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NWRHS receives 45 historic area scrapbooks

On hand to accept forty-five scrapbooks, detailing the essence of the Town of Cazenovia from the early 1950s through 1992 and arranged by topic by Sharon A. Driscoll, of Cazenovia, second from right, are New Woodstock Regional Historical Society trustee Bob Chevako, left, member Susan King, retired curator Wilber Lamb, historian Sara Chevako, long time employee of the Cazenovia Republican, Thelma McManus; curator Alison Boissonnas and trustee James Wright. The scrapbooks were rescued and restored by Sharon Driscoll and recently donated to the NWHS.

On hand to accept forty-five scrapbooks, detailing the essence of the Town of Cazenovia from the early 1950s through 1992 and arranged by topic by Sharon A. Driscoll, of Cazenovia, second from right, are New Woodstock Regional Historical Society trustee Bob Chevako, left, member Susan King, retired curator Wilber Lamb, historian Sara Chevako, long time employee of the Cazenovia Republican, Thelma McManus; curator Alison Boissonnas and trustee James Wright. The scrapbooks were rescued and restored by Sharon Driscoll and recently donated to the NWHS. Barbara Lucas

— The essence of the town of Cazenovia, from the early 1950’s through 1992, is now available to the public at the New Woodstock Regional Historical Society.

More than 40 scrapbooks, arranged by topic, were recently donated by Sharon A. Driscoll, of Cazenovia. Driscoll served as editor of the Cazenovia Republican from 1989 until 1992.

“These 45 scrapbooks are an extraordinary collection that presents a vivid picture of Cazenovia as it blossomed during the 1970s and ‘80s,” said Barbara S. Rivette, who served as the executive editor for the Cazenovia Republican and six other Manlius Publishing newspapers from 1973 to 1992. “Sharon Driscoll recognized the importance of all these documents in the long-term historical context and she worked very hard to make sure they were preserved.”

In 1992, the newspaper’s owners felt they had no room to keep the scrapbooks and decided to dispose of them. The same fate was assigned to the paper’s hard-cover bound volumes, which are the actual newspaper for each year.

The scrapbooks especially were used by editors and reporters as the “working memory” of the newspaper. The bound volumes dated back to the beginning of the newspaper in 1808. Recognizing the irreplaceable historical importance of the material, Driscoll set about finding a way to keep it all intact for future generations.

She arranged to turn over the bound volumes to John Ryan, then mayor of Cazenovia, who passed them on to the Town of Cazenovia. Driscoll stored the scrapbooks at her home to save them from being destroyed.

The recent expansion of the NWRHS building has now made space available there, for both the bound volumes and the scrapbooks.

The bulk of the scrapbooks cover the years from 1970 to 1983 when Robin Reagan was editor of the Cazenovia Republican. She, along with Helen Ayer, the paper’s advertising manager, created and nurtured the Association of Cazenovia Businesses, initiated the Christmas Shoppers Walk and Summer Sidewalk Sale and made the Citizen’s Appreciation Award and Luncheon a part of the Winter Festival.

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