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Our Facilities

  • Museum and Research Room
    • Occupies the lower level of the former Presbyterian Church
    • Contains artifacts from life in the Town of Gorham, mostly from the Civil War era to the early 1900s with some earlier including Native American items
    • Research resources include information about cemeteries, veterans, schools, churches, organizations, and individuals.
    • Open Wednesdays, 12pm - 4pm. Open 12pm - 6pm on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. We are closed on holidays and days that the Marcus Whitman Central School is closed due to weather issues. 
    • There is no charge to view any of our documents, photos, maps, etc. at our facility. 
    • There is no admission fee and you do not have to be a member.
    • You are free to use your personal camera and/or scanner to record material (except when prohibited by copyright laws).
    • If you request paper copies, the first 5 copies are free and $.25 per copy thereafter.
  • Post Office Building
    • Served the hamlet of Gorham in the early 1900s, it was moved to the museum grounds and restored in 2003.
    • Houses artifacts honoring Gorham’s agricultural heritage.
    • Open seasonally during museum hours.
  • Lt. Neal D. Curtis Aerial Observation Building
    • During WWII this building was on Rt. 18 near Reed Corners.  Volunteers scanned the skies and reported sightings of airplanes.  It was moved to the museum grounds and restored in 2009.
    • Contents are representative of what was in the building during WWII, including charts for identifying airplanes and a phone.  Also the building contains a tribute to the men from the Town of Gorham who lost their lives serving our country during WWII.
    • Open seasonally during museum hours.

 

Our Projects

  • Acquisition and maintenance of artifacts relevant to the history of the Town of Gorham.  Accession records are being computerized.
  • Acquisition and maintenance of information about Town of Gorham individuals and organizations.  To provide easier access to this information, a central index is being computerized beginning with cemetery records.
  • Publication of a quarterly 8-page New Age newsletter.  Click here for a free sample copy.
  • Annual Civil War Day for fifth graders of the Marcus Whitman School District.
  • Tours and educational programs for school age children.
  • Ongoing project to document all veterans from the Town of Gorham from the Revolutionary War to present service.  Click here to submit information for a veteran.  Several binders of veteran information are available in our research room.
  • Upkeep of the inactive cemeteries of the Town of Gorham.  Four binders of cemetery records from the Gorham area are available in our research room.  A computerized index of these records is in process.
  • Maintenance of the museum’s Memorial Garden.

 

How You Can Help

  • Volunteer
    • At the museum – please stop in any Wednesday afternoon.
    • At your home – there are plenty of ways you can help from home.
    • You do NOT have to have computer skills, but some projects utilize computers.
    • Tasks include but are not limited to:
      • Indexing
      • Researching/writing articles for our newsletter
      • Filing and organizing
      • Preparing exhibits or presentations
      • Joining us for coffee and treats at break time on Wednesdays.
    • You may write your own job description.  If you have a interest in a particular church, organization, property, or family, we have a project for you.
  • Donate artifacts
    • We welcome donation of artifacts and photos relevant to the history of the Town of Gorham. Please think of us when “cleaning house.” 
    • “Old” artifacts are great, but even contemporary items can help document our history for future generations.
  • Allow us to make copies of documents or photos
    • You may have cherished photographs or documents that you do not want to donate.  Please contact us – we would welcome the opportunity to make copies for our files.
  • Become a member or donate
    • Your membership ($8 per year) and/or donation helps us continue our projects.
    • Members receive 4 issues of our 8-page New Age newsletter per year. Click here for a membership/donation form.
    • Members who provide their email address receive a monthly email with meeting agenda, minutes of last meeting, and our latest news.
  • Attend our monthly meetings
    • All are welcome.
    • Our monthly business meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6pm in the Hazel McNamara Room next to our museum.
    • Lower level of the former Presbyterian Church, 2664 Rt 245, Gorham, NY. 

 

Our History

“We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”  Many of our artifacts and documents were acquired by prior local societies and historians.

  • A previous Town of Gorham Historical Society was active from 1961 to 1972.
    • Its museum was above the Gorham Free Library on South Street between the Town Hall and the Odd Fellows building.  
    • Its initial officers included Robert Moody, Chairman; Marion Thomas, President; Gerald Gage, Vice President; Luella Pulver, Secretary; Kenneth Roat, Treasurer; Marion Decker, Publicity Chairman; Molly Melious, Curator; Grace Oswald, Assistant Curator.  
    • In 1972 the officers decided to change the focus and name of the society.
  • The Marcus Whitman Historical Society operated from 1972 to 1988.  
    • This society focused on an area based on the Marcus Whitman Central School District which is significantly larger than the Town of Gorham. 
    • The provisional charter names Robert Moody, William Meredith, Hazel McNamara, Arlene Angell, June Pendleton, Gertrude Kohring, Richard Rankin, James Makepeace, Caleste Robson, and Winifred Rankin.
    • The June 5, 1974 newsletter is the first to list officers: Mrs. Edward E. Kennedy, President; William Myers, Vice President; Mrs. Gordon Hoffman, Secretary; Mrs. Charles Robson, Treasurer; Mrs. A. L. Kohring, Publicity Chairman; Robert E. Moody, Newsletter Editor; Directors James Makepeace, William Bigham, and Harold Carr; Robert Watkins, Past President; Honorary Member of Executive Committee: Rev. Marian M. Thomas and Robert E. Moody; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stone, Curators.
    • We have a complete collection of the society’s newsletters which were published four times a year. 
    • Due to deterioration of the museum building on South Street, the museum contents were gradually moved to storage beginning in 1984.  In 1985 an area along the north wall of the lower level of the former Presbyterian Church was made available for some artifacts. 
    • In 1986 and 1987 items were still being moved from the old museum to the new location.  In late 1987, the former museum building on South Street was demolished.
  • The Town of Gorham Historical Society was formed and chartered in 2002.
    • The initial impetus for reforming the society was to save the old post office building which now sits happily on our museum grounds.
    • The initial officers included: Laurie Turner, President; Nancy Rebmann, Secretary; Sharon Cornelius, Treasurer; Allyson Adam-Anderson, Director of Public Relations; and Directors Thomas Bay, Peter Cornelius, and Donald Blodgett.
    • We have a complete collection of the society’s New Age newsletter which is published four times a year.
  • Town of Gorham Historians have contributed mightily to the preservation and research of our area’s history.  Our Town Historians have included:
    • Bob Moody (? To 1966)
    • Molly Melious (1966 to 1970)
    • Bob Moody (1971 to 1992)
    • Molly Melious (1992 to 2008)
    • George Henry (2008 to present).