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My updated Webster bucket list. How many can you check off?

26 Feb

A few weeks ago, I introduced you all to my Webster Bucket List. As I explained in that first blog, I first developed the list more than 10 years ago, shortly after I began this blog, and was just getting to really know Webster.

That orginal list included more than 80 items from Webster and near-Webster (Penfield). It was pretty comprehensive list, but very out of date. It decided that it desperately needed an overhaul.

I started by throwing out some of the items which were no longer possible (businesses were closed, or events no longer happen, for example). Then I added several new ones, including many reader suggestions and others I came up with myself.

The final list still includes about 80 items, three pages of Webster and near-Penfield places you really should visit, or events that you really should attend. I toyed with the idea of including some more businesses on there (like the Waffle House and the new Cobblestone on Main restaurant), but if I started doing that, it would be tough to leave any one out. And of course the list can never be complete — there’s just too much to see and do in Webster. So if you think of something I should add, drop me an email.

You can download a .pdf of the list blow. Print it off and see how many things you can check off!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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The museum’s Websterscapes gallery is open

17 Feb

The Webster Museum’s brand-new user-generated photo gallery, Websterscapes, is now open, and already features some stunning images.

Here’s your chance to show off your photography skills, and put them on display for all to see. Get out there are take some landscape photos, then send one or two of your favorites to the museum by emailing photos@webstermuseum.org. Or if you’ve captured one of our town’s beautiful landscapes on canvas, send along a photo of that.

You can also upload your submissions to the Webster Museum website. Please remember to identify the location of each photo.

Photos will be added regularly, so visit the gallery often to see the beautiful townscapes. Then stay a while and poke around the rest of the website. I say a while, because I just did that myself and definitely went down a rabbithole checking out several of the features in Phil Marr’s new blog section. Of particular interest is an old video explaining how a dial phone operates. I found it fun. And having seen at Community Arts Day how kids have no idea how to operate a dial phone, this might be something you should show them.

The website also has a section just for kids, which is updated regularly. This is another great resources to help keep kids entertained this week, and they won’t even realize they’re learning something.

Check it all out at the Webster Museum’s website.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

The Webster Museum has been quiet — but busy

4 Feb

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything from the Webster Museum. Being such a small space, there’s really been no way to safely accommodate vistors during the pandemic, so their doors have been shuttered for months.

But don’t you believe for a minute that those museum folks have just been sitting back, twiddling their thumbs. They’ve been taking advantage of this time to make the museum better than ever before. In a recent email, museum president Tom Pellett outlined more than a dozen projects that have been keeping the museum board members busy, from changing up the displays and improving signage to adding new programs and expanding their educational offerings.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Changes are being considered in some of the main exhibit areas, specifically, moving the automotive, bakery and dairy artifacts so the “Main Street” theme can be expanded. The very popular prehistoric artifacts might be consolidated to provide more room for a display on our early founders.
  • The main entryway, which you may remember looks like a barn, will be decluttered and some new items moved in.
  • Even though the museum hasn’t been able to accommodate school groups, the Education Committee continues to discuss ways to expand the programs and even offer the tours to additional grade levels — when everything gets back to normal again.
  • The Historic Properties Committee is trying to figure out a way to present the 2020 Historic Home plaques this coming May during Historic Properies Month.
  • Plans are proceeding for the popular “History and a Cup” program and annual Barn Sale and Vintage Sale. They’re also looking to host another cemetery tour and the Sunken Ship program.
  • Work continues on updating the Webster Through the Years book, originally published in 1970.
  • Discussions with the Village Board are ongoing regarding how to improve external signage to direct more visitors to the museum.

Naturally, there are still a lot of unknowns, especially when they’ll actually be able to open again. But clearly, when that happens, the Webster Museum is going to hit the ground running.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park, in the Village of Webster. If you haven’t stopped by their website recently, pop in to read about their new “Websterscapes” photo gallery, then submit your own favorite Webster photo.

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Webster community mailbag

16 Jan

Here’s a great socially-distanced, outdoor activity that everyone in the family will love.

It’s a Scavenger Hunt hosted by the Webster Recreation Center on Saturday Jan. 23. Children and their adults are invited to participate in a fun morning of searching, exploring and discovering one of our local parks.

The event, held at the Rec Center at 1350 Chiyoda Dr., is designed for children of all ages, with three different levels of scavenger hunts (under 5 yrs old, 5-8 yr olds, and 8-12 yr olds). You can sign in anytime between 9 and 11 a.m., work together to find the clues around the park, and record your answers in the special scavenger hunt answer key. When you’re all done, return your answers to earn a fun prize.

