BIG FLATS, NEW YORK
1822 - 1972
The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910. This organization has had an active place in the life of Big Flats since 1918 when Troop 42 was formed. Many Big Flats boys have enjoyed fun, fellowship and the guidance of outstanding leaders through the years.
Troop 42 was first organized in 1918 with James Gordon as Scoutmaster. The M.E. Church was sponsor. There were 24 boys in the troop. Leroy Peterson, Ezra Wolcott, Henry Farr, Earl Havens, Charles Rhodes and Emmett Weaver among others. The sponsorship changed in 1924 to the Barca Class of the First Presbyterian Church. Arthur Hartman was Scoutmaster at this time. In 1928, Carlton Jackson became Scoutmaster, and the Big Flats Union School was sponsor. In 1951, the Masonic Lodge #378 was sponsor. Dave Eaton has been Scoutmaster since 1966. There are now 38 boys in the troop. Basil Denissoff is the Committee Chairman.
Troop 87, sponsored by the Big Flats Presbyterian Church, was organized in 1965 with Rev. Marcy Punnett as Scoutmaster, with 27 boys. Henry Minier, Howard Resue, Howard Farrow, Gordon Gardner and Daniel Zenker were on the first committee. There are now 45 boys in the troop. John Haas, Scoutmaster, Rev. Marcy Punnett, Assistant Scoutmaster.
Cub Pack 42, for boys 8 – 11, was organized in 1945. The sponsor was the Big Flats Union School, and Leon Warters was Cubmaster. Ezra Wolcott, Jerry Rhodes and William Smith, II were on the first committee. Den Mothers were Mrs. Fred Andrews, Mrs. Fred Kelley, Mrs. Ezra Wolcott and Mrs. Nellie Weaver.
The Masonic Lodge 378 and the American Legion sponsored the Pack in later years. The current sponsor is the Big Flats JayCees. There are now 99 boys in the Pack; Mark Brinthaupt is Cubmaster, Gordon Mosher is Committee Chairman. Den Leaders are: Dorothy Baurassa, Ann Castilow, Ruth Shrieve, Marcia Cambell, Christine Thorborg, Billie Glassner, Ray West, Elaine West, Audrey Johnson, Margaret Phillips, Joanne Beebe, Sharon Ward, Mary Ann Kepner.
Post 42 – for boys 14 years and older, was first organized in 1958 and sponsored by the Big Flats Volunteer Fire Cepartment. John Feeshon was advisor. Robert Sherman, Aaron Stagge, Lyman Howe, Richard Burt and William Smith, II – committeemen. Leader now – Gene Nowlan specialty of camping.
GIRL SCOUTING IN BIG FLATS
By Carol Gardner
In 1948 Mrs. Gladys Peterson started Intermediate Scouting with 15 to 18 ten to fourteen year olds. In 1953, Mrs. William Smith started Brownies and by 1955 we had two Brownie troops. At this time Big Flats was part of the Elmira Council. In 1961 Mrs. Punnett had 7th and 8th graders and Mrs. Hazel Squires had 5th and 6th graders and they were still called Intermediates.
In 1962 we became part of the Penn-York Council. In 1962, Intermediates were divided. Fourth, fifth and sixth grades were named Juniors and seventh, eighth and ninth graders became Cadettes.
In 1969 we became a part of the Seven Lakes Girl Scouting Council. In 1971 a Senior Girl Scout Troop was established in Big Flats.
At the present time we have 5 Brownie troops, 4 Junior troops, 1 Cadette troop and 1 Senior troop, which total 270 Girl Scouts and 54 registered adults. 75 percent of the second and third grade girls in Big Flats are Brownies and 53 percent of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls are Juniors.
In the 1950’s Mrs. William Smith was District Chairman under the Elmira Council. The name has been changed to Neighborhood Chairman. The following have been Neighborhood Chairmen: Mrs. Eunice James, Mrs. Jane Punnett, Mrs. Dottie Hoos, Mrs. June Sparks, and Mrs. Carol Gardner.
A sincere thank you goes to all who have helped through the years to make the Girl Scouts the vital organization it is today.
The organization meeting for the Big Flats Little League was held May 8, 1950. The chairman was the Rev. Wesley Kehler, secretary, Mrs. Gladys Kahler; vice chairman, Dalton Minard, Sr. and grounds chairman, Ernest Dickinson.
