About a year ago, Walworth Historian Gene Bavis and Larry Ann Evans, executive director of the Wayne County Historical Society, were appointed co-chairs of the Wayne County bicentennial by the Board of Supervisors. Also assigned to the committee as an adviser was Wayne County Historian Peter Evans.
Bavis, Larry Ann and Peter started recruiting committee members and meeting regularly via Zoom. Information related to discussions is shared on Google Drive or by email.
Other committee members are Peg Churchill, retired director of Wayne County IDA; Marion Historian Caryn Devlin; former Sodus Point Historian Bruce Farrington; Huron Historian Rosa Fox; Galen Supervisor Steve Groat; former Sodus Historian Steve Heald; Patti Holdraker from The Times of Wayne County; County Clerk Mike Jankowski; Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, R-130th District; Laurie McFaul-Frey from the Wayne County Fair; former Assemblyman Bob Oaks; Joe O’Toole, director of the Sodus Bay Historical Society; and Jim Paprocki, webmaster for the Wayne Historians Organization.
Creating a logo was one of the first undertakings. Designer Grace Blondell, working with committee members, the county attorney and other agencies, created a logo that has most of the components of the current county logo with the added words “1823-2023 Bicentennial.”
In progress is a series of PowerPoint presentations that will include background history of the county as well as ways citizens can get involved in the celebration of their history and heritage. When these are completed, the committee will share the bicentennial story with town boards, school groups, service organizations, historical societies and as many other groups as possible.
The design committee is working on a series of informational banners for town hall lobbies, libraries, schools or other public places. The banners will be moved around the county to help share the story of Wayne County’s history.
Historians and historical society representatives held a bicentennial brainstorming session in 2018. Currently, there are about six dozen proposals, suggestions and topics on a list for the committee to consider.
The Bicentennial Committee is looking to the town supervisors to work with their municipal historians, historical societies and other citizens to form town committees. These committees will plan local activities that celebrate Wayne County’s birthday, and coordinate with and promote countywide bicentennial activities.
Email waynehistorians@gmail.com for information or to volunteer for bicentennial projects.