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Pioneer Days in Wayland

Ward Hartenstein was the special guest again this year. PHOTOS BY MARIAN CRAWFORD

By Jasmine Willis

WAYLAND — It has been a passion for decades that the local history remains on the hearts and minds of the youth.

Some think that history is in danger of being forgotten by today’s generation. There are fewer interested in getting involved in museums, historic events, and even know about the world 50 years ago.

With our Greatest Generation being fewer in numbers and World War II in danger of becoming another piece of forgotten past it is more imperative that we get the young interested in history.

In my day we talked very extensively about history. As you can tell from the various family stories I have shared, and the recent program I shared at the historical society history is a cornerstone in my upbringing.

However, nowadays it simply is rare to find excitement about anything more than fashion and what latest App has been downloaded to your friend’s smartphone.

That is why every single year the Wayland Historical Society puts together an event called “Pioneer Day” at the museum. The Wayland-Cohocton Central School had over 100 fourth graders tour the museum on Oct. 28 and learn about local history.

Belinda Schuyler shares important local history with students. PHOTOS BY MARIAN CRAWFORD

Seven members of the museum shared important aspects of what people did in the past.

Wayland-Cohocton Central Graduate and Springwater resident, Ward Hartenstein came back to share all of his cool musical inventions with the students.  

Belinda Schuler, Brenda Yeoman and Veronica Weiand from Atlanta North Cohocton discussedhow people lived 100 years ago; how they grew, harvested and prepared food, how they cooked, washed their clothes, entertained themselves and more.

Brenda Yeoman talks about how to make butter in the old days. PHOTOS BY MARIAN CRAWFORD.

Betty Engel, one of the founders of the museum, explained the very prosperous look of business on Main St. in Wayland many years ago as they observed displays for former shops; the bakery, a meat market, grocery stores, the clothing shops, bank, theater and more.

Mary Lou Kiesl, a retired teacher and Barbara Goodell, both board members, toured students through the two rooms of exhibits; the Post Office, a one room school, the doctor and dentists office, a Barber Shop, Gunlockes, Woorcroftery, Shaffer’s Soda Bar, Bennett’s Buick Display and more. 

 Lee Applin, treasurer, explained the history of the agriculture room; the horse drawn tools that were used, and the differences in the way we get our food today.

Not only was it important for the students to get to know the local past, but for the teachers and parents as well. In order to know where you are going you must first know where you have been.

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