BIG FLATS WOMAN’S CLUB
On April 17, 1957 a group of thirteen ladies met at the home of Mrs. Walter Oakely for the purpose of organizing a Woman’s Club in Big Flats. This group selected the Presbyterian Church parlors as the meeting place, the first Wednesday of the month as the day of meeting. The purpose of the club was to devote its energies as a civic group for the improvement of the Big Flats community. Over the past 15 years, the club has done just this. It has been instrumental in establishing a library for the town, obtaining traffic signs, securing zoning laws, established a story hour for pre-schoolers, helping needy families, and improving town parks. The club’s most recent, and perhaps biggest endeavor is working toward a Community Center for Big Flats. The present membership is 61.
Meetings are now held the first Wednesday of the month at the Community Church on Sing Sing Road.
Charter members were: Mrs. Floyd Damouth, Miss Harriet Easterbrook, Mrs. Otto Lederer, Mrs. Henry Minier, Mrs. Samuel Minier, Mrs. Alan York, Mrs. Richard Burt, Mrs. Luther Knapp, Mrs. W. T. Smith, Mrs. Ezra Wolcott, Sr., Mrs. C. F. Henkel, Mrs. Matt Welles, Mrs. Walter Oakley.
SKINNER ERNEST POST 1612
By Bob Harris
The name, Skinner – Ernest, came from two men who were killed in wars. Mr. Skinner was the first man from this area killed in World War I. Mr. Ernest was the first man from this area killed in World War II.
The American Legion Post 1612 was founded by Harold Fasick in 1946. The first temporary charter had 13 charter members. In 1947, when the original charter became effective there were 24 members with Merlin Howe as the Commander and Harold Fasick as the Adjutant.
The first meetings were held in the present building, which at that time belonged to Ray Shaw and Miles Hilton. The Legion purchased the building from Ray and Miles on June 7, 1948, which at that time was the old power house for the railroad.
Through the years the Legion has grown until it has to date a total of 230 members.
The Legion helps in Child Welfare, all sports in the community and Community Days activities.
In 1971 and 1972 the Legion has added another room to the back of their home.
THE AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
The American Legion Auxiliary was formed February 24, 1948 with twelve members present at the home of Edith Howe. At first the meetings were held in homes. Now, the meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at the Post home.
One of the major activities of the Auxiliary is caring for disabled veterans who are hospitalized and helping them get a place back in civilian life. Our child welfare program is built upon the pledge to maintain the integrity of the American family home. We help all families in time of need.
We aid the community through Community Days program, sponsor softball games, donate flags to scout troops, to the Little League, Babe Ruth and more.
In 1969 the Junior Auxiliary was started. Florence Preston was the chairman. Two years ago, the grand-daughters were eligible and Big Flats had the first grand-daughter to join.
The charter members were: Edith Howe(deceased), Lillie Ford, Junita Fasick, Bertha Kimball, Betty McDonald, Mary Jane Smith, Betty Farr McIntyre, Helen VanOrder, Elizabeth Storms, Thelma Pickering, Dorothy Wood, Doris Losey, Mary Belk, Ernestine Brooks, Betty Loomis, Ledith Hariman, Peggy McIntyre, Claudia McIntyre, Fay Betzes, Hazel Hillman, Joyce Copestick, and Barbara Chase.
The presidents have been: Lillie Ford, Edith Howe, Betty McDonald, Ernestine Brooks, Grace Easton, Dorothy Wood, Gert Wolcott, Elizabeth Farr, Betty Christman, Ada Williams, Lou Edwards, Myrtle Monighan, Jeanette Radford, Fran Robbins, Betty Wilson, Ethlyn Potter, Emma Gardner, and Jennie Comfort.
THE GARDEN CLUB OF THE THREE RIVERS
The name of the club was chosen because we all live in the area of the Chemung River and there are three rivers that form the Chemung. They are the Cohocton, the Canisteo and the Tioga.
The club was formed in 1968 when a group of interested gardeners got together and talked about the problems and the joys of gardening. We decided to become a club and wrote up a constitution and became a member of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. in 1969.
There were 12 charter members: Mrs. Marie Beebe, Mrs. Fran Campbell, Mrs. Jeanne Crowley, Mrs. Carol Gardner, Mrs. Annice Griswold, Mrs. Betty Mellen, Mrs. Rose Marie Robbins, Mrs. Pat Smith, Mrs. Mary Lou Swinehart, Mrs. Nancy VanAuken, Mrs. Marian Willoughby and Mrs. Dorothy McGary.
