Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties
Ron & Maureen Johnson, Erastus Warren House, Cooperstown
Megan Hölken, Chartwell House, Sharon Springs
OPRHP Facilities Construction Crew, Maintenance Shop #1
Gilbert Lake State Park, New Lisbon
Julius E. Waller, Jacob Gale Barn, Roseboom
St. Thomas Catholic Church, Kateri Hall, Cherry Valley
Sharon Historical Society, Honor and Glory: A Tribute to Sharon’s Veterans Documentation Project
Patricia Mabie, Roseboom Town Historian
William Bauer, Founder, Unadilla Historical Society In memoriam
William Isaac, Cherry Branch Gallery, Cherry Valley
Leila & Philip Durkin, Village Hall Gallery, Sharon Springs
Karen & Norman Johannesen, Hope Mill House, Index
Sandra Manko and the Sharon Historical Society for the book Sibs of Sharon: The Happy Hamlets (2009)
Outstanding Achievement Award
Sue Brander, Jordanville, NY
Lou Allstadt and Melinda Hardin, 18 Main Street, Cooperstown
Stone House Farm
The Major’s Inn
The Cemetery Research Project
Community Regeneration Merit Award
Sharon Springs Free Library
Marjorie Walters, Richfield Springs preservationist. The restored town clock and the refurbished state historical markers are only the latest examples of Marge Walters’ commitment to benefit her community and preserve the historic resources of Richfield Springs.
Park Inn in Richfield Springs: From eyesore to asset: An important anchor building at the main intersection of Richfield Springs, the Park Inn was a building down on its luck. In stepped Jay Berhardt and JGB Properties, LLC. Bernhardt, a Richfield Springs native who knew the building had once been an asset, not an eyesore, had the vision to purchase the building in 2004 and began the extensive rehabilitation. Completed in 2008, the distinctive parapet highlights the extensive work done here to bring back into full occupancy an important historic building in the National Register listed historic district.
Bohm Pond Dam, A history-enhanced landscape: Fly Creek: Rob and Jean Bohm were surprised to find dry-laid stone walls where a ground hog attempted to build a den in the bank of their pond. Spurred by the glimpse, the Bohm Family invested time and resources to expose and repair the beautiful stone walls that were part of the construction of the pond, inspiring them to learn more about the history of their property and helping recreate the historic landscape the property formerly enjoyed.
Lower Toddsville Bridge Project, Saving a Gem from Destruction: In late 2006 preservationists in the hamlet of Toddsville were horrified to find demolition crews working to remove the historic truss bridge. Community members built a coalition of interested citizens, and garnered support from community groups and organizations to provide technical assistance and advice. The demolition was stopped and funds were raised to preserve the bridge as a public asset. Now redecked as a pedestrian bridge the Hartwick Historical Society has ownership of this historic asset for the community to enjoy.
Sweet Tooth Café in Richfield Springs: Taking the former Derrick’s Marble and Granite Works building on Lake Street in Richfield Springs was an act of vision and entrepreneurial spirit by Richard and Harriet Sessler. Wanting to move their business closer to their Richfield Springs home, the Sesslers took an abandoned, partially renovated building near the railroad tracks and returned it to productive use.
2008’s winners – selected by an independent jury composed of historic preservation professionals – are the Cooperstown United Methodist Church for its stained glass window restoration project and the rehabilitation of the A.A. Holdredge Barn in West Burlington.
“We have two wonderful projects being recognized this year. Both demonstrate remarkable craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the commitment of the project sponsors to preserve significant architectural features,” said Otsego 2000’s Executive Director Martha Frey. “The jury, composed of Tania Werbizky from the Preservation League of New York State, Randy Crawford from the architectural firm Crawford & Stearns, and Barbara Henderson, from the Cazenovia Area Community Development Agency, bring years of experience and applied professional historic preservation standards as they reviewed each nomination,” said Frey.
In 2004, shortly after the United Methodist Church celebrated its centennial, the Centennial Committee launched a three-year capital campaign to restore the original opalescent, rolled glass windows. With funding from the Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites Program, and support from the church membership and the community at large, a total of $128,650 was raised to restore the 24 stained glass windows, including the large four-panel windows in the sanctuary designed by Theodore H. Wagner of Utica.
