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Volunteers beautifying history museum grounds

STONY CREEK A decorative garden is now being established at the Stony Creek Historical Association headquarters in Stony Creek with the help of a county-wide community agency. Master Gardeners from Warren County have begun visiting the Stony Creek Historical Association on a regular basis and have taken on a project to help beautify the grounds under the auspices of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County. The landscaping beautification is being accomplished primarily with perennial plants and shrubs, according to Berniece Bordeaux, one of the curators at the Historical Association museum. The Stony Creek Historical Association has been hoping to establish a perennial garden for years, she said. With the help of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Warren County, its becoming a reality. Bordeaux said she appreciated the new landscaping. The setting here at the Historical Association building and the surrounding countryside in Stony Creek, is quite beautiful and we want to provide a welcoming entrance for visitors, she said. Bordeaux and her sister, Joan Thew, spend time at the Historical Association building tending to the artifacts and photographs and are more than happy to welcome anyone who may have an interest in this historically rich town, according to Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator Julie Nathanson. The last owner of the Stony Creek Historical Association building, Mrs. Haskell, wanted to be sure the building, and especially the history, was preserved for the next generations, Nathanson said. Haskell passed away in 1999 and in her will, she specified that her home and the property surrounding her home about seven acres be offered to the Stony Creek Historical Association for use as a museum. A glimpse of the history of the town is provided in the current publication of the Stony Creek Historical Association. It noted that in an 1860 publication of The Gazeteer, that nearly the whole town is still a wilderness. The current Historical Association publication expresses a parallel viewpoint. It reads, indeed, newcomers today might also have that feeling, for there is plenty of greenery. Also, a substantial portion of the towns land is now preserved by the state as wilderness or wild forest lands. Much of the lands that were cleared and forests harvested in the late 1800s and early 1900s have grown up again, masking all the activity that took place, Nathanson said. We can consider ourselves fortunate that people like Frank Thomas, Berniece Bordeaux, Joan Thew and several others work with such dedication to unmask the activities that took place by helping to preserve the buildings, the belongings and the stories making up the history of Stony Creek, Nathanson said. Bordeaux is happy to show visitors around and answer any questions they may have, Nathanson said. Admission to the history museum is free, but any donation are appreciated to help with the upkeep of the buildings and grounds. Also, the Master Gardeners working on the landscaping project are in need of plants and garden labels to help identify existing and newly planted perennials. Bordeaux would love to eventually have a Welcome Garden for visitors to walk through to enjoy the plants and some of the beneficial insects they attract such as butterflies, bees and ladybugs, Nathanson said. Bordeaux said she was a proponent of labeling. Labeling lets people identify and learn more about the native plants and the natural habitat of this area, she said. For the Historical Association museum hours and tour information, call Bordeaux at 696-2649. Visitors are also encouraged to bring any extra native plants they might want included in the Welcome Garden. Such deer-proof plants, Nathanson said, include : Angelica, Astilbe, Bee balm, Blue or Black Cohosh, Daffodil and Narcissus bulbs, Butterfly Weed, Cranesbill Geranium, Evening Primrose, Foamflower, Heliopsis, Hollyhock, Iris, Liatris, Lungwort, Meadow Rue, Native roses, Pinks, Purple Coneflower, Red Osier Dogwood, Spicebush, Wild Lily, Sweet William, and Yarrow.

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