Volume Twenty-Four

No. 3


Summer 1983


The Batavia Historical Society will host its Spring/Summer meeting on Sunday, June 14th at 2 p.m. at the Calvary Episcopal Church, Main Street and Batavia Avenue.  


All members and guests of the Society are cordially invited to attend.  


The program will be as follows:

Welcome and Business Meeting


Display of paintings, sketches and drawings which depict Batavia


A short history of Batavia's Annual Fall Art Show on the Library Lawn by Marge Rundle. We are assembling a number of works of art to show off during Sunday's program.  Also to be featured will be a presentation to Rev. Green of Calvary Church of a 100 year plaque marking the anniversary of his Church's building construction in 1880.  The Society, as was announced at our January session, has revived the Historic Plaque Program which for a number of years was in limbo.  


Applications for consideration by the board of this program are available at the Depot Museum. Also at the Museum are a number of "Remembrance Sheets" for members and old-timers of town to write down their memories of life in the Batavia of past years.  We recently received a nice remembrance from Mrs. Helen (Cliff) Anderson of her childhood memories of downtown Batavia and some of the faces and places she could recall.  We are hoping to develop a storehouse of such tales as told from a personal side into the files of the Depot Museum and we strongly encourage other members to contribute their thoughts and memories.  


Again, our pre-printed form with ample room for writing out your Batavia memories are available at the Depot Museum. Sales continue to be strong for the republished version of HISTORIC BATAVIA which the Society printed earlier this year.  Copies sold so far have been sent worldwide (Bob Ducar bought several copies which found their way to mainland China to the hands of some scientists who had visited Fermilab and were taken with our community).  


The color reproduction of the John Falter painting of the "pond" skating scene seems to be a popular attraction for the many customers.  The nicely reproduced woodcuts of John Gustafson also seem to be much in demand and help sell plenty of books.  John's art work of the old stone bridge along Wilson Street seems to be a widespread attraction to many book buyers.


Speaking of John Gustafson, we have learned that he was recently honored by the American Legion for 62 years of continuous membership in that organization.  We also might note as a side comment that the tree which the Society planted to honor John upon his reaching his 90th birthday last August is growing tall and strong along side the Depot Museum site at Houston Street.  


Chuck Kuhn and his park district maintenance crew have been providing the young tree with TLC (tender, loving, care) and it seems to be responding quite well to its new environment. The coming summer months are offering a number of interesting community events for us all to part-take in.  The 4th of July fireworks show will once more be held on the lawn of the Batavia High School Athletic Field on our nation's birthday (its 205th).  


The big show once more starts at dusk under the direction of the Batavia Park District with loads of cooperation from other city agencies and governments. On July 24, 25, 26, the Windmill City Festival will be held in downtown Batavia and the new retail outlets in town should offer plenty of new attractions for all to enjoy.  We hear of plans to have an art show on the lawn of the Batavia Junior High School, Wilson St. and Batavia Avenue, the days of the Festival which should add yet more community atmosphere to the celebration. Saturday, September 12th is the big date for the Annual Outdoor Art Show on the lawn of the Batavia Public Library.  This year with the construction of the new library building up the street the appearance of the event may take on some changes but we're sure the spirit and talent of the day will once more be quite apparent.  


The city has decided to block off West Wilson Street between Batavia Avenue and Lincoln Street to allow for the expansion of the show into the roadway area (and also to take care of the space needs due to the fact that the show lost much of its growing room with the new library).  City officials also feel that blocking off this one block of Wilson Street will also add to the safety of the event.  At any rate, we'd like to see the Society present and showing off its wares at the Outdoor Art Show in September and hope to secure a display table for just that purpose.  Do we have some volunteers who are willing to man our sales and display booth for the Outdoor Show on September 12th? On Sunday, July 26th, the First Annual Windmill City Family Picnic is being sponsored by the Batavia Chamber of Commerce.  


A city-wide family picnic is something which our town has long needed and we hope that many organizations will join with the Chamber in making the event an annual one of community fellowship.  Does anyone have a suggestion of what the Society could to on the day of the city wide picnic to help promote fun and interest in the event. Beyond all of this, the city's 150th birthday as a community is just around the corner in 1983.  


Plans are now being formulated to start the wheels turning to make this a very special event in the history of the city.  


Look for the appointment of a city-backed commission in the near future to start the whole show into motion. Lastly, we still need volunteers to help man the Depot Museum on weekends.  Those who could volunteer are urged to contact either Georgene Kauth or Jean Conde.  We continue to attract a wide variety of visitors to the Depot and want to keep our good record of hospitality in tack.