As noted in the nomination, “the window sections were disassembled, and each piece cleaned, replaced or repaired as necessary, re-cemented, and re-leaded with new copper wire ties and support bars.” The restoration was completed by Rohlf’s Stained Glass Studio of Mount Vernon, New York.
The ca. 1825 A.A. Holdredge Barn is a three-bay English barn adapted for contemporary use as a farm equipment storage barn. The barn is sited off Route 51 in a large, river bottom hayfield.
“The setting for this building is stunning and those looking to the west from Route 51 will enjoy one of the most scenic landscapes in the region. The barn and the surrounding field are a wonderful testament to our agricultural heritage,” stated Frey.
While the framing and some interior elements were maintained, the barn was sided with white pine boards, a new steel roof was installed, and repairs were made to the laid stone foundation and framing members. Funds to restore the barn were provided in part by the New York State Barn Grant Program. Jon Edgington of Hartwick was the general contractor and restoration carpenter, Dan Conklin was the project blacksmith, and John Craig restored the foundation.
Six winners have been announced for the 2007 Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties, to be honored at a ceremony and reception at Hyde Hall on Friday, May 25 from 5-6:30 p.m.
Now in its ninth year, the preservation awards program recognizes individuals and groups who have helped further historic preservation in their communities. Nominations are considered each year in the following categories: career achievement, stewardship, adaptive re-use, restoration (for buildings, structures or landscapes), rehabilitation (for buildings, structures or landscapes), historic preservation planning, and special nomination.
This year’s winners – selected by an independent jury composed of historic preservation professionals and others from related fields – are Chartwell Studios, Chase House, the Greater Milford Historical Association, the members of Pierstown Grange, Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, and Rufus J. Thayer. “This is the first year we have given an award posthumously. There is no doubt that Rufus Thayer’s vision to protect his family farm in perpetuity has been an extraordinary gift to the Otsego Lake community and the many students that use the farm as an educational facility,” said Martha Frey, Otsego 2000’s executive director. “Thayer’s generosity exemplifies how one person’s actions can serve the greater good for many years to come.”
Chartwell Studios, Rehabilitation
Peter Cozzolino and Marguerite MacFarlane have successfully breathed new life into what Sharon Springs locals still refer to as the “old drug store.” The c. 1871 building, which was previously vacant and had become run down and unsightly, is once again a handsome storefront on the Route 20 Scenic Byway. Chartwell Studios houses both working and teaching studios, a research library, and galleries featuring the works of other area artists and craftsmen. Through their hard work and dedication, Cozzolino and MacFarlane have saved an important piece of Sharon’s history.
Chase House, Restoration
Over the last two decades, Sidney Chase has painstakingly worked to dismantle, transport, reassemble and restore the c. 1830 Federal-style, two-story home in which he and his wife, Dorelle, now reside. The house, previously located in Harpersfield, had been vacant since 1960. In the late 1980s Chase, a lover of Federal-style architecture, chose to move the structure to a hillside behind the Chase Organ Factory in Worcester, where he then began to rebuild the house from top to bottom – board by board, floor by floor, and room by room. The Chases’ center-hall home boasts a restored exterior with a “recreated” kitchen wing and original interior features including moldings, trim, staircase, fireplaces, and cupboards.
Greater Milford Historical Association, Stewardship
Through the vision and dedication of the Board of Directors of the Greater Milford Historical Association, the First Presbyterian Church and the David Sayre House have been preserved and have become cornerstones of history and culture in Milford. These two important historic buildings, now known as the Upper Susquehanna Cultural Center and the David Sayre Store & House Museum, are operated by the GMHA, which was founded in 1972. The Cultural Center serves as the venue for a broad range of community programs and events throughout the year. Visitors to the museum enjoy guided tours and special programs, as well as a unique historical shopping experience at the general store, which reflects the inventory of Mr. Sayre’s store dating from the early 1800s.
Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, Special Award
With their purchase and rehabilitation of buildings at 195 and 197 Main Street, Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts have continued to demonstrate their commitment to the revitalization of downtown Sharon Springs. Having transformed what were once described as “eyesores” – the New Brooklyn House at 195 Main, now Black Cat Café, and American Emporium at 197 Main – Plummer and Roberts are being recognized for their civic leadership and for their cumulative body of work in Sharon Springs. In 2001, Plummer and Roberts received a Preservation Award for the rehabilitation of The American Hotel.
