Handy History

Starting September 9, the largest museum exhibition ever of Bugatti automobile miniatures and related items will be on display at the Ontario County Historical Society (OCHS) in Canandaigua. The exhibit is being held to celebrate a gathering in Ontario County of members of the American Bugatti Club, scheduled for September 1 through 10. Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno own Bugattis, as does Canandaigua resident Stephen Hamlin, who spearheaded the exhibit.

“We see it as an opportunity to serve our audiences, especially those who have an interest in model building, miniatures, and European race cars,” said Edward Varno, OCHS executive director. “On a more practical note, it’s a good way to get people to visit us and see how much we have to offer.”

For residents of the Finger Lakes, local historical societies offer a lot, everything from photos of our towns’ original Main Streets, to models of the exotic cars visiting our community. For tourists and others just visiting, an historical society can be an insightful stop. The quantity and quality of information available, whether it be free or for a nominal fee, is amazing.

Long considered bastions of information dating back to the origins of a community, historical societies are like family photo albums, except the family is an entire community. I live in Rushville, and we’re excited that our local historical society is expanding and moving into a bigger building that used to house the Rushville Volunteer Fire Department. The new space will allow for large displays of photos and other artifacts from the Rushville area. I think it will give residents, both longtime and newly acquainted, a place to share memories and possibly make new ones.

That sentiment is reflected in the mission statement of one nearby historical society, the Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center in Syracuse. Their website states that the organization “exists to inspire people’s understanding that the history we share as a community is the foundation for our future together. Our purpose is to encourage a diverse audience from the neighborhoods of Syracuse and the communities of Onondaga County to explore, appreciate and utilize their past. To do so, we offer engaging exhibits and programs, pursue partnerships with other cultural organizations and community groups, and develop and care for a definitive collection related to local history.”

On a side note, I want to remind all interested photographers that the deadline of September 30 is fast approaching for the Life in the Finger Lakes annual photo contest. If you have any questions, you can visit LifeintheFingerLakes.com, send an e-mail to mark@lifeinthefingerlakes.com or view our advertisement about the contest on page 30. Thanks, and have a great autumn.