By Jennifer Weber
One of the many, wonderful first impressions of Springville that my husband and I had when moving to this area several years ago was the opportunity for nerds like ourselves to get lost in and explore several historical museums, right around the corner from each other. Sure, most towns have a Historical Society, but the Concord Historical Society includes an entire campus of buildings including the Pop Warner Museum, Concord Mercantile, Heritage Building and the Lucy Bensley Genealogy Library.
If you grew up in the Springville area, chances are good you visited one of these places as a student, but when was the last time you stepped foot inside as a grown-up? You might be surprised at what you find and how long you stay and wander once you see what’s inside.
Pop Warner Museum/Concord Historical Museum, 98 East Main Street, Springville, www.facebook.com/WarnerMuseum
The Pop Warner/Concord Historical Museum has a wide variety of historical items on display including china, tools, spinning wheels, fire paraphernalia, pump organ, furniture and the collection of local legend Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner displays of football memorabilia, personal items, and his Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame ring. Please call (716) 592-0094 for hours of operation.
Concord Mercantile/Heritage Building, 17 Franklin Street, Springville.
The Concord Mercantile is a charming historical recreation of an old time General Store and offers musical entertainment twice a week and a place for crafters to sell their wares and educational opportunities every second Saturday. Please call (716) 592-0094 for hours of operation.
Save the Date for the Heritage Building Grand Opening on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 12-3 p.m. The official ribbon cutting will be held at 12:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be offered. The Heritage Building will provide visitors with a walk down Main Street during the 1920-1960s past the Leland House, Joylan Theater, Schuster Garage and Kuhn’s Drug Store and much more.
Lucy Bensley Center, Genealogy Library, 23 North Buffalo Street, Springville, www.facebook.com/LucyBensleyCenter
The Lucy Bensley Center, otherwise known as the old public library or the old Universalist Church (you can still see the stain glass window that was put up there in 1897), provides genealogy research both in house at the library and online with several workstations available offering free access to ancestry.com as well as digital access to all the past Springville newspapers. Hours of Operation: Tues-Wed-Thu from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month from 2-4 p.m. For more information call (716) 592-0094.
In addition to the museums the Concord Historical Society also hosts the annual Fiddler’s Green Bluegrass and Music Festival in July and Concord Country Christmas in December. The Concord Historical Society and all the buildings are completely run by volunteers, and are always looking for like-minded individuals to join them. For more information visit www.concordnyhistoricalsociety.org
Echoes Through Time Civil War Learning Center, 45 East Main Street, Springville , www.echoesthroughtime.org
The Echoes Through Time Learning Center is the only Civil War museum in Western New York and the only museum in New York State dedicated to the history of the American Civil War era. The Learning Center provides a wide variety of educational programs, living history demonstrations, local & regional tours, cemetery tours and historic & battlefield tours.
On the last Wednesday of every month, Echoes Through Time presents a historical speaker program at the Lucy Bensley Center. Past speakers have included living history reenactors portraying General Lee and General Grant. The next lecture will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. and will be about the medical practices during the Civil War. For those unable to attend, the Lucy Bensley Center records the lecture on video and archives for future viewings. For more information, plan a living history program, or volunteer please call (716) 870-0174.