SINCLAIRVILLE - Members and guests of the Valley Historical Society met recently in the Sinclairville Free Library building for their monthly meeting. Guest speaker Brenda Cavallaro, Falconer historian, presented to the group the history of Falconer from its beginnings to the present. Originally, the area was known as Worksburg in 1808, being formed by Edward Work, with a sawmill and a gristmill to follow one year later. Worksburg was tied into Kennedy Mills, which later changed to Kennedy as it is known now. In 1840, Patrick Falconer purchased most of the land and businesses, and when the DAV&P railroad was put through the area in 1870, Falconer said he would donate land for the train station if the village was named after him. Falconer then grew with its first store and then the post office. In 1888, William T. Falconer formed the W.T. Falconer Manufacturing Company, which is the oldest plant in Falconer, and now known as Fancher Chair. The village was incorporated in 1891, the fire protection a few years later, the commercial building constructed in 1921, and the library enlarged in 1981. The new post office was constructed in 1971. Interesting, most of the general merchandise stores were operated where people would place their order and have the items delivered. In Falconer, the first cash and carry store was formed 100 years ago, where people could purchase their items and carry them with them at a lesser price. Mrs. Cavallaro maintains a historical display in the upstairs of the Commercial building and welcomes visitors. A fine presentation received a round of applause.
President of the historical group Albert Olmstead opened the meeting with a welcome to all, and then led everyone in the Lord's Prayer and the pledge of allegiance. The annual history fair held in September was reviewed, and a special thanks goes to Larry Barmore for his efforts in making the entire event so successful. Treasurer John Sipos read the minutes of the previous meeting, and then gave a financial report of the history fair and the financial report of the historical society. New items received for the museum included a corn shucker from Betty Moeller, and bob sleds. A donation for pies baked by members was made by Charles Sylvester. Historian Walter Waite presented two pairs of old scissors used in wallpapering many years ago. Waite said they were used by his great-grandmother Florila Waite who lived from 1836 to 1905. The scissors are very large in length.
The museum is now closed for the winter, and will reopen for tours in May 2014. Sipos said that he will be winterizing the museum for the winter season soon. Following the meeting, refreshments were provided and served by Audrey Prosser and Bonnie Larkin.
The next meeting of the group will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Cassadaga American Legion Hall. Guest speaker will be Todd Langworthy, Pomfret historian. All meetings are open to everyone.
The Valley Historical Society was formed in 1977 by the late John and Ruth Smith who saw a need to preserve the history of the valley. One year later, the museum building was purchased to house historical items from the area. For more information on the Valley Historical Society, write to P.O. Box 1045, Sinclairville, NY 14782. New members are always welcome.