DEC. 13 AT 7PM - PERRY COMMUNITY BAND CONCERT -- Monday, December 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM Perry First United Methodist Church, 35 Covington in Perry, NY.
DEC. 24 AT 7 PM -- Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Perry First United Methodist Church, 35 Covington St., Perry, NY
EPWORTH HALL received a grant earlier this Fall to tear up the warn-out floor and refinish the original wood floor. To do this, SLI has been awarded $40,000 from the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Grant Program including a generous grant from the National Park Service Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Fund and is a partnership between the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Landmark Society of WNY. Now, early in this month of November 2021, Epworth Hall has been recognized by the Landmark Society of WNY as the only one this year from the GLOW Counties region to make the "Five to Revive" List. This recognition has often helped in the obtaining of grants while also calling to the public's attention, another worthy historic site to visit and enjoy.
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Historical Buildings

Epworth Hall
1892



Seated 1,000; Fire Marshall allows: 275
Worship every Summer Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
(Except first Sunday in July and Sunday before Labor Day
Held at the Dock--Weather Permitting).

Free Concert every Summer Friday at 7:30 p.m.
(July 1st through Labor Day)
A pass-the-plate donation opportunity is provided
to help pay for the Band performance.

Odd Years: August 8-11
Silver Lake Experience 2019
1 of 6 Buildings used for Workshops



John N. Stoody
Memorial Hall
Built in 1892 as the
Women's Christian Temperance Union Headquarters
after arsonists destroyed their facilities on Walker Road




Former W.C.T.U. Headquarters, then a Chapel, Now a Meeting and Dining Hall
Residential Breakfast every Summer Season Saturday Morning
8 a.m. through 10:00 a.m.

Concerts -- Some on-the-Schedule Saturday Evening Concerts -- 7:30 p.m.


Odd Years: August 8-11
Silver Lake Experience 2019

1 of 6 Buildings used for Workshops





Hoag Memorial 
Art Studio--1895


Every Summer Season Saturday
Scheduled Art/Educational
Classes and/or Workshops;

Every Summer Season 
Wednesday and Thursday
9 a.m. to Noon, Knitting;

Odd Years: August 8-11
Silver Lake Experience 2019
1 of 6 Buildings used for Workshops









Buildings No Longer with Us


Building #1 - The Auditorium
(Transition from 50' Tent); 1888-1918




The Auditorium, pictured below, and often called The Amphitheater, was the first of three buildings hurried into construction for the purpose of accommodating the new Chautauqua style teaching and curriculum emphasis begun in earnest in 1887. The Auditorium was located in Auditorium Park, later named Bishop Burt Park, centered on and opposite of Ames Avenue which became the central walkway between the three main [Chautauqua] Assembly buildings, all built within a four year span (1888-1892).


Photo from the side and back.











Architect's Rendering
circa 1886-1887


The auditorium had an arched roof 32’ high and was 80’ by 120’ in size. It cost $2,000. Part of the excitement for the new amphitheater/auditorium was because the design was being hailed as the latest available for auditoriums that highlighted an unobstructed view because there were no central support posts needed. A new, local company also brought excitement because they were eager to build and complete building on schedule. 


Wells Barns


John Talcott Wells Sr. (1843-1931) of Wheatland was awarded patent number 401,870 on April 23, 1880 for his arched truss design. His firm was responsible for building nearly 200 barns in New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada as well as auditoriums at Silver Lake, and at Prohibition Park on Staten Island. The amphitheater plans were more rounded at the tops of the arches rather than the pointed Gothic style Wells used for the barns. The auditorium was completed with time to spare before the opening of the season in 1888. It was a time of great excitement and anticipation.



Used by Permission from the Silver Lake Blog:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


The SLI Auditorium Seated 2,000 Plus 500 Seat Choir in Front; Sometimes 1,000 extra Chairs were Needed

Three-quarters of the auditorium, also known as amphitheater, is shown above, with the first quarter mostly out of the picture to the right. It consisted of a section which was much more enclosed than the open air section of the main seating area. The outer edges of the rows of pews can be seen from the outside.

Just a few weeks back, some old historical narratives were recently discovered in the Cornelia A Greene Library on Main St., in Castile by SLI resident Fred Schuknecht. Most were seen in local newspaper articles from 1911. They were reporting on the massively sized programs that were presented during the years surrounding 1910 at the then-Silver Lake Assembly, now since 1920, Silver Lake Institute (SLI). 

