Civil War Re-enactor Honor Guard 2015 CAMP Memorial Day Ceremony
2016 Memorial Day Ceremony
Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday May 30, 2016. The ceremony will take place at the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building located at the corner of Court and 7th Streets in the Village of Little Valley.
- The ceremony will begin at 11:00 AM following the annual Little Valley parade and cemetery ceremony.
- Biographical readings will honor all US Veterans. A special Civil War Honor Guard, a wreath placement on the Memorial, music and historical information will be included in the ceremony.
- Everyone is invited to attend.
(Click to Enlarge Map)
CAMP has scheduled it’s first meeting in 2016 at the Salamanca Public Library in Salamanca, NY on Monday, 01-11-16 at 1 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend. The library is located at 155 Wildwood Ave, Salamanca, NY 14779, Phone: (716) 945-1890.
December 11, 2015
CAMP members realize that it is almost impossible to personally thank everyone who supported them on the issue of the proposed demolition of the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley, NY. However, none of you should go unrecognized for your contribution to our efforts on 12-9-15 for a vote against demolition by Catt Co legislators. Your support through emails to legislators and through your presence at the Cattaraugus County Center Building was vital in convincing the legislators that the demolition of a rare Civil War Memorial Building was not the right thing to do.
Thank you for Standing with Us and Raising your Voices in Protest!
CAMP looks forward to working with Cattaraugus County in a concerted effort to preserve this important Civil War memorial in 2016. Your continued support will help to make that possible.
December 10, 2015
This article from the Olean Times Herald says it all. CAMPers are floating on air today!
Lawmakers grant reprieve to Civil War Monument
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2015 8:30 am
By RICK MILLER, Olean Times Herald
LITTLE VALLEY — In an about-face from last week, the Cattaraugus County lawmakers failed to muster enough votes to bring a resolution to the floor seeking bids to demolish the Civil War Monument and Historic Building.
At the Dec. 3 Public Works Committee meeting, Legislator Richard Lamberson, D-Allegany, read a series of talking points that included demolishing the county monument.
Members of Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.), who had attended the work session to talk about preserving and reusing the building, were flabbergasted.
County Legislature Vice Chairman James J. Snyder, R-Olean, asked at the outset of Wednesday’s meeting to first address the resolution seeking immediate consideration to solicit bids for the demolition.
A roll-call vote on whether to bring the resolution to the floor fell short of the needed two-thirds vote of the legislators.
All six Democrats, Conservative Matthew Keller of Olean, and Legislature Chairman Norman Marsh, R-Little Valley, voted to bring it to the floor, while the remaining 13 Republican legislators voted against it.
“By not letting this resolution come to the floor” at the last meeting of the year, “it automatically dies,” Snyder pointed out.
Snyder proposed that in the coming year legislators “work with C.A.M.P.” to explore the possibility of preserving the building.
“It’s too early to pull the plug yet,” he said.
C.A.M.P was formed last year after some county residents, including descendents of thousands of county residents who were members of the 154th Regiment that fought in the Civil War, learned the monument was to be demolished.
Legislator William Sprague, D-Yorkshire, who favored demolishing the building, said this amounted to “kicking the can down the road.”
Linda Edstrom, R-Olean, who will not return to the Legislature next year, said there were many issues that were not discussed.
Carl Edwards, R-Limestone, who also will not be returning next year, said the issue was “mishandled” and that voting to demolish it “would have been a prime example of bad government.”
Thomas Stetz of Allegany, chairman of C.A.M.P., put away the speech he’d written and expressed thanks for giving the group more time to try to preserve the 101-year-old building.
He said the monument has been placed on the Landmark Society of Western New York’s “Five to Revive” list and was a candidate for the New York State Preservation Society’s “Seven to Save” list.
Public Works Committee Chairman William Weller, R-Franklinville, who was one of the 14 sponsors of the resolution to seek bids for demolition, said he had a change of heart when new information was received on Tuesday.
“I thought we needed more dialogue with those folks,” he said. “Before, we felt these folks couldn’t accomplish it. Maybe these folks will have a chance.”
A communication from State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, suggested a $200,000 grant could be used to “mothball” the monument until funding can be raised to renovate and preserve it.
That grant could make a difference in the outcome of whether to preserve the monument, Weller said.
Meanwhile, Lamberson, the Allegany Democrat who said Republicans asked to read the “talking points” at the Dec. 3 Public Works meeting, said he was left “hung out to dry” with the vote. “It was their idea,” he said. “They came to me.”
Lamberson noted, “Eighteen people said they wanted it down” last week. “I doubt much will be done with it.” He said he remains opposed to spending county money to preserve the building.
Stetz said he was surprised at the turnaround, but that it was a good surprise. “Apparently they got flooded with mail,” he said. “They realized the best thing to do is talk. We feel restoration and preservation is best and hopefully, affordable.”
With the $200,000 in historic preservation funding Young suggested and the $175,000 the county had budgeted for the building’s demolition, that’s almost half of what Clinton Brown Co. Architecture of Buffalo had estimated it would cost for renovations.
