Rotarians Hear History Of Yorker Museum

From left, Roberta Tenpas, Sherman Historical Society President, shares a brochure about the Yorker Museum with Mary Swanson, Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club past president. Tenpas outlined a brief history of Sherman's Yorker Museum. Submitted photo

Roberta Tenpas, who has been the Sherman Historical Society president since 2011, presented a program titled “Sherman’s Yorker Museum: A Brief History” for Westfield-Mayville Rotarians and guests during the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville’s Aug. 20 meeting.

Tenpas’ program was sponsored by Mary Swanson, Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club past president.

The Yorker Museum is located on the Village Common at Park and Church streets in Sherman. It is made up of six original buildings dating back to the 1750s.

Its origins date back to 1946 when Genevieve Matteson (later Larson), a Sherman Central School seventh grade social studies teacher, started a Yorkers chapter with five students. The Yorkers were junior members of the New York State Historical Association, and there were many state chapters. The Sherman chapter was named the French Creek Yorkers, and at one point it had 276 members.

Tenpas, who is a lifelong resident of Sherman and a graduate of Sherman Central School, always had an interest in history. She minored in Social Studies in college.

When she was in the seventh grade, she joined The Yorkers.

“It was the thing to do,” she said. “Many of us remember when girls weren’t able to play interscholastic sports and could participate only in intramural athletics. So, we joined clubs and other activities.”

Tenpas has remained dedicated to the Yorker Museum throughout her life. She and other members of the Sherman Historical Society oversee the Yorker Museum. They volunteer as tour guides of the grounds, sponsor educational programming, and perform hands on repair, cleaning, and upkeep services there.

In May of 1950 the Peter Ripley House, which is the oldest framed residence in the village, was moved to the Village Common from Miller Street in Sherman. It was gifted to The French Creek Yorkers. Tenpas recalled, “It was in bad shape and we didn’t have any money to refurbish it. Yorkers earned every penny to bring the building up to code.”