SINCLAIRVILLE - Members and guests of the Valley Historical Society met recently in the Sinclairville Free Library for their monthly meeting and program.
The guest speaker was Pam Brown, who serves as the historian for the towns of Harmony and Panama and the Hurlbut Church. Mrs. Brown concentrated her talk on the history of Panama only. The origin of the name Panama is a legend as she said, and historians want to work with facts. Panama was incorporated in 1861, and in the early years, there were about 80 business places. The population of Panama has not changed much over the last two centuries, and the railroad changed much of the village, along with public transportation. During the 1930s, Panama had a CCC camp located there. The village was fairly self-sufficient at one time, producing its own power. Using a slide show, Mrs. Brown showed many of the houses which are examples of the Greek Revival architecture. One of the photographs shown was the Mill Pond, and Mrs. Brown explained how the mills were important to the area.
Albert Olmstead, Valley Historical Society president, opened the business meeting with the Lord's Prayer and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mary Shearman, secretary, read the minutes of the previous meeting. John Sipos, treasurer, gave the financial report, including a detailed report on the recent annual history fair held in the beginning of September.
Marna Terry Wolaver presented her resignation as a trustee as she is moving out of the area. Olmstead said that at the next meeting in November, nomination of officers for the next year will take place. Curators Audrey Prosser and Bonnie Larkin are working on an inventory of the museum, which is located at the corner of Main and Lester streets in Sinclairville. The museum is closed now for the winter months and will reopen for tours in May. Following the meeting, refreshments were provided by John and Susan Sipos.
The next meeting of the Valley Historical Society will be at the Cassadaga American Legion Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. The guest speaker will be Todd Langworthy, Pomfret town historian. Refreshments will be provided by Mary Shearman and Mildred Griswold Simpson.
The Valley Historical Society was formed in 1977 by the late John and Ruth Smith who wanted to preserve the history of the Cassadaga Valley area. One year later the museum was purchased. For more information on the Valley Historical Society, write to P.O. Box 1045, Sinclairville, NY 14782. New members are welcome.