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Sernett donates latest works to Caz library

Local author and historian Dr. Milton C. Sernett recently donated copies of his latest book "Say Cheese!" to the Cazenovia Public Library.

Sernett, an accomplished Syracuse University professor, retired to his home in the hills of Cazenovia six years ago. In that time, he has written four books describing the rich history of the surrounding areas and given copies to the library.

"It's impressive the way Milton takes on a subject, researches it, and follows through by writing a book," Library Director Betsy Kennedy said. "He is so enthusiastic about history, especially local history and it's nice to be able to share that with the community."

The works of Sernett that are currently available at the library, which cover a multitude of topics, include "Come to Peterboro!," "Cradle of the Breed," "The Horse and Tractor Wars," as well as the latest "Say Cheese!"

"Say Cheese! The Story of the Era when New York State Cheese was King" was recently published and released in February. In his newest book, Sernett outlines the era when Central New York was the premier cheese-making region. He writes of Jesse William's first cheese factory just north of Rome, describing various methods and traditional approaches to the craft.

A wealth of knowledge, Sernett tells that he draws inspiration for his books from the oft-overlooked memorials that populate local roads. "I've always been interested in the historical markers around this area. The ones that I may drive by and not necessarily notice immediately, those interest me," he said.

Sernett has been a member of Syracuse University's esteemed faculty since 1975 and earned the title of Professor Emeritus in 2005. Over the course of his career, Sernett has researched a multitude of subjects and instructed numerous academic courses. Sernett's concentrated areas of study include the abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad, African American studies, American social reform movements and African American religious history. While at Syracuse University, Sernett authored 14 books and several scholarly articles.

Sernett will be partaking in the 2011 Peterboro Heritage Programs by presenting an informational lecture, "Say Cheese! NYS Cheesemaking: Then and Now" at 2 p.m. on June 5. Until then, his writings are on file at the Cazenovia Public Library.

For more information on Sernett, visit web.me.com/mcs5, email him at mcsernett@windstream.net, or call 655-4166.

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