Vince Martonis, Hanover town historian, presented a program on history at a recent meeting of the Lakewood Rotary at Alfie's.
His topics included the Hanover elm. The Hanover History Center in Silver Creek has a 425-year-old slice of this tree that is 12 feet around and came from 54 feet up the tree. It has 33 historic oil paintings on it done by Seneca artist Sanford Plummer.
Another historic tree Martonis discussed is the great black walnut tree of Silver Creek. After it fell in 1825, it was hollowed out and made into a room that was attached to a store. It could hold 39 people standing and sitting inside.
Martonis also read an 1812 letter written by William Barrows of Ellery. He settled in Ellery in 1809 and operated the Red Bird Tavern. The letter covers the local Indians, nearby neighbors and the War of 1812.
Ending Martonis' presentation was a display of the Amos Sottle horse skull fiddle made by the first settler of Chautauqua County about 1805. The horse's skull is incorporated into the body of the fiddle, the scroll is a carved horse's head and the bow of the fiddle was made from the horse's leg bone. The case of the fiddle is coffin-shaped.
Attendees were presented with free postcards showing the two trees and the fiddle.