For those of you who are in some manner connected to Allegany and for those who have an interest in history, there is a coming opportunity for you. From September 19th to September 25th, the Allegany County History Week will occur, and on September 24-25th, a civil war reenactment will occur in Wellsville.
The Allegany Country History Week is a combination of various displays and events, across the county, relating to aspects of the area’s history. The event was put together by an assortment of local historians, historical societies, history enthusiast, and participating community members. It aims to help perpetuate and spread knowledge of this local history.
There are going to be numerous displays, events, and presentations in many of the county’s towns and villages. These include things as varied as displaying an old dress that was worn my someone at an event which included Abraham Lincoln, to people dressing in costume to portray old figures, to talks on local history, to displaying replicas of the Hamilton Burr Dueling Pistols.
The centerpiece of this week would likely be the display of the replica of the Hamilton-Burr Dueling Pistols. The original pistols had belonged John Barker Church, who was Hamilton’s brother-in-law. John Barker Church had spent part of his life living in Allegany County, in the Belvidere Mansion area built by his son Phillip Church. Phillip Church was a key figure involved in the development of Allegany County, whose accomplishments include the founding of Angelica, aiding in the development of local roads, canals, and railroads, and lobbying the state to have Allegany County created. The Hamilton Burr Dueling Pistols spent much of their post duel history at the Belvidere mansion. After the later generations of the Church family fell into economic hardship, the Mansion, the Pistols, and their remaining land was sold off. The pistols were purchased by Chase Bank in 1930. Local Historians attempted to borrow the pistols from JP Morgan Chase, but since they don’t lend out the actual pistols, the instead lent us replicas of the pistols. The Pistols will on display in Howe Library in Wellsville, September 21-24th, with 9AM to 3PM showings for school trips, and will have an opening to the broader public on September 24th.
Howe Library will also be hosting some of the other big events. On Wednesday, September 21st at 7Pm, Craig Braack will be giving a talk on the creation of county towns. On Thursday, September 22nd at 7PM, Jim Pomeroy will speak about the Genesee River Valley. On Friday, September 23rd at 7PM, Brendon Heaney will be doing a portrayal of John L. Sullivan.
In Cuba, Palmer Opera House will hold its Voices From Our Past show, on September 25th, from 2-4pm. This event will feature first person narratives from people portraying local historical characters, and be accompanied with the tune of old music.
On the weekend of September 23rd-25th, a civil war reenactment will be held at Island Park in Wellsville. This civil war reenactment is a continuation of a normally annual civil war reenactment in the area. Traditionally, this event has been in the town of Angelica, but this year it is being held in Wellsville. If it is like it has typically been, then you can see civil war reenactors engaging in reenactments of battles in which the historical 136th New York regiment (which had been largely built from this area’s population) had fought in during the civil war. There may also be tents and side displays of reenacting aspects of life during the civil war. From the looks of it, it will be largely similar to its previous years, except for its new location. Further information can be found on this website.
These events offer opportunities for both enjoyment and the learning of interesting historical information, for those who have the willingness and availability to attend them.