Bemus Point Historical Society to Present some REALLY Ancient History


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Bemus Point Historical Society

One of Chautauqua County’s most knowledgeable historians will offer a presentation, “Mastodon, Mammoth, and Other Pleistocene Animals in Western New York” at 7:00 at the Wednesday, March 8 meeting of the Bemus Point Historical Society.

Vince Martonis obtained his Bachelors and Masters Degrees at SUNY Fredonia where he in specialized in English with an emphasis on English College Teacher Preparation, and Archaeology. He spent much of his career teaching college writing and English literature courses as a professor at Erie Community College.

Besides teaching, Mr. Martonis previously worked at the Hitchcock Mastodon Site near Batavia for 22 years 11 years of which he taught college archeological courses. Bones are not the only item the historian searches for, he is also a well-known collector of local historical glass bottles.

Currently, The Gerry, New York resident is the Historian and Curator at the Hanover History Center at Silver Creek. He continues his love of local history publishing a quarterly historical newsletter, curating and restoring the five local cemeteries in the Town of Hanover, and lecturing at many historical societies including frequent appearances at the Town of Ellery where he has spoken on topics as diverse as the historic Town of Hanover “giant walnut tree” which was so large that a room was built inside it, a famous Lilly Dale clairvoyant who manufactured a local cure-all at the spiritualist center, and a renown fiddle made by Amos Sottle from the skull of a horse.

Martonis’ program, “Mastodon, Mammoth, and other Pleistocene Animals of Western NY” will be presented in Power Point format but the presenter will be displaying actual mastodon and mammoth teeth along with other bones, some on loan from the NYS Museum. He will also be discussing a unique mammoth molar found just outside Jamestown as well as giant beaver teeth from Mayville, and specimens found near Bemus Point in Chautauqua Lake.

The presentation will include a discussion of the previously unlisted mammoth molar found outside Jamestown and the giant beaver teeth from Mayville, as well as specimens found in Chautauqua Lake.

This, and all presentations at the Bemus Point Historical Society are free of charge and you need not be a member to attend. The presentation will be held at the Bemus Point Village Hall on Alburtus Avenue. The Society’s museum will be open one-half hour prior to the presentation for anyone wishing to view the displays.