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This family-friendly Webster Village history tour is like no other

31 Jul

A Webster resident and geocache aficionado has devised a fun way for entire families to learn a bit more about village history.

I’m sure you’ve heard about geocaching. This extremely popular hide-and-seek challenge uses GPS coordinates to guide participants to hidden “caches.” Each one includes a logbook and some trinkets. You choose one of the trinkets and leave one of your own.

I’ve never been a big fan of geocaching, being a letterboxing gal myself. But this brand-new Webster Walkabout” history geocaching challenge created by my friend Gerry Sander is something I would recommend to anyone and everyone, especially families.

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The Webster Walkabout is not your typical geocache puzzle, where you download the coordinates for one cache and then search for a physical, hidden box. Instead, this activity is part of the relatively new “Adventure Lab” geocaching platform, which guides participants to a series of virtual caches — in this case, historically significant properties within the Village of Webster.

At each stop, the game prompts you to answer a question by typing in a word that can be found on a sign or plaque nearby. The correct answer unlocks the clue to the next location. Some of the walkabout stops even include videos, which is cool.

Then the whole experience gets even better. Once you complete the Adventure Lab, you’ll be given a code to unlock a special bonus puzzle geocache located at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park.

When Gerry started planning out his Adventure Lab series, he immediately thought of a historical tour, and first considered making it a town-wide hunt. But after discussing his idea with Webster Village Historian Lynn Barton, he narrowed his focus.

I met with Lynn Barton and the Webster Museum and she gave me all kinds of ideas. Just talking with her that initial time, we decided to limit the focus to just the village. There were enough places around the village which have historical significance. Since it’s only five (stops), we could basically make it a walking tour so people can come to the village, visit these historical places, get the feel of the village, maybe visit Barry’s or some of the restaurants, and drive people to the museum. 

It kind of meshed really well. 

Gerry also got support from Webster Village Mayor Darrell Byerts and Webster Supervisor Tom Flaherty, both of whom recorded videos for the walkabout.

Gerry has been hunting geocaches for 14 years, has found more than 2800 of them and placed another 24 of his own. This, however, is his first Adventure Lab challenge.  If it’s successful and people seem to have fun with it, perhaps he can follow it up with one that teaches us even more about the Town of Webster.

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Outside the Webster Museum with the newly installed gadget box are Museum President Tom Pellett, Gerry Sander, and Museum board member Jill Kraft. The box can be unlocked only after completing the 5 virtual caches in the Webster Walkabout Adventure Lab.

Want to try the Webster Walkabout? Here are the details:  

The Webster Walkabout guides participants to five historically significant Village of Webster buildings, on a walk that’s about 1.5 miles. The route is entirely along village sidewalks, so it’s handicap accessible and great for all ages. It should take about an hour.

After the last stop, you want to stroll over to the Webster Museum at 18 Lapham Park. There, attached to the front of the building, you’ll find the ultimate geocaching award, a “gadget box.” This is a bonus puzzle cache which the kids especially are going to LOVE. You’ll need a combination to get into the lock on this one, which is provided once you complete all five stops.

Participants need a smart phone (Android or iPhone), with the Adventure Lab app installed (it’s free). Because it’s multi-media and location based, you’ll need to use your data and have location services enabled.

To open the Webster Walkabout Adventure Lab in the mobile app, click on this URL:  https://labs.geocaching.com/goto/WEBSTER

Have fun!

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Harmony House event celebrates women’s right to vote

20 Feb
Victoria-Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Now here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: the first woman to run for President of the United States actually did it in way back in 1872.

Her name was Victoria Woodhull, and not only does she hold that honor, she can also claim a familial connection with Webster. She was the daughter-in-law of Byron Woodhull, the Town of Webster’s first supervisor.

Those are just a few of the fascinating facts you’ll learn when the Webster Museum hosts Women Beyond Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the Harmony House on Sunday Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., presented by Jack Kowiak.

The program is being held in honor of the 200th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. Most of know of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and how they championed the cause of women’s rights in the late 1800s. But many other women of that era — like Victoria Woodhull — made their mark as well, and you’ll learn about them at this presentation.

The program is free and no registration is required. For more information about this and other Webster Museum programs, click here to visit their website.

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The next Webster Museum docent?

23 Jan

Edison PoppHere’s a wonderful tidbit from our Webster Museum and how the folks there are changing young lives.

The photo above is of 7-year old Edison Popp. His grandmother, Marianne Ferrara, had taken him to the Webster Museum where Sharon Pratt and Lisa McNamara were serving as docents. They gave him a tour of the museum, and he was so impressed that, upon returning home, he set up his own museum and acted as docent.

