250th birthday festivities for Riceville namesake Thursday

MAYFIELD — The Rice Homestead, as the Mayfield Historical Society, will celebrate the 250th birthday of Riceville’s namesake, Oliver Rice, on Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Mayfield’s little hamlet of Riceville was named after its first prominent citizen, Oliver Rice, a Revolutionary War messenger boy who, in 1789 at the age of 21 came from Connecticut to the Homestead in the wilderness around the Mayfield Creek. Rice was born July 15, 1768.

Initially building a one-room cabin, he opened a fulling mill and in 1810 built what is now the Rice Homestead. Rice was referred to as “Squire Rice” in his day and his descendants owned and lived in the property for almost 200 years.

To honor “Squire Rice,” the Mayfield Historical Society will be holding its first Antique & Hot Rod Cruise-In that evening. The society is inviting owners of antique and hot rod vehicles to attend. Admission is free and the first 25 commitments will get a dash plaque commemorating the event.

The gate will open at 5:15 p.m. for car set-up.

In addition, the popular group Hitrick & Brooks will be in concert on the lawn from 6 to 8 p.m. Group member Alex Hitrick has written a song in honor of Oliver Rice and the group will be performing it at the event. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs or blankets; however, some picnic tables will be available.

The society’s annual Ice Cream Social will also be held that evening with ice cream, cake, and a beverage available with a donation of $3 for adults and $2 for children younger than 8.

In addition to the ice cream, hot dogs with the locally iconic “Lee’s Famous Hot Dog Sauce” will be for sale. The descendants of Lee Goulet, owner of Lee’s Snack Bar in the village of Mayfield, donated Lee’s secret meat sauce recipe to the Mayfield Historical Society as well as its snack bar signs which will be on display. At least two of Lee’s Snack Bar waitresses will be serving the hot dogs.

Free tours of the Rice Homestead, which includes its new Textile Exhibit, as well as demonstrations of spinning by Betsy Tanski and weaving by Eileen Wrightsman on a 1793 barn loom will be ongoing throughout the event. An “Oliver’s Attic Sale” will take place and the DVD “Harnessing Nature: Building the Great Sacandaga” will be available for sale.

The Rice Homestead is located at 328 Riceville Road, Mayfield. In case of rain, the car cruise-in will be cancelled and the event will be held at the Mayfield Presbyterian Church, 22 N. Main St., Mayfield.

For more information, call Bob Suits at (518) 725-5261, (518) 332-0538 or visit www.facebook.com/ricehomestead.