County estimates are closer to the $1 million range.
“We blocked it,” Snyder said afterward. “It takes a two-thirds vote to get it on the floor for debate and we blocked it. It got too contentious in too short a time.”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)
December 9, 2015
For those who may not know, today, December 9, 2015 at 3 PM, the legislators of Cattaraugus County will vote on a resolution to demolish the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building. They meet at the County Center Building on Court Street in Little Valley, NY. Your presence is needed to show the legislators that residents of Cattaraugus County care about their memorial to 3,500 Civil War Vets from our county.
CAMP will stage the group of spectators for the meeting in the lobby of the County Center Building that is just past the security checkpoint at 2:30 PM.
PLEASE JOIN US IN SUPPORT OF THE MEMORIAL BUILDING AND THE VETERANS TO WHOM IT WAS DEDICATED ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1914.
(Click to Enlarge Map)
From: Cynthia Whited
Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2015 8:37 PM
To: (all Catt Co Legislators)
Subject: THE POWER OF ONE
Each of us has the power to be a hero. My great-grandfather, Allen Williams, enlisted to fight for the Union and left his home in Cattaraugus County in 1862. He and 3000 other county men set off to a very dangerous and uncertain future. Each of them took a vow to protect and save our country. Many never returned.
Allen was a member of the 154th New York Infantry Volunteers. He fought in Gettysburg where many in his regiment were lost. Fortunately, he survived, and went on to fight at the battle of Rocky Face Ridge in Georgia.
The Union forces were attempting to gain control of Dug Gap, a steep rock strewn mountain. The Confederate forces had the advantage of being in control of the summit. Boulders and rocks were rolled down upon the Union troops as they dodged the Minie balls fired from above.
The regimental flag bearer struggled to lead the 154th up the daunting hill. As he neared the summit that man was shot and killed. A second man leaped to keep the flag from falling and was immediately wounded. A third soldier took the flagstaff and pushed forward again, only to sustain a serious wound. Allen grabbed the flag and continued up the incline, with the regiment behind him, successfully planting the flag at the summit.
He was later promoted to sergeant and given the flag to carry for the rest of the war. He marched with Sherman to Atlanta, and took part in the victory parade in Washington. Fortunately he returned home.
In 1914 the Memorial and Historic Building in Little Valley was dedicated by Cattaraugus County to honor all those men who had shown their courage and patriotism in the war. It is a unique octagonal building with an ornate tile floor and had a glass dome that allowed the sun to shine on the memorial plaques for all the fallen comrades. Those still alive attended the ceremony, knowing that the community had shown its love, appreciation and admiration.
There is an opportunity for you to again allow the sun to light the tiles in the Memorial. Many in the county, and well beyond, are hoping that you will step forward and support the effort to save and renovate the Memorial with your leadership. Please be a sunbeam and a hero. There are many of us who will follow the flag up the rocky hill with you.
CAMP chairman asks supporters to attend Legislature meeting Wednesday
LITTLE VALLEY — The chairman of the group hoping to save Cattaraugus County’s Civil War Monument and Historic Building from the wrecker’s ball is asking supporters to attend Wednesday’s Cattaraugus County Legislature meeting.
The building was dedicated 101 years ago as a memorial to the county’s Civil War soldiers.
Tom Stetz, chairman of Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.), issued a statement Sunday asking local supporters of the group’s efforts to save the 101-year-old Civil War memorial to come to Wednesday’s meeting, when county lawmakers are expected to vote to demolish it.
“The legislators plan to take a vote to move forward with the demolition of the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building, a memorial owned by the county and dedicated by the county on Sept. 7, 1914 to its Civil War veterans,” Stetz wrote.
“Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation is asking anyone, who believes a vote to demolish this veterans’ Memorial is not the action the county legislators should take, to attend the 3 p.m. meeting on Wednesday.”
C.A.M.P. officials, who have sought to preserve the Civil War memorial for more than a year, expected last week’s work session would address questions they raised over the past two months, including a C.A.M.P.-sponsored architectural survey of the building and its possible future uses.
The Landmark Society of Western New York, which matched C.A.M.P.’s $2,500 contribution toward a study by the Buffalo architectural firm Clinton Brown Co. Architecture, recently named the Civil War Memorial and Historic Building to its “Five to Revive” list of significant buildings in the region that merit preservation.
Stetz, who along with other C.A.M.P. officials was flabbergasted when he heard the word “demolish” last Thursday, said the group was “blindsided” by the consensus decision that was not done in a public forum.
The group had asked legislators to commit to the building’s preservation and allocate the $175,000 set aside for its demolition to preservation efforts.
Landmark Society officials estimated historic interior renovations could be made for less than $600,000 and urged the county to seek additional grants.
The Clinton Brown study cited cost estimates of $40,000 to $45,000 to replace the roof, $35,000 to $45,000 to “mothball” the building and $500,000 to $750,000 for long-term rehabilitation.
