SPRINGWATER — The Springwater Town Board celebrated a job well done for the Bicentennial Committee at the Monday night meeting.
Springwater Town Historian Havilah Toland handed out certificates to everyone who had put their heart and soul into the celebration of the bicentennial. These posters had the person’s name, the Springwater Town Flag, postal notes, and the dates of the bicentennial on them.
“We have been celebrating 200 years of existence at the town,” Toland said. “We went through a celebration that I think was the most ambitious of any other town in the county. I take some blame for that, because I presented an idea to the board a few years ago.”
“Most of the town’s celebrated the first day, because that is the legal origin,” Toland continued. “To me though, in the town, it has been the people who have built the town. They have had a perseverance that can’t be described, because it has been so great. We have had one problem right after the other. It is unbelieveable how people have worked it all out, and brought the town back to something we can be proud of.”
Springwater Bicentennial Committee Member Katherine Humphrey brought flowers to share with her fellow bicentennial helpers.
“I brought flowers because as you know Webster Crossing is known for its flowers, and so my garden is just blooming like you can’t believe” she said. “I would like everyone here to have flowers. If we don’t have enough there is still more in my garden just come and get them.”
Springwater Bicentennial Committee Chairman Terry White said she wanted to thank the town for all of their help in putting together these events.
“Thank you to every one of you for your support,” she said. “I want to thank the people from the (Springwater) American Legion for all of your help. In times of need you have been wonderful. Most of all my darling worker bees. I have come to love you all very much. I shall never forget any of you for this wonderful time.”
Humphrey was welcomed in with loving arms at the meeting, as the town board told her it would keep her in the prayer chain for the surgery she is getting next week.
“I have to tell you that God is good,” Humphrey said. “God wanted to see that I made sure that everyone gets some happiness. I just hope you all pass it on. That is all you have to do. Just be happy yourself, and spread it around. Thank you everybody for your thoughts and prayers.”
Lighthouse Wesleyan Church Pastors Rob and Cheryl Parker were among those awarded a certificate for all the their help in the bicentennial celebration.
Toland had designed the Springwater Town Flag in 1982 as a way to bring a significant image to the town. The actual flag is now being held at the Livingston County History Museum in Geneseo.
“It is special to me because this is my heritage. My fifth great-grandfather was the first settler here,” Cheryl Parker said. “It made it special because our family has been here for so many years. We have made it to the eighth generation now. Eight generations later they are still living in Springwater. We still love this town.”
“I think the theme of unity that was put forth in the town was really good too,” Cheryl Parker continued. “We have been friends within the community, and we don’t have to agree on everything. We can still have this feeling of unity, and still be together. That was the universal theme for the whole year. It has been a year of celebration, and has been a lot of fun. There have been friendships made, and relationships restored.”
Toland was at a board meeting in 1982, and there was talk about creating a symbol for the town. ‘“There was a discussion about the lack of a central feeling of belonginess,” he said. “I made a suggestion that we make some kind of token. It wasn’t understood, so it didn’t go over so well. They told me to come up with something, and get back to them.”
Toland brought the completed flag to them a couple weeks later.
“I pictured looking down into the valley from Bald Hill Road, and I thought of the Seneca Indians looking down at the same valley feeling the same feeling I was feeling,” Toland said. “The indian culture is such that they didn’t have a written language. They are a society based on the trust in judgement of the wise men.”
Toland wrote a historical outlook on the symbol of the flag, and the reason we celebrate 200 years of existence in this town.
“As I sat peering down over the valley I imagined a learned Seneca wiseman, perhaps a sachem, standing somewhat higher on the hill, and with a hand shielding his eyes from the sunset being struck with the same indescribable emotional I felt,” he wrote. “Along the banks of the deeply sculptured creeks grow patches of the regal mountain laurel found only here. Above may be seen a bald eagle, one of the last nesting pair of these sentinels of the skies in New York State. Without question the sachem knew and professed the obvious explanation.”
“I felt the episode of day-dreaming had brought me to a closer understanding of the Native American culture, and offered me a basis for developing a symbolic picture of that possible emotion created by what was seen in that view,” Toland wrote.”With only imagination as a guide I tried to represent a bald eagle as a Seneca might have done with wings outstretched encompassing the Springwater Valley as seen through a garland of laurel and with the background of a sunset.”
In other town business:
The old town hall will be sifted through this weekend by town officials to see if anything of historic value can be saved for the museum. The town is ready to tear down the old town hall as it is dangerous.
The new highway barn on Hudson Road is almost ready for viewing, and the town board will have an open house at the end of May for the public to see all of their hard earned tax dollars at work.