Happy February 2017! It is Black History Month, along with two presidents’ birthdays and many anniversaries, historic happenings and notable events.
It used to be that we celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday Feb. 12 and George Washington’s birthday Feb. 22. Since the 1970s these birthdays have joined together and gave us another long weekend. But today a long weekend has evolved into a whole week called mid-winter break.
Is this break for all? Nope, just for the school children. This coming week you will not see the school buses picking up and dropping off, hopefully you will hear the shouts and voices of children playing outside taking advantage of this beautiful weather. I challenge all our students and adults alike to take some walks and let the sun give you energy and a happy heart.
Our local hero Adm. William T. Sampson was born Feb. 9, 1840, who just 58 years in the future would investigate the sinking of the USS Maine on Feb. 17, 1898. On Feb. 11, 1845, Palmyra divided into eight fire districts. On Feb. 13, 1817, exactly 200 years ago, the Western Presbyterian Church separated from the East Palmyra Presbyterian Church. Happy birthday to today’s Palmyra’s Western Presbyterian Church.
One huge highlight of Historic Palmyra is that Palmyra Historical Society recently celebrated 101 years after becoming officially affiliated with the state of New York on Feb. 16, 1916. Happy anniversary, Historic Palmyra, with your 101 years of collecting and saving history then and now. Thank you, Historic Palmyra, for the preservation of the village of Palmyra and its old historic buildings from 1964 to 1976, and for having vision and foresight to create a museum complex just behind the Main Street business district of five incredible museums. Who can say such a thing?
Thanks to Historic Palmyra’s president, S. Nelson Sawyer, and the who’s who of members and officers of this great organization. Still here after all these years, flourishing, growing and bringing in people from all over the globe to experience our history.
The reason we have our original Main Street business district is thanks to the efforts of those selfless, tireless community members who proactively said no to urban renewal 53 years ago. Our museums house the results of these efforts and honor our heroes every day, from building a Main Street and Canal Street to creating businesses, churches, schools, a yacht club, a golf course, banks, factories and societies into a sleepy but vibrant community where people choose to live and have businesses.
When you are walking down Main Street in this springlike weather, look around and see the unique buildings from the 1812 to 1830 period on the north side and the 1860s to 1870s buildings on the south side. Through the fires and human errors in judgement, it survives. The store owners and renters have done their best to create an atmosphere to promote business and make our community a vibrant location. Just like the five museums at one destination created by Historic Palmyra Museums on Market and William Street.