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Valatie celebrates its past and present


VALATIE–Next Saturday, October 18, the Village of Valatie will host the opening of Vintage Valatie: The Guy Gamello Collection, a collection of photos taken of the village in the early 1900s. The Village Board will also present the Spirit of Valatie award to the Valatie Free Library at a ceremony that afternoon. And all along Main Street in the village VERA is hosting HandMade in America: Artisans Along Main Street.

The photos, which are from glass and silver plate negatives, will be on display in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building, 3211 Church Street October 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an opening reception at 2:30 p.m.

The pictures were purchased by local business owner Guy Gamello 30 years ago and donated to the county Historic Society last March. According to a press release from the village, the photos date from about 1910 and were originally owned by from L. Frank Fowler, “purveyor of newspapers” in the village.

Town resident Ed Simonson organized the scanning project of the images that were then printed by Lee Sharp.

Village Historian Dominick Lizzi worked with Mr. Sharp to identify the subjects of each image.

Mr. Lizzi also co-chaired the Spirit of Valatie Committee with Trustee Angelo Nero. The committee presents the Spirit of Valatie award, which recognizes an individual, business and/or organization that has significantly contributed to the village. This year the committee choose to honor the Valatie Free Library after asking the community for nominations. The Spirit Award will be presented at the Glynn Municipal Building as part of a Community Day.

The Valatie Free Library is chartered to serve the 4,344 residents in Valatie and Niverville. The library offers a wide variety of clubs, programs, and classes for kids and adults. Patrons have access to books, movies, audio books, local history sources, reference materials, e-books and databases. After school the library is teeming with tutoring groups and students doing homework.

Under the longtime leadership of Jean Pallas, former director of 15 years who died last year, and Joyce LeRowe, who has served on the Library Board as Treasurer for 17 years and is currently the president, the library moved forward to keep pace with the patrons’ changing needs, adding computer/Internet access to the library through the Mid-Hudson Library System.

According to Mr. Lizzi’s book, “Valatie: The Forgotten History,” the library was formed in 1931 by the Valatie Parents Teachers Association. It was started in a Methodist Church and moved to the corner of Church and Main Street in the late-1930s, and then moved to its current location on at 3203 Church Street in 1940.

The library bought a building on Kinderhook Street/Route 9 in 2012 and has plans to make it the new home of the library.

The Spirit Award, which embodies the village motto, “What a village should be,” began in 1996 and has recognized a total of 30 residents and organizations so far. Spirit Award recipients are presented with a plaque and their names are added to a plaque at the village hall.

There will also be artisans all along Main Street for 4th annual HandMade in America: Artisans Along Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be artisans selling their crafts, food vendors and music by local performer John Parsons. The event is sponsored by VERA (Valatie Economic Development Association).

Information about the day’s events is at veravalatie.com. and also at the village website www.valatievillage.com. All the events are free and open to the public.

Deputy Publisher and reporter Emilia Teasdale was a member of the Spirit of Valatie Committee and is on the VERA Board of Directors.

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