||After the death
of Earl S. Wright, in 1965, the last of the old family who lived in
the 1814 "Salt-Box" house in Cadiz, Mrs. W. J. Prescott,
next-door neighbor, purchased the old home and land surrounding it.
Upon inspection of the interior of the home, Mrs. Prescott decided
to broach the subject of forming a historical society to a representative
group of citizens. All favored the idea.
Letters were written to the New York State Historical Society and
New York State Council on the Arts. The latter sent a representative
to evaluate the Cadiz property as to its suitability for restoration.
The report was favorable and the project was launched.
The name, Ischua Valley Historical Society, was suggested by Webb
H. Edwards at the March 14, 1966 meeting at the Blount Library. All
members approved. Officers chosen were: President-Mrs. W. J. Prescott;
Secretary-Mrs. Richard Hall; and Treasurer-Mrs. Lee Lane. A constitution
and by-laws were adopted. Incorporation was approved. The "Salt-Box"
house was leased by the Society until such time as more money was
A "Master Plan" was formulated and sent to the Office of
State History at Albany. This plan included: Topographic Map-boundaries,
physical features, roads, buildings in scale; Zoning and Utilities
plan for the area; Historical Base Map; Measured Drawings and Floor
Plans to be filed in the Library of Congress (Howard Ballard did the
Floor Plans); List of furnishings; present and proposed.
In April of 1966 the Society did its first Maple Festival Exhibit.
In 1968 the Society started its Country Store theme at the Festival,
selling pickles, cheese, candy, and bazaar items.
In September of 1966, IVHS's incorporation papers were signed by W.
H. Edwards, Harold Carter, Ruth Prescott, Howard Ballard, and Raymond
Cross. The Society's Provisional Charter was approved September 23,
1966. On April 23, 1970, the Ischua Valley Historical Society received
its Absolute Charter. Mrs. Julia Reinstein of the Buffalo & Erie
County Historical Society on September 20, 1970 was the speaker at
the ceremony presenting the Absolute Charter to the IVHS membership
and the public at the grade school building on North Main Street.
Late in 1970, the First Trust Union Bank offered to the Society, for
the price of back taxes, the "Miner's Cabin."• On
January 27, 1971 the Society decided to purchase the three story Victorian
style house at #9 Pine Street. This house had been built in 1895 by
Simeon Robbins, who had made money in the Alaskan 'Klondyke' Goldrush.
The offers of money from various persons in the Society and in the
community made possible such an undertaking by the Society. The previous
year IVHS had purchased the "Salt-Box" house at Cadiz from
Mrs. Prescott, with Mrs. Prescott holding the mortgage. The donations
coming in now enabled the Society to pay off the mortgage, as well
as complete the purchase of the Miner's Cabin. In addition, the front
porch was rebuilt that summer and a new boiler for the heating system
was installed. In 1972, the Miner's Cabin was rewired. In 1973, it
received a new roof. In 1974, interior repairs are anticipated. The
Society functions on a pay-as-itgoes basis.
In 1970 the first Annual Antique Show was held by IVHS. This has become
an annual affair. The Society also holds a Country Style supper each
October. A newsletter is published quarterly. Two mill stones from
the Grierson Mill are on display at the Cadiz property. The Cadiz
property was reroofed in 1972.
IVHS meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. The business meetings
are followed by programs designed to be informative to the membership.
People of the Ischua Valley have been most generous in donating their
precious artifacts and documents. James M. Cash has donated legal
services. The goal of the Society is to preserve the history of the
Ischua Valley and make the inhabitants of the area cognizant of their
Officers for the 1974-75 year are: Treasurer-Leslie Lockwood; Secretary-Mrs.
Wayne Feeman; Director-Harriette Hawley; Vice-President-E. Merle Cornell;
and President-Robert F. Chrestensen.
Mr. Chrestensen was active in helping the IVHS to prevent demolition
of the Miner's Cabin and has been instrumental in the publication
of this historical book by the IVHS.
~ From the "Franklinville Centennials" book published
in 1974 by the Ischua Valley Historical Society, Page 88