As for me, I would love to know what some of those objects are and am very impressed that he had access to all of them. I see a college history major in the future.

Haven’t visited the Webster Museum yourself lately? Make sure to pop in soon to see their latest exhibits. Perhaps you will also be inspired, juts as Edison was. The museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster, open 2-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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Festival of Trees returns to the museum

1 Dec

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Webster Museum.

I mean, they don’t just have one or two Christmas trees set up, they have 15 them, four-IMG_9914foot tall artificial trees placed on the counters, in the classroom, and tucked among the exhibits all through the museum.

The trees are part of the museum’s annual Festival of Trees Christmas tree decorating contest, where individuals, families and organizations are invited to adopt a tree and decorate it however they like, then put it out there for community members to vote on for a chance to win a $25 prize.

Some of the competitors have already begun decorating, but several others have yet to finish. But they’ll all be done by this coming Saturday Dec. 7, when voting will begin during the Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration (more details about this fun event will be in tomorrow’s blog).

christmas treeI’m told that one organization in particular, which has been participating for several years, usually wins this contest. I’m not going to say who that is for fear of influencing the vote, so you’re just going to have to stop by the museum and see all of the creations for yourself.

While you’re there, be sure to drop $5 and put some chances in to this museum’s annual raffle. There are always some amazing prizes up for grabs with this raffle, so  make sure to stop by during White Christmas and check them out — AND vote for a tree while you’re there. The raffle continues until Dec. 14 but votes for the trees will be accepted through Dec. 31.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Call 585-265-3308 for more information.

The photos on this page are of some of last year’s entries.

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Bourbon and a village Christmas preview

13 Nov

The Village of Webster’s next special event, the Bourbon Bash, returns Saturday Nov. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Harmony House, 58 E. Main St.

Sample bourbons and whiskey from local distilleries and Webster Wine and Spirits, complemented by food samples from local restaurants.

Participants will be provided bottled water to enhance their sampling experience, and the opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for a bourbon basket donated by Webster Rotary. proceeds of the event will benefit Webster Local Charities.

Tickets are $25 and will be limited. They can be purchased online here or at websterbid.com. Cash sale tickets are also available at Hegedorns.

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christmas treeThe Webster Museum is gearing up for this year’s Christmas Tree Contest. Local groups and organizations are invited to decorate a miniature Christmas tree, which will then be displayed in the museum for community voting.

In past years, Scouting troops, schools clubs, local businesses, even families and individuals have decorated trees. There are a limited number available, so anyone interested in participating needs to register ASAP. To do so, call Kathy at (585) 313-3709 and leave a message with a name and phone number for a return call.

Be prepared to supply the following information: Caller’s name, phone number and email; decorator’s name, phone number and email; date/time plan to decorate; and any special requests regarding location in the museum.

Decorating begins Nov. 30, and voting begins Dec. 7 during White Christmas in the Village.

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Speaking of White Christmas, it’s drawing near. This year’s event happens Saturday Dec. 7. I haven’t seen any details about this year yet, but in the past it’s run from 3 to 6 p.m., followed by the amazing Electric Parade.

Like previous years, there will probably be horse-drawn wagon rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, storytelling, a bell choir, carolers, and Santa (of course).

Stay tuned for more details as I find out about them. You can also check websterbid.com for updates.

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Webster mailbag and BIKE RACK NEWS!

18 Sep
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Three Barry’s Runners — Mike Bodine, Don White and Jim Mossey — with the new bike rack, installed this week on West Main. 

The Village of Webster is finally getting its bike racks!

They’ve been more than a year in coming. It was last June that I approached the Village Board with a proposal to install some bike racks to make our village more cyclist-friendly. The idea came out of a discussion I was having with a running buddy at our weekly Barry’s Runners group. Many of the group members bring their bikes to the run and they usually end up crowded along the Barry’s Pub fence.

Not any more. Just this week, our village Public Works Department installed the first new bike rack on the sidewalk in front of Barry’s Pub/The Garage Sale Store on West Main. It’s the first of what will eventually be four racks. The other three will be placed at Veterans’ Park, Village Hall, and somewhere down in the Village Bakery parking lot (where exactly is yet to be determined).

Thank you to our Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and his staff for getting this done. I truly believe that the new bike racks will make our already friendly and welcoming village even more so.

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Now on to a few mailbag notices:

The Webster Public Library will host a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the library’s community room.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. The Red Cross is still trying to make up for summer shortages, so please consider taking an hour out of your day and help save some lives.

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motorThe Webster Museum and Historical Society invites the community to an open house on Saturday Sept. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.

If you have never visited our village museum before, this will be a great opportunity to check out all of the permanent and rotating exhibits.

