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Waterloo Open House event from 6:30 – 8:30pm September 24th

Please plan to attend the Waterloo Open House event from 6:30 – 8:30pm September 24th at the Waterloo Middle School. The Village and its partners will present ongoing projects and how you can be a part of transforming downtown into a thriving, walkable location amenable to both local businesses and residents. Food and drinks will be served courtesy of the new local bakery, and after the meeting there will be opportunity to engage and volunteer to help revitalization efforts in downtown Waterloo.
Historic Downtown Waterloo – Forward Together

Historical dialogue featuring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Portrayed by Dr. Melinda Grube & President Theodore Roosevelt, Portrayed by Gib Young

We are proud to have Women’s Rights National Historical Park as a sponsor again this year. The M’Clintock House on East Williams Street was the home of Thomas and Mary Ann M’Clintock from 1836-1856. The family were active Quaker abolitionists, actively engaged in the Underground Railroad, and were major organizers of the first Woman’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY, in July of 1848.



On Saturday at 1:15 AND Sunday at Noon, The beautiful harmonies and songs of Merry Mischief from by gone times will set the mood in advance of the characterizations of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and President Theodore Roosevelt.

 Step back in time with music and learn from the wisdom of those who have tread the stairs of politics and women’s rights at this historic museum.


At the M’Clintock House at 1:45 pm and 3:00 pm Saturday, May 26th and 12:30 pm Sunday, May 27th, there will be Historical dialogues on women’s rights and women’s suffrage featuring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Portrayed by Dr. Melinda Grube & President Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, Portrayed by Gib Young.



Melinda Grube focuses on the life and work of suffragist and freethinker Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who helped to organize the first Woman’s Rights Convention in her hometown of Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.  Melinda Grube is an adjunct lecturer in history at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York, and a longtime interpreter of regional women’s-rights history.


Besides the physical resemblance of Theodore Roosevelt – circa 1915 – Mr. Young has been able to develop the vocal and movements of his subject to a high degree.  Mr. Young has appeared before audiences from Boston to Seattle and from Houston to Marquette.  He has had the honor of appearing at White House, Mt. Rushmore Natl. Memorial, Devils Tower Natl. Monument, Jewel Cave Natl. Monument, Washington’s Mt. Vernon, Lincoln’s Boyhood Home in Indiana, Lincoln’s Springfield, Ill. home, US Grant’s home in St. Louis, the Ottawa Ohio Wildlife Refuge, the JFK Library, the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, and Ft. Caspar in Wyoming to name just a few venues on his resume.

 Here is a sample from the 2017 dialogues:

2018 Celebrate Commemorate Parade May 26th

Waterloo Remembers

Parade Co-Chair – Sarah Smolinski    315.745.9928
Parade Co-Chair – Nicole Hunsberger

The parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. and step out promptly at 11 a.m. for the march down Main Street.  This year’s honor float in the Freedom Parade pays tribute to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Sampson Naval Training Station, now Sampson State Park.  Parade Co-Chair Sarah Smolinski invites all veterans of Sampson Naval Training Station and Sampson Air Force Base to ride on the float, being constructed by Romulus Girl Scouts.

To prepare for WWII, Sampson Naval Training station was constructed in 270 days on 2.600 acres in May 1942. Sampson later was a training facility for the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. An estimated that 411,000 Navy and 330,000 Air Force personnel completed their training at Sampson.

A float by Girl Scout Troop 60562 will honor all veterans.  Any Vet who would like to ride on the float is invited to call Sarah Smolinski at 315-745-9928 or Nicole Hunsberger at 315-719-5247.

Veterans will follow in cars, motorcycles and especially buses from the VA hospital in Canandaigua. Those who want to drive their own cars must have at least three people in the vehicle. Following the parade, vets will be hosted at a chicken barbecue lunch at the VFW.  Please RSVP to Karen Lewis at 315-651-9513 to allow the VFW to plan for enough food.

Past Welles Award winners will take another bow on this year’s float by the Waterloo Library and Historical Society in the parade. Contact the Historical Society at 315 –539-0533 for more information.

Also honored this year will be the youth who were winners in the annual Memorial Day Essay contest.  They will join dignitaries on the reviewing stand to watch the parade.

Groups that have been in the parade before know what fun it can be.  Once again, there will be divisions for military and officials; youth organizations, schools and families; churches, senior citizens and organizations; and vehicles.  The Civil War and American Revolutionary War re-enactors will have a “parade within a parade.”  Watch for special “dignitaries” in this year’s parade including US Presidents Terry Roosevelt and President Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. The very popular Hit Men Brass Band will join Downbeat Percussion, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, the Waterloo Central School Band and the Finger Lakes Pipes & Drums in the lineup this year. 

