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Collins historical society is back from winter recess

COLLINS — The Collins Regional Historical Society winter hiatus has come to an end.

During the organization’s first year, its members have gathered an extensive digital library, including out-of-print books, area census records and ship manifests. Members have photographed the headstones in several of the smaller cemeteries and have started on the larger cemeteries; burial lists have been made from the headstones photographed. Members have also secured obituaries and death notices for nearly half of those buried in the Collins Center Cemetery. Lists of original pioneers in the area have also been gathered; these area all ongoing projects.

The society presently maintains a website, which is updated with a new landing page weekly, and a Facebook page, which is updated every other day with pictures, historical information and club reminders.

One of the main projects the society has on deck is preparation of the town for the celebration of its bicentennial in March of 2021.The society will be discussing future fundraisers, including run fundraisers earmarked for specific purposes, such as a bicentennial celebration including restoration of the town as it once had been; restoration of its history, restoration of cemeteries and local burial grounds. Other projects include the re-establishment of historical markers that have been lost and the marking of the graves of the veterans of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and the recent military actions in Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as locating and marking the graves of early pioneer settlers.

Members will also be discussing the possibility of hosting historical movies; these movies will not only be for members, but for the community. A historical book club is also in the works for both members and non-members. The group is also looking toward field trips, also open to the public. The society would also like to video elders, to make a permanent record of their memories of the town of Collins and village of Gowanda.

The Collins Historical Society is open to volunteers with an interest in history, fundraising, writing, editing or other projects. Anyone wishing to learn what the society is about, or who would like to become a member, may attend a meeting on Feb. 20 at the LK Painter Center community room at 7 p.m.


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