New town historian June Hamell was welcomed Jan. 27.

New town historian June Hamell was welcomed Jan. 27.

Her interest in Macedon’s history was first sparked when her children were participating in the History Bowl, a school jamboree designed to make New York’s history come alive. 

Hamell began working part-time for the library in 1995, then went full-time in 2000. She helped then Town Historian Helen Burgio in 2003, which made her a shoe-in, when Burgio resigned at the end of the year.

The main remit of a town historian is to keep a town’s history.

“What is history and what is not?” asked Hamell. “Births, deaths, marriages, buildings, businesses, those are all things that I need to be aware of and perhaps collecting data on.” 

The system used to collect, record and store information is at her discretion, the idea being to do what fits her town best.

While general town history is what Hamell will be working with, she enjoys learning details about past townspeople. 

“People are fascinating in their choices and in their beliefs,” she said.

She talked about her work on the Bullis family, important people in Macedon’s past. She discovered that through marriage into the Lapham family, the Bullis family became related to Susan B. Anthony, whose assistant was born and raised in Macedon.

Hamell is exploring what will best fit Macedon. 

She aspires to make the historian’s office “a little bit more electronic”, and hopes to digitize at least a portion of the town’s historical material, beginning with the oldest documents. 

She attends Wayne Historical Organization meetings and will be attending meetings of the Macedon Historical Society, when they resume in April. 

Hamell is also making use of volunteer interest, with some members of the community giving their time to assist with tasks like organizing files and folders and sifting through newspapers to clip articles relevant to Macedon.

The historian’s office at the library is open from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

For more information, e-mail Hamell at historian@macedontown.net or call her at the library. Appointments are preferred.