June 2024 Newsletter

“What is so rare as a day in June?” asked poet and abolitionist James Russell Lowell. “Then, if ever, come perfect days.” Lowell must have been thinking of June days in upstate New York. Help us celebrate these glorious summer days with
•information about our 2024 programs (starting next Sunday, June 9, 12:30, at Farmington Friends Meetinghouse),
•restoration plans,
•education project on the Underground Railroad,
•2023 annual report.
1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, 1892
Edwin J. Gardner, photographer
Courtesy Margaret Hartsough, former Farmington Town Historian,
and Ontario County Historical Society

2024 Programs

Join us at Farmington Friends Meetinghouse on June 9, 2024, at 12:30 p.m., for an overview of the national importance of the historic 1816 Meetinghouse, with discussion about future plans:
•interpretive exhibits,
•impact on Farmington’s economic development through heritage tourism.

Where would you like to see this project in five years?

Farmington Friends Meetinghouse is located at 187 County Road 8, Farmington, across the street from the 1816 Meetinghouse, 230 Sheldon Road. Co-sponsored with Farmington Friends Meeting and Farmington Historical Society.

In addition to our first program on June 9, we have four other programs planned for this year:

July 20, 2024: “Rooted in Revolution: Quaker Families, Equal Rights, and the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse.” Dave Bruinix and Judith Wellman, 11:00 a.m., at the Wesleyan Chapel, Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls.

August 25, 2024: “Education for African American Children in Rochester: Past and Present.” Kesha James and Justin Murphy, 2:00 p.m. Memorial AME Zion Church, 549 Clarissa Street, Rochester, New York.

September 28, 2024: “Heroes of the Underground Railroad, Mt. Hope Cemetery: Walking Tour.” Saly Millick, 2:00 p.m., Mt. Hope Cemetery, 1133 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester

October 2024, 2024: “Seneca Land Rights, Fraudulent Treaties, and Quaker Allies Before the Civil War.” Time TBA. Ansley Jemison and others, Ongwehonwe (Original Peoples Podcast), Seneca Arts and Culture Center, Ganondagan, 7000 County Road 41, Boughton Hill Road, Victor, New York.

All are welcome! Thanks to all of our co-sponsors AKWAABA: the Heritage Associates, Frederick Douglass Family Initiative, Friends of Ganondagan State Historic Site, Farmington Friends Meeting, Memorial AME Zion Church, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Seneca Arts and Culture Center, Ganondagan, and Women’s Rights National Historical Park. With donations from generous supporters like you, all programs are free and open to the public. Thank you!

For a downloadable brochure of all 2024 meetings, click on menu “Programs & Events.”


We are currently working with BME Engineering on a revised site plan for the area around the 1816 Meetinghouse, to be presented to the Farmington Town Planning Board in July.
Meanwhile, we are working with Jacob Deys of Green Hill Farms, Macedon, to build a construction driveway and parking lot, using millings from local roadwork. Thanks to Kevin Holtz of Holtz Forest and Shade Tree, LLC (www.takecareoftrees.com), for removing weed trees so that construction could begin. Board members Dave Bruinix and Ann Morton are coordinating all of this work. Special thanks to all of you, whose donations support this new parking lot. We will use this private funding as a match for our grant from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund. We are delighted to be moving forward!
Board member Carol Elaine Deys and Richard Deys,
watching construction work on the new parking lot, May 2024.

Education Project: Underground Railroad Curriculum

On May 30-June 1, we were very pleased to welcome Rebekka Boysen-Taylor to initiate a project on curriculum materials for the Underground Railroad in our area. Professor Boysen-Taylor teaches in the School of Education at the University of Idaho. She is also senior curriculum advisor for the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. We are working on this project with AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates and the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

Rebekka Boysen-Taylor and Norm Strothers
Douglass Mural, Anna Murray Douglass School and Library, Rochester

On Thursday, we toured Underground Railroad sites in Rochester with Ruth Anderson and Norm and Shirley Strothers of AKWAABA. Local historians and supporters enthusiastically welcomed Professor Boysen-Taylor on Friday for a tour of Underground Railroad sites in Farmington and Wayne County. On Saturday, we met at Farmington Friends Meetinghouse to review Rebekka’s ideas and think about next steps.
Left: Small group meeting with representatives from AKWAABA and 1816 Meetinghouse at the 1816 Meetinghouse
Right: Sue-Jane Evans, Pultneyville Historical Society and Nan Hance, Gates Hall, meet with
Rebekka Boysen-Taylor
Meeting at Farmington Friends Meetinghouse, June 1, 2024
l. to r. Marion Cole, Norm Cole, Judith Wellman, Jane Millen, Linda Sheldon Doyen, Rebekka Boysen-Taylor, Jim Wood, Marjory Allen Perez, Sue-Jane Evans

We look forward to sharing results of Professor Boysen-Taylor’s work with all of you. If you are a teacher or local historian who would like to review drafts of these materials (or if you would like to be added to our mailing list), please contact Judith Wellman (historicalnewyork@me.com).

Annual Report

Our 2023 annual report is now available online. To download, click on “About Us” and “Annual Reports.”

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