SHERMAN - The Christmas season begins in Sherman with its 25th annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration on Sunday. The day will begin at 9 a.m. as the children flock to Sherman Central School to have breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Sherman Chamber of Commerce.
Many other activities will take place during the day and on Sunday evening, when area residents will join together for dinner in the fire hall and dedicate the festival to a local individual. There will also be a Christmas message and Christmas music from local churches.
The village and town of Sherman has celebrated many special celebrations for well over 100 years. It has always been a special time for area residents to get together and have a good time. There have been picnics, fairs, festivals, firemen's days, parades and more.
Sherman has long been known as “snow country,” as this picture shows. Today, there are better methods of getting it off Main Street than there were in 1936.
The first settler, Dearing Dorman, arrived in the Sherman area in 1823. Little did he know that the wild, wooded area with numerous wild animals, would one day become the prosperous farming village and town of Sherman.
After Dorman's arrival, slowly other settlers came to the area and began to build a house. In those days it was a lonely place but folk worked together to carve a place in the wilderness and by 1839 there were 12 families, 63 people, 10 businesses and one doctor. They underwent may hardships including little food except for what they could grow in their gardens and the wild animals in the wooded area all around.
As time went on, the village and town continued to grow and it became primarily a farming area. It still remains much the same, although some of the small farms no longer exist. Moreover, unlike in yesteryear, they are in the township rather than the village.
One distinction the village had in the earlier days was an underground railroad that slaves traveled through on their way to freedom. It was discovered years ago when the Yorker Museum was first begun. It was discovered under an area where the museum is located.
The village of Sherman has had its catastrophes along the way. In August 1865, the dams above the village, along with one in the village, went out, taking nearly every bridge in town. Then, in 1892, the most destructive flood that the town ever saw hit the area. It cost some $5,000 to replace repair and rebuild the roads and bridges. That was a tremendous amount in those days.
Other tragedies that happened in the village were the fires. The first ones took place in 1869, 1879, 1890 and 1895. Firemen worked diligently, using the only equipment they had in those years, to extinguish the fire. Then there was the task of rebuilding the structures. The north side of the street was rebuilt once and the south side twice after those early fires. In 1975, another fire took place on the south side, destroying the interior of a two-story block which had to be rebuilt.
Once again in 1984, fire destroyed the Sherman Lanes, an establishment that had been in the village for a very long time. The most recent fire in the business district occurred in the early 1990s in the second story of the Morse Hotel on the north side of the street. It not only destroyed the upstairs of the hotel, did damage to the downstairs and the insurance building and its upstairs apartment. Once again the firemen and town residents worked together cleaning up and rebuilding and fixing the structures destroyed and damaged. Were it not for the dedicated fire people and area residents help, Sherman would not be what it is today.
Although small towns today are not as busy today as they were in yesteryear, Sherman is still a good community with many caring people sharing the needs of the area. The main activities are usually connected with the school, the churches and the businesses. There are still special days of celebration each year when the majority of the community gets together to enjoy the exceptional programs produced by the churches, the school and organizations.
The Christmas 2011 Celebration is sure to be an enjoyable day and everyone is invited to come see all the activities that will take place. There will be many items for sale that could become Christmas gifts, as well as other enjoyable things including a delicious lunch available.
The Sherman Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lion's Club, the village and town boards, and many committee members plan and work out the yearly activities for the village and surrounding area. They are thanked by the residents for all they do to make their community the best it can be.