Mrs. Carol Gardner was the first President. Mrs.Mary Lou Swinehart is the president now. All officers are elected for two years.
The membership now totals twenty-one.
Some of the things we have done in this short time are: given accredited courses in flower arranging, ceramics, Oshibana – the Japanese art of using rice paper to make pictures and note paper; co-sponsored the Mall Flower Show; distributed common poisonous plant lists to local Girl Scout camps; had a booth at the Mall on water pollution and soil conservation, with native trees and ground cover.
During the last two years, we in connection with the Town of Corning, had 17.6 acres of land donated and deeded to the Town for a Nature Preserve and Nature Study Area to be staffed and maintained by our members.
We also put flower boxes in the Post Office in Big Flats and our Spring project is to put flower beds at the Big Flats library and to help in Arbor Day activities in Big Flats.
BIG FLATS JAYCEES AND JAYNCEES
The Big Flats Jaycees were chartered as the Big Flats Junior Chamber of Commerce on May 8, 1965. On September 18, 1965, the Big Flats Jayncees received their charter from the New York State Junior Chamber of Commerce Women’s Auxiliary.
Living up to the Jaycee motto "Leadership Training Through Community Service", the new club received acclaim as the Outstanding First Year Local in New York State. Since the Jayncees were equally as active, they received the same award given by the auxiliary. It was the first time in state Jaycee history that both awards were awarded to the same local chapter.
A chronological summary of some of the Jaycee/Jayncee projects follows: a community attitude survey, whereby the wants of the community residents were assessed; a referendum on a new town hall (now built); a TV cable survey; initiation of the ‘Beautify Big Flats’ effort; books for Elmira Reformatory; ‘Operation Gift’, a project to buy clothes for needy Big Flats children at Christman; Camp Seneca, the construction and modification of a Boy Scout Camp; Little League Basketball, the only organized league for grade school children; extensive involvement in Big Flats Community Days; amblyopia clinics; an Antique Gun Show and the establishment of an Annual Antique Show and Sale for the benefit of the Community-Historical Center Fund; a Jayncee scholarship for seniors from Big Flats; the initiation of a plan to build a nursing home for young paralyzed adults, the Jerry O’Bryan Project; a blood bank -----
Current project efforts center on the growing problem of teen age drug abuse and aid to the physically and mentally disabled. A "Drop in" center is planned for the summer of 1972, in an effort to provide counseling and supervised congregation of teenagers.
Special Olympics, an effort to help mentally retarded children, was begun in February, 1972.
The Big Flats Jaycees, along with the Jayncees, have earned their place as leaders in Big Flats history.
Jaycees presidents include: Jefferson Manser, Philip Morrison, Ronald Chapuran, Robert McKay, William Estes, William Welsh, and Thomas Diaddigo. Jayncee presidents have been: Mrs. William Welsh, Mrs. Arthur Shea, Mrs. Ronald Chapuran, Mrs. Burton Schoonover, Mrs. Samuel Farr, Mrs. Gordon Mosher, and Mrs. Thomas Diaddigo.
BIG FLATS CINDERELLA SOFTBALL LEAGUE
Cinderella Softball, which organized in Corning, N.Y. in 1958 for girls between 9 (now 10) and 14, came to Big Flats in 1962. The four teams in the League at that time and their managers were : Women’s Club – Mrs. Elizabeth Farr, Miller’s Insurance – Mrs. Thomas Price, Wenzel’s Paving – Mrs. George Wenzel, EL –Air-Co. – Mrs. William Johnson. The first officers were: President – Mrs. Frances Tunis, Vice-President – Mrs. Gordon Gardner, Secretary and Publicity – Dorothy Markle, Treasurer – Mrs. Dermont Miner, Player Agent – Stanley Reed, Purchasing Agent – Andrew VanEtten, Chief Empire – Albert Comfort, Official Scorekeeper – Mrs. Gertrude Holtby.
League President have included: Leland Estep, Frank Lowe, Richard Slocum, David Richards, Robert Lynch, William Kane and Mrs. Elizabeth Farr.
