Irishtown 2003

New York
Irish History in Essex County
Town of Minerva, New York

Minerva Historical Society

Irishtown 2003


The Minerva Historical Society:

Minerva Historical Society
      Located in Old Methodist Church
      Olmstedville, NY
      Photo by EEHealyThe Minerva Historical Society was formed on March 22, 1955. It is a non-profit, educational organization, formed to promote public interest in Minerva' and Irishtown area history and folklore.

The Old Methodist church building in the center of Olmstedville was deeded to the Society in 1979 and in 1981 the "new" museum was opened to the public. 

The Museum has two permanent exhibits:
The Tree of Life Mural with charts and files for researching ancestry of the original settlers of the Minerva and Irishtown area and a complete set of prints of artist Winslow Homers' original oils and water colors done in the Minerva area. Each year the museum has a different theme and display.

Minerva Historical Society
Minerva Historical Society
Children's Education Event

The Museum is open from July 4th to Labor Day, Tuesday thru Sunday, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and is Handicap Accessible

The members of Historical Society have also compiled two volumes of in-depth history on Irishtown and the Town of Minerva.
Each covers the evolution of Irishtown and the Town of Minerva to the smallest detail. These are filled with information regarding the documented history of the Town.

Volume One: 1817-1967
Beginning at the Towns founding through 1967

Volume Two: 1817-1985 Supplement. 

A Quarterly Newsletter also has been published and is available for sale at Sullivans Sporting Goods, Lemon Potpourri, the Museum in Olmstedville and Murdies General Store in Minerva.


Dan Berggren Dedication CD

This collection of songs of Irishtown, Olmstedville, Leonardsville and Minerva celebrates the people of the Town of Minerva in Essex County, NY, the 50th anniversary of the Minerva Historical Society and the 20th anniversary of Sleeping Giant Records with 12 originals and 3 traditional songs --- 7 previously unreleased recordings.
Proceeds benefit the Minerva Historical Society.

Click on CD or Order CD's From
Sleeping Giants Records
99 Grove Street
Ballston Spa, NY 12020 USA


Museum Minerva Day 2005

Museum Minerva Day 2004


Museum Minerva Day 2004


Irishtown School House



Excerpt From Quarterly Newsletter:

Each Quarterly Newsletter is full of interesting facts and stories about the history and people that made history so exciting to remember in the Adirondack Region of New York State.  Below we post a portion of the current newsletter. 

As a member of the Minerva Historical Society you can receive your very own copy with the complete text.  Many folks have saved each issue over the years. They make wonderful reading and reference material about the 'ole days' past.

From Newsletter Editor:

Barbara Curtis generously donated a shawl to the Historical Society. The shawl is black wool or linen fabric and measures about 6 feet by 11 feet and has a fringe. It is approximately 200 years old and belonged to Anna Gates. Anna Gates came here from Hartford, NY in 1812 when she married Lenox West, of the first settlers in the Minerva area. Barbara also had a tin type photo of Anna which we took a picture of. Thank you Barbara for this wonderful piece of history. We appreciate it very much.

Anna Gates West

200 yr. old Shawl

Our guest speaker at our January meeting was Marty Podskoch. We had the pleasure of a visual and oral history of many of the Adirondack fire towers.

Life working on the fire towers was extremely challenging and very isolated. It was a hardship that many of us could not imagine, but those who did it seemed to enjoy it very much. I am not so sure about the families who went along to spend extended periods of time in such remote locations, especially children. Life was tough but the scenery was breathtaking.

There was audience participation by three of our local residents who worked at the fire towers, Kerry and Joyce Killon and Dave Gregory. They had a lot to share about their experiences and we all enjoyed hearing their stories. We also had an impromptu play starring Bob Savarie, Ed Healy, and Dave Gregory, directed by Mary Podsckoch, our presenter.

Thank you Marty, for the interesting presentation and to our very own Minerva fire tower observers Kerry Killon and Dave Gregory.

A view from the woman’s side was a special treat as shared by Joyce Killon. Kerry brought along his new bride, Joyce, to the fire tower on Vanderwhacker Mountain. This was quite an experience for a woman and especially a new bride, not your idea of a traditional honeymoon setting.

In Joyce’s own words these were without a doubt the best years of their life together. Joyce’s story is the first in our new section “OUR TOWN” which will feature articles by local contributors.
(See April 2005 Newsletter for more.)


Membership Minerva Historical Society
Members Receive
A Quarterly Magazine-Newspaper
Access to Archives and Research Materials

The Minerva Historical Society meets the fourth Tuesday of January, April, July and October (depending on what day Halloween falls on) at 7:00 PM at the Minerva Town Hall with a guest speaker, program and refreshments.

The Minerva Historical Society works hard for the community in many ways. They give a substantial scholarship to a graduate of Minerva Central School each year. They have an essay and art contest for the grades K-3 and 4-5, with money prizes, and certificates to the winners each year They have a lecture program that is available every 3 months.

They maintain the cemetery on Federal Flats Road and the One Room Schoolhouse in Irishtown which is now being renovated, and which was solely paid for with contributions from the local citizens.

The Museum also participates in the Minerva Day celebration each fourth of July. The Museum is open Wednesday thru Sunday in July and August at 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.


Support the Minerva Historical Society
Subscribe to the Newsletter
Download Application and Mail Today

Member Application:

Name _________________________________

Address _______________________________

City __________________________________

State ____________________ Zip __________

Email Address ___________________________
[Give E-mail address so we can send you the Quarterly in pdf format.]
Please help us save by receiving your Quarterly by email.

Historical Society Dues Structure:
[Every level except LIFE is a per year donation.]

[  ]  Individual & Couple  $15.00
[  ]  Contributing  $30.00
[  ]  Sustaining  $50.00
[  ]  Supporting  $100.00
[  ]  Patron  $200.00
[  ] LIFE Membership $1000.00

Please make checks payable to:
Minerva Historical Society
c/o Peggy Lanphear
11 Stewart Road
Minerva, NY 12851

[Membership Renewal Due in January]


Christmas Tree 2010

Christmas Music 2010

Syracuse University Library
Special Collections Research Center

  Optional Background Music - Grandfather's Clock
by John Kirk & Trish Miller
Fiddle Tunes of the North Country

Member of Capital Celtic Network

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