Happy New Year to you all. The 33rd is taking a Christmas break such as it is and thinking of home is their primary past time. The weather is cold, damp, and the men are trying to keep warm and make some type of Christmas dinner. The ladies at home are preparing boxes of whatever they think might be needed from garden vegetables to warm blankets. We will leave them for a time and review Historic Palmyra’s year of 2013.
We began last year with participation in the “Big Read”; followed by another cancellation of the “Curling on the Canal”. Our themes were chosen as Gettysburg and three beautiful murals were painted by our staff member and artist Cheryl VanDenburg. These were copies of Civil War stationery and the Coverlet eagles as well as a sailor honoring Admiral Wm. T. Sampson.
The events calendar was put out and included many of our typical annual events. The first honored, February with our “Black History Month” program and our Underground Railroad walk. March brought the preparations for hanging of the coverlets and many special group tours. We met many new missionaries and lost many of those that had been serving for 18 month or 2 year time.
The Museums all opened May 1 for the season and the school children began their visits studying local history and the Erie Canal. We had many bus tours, senior groups, clubs, and student tours. We began working on the Path through History initiative that Governor Cuomo started to increase tourism in upstate New York. Our additional open hours were required to be 2 additional months per year and 6 more hours each week. Another expense for Historic Palmyra, but one we hope would pay off.
The Heritage Weekend lasted the first two weekends in June and we were hoping for the arrival of the canal schooner Lois McClure; which was delayed with the Erie Canal problems to the east and finally came on Pirates Weekend. The 24nd Ice Cream Social came and went without a problem and we served a record number of folks. It will be the 3rd Thursday in June again and it is a no charge event, put it on your calendars. We held a number of successful walks and a successful Pirate Weekend, as well as a successful dig camp. The fall brought our 8th Annual Cemetery tour and Sibyl’s birthday and our 18th Annual holiday bazaar with a record number for lunch. The Homestead House Tour was our first and was a whopping event. The comments were complimentary and all are waiting for the next one. Thanks to our wonderful home owners for all their support. We lost many friends in 2013, Alice Dippo, Louise Ondra, Ralph Cator, and Hank Nesbit. We are losing many of our wonderful missionaries with hopes of many new friends.
Our newest accomplishment is the two Thruway signs at Exit 43 going both east and west. Our year was a record all the way around and we thank you for all your support and hope that you take advantage of all we have to offer in 2014. Call the museums for information, assistance, and participation at 597-6981. Join our new members and renewed members in the finest history organization with five amazing museums serving our area, state, nation, and the world.