Martonis Speaks At Bemus Point Historical Society

The town of Hanover is rich with history.

The Bemus Point Historical Society met on Tuesday to discuss society information and invite Vince Martonis, town of Hanover historian, to speak to members.

To begin the meeting, Fletcher Ward, Bemus Point Historical Society president, mentioned an update to the society’s bylaws and passed out copies to members. According to Ward, the updates were “nothing radically new” and comments, additions or corrections by members were welcomed.

Ward also detailed an addition to the society’s collections – a framed map – before introducing Martonis.

Martonis, who is passionate about all aspects of history, stated that although he came to speak about Howard Ehmke, Mary Smith Lockwood and George Abbott, speaking about only one of these individuals could be an hour-long presentation.

According to Martonis, Ehmke was a well-known and popular baseball player originally from Silver Creek.

“His baseball cards can go up to $900 – one card recently came up on eBay that was damaged and dirty and still sold for $500,” Martonis said.

Martonis stated that Ehmke was raised in a German family with 10 siblings.

“He amazed the sports world,” Martonis said.

Discussing Mary Smith Lockwood, Martonis noted that many residents do not know that the woman who helped found the Daughters of the American Revolution was from Chautauqua County.

Lockwood was an avid columnist and activist who helped Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton with the women’s suffrage movement, according to Martonis.

Among Lockwood’s many accomplishments, Martonis specifically mentioned her positions as president of the Women’s Press Club and editor of the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine.

The Daughters of the American Revolution are credited with creating and distributing a manual for immigrants entering the country, refurbishing Ellis Island and restoring the Statue of Liberty.

Martonis also spoke of George Abbott, a writer, producer and actor from the county.

“George Abbott was a spectacular individual from the town of Hanover. No one in the history of broadway did more than he did – he was known as ‘Mr. Broadway,'” Martonis said. “He was a venerated man.”

Abbott is credited with more than 120 productions and giving music and movie stars their start, according to Martonis. He lived to be 107 years old.

Norman Carlson, collection manager for the Fenton History Center was in attendance during the presentation.

The Bemus Point Historical Society is located at 13 Alburtus Ave. in Bemus Point.

An open house is scheduled for June 10, from 4-7 p.m.