County officials insisted the renovations would cost closer to $1 million.
As late as September, county lawmakers, including Public Works Committee Chairman William Weller, R-Franklinville, agreed the plans merited further discussion and work sessions.
That changed abruptly Thursday, when Legislator Richard Lamberson, D-Allegany, rose to read “talking points” that had been agreed to the day before in a closed-door meeting of the Public Works Committee. Halfway through the list, Lamberson said a majority of the Legislature agreed to demolish the building instead of continuing to work with C.A.M.P. for its preservation.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)
December 7, 2015
Dear Members of the Cattaragus County Legislature:
It is my hope that when you have your next meeting on December 9,2015
that you will not vote to demolish the Civil War memorial building in
There is nothing I can do and very little I can say that will change (your)
mind as it appears you are set to start the demolition.
Please keep this in mind. Many people in the community probably are
oblivious to the memorial and what it means. One generations effort to
never to forget is another generations wrecking crew. Never is a very
Please find it your conscious to keep this memorial a living memorial
to the Boys in Blue.
Jerome Orton, Department Historian
Sons of Union Veterans
Onondaga County Historian, The American Legion
213 Dixon Dr.
Syracuse, NY 13219-2711
315 488 4076
December 7, 2015
Dear Cattaraugus County Legislators:
While I still teach at St. Bonaventure, it’s been a couple years since I’ve been a resident of Cattaraugus County. I now live on part of the Chancellorsville battlefield near Fredericksburg, Virginia, so I literally write to you today from the ground where the 154th New York engaged in one of its best-known actions.
I sympathize that you’ve inherited a run-down Civil War Memorial and Historical Building from previous legislatures, which should never have allowed the structure to fall into the disrepair that it has. You were dealt a bad hand and have been trying to make the best of it.
However, to ram through action on the building before the end of your legislative session seems irresponsible. Here is an instance where you SHOULD pass the work on to the next legislature, not to pass the buck but simply because the work is not yet finished. You have done laudable work thus far. Just because you’ve run out of time in this session doesn’t mean you need to push through a decision just for the sake of wrapping things up.
Previous legislatures ignored the problem, but you have made a good-faith effort to engage the situation and find the solution. You have set up the next legislature to see the hard work through, just as the Civil War veterans themselves had to see through the hard work they had been charged with.
Please delay a final decision on the fate of the Civil War Memorial and Historical Building. Charge the next legislature with seeing the work through. Certainly the efforts of CAMP will ensure that the issue does not fade into the background as so many previous legislatures have let it.
A one-size-fits-all monument to all county veterans is not the answer. The Civil War veterans themselves erected this monument to remind subsequent generations of their unique sacrifices. Those deeds took place so long ago that it’s easy to underestimate their importance today. However, I live on some of the ground they made sacred, so I’m constantly reminded how truly vital their work was.
Those men trusted subsequent generations to remember what they did. They put their faith in “us”. Please do not break faith with them.
Thank you for your consideration.
Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.
Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication
St. Bonaventure University
December 8, 2015
As I peruse the names of the county legislators, I recognize a few “old family” names. Families that have been in our community for at least the last century. People that have chosen this area to spend and invest their lives in, as their fathers and mothers did, and those before them – like mine.
But, this gives no comfort of any constructive representation for me or my family – given the vulgar decision to demolish the war memorial. It shakes my confidence that my county legislators have the strength of character to act as a governing body.
The integrity of a community is based upon an inherent morality. This morality should arise from a reference for the past, a respect for the members of the community and a commitment to create a healthy and vibrant environment for our future.
The proposed demolition shows, in volumes, a lack of reverence for the past, little respect for the community and no commitment or business acumen to a create a vibrant environment for our future.
Finding the funds within a strict budget to avoid committing this indecency is not easy. But, it is attainable and should be an opportunity to create positive change within the town of Little Valley and the county. It should open discussions of potential use and funding avenues that might have been overlooked. It should create a dialogue with the citizens of the community and foster new relationships with local businesses.
Arguments have been presented by CAMP for many months expounding on the unique nature of this structure, not only from an architectural standpoint but the significance of its dedication to fallen soldiers – from one of the most sorrowful wars our country endured. With such a high mortality from this county, the community created this as a memorial for all to acknowledge and revere. This, somehow, had no impact upon the decision making.
The message from my legislators is clear – that the deaths of these soldiers to help shape our nation and our way of life is now perhaps distant and irrelevant. Their sacrifice is inconvenient to honor. It’s not worth the time to find the funds for a new roof, a dome or a practical purpose. Better to create a small area of designated honor at the corner of an enlarged parking lot from the bricks of the destroyed memorial! The proposal itself is indignant with self importance and misguided notions of progress that deplete our community of cultural history.
By advocating the destruction of this memorial of national relevance and importance, you have personally chosen to dishonor the community and it’s future members for generations to come . Your actions will create the history of tomorrow and your name will be remembered not for the good you could have created but the shame of the war memorial destruction.
I urge you to commit to preserve this monument .