Links to searchable pdf files of the 1937-1949 editions of the Phelps Highlights have been added to the yearbooks page on the Phelps Community Historical Society website.
We've added some Midlakes yearbooks to our digital collection on our yearbooks page.
Phelps, NY - Small Town, Big Heart
The Phelps demographics have undergone noticeable changes in the past few years. The oldest generation is phasing out, homeowners are parents with young children who have found Phelps to be in a good school district where families can ride their bikes or take a walk after supper. But one thing that has not changed is the heart of the town. This was seen on two occasions this past month.
On Saturday June 5, the PCHS held an Open House at the Howe House Museum. Within three hours, 59 visitors were counted, the donation jar was full and we acquired a new member. Three volunteers in addition to the entire Board of Trustees turned out to set up, give museum tours and greet visitors. The event also gave people an opportunity to socialize, and we could not be more pleased with the show of community support. Congratulations to the Door Prize winners who received a copy of Don Tiffany’s book Phelps… According to Don: Janie Burgess, Cathy Scott, and Mark Stevenson.
The PCHS has been serving the community since 1969. We continue to maintain cemetery records, gather family genealogies, and collect items, all to help us tell the stories of Phelps. 50 years from now, when the aforementioned young residents and their children wonder where their grandparents are buried, who their ancestors are, or what is the history of this 200 year old house we will have the answers.
The Pioneer Cemetery has undergone repairs thanks to volunteers from the Town of Phelps Highway Department and PCHS. Many headstones were set upright in cement donated by Phelps Cement Products. Plans are underway to clean the headstones. This project paid respect to those interred and acknowledged the importance of maintaining our cemeteries.
If you are attending the Phelps Central School reunion or will be in Phelps the following week for Sauerkraut Weekend, please stop in at the Howe House. We will have PCS memorabilia and photos on display. On behalf of the Alumni Committee, included in this newsletter is the reunion information and registration form. In addition to our regular hours, the PCHS will be open Saturday July 31 (10am–2pm) and Saturday August 7 (1pm-4pm).
The June 5th Open House was a success - thank you to all who attended.
Between 11am and 2pm we had 59 visitors, raised some money, and acquired a new member all while generating interest in our organization. The Essex and Model T out in front of the Howe were real eye catchers.
The month of May brought warmer weather, visitors to the Howe House, spring cleaning jobs to be done and an event to plan.
After the long winter it has been good to be able to welcome people stopping in to do family research, take a tour of the museum, donate items for our reference room and collection, make a purchase from our Gift Shoppe or just to say hello!
The windows have been washed and the house cleaned (hired services), the flower gardens have been well tended and the banners are up (thank you volunteers!), and exhibits changed, so we are looking forward to our first public event in quite some time.
Open House is on Saturday, June 5 from 11am until 2pm. Tours will be available, the Gift Shoppe will be open and the antique cars will be on display. If it has been a while since your last visit, please stop in to see what is new. If you are not able to visit during our normal hours (Wednesday - Friday) or have never been to the Howe House, we hope you will take this opportunity to see the exhibits and learn about the research materials available to the community. The parking lots at the United Church of Phelps and the OTTC (Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies) will be available to PCHS visitors.
If you are looking for a Father’s Day gift, please consider giving a PCHS gift membership to someone who may enjoy receiving our newsletter. Not sure if someone is already a member? Just contact our office.
Our Gift Shoppe has a new item (also online at phelpsnyhistory.com). The 11oz. white ceramic mug has a photo of the Howe House on the front (see insert).
We would like to have a transportation exhibit in the Carriage House this summer to highlight the 1912 Ford Model T and the 1924 Essex. We are looking for Phelps transportation related items, such as signage, pictures, or anything from the horse and buggy days through the 1950s. The items would be on loan to the PCHS from June 2021 through September 2021. If you would like to help to tell the story of transportation in and around the Phelps community please contact the PCHS office, either by phone or email.
Please join us!
As we began our second year of social limitations, the work at the Howe House
Museum and PCHS continues behind the scenes. We have a new website (phelpsnyhistory.com), articles are being written for the newsletter, collection inventory is being updated, membership records are kept up to date, contractors are being consulted for estimates on roof repair and to update our security system, inside exhibits are changing, handwritten stories are being typed up, and we are planning events for this summer! (see newsletter insert). The Board of Trustees has held monthly meetings on Zoom and volunteered in numerous other ways. April 18-24 is Volunteer Appreciation Week. If you know someone who volunteers at the PCHS please thank them for all they do for this organization!