Wayne County bicentennial

Wayne County Bicentennial members gather via a Zoom call to plan for the county’s upcoming birthday.

About a year ago, Walworth Town Historian Gene Bavis and Wayne County Historical Society Executive Director Larry Ann Evans were appointed co-chairs of the Wayne County Bicentennial Committee by the Wayne County Board of Supervisors. Also assigned to the committee as an advisor was County Historian Peter Evans.

The trio began recruiting committee members, who are meeting regularly via Zoom conferencing. Information related to discussions is shared on Google Drive or by email. Other Bicentennial Committee members are:

  • Brian Manktelow (assemblyman, District 130).
  • Bob Oaks (former assemblyman).
  • Mike Jankowski (Wayne County clerk).
  • Steve Groat (Galen town supervisor).
  • Peg Churchill (retired Wayne County IDA director).
  • Patti Holdraker (

Times of Wayne County

  • ).
  • Steve Heald (former Sodus town historian).
  • Bruce Farrington (former Sodus Point historian).
  • Rosa Fox (Huron town historian).
  • Jim Paprocki (Wayne Historians Organization webmaster).
  • Caryn Devlin (Marion town historian).
  • Laurie McFaul-Frey (Wayne County Fair).
  • Joe O’Toole (Sodus Bay Historical Society director).

Creating a logo for the bicentennial was one of the first undertakings. Designer Grace Blondell — working with committee members, the county attorney and other agencies — created a logo that has most of the components of the current county logo with the added words “1823-2023 Bicentennial.”

In progress is a series of PowerPoint presentations which will include some background history of Wayne County as well as ways citizens can get involved in the celebration of our history and heritage. When these are completed, the committee would like to share the bicentennial story with town boards, school groups, service organizations, historical societies and as many other groups as possible.

The Design Committee is working on a series of informational banners to be used in town hall lobbies, libraries, schools or other public places. The banners will be moved around the county to help share the story of Wayne County’s history.

A number of historians and historical society representatives held a bicentennial brainstorming session in the fall of2018. Ideas flowed quickly and were captured on charts. Currently there are about six dozen proposals, suggestions and topics for the committee to consider.

The bicentennial committee is now looking to the town supervisors to work with their municipal historians, historical societies and other citizens to form town committees. The role of the town committees will be to plan local activities that will help celebrate Wayne County’s birthday, and to coordinate with and promote county-wide bicentennial activities.

For more information or to volunteer for bicentennial projects, please email waynehistorians@gmail.com.

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