Cost is $5 per child or $20 per family. Pre-registration is requested (register the children only), but payment will be taken at the event. To register, visit the Webster Parks and Recreation website and search for program #101205-A. All proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Webster Trails for maintenance and improvements of trails in Webster.

So bundle up and have some fun!

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The Webster Public Library will host a Webster Area Preschools “Open House” from January 25 to 29.

During that entire week, during their regular hours, the library will have a special display set up in front of the community room with information about Webster area preschools, including brochures, registration information, and virtual events. If you have any questions, contact Jason at (585) 872-7075 x6119 or jason.poole@libraryweb.org.

The library is also offering several adult programs via Zoom this month. Still coming up are Meditation and Self Love on Jan. 20 and Recycling 101 on Jan 26. Registration is required. For class descriptions and registration links, visit the library’s website, choose Events and Classes and find the class you’re interested in on the calendar.

February will also be a busy month at the library. Here’s a visual gallery of some the programs that are coming down the pike:

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Finally, here’s an opportunity to show off your inner photographer.

The Webster Museum is putting together a gallery of “favorite spots in Webster.” This is a follow-up to the museum’s popular holiday photo gallery last month.

This time, they’d like you to take a photo of your favorite Webster spot, then email it to photos@webstermuseum.org to be included in the gallery.

Check back at the website often, because they’ll be updating the gallery as submissions come in.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

16 Nov

This year it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. It’s one less disease we have to worry about as the pandemic worsens.

If you haven’t had yours yet, you can get one at the Webster Public Library this Wednesday Nov. 18, from 11 to 12:30 p.m.

There’s no cost, but you’ll probably want to bring your insurance card.

Picture the Holidays with the Webster Museum

Pooh on the pandemic. The Webster Museum is determined to continue its 20-year tradition of celebrating the holidays with our community.

This year they’re inviting everyone to share photos of what makes you happy during the holidays. Their website explains,

What brings you joy? Do you dress up your pets? Make your own ornaments or special treats? Decorate your house or yard? Have family traditions? If it makes you happy, it will make others happy too!

Take a photo, then share it with all of Webster in one of two ways. You can email your photo to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload them (on the website).

They’ll be updating their gallery regularly. I’m going to be adding one of my own, from one of our favorite family traditions. You’ll want to check it out.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

4 Nov

I know, I know, it’s going to feel like summer again for the next few days. BUT, rest assured, Monday’s cold and snow-showery weather will be back again very soon. So now is a good time to stock up on some good reads for the winter months.

The Friends of the Webster Library are ready to help.

Beginning this week, the Friends are hosting their Bundle ‘n Bag Sale. Just like it sounds, bundles and bags of gently used books will be for sale during regular library hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a wide variety of fun and unique Bundles ‘n Bags of fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults, starting at just $1.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. All proceeds from the sale will benefit library programs.


Looks like it’s going to be a nice evening for the Friends of Webster Trails’ autumn Hot Cocoa Hike, this Saturday at Whiting Road Nature Preserve.

This has been an annual tradition for as long as I can remember, and thankfully the pandemic has not cancelled it entirely. There will, however, be a few changes.

As always, the event will be at night and your path will be guided by candle light. But there will be no gathering in the woods at the end of the trail while you enjoy your hot cocoa. Instead, you’ll pick up your hot cocoa packet which you can then enjoy at home with your family.

This year’s event will be Saturday Nov. 7 at Whiting Road Nature Preserve (on Whiting Rd. north of Shoemaker) and will be a loop of approximately two miles. Participants are asked to walk the trail between 7 and 9 p.m. Also, please click here to register so they have enough supplies.

Remember to social distance, bring a mask, dress for the weather and bring a flashlight.


Immanuel Lutheran Church in the Village of Webster will hold a Bring a Can or a Case Food Collection and Hat, Mitten and Scarf Collection on Saturday Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

One of Immanuel’s biggest social ministries is the Backpack Program, which provides food to more than 50 children in five Webster elementary school buildings. This drive will support the Backpack Program and the church’s Little Free Pantry.

Immanuel Lutheran Church is located at 131 W. Main St., at the corner of Daniel Drive.


Lots of news from the Webster Museum!

The Webster Museum is presently closed to the public, but there has been a buzz of activity within. Volunteers Deb Oakley, Bill Schoff, Carol Yahoodik and Diana Strassman have been inventorying the attic and found a number of duplicate items not related to Webster’s history. In September, a “Vintage Sale” of some of those items was held in the museum parking lot and sales totaled $677.

