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A Look Back: Simon Brothers Clothing Dressed the People of Springville


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to one of the great stores that we had in Springville,  many will remember the Simon Brothers Clothing store. Who shopped there for back to school clothes and shoes? Or for a wedding?  A special event? Well, let’s learn how it all started with a dream of two young boys, barely into their teens, who ... Read More »

A Look Back: Pan Am Expo in Buffalo Showcased World’s Technology and Culture


For the past few weeks, the focus of this column has been on fairs. One of the largest fairs — which I am going to write about this week — was the Pan American Exposition that took place from May 1 through Nov. 2, 1901 on 350 acres in Buffalo. This fair highlighted many cultures and new achievements of the ... Read More »

New York State Fair Traces Roots to 1841

By Jolene Hawkins As I continue to research the history of fairs, next on my list was the Great New York State Fair. I was amazed to discover the first State Fair was held Sept. 29 and 30, 1841 in Syracuse. One reason the village of Syracuse was selected was because it was the center of farming interests in New ... Read More »

Continuing to Look Back at the Erie County Fair


By Jolene Hawkins By 1874, the Erie County Fair had the need for a permanent place. The Society appointed a five-member committee and, by 1875, the Society had agreed on a contract with the Hamburg Driving Association to lease its grounds. Where before they had met without charge, now the annual fee was $50 a year, as long as the ... Read More »

A Look Back: The Erie County Fair in Springville


There’s something special about a good old-fashioned county fair. Farmers, crafters, and families come together to celebrate regional agriculture and much more.  Did you realize that there are over 50 County Fair and 4-H fairs, starting in July and running through the fall? Every weekend, somewhere in the state of New York is a fair— sometimes they overlap each other ... Read More »

A Look Back: Methodist Roots in Area Date Back to 1814


Looking back through the history of the Methodist Church, I came across this old photo of the Methodist Choir from 1889.  Isn’t it awesome?! Plus, we know who the people are as well so we can include their names in the caption! Now let’s learn all about this church! As early as 1814, the Methodists were having regular services in ... Read More »

A Look Back: The Salem Lutheran Church


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to 1870 here in Springville, we had a large number of German Lutheran families who settled in and were established in business or engaged in farming. In 1871, the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church was officially organized. Rev. F.W. Schmidt was the pastor and a constitution was drawn up with the signatures of Carl Joerns, Henry ... Read More »

A Look Back: East Concord’s Freewill Baptist Church


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to the year 1853, in East Concord, the Free Baptist church had the gift of land from Jared Davis to build a church on.  Before that, for 30 years, they had met in various school houses that were in the area. The new church rose, beam by beam, graced with eight stained glass windows and ... Read More »

A Look Back: The Universalist Church


By Jolene Hawkins Who has noticed the beautiful round stained glass window in the peak of the Lucy Bensley Center?  Wait, I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s learn the history of the Universalist Church, whose window it is. The first Universalist Church was organized in 1846 by Rev. I George , Abram Dygert, I B Childs, and Jonathan Mayo. ... Read More »

A Look Back: Springville’s Presbyterian Church


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to 1816 — what was happening? Well, James Monroe was elected president, it was known as the year without a summer, Indiana was admitted as the 19th state and, here in Springville, Father Spencer and nine others created the Congregational Church. The first meetings were held in a log schoolhouse. By 1821 the membership had ... Read More »

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