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The Cobblestone Museum...

Is an open-air museum that promotes the study and exploration of cobblestone construction methods from 1825 to 1860, offering visitors the opportunity to explore three period cobblestone structures set in Victorian appearance and four wood structures highlighting 19th century agricultural implements and skilled trades.

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Post date: Fri, 04/10/2015 - 7:04pm

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 10 April 2015
The bells on the Cobblestone Universalist Church will ring at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was shot on April 14 while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. An actor, John Wilkes Booth, shot the president in the back of the head. Lincoln’s death came six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, effectively ending the Civil War.

Churches around the country will ring bells at 7:22 a.m. on April 15 to mark Lincoln’s death. The Cobblestone Society met last night during its board meeting and agreed to have the historic church on Route 104 join the bell-ringing in appreciation of Lincoln’s life.

Other churches are urged to participate.

Post date: Tue, 03/31/2015 - 7:17pm

Cobblestone Museum among the first to commemorate World War I anniversary

Photo by Tom Rivers
The Cobblestone Museum will show 20 to 25 propaganda posters that promoted American involvement in World War I, whether joining the service or buying war bonds. The posters are on loan from Hoag Library, which discovered about 100 posters while cleaning out the former Swan Library.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2015
GAINES – It may have been “The Great War,” but World War I has been overshadowed by the second World War that followed about two decades later. The service and sacrifice in the first World War isn't fully appreciated locally or nationally, said Matt Ballard, interim director at the Cobblestone Museum and also the county historian.

The first World War started in Europe on July 28, 1914 and ended Nov. 11, 1918. The United States was reluctant to join the war, with a noninterventionist stance until the United States officially joined the Allies in 1917.

Many museums will likely have commemorative displays and exhibits about World War I in 1917, the 100th anniversary of the U.S. involvement. The Cobblestone Museum is preparing two exhibits this upcoming season about the war.

The museum is one of only 10 in the United States with World War I exhibits planned for this year, Ballard said.

That puts the local museum, a National Historic Landmark, at the forefront of highlighting the local involvement of a community in the war.

Post date: Fri, 02/27/2015 - 3:55pm

File photo by Tom Rivers
Matt Ballard, interim director of the Cobblestone Museum, is pictured in front of the Cobblestone Universalist Church built in 1834. Ballard was appointed the county’s new historian today.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2015 - County Picks New Historian to Succeed Bill Lattin
ALBION – Orleans County’s new historian is only 26. But Matthew Ballard already has shown a commitment to historical initiatives.

Ballard has served as interim director at the Cobblestone Museum for more than a year, and organized an exhibit and lecture series at the museum on medical history in Orleans County and Western New York.

He created a web site in 2010,, that highlights the history and art of the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Albion. Ballard grew up on Brown Street and was part of the St. Mary’s community while growing up. He was an altar server.

The Albion Polonia site includes baptismal records, marriage licenses, and funerals of the Polish community. Ballard has photos of many of the weddings. He has a searchable database that helps people on a genealogical quest.