DEC2015 - page 3

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Attendance at the Jell-O Gallery
this year, for the first time in many
years, has dipped below 10,000 and
gift shop sales have also declined,
although figures for October and
November exceeded last year, so
maybe things are on the upswing.
During the first week in January,we
will bedoingour gift shop inventory.
T-shirts continue to be popular, but
we are looking for some newmer-
chandise to brighten the shelves in
the gift shop. If you have sugges-
tions,giveusacall.
The two large nut trees that
flanked the driveway behind LeRoy
House have been removed. Both
were quite rotten, and although
they provided a vast condominium
for several generations of squirrels,
they threatened thebackporch roof,
as well as a problem every time the
snow and wind brought down an-
other limb across the driveway. The
woodwas carted away for firewood.
We still have three more trees to
remove thiswinter thatare threaten-
ing theLittleLeaguefieldhouse.
This year, the LeRoy Central High
School released all of the students
foravolunteerworkday,and twenty
students arrived bright and early
one morning and worked tirelessly.
They cleaned up the gardens and
rakes and carted leaves. Several of
the girls scraped and painted the
metal fence posts in the front yard
and the two garden benches. An-
other group helped move boxes
of archival material from the third
floor of LeRoy House down to the
secondfloor, so it canbe sortedand
arranged. Other boxes of materials
were moved to the second floor of
theAcademicBuilding.Wearesoap-
preciativeof theirhelpandcertainly
look forward to their helpnext year.
What a wonderful way of giving
back to their community.
Bill Fox replaced the boards be-
hind the gutters on the back porch
of LeRoy House and new gutters
and downspouts were installed to
alleviate the problems caused with
heavy rain. In addition, all the shut-
ters have been removed andwill be
repaired andpainted thiswinter.We
havealso receivedaquote fromStaf-
fordPainters topaint thebackporch
louvers, so hopefully the porch will
once againbe an attractive place to
sit and enjoy the gardens. We also
hope tohave snow cleats placedon
the roof of the front porch to avoid
the“avalanche“ofmeltingsnow that
weexperienced last year.
In November, I presented a short
programatGeneseeCountryVillage,
about thework that I have beendo-
ing with Charlotte LeRoy’s manu-
script receipt book. This is the only
glimpse thatwehaveof Jacob’swife
and I hope that it will reveal a bit
about who she was and her way of
life. Wedoknow that about adozen
of the recipes are Dutch, probably
coming fromherhusband’s family.
One of the recipes is for “puf-
fets” which are small little plump
pancakes,usuallymixedwithbuck-
wheat flour, and baked in a special
pan. I was fortunate to find one of
these long handled pans – which
also resembles an escargot pan - -
From theDeskof theDirector
Many years ago, when I worked
at Genesee Country Museum, I met
Donna Russell of Fairport. She
mentioned tome thatshehada fam-
ilydiary that hadbeen rescued from
the terriblefloods inCorning in1972.
The diary had been written by Na-
thanialWatsonwho livednear LeRoy
from 1816 to 1856. I remember that
sheallowedme toborrow the fragile
diaryand Iwasable togo toRoches-
ter to theGenesee Brewery office to
make copies.Theyhada largeKodak
copierthatcopiedthe large formatof
thediary. It took a coupleofmonths
-apageata time - -amonthoneach
page - -fiftyyears.Thefivecopiesare
in thefilesatGeneseeCountryMuse-
um, the Genesee County Historian’s
office, the LeRoy Historical Society,
and I personallyhaveacopy.
I began to transcribe the diary, but
that was before I had a computer, so
the transcription is inmy handwriting
inaspiralnotebook.Transcribing the
diary onto a computer file will be a
good winter project. The diary isn’t
particularly “chatty”but it chronicles
thedailyworkof anearly settler. The
first entries in 1816 are of particular
interestbecausethatyearwasknown
as“theyearwithout a summer.”Akill-
ing frost occurred every month
because of the “volcanic winter”
causedby themassive1815eruption
ofMt.Tambora in Indonesia. Inaddi-
tion toNathaniel’s diary, Donna also
donated a collectionof other diaries
from the family. It is truly a treasure
troveof information.
at the Hobby Horse Shop on Main
Street. Thispannow sits in theLeRoy
kitchen in the basement next to the
waffle iron and the wafer iron and
will bepartof thenew interpretation
of the Dutch influence on American
cookingandMrs.LeRoy’sbook.
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