The Big Flats League was the first league to ever win the World Series Championship for two consecutive years – 1968 and 1969. For this accomplishment the Big Flats League was presented the original World Series Pennant Flag. The 1968 Would Series All Star team presented the "Big Flats Cinderella Softball League" sign erected at the field. This was done through a donation given to them by the Big Flats Rotary Club. Also at this time double flag poles were erected and an American flag was presented to the league by the Big Flats American Legion Auxiliary.
A new field, fence and back stop were installed in 1970. A press box is being planned for 1972, and the field has just been officially named the "Elizabeth (Liz) Farr Field."
Each year a banquet is held in honor of the players by the league. At this time the awards for the year are presented.
In 1972 there are seven teams in the league.
BIG FLATS LODGE 378, F. & A.M.
According to records that are available, in the year of 1855 a group of Big Flats residents became interested in Free Masonry. As this was a new venture, they had to have outside help. They went to Painted Post Lodge, Corning, New York for this help.
The first meetings were held in the upstairs rooms of Dr. Peeble’s house at 2789 Canal St., Big Flats. J. B. Lower served as Master at the first meeting, which was held on April 12, 1855. George Wolcott served as Senior Warden, Ebenezer Hopkins as Junior Warden, W. J. Bigbley as Secretary. These men were all from Painted Post Lodge. There is no further record of any meeting after the Charter was granted from Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of New York State, on July 11, 1855 until December 21, 1855, at which time W. C. Peeble was elected Master.
W. C. Peeble was reelected on December 18, 1856: On December 7, 1857, Samuel Minier was elected as Master of the Big Flats Lodge. He was the first man from Big Flats to hold this office.
As this covers the start of the lodge, records show that meetings have been held regularly at Big Flats since the beginning of the Lodge. Attendance and membership must have been good in the early years of the Lodge as the various halls that were rented did not prove satisfactory or the Lodge had grown big enough to have their own hall. In 1871 they purchased the land that the Temple now stands on. The present building was started in 1871, first used in 1872, and completed in 1873 at a cost around $3,000.
The building has served many public functions, among them the home of the Grange, the Town Hall where Board meetings, courts, and elections were held. It has been used by many churches for meetings, bazaars, suppers, etc. during the first century of its use. Over the years the needs of the community has changed, tenants of the building are now the Masonic Lodge, Excelsior Chapter #323, O.E.S., and the Boy Scouts of America, Troop #42, the latter being sponsored by the Masonic Lodge.
The structure remained practically the same until around 1920, when a kitchen was added. In 1946 the Lodge began to modernize with running water and toilet facilities. In 1953 gas space heater replaced pot bellied stoves. In 1957 the present modern kitchen and rest rooms replacing the ones built in 1920 were added.
As the country has had its ups and downs, so had Lodge #378. During the depression attendance and the initiation of new members reached the lowest point. With the up turn of business in 1937, so did we enjoy an up turn in attendance and the initiating of new members. The Lodge at present, has a total of 162 Master Masters.
Each and every member of this lodge has contributed something to it and I am sure that we will continue to function and grow not only in the future years but centuries.
BIG FLATS EXCELSIOR CHAPTER O.E.S.
Mrs. Althea Quick, a District Deputy Grand Matron, Order of the Eastern Star, living in Montour Falls, and a daughter of John Minier, a Mason in Big Flats stirred up interest about organizing a local chapter; she was assisted by members of the Big Flats #378 F&AM and Excelsior Chapter OES was issued a charter from The Grand Chapter of the State of N. Y. with 28 original charter members in the year of 1904. They had the surnames of Farr, Minier, Buck, Huguson, Reeder, Churcher, Brant, Welch, Stewart, Whitcomb, Bottcher and Reed. The name "Excelsior" was chosed because the State of N. Y. has chosen this word for its motto, which means "Forever onward or Forever upward." It is interesting to note that many donations were and have been given to local and national no-profitable organizations in the past, such as an Ambulance fund during the First and Second World Wars, and veterans organizations. In 1925 a supper was served to the public at 35c a plate, clearing a net total of $136.58 for a fund for the "Social Service Foundation for the benefit of Children of Dependent Mothers." There is mention of the Red Cross and a Mississippi Flood Relief in 1927. As the "Great Depression" of the 30’s moved across the nation, Excelsior Chapter also had it’s struggle for survival. In 1933 Grand Chapter sent application blanks for unemployed members to fill in and also requested the names and addresses of those who had positions available for any applicants. (This undoubtedly was one of the fore runners of our present N.Y. State Employment Offices). Many members requested demits, and withdrawals, and in 1935 a motion was made, and carried that the old rule of each Matron leaving a $25.oo minimum balance in the treasury be made null and void. Cash on hand November 19th, 1936 was $5.60. The lowest it has ever been. During these years Brother Albert Curran, who was Patron at the time would come to the meetings and if there were not enough present to open the meetings he would get in his car and travel until he had enough members to go with him to make the necessary quorum (which is 7 including the Matrons), to open Chapter and carry on the business meeting. In 1939 there were not enough officers to give the degrees and Chapter officers from Elmira and Elmira Heights cheerfully gave their assistance. During the II W W we continued our support to all war efforts and to our boys in the service of our country. As time progressed over the years our membership has grown to the present number of 107, and our material gains have increased as well. As Kipling said – "It ain’t the individual Or the Army as a whole; But the everlasting teamwork Of every living soul."