Pierstown Grange, Stewardship
One of just three Grange Halls remaining in Otsego County, today the Pierstown Grange Hall serves as that hamlet’s only community center and as home base for the local grange and the Garden Club. Pierstown Grange No. 793 was organized in 1895, and the Grange Hall is a contributing building in the Glimmerglass Historic District. Through the direction of the Pierstown Grange membership, this two-story meeting hall and the surrounding Grange property are used throughout the year for assorted meetings, parties, receptions, and seminars, including the annual Memorial Day lawn and garage sale, and a community picnic each August.
Rufus J. Thayer, Special Award (awarded posthumously) In 1984, Rufus J. Thayer and his cousin, Dr. Janice Whipple, gave about 300 acres of wooded land on Rum Hill in Springfield to the College at Oneonta Foundation for use by its Biological Field Station. Upon his death in 1999, Thayer sought to preserve his remaining 200+ acres in such a way that the land would remain in active agriculture use in perpetuity, and that the remaining acreage be kept forever wild. Thanks to this vision, and with the help of the BFS and Otsego Land Trust, the Thayer Farm is protected from future development and is one of the last active farms on the shores of Otsego Lake and in the Glimmerglass Historic District. “Stewardship was a strong theme this year. Whether it was the efforts of a few people to help bring back a Main Street business district, a farmstead, or a small group dedicated to the preservation of one building, the award winners truly deserve recognition for their efforts to preserve our local heritage,” said Frey.
The winners of the 2006 Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties were announced at a ceremony and reception at the Clausen Farms Casino on Friday, May 26. Now in its eighth year, the Historic Preservation Awards program recognizes projects and people that demonstrate excellence in the area of historic preservation and local history projects. The winners in the following award categories are:
Vivian Langan has served as President of the Roseboom Historical Association since 1997. She is credited with leading the renovation and restoration of the RHA meeting house and helping to revive the hamlet of Roseboom. Langan has been an active participant in historical preservation efforts throughout the region, serving on the SHAREIT committee in Cherry Valley and Sharon Springs, as a board member of Otsego 2000 in Cooperstown, and on the Route 20 Scenic Byway committee.
Renovation work on The Richfield Springs Clock was completed in the winter of 2005. The nearly three-year-long project, led by Richfield Springs Historical Association president Marjorie Walters, has restored the village landmark to its former beauty and working condition.
Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse
The SweetTooth Schoolhouse and Former Methodist Church, located in the hamlet of Pleasant Brook, opened in 2005 as a bakery and tearoom after extensive rehabilitation by owners Harriet and Richard Sessler. The rehabilitation of the buildings and the business they house have acted as a much needed catalyst for change in the once beautiful hamlet of Pleasant Brook.
The winners of the 2005 Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties were announced at a ceremony and reception at the Fly Creek Area Historical Society on May 27. Now in its seventh year, the Historic Preservation Awards program recognizes projects and people that demonstrate excellence in the area of historic preservation and local history projects. The winners in the following award categories are:
Anita Harrison has been town historian for the Town of Hartwick for nearly twenty years, and has served as President of the Hartwick Historical Society for 15 years. During her long tenure she has written grants to fund Historical Society projects, helped oversee a cultural resource survey for the Town of Hartwick, documented all the Town’s cemeteries, and was the editor of Hartwick: The Heart of Otsego County, a town history published for Hartwick’s bicentennial celebration in 2002.
Van Patten Hop House, located in the Town of Middlefield, dates from the 19th century when hops were a major agricultural industry in the region. Owners Ted and Mary Quinn received a grant from the New York State Barns Restoration and Preservation Program for rehabilitation of the hop house. Restoration contractor Jon Edgington used traditional hewing skills to make new sills and joinery to replace posts and beams. Missing or deteriorated building features were repaired or replicated to match the original materials and architectural features.
Beardslee Hop House, built circa 1865, is the last pyramidal roof, draft kiln hop house in the Town of Pittsfield. It is part of the Beardslee Homestead, which was named to the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2000. Rehabilitation of the hop house, completed in 2004, included foundation repair, sill replication and replacement, and restoration of the exterior board and batten siding.
Gilbert Lake State Park was recognized for the ongoing restoration and rehabilitation of cabins and other park features. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has undertaken this work to help preserve the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)—the primary engineers and laborers in the Laurens park. Through the preservation of park cabins and buildings, museum exhibits, and educational programs, the Gilbert Lake State Park and OPRHP staff have furthered stewardship of this important period in our nation’s history.
