Port Henry Betty Lamoria has big shoes to fill. The new Moriah town historian is replacing Joan Daby, who has retired after 20 years.
“Nobody is ever going to replace Joan,” Lamoria said. “She was instrumental in forming the Town of Moriah Historical Society and the construction of the Iron Center Museum. Joan can never be replaced. Luckily, we don’t have to.”
Daby still volunteers her time with the historical society and assists Lamoria.
“We’ve changed roles,” Lamoria said. “I was her volunteer; now she’s my volunteer. She’s a host of knowledge.”
Lamoria became interested in her own family history several years ago. Her research took her to the Iron Center Museum and to Daby.
“Joan helped me with my genealogy and really sparked my interest in Moriah history,” Lamoria said. “Eventually I started working with her as a volunteer. I’ve been doing that the past five or six years.”
Lamoria hopes to continue the work started by Daby. A major ongoing project is digitizing thousands of old records and photos.
“That’s a major undertaking,” Lamoria said. “It would be great if we could get everything online some day.”
Work is also under way to prepare the Iron Center Museum for the 2012 season and the Town of Moriah Historical Society is selling the book “Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corp. Camps,” which contains contributions by local residents. It was written by Martin Podskoch.
The town historian is also available to assist people interested in learning more about Moriah. She is in her office at the Iron Center Museum noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She’s also available by calling 546-4165 or Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The appointment as town historian comes at a good time for Lamoria. Her husband died last November.
“This gives me something to do, it’ll keep me busy,” she said. “It came along at the right time for me.”
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava praised the work of Lamoria.
“We’re fortunate to have Betty step up and do this,” Scozzafava said. “She’s been working with Joan for a number of years and is well-versed in town history.”