The Wayne County Fair will soon be a memory for another year. The 90s don’t make it very comfortable for the animals, but the new buildings with fans help.
This August we have lost two great, local folks — historians and passionate, loving Palmyra people. Ethel Mae was a treasure and good friend to all, and George “William” Contant was an author in the highest regard. His specialty was the Civil War, and he spent his life doing what he loved at state parks and forts — working with his wife on design and period authenticity. So these two great friends will go down in our history with fond memories and cherished thoughts.
One of our most favorite inventors and industrialist, John M. Jones, patented his “typographer” on Aug. 12, 1851. Jones came up from Clyde and started his printing press factory on West Jackson Street west of the fairgrounds. It is considered a forerunner to the typewriter. What was different about Jones’ model? It worked. He sold 200 of them and went on to make the peerless platen printing press. Our Historic Palmyra Print Shop features five of his models, made right here in Palmyra. Can you imagine that while the animals were being shown and the jellies, pies and pickles were being judged the hot molten iron was being molded into huge printing presses that were shipped on the Erie Canal to all points east and west?
Our Palmyra Post Office asked if we had some things for a display in the month of August, so we went to the first day cover section and took out those famous enough to have a stamp and first day cover about them. One of these was J. M. Jones Company showing their models of printing presses in the left corner on an envelope suitable for mailing. We have one that went to Theresa and another to Montreal. We are showing an envelope from the Sexton Hose and Fire announcing a meeting to an L. Nussbaumer from 1941. The Palmyra boards of the 400 went up in the Village Park and the names were carefully listed of those that enlisted. There is so much meaning to everything. At least that is the norm, but again what is normal? That on Aug. 18, 1930, the first Palmyra-made airplane took off from the Palmyra Airport.
We are offering two walks during Canaltown Days, the first is the Ghost Walk on Sept. 16. The hunt will start at Village Park and will end at the Historical Museum on Market Street. The Murder, Tragedy, Mystery walk is on Sept. 17 and starts at the Palmyra Historical Museum, 132 Market St., and will cover 1 mile of the village to end at the Alling Coverlet for refreshments. This is my favorite and most enlightening walk. Both walks start at 8 p.m.
Volunteers interested in helping out, donating or getting involved can call 315-597-6981 or visit historicpalmyrany.com.