A Celebration of History

By Arlene Wright Vanderlinde

It is hard to believe that Historic Brighton is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2019! HB was founded in 1999 by a small group of Brighton citizens who sought to know more about their community’s past and share it with all who wanted to learn. This group was aware that communities that have embraced their local history enjoyed enhanced economic stability and a stronger sense of place among its population.

Historic Brighton was established as a 501(c)3, not-for-profit cultural organization with the help of the Landmark Society of Western New York. The Brighton Historical Society had ceased operation at this time and their remaining members joined as Charter Members of Historic Brighton. HB received its Permanent Charter from the State of New York Education Department in 2009. All work is carried out by its talented and hard-working Trustees and community members. All membership dollars are applied directly toward our mission.

No one could possibly imagine the depth and breadth of history that would be presented through its quarterly Newsletter/Journal and public programming. Thus far, Historic Brighton has presented over 80 public programs and 79 Newsletters encompassing all aspects of the Town’s history and beyond. Most of these are offered free to the community through the generosity of our loyal membership. Our first speaker was former Congressman Barber B. Conable, followed by many notable authors, community leaders and historians. Subjects included: the Seneca Indians, our neighborhoods and sites, local cultural and religious institutions, historic personages, architectural history, historic preservation and so many more. I hope you will visit our Newsletter page to read some of the Newsletters. The new comprehensive index will help you find specific information. During our anniversary year, Historic Brighton will be revamping its website so we can be more visible in the community and be an even better resource.

Historic Brighton has proudly published books and booklets with the help of community grants and contributions to our Publishing Fund. These include East Avenue Memories, by Elizabeth Brayer; three Salon Booklets, highlighting the work of several well-known local architects, and Brighton Brick, by Leo Dodd, a delightful illustrated history of Brighton’s early brick industry.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our first twenty years. Our hope continues to be that all members of this community with a love for history and pride in this town will join Historic Brighton and keep the celebration going.