The Cleveland Historical Society began as the North Shore Historical Society in 1987 under the direction of former Town of Constantia historian and the society’s first President, Joni Hinds. The group met in the old village hall, the Dean building, which was located where Lakeview Park now stands. With a paid membership of 20 to 25 people, monthly gatherings consisted of a short business meeting and then a featured speaker or program. The society maintained a display case at the village hall, a small library and compiled a book from interviews of local World War II soldiers.
In 2002, the society was offered the former St. James Church as its new home. The 1867 building, an entry on the New York State Registry of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places, was in desperate need of repairs and through the society’s efforts, on December 30, 2003, after a service of secularizing the parish church, performed by Bishop Gladstone Adamas, ownership was transferred. Spearheaded by former President Patricia Cerro-Reehil, the Cleveland Historical Society’s charter was issued on September 12, 2003 by the New York State Education Department.
Today, the society contains 95 paid members. It is the home of the Children’s Glassworks Theater, directed by Marge Thomas. It sponsors a summer camp of local youths that produces two productions a year. Additionally, the society holds monthly business meetings, separate guest speaking events, a free ice cream social and an open house. Assistance with historic or genealogical research is provided year round.
Individuals are encouraged to contact the society about membership, events and volunteer opportunities. Please feel free to utilize the contact form for additional information.