By Tabitha Scoville

“Stone Soup” is one of my favorite children’s stories. It’s amazing that all of the people who could not help a hungry stranger suddenly make a small contribution towards the soup once they heard how tasty it would be with just a little bit of carrots, potatoes, etc. from their pantry. Cortland County Historical Society is a perfect example of how the generosity of strangers to a common cause can create a fabulous concoction.

People have been giving CCHS their cherished family heirlooms, photos, and stories for more than 95 years. Each contribution is like a bit of celery, onion, or spices which adds to the richness of the “soup” we can share with others. Layer upon layer of enticing clues pull you into the past to visit your ancestors, walk through Cortland streets of days gone by, or learn about businesses and organizations of yesteryear. Each gift given to our archives allows you to immerse yourself in the past and experience what life was like many years ago. If not for all of the people who share the collections from their lives, you would not be able to walk in the shoes of your ancestors and experience life in the past lane.

Right now, CCHS is participating in the Cortland Community Foundation’s annual Philanthropy Challenge and you can help! All of the wonderful things that CCHS has collected to cook up an enriching and fabulous historic soup for you and others needs to be taken care of and that costs money. We need a safe building, proper housing and storage space, and staff who can guide folks to the clues that connect them to their ancestors. You can help by making a check payable to Cortland Community Foundation for a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $5,000. Please be sure to add “Cortland County Historical Society” to the memo line (deadline November 15). Mail your check to the Cortland Community Foundation, P.O. Box 466, Cortland, NY 13045. Or you can make your donation online  atcortlandcommunityfoundation.org/philanthropy-day/(opens in a new tab) 

All contributions received by Cortland Community Foundation on behalf of Cortland County Historical Society will be given to us in a lump sum after November 15. Can we count on you to help us win one of the several cash prizes? Thank you for your generosity. Let’s make some soup!

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