County leads NYS in farmland acreage
BATH — While neighboring Allegany County's History Week is currently in full swing, Steuben County’s second annual “Local History Awareness Week” is set for Oct. 1-5.
The Steuben County events will highlight the county’s strong agricultural tradition as it honors the 200th anniversary of the Steuben County Fair through “Crops, Critters, and Farm Life in Steuben County.”
“The event will center on the history of agriculture in the area and how it has evolved over the past 200 years,” said county Historian Emily Simms.
Settled by pioneers during the years following the American Revolution, the cash value of farms in the Steuben grew to more than $18.5 million by 1865. Grape growing around Keuka Lake began in the 1850s, and by 1861 the Pleasant Valley Wine Company was licensed as New York State Bonded Winery No. 1.
Today, Steuben leads the state in farmland acreage, with 421,624 acres.
The event will feature historic exhibits created by individuals and groups throughout the county which will be on display from 2 - 6 p.m. Oct. 1-4, and 10 a.m. -noon Oct. 5 at the Steuben County Fairgrounds Horticulture Building. Guides from local historical societies will be present to assist visitors and groups, and answer questions.
School groups are welcome throughout the week and may be scheduled by calling (607) 664-2199 or by email at Historian@SteubenCountyNY.gov.
Scheduled speakers during the event are:
* 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Bath Haverling High School: Allegany County Historian Craig Braack - “The Story of Barns, Silos & Outhouses.”
*6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Bath Haverling High School: Steuben County Historical Society Director Kirk House - “From Wheat to Grapes: The Steuben Farming Story.”
The week’s finale is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Howard Community Center with a demonstration of plowing with vintage plow and work horses. The demonstration will be followed by a barn dance and harvest basket raffle from 2-4 p.m. with live music and refreshments showcasing a taste of Steuben.
For more information or to schedule a school group, contact county Historian Emily Simms: (607) 664- 2199 or Historian@SteubenCountyNY.gov