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Martz-Kohl Observatory Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Pictured from left are board member Richard Carlson, Carroll Town Supervisor Laura Smith, John Davis, Chautauqua County legislature representative District 19, County Executive George Borrello, Walter Pickut, board president Gary Nelson, John Anderson, Andy Felong, Tom Traub, and Joanna Dahlbeck, county Chamber of Commerce Community Chamber coordinator during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday. Photo by Barbara Young

FREWSBURG — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday for renovations done at the Martz-Kohl Observatory

Present at the ceremony were Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello; John Davis, Chautauqua County legislature representative District 19; Carroll Town Supervisor Laura Smith, Joanna Dahlbeck, county Chamber of Commerce Community Chamber coordinator; Dennis Webster; and Martz-Kohl Observatory board members.

Members of the observatory, community and other individuals “integral to the vision and renovation of the observatory were also present at the event,” officials said.

Although the observatory has been a fixture in the community since the mid-1950s, it has been undergoing major construction and upgrades over the last 20 years. This past weekend, the observatory finally celebrated the completion of the major construction projects and fully opened the doors to the community.

The observatory is one of only a handful of public observatories where guests as well as members can be hands on with the many telescopes located within the observatory. The original observatory was started by professor Marshal Martz in the 1950s, and his original observatory building is still in use today. Martz’ dream was to be able to share the observatory with the community with an emphasis on education.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, board president Gary Nelson welcomed everyone into the observatory where he, Borrello, Davis and Smith each said a few words before the facility was opened up to tours.

“I have been told the observatory is the best kept secret in Chautauqua County,” Nelson said. “I hope as we move forward, we will no longer be a secret.”

The observatory, located at 176 Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg, is open on Wednesday evenings as well as one Saturday per month. It is an all-volunteer, nonprofit association and does not charge for admission. A non-member donation of $5 per adult and $2 per child or student is appreciated.

For more information on the Martz-Kohl Observatory, call 569-3689 or visit martzobservatory.org.

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