HISTORY OF THE PARMA HILTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
This initial offering of the early formative years of your society is done in what I call a chronological tid-bit format. That is to say I’m going through past records, some good, some not so good, starting at the first utterance of PHHS and highlighting activities that have now been in a continuous state of growth for nearly fifty years. Ed Gable, Curator Emeritus, PHHS
And in the Beginning….
March 12, 1969: At the home of Mrs. Dennison Wright, with twenty-five citizens in attendance, a meeting was held with the purpose of organizing a historical society. A motion was made and approved to name the group the Parma-Hilton Historical Society with yearly dues of two dollars. It was further suggested the group incorporate themselves and to that end elected Leigh Wright President pro tempore along with Shirley Husted as Secretary. Mrs. Helen Fox was appointed Chair of the By-Laws and Incorporation committee – and thus the Parma-Hilton Historical Society was on its way.
April 10, 1969: The second meeting of the society was held in the Free Methodist Church located in Parma Center. Helen Fox read the draft of the By-Laws and amendment requests were made and sent back to committee for review. The “Purpose” document was read and approved for use. Mr. Paul Wadsworth was elected Treasurer pro tempore. Charter Membership was defined as those active no later than the November 1969 meeting.
July 6, 1969: The meeting opened with a reported $84.00 in the treasury. The By-law committee reported on their revisions and, being found acceptable, the Parma-Hilton Historical Society By-Laws were approved for use. A nominating committee was appointed with Mrs. Walter Quinn as Chair. With the Society’s purpose in mind, Shirley Husted moved that the Parma-Hilton Historical Society arrange for a historical display in the Parma Library window.
August 26, 1969: After a report of the Nominating committee, their slate was accepted and the first Officers and Directors of the Society were elected thusly: President Mrs. Dennison Wright, Vice-President Mrs. Edward Gable, Secretary Mrs. C. J. Koenig and Treasurer Mr. Paul Wadsworth. As Directors: I.M. Jones, Mrs. Richard Husted, Mrs. William Watters, Mrs. John Barclay and Mr. David Hooper. Mrs. John Barclay made a plea for a list of historical artifacts that could be loaned to the Historical Displays committee to be used at various locations.
October 23, 1970: Parma-Hilton Historical Society received it’s Absolute Charter to operate as a historical society from the State of New York Regents.
1980 though 1990’s – The Society faced difficulty finding a suitable home for meetings and to display the artifact collection that continued to grow. The group moved from individual homes, leased rooms in Hilton’s village office building, the West Avenue school and finally the Hilton Central School District bus garage. Clearly a definitive plan was needed.
1991: The Parma-Hilton Historical Society, after fund-raising efforts and through contributions, took on the task of erecting their own building on an unused portion land located on the North-end of the Town of Parma campus. That original building is now located the West-end of the current museum.
2001: The Society was once again running out of room for their collection. The Town of Parma, needing space for their Historian’s Office, artifact storage and displays, erected an eighty-foot addition which extended the existing PHHS building to the east. The new addition currently houses our museum gallery.
2004: Tom Burger is named Town of Parma Historian and later names Don Stilson as his assistant.
2007: After a few delays, the Town of Parma Historian‘s office was finished and the move completed. The Town of Parma took possession of the building which was designed to be used by both the Town of Parma Historian and the Parma-Hilton Historical Society for their activities and for the establishment of a permanent, local history display. The town would perform all maintenance to include building and grounds. Truly a win-win situation that has worked well since this time forward.
2008: Jim Stilson was brought in to help his brother, Don, organize the historian’s office and would eventually be named the Town of Parma Curator as well as curator of the PHHS museum. This brought a new era of cooperation and successful projects between the Town of Parma Historian, the Village of Hilton Historian and the Parma Hilton Historical Society that exists today.
June 2012: PHHS launches a community-wide program to restore the Dunbar Cemetery that had fallen into decay through loss of maintenance. A $9,000 budget was realized through local businesses, individual and society donations as well as local trades donating time and skills.
April 2013: The Parma-Hilton Historical Society reviews and composes new By-Laws which were approved to bring the Society up to current New York State-driven requirements and to align with current practices.
There’s more… come back again. /Ed Gable