A rainy afternoon did little to dampen the spirits of the Jamestown chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
On Saturday, Jamestown DAR chapter members hosted several dignitaries and representatives of local foundations in celebrating an award and dedication ceremony.
The chapter is headquartered in the former Porter Sheldon mansion at 70 Prospect St., and has been in the process of restoring the building to its original state since it was bequeathed to the organization in 1970 by Sheldon's granddaughter, Dorothy Tew Johnson. The most recent project was the restoration of the porch on the northern side of the structure.
Jamestown DAR member Greta Archer, left, is presented with the national DAR historic preservation award by Linda Cass, Jamestown chapter first vice regent.
by Gavin Paterniti
A 1 p.m. ceremony was held to dedicate the porch and recognize the efforts of one chapter member who went above and beyond in overseeing its completion. For these efforts, Greta Archer, past vice president general and New York state regent, was awarded the prestigious DAR historic preservation medal. Archer is the first member of the Jamestown chapter to receive the national award.
Archer expressed gratitude to several individuals and organizations, as well as her fellow DAR chapter members, for their assistance in restoring the porch and, subsequently, helping her to obtain the award.
"I am just so excited to see you're so energetic and doing all of these different projects," Archer said as she addressed her DAR sisters. "I know historic preservation is going to continue for a long time. Historic preservation is something that New York state is very committed to. We have a very rich history in our state, and I'm glad to see that that is going to continue."
Also in attendance were state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, and Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, who each shared their appreciation for the work being done through Archer and the Jamestown DAR chapter.
"Congratulations to each and every one of you for your devoted service to preserving our history and our heritage, and I'm so pleased to see the end result in the renovations on the porch. I know it is something that's truly a labor of love for people, because you know how important it is to save historic treasures such as this home," Young said. "And Greta, I'm just so proud of everything that you've accomplished over nearly 20 years of devotion to making sure that this house is restored and properly taken care of."
Young added: "I was contacted that Greta was being put up for this honor today with the medal. And I write letters of support for all kinds of wonderful projects around my district, but this was one of the most easy letters of support we've ever drafted because it was from the heart."
Teresi followed with his own remarks regarding the significance of the restoration efforts of Archer and the DAR.
"The great news today is that, while it's raining outside, we are dry and warm and comfortable in this beautiful landmark home on the southside of Jamestown," he said. "And that is a tribute to everybody that not only loves this home and this neighborhood, but loves this community, as well as all the hard work that the members of this chapter having been doing over the years, as a labor of love to make this happen, led by this very special lady."
As he concluded his remarks, Teresi read a proclamation naming Saturday's date as "Greta Archer Day" in the city of Jamestown.
"That was a surprise I wasn't expecting," Archer said.