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2017-11-08 / Arts & Entertainment

History Preserved, Volunteers Honored

By Lillian Browne


Recipients of the 2017 Delaware County Historical Association Awards of Merit include, from left, standing, Don Kearney - accepting on behalf of John Duda, Gerry Byrnes on behalf of Maywood Historical Group, Roger Davis, Jim Haggerty, Susan Frisbee and Jim Richardson on behalf of the Grant Rogers Project, and seated, Carolyn Boyle. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Recipients of the 2017 Delaware County Historical Association Awards of Merit include, from left, standing, Don Kearney - accepting on behalf of John Duda, Gerry Byrnes on behalf of Maywood Historical Group, Roger Davis, Jim Haggerty, Susan Frisbee and Jim Richardson on behalf of the Grant Rogers Project, and seated, Carolyn Boyle. Lillian Browne/The Reporter DELHI - Three individuals and two organizations were presented with the Delaware County Historical Association’s (DCHA) 2017 Awards of Merit on Nov. 5. Among the honorees were Carolyn Boyce, nominated for her work in Harpersfield. She has been treasurer of the Harpersfield Historical Society since 1985 and has contributed to the preservation of history in countless ways with her volunteer efforts, according to Tim Duerden, director of DCHA.

Though he considered the honor more of a group effort than an individual one, John Duda was acknowledged for his part in the operation of the Fleischmanns’ Museum of Memories and as Fleischmanns’ historian. Duda was unable to attend the ceremony, having previously committed to another event, so Don Kearney accepted the award on his behalf.

Roger Davis of Middletown was also honored. Davis has done extensive work to maintain historical information in Middletown cemeteries, including photographing headstone inscriptions, enabling hundred of a gravestones to be in included in “Find-A-Grave” which enables researchers around the world to locate designated grave sites.

Two groups, the Grant Rogers Project in Walton, and the Maywood Historical Group in Sidney Center, were also honored for their efforts at preserving history.

The Grant Rogers Project focuses on singer-songwriter Grant Rogers, a native of Rock Rift, a community which succumbed to the construction of the Cannonsville Reservoir. Rogers wrote many songs about the Catskills and the building of the reservoirs and the project, which began three years ago, documents interviews of people who knew him. The ongoing project can be viewed at grantrogers.org.

The Maywood Historical Group, formed in 1985 in Sidney Center, preserves the historical significance of the O&W Railroad. Among the group’s accomplishments is the restoration of the train depot and freight room. The museum is open to the public free of charge and exhibits many train-related artifacts.

Following the awards ceremony, annual elections took place at which Barbara Coleman of Hobart, Richard Meyer of Meredith and Tom Kendall of Harpersfield were elected to three-year terms. Four officers were appointed to one-year terms. Those include Richard Meyer of Meredith as president; Tom Kendall of Harpersfield as vice-president; Barbara Coleman of Hobart as secretary and Roy Scrimshaw of Delhi as treasurer.

DCHA Director Tim Duerden recapped various events, projects and programs of 2017 including the popular annual history conference, genealogy workshop and Dessert & Diaries program.

DCHA produced a book in 2017 “Freeman Awake!” a compilation of rally songs and poems from the Anti-Rent Wars.

Following the annual meeting, local authors Mary Jane Henderson and Barbara Coleman gave a presentation on their book “Hats Off: Notable Women of Delaware County, NY.”

Duerden praised the efforts of long-time DCHA membership volunteer Donna Torma, who died in October after a short illness.

For more information about DCHA, visit dcha-ny.org or call 607-746-3849.

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