Birthday celebration

PORT HENRY Tom Scozzafavas singing may have been a bit off key, but not his sentiment. The Moriah supervisor expressed pride and affection for his community in leading the celebration of the town bicentennial Feb. 12. This is a very special occasion, Scozzafava said at the Moriah town board meeting, which happened to fall on the exact date of the towns founding. Today we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our township. Moriah officially became a town Feb. 12, 1808, when the state legislature approved Moriahs request to become separate from the town of Crown Point. The bicentennial was celebrated at the end of the regularly-scheduled town board meeting. See MORIAH, page 16 Scozzafava led those in attendance in singing Happy Birthday, members of the bicentennial committee presented gifts to the town and cake and refreshments were served. Judy Cutting made the cake. Crystal Prew made a wall-hanging of the Bicentennial Logo and Lorraine Easter embroidered the block of the old Lee House, both of which were given to the town. The town was also presented with a bicentennial quilt made by Dianna Alger, Betty LaMoria, Janet Denney, Joan Daby, Cindy Coogan, Grace French, Crystal Prew, Diane Redman, Dot Rushby and Jackie Viestenz. Scozzafava said he thought of the eastern European immigrants who founded Moriah as he reflected on the bicentennial. Many descendants of those founding families remain in Moriah, he said. Through the generations you can see the results of their hard work, Scozzafava said. Moriah has had tough times, the supervisor said, noting the closing of mines in 1971. Still, people have stayed. People have decided to make this their home, Scozzafava said. That tells you a lot about the people and the community. As a community we have much to be thankful for, he added. Weve had our problems, but the community spirit in Moriah is as good as it gets. Scozzafava praised the town employees and volunteers. He lauded the school district and civic groups. Moriah is home to nationally-recognized heroes, he pointed out, such as Congressional Medal of Honor winner Raymond Buzz Wright and 1955 World Series Most Valuable Player Johnny Podres. He also noted Moriah has more military veterans than any other town in Essex County. Im proud to call the town of Moriah my home, Scozzafava said. Im proud to represent this great community. The major bicentennial celebration has been scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at Moriah Central School. That event will include several presentations, remarks by local officials and a reception. Moriahs bicentennial committee includes Joan Daby, Elaine Adkins, Barb Brassard, Richard Carpenter, Diane Lashway, Mark Lashway, Greg Moore, Georgiana Scott, Catherine Sprague, Barton Swan, Shirley Tedford and Esther Waldron. Moriah traces its history to the 18th Century. After the Treaty of 1763, soldiers were given land by King George for their service in the French and Indian War. Iron ore was discovered in those lands, lumber and grist mills sprang up, farms started, furnaces were built, and the shipping of ore started, first by water, then by railroad. Many families came to work in the iron ore mining industry, which flourished from around 1824-1971. Mines were privately owned, then became the property of Witherbee-Sherman & Co., and finally in 1938 the Republic Steel Corporation. In the late 1800s and early 1900s most of the large hotels, homes, churches and schools were built, many still existing today.

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