When the village administrator position was abolished earlier this year, North Dansville Town Historian Quent Masolotte was asked if he wanted to move into the administrator’s office, which was essentially right back where he started.
You could say North Dansville Town Historian Quent Masolotte is right back where he started.
When he began his post as town historian in 1986, taking over from longtime Historian Wilfred “Wutz” Rauber, his offices were on the second story of Town Hall. When the building was renovated in 2001, his office was moved downstairs into a cramped, but doable space also used by the town court.
When the village administrator position was abolished earlier this year, Masolotte was asked if he wanted to move into the administrator’s office, which was essentially right back where he started.
The office is a little different now after the renovation 10 years ago, which added a hallway through his former office, but considering it has much more elbow room than his former downstairs office, Masolotte isn’t complaining.
And it beats being in the basement, which was a former option.
Speaking of the basement, his new space has enough room to now include items that had been kept in storage in the Town Hall basement, such as local bound newspapers dating from the 1870s through 1920s.
He is also making use of the former administrator’s sprawling desk, and has obtained a new computer and printer to boot.
About his job, Masolotte said, “What I try to do is provide local information, historical information, to current residents and ... former residents.”
Masolotte said he receives a lot of requests for copies of old photos, which he said is where the new computer and printer have come in handy.
Requests for photos also come from the Express for its weekly Days Gone By page.
He additionally receives a lot of geneological requests. Where he can’t help, he’ll usually refer people to Mary Beth Bimber at the county historian’s office.
Recently, Masolotte researched and provided some information and photos to Dansville Lions Club for its 70th anniversary.
“We want people to know, obviously, that we’re here, and that we’re at their service and at all possible, we’ll help them,” he said.
For those who want to contact the historian’s office, it’s best to call the town clerk’s office at 585-335-2330 until Masolotte’s office receives a phone of his own.
“I’m here to serve the people and maintain the records and local history for future citizens.”
The historian’s position is appointed by the town board for a one-year term. Masolotte has been North Dansville town historian for 25 consecutive years and plans to continue.