On March 5, 2005, Meredith Town Historian, Bernice Telian, asembled a group of interested individuals and formed Meredith Historical Society. Its original name, Meredith Township Historical Society, was shortened to Meredith Historical Society when we were informed by the Board of Regents that New York State does not have townships; hence, the word “township” could not be used in our name. The following newspaper article announcing the formation of the society was published in The Walton Reporter July 6, 2005.
The mission of Meredith Historical Society , a nonprofit educational corporation, is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the town of Meredith; making that history available to the general public by presenting historical programs, exhibitions, and other events of historical nature to enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of local history.
On December 9, 2005, Meredith Historical Society was granted a provisional charter valid for a term of five years by the Education Department of The University of the State of New York. At the end of the five year term we applied for an absolute or permanent charter which was granted on September 13, 2011.
Meredith Historical Society is located in the former Charlotte Valley Presbyterian Church at 10044 Elk Creek Road in East Meredith. The congregation of the Charlotte Valley Presbyterian Church donated the building to the historical society in 2014. Most of our programs are held in the sanctuary of the church. An archive that houses our collection was built in a Sunday School room adjacent to the sanctuary. This room also serves as research library, which is open tot he public by appointment. A modest museum of local history is housed in the basement of the church, which is also used for board or committee meetings.
From the beginning, we established a strong educational program which has been well supported by the public. We generally hold monthly programs between May and October. The emphasis of our programs is teaching local history, although some of the programs are of regional or general interest, and some are musical. The presenters are generally drawn from the local area although we have outside speakers from time to time.
Our programs are held in the Charlotte Valley Presbyterian Church in East Meredith, beginning at 7 p.m on the first Thursday of the month unless otherwise stated. All programs are free to the public.
We actively collect photographs, documents, and other historical artifacts relevant to Meredith’s history. Samples of the items that have been donated to us during the past two years can be found on this website under the category “Collections > Recent Donations.” At the present time there are approximately 4,000 objects in our collection.
In 2009, the town of Meredith gave the historical society custodianship of its historical collection. The town’s collection, which contains over 3,000 objects, is now the largest segment of our collection. It consists primarily of photographs and other historic documents and records, although there are also a number of 3-D objects.
Computerized Data Base
Almost everything in our collection is digitized and the images are stored in a computerized data base using a program called, “CollectionMaker.” This software was developed for us by Bob Rosen, a member of our society. We believe this software has many advantages over commercially available software for small historical societies. Its main attributes are that data entry is much more efficient, the powerful search engine is easier to use, and with everything digitized, documents can be easily read via the computer without pulling boxes from the archive, and all documents and photographs can be printed or copied directly from the computer.
Thus, researchers can have complete access to our data base from our laptop computer, where they can view, read, and make copies of anything in our collection without ever having to sort through archival boxes.
Meredith Historical Society now has approximately 100 members. Approximately one third of our members live outside the local area.
Meredith Historical Society is financially stable. By keeping our overhead low, we are able to generate sufficient funds through memberships, donations, and funds from the Bert Santora Charitable Trust.
Tax Exempt Status
Meredith Historical Society applied for and was granted tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code on August 30, 2006.
We have applied for and received grants from the Bert Santora Charitable Trust, the O’Connor Foundation, and the Pomeroy Foundation.