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Spafford residents celebrate 200 years

With sunny skies and musical vibes, dozens of area residents ventured out to Lourdes Camp Saturday to take part in the Town of Spafford’s bicentennial celebration.

As musical guest Tom Barnes kicked things off with some acoustic tunes, attendees of all ages were seen enjoying food and drinks throughout the site.

Gordon Ireland, chairman of the Town of Spafford bicentennial committee, said the event had been about three years in the making, along with a town history book and a commemorative throw. Both items were for sale during the event, and can also be purchased at the town hall.

Although the celebration was held on Saturday, Ireland said the town’s origin actually dates back to April 8, 1811. However, the four-and-a-half month delay didn’t stop people from celebrating as seats continued to fill up.

Ireland said he was hopeful of the event’s success.

“I think we’ll have a fairly good turnout throughout the day,” he said.

Lillian Craig, who lived in Spafford for 39 years before moving to McGraw, attended Saturday’s event with her daughter Marilynn Inman. Craig said she wanted to take part in the celebration as her family was always very active in the Spafford Fire Department, noting that Inman is still a member of the Spafford Auxiliary. Both said they were enjoying themselves with Craig specifically observing the “breezy” weather.

Although not a resident of Spafford, Frank Lader of Rochester said he came out for the bicentennial event in honor of his ancestors who had all lived in the town. Lader said his father, grandparents, and great-grandparents were all descendants of the Town of Spafford, adding he is currently working on a book about the family.

“I’m just kind of going back to my roots, so to speak,” he said with a smile.

Ireland said while the seed money for the event originated from the town board, many donations were provided.

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