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Wayne Post
  • Historically Speaking — A peek at Palmyra’s past

  • Our exhibits at the Historic Palmyra Museums this coming year will be the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg July 1 through the 3, 1863.

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  • All that’s left from the Thanksgiving holiday is the few extra pounds and turkey, if you froze it. But as typical, time marches on and on to the next day, week, and month. Our exhibits at the Historic Palmyra Museums this coming year will be the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg July 1 through the 3, 1863. Since we are still into the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War it seems appropriate to follow it through for the entire 4 years. Many of the major military minds for both sides were born in the month of December. On Dec. 3, 1826 U. S. General George B. McClellan was born. On the 5th of December, 1839 U. S. General George Custer was born, and on Dec. 6, 1833 C. S. Colonel John S. Mosby was born. The U. S. depicts Northern troops and the C.S. depicts Confederate States. We will still be honoring the War of 1812 since it began in 1812 and ended in 1814.   
    Of course, as in every month the first part of December holds many interesting facts and happenings. On Dec. 2, 1857 the Union School was incorporated and became known as the Palmyra Classical Union School. The old (first church) meeting hall on top of the old cemetery hill was burned Dec. 3, 1838. On Dec. 4, 1887 the three-year contract between Crandall, Nickols, and Garlock ended prompting Mr. Crandall to start his own company on the west end of Canal Street. This Crandall Packing was in business for a number of years before it succumb to the Garlock Packing Company.  
    We are going to head right to Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day. It has been 71 years since that day, which will go down in infamy, as President F.D. Roosevelt exclaimed. So many remember that day as children and young adults horrified by this attack on the U. S. Navy in Hawaii. No one would have ever thought this would happen. The four boards that stood in the Village Park with the Palmyra 400 listed as they went off to war are still remembered with replicas of the boards in the Village Hall.   
    A more local event that was probably very overshadowed by the Pearl Harbor attack was the death of our very own Sibyl Eugenia Phelps at the age of 81 years on Dec. 7, 1976. She died at Newark Hospital and the saga lives on in her home at 140 Market Street. Finally, a star is born and Sibyl is the star of her own story. Our hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Call 597-6981 for information, tours, and to volunteer. Our gift shop is also open these times.
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