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Wanakena History Center Opens August 21, 2021

One month before the opening, the WHA Trustees decided to also plan a ‘soft opening’ to offer a sneek-peek to the local community, although many exhibits were still being assembled. To the delight of the volunteers, the response was overwhelmingly positive with about 100 people passing through the house in six hours. Lessons learned were implemented to improve displays and streamline the opening and dedication on August 21.

On the 21st, the atmosphere was festive, and anticipation was palpable in the air. A steady stream of visitors kept the volunteers busy . The HC was open from 10am to 4pm, with the dedication, which was very well attended at 1pm. In addition, there was an unveiling of an historic sign at noon commemorating the founding of the Ranger School in 1912. The sign was paid for by a grant from the Pomeroy Foundation in Syracuse. 

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VERY GOOD NEWS!! 2018

At the September 22, 2018 WHA meeting, there was a thoughtful and lengthy discussion on taking the next steps to create a physical location to display historic artifacts and documents already in our possession. A consensus vote of the Trustees and WHA members present at the September meeting agreed to accept a generous offer that would rescue and utilize one of the original Wanakena houses, located at 21 Second Street (see Photos). Once repairs and renovations are complete, the WHA agreed to take on responsibility for paying the operating expenses which include taxes, sewer & utilities, as well as obtaining necessary insurance for an estimated total of $3,000 - $4,000 annually.


Trustees realize that the WHA will need to apply for grants and/or raise funds to furnish the space, obtain display cases and equipment, and provide storage for documents and photographs.

Wanakena History Center Planned.

Currently WHA’s collection of historic objects, photographs, and documents can be viewed by appointment only and is primarily located on the third floor of the home of a Trustee & past-President with additional items stored by other Trustees/members. Further, the WHA is aware of historic objects that may be donated or loaned once there is a physical location for display and centralized storage.

This is the good news; Five equal partners (made up of groups of families and friends) are forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) each pledging $25,000 for a total of $125,000 to own, renovate and restore one of the original Rich Lumber Company houses at 21 Second Street to its original facade. Their dream and intent are to provide a location for a Wanakena History Center where the WHA can continue its mission to encourage greater knowledge of the history and to display and make available for study: artifacts, relics, books, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other records and materials relating to the history of the State of New York and particularly of Wanakena and the surrounding area.


Trustees agreed that the WHA will need to apply for grants and/or raise funds to furnish the space, obtain display cases and equipment, and provide storage for documents and photographs. Proceed to the donation page https://members.webs.com/s/sitebuilder/pages/324919894/to make a contribution towards the Wanakena History Center.

September 25, 2018

Wanakena History Center Moves Closer to a Reality:

Currently the Wanakena Historical Association's (WHA) collection of objects, photographs, and documents can be viewed by appointment only and is primarily located on the third floor of the home of Trustee & past-President, Bill Gleason. Additional items are stored by other Trustees/members. Further, the WHA is aware of historic objects that may be donated or loaned once there is a physical location for display and centralized storage.

At the June 2018 WHA meeting, a committee was tasked with assessing an opportunity to create a Wanakena History Center. This committee worked through the summer visiting two local museums and evaluating different building possibilities in Wanakena and their related costs. The goal was to create a place where our history can be available to the public and those who take the J. Otto Hamele historic walking tour.

At the September 22nd WHA meeting, the committee reported their findings, and there was a thoughtful and lengthy discussion on taking the next step to create a physical location to display historic artifacts and documents already in our possession. A consensus vote of the Trustees and WHA members present at the September meeting agreed to accept a generous offer that would rescue and utilize one of the original Wanakena houses, located at 21 Second Street (see Photos). It is critical that two more partners/owners be identified before restoration could begin. Once repairs and renovations are complete, the WHA agreed to take on responsibility for paying the operating expenses which include taxes, sewer & utilities, as well as obtaining necessary insurance for an estimated total of $3,000 - $4,000 annually. In addition to this agreement with the property owners, the Trustees realize that the WHA will need to apply for grants and/or raise funds to furnish the space, obtain display cases and equipment, and provide storage for documents and photographs.

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