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Fulton County Historian intervenes in DOT, Historical Society problem

June 13, 2010
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County Historian Peter Betz recently assisted the Perth Historical Society in its attempts to erect a state historical marker on a state highway despite initial objections from the state Department of Transportation.

In his monthly report to the Board of Supervisors' Economic Development Committee, Betz noted he had to intervene in a problem between the DOT and Perth Historical Society. He said the society wanted to place a historical marker on Route 30, just north of the Perth Four Corners. The marker recognizes Healy's Park, which was an early 20th-century amusement and entertainment center in Perth.

Betz said the society was told by the DOT it needed permission from the state historian to place the marker, although he knew that was not true.

"The state historian has never had anything to do with these markers since the 1950s," he said.

He said he did, however, contact State Historian Robert Weible to help with the problem and facilitate future installation of the new historic marker.

Betz said Friday the marker hasn't arrived yet and will probably be dedicated in September.

He told the committee that several new historical markers will be going up this summer in the county.

Elsewhere in his report, he said he is currently working on backtracking deeds related to the Judge Cady property in Johnstown to assist Nancy Brown of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Project. He said it is a daunting task.

"My main project right now is probably impossible," Betz said.

The county historian reported he applied for a $1,500 grant through an unnamed "local foundation" to aid in a historical books collection.

During May, Betz said he fielded a request from a California student for information about the County Courthouse. He also researched people whose names appear on windows in the Mayfield Methodist Church, and researched several early Northville families. Other work by Betz included providing courthouse information for a retired Canadian lawyer touring the area.

In other business at the County Office Building, the committee received an update regarding Workforce Development Board operations and board structure from Executive Director Gail Breen.

At Breen's suggestion, supervisors also approved a Chief Local Elected Officials Agreement between Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties. She said the agreement authorizes her board to provide planning, guidance, monitoring, support, oversight and regulation for the workforce development system.

"If you have any ideas for board members, I would love to hear from you," Breen added.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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