SALAMANCA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM was originally formed in 1995 under the administration of Mayor Rosalyn Hoag (Rosie) as part of the Salamanca Regional Local Development Corp. Rosie felt that even though there were two museums (Rail Museum and Iroquois) in the city, the history of the city itself was not represented. “Other than the railroad and Iroquois there is still more history here of industry, from glass to wood and lumber.” She also was concerned about the important pieces of the city’s history that were being “disposed of everyday.” “Every time I see that an older person has died, I think about what history is in their attic!”
The Historical Society’s first location was at 696 Broad Street which was space shared with the Chamber of Commerce which had been housed in a railroad caboose which was moved from its location on Broad Street when the Seneca Bingo Hall was constructed.
Art Cooney Jr. was the first President, Barbara Brown served as treasurer and Rosie Hoag was Secretary. Dick McClure was also instrumental in the development of the original historical society. They began with nothing more than postcards, photos and some artifacts of the city’s history.
Their next move was to 26 Main Street and still shared with the Chamber of Commerce.
Rosie had visions of acquiring a historical building to locate the museum in the historical area of Salamanca. Leasing of the Salamanca Savings and Loan (the former Salamanca Trust Company) became a reality due to funding through a Small Cities Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $324,696.
In October of 2002 an agreement with the city was reached to lease the building for $1 per year. A lease was signed by Mayor Steve Montgomery under the President Frances Lord. A renovation contract was signed and in mid-2005 the Salamanca Historical Society and Museum moved into its permanent home. Through the hard work of our volunteers and supporters we are preserving the area history for all to enjoy and experience.
President: Francis Lord
Vice President: Thomas Sharbaugh
Treasurer: Patricia Yehl
Secretary: April Vecchiarella
Historical Society Assistant: Cindy Feldbauer
City Historian: Noel Riggs