New volunteer group forms at historical society

Pat Dominie of Morley, left, volunteers at the Silas Wright House, 3 East Main St., Canton. The house is operated by the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, which is seeking more volunteers. Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — A new volunteer group is being created by the St. Lawrence County Historical Association to help with activities ranging from gardening to archival research.

“We could not provide as many services with our small staff without the help from our volunteers,” said Randy Merrill, the agency’s executive director.

Several volunteers have been helping the agency for many years and have formed a central group called The History Helpers.

Although members will work on separate projects, they will be connected as a group coordinated by Audrey Tobin who is also a docent and staff assistant with the SLCHA.

The volunteer group will assist with gardening, yard and building maintenance, archive research, docent tours, refreshments, administrative assistance, exhibits and programs.

Staff assistants, building maintenance and researchers are needed.

“We plan to have an annual thank you celebration, meet and greet event, to recognize the volunteers,” Ms. Merrill said. “Trips and educational programs will be organized by the staff to further enhance the volunteer experience.”

Long-standing volunteers include Norm Young, who drives a long distance to help out with computer and software issues. He has volunteered since 1990.

“Norm has given so much time and effort to our organization,” said Tracy L. Robertson, interim administrative assistant. “He helped set up the computer system when the Red Barn first opened and is currently working on improving our WiFi and email systems.”

Joe Makowiec, a Canton native who moved to Eagle Mills, has maintained the agency’s website for 19 years as a volunteer. In the archives, Mary Gilbert and Donna Jacoby help visitors search for information on their ancestors or for academic projects.

The Canton Garden Club plants flowers and maintains the gardens in the front yard. Patricia Dominie of Morley has volunteered for many years and is now a board member.

“The list is long,” Ms. Merrill said. “We have a new group of young men from North Country Freedom House who cut the grass and are available to move furniture when we set up exhibits. It’s a great relief for us to be able to have this kind of help with the day-to-day work of the museum.”

If anyone is interested in joining the volunteer group, contact the SLCHA at or 315-386-8133. For more information, ask for Ms. Robertson.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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