Grand Island, NY Since 1962
News Page 2012
PO Box 135
Grand Island, NY 14072
Previous Historical Society News Page
The Grand Island Historical Society restored and maintains the farm house
known as River Lea and located in Beaver Island State Park.
It was built on Lewis F. Allen's property, Allenton Farms,
by his son, W. Cleveland Allen. Today it is owned by New York State.
Directions To River Lea
Calendar of Events
Society Officers 2012- 2013
Grand Island Historical Society & River Lea History
Grand Island History - Published 1898 By Truman C. White
Jim Fisher's Avocational Archaeology & Lithic Technology Web Site
Grand Island History and Photos (Update 9/20/09)
River Lea Artists - Photos - Paintings - Artists James Edward Montanari - Eugene Matthew Dyczkowski ("Dick")
Historical Society Christmas Open House - December 2012
The Grand Island Historical Society will hold its Christmas open houses at its headquarters at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park. The building will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 2 and again on Sun., Dec. 9. The 1873 farmhouse will be completely decorated and will feature an old fashion store, a harpist both afternoons and refreshments will be served.
Fife & Drum Program at Historical Society Meeting - November 2012The Grand Island Historical Society will meet in River Lea in Beaver Island State Park at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1, 2012. Special guests will be "The Union Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps," a reenacting group performing military field music of the American Civil War. In addition, they will present a lecture/demonstration on the field music used during the Civil War as well as power point slide show of historical images. Refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome. See www.unionvolunteersfifeanddrum.com/ for more information.
Historical Society Holiday Luncheons - October. 2012The Grand Island Historical Society is hosting three holiday luncheons at River Lea on the following dates:
Tuesday, December 4
Friday, December 7
Saturday, December 8.
Maggie Gushue has planned a 40s themed fashion show. Reservations are being taken by Carol Moore, 773-3817. Also featured will be the Country Store that opens at 11 a.m. Luncheon is served at noon. Reservations $20 (prepaid).
Historical Society Open House - October. 2012
Mary Stewart Photo
The Grand Island Historical Society will hold an open house at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park. The building will be open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 21. Refreshments will be served.
Historical Society Slide Show - Birthday/Open House - September 2012
Slide Show by Mary Stewart
The Grand Island Historical Society celebrated its 50th anniversary Sunday, September 23, 2012 at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park. Styles of the 1960s, around the time of the Society's birth, were on display and modeled throughout the afternoon. Cake and punch were enjoyed by those attending the birthday party.
PLEASE NOTE: The November open house at River Lea has been cancelled.
Historical Society Birthday - Open House - Sept. 2012The Grand Island Historical Society will celebrate its 50th anniversary from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 23rd at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park. Docents will be on hand for tours, fashions from the 1960s will be featured and cake and punch will be served. Free to the public, come and enjoy the afternoon.
PLEASE NOTE: The November open house at River Lea has been cancelled
Town Proclamation: Grand Island Historical Society - Sept. 2012
(left) Historical Society officers Barbara Birt, Maggie Gushue, Councilmen Gary Roesch and Dick Crawford, Society Officers Shirley Luther, Sharon Nichols, Society President Curt Nestark and members Teddy Linenfelser and Jeri Benzing with Councilmen Chris Aronica and Ray Billica behind them.
In as much as the Grand Island Historical Society is celebrating 50 years - 1962 - 2012, it was proclaimed at the Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Town Board meeting that:
it is one of the most important assets a community can have, an organization that is dedicated to the preservation of the history of that community. In recognition of the dedicated efforts, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Society, the Town Board and Town of Grand Island proclaims the month of September, 2012, Grand Island Historical Society Month.
Click for larger view
Historical Society Potluck, Underground Railroad Program - Sept. 2012The Grand Island Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting on September 6, 2012 at River Lea Historic Farmhouse located in Beaver Island State Park. Featured will be a display of photos of Historical Society events throughout the years. A potluck dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7:30. The program for September features the well known local re-enactor, Denise Reichard. She will be doing a presentation called "Remembering the Underground Railroad", a collection of slave stories told through the eyes of a white woman. The program is free and open to the public. For information contact Adele Upton 716-773-5847.
Historical Society Members A Part of Paddles Up - Aug. 2012
Society Docents, posed on the River Lea dock, are (left) Maggie Gushue, Teddy Linenfelser, Melanie Perla, Jennifer Long, Jeri Benzing and Sally Hoffman.
Grand Island Historical Society member Maggie Gushue, shown waving to the boaters during Paddles Up Niagara.
Click photos for larger view
The Historical Society's dock in front of River Lea in Beaver Island State Park was the place to be for awhile on Saturday, July 28, 2012 as a good turnout of enthusiasts were out on the east Niagara River with kayaks and canoes during the 7th Annual Paddles Up Niagara. The Society hosted a picnic lunch in front of River Lea after the event. Chairing the picnic were Society President Curt Nestark and his wife, Kim. The Society was fortunate to have a display (traveling museum) from the newly formed Black Rock Historical Society. It included a very interesting, continuous playing DVD on Buffalo and the War of 1812, brought in by the Black Rock Society's founding member Doreen DeBoth.
