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How Do You Celebrate 200 Years by Anne Conable

posted Apr 23, 2012, 11:27 AM by Pamela Davison
The Patriot, Volume 4, Issue 1  – January 2010
(delivered to the assembled guests at the 2009 American Harvest Fundraiser Dinner)

What do you do to celebrate a 200th birthday? What a challenge to make it meaningful, memorable, appropriate and fun, but what an opportunity to celebrate a place, particularly a structure built with the Hull family’s hands, courage and hope. They perhaps hoped that the house would still be standing long after they were gone, but could they have envisioned all that’s happened in the intervening years and how we today are working together to make sure their beautiful house and their stories carry forward for at least 200 more?

So we’ve been thinking about the best ways to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. First and foremost, we feel we are responsible for having the house’s interior finished and furnished for 2010. We won’t reach that goal in January or February but we plan to push as hard as we need to get there before the 200th year is out.

Secondly, as many of you know, we are already doing five great signature events at the House – the Ice Cream Musicale, Sheep to Shawl, the Civil War Weekend and candlelight tours, Revolutionary War weekend, and Christmas at Hull House. These will be back this next year but each with a twist – we’ve got that 200th birthday as the perfect excuse to grow these events in visibility, effectiveness and attendance. We’re talking about adding another annual event in August that highlights the archaeological exploration UB has been spearheading for us which is so critical to our long range plans for an accurate recreation of the Hulls’ farm.

We will take every opportunity all year to ramp up our presence as a heritage site in the WNY region with feature stories, tourism collaboration, advertising and active participation with community partners, a strategy that will help us draw new volunteers, donors, attendees, and friends.   And because we have been so fortunate to have many supporters from the public sector, foundations and the community at large, you can count on seeing a lot more next year about our long-range plans for the site: how we will add those outbuildings,   gardens, walkways, and interpretive elements you’ve heard about and what they will look like.

In the end, the best things we can do to    celebrate this amazing milestone for the Hull Family Home and Farmstead are to honor that family and that place by sharing it, completed, vibrant and meaningful, with the next generations.  We will do that – don’t doubt it, stay tuned and stay involved.