Busti Historical Society To Meet Wednesday

BUSTI – The Busti Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the meeting room of the Busti Museum next to the grist mill.

The program will be a brief history of the now completed mill restoration effort. Plans for the June 9 community dedication and celebration will be a major issue of discussion. The society is looking for people who were involved with the restoration in earlier years but have moved away or lost contact. Photos and movies of the early festivals and work sessions are also being sought. Other matters of business will include continuing work on the miller house, advanced plans for the Sept. 29 apple festival and the July town picnic, appointing project chairmen, and scheduling work sessions.

The Busti Grist Mill ceased private commercial operations around 1960. Historical restoration, much like that which has since been accomplished, was first suggested in 1963 by the late Erlene Lydell, a Busti resident. In the mid 1960s, the town government and in particular, then supervisor Joseph Gerace Sr., made efforts to elicit interest in restoration as an alternative to demolition. At that time, the town owned the building which had become little more than an eye sore at the end of the Town Park.

In May 1965 an article by The Post-Journal staff writer Margaret Look activated renewed interest in restoration. In 1969 the Busti Shamrocks 4-H Club actualized and formally began the effort which has now culminated successfully. The Busti Historical Society organized in February 1972 and that fall, in conjunction with the Shamrocks, held the first Pioneer Crafts Festival.

Subsequent Busti festivals have provided most of the funding for the project although dozens of local foundations, businesses and individuals have also contributed.