BIG FLATS ROTARY CLUB
By Glen Bates
The Big Flats Rotary Club was given its charter March 23, 1953. Charter night was "A Night in Big Flats", over 400 visiting Rotarians attended the affair. Since there wasn’t a hall large enough to seat the entire group, the banquet was held at three locations – the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and the Masonic Hall. Later the entire group assembled in the Presbyterian Church for the presentation of the charter.
Charter members were: Fred Andrews, Glen Bates, Jr., Jerry Black, Ernest Dickinson, Charles Easton, Rowland Farr, Jr., Harold Gould, David Griffiths, Robert Haines, Arthur Hammond, George Hartman, Miles Hilton, Lyman Howe, John Kahler, Martin Kahler, Rev. Wesley W. Kahler, Elwyn Kennedy, Dr. Otto Lederer, W. Slide Losey, Carlos McDonald, Samuel Minier, Charles Rodbourne, William T. Smith II, Allen South, W. Eugene Stainback, Leon Warters, Albert Wheaton, and Ezra Wolcott.
Exra Wolcott was the first president followed by Sam Minier in 1954, Miles Hilton in 1955, Art Hammond in 1956, Lyman Howe in 1957, Ernie Dickinson in 1958, Charles Rodbourne in 1959, Jerry Hayward in 1960, Conrad Stemski in 1961, Harold Gould in 1962, Waldo Kuhl in 1963, Dudley Shea in 1964, Robert McCormick in 1965, Harold Putnam in 1966, Phillip Kuster in 1967, Delbert Foote in 1968, Philip Dewey in 1969, Arthur Duncan in 1970, and Robert Homan in 1971.
One of the first projects tackled by the club, was the restoration of the old village cemetery. This was quite an extensive project, since several grave stones had toppled over and several had broken. Names were taken from the stones and recorded with the Chemung County Historical Society. The stones were then laid flat along the sides, the ground was regarded, seeded and shrubs planted.
About fifteen years ago, the club planted a live "Xmas Tree" on the Town property at the corner of River and Main Streets. Every Christmas, the Rotary club decorates the tree with lights.
Other Rotary projects are contributing to the Little League, Cinderella Softball Team, Girl Scouts, helping with the Community Days, supporting "Dollars for Scholars", Camp Star Camp (a camp for handicap children), Rotary Foundation – Scholarships for students.
On 11, November 1969 the group which was to become the Big Flats Lions Club first met. Rev. Donald L. Roe, Donald D. Thomas, and Roy A. Nutt attended this meeting at the Flaming Pit Restaurant along with representatives of the Elmira Lions Club and New York State Officers. Regualr meetings were scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 6:30 P.M. as these men set out to recruit new members. The Club Charter was presented at a dinner meeting held 7 March 1970 at the First United Methodist Church of Big Flats. Twenty-two men signed the Charter. Rev. Roe was elected Charter President to serve until 30 June 1970; John J. Kwasnowski succeeded Rev. Roe for the club year 1970-71. Donald D. Thomas served as President for the club year 1971-72; Clain F. Johnson is the President-Elect for the club year 1972-73.
The club participates in "Community Days"; has contributed over 200 man-hours so far this year to install back-stops and fences for ball fields at several town parks; has offered a Book Scholarship for the second year to a Big Flats resident high-school graduate; and invites men living in the Big Flats area who wish to participate in these and other community betterment activities, to become a member and help the club live up to its motto: "We Serve".
