QUINCY SQUARE MUSEUM
Copyright 2011 The Quincy Square Museum Association, Inc.
23 East Main Street
Quincy Square Museum
HISTORY AT THE
Summer visiting hours:
In 1981, Dick Bennett met with Virginia Clark and Kay Young in the lobby of the Earlville Opera House. The group agreed to start a museum, which was to be a separate entity under the wing of the Opera House. At subsequent meetings, the group drew up guidelines for acquisitions and made plans for exhibits. Additional people were brought on board, including Sumner Wickwire, who served as the first treasurer; John Grossmann, Ken Reymers, and Bruce Moseley, a trained curator. Space was found on the first floor of the Douglas Block annex under the Opera House. Dick Bennett and Wilbur Bigelow spent hours restoring the space for the Village museum. Bagnall Electric donated their time to
install the electrical service. The Museum displayed, in the storefront windows, local memorabilia and historic artifacts on loan from individuals. The first exhibit featured the photography of Sumner Wickwire. Earlville firefighters generously offered many items
that were of great interest.
On June 13, 1982, the Chenango County Council of the Arts joined the Earlville Opera House in dedicating the Earlville Village Museum. The Arts Council sponsored an open house and the Opera House a concert after the dedication ceremony. The opening also featured a display of watercolors by Ken Reymers. Many people visited the Museum,
especially just before, and during intermission of the Opera house performances. Visitors to the Museum listened to Dick Bennett's Caruso records, and often put donations for the benefit of the Museum in John Grossmann's glass jug.
The first officially recorded meeting occurred June 9. 1983. Those present were Richard Bennett, John Grossmann, Sumner Wickwire, Wilbur Bigelow, Virginia Clark, Catherine Young, and new member Dorothy Morey.
As more material of historic interest became available, new quarters were needed. In December 1979, Grace Episcopal Church in Earlville and the Episcopal Church in Sherburne, merged and formed a new religious corporation: the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. In 1982, the decision was made to close the Earlville church. All of the movable
memorials and gifts, including the altar, were transferred to the Sherburne church. Influenced by such people a Nancy Schell, a member of both the Village Museum and the Episcopal Church Vestry, and Dick Bennett, active in both the Village Museum and the Opera House, the Church Vestry and the Opera House Board of Directors decided that the
former Grace Church should be acquired by the Opera house to be used to house the Earlville Village Museum. Consequently, in December 1983, the Vestry of the Church of the Epiphany officially voted to turn the structure over to the Earlville Opera House. On April 8, 1984, at noon, the congregation of the Church transferred ownership of Grace
Episcopal Church to the Earlville opera house, Inc. John Grossmann, head of the Earlville Opera house, accepted the deed from Ed Lee, Senior Warden of the Church of the Epiphany's Vestry.
During these early years, many names were given to the fledgling group and its Museum. These included the Earlville Village Museum, the Village Historical Society, the Earlville Historical Society Museum, and the Earlville Museum Committee. In January 1989, the group was reorganized under the name, Quincy Square Museum Association.
This name was chosen because an early postcard showed that area in the center of Earlville as Quincy Square. Much time was spent cleaning and renovating the former church, and on June 15, 1989, the Association met at the Church for the first time. They subsequently formed a board of directors and elected a president. The first president,
Neva Conley, served until June 1990. In April 1996, NYS incorporated The Quincy Square Museum Association. By then the group had demonstrated to the Opera House that it was a viable organization and in 1997, the Earlville Opera house transferred the property to the Quincy Square Museum Association, Inc.
Over the years, the Museum has become a showplace for the display of various items, and the presentation of programs relating to the history of the Earlville area. The Association has also sponsored various house tours, thus giving the community an additional view of its history.