Historical Society News - Root Beer Floats - July 2012The Grand Island Historical Society members will be offering root beer floats at the 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 24th town sponsored band concert at the gazebo in Marion Klingel Town Commons. The concert will feature "Steel-N-Effexx," a Caribbean Steel Drum group. A rain date has been set for Thursday, July 26th.
Historical Society Celebrates 50th Anniversary - June 2012
(left) President Curt Nestark and Teddy Linenfelser
Betty Killian and Shirley Luther
Grand Island Historical Society members celebrated the 50th anniversary of the organization's formation on Thursday, June 7 with a dinner and installation of officers.
Installing officer Suzanne Grafinger did the honors for President Curt Nestark and Corresponding Secretary Teddy Linenfelser and presented a long stemmed sunflower to each. Treasure Jim Brown was unable to attend.
Arrangements for the evening were planned by Adel Upton. It was announced that there are only two charter members still with us. They are Board Member Sharon Long Nichols who attended the celebration, and her sister, Barbara Long Zafuto.
The highlight of the program was the presentation of their lives by life-long Islanders Shirley Luther and Betty Killian, born in the early 1920s, who took turns sharing their life stories, some comical, some serious and also included Island history.
The occasion was topped off with an attractive anniversary cake.
US President Grover Cleveland's Grandson Visits River Lea - May 2012
Click photo for larger view
George Cleveland, grandson of US President Grover Cleveland, was on Grand Island on Saturday, May 12, 2012 to check out River Lea on the grounds of his great-uncle Lewis F. Allenís Allenton Farm. Grover Cleveland was the nephew of Lewis Allenís wife, Margaret. George Cleveland is a resident of Tamworth, New Hampshire and was making his first visit to Grand Island. Mr. Cleveland was the guest of Buffalo International School #198 Social Studies Teacher Rich Pyszczek who has worked with him several times over the past few years on various projects related to his famous grandfather. On hand to welcome George to River Lea were Grand Island Historical Society members pictured from left: Sharon Nichols, President Curt Nestark, Maggie Gushue and Mary Cooke.
Grand Island Historical Society Open House - May 2012River Lea in Beaver Island State Park will be open to the public from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 20th. The Lewis F. Allen farmhouse, headquarters for the Grand Island Historical Society, has much to offer in the way of Island history in photos, furnishing and memorabilia. Society members will be on hand to answer questions and offer information. Refreshments will be served.
What is "I Love My Park Day"? - May 2012
Show New York's State Parks Some Love - Saturday, May 5th!
Historical Society Open House In Beaver Island State Park
"I Love My Park Day" is an exciting, new, statewide event to improve and enhance New York's state parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire state park system and its needs. Thousands of volunteers from across the state will participate in cleanup, improvement and beautification events at New York State parks and historic sites. Volunteers will celebrate New York's state park system by cleaning up park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects.
See NYS Parks for details.
The Grand Island Historical Society will hold an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012 in its headquarters in Beaver Island State Park. The public is cordially invited and refreshments will be served.
Historical Society Meeting - May 2012The Grand Island Historical Society will hold its monthy meeting on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 7:30 P.M. at River Lea Historic Farmhouse located in Beaver Island State Park. The guest speaker will be Grand Island resident, Charles LaChiusa, with a power point presentation on "The 10 Best Buildings in Buffalo." All programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Grand Island Historical Society Open House - April 2012
Beautiful view from River Lea - Mary Cooke Photo - click for larger view
River Lea in Beaver Island State Park will be open to the public from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 15th. The Lewis F. Allen farmhouse, headquarters for the Grand Island Historical Society, has much to offer in the way of Island history in photos, furnishing and memorabilia. Society members will be on hand to answer questions and offer information. Refreshments will be served.
Grover Cleveland's 175th Birthday - 2012
Jeri Benzing (left) and Adel Upton (Click for larger view)
"Grover's Birthday Slide Show" by Mary Stewart
A continuous crowd toured the Grand Island Historical Society's headquarters in Beaver Island State Park on Sunday, March 18 to view the many Grover Cleveland collectibles and memorabilia presented by the American Political Collectors (APIC), and The Association for a Buffalo Presidential Center (ABPC).
Historical Society Meeting - April 2012The Grand Island Historical Society will hold its monthy meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, 2012 at the River Lea Historic Farmhouse located in Beaver Island State Park. The guest speaker will be Doug Kohler, Erie County Historian, speaking on "Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Symbols." All programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Celebration of Grover Cleveland's 175th Birthday - Historical Society - March 18, 2012
The Grand Island Historical Society, the American Political Collectors (APIC), and The Association for a Buffalo Presidential Center (ABPC) will celebrate Grover Cleveland's 175th birthday. The occasion includes a special Open House at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18, 2012 when photos, documents, and collectables will be on display.