Chemung County was a cradle for 4-H clubs due to the dedicated efforts of Rufus Stanley who made the first steps in club work in Elmira in July, 1886. Between 1885 and 1914 he organized at least ten different clubs. The club programs did not expand outside the city to the county until 1909 or 1910 when the Chemung County Agricultural Club, later named the Achievement Club, was organized. (The Achievement Club was the forerunner of the 4-H Club.) Their program included handicrafts, gardening, poultry, canning, sewing, breadmaking, home yard development, pig raising, potato raising, and rabbit raising. 4-H entered the picture during this time.
From the time of Rufus Stanley and his farm near Golden Glow the 4-H program has expanded to more than 125 volunteer leaders in 60 clubs with nearly 1000 involved youth.
Big Flats has ten 4-H groups at the present time.
The Park Valley Lambs – Mrs. Velma Utter, leader
The Friendly Sevens – Mrs. Charlotte Stone, leader
Airport Angels – Frank Johnson, leader
Golden Glow 4-H, Golden Glow Revolutionaries – Mrs. Gloria Welshans, leader
Golden Glow 4-H, and Golden Glow – Mrs. Betsy Eckert, leader
Speeding Bob Cats – Mrs. Helen Easterbrook, leader
Western Wranglers – Mr. & Mrs. Craig Madison, leaders
West Hill Trojans – Mrs. Madaline Santulli, leader
West Hill Raiders – Mrs. Gail Haner, leader
In the summer of 1971, the State Commission for Senior Citizens requested a meeting with town officials. Leon Warters (Supervisor) and Jerry Hayward (J.P.) invited the Rev. Walter G. Griffith to attend. As a result, Rev. Griffith was appointed advisor.
Elmer Easton and Walter Losey were contacted by Rev. Walter Griffith in the interest of forming a Senior Citizens Club of Big Flats, and the Big Flast Community Church provided a meeting place.
On September 15, 1971, the first meeting with a picnic dinner proceeded. The meeting was attended by 21.
Mrs. Janice M. Ingersoll, Information Director, and Sister Juliana, Program Coordinator for Chemung County, attended this meeting. With their help, the Club was off to a flying start.
Officers elected were: President, Walter Losey; Secretary, and Treasurer, Mrs. Hazel Hillman. It was voted to meet the first and third Wednesday each month, a picnic dinner proceeding the meeting.
From then on, the meetings were well attended. In February, it was voted to have only one meeting a month, the first Wednesday each month. Entertainment, cards, bingo, speakers, music and pictures have been very much enjoyed.
On January 5, 1972, Mr. Walter Losey was appointed advisor to the Club, as Rev. Walter Griffith no longer was able to serve because of other commitments on the Big Flats Town Board.
Two Charter Members, Orson Bronson and Arthur Hammond, have passed away since the Club was organized.
Interest has been growing in the club, and future plans include bus tours, crafts, etc. Mrs. Lillian Easton has been appointed chairman of the Program Committee.
The charter members of the Big Flats Senior Citizens were: Mr. & Mrs. Walter Losey, *Mr. & Mrs. Orson Bronson, Viola Rhodes, Hazel Hillman, Louella Robinson, Hilda Bennett, Lyda Foshay, Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Easton, Mr. & Mrs. Albert Peterson, *Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Hammond, Mr. & Mrs. Marion Rhodes, Lula Robey. (*deceased)
BIG FLATS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The formation of the Big Flats Historical Society was suggested, planned and executed through the efforts of Mrs. Samuel Farr during her term (1969-70) as president of the Big Flats Jayncees. After nearly a year of public speaking and foundation work, a community meeting was held at the American Baptist Community Church and a board under the chairmanship of Mr. William Estes and later the Rev. Walter G. Griffith drew up a constitution, signed up charter embers, and elected officers in March of 1971 with Charles R. Middaugh as the first president. Since its formation, the Historical Society has tried to search out pictures, maps, books and information on the history of the town; files have been initiated on every aspect of Big Flats history; tape recordings have been made of long-time residents; and through the talented efforts of artist Al Werner a set of historical pen and ink sketches of Big Flat will record days past for future generations. A complete set of pictures of Big Flats, 1972 is being taken so that in years to come those who shall come after, will not have lost the history of these years.
This book is the lasting tribute of the efforts of the Big Flats Historical Society.