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September 23, 2017

Serving Springville, Boston, West Valley, Colden, West Falls, East Concord, East Otto, Glenwood, Ellicottville, Little Valley, Salamanca, Randolph, Great Valley,& Killbuck

Concord Historical Society to host open house for Heritage Building

By Kimberly LaRussa

It’s an exciting time for the Concord Historical Society and the public is invited to join in on the celebration. From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 the society will unveil its new Heritage Building on Main Street with a special ribbon cutting to be attended by local dignitaries.

“We were able to raise $175,000 and we built this building for that amount of money with many hours put in by our local volunteers.

The funds were raised by the community, individuals, and businesses. No government funds were used for this project whatsoever,” said Dave Batterson, president of the historical society.

Batterson says this project just goes to show what a tight-knit community Springville is. Residents want to stay away from big city resurgence and keep that hometown feel of Springville going. Prior to this, the society was previously able to raise more than $5,000 in just 10 weeks to bring back the old clock on Main Street.

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Concord Historical Society to host open house for Heritage Building

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“When you come into Springville you know you’re in Springville and when you leave, you know you left Springville. Unlike many suburbs in the Buffalo area, we have a uniqueness that makes a difference. It’s a little piece of heaven that people don’t realize still exists,” he said.

And now the society wants to keep history alive by offering a unique space to visit and learn about the history of Springville and those who lived here.

“There’s many people who we are trying to focus on who made a significant contribution to our local area and also nationally,” said Batterson, who is also the town and village’s appointed historian.

The space, which will take guests on a stroll down Main Street from 1920-1960, will include a museum designated to Pop Warner, who was the father of modern football. He was born in Springville and buried there, too. He also donated funds to help the society purchase the original museum.

The Heritage Building will also take you on a blast from the past of the Leland House, The Joylan Theater, Kuhn’s Drug Store, the medical office of painless dentistry pioneer Dr. Waite, The Schuster Motor Car Company of The Great Race fame and even an old jail.

“We have the original jail cells from Concord Hall which were down in the lower level. When they removed the jail cell we were able to obtain them and had them for many years,” said Batterson.

The new building will also provide more space to help the Mercantile Musicians who previously had to cram to play on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Batterson says it’s his hope that the Heritage Building continues to bring in residents from outside of Springville, like a recent visit from the New York Byways group who received an exclusive sneak peek of the museum on Monday, Sept. 18.

“We’ve really focused on why we are surviving and growing. We are trying to get people to interact and provide entertainment and that’s what’s bringing people back to the museum. Static museums seem to be failing. Once you go there you never come back, so we learned that folks want that feel and touch concept and the Heritage Building, along with our General Store, does just that,” he said.

For more information on the Heritage Building, visit Concordnyhistoricalsociety. org

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