Monday, January 3, 2022

Posting Blogs

 by Susan Zehnder, Education Director

What do faces of the depression, a shortage of dictionaries, and Arctic explorer Ross Marvin have in common? If you read our blogs, you can easily answer that question because each showed up in one of our blog posts this year.

Most of CCHS's blogs are written on a rotating basis by our archivist, curator and education director and have published weekly since February 6, 2012. Adding the 48 new blog posts from 2021 brings our grand offering to 514 blogs containing different stories of Chemung County history. The collection has been viewed close to 500,000 times. Send us a suggestion if you have a topic we haven't covered and we always appreciate your comments. Here are the top five viewed blogs of 2021, in order of popularity, see if you remember any of these:

1.     February 8th  Elmira’s First Black Fire Fighter A blog profiling the life and accomplishments of Thomas J. Reid, Jr.  In addition to being the first Black Fire Fighter in Elmira, Reid was also known for his inventions.


2.     February 15th The Neighborhood House and E.O. P. shared the history behind this 143 year old organization and its place in our community.


3.     January 4th Capturing the Local Faces of the Great Depression A little known connection between a Chemung County family and Farm Security Administration photographers documenting rural conditions.


4.     A follow up blog published January 25th The Maki Family of Rumsey Hill, revealed more of the story of one of those families photographed.


5.     March 8th Elmira HistoryForge: Discovering Local Stories written by our HistoryForge coordinator Andrea Renshaw, outlined the launch of this exciting project and how to get involved in documenting local history.

It’s not easy to predict which blogs will be the most popular, and we're often surprised. We choose topics because we’ve uncovered something new, or we want to share what's going on at the museum. Sometimes it may take longer for a blog to be discovered.  Years after being published, relatives of Elmiran Edward Brooks came across a blog written about his life. They traveled to Elmira to visit the museum and share his story with their children. It was a moving experience for them and for us. 

Here are blogs from last year which we think deserve another look:

1.     July 12th L. Libbie Adams and her Youthful Enterprise A blog connecting our Printing exhibit and the story of a young girl printer from the late 19th century who battled odds and made a living from writing, editing, and publishing her work.


2.     June 18th Revisiting Juneteenth, was a revised blog outlining the holiday’s origins and meanings.


3.     July 26th Jury Duty look at role of Jury duty in the United States, and how it has been practiced in the county.


4.     Viewing the Civil War, published last May 31st shared the topics and brief background of our three spring speakers and their contributions.


5.     November 8th’s Veterans Day shared some of the important work being done connecting veterans and local history organized by a local elementary school teacher.

     Of all the blogs we've published since 2012, the one which has been viewed the most was written in 2015 by our former Curator Erin Doane. The Holding Point and POWs published in January of that year shared the history of the WWII military camp located in Horseheads, NY.

 Erin was instrumental in putting together Hidden Lives of Chemung County, a book CCHS published this year. On sale at the museum or online, the book contains a collection of lesser known stories of  some amazing people in Chemung’s history.

Sharing our community’s history through blogs, is something we will continue in 2022. We’re happy when our viewers share too, just be sure to give us credit for our work when you do.

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