The John Thurman Historical Society

Contact Us:
JTHS President & Town Historian | JTHS Treasurer | JTHS Publications Department


Welcome to the John Thurman Historical Society's home page, where you will find contact information to reach us with questions about the history of the Town of Thurman, or, if you have stories or photos you'd like to share for our archives, we'd love that, too. The John Thurman Historical Society was first formed in the early 1960s to discover and collect, preserve and protect the history of Thurman. The group was very energeitc, and served the community well for nearly two decades before age and illness made the most active members unable to continue participating, and JTHS fell into dormancy.

In 1995 the society was revived by residents who had been inspirted by the resurgence of interest in local history that accompanied the celebration of Thurman's bicentennial. The new group eventually was awarded a provisional charter by the New York State Education Department and achieved 501 (c) 3 status with the Internal Revenue Service, and set about pursuing the same mission as those who had worked in the society before. During the ensuing twenty years, the group resurrected the long-popular Quarterly, and, over time, created a magazine that captured many stories about our town, diary transcripts, genealogical information, some local poetry and many, many photos. For a number of years we also published a calendar and a Tour book, both of which eventually became issues of the Quarterly.

JTHS found many ways to share town history with others, including annual house tours by bus, programs at town hall, a self-guided CD tour, a book of local poetry and a cook book complied from the of recipes from recipes for Mabel Baker, collected in the early 1900s. One of our most popular offerings was the Fiddlers' Jamboree, begun in the late 90's and held annually until recently. Our organization also contributed much material for the County's Bicentennial book, published in 2013. In fall of that year, we arranged to create a DVD in which a historical reenactor delivered a monologue as Stephen Griffing, an early Thurman settler, filmed in the home that Griffing built c. 1804. JTHS has archived copies of all of its publications, from the 1960s on, and also has digital versions of most. We maintain files of other materials, as well.

Over recent years JTHS membership has dropped, and once again a few senior members found themselves trying to carry the ball without enough helping hands. In 2014 a decision was made to suspend publication of the Quarterly and the summer speaker series. The executive committee continues to meet each quarter, tends to the archives, and is available to respond to questions or offers of historical materials. And we are eager to hear from you, and from those who would like to reactivate the society. Thanks for stopping by.