Bicentennial banner sale a success

PORT HENRY The Moriah bicentennial is proving to be a financial success. The celebration committee is planning to order more bicentennial banners and T-shirts and is now selling Moriah magnets. No one ever expected this, said Catherine Sprague, who is heading up the banner project. "Its wonderful. Sprague reported at the Feb. 12 town board meeting the celebration committee has sold 88 bicentennial banners and will be ordering more. Moriah businesses and civic groups are being asked to support the communitys bicentennial celebration by purchasing banners. The banners are placed on on utility poles in the town and will remain in place throughout 2008 as Moriah marks its 200th anniversary. The banners are 36 x 72, have a logo featuring mines, the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain, and read Town of Moriah, 1808-2008, Celebrating 200 years. The name of the sponsoring business or civic group will appear at the bottom of each banner. Each costs $135. They can be purchased by contacting Sprague at 546-7935 or by mailing a check payable to Town of Moriah Historical Society/Bicentennial Celebration, to the Town of Moriah Historical Society, 38 Park Place, Port Henry 12974. Joan Daby, chairwoman of the bicentennial committee, said the group has sold out of its T-shirts and will order more. The committee is also selling novelty bicentennial magnets. We now have magnets of the bicentennial logo and we will be having magnets of the shape of the town of Moriah a little later, Daby said. They sell for $2 each. 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 Feb. 12 town board meeting. Supervisor Tom 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. 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 Daby, Sprague, Elaine Adkins, Barb Brassard, Richard Carpenter, Diane Lashway, Mark Lashway, Greg Moore, Georgiana Scott, 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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