SHERMAN - The Yorker Museum in Sherman began with a group of historically minded female students.
In the school year of 1946-47, five girls under the direction of their Sherman Central School history teacher Genevieve Matteson, later Genevieve Larson, formed a group called the French Creek Yorkers. The Yorkers were a part of the New York State Historical Association. Artifacts were collected from family and friends and the French Creek Yorker Museum began.
The chapter grew by leaps and bound, at one time consisting of 276 Sherman students who joined in the work, but mostly fun. Parents and friends were also very active as buildings were moved into the Yorker Museum complex in downtown Sherman village and restored.
This log dwelling is one of many buildings available to walk through at the French Creek Yorker Museum in Sherman, some dating back to the 1750s.
Sadly, New York State ceased to back the Yorker organization in 1998 due to decreasing enrollment.
The Yorker Museum, or "Village in the Village" is located on the corner of Park and Church Streets in Sherman and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 1 to 4 p.m., or by appointment. It has original building dating back to the 1750s including a school house, a general store, a chapel, a buggy shed, a log dwelling, a meeting house, a gazebo and the oldest frame house in Sherman. Most of the buildings were moved into the complex from the area, though the meeting house and gazebo were built on site. There is no entrance fee, though donations are welcome.
The Sherman Historical Society was formed in March of 2011 to preserve the museum. The committee has succeeded in gaining several grants for renovations on the various building, some badly in need of help after all the many years. The grants awarded this year from local benefactors are: Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, $7,000; Ken and Barb Neckers, Maplevale Foods, $3,000; Hultquist Foundation, $10,000; Rob and Lynn Russell Hayes, $1,700; Lenna Foundation, $10,000; and Sheldon Foundation, $10,000.
Much of the restoration is now complete in time for this season's opening, but there is more to come in the near future. The historical society sincerely thanks all the foundations and friends who have given their support and well-wishes for this worthy project that was started by one woman and her students.