Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GHS Oldest Member Celebrates 101 years

Can you imagine the changes in history that Wilhelmina Greene Henley has seen. Born on November 10th, 1907, she has lived through World War I through the present day war and just imagine the changes in innovation and inventions not to mention changes in society. Fondly known as "Willie" by many Guilford residents, she was a teacher in Guilford Central School and later in the Bainbridge -Guilford elementary school in Guilford. She retired in 1972.

Willie graduated from Oneonta Normal School and obtained her teaching degree from Albany while teaching in Troy, NY. On July 31, 1933, in a small chapel in Los Angeles, California, Miss Greene married Raymond H. Henley. They came back to reside on Main Street in Guilford where Willie had moved with her parents when she was 9 years old.

In 2003 Wilhelmina and Raymond Henley celebrated their 70th anniversary of marriage. As a special request, the Guilford town board made a special proclamation to honor Ray and Wilhelmina's 70th wedding anniversary. Ray had been employed in the engineering field with several local businesses, retiring from what was General Laboratory Associates (GLA), now Unison. The G.L.A. company began in Guilford and Ray was one of the early engineers of that company. He retired in 1968. Ray sadly passed away a little over a year after their anniversary in November of 2004.

Thanks to Willie’s caretakers and friends a 101st birthday celebration took place at her home on Monday night, November 10th. It was a wonderful evening and Wilhelmina Henley was amazed at the number of people who came to help her celebrate her 101st birthday.

Willie has been a great source of information on the early 1900's history of Guilford. She has told us of some of the memories she has of some of the people, including her parents that lived here in the 1890's through the 1900's and shared photos and scrapbooks. She let us record her on a cassette recorder going up and down all the streets and told us who she could remember living in each house. She has been a great asset to the historical society and we wish her 100 more years!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings of the Guilford Historical Society

Thanksgiving gives us a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for. Sometimes, for a few of us we tend to just use this time only to reflect. Everyday we should be thankful and count our blessings and not just the one day. Perhaps this sounds like a sermon. It is, however, a lead in to a GHS thankful reflection.

We are thankful to all our members for supporting the GHS through their membership and donations of money, time and talents. Many in the area are faithful to the cause, whatever project of their interest. Many local members are trustees and chair persons of projects that just wouldn't get done without them. Others contribute by donating their time to our events and help with the projects. Some love to do research and presentations of their findings at society meetings. We have a treasure in our dedicated officers,past and present, that keep the everyday organization tasks in order. We have a wonderful organization that encourages us to protect the past and preserve it for future generations.

We also have members that live farther away and their support through membership and praise for what is being done, gives us the boost to know we are on the right track. Their contributions come in family history and photographs that help us search the past and put the pieces together of the past. As an organization, how can you beat this?

I am including a Thanksgiving vintage postcard on this post. It is a Currier and Ives Thanksgiving. We have done genealogy on the Ives family and there is a relationship to James Merritt Ives of the Currier and Ives fame to our Ives of Guilford. The Guilford Ives have put their talents to fame too and here is a short piece on Ives' Cream and the famous Ives of our time.

"Farming has been an Ives family tradition in our area for almost 200 years, beginning with Abraham and his sons Samuel and Lyman. Samuel and Lyman came from Cheshire, Connecticut and settled in Guilford in 1796. In 1800 their father, Abraham and his wife Eunice followed, after Abraham’s ailing father Nathaniel passed away. All three combined owned many acres of land and endeavored in subsistence farming in the area, which became the hamlet of Guilford known as Ives Settlement.

Albert and Judy Ives in partnership with Terry and younger son Alex, still own and operate one of the original family farms now called Greenview Farms. Alex and his wife Katie have taken the family farm tradition to a new level. Milking 100 cows, they began to think outside the box for an alternative way to market their milk. Low milk prices and high production costs produced a concern of keeping the family farm operating and preserving it for future generations. Therefore, they saw the need to diversify as a way of maintaining the business. Starting in 2004 they began production of Ive’s Cream at the Morrisville Dairy Incubation Lab. The wonderful creamy ice cream product was marketed throughout the area in over 30 stores. In addition, the couple, attended many area events such as the State Fair, County Fairs, Colorscape, Oneonta Farmers Market, to name just a few. At the events they gave out free samples and sold Ives Cream to many attendees. Now, they have expanded on their marketing techniques with the newly developed Ives Cream Parlor and Gourmet Coffee Shop in Norwich. What is really unique is the many different flavors of ice cream that are made in the downstairs area of the 10 South Broad Street store."

So without the help of others we would not have discovered the great history of this family and many others of Guilford. Members and non-members alike have shared so many stories, photos and genealogy that brings all of our history to life. "Fleshing out the Bones" is an expression that says it all. Thanks to all the members for their contributions for without you there would not be a Guilford Historical Society that has grown like it has.

We wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and many blessings today and always.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Solving Histories Mysteries of the Town of Guilford

Can you identify any of these students?
Above and below... Contact us at

With Halloween over, I now have sometime to get back to history. If you want to see what we did go to So now back to history.
It is truly amazing how the GHS is growing. We have over 150 members and they stretch, maybe soon, all the way to the UK! As folks contact the historian for information we also email the membership form and most are glad to apply. I'll attach it here and with a double click to enlarge and a right click you can copy and print it out and send it with payment to GHS, Box 201, Guilford, NY 13780.
Other members and some guests are providing us with great photos of everything to hamlets, people pictures and Guilford schoolhouse photos. We were lucky to get 4 negatives scanned with the help of the Chenango County Education director. Were we surprised at the results. I believe we have district #10 Guilford Center.
Other than that take a look at Lathams Corners and the O&W Whistle stop station. It was dated about 1930 from the owner of the photo and it looks like it was abandoned a few years earlier. We have about three photos of this hamlet now. I would like to thank the contributors of which two are new members. It was amazing that we never knew there was a whistle stop in Lathams Corners and in the photo of the sleigh you see Helen Pearsall on the way to Mt. Upton School and in the background is the church. These are just a few of the finds that give us a great view of the past and the folks who lived then. We are so fortunate to have so many folks willing to share photos and family histories that help us solve some of "histories mysteries". Thanks to all.