Hello all! We hope this communication finds everyone well and able to venture out into this quasi-normal world. Despite continuing restrictions, Society volunteers remain active archiving, responding to inquiries, and preparing for the next phase of reopening.
The June meeting of the Board of Trustees was held in-person, at the sanitized Resource Center in the large foyer. The motley crew of colorfully masked Trustees social distanced themselves amidst the Tiebor seal display and costumed manikins, glad to “see” and hear each other at last. First order of business was a Health and Safety Plan for our three facilities. We will be providing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers at the Museum and Resource Center. Once we enter Phase 4 of the Erie County Reopening Plan, we will begin to allow members to visit the museum on an appointment-only basis. Members are asked to call or email (preferred) the museum at least a week in advance so volunteers can arrange a meeting. This is especially important for out-of-town members planning to visit the museum. Individuals doing research can call ahead and have volunteers pull material to expedite your project and reduce the time at the museum. Masks are required and a sanitizing station is provided. Regularly scheduled hours are suspended until further notice at the museum and the Long Homestead. The Board also voted to have a professionally produced documentary on the Long Homestead in celebration of the Society’s 40 years of stewardship. (Anyone know Ken Burns?) We want to preserve the story of the site and its families for future generations.
GOOD NEWS: We have been awarded an $1800 grant from the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History. The funds must be used for the purchase of video equipment, camera, tripod, microphone, lighting, and software program, to enable us to produce videos for posting on YouTube. This will be a challenging summer but our goal is to have the August Warrior Walk our first video production. Stay tuned.
Enjoying our Summer Lumber Shover games? Let us know what you find most engaging – trivia, the “What Is It, Where Is It?”, word search, matching challenge? Look for more games in August plus featured articles including a reprint of a Tolerable Tale by Willard Dittmar about the 1918 Spanish Flu. Seems history is repeating itself in more ways than you might realize – a conspiracy theory blamed the Germans (now it’s Chinese), everyone wore masks, no hand-shaking, constant hand washing, and a local government ban on large assemblages within the Twin Cities including all theaters, moving picture shows, churches, Sunday Schools, public & private schools, saloons and dance halls. Plus...North Tonawanda City Historian, Joseph Midura, relates a poignant story about how his father’s family endured deaths and enforced quarantine in 1918 - fascinating real-life experiences.
In closing, a heartfelt thank you to those concerned members who have made special donations to the Society to help us weather this pandemic shutdown. Your loyalty and good-will continue to inspire us.
Stay Safe! Stay Well! And may we all meet again soon!
HSOT Board of Trustees
Alice Roth, President