CCHS To Host Annual Gala On June 10

Pictured is a sign belonging to the Chautauqua County Historical Society McClurg Museum.

WESTFIELD — Two special milestones will be celebrated during the Chautauqua County Historical Society’s annual gala on June 10.

The gala features dinner and refreshments from 6-8 p.m. at McClurg Museum, located in Westfield’s Moore Park. Tickets to the event are $50 and are available by calling CCHS at 716-326-2977 or by email at info@cchs.mcclurg.org.

“The popularity of the gala has increased over the years to the point that we ran out of room for guests inside the museum,” said Cristie Herbst, president of the CCHS board of trustees. This year’s event includes an expanded dinner menu and seating under a tent.

The McClurg mansion, completed in 1820 by James McClurg, is home to the historical society. Although commemoration of the building’s 200th anniversary was delayed by the pandemic, the gala will shine a light on recent structural improvements to the 14-room building.

The mansion’s grand salons and formal rooms stood in sharp contrast to the rugged homes of neighboring frontier settlers. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the building -now known as McClurg Museum — has been the home of the CCHS since 1951.

The 140th anniversary of CCHS, which was founded in 1883, will also be highlighted during the gala. The CCHS is one of the oldest historical organizations in western New York and serves to collect and preserve Chautauqua County history.

Another special element to this year’s gala is the formal dedication of the museum’s library as the Nixon Research Library. The designation honors the long-standing efforts of Samuel F. Nixon and his descendants to collect and preserve significant elements of county history. They were also key to saving the McClurg mansion from demolition and renovating it to be a museum and home of CCHS.

The library contains several important collections, including the Elial T. Foote, Albion W. Tourgee, and Cushing family papers, John O. Bowman photographs, genealogy files, and other research materials. The museum is also the repository for documents related to the 9th New York State Cavalry, which mustered out of Chautauqua County during the Civil War.

The cavalry’s daily life and experiences will be reenacted just steps from the museum during an encampment June 9 to 11. The program is free and open to the public. Gala attendees are also invited to visit the encampment to learn about the cavalry’s efforts during the war.

For more information on programs and events, visit cchsmcclurg.org or contact the historical society at 716.326.2977 or info@cchsmcclurg.org.


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