During my decade of service as the Town Historian, I discovered records of our one-room schoolhouse, Limerick Hall, and began to consult town members about the possibility of preserving that building. I was, and continue to be, confident that making students aware of the hardships that were endured to learn to read and write, to excel in math and science – to become enlightened – in our early years, would instill a sense of appreciation for the convenience and advances that students now presently experience.
And now, my zeal for teaching through preservation of our past has been ramped up, after a recent research trip to Seneca Falls and the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. Seneca Falls, a small town of circa 6, 700 people, has been instrumental in recreating their illustrious past by preserving the Wesleyan Chapel, home of the first Women’s Rights Convention, along with documents and letters that support the awakening that was occurring in 1848. All that remained of this chapel when the restoration began were two walls and the hole-ridden roof and with that building being restored, an entire epoch of history has now been highlighted.
I am eager to bring to light more of the history that made Akron/Newstead one of the most prominent and progressive village/town’s in our state’s early years. Imagine, not only do we have the unique and rich heritage of the Octagon House, but now we will shine the spotlight on the importance of education – the key to our moving forward. In the 1800’s, Akron/Newstead was a force to be noted. Our industry, our treasured educational institutions and the excellence of our leadership all merit the honor of being restored and/or highlighted, to inspire and motivate others to keep up the good quest for excellence.
As a reflection of our rich history and our heritage of progress not withstanding all the obstacles the citizens have faced, I would hope that you would see the value of restoring the Limerick Schoolhouse and doing all in your power as our elected representatives to ensure these treasures be preserved. How proud we would be to have school children from all around Western New York come to Akron/Newstead to learn about school days of the 19th and 20th centuries!
We have every reason to show off our town/village and every reason to want to inspire others with the appreciation of our history.
Nancy Jo Eckerson
Former Town/Village Historian