Bring your chair and wave a flag to honor our vets and community stars!

Click here and print to respond to Sarah’s invitation!

Parade Participants Form





2018 Henry C. Welles Award honors Peter Houghton

The Waterloo Library and Historical Society is proud to announce the recipient for the 2018 Welles Award, Peter Houghton. The Welles Award, created by the Waterloo Library and Historical Society in 2008, honors a “citizen of Waterloo who, through tireless effort and many hours of uncompensated time, has made Waterloo a better place to live, work, worship, understand and enjoy,” a person who understands the richness Waterloo offers and utilizes their talents to preserve that richness.  Peter is a person who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to revive the historical legacy and significance of Waterloo.

An Ithaca native, Peter attended Cornell University and graduated with a Masters of Engineering degree in 1966. He and Doris moved to Albany where he worked for the New York State Department of Public Works. In 1970, he obtained his New York State Professional Engineers license. In 1976, Peter took a promotion to manage the  Seneca County office of the NYS Department of Transportation headquartered  in Waterloo. 

His desire to preserve history, especially buildings, is one of the main reasons why in 2002, he joined the Waterloo Library and Historical Society Board. For the next 12 years, Peter tirelessly worked to preserve the Waterloo Library building, which is one of a few historical buildings in New York State that  is still used for its original purpose. 

Peter states, “as an engineer, I saw the big picture with the needs of the building.” This included the slate roof, stained glass windows, the heating system, electrical system, and the exterior stone, iron and wood work that had to be restored. He also saw the need to add an improved  handicapped access ramp and air conditioning. As work progressed, additional smaller tasks were rolled into the larger projects. 

Peter volunteered countless hours developing the projects, writing grant applications to secure funding, selecting the best contractors who understood the historical significance of the structure, and then overseeing the work being completed, using his engineering background to make sure the end result was historically accurate.. Through his efforts, 16 restoration and improvement projects, totaling $1,160,000, were completed at the library over a 10-year period.. 

Peter and his wife, Doris, have raised their four children in Waterloo and strongly supported the academic, athletic and musical activities of the Waterloo School District. Peter served two terms on the Waterloo School Board and helped build the original Leathers Playgrounds at both elementary schools.  The family was involved with many community and church activities.  Peter was a volunteer with the Hershey Youth Track and Field Program held for many summers at the Waterloo High School. He has sung at churches, in Seneca Community Players musicals, in several local musical groups and at weddings. If you say his name to others, one of the first things they may say to you is that he has a great singing voice! 

See videos of previous award winners below.

Waterloo Lightning – 1st Annual Star and Strikes Tournament

The Waterloo Lightning Baseball Program is proud to announce the 1st Annual Starts and Strikes Baseball/Softball Tournament May 26th 2018 at 3PM, at the Waterloo Little League fields.  The tournament is Memorial Day themed with a pre-game ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem.  There will be concessions offered at the game along with memorabilia for sale.  This is an exhibition tournament designed for fun for the players and spectators alike. 

This year’s games are:
The Waterloo Lightning  Vs  The Newark Hawks (Baseball)
CNY Bombers  VS  Victor Vipers Pink (Softball)

Memorial Day Essay Contest 

There is a saying that says “Home is where your story begins…”. Our memories, made as children, are essential to developing civic pride, and a love for country and community. Who can forget the sights and sounds of a magnificent parade and the hustle and bustle of a town-wide festival? Students in Kindergarten – Grade 5 have been invited to participate in the annual essay contest. Waterloo’s unique heritage, and the influence that our founders have had on the rest our country and all citizens, is remarkable! This contribution, originating from our “Home”, is something to honor and be proud of. While participating in the contest, students will learn about and make a personal connection to Memorial Day. 

Each grade has a specific task that has been designed with grade levels and skills in mind while addressing the historic importance of Memorial Day in Waterloo. Student work will range from mini-posters to written essays.

Our youngest students will address the “what, when, why and how” of Memorial Day using pictures and words. Older elementary students will read historic documents and respond to a writing prompt. Judges will select two winners from each grade level. Winners will receive prizes and recognition during the Memorial Day weekend celebrations. 

Middle School students will have an opportunity to participate in the creation of an assembly for their peers. The assembly will be designed to inform, engage and inspire. Students will research, assemble documents, pictures and videos , create stage props, and write original poetry and dialogue to design a presentation aimed at understanding of the sacrifices of our nation’s service members, both past and present, honoring the contributions of our community’s founders, and promoting civic engagement and participation in government and Memorial Day events.  

High School students will be invited to join community members in service to the annual Celebrate/Commemorate committees. There are many opportunities for students to gain leadership, organizational, and technical skills, and create life-long memories, while working side-by-side with dedicated professionals, all with a common goal –  to remember the work of our town’s founders, and ultimately, to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives for our country. 

Deadline for entries is May 10. Contest materials and additional details for K-5 are available from classroom teachers or by contacting Lisa Sessler ( Any Middle School/High School questions can be directed to Janelle Bradshaw (

All winners of the contest will receive a Celebrate Commemorate t-shirt.  In addition, winners in grades 3-5 will receive $25 and will be recognized during the Memorial Day weekend. 

The contest is sponsored by the Celebrate Commemorate Committee, Waterloo Education Foundation, Waterloo Non-Structional Employees Association, Waterloo Library & Historical Society,  Waterloo Retired Teachers, and Mac’s Drive In.

The School of Instruction for Engineers: Waterloo 2018

The Civil War encampment this Memorial Day weekend on Oak Island will feature a two day long “School of Instruction for Engineers / Pioneers”. Engineers were one of four branches of the Army including the infantry, artillery and cavalry during the American Civil War. The general public will be able to see Civil War reenactor participants build some of the various defensive pieces during this school of instruction. Pioneers were infantry troops that were skilled tradesman that acted as “infantry engineers”, one per every 100 man company if they were available.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Luthart


The role of the engineer was extremely vital for the Army to move across the land and fight on the battlefield. The engineers were instrumental in clearing paths through woods, laying down “corduroy roads” on muddy surfaces, building wooden trestle bridges and transporting / deploying pontoon bridges over rivers.  Defensive works needed the guidance of the engineers to construct gabions (three foot tall, round wicker containers filled with dirt to place around artillery batteries), and direct the building of field fortifications especially towards the middle through the end of the war when trench warfare was more prevalent. Chevaux-de-frise (or Friesian horses) were anti-cavalry defensive pieces built by engineers that were often logs with projecting sharpened spikes alternating every foot out of the timber. When placed in front of defensive works they acted as a barrier or obstacle for both cavalry and infantry offensives. Abatis were large branches that were placed in front of works as well to serve as a obstacle to slow down an advance of troops. Also in front of such works were shallow rifle pits (much like foxholes) that the defenders would use to repel the offensive forces. Signal towers were often constructed behind the lines for both observation of the enemy and use by the signal corps to transmit semaphore messages with flags. Lifting gins, with their pulleys, were used to lift heavy objects such as cannon barrels. 

During the course of the “School of the Engineer / Pioneer”, the public will be able to witness participants rotating through 45 minute learning sessions on how to build gabions, chevaux-de-frise, lifting gins, dig rifle pits and a construct a signal tower. The Engineers’ Tool Depot will feature hand tools, entrenching / felling implements and cartography (map making) equipment. Witness history yourself, see their camps, examine their personal belongings, food and equipment. The school located at the Oak Island encampment will commence on Saturday at 1pm following the Memorial Day Parade. 

The school is hosted by two Western New York engineer reenacting units. Capt. Ray Ball of Co. A of the U.S. Regular Engineers has been reenacting since 2010 and is a veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers. Capt Alex Johnson of Co. F of the 1st N.Y. Volunteer Engineers, has reenacted since 1992 and is a descendant of an immigrant sergeant of the original New York regiment. If you’re so intrigued to, join in on the fun and enlist in either Co. A of the U.S. Regular Engineers or Co. F of the 1st N.Y. Volunteer Engineers. 

Photos courtesy of Dennis Luthart


Illumination Ceremonies held at the American Civil War Memorial

American Civil War Memorial
Illumination and Remembrance
Friday, May 25, 2018  7:00 PM
Welcome and Introduction
Marsha Ashbarry, Secretary Tent #109 Mary Gahan, Waterloo
Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865

Master of Ceremony – Susan Sheldon, Tent #109, DUVCW
Invocation – Carla Agonito, Chaplain, Tent #109, DUVCW
Post Ceremonial Flag – John Goloski, Commander, 148th NYVI, SUVCW
To the Colors – Jim Goloski, Past Commander 148th NYVI, SUVCW
Pledge of Allegiance – Ann Zwart, Tent #109, DUVCW
Star Spangled Banner – Waterloo High School Varsity Ensemble, Krista Serrett, Dir.
Dale Theetge Memorial Lantern Procession – Diane Theetge, Past Dept. President,
SUV Aux. and Family
Roll Call of Waterloo Fallen
Key Note Address President Abraham Lincoln a.k.a. Fritz Klein

The Star Spangled Banner – Waterloo Varsity Ensemble
Roll Call of Waterloo Fallen – Gen. George B. McClellan, a.k.a John Goloski
Keynote Address – Pres. Abraham Lincoln, a.k.a. Fritz Klein
Taps – Jim Goloski, Past Commander, 148th NYVI, SVR