Sue Adsit, Our Town Historian, has had to reprint Volume I of Martinsburg The Way We Were. The price is $40 per book. There are copies of Volume II available. Volume III is in the works and should be published and ready for Martinsburg Day. . It is anticipated that this will be our last volume.
In August 2020 the town completed a beautiful road giving us easy access to the Staring Cemetery on Pansey Hill. The cemetery, once a part of a thriving little settlement, was deep in the woods and badly overgrown. Once the road was completed Laurie Widrick , Doug Rook and other volunteers cleared the overgrowth and brush from the cemetery. Sue Adsit, town historian, and Jim Lathan "red-flagged" all visible gravestones and gravesites. In September 2020, Artisan Engraving, a restoration firm from Mannsville, went to the site to determine what needed to be done to complete the restoration project. The restoration is now complete. The Martinsburg Historical Society and the Town of Martinsburg shared equally in the cost of restoration.
Although the West Martinsburg Town Hall is owned by the Town of Martinsburg, the historical society has an interest in the upkeep of this historic building. In the 1850s and 1860s, the building was an Advent Church. It was purchased in the late 1880s by the town and was then designated the West Martinsburg Town Hall. The building was painted in 2019 and this year the foundation will be re-pointed. The Preservation Society for the West Martinsburg Church annually hosts an ice cream social in this building. If you have never been in this building, you must go to the social and see the nearly original interior. 2023 Ice Cream Social- June 28, 2023!
After the completion of the Ramos Road one-room school restoration, the society held an open house. The Doney family has been generous in their support of this project. The building has new lights thanks to one of the school's former students. A former substitute teacher came to the open house in 2019 and names of past teachers have been compiled thanks to old newspapers. We are pleased that there is so much interest in our little school. The society was successful in having the school placed on the New York State and National Registry of Historic Sites. We call this the Ramos Road School, however, when the school was in use it was known as Common School District #4 and also, the Loucks District School. Documents for the school have been saved back to 1839! This past year a book of school board minutes was given to the Martinsburg Historical Society that rangs from the 1840s to the 1890s. It has provided a wealth of infomration to us about the building. Watch for the 2023 Open House. We will be unveiling our National Historic Register plaque.
William Peebles was the oldest son of John and Deborah Safford Peebles. The family came to Martinsburg from Salem, NY upon the request of Walter Martin. Martin promised land in exchange for John Peebles opening a sawmill. John and Deborah had 10 living children raised in Martinsburg. William's wife, Betsey Conkey Peebles, died in 1844. In 1847 William remarried and moved to the south shore of Oneida Lake. The book is a compilation of 24 letters from his brothers, sisters, and children. The book provides a lot of insight into the family and events of the time. The book is available for $12 in the town historian's office or at the West Martinsburg Mercantile.
Our other books are also available in the mercantile. We also have Christmas Ornaments and crafts to sell. All funds are used towards our projects.