The focus this weekend will me “motoring,” with exhibits inside and outside. There will be vintage cars and an antique tractor, and the big-wheeled penny farthing bicycle.  Ed Harding will show some of the Native American artifacts he’s found in his yard, you can learn about fossils, play some colonial games, make some butter and more.

Refreshments will be served.

It’s going to be great fun for the whole family, and (don’t tell the kids) educational, to boot. Plus it’s all free.

For more information visit the museum website or on Facebook.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday Sept. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd. in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken (leg and thigh), pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets can be bought ahead of time through the school’s website (click on the online giving tab where you can place your order) or you can purchase tickets directly at the school. See that attached flyer for more details.

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Children learn about history by experiencing it first-hand

20 Jul

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I’ve always believed that the best way to learn to is get hip-deep, physically and intellectually, into a subject. A recent program hosted by the Webster Museum is an excellent example.

Earlier this week, several young history buffs got a chance to experience a day in the life of Webster colonial families as part of the museum’s “Morning at the Museum” program.

Participants rotated through several stations at the museum, giving them hands-on opportunities to make butter, dig for fossils, create ornaments, play with colonial toys, weave, write in diaries, stencil bags and learn about architecture. Museum volunteers hosted the day.

Here are some photos from what was an enjoyable day for both children and adults:

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Webster Museum will host two new young Webster authors

28 Feb
Kathyrn

Kathryn Rider and Emerson Ormond

Two young authors will be at the Webster Library on March 9 to talk about their new book, Our Wendy.

Kathryn Rider, a seventh grader at Willink Middle School, and Emerson Ormond, a ninth grader at Webster Schroeder High School, released their first collaborative novel in December. Best friends for pretty much their entire lives, both young ladies have been writing stories since their childhood.

Based loosely on the famous adventures of Peter Pan, Our Wendy tells the story of a runaway boy named Peter, who’s created a new life in the woods with several other “lost boys.” When pretty, bright-eyed Ever Kingsley stumbles into their camp, Peter is determined to keep her by any means possible, and make her their Wendy Darling.

In their talk, scheduled on March 9 from 1 to 2 p.m., Kathryn and Emerson will discuss our wendythe challenges they had to overcome while writing the book, and the secrets they used to get it published. They’ll have several copies of the books there for sale (and signing), and all proceeds will be donated to the fight against children’s cancer.

The Webster Library is located in the Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Road.

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Christmas trees galore, thanks to the Webster Museum

4 Dec
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A look at the raffle prizes you can still win at the Webster Museum this week. 

Late yesterday afternoon after I got home from work, I got a very nice phone call from Amy at the Webster Museum. She told me that I had won one of the two Christmas trees that the museum was offering as part of their annual holiday raffle.

I had entered the raffle when I stopped by the museum during White Christmas in the Village on Saturday. So many gorgeous raffle prizes were piled on a table in the museum’s main room, but I was set on winning one of the fat Christmas trees which stood near the front entrance. After all, with the price of cut-your-own trees these days, combined with the hassle of slogging through the mud and snow to get one, I considered the $5 I plunked down for the raffle a good bet.

Turns out it was a very wise investment.

I tell you this story mostly because I want to give a public shout-out and thank you to the Webster Museum for not only hosting the raffle, but also delivering the tree to my door within an hour of when they called. Also, I want to thank Woody Acres in Penfield for donating the tree, and supporting our museum.

The raffle, by the way, is still going on this week. Even if the two trees are gone, there are still plenty of incredible raffle prizes to be won. Cost is just $5 for three entries, which will be accepted through the end of this week.

And while you’re there, make sure to check out the museum’s Festival of Trees. This annual event features adorable little 4-foot tall trees set up throughout the museum, each of which has been adopted and decorated by an individual, family or local organization. I snapped a few photos when I was there to give you an idea of what you’ll find (check out the slideshow below), but you really have to see them all for yourself.

Plus, you have to vote, Serious bragging rights are on the line for the most creative tree.  Votes are being taken through the end of the month.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Call 585-265-3308 for more information.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Photos from White Christmas in the Village

2 Dec

IMG_0015Once again we didn’t have a whole lot of white for Webster’s White Christmas in the Village. But I’ll wager that the thousands who came into town for the cookies, wagon rides, caroling and visits with Santa appreciated the unusually warm temperatures.

We could have done without the light rain, though, which began just as the parade started.

Still, it was another successful event. The village looked beautiful, the businesses were all decked out in their holiday finery, and several who remained open throughout the afternoon benefited from a steady flow of holiday shoppers.

Of course I took a lot of photos. Many of them didn’t come out very well because of the low light and wet conditions, but I hope you enjoy what I did manage to get:

Click here to see the gallery. 

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