Richmondville Days is an hour-long video which chronicles the history of Richmondville through oral narratives by some of its oldest residents, historic film footage, and photographic documentation. The Richmondville Historical Society joined forces with film professional Dennis Shaw to produce the video. The video debuted at the Cobleskill-Richmondville High School in December of 2004.
J.H. Rushton row-and-sail boat Felicity dates from 1902 and has remained in the Otsego Lake area since that time. Owner Scottie Baker oversaw major restoration of the boat, which was completed in 2003. Felicity is currently on display at The Farmers’ Museum as part of the exhibit Mysteries of the Lake: Otsego Lake. . . Past and Present.
The Route 20 Pulse is a monthly paper published in Richfield Springs. Its regular features include pieces on the local history of towns along the stretch of Route 20 (between Duanesburg and Lafayette) currently under review for New York State Scenic Byway status. The paper has helped bring attention to the revitalization of Route 20 communities and the road’s unique history.
The winners of the 2004 Historic Preservation Awards were honored at a ceremony and reception at the Cherry Valley Old School Gymnasium in Cherry Valley on May 7. Now in its sixth year, the Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties program recognizes projects, organizations, and individuals that demonstrate excellence in the area of historic preservation and history projects. The winners in the following award categories are:
Frank Rollins, long-time Cooperstown resident, teacher, and photographer, was recognized for his outstanding work in photography. His work spans almost half a century and has captured the changing landscape of Otsego County through its landmarks, waterways, architecture, and farmland.
John Mott was recognized for his lifelong work in the areas of agriculture and historic documentation. A Hartwick native, John has carried his interest in the history of farming to careers at area public schools, Sturbridge Village, and The New York State Historical Association. Most recently he has volunteered his time to assist the Town of Hartwick Historical Association develop its photographic collection and provided photographs for the town’s recently published history, Hartwick: The Heart of Otsego County, NY.
Sandra Manko was honored for her record of service and leadership in the Town of Sharon. She has worked as Secretary for the Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as Vice-President for the Sharon Springs Free Library and as Secretary and Treasurer for the Sharon Historical Society. Her vision for the betterment of the town has led her to become involved in a variety of projects dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Sharon.
Underground Railroad Exhibit. The Cooperstown Graduate Program, the New York State Historical Association, and the students in the Cooperstown Elementary Fourth Grade Art Classes were honored for their art exhibit on the Underground Railroad, recently on display at the State Museum in Albany. To create historically appropriate scenes, elementary school students researched the history of the Underground Railroad and studied the artwork of African American artist Jacob Lawrence. The Cooperstown Graduate Program and the New York State Historical Association provided interpretive material for the exhibit and helped coordinate the project.
21 Railroad Avenue in Cooperstown was recognized for its rehabilitation. Built in 1902 as a wagon shop, the building has since served a number of commercial purposes. The property was purchased by Mike and Carol Manno in 2001 with plans for a comprehensive rehabilitation. The work was completed in 2003 and the property, once in disrepair and largely vacant, is now home to several businesses and serves as a showpiece for the village.
The home of George and Barbara Rutler was honored for its rehabilitation. Located on Route 29A in Springfield, the house is documented in Landmarks of Otsego County and is thought to be one of the oldest in the Springfield area. Rehabilitation work was done with an eye toward historically appropriate construction methods and materials.
Richfield Springs Historical Association for Richfield Springs: Past to Present
Town of Hartwick Historical Society for Hartwick: The Heart of Otsego County, NY
Glensfoot Century Barn
Jean Bakkom (Schohaire County)
Sally Mullen (Otsego County)
Town of Pittsfield: A History
Awards of Merit
Sandra Manko and Jean Bascom– A Touch of Nostalgia: Sharon Springs Spa
Marilyn E. Dufresne—Tri Valley: Cobleskill to Colliersville
The American Hotel
Andree and Daniel Conklin—English Barn
Award of Merit
The Greater Cherry Valley Chamber of Commerce—Lithia Fountain and Pavilion
Pati and Kevin Grady
Friends of Swart Wilcox
Orrin Higgins- Town of Hartwick
Cobbler & Co
Church of Christ Uniting
Queen Anne Style House, Sharon Springs
South Valley Women’s Club
“A Region of Romance”
Roseboom Historical Society
Sharon Historical Society