LeRoy Historical Society - page 2

Page 2
On October 22, I had the privilege
of speaking to the Mid Atlantic As-
sociation of Museums at their annual
meeting held this year in Washing-
ton, D.C. The topic, “A National Trea-
sure Discovered in a Small Museum
Becomes Part of the Collection of the
U.S. Senate: A story of collaboration,
deaccessioning, conservation and
politics,” was based on the Henry
Clay painting that the Historical So-
ciety donated to the U.S. Senate five
years ago.
I was joined by Amy Elizabeth
Burton, Assistant Curator at the U.
S. Senate. Our hour presentation in-
cluded the 20-minute DVD that was
produced by her office for the dedi-
cation of the painting four years ago.
After our presentation, Amy and I
walked back to the Senate wing of
the Capitol and I had the chance to
see Henry again and observe the
remarkable work being done in the
Senate antechamber where four
years ago, we had dinner. The room
is embellished with gold leaf and re-
markable images of prominent sena-
tors. It is undergoing restoration,
under the watchful eyes of Barbara
Ramsay, who supervised the resto-
ration of the Henry Clay painting.
Unfortunately, my schedule did not
allow me to attend other sessions of
the conference, but it certainly was
an honor to be selected to share the
story of our painting.
About three years ago, we were
aware that there was a leak in one
of the overhead steam pipes in the
basement, however this past spring
it became evident that we could not
go another winter without repairs.
Finally, a few weeks ago, the repairs
were made just in time for the cold
weather to set in and the LeRoy
House is ready for a long cold winter.
Themaintenance committeewill be
doing an assessment of both build-
ings this fall and putting together a
list of repairs and projects that will
need to be done. It will include paint-
ing the back porch,repairing the back
porch pillars, painting the garden
trellises, repairing the ceiling in the
front parlor, painting the basement
floor, replacing electrical switches,
and replacing the telephone lines to
the Academic Building..
From the Director
Best Wishes
for a
Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year,
from all of us here
at the
Historical
Society
A most unusual collection of 19th
century reproduction games have
been donated to the Historical Soci-
ety by Dr. Judy Jensen, former faculty
member of the Physical Education
Department of SUNY Brockport. I
first met Judy while I was working at
Genesee Country Museum in the late
1970s. Judy led a group of volunteers
who shared their enthusiasm for 19th
century games on the Village Square.
It was Judi who introduced me to
Town Ball and soon I organized the
Slab City Sluggers and took our team
on the road to a handful of minor
league stadiums, including a memo-
rable game played at the old Red
Wing Stadium on Norton Street in
Rochester. Judi provided immeasur-
able research and information. Judi
also introduced me to Quoits, a game
played very much like horseshoes. I
made a pilgrimage to nearby Water-
loo, which boasts that it is the Quoits
Capital of World. My father was one
of Judy’s dedicated volunteers and
became an expert of “Cat’s Cradle,”
a manipulative game played with a
circle of string. My dad never went
anywhere without a string for cat’s
cradle in his pocket. When I needed
information about the physical edu-
cation program at Ingham University,
Judy was able to provide background
information about the faculty and
the contributions of many of the
alumnae. Judy has donated her col-
lection with the stipulation that they
“are played with.” This past summer,
when the weather was nice, we had
our skittles game set up on the back
porch, and folks spent time enjoying
playing a game that has no batter-
ies or cords attached. With the addi-
tion of Judy’s games, we hope to of-
fer many more games for people to
try. And we will schedule a couple of
“family days”at the LeRoy House,with
quoits, croquet, and even a game of
town ball on the Little League field.
Our house docents will be learning
how to play many of the games, in-
cluding Crokinole, which I purchased
on last year’s trip to St. Jacob’s Mar-
ket in Canada. (I just bought on Ebay,
a small booklet with Crokinole rules,
which was printed in Pennsylvania.)
In addition to the games, Judy will
be donating a library of books and
her extensive research files, with the
understanding that the library and
files will be accessible to anyone in-
terested in doing research. Judy will
join us for our annual meeting in May
and share some of her thoughts on
how our traditions of playing have
changed. The Historical Society is
very fortunate to be the caretaker of
this significant collection and we are
looking forward to sharing it.
We are presently “under construc-
tion” in the Academic Building. The
lower hall and winter entrance, are
literally torn up while the bricks are
being repointed. This project should
have been done when we moved
into the Academic Building, but
funds were not available. And it’s not
that funds were available now, but
the mortar had so disintegrated, that
it was making a mess and we felt that
it was not a very inviting way to greet
our visitors. Ray Brockwho rebuilt the
front steps of LeRoy House agreed to
undertake this project. Unfortunate-
ly, it was necessary to remove most
of the mortar and the job has taken
much longer than originally thought
but we should be able to reopen the
hall in a few days. The second part of
project is to rebuild a section of the
north wall in the basement that was
ready to collapse into the transporta-
tion exhibit.
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