The annual Barn Sale was held in September on Jan and Andy Naujokas’ historic property, which earned another $2,900.

Now would also be a great time to become a member of the Webster Museum or renew your membership. In honor of Susan B. Anthony’s visit to Webster, the museum will be giving away a limited edition Susan B. Anthony Barbie doll, unopened and in its original box.

To enter, simply join or renew your Webster Museum membership by December 14. On December 15, one entry will be selected at random with the hope of Susan arriving at the winner’s home before Christmas.

Stay tuned for details about the museum’s online Christmas program. If you make your own ornaments, dress up your pets or decorate your yard, they’ll be looking for your photos. More details about that, and about the Susan B. Anthony doll giveaway can be found on the museum’s website.


Do you know a great teacher who deserves to get some extra special recognition? How about nominating him or her for an Oak Tree Award?

Co-Sponsored by the Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) and the Webster Central PTSA, the Oak Tree Award recognition program is an annual award that is designed to recognize teacher excellence in Webster Central Schools.

Any Webster resident or district employee, current or former student, parent, teacher, or administrative colleague may nominate a teacher for the Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year Oak Tree Award.

Award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently teaching in a full-time position in Webster Central School
  • Have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience in Webster Central Schools
  • Plan to continue to teach the next school year in, or retire from Webster Central Schools
  • Be a member of both the Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Teachers’ Association

Nominations must be submitted by February 1. Click here for the nomination form.

By the way, congratulations to the 2020 Oak Tree winners, Joan Bardanis in secondary and Tamara Schell in elementary.

Bardanis is a special education teacher at Thomas High School and has been a teacher in Webster for 17 of her 31 year career in education.

Schell is a 2nd grade teacher at Plank South Elememetary, and has spent all of her 23 years in education in the Webster Schools.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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Were you at Plank North in 1976? You’re in this time capsule.

18 Oct
The time capsule was actually a large Thermos cooler.

Do you remember 1976? Happy Days was one of the most popular shows on TV. A first-class stamp cost 13 cents. The $2 bill was introduced with great fanfare. Ross Willink was Webster School District’s superintendent.

And, of course, 1976 was the year of our nation’s bicentennial. It was probably that fact in particular which motivated Plank North Elementary School to create a time capsule, filled with items depicting world events, school life and pop culture of the time.

The school chose to “plant” its time capsule — actually a large, red, white and blue Thermos cooler — on June 14, 1976, where the event took center stage at the annual Flag Day ceremony. Each class had chosen a different object to include in the capsule. The objects were presented one at a time, along with an explanation of why each had been chosen.

Some of the more than two dozen items included in the time capsule. Click below to see a gallery of everything.

No one seems to know where the time capsule spent the next 25 years. But we do know that in 2001, on the appointed day, it was opened at a school-wide assembly to the delight of students and teachers alike.

That was not the end of its travels, however. Some time after that assembly, the time capsule found its way to the Webster Museum, where is has spent much of the last 19 years in the museum’s attic.

Last week, it came back home to Plank North again, courtesy Bill Schoff, a former Plank North second grade teacher, and currently a volunteer for the Webster Museum.

Schoff is part of the museum’s “attic and inventory” crew, who are working on clearing out a lot of stuff to make more space. When they came across the cooler, they thought Plank North would like it back, and perhaps share some of the items with today’s students.

Schoff was on staff at Plank North that day in 2001 when teachers and students gathered for the assembly to open the 25-year old time capsule.

He remembers, “When the poster of Fonzie was pulled out, we asked the kids if they knew who it was. One student replied, ‘One of the teachers?'” We adults got a kick out of that one.”

Sharing the cooler with the Fonzie posted was a TV Guide with Sonny and Cher on the cover, a Holly Hobbie doll, copies of the Democrat and Chronicle and the Webster Herald, and almost two dozen other items. Each class’s written description of their object was included in a folder with a class photo. And someone had compiled a scrapbook of playground photos, complete with captions.

I took photos of everything in the time capsule, so you can check them all out for yourself. CLICK HERE to see that photo gallery.

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you know who attended or taught at Plank North back then (I was out of town, graduating high school). And if you have any stories to share about the assembly or the time capsule, drop me a line!

It’s very interesting to read the explanations of why each object was chosen and what children thought the world would look like in 2001.

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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.

Screenshot_20200726-154611

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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You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

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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email me at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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