Local history buffs named 'Citizens of the Year' by Warrensburg Chamber

WARRENSBURG - For about six years, local history buffs have worked gathering artifacts - sorting, researching and and cataloguing them for posterity.

Others have joined them in their work to re-invent the Warrensburgh Museum of Local History, constructing displays, exhibits and environments that will help generations to come fully comprehend day-to-day life in bygone days.

The refurbished museum was reopened last year to considerable acclaim, but some visitors might not have fully realized the many hours that went into the museum's revival.

But in recent weeks, because of a decision by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, this work will not go unnoticed.

The Chamber board of directors decided that the members of the Warrensburgh Historical Society should be named collective Citizens of the Year for their work, primarily on the museum, which the society officially took responsibility for in 2004.

Historical Society President Paul Gilchrist said Tuesday the award was well-received by the society's membership, now 216 strong.

"Certainly, this is wonderful recognition for the Historical Society and the museum," he said, adding it was appreciated that the Chamber of Commerce realized what society members have accomplished in the museum's revitalization.

Gilchrist said that dozens of people invested a lot of hours into refurbishing the museum.

"Not long ago, the museum was a beehive of activity for a year or so, with 15 or more volunteers working at a time, several days per week, on renovating the facility," he said.

Museum Director Steve Parisi, and his wife Sandi Parisi, town historian, are among those who've invested thousands of hours into the work.

Parisi said Tuesday that it was very fitting that the

Chamber bestowed the award on the members of the Warrensburgh Historical Society, as the Chambers's very first Citizen of the Year award, in the late 1970s, was given to Isabel Cornell, founder of the museum.

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