does anyone have the basketball jacket picture?

There is some fun stuff coming up in Whitesville next weekend!Please share!
05/19/2016

There is some fun stuff coming up in Whitesville next weekend!
Please share!

Join Us at 7pm on Wednesday July 13th.
05/18/2016

Join Us at 7pm on Wednesday July 13th.

Yum! Buy your Dad the best for Fathers Day!
05/17/2016

Yum! Buy your Dad the best for Fathers Day!

05/16/2016
Independence Historical Society, Whitesville, NY

All are welcome to visit the Independence Historical Society this upcoming Memorial Day weekend!

PLEASE SHARE!
MEMORIAL DAY – OPEN HOUSE

SATURDAY, May 28th from 1 PM – 4 PM
SUNDAY, May 29th from 1 PM – 4 PM
MONDAY, MAY 30TH from 10 AM – 3 PM

This year we will feature a display noting the 25th year of the WCS Girls’ Triple Crown accomplishments. The display will include photographs, newspaper clippings, and champion team jackets from each of 3 teams (soccer, basketball and softball). Thanks to the WCS athletic department, we have on loan the 3 Section V trophies from the 1990-91 seasons. If you were a member of any of these teams, we would love to have you visit and share your memories of this remarkable accomplishment.

Address

540 Main St
Whitesville, NY
14897

Telephone

(607) 356-3566

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