DANSVILLE — Three local organizations will take part in I LOVE NY’s Path Through History Weekend.
Dansville Artworks, Clara Barton Museum, and Dansville Area Historical Society will have special extended hours June 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and June 19 from noon to 3 p.m.
Dansville has a rich identity with the Castle on the Hill, King’s Daughter’s House, Clara Barton Chapter 1, Maxwell Block, Foster Wheeler, and much more.
These three organizations have partnered up once more to develop three events celebrating Clara Barton in Dansville.
The Dansville Artworks collaborative Dansville: Past, Present, and Future exhibit explores Red Cross founder Clara Barton's connections through the lens of Dansville's heritage in the past, present and future.
The Dansville Area Historical Society will feature local history exhibits celebrating Clara Barton's residency at "Our Home on the Hillside" the Sanatorium run by Dr. James C. Jackson. In addition, historical food from a Jackson Sanatorium-era cookbook will be served.
Clara Barton Museum will have tours within the famous Clara Barton House and the Walking Tour from 3 to 4 p.m. on both days. The Walking Tour will start at the museum and end at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Dansville Artworks Gallery Coordinator Lucus Nice said he loves working with the Clara Barton Museum and Dansville Area Historical Society.
“I am excited about this partnership,” he said. “We will combine the art and history of Clara Barton. We will talk about how she strengthened the community. I will make it enjoyable for people. I will have coffee, water, and tea.”
Nice will be volunteering his time on Sunday, since the art gallery is typically closed that day. This will allow people to see into the gallery out of normal business hours.
“I am coming in on my free time to volunteer, and hopefully increase foot traffic,” he said. “Dansville Artworks is the central place for the community. I believe in this organization, and what we are trying to do.”
This walk through history is important to the community, since it will open the doors for tourism, and show how special Dansville really is.
“People are interested in the Dansville history, and why we are special,” Nice said. “People have enjoyed the exhibit we have up now, and it shows they care about our history.”
Clara Barton Museum Director Joanna Jennings said each site will have extended hours to promote this event.
“The idea is that they will come here, and I will send them to the art gallery, and the art gallery will send them to the historical society,” Jennings said. “I will be offering my guided heritage walking tours on both days, and I do have brochures for people who want to have a self-guided tour.”
Jennings hopes many people respond to this great opportunity to walk through history.
“This will be the first in many successful collaborations,” she said. “I hope to give the community the opportunity to engage in the Red Cross history and Clara Barton’s role in it. She touched so many places in this community.”
Dansville Area Historical Society member Nancy Helfrich is thrilled to be working with the museum and art gallery.
“When Nicole Alioto from Dansville ArtWorks first approached us about partnering in the ArtWorks exhibit Dansville: Past, Present, Future we were on board right away,” she said. “People who might not ordinarily come to a museum have been able, this past month, to see the marvelous oil portraits from the Museum's permanent collection displayed at the ArtWorks exhibit. ArtWorks brought together Clara Barton, Dr. James C. Jackson, and the Jackson Sanatorium (now the Castle on the Hill building) into part of their exhibit.”
Helfrich explained that when people come to the historical society during this event they will get a tour that focuses on Clara Barton.
“You will even enjoy an appetizer that comes from a recipe that certainly was one served at the Jackson Sanatorium,” she said.”If you visit the Artworks, you can see a table setting that Clara might have sat down to, and you can learn more about the timeline of her years here in Dansville at Jackson's Our Home on the Hillside. And the Museum at the Red Cross will be giving a Clara Barton in Dansville walking tour.”
Helfrich added The Path Through History Weekend event in Dansville give visitors and residents alike a day to spend at three interesting venues, plus eating lunch or having coffee or snacks at any one of the many eateries on Main Street.
“Joanna, Salome, Nicole, and I have discussed that much of Dansville's history and success is tied with physical well-being and health advances,” she said. “The historical society and the Clara Barton Museum of the American Red Cross share a common goal of bringing that part of Dansville's history to light. It is a natural partnership which the Dansville ArtWorks recognized and showcased in their gallery. It is entirely to the Dansville ArtWorks credit that they pioneered the exhibit.”
Most people know the Castle on the Hill that they can see today, and many remember the Bernarr MacFadden era in the same building, but there was also the very successful half-century of the Jackson family ownership at "Our Home on the Hillside" that was depicted in the Dansville: Past, Present, Future exhibit, Helfrich said.
“Clara Barton stayed at Our Home on the Hillside, and she also was in Dansville during the time that that wooden building burned and was rebuilt in "fireproof" brick to be called Jackson Sanatorium,” Helfrich added. “That brick building is now 133 years old. The ArtWorks exhibit focused also on a Christmas meal Clara Barton might have eaten. Food was very much equated with well being to Dr. James Caleb Jackson and to his sanatorium. Clara herself attributed her return to health to her diet while under Dr. Jackson's care. Dr. Jackson is known as the inventor of the first cold cereal which he called Granula. At the Dansville Area Historical Museum, you can see an original Granula tin can and well as a wooden Granula crate. On exhibit is also a graham cracker, or cookie, which was served at Christmas time in 1868.”
For more information about the Path Through History Weekend events, visitors are invited to like the events’ facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/ClaraBartonInDansville/. The events are free and open to the public, but donations to each organization will be accepted. For more information about this program or to learn more about volunteering opportunities at the new Red Cross Museum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 585-335-3500.