Kay H. Parisi-Hampel
Anne Hood- Secretary Joyce
Steflik - Treasurer
Colchester Township Historian-Kay
Monthly meetings are generally held
the last Tuesday of the month at the Colchester Town Hall, 72
Tannery Road, Downsville, New York 13755.
Annual Meeting March 29--7 P.M.
April 26--10 A.M. May 31--7 P.M.
June 28--10 A.M.
July 26--7 P.M. August 30--10 A.M.
September 27--7 P.M.
October 25--10 A.M. November 29--7 P.M.
December 27--10 A.M.
Historical Society 2012-adopted June 26,2012, amended July 28, 2015.pdf
mission of the Historical Society is to promote the rich heritage of the Town of Colchester, New York; to offer quality
public education programs regarding local history, and to provide access
to this history through the preservation of its documents: vital records,
cemetery records, veteran's records, photographs, family genealogy,
oral history, folklore and local artifacts. A Building Fund has been
established with a future goal of purchasing a permanent home for the
Colchester Historical Society collection.
The collection is currently housed in the
Colchester Town Hall, 72 Tannery Road, Downsville, New York 13755.
In 1982 the Downsville Women's Club
sponsored the development of a local history society and the "Colchester
Historical Society" was born. The Society received their provisional
charter from the New York State Board of Regents on September 24, 1982,
and their permanent charter on May 22, 1984.
The Society started early after their
formation to study the feasibility of buying a building for a museum and
meeting rooms. In the mean time, permission was granted by the
Colchester Town Board for a meeting and storage space in the town hall.
The Colchester Historical Society space is still in the Colchester Town
Hall and we are still pursuing our goal of having our own building for a
permanent museum and research facility.
In 1983 the Society outlined a plan to
restore the Downsville Covered Bridge. Out of seven covered bridges
built in the township, the Downsville bridge was the only survivor.
The restoration project was completed in August 1985, at the cost of
$12,500. Monies for the restoration were raised by a variety of
local fundraisers, contributions and a grant from the O'Connor Foundation
and the Delaware County Highway Department Funds. The Society
received an Award of Merit from the Delaware County Historical Association
on January 18, 1986 for their work on the restoration of the Downsville
Members of the Colchester Historical
Society published their Bicentennial Edition of "Colchester: People and
Places Remember, 1792-1992." This project was originally the
idea of Downsville residents Mary Oberg, who enlisted the aid of Muriel
Barron and other members of the Colchester Historical Society.
Funding for the development and printing of this book was provided by the
Marcy-South Electric Power Project.
Preserving items within the collection
is an on going project, as well as cataloging donations, and expanding our
Genealogy Surname files.. Several traveling local history
exhibits are prepared and presented to the community each year. We
are continuing to cataloged our large photograph and
postcard collections of over 1,000 images into subject albums and this
provides a visual history of our villages and events of our town. We
continue to add to our genealogy files and our obituary files are being
expanded and updated. Our visitors have found these files to be a
very valuable resource for their research.
Our on-going projects for the next year will be, the continuation of historical signs to be placed throughout our
villages, updating our website, researching specific topics about Colchester and collecting,
cataloging and preservation of Colchester’s history.
We use the time and talent of
our volunteers to promote and preserve the rich heritage of the Town of
If you have family genealogies,
artifacts, pictures or documents from Colchester and would like to share
them with the Society, please contact us at: