Historical Markers To Celebrate History In Randolph
RANDOLPH — Five new historical markers in Randolph celebrate and preserve the community’s local history.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s provided the blue and yellow aluminum signs through its New York State Historic Marker Grant Program.
Nancy Olejniczak, town historian, began the grant application process in February 2020. Randolph Historical Society trustees assisted in selecting the topics for the grant requests which required thorough research to document the accuracy of every detail inscribed on the markers.
“The grant applications required ‘primary source documentation,'” Olejniczak said, meaning that sources had to come from the time that the events occurred. Historical accounts written later were not acceptable.
“My experience with genealogical research and local resources was key to completing the grant applications,” she continued.
After several reviews and revisions, additional research and submission of more documentation that lasted through the spring and summer, Randolph’s five grants were accepted and the signs were ordered in the fall. The Town Highway crew completed the installation of the markers in late December.
Two markers are located on Bank Street identifying the old Village Hall and the bank building.
“The Village Hall was the most difficult one to research,” Olejniczak said. “Newspaper articles and the village minutes from the time lacked many important details. While we know that the two fire companies were housed in the building from the beginning, providing the acceptable proof was challenging.”
County Clerk Alan Bernstein provided important documentation for the Early Bank sign when he located a copy of the Randolph State Bank’s original Articles of Organization from 1874 at the courthouse. The bank building was likely erected at that time.
Another marker identifies the Dow Library on Jamestown Street, now home of the Randolph Historical Society. Articles in the Randolph Register provided abundant details about the library founded by Albert G. Dow Jr.
The sign in front of the Municipal Building commemorates the founding of the Town of Randolph. Staff at the state archives assisted in locating a copy of the legislative action that formed the town, and Town Clerk Gretchen Hind helped to locate the minutes from the first town meeting.
The sign in front of Randolph Central School recounts the long educational heritage of the site known as Academy Hill.
“I learned a lot about our local history in researching each location and hope that our residents and visitors to our town will enjoy learning more, as well,” Olejniczak said. “I hope that many will pause as they walk by the signs to appreciate the rich history of our community.”
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is a private foundation established in 2005. The foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. Since 2006, the Foundation has funded more than 1,300 historic roadside markers and plaques nationwide. Visit: www.wgpfoundation.org.