Notes from the CAMP Booth at the 2015 Cattaraugus County Fair #1

Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation, CAMP, manned a booth at the 2015 Cattaraugus County Fair from August 3rd to August 9th. Their goal was to reach as many fair-goers as possible in order to make them aware of the planned demolition of the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley, NY.  The following is a reflection of one CAMP volunteer’s experience at the fair booth:

“My experience at the Catt. Co. Fair was very positive. It was easy to ask folks to sign the petition if they wanted to see the Memorial saved.  Many were unaware that it may be demolished and offered memories of visiting it, borrowing books and holding a gun that was used in the war. There was a disbelief that it would be gone. 

I met Sharon Fellowes, who keeps the artifacts safe in Machias, and Legislator Ms. Vickerman and Legislator candidate, Mr. Boberg, who were patient with my reasons for wanting to keep this historical gem in Little Valley. Twice my blank sheets were taken by residents to get signatures for me.

The other volunteers were a joy to work with and the whole week was perfect weather.  A great deal of interest in our booth and also support for the cause.

Each time I was there, I drove past the Memorial standing proudly on its corner next to the park. Somehow it reminded me of an old soldier standing at full attention with uniform slightly tattered, but extremely proud to still be there. Perhaps someday we can see it put to good use again with maybe for veterans finding a place of information, assistance and comrades to talk to, read and have a cup of coffee.

The family of Gary Waid, who was a collector of Civil War books, magazines and a large puzzle gave me his collection and I am in the process of getting book plates in his memory. It would be great to have a reading room for the veterans and a place to hang out.   There must be many things this proud building could be used for if given half a chance.

Gail Bellamy, Frewsburg, NY”

I will post fair comments from CAMP Members separately as they come in!   John Scarano, CAMP Web Master