Washington Historical Society
Fall 1999 Newsletter Articles


Dear Members and Friends:

The Washington Historical Society is winding down a busy, but very successful 1999 season:

Our Program Committee brought in some outstanding speakers for our monthly meetings, which drew record attendance. The Potluck Suppers, offering a diverse menu of scrumptious food, have grown into a major monthly social event.

Our Museum Committee and our Archivist organized and presented a whole new exposition of historical artifacts. Every year visitors to the District # 5 school house in East Washington, as well as the Museum, are growing in numbers. We are pleased with their help in identifying names and faces in our collection of photographs.

The Society's participation in the 4th of July Flea Market, Old Home Days weekend, and our ``Sidewalk Café: at the Rhoades' Farm during Wool Days'' were well rewarded with much needed revenue to support the Society's objectives.

Sidewalk Café: at the Rhoades' Farm during Wool Days
(click to enlarge)

You can just imagine the look of surprise and pleasure on my face when a Float secretly put together by John and Shirley Siciliano and Jack Burns took first prize in the Old Home Days Parade;

Shirley Siciliano in the Old Home Days Parade
(click to enlarge)

As we all know, the Society is blessed with an active and supportive membership. The officers of the Society and myself extend our sincere gratitude to all of you who have worked so diligently on behalf of our organization. Our thanks also to all those members who faithfully support the Society with their annual dues and special financial gifts. The Board of Directors and I express our special appreciation to Sue Bermudez, who is stepping down as Secretary of the Society after many years service. Please welcome Sue Hofstetter as our new secretary. Our very special thanks to Dorothy Thompson who has retired as the Dean'' of the Board of Directors. I wonder what a Board of Directors meeting will be like without Dorothy! Please welcome Marcellus Liotta, our new Board member.

As we analyze the history of the Historical Society to date, we can feel justifiably proud of its accomplishments. But, as we enter the new millennium, we know that there is still much work still to be done. I hope I can continue to call on the Society's faithful membership to meet our future goals. On behalf of our officers, directors and Museum Committee, may I extend best wishes to you and your families for a healthy and joyous Holiday Season.

Al Krygeris


What a wonderful season our Museum enjoyed in 1999! We hosted over 162 visitors from July 4th through September 6th. Our members and friends donated 453 volunteer hours as museum hosts, in maintenance, landscaping, display preparation, etc. We are indebted to our helpers. To all of you, our sincere thanks.

Once again, this year the Museum Committee gratefully received many new artifacts and historical items donated by members and friends. Among them were old maps, antique dolls, deeds, books, dishes, photos, and more. These gifts are now being cataloged, registered, and prepared for exposition next year. We appeal to you all to donate items of historical significance in the town of Washington to the Society. They will be well cared for, loved and protected.

The Museum Gift Shop does a thriving business in Season, selling arts, crafts, historical and other kinds of items. Would you consider making something this winter for sales next season? Items can be made or donated to the Society or sold on consignment. Please contact the Museum Committee for more information.

The Committee is already looking forward to the 2000 season. The major display will be items from the 20th century. Also, 2 special exhibit days with demonstration are planned - quilting and quilts, and spinning and weaving. The dates have not been decided yet. More of this in the Spring Newsletter.

For the Committee:
Vivian Hunter
Mary Krygeris
Shirley Siciliano, Chairperson


District #5 School and Pond
(click to enlarge)

In 1999, the East Washington Schoolhouse celebrated its 150th year. It was constructed in 1849. In 1851, the State Board of Education called it a model schoolhouse. It has seen a few, but not many modifications through the years. One of the changes this year was roll-up shades added to the windows in the classroom. It was felt that this would cut down on the fading of the items on display.

During the Old Home Days in August this year, a special class was held with Elinor Johnson as teacher. Miss Johnson was in period dress and brought many props to share with the audience. She spoke about going to school back in the good old days'' and some of the customs. The Program was informative and enjoyed by all.

The Schoolhouse was open on Saturday from 1-3 during the months of July and August. There were 55 who signed the guest book, though several others visited without signing. The building was opened several times by request. It is rare to see a 150-year old antiquity in such pristine condition. For those of you who have not visited this historic place, please plan to do so next year.

A ``bird's eye'' view of the Washington Center of yesteryear
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Tipping Rock at Ayer's Pond
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