Monroe Helps With Spring Cleaning
Reporter in Residence
Spring is just around the corner, but who would believe it?
Here at the Mansion everyone thinks it is time for spring cleaning. I am not very excited about this, but on the other hand, I am not one to be left out. I know there will be something for me to do. I’ll lend a hand in the Reading Room and Library. There are nooks and crannies there that only I can reach.
This was a better idea than even I thought. What discoveries I made! I had always relied on my rather extensive memory to relate the history of the Strouds and the Mansion. However, most of our visitors to the Mansion don’t have my reservoir of information.
As I dusted corners and removed dust webs from behind furniture, I started to pay attention to what happens on a daily basis in these two rooms.
Amy got down on the floor and pulled out a huge ledger for one visitor. Both she and visitor donned white gloves to go through the contents. The earliest of these ledgers belonged to the Strouds.
Another person had Tom help her use a strange machine that sat in the corner. I always questioned why this contraption was in the Stroud home. I heard them mention microfilm reader. I could not believe what I saw when pages from old newspapers appeared. I discovered that we had whole cabinets of these rolls of film that include Monroe County newspapers back to 1840.
The more I scurried about with my duster the more I learned. The Library has more than 13,000 family files, 19th century maps, an extensive collection of church and cemetery records, and boxes of Monroe County photographs and postcards. There are shelves of reference books, many of which will not be found elsewhere.
The good news is that these books will eventually be part of the online catalog of the Eastern Monroe Public Library, thanks to the work of volunteer Diane Crow who is inputting that information.
The Monroe County Historical Association is a treasure trove for genealogists. It can also be a wonderful resource for the classroom teacher, not only for lessons but also student projects. The Education Committee is here to help in that effort.