Historian eyes past practices

JOHNSTOWN – New Fulton County Historian Samantha Hall-Saladino told supervisors recently that county history files are in a state of chaos.

“I’ve been trying to create a plan,” she told the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development and Environment Committee. “It will probably take a few years.”

Hall-Saladino said she is going through the process of exploring the contents of boxes and files in the Fulton County Historian’s Office at the County Office Building.

“I’ve been going through the boxes pretty much every day I’m here,” she said.

Hall-Saladino said she’s discovered many records are stored improperly, “not only endangering” the documents or items themselves, but “making it impossible to know where anything is located for research purposes.”

“I am working on a step-by-step plan to catalogue and correctly store these items,” she said.

Gloversville resident Hall-Saladino – employed full-time as education coordinator at the Shaker Heritage Society in Albany – was appointed in November as the county’s new part-time historian. She replaced former Historian Peter Betz, who resigned after being accused of stealing a coffee maker from the county building.

The county Historian’s Office also has back issues of The Leader-Herald from 2009-13 stored in banker boxes, she said. Hall-Saladino said the newspapers take up nearly two shelves of space and are “unnecessary” to collect or keep since the Gloversville Public Library collects daily newspapers for public use. She recommended disposing of them.

Elsewhere in her report:

Hall-Saladino congratulated the village of Northville on its successful application to have the Northville Historic District listed on the state Register of Historic Places.

She noted she will speak at the 70th anniversary luncheon of the Women’s Republican Club of Fulton County in May.

Hall-Saladino said she’s looking into restoring two maps currently on display in the Board of Supervisors chambers.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.