Montezuma Historical SocietyMontezuma Historical Society

About

The Montezuma Historical Society chartered in 2006 through the New York State Education Department is a not for profit organization (501c3) comprised of members who are dedicated to preserving the history of the area. Since its founding, the Society has been actively restoring and preserving the Historic Mentz Church.

MuralHecht

Located at High Street Trailhead, the mural by Dawn Jordan, depicts this site where the Exchange Hotel
was once located at the junction of the
Erie and Cayuga/Seneca Canals.

Several members of the Board serve on the Montezuma Design Committee as Friends of the Montezuma Heritage Park to help preserve our rich Erie Canal Heritage. One of the Society’s most exciting projects is a historic mural/model boat for the Park and Town. The mural painted by Dawn Jordan, was competed in 2012 in the Park on the historic site the mural is based on. In 2009, an Archaeological Dig was conducted under the guidance of David Babson, Archaeologist. This has resulted in a collection of artifacts from the Clinton’s Ditch Lock 62 site in the area of the lock tenders home.

OUR MISSION

The Montezuma Historical Society fosters local community pride in our heritage to ensure that our history will be preserved and appreciated for generations to come. We are committed to encouraging public interest by sponsoring historical meetings, educational programs, and supporting preservation of our historical resources.

 OUR VISION

Through the preservation of the Historic Mentz Church, the Montezuma Historical Society will educate and inspire the Community to share our history and the importance of its Erie Canal Heritage.

Programs

Specially scheduled programs are offered seasonally between May and October at the Historic Mentz Church in Montezuma, NY. In addition to programs at the church we host events in Montezuma Heritage Park including historic walking tours and a Montezuma 5K Run/Walk. Check our calendar for scheduled events.

Our Home – The Historic Mentz Church

Nestled In the rural countryside of the Town of Montezuma, Cayuga County, NY, the history of the church began in 1825, when early settlers built the MentzChurchHistoricMarkerchurch on what was known as Mentz Corners, It was incorporated as the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Mentz. It is now surrounded by a cemetery on three sides with over 200 of its early ancestors.

In 2003, the Town of Montezuma acquired the Historic Mentz Church. The church received the honor of being named to the State and National Register of Historic Places in 2004. A preservation committee met monthly to plan events to be used for the enrichment of the community through cultural, social and local church activities. Beginning in early Spring of 2005 volunteers began restoration with many hours of work donated to removing wallpaper, painting, restoring the original front doors, cleaning, window replacement, and restoring the electricity.

On Sunday, May 15, 2005, almost one hundred, eighty years to the day of its incorporation, the community honored and celebrated it’s re-opening and listing as a historic place.

In 2006, the Montezuma Historical Society was formed, with its home located at the Historic Mentz Church on Mentz Church and McDonald Roads in the Town of Montezuma. (see map here.) A new historic roadside marker was generously funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in 2012. A special dedication was held on Path Through History Weekend, June 2, 2013.

Board Meetings

Monthly board business meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 PM at the Montezuma Town Hall. Our meetings are open to any member who would like to attend. All the work of the Society is strictly volunteer driven and is done by various committees. The Society depends on contributions of both time and money through our membership, others who are interested and in fundraising to help preserve the town’s rich history. If you are interested in serving on the Board or on a committee, please ​​​contact us.

Board Members

MHS_Board_Sally

MHS Board plotting out our priorities with
Consultant, Sally Treanor

 

President – Mellony Carner;  Barbara Black – Vice President; Kathleen Shaw Decker – Treasurer; Secretary – Cheryl Longyear;  Trustees –  Bunny and Paul Baker,   Jim Decker,  Shirley Gillmore, Cynthia Laraway,  Edward Laraway, Stan Longyear, Bob Melvin.

The board has completed a three-year Strategic Plan with the help of funding received from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to  chart a course for organizational development and sustainability. The purpose is to facilitate the continued preservation, interpretation, and enhancement of significant canal sites and historic properties in Montezuma.