Cornelia A. Greene Library, Castile, New York
The programs had just recently been revived following the devastating results of the so-called "Cleveland Depression" on the Silver Lake Assembly. The Assembly had nearly gone bankrupt during the downturn in the economy which began for the Assembly in the last few years of the 1890s and extended five or more years into the 1900s. Around 1906, Rev. Stoody used his own funds to purchase the properties which had gone into foreclosure and lent them back to the Assembly to resell. He was determined to get the Assembly back on its feet and re-establish its programming as quickly as possible. This he did with the help of many others. 

Even though his efforts were less than three or four years old, they produced absolutely amazing results. The old Assembly Auditorium, located in what is now Bishop Burt Park, used to be filled with around 2,000 guests plus choirs as large as 500. Following the revival brought about by Rev. Stoody and some dynamic advertising, the old Assembly Auditorium was now drawing 3,000 guests in addition to the 500 member choirs. Can you imagine setting up 1,000 extra chairs? As long as it wasn't raining, the task of extra chairs worked well on the sides and back of the auditorium.

Early arrivals get an early look at the program set-up before it begins. A worker can be seen still making adjustments to the printed sign on the distant left hand side of the front. Those early electrical lights, which replaced the kerosene lamps, appear to be far more effective than some of the lighting we continue to use today.
Natural light was important during the days before the electric had been extended onto the Assembly grounds. More light came through the center roof windows (see photo #1 above). The front windows were eliminated when the enclosed front section was expanded, more than double in size. It is not certain whether that was done before or after electricity was extended to the auditorium.

The 1918 arson of the auditorium was a terrible loss from which the Assembly never recovered. The programming of the 1920s, though still vigorous and very well attended, had to adjust to the smaller facilities of Epworth Hall for their main gatherings. Luckily, the Sunday School Association's needs were somewhat different and a very large auditorium was not essential. Back then, many of the cottages within the grounds were utilized for guests attending the special summer events.

The Assembly was officially renamed Institute within two years of the fire, since the facilities no longer accommodated the Chautauqua style. Fortunately, the Epworth Inn (formerly the Hall of Philosophy) had been returned to the Assembly shortly after the Auditorium fire. Hoag Memorial and the W.C.T.U. building, later renamed Stoody Chapel, then Stoody Memorial, were also still available to the Institute following the dramatic fire. Two young boys, 8 and 10, from one of the rentals on the grounds were found to be responsible for the fire. We were still a gated community at that point.
SPECIAL EVENT
A special 100th Anniversary Event "remembering" the Loss of the Auditorium is being planned for a Sunday morning during the 2018 Season on the exact location of the old auditorium in Burt Park opposite Ames Avenue. We are hoping to spend about two (2) hours in early 1900 period clothing for the worship service and then for a time of refreshments and fellowship, all of which are open to the public beginning at 10:30 am. Watch for the date this Spring (2018).








Building #2 - Epworth Inn
(Built as The Hall of Philosophy); 1889-1972
In editorial process:


Architect's Concept Drawing
of the original 2-story building

The Hall of Philosophy, pictured on the left and below, was the second building hurried into construction for the purpose of accommodating the new Chautauqua style teaching and curriculum emphasis. Construction was completed in time for the 1889 Chautauqua Assembly Season. The Hall of Philosophy was part of the next five great years followed by three good years of a reduced program. Then in 1897, the younger Mr. Chapman found it necessary to foreclose on the Hall of Philosophy's mortgage, ending the first few valiant years for this somewhat majestic-appearing building. 

Nancy Culley Sellar adds this:

"Admission to the Assembly grounds was through a gated fence and by payment of a daily or seasonal fee.

"Unfortunately, the rapid expansion of the Assembly proceeded to a point where its expenditures considerably exceeded its means. A national depression in the mid-1890’s exacerbated the problems. Not only was the classroom Hall of Philosophy foreclosed upon in 1897 but Assembly programming itself had to be suspended by 1902. Eventually the Assembly grounds were foreclosed on as well. Rev. John H. Stoody rescued the Silver Lake Assembly in 1905 by personally purchasing its mortgage and its debts. He arranged easy terms for the Assembly’s redemption and saw to the resumption of its programs in 1908.

From Rev. Owen's Notes:

In 1905, the Hall of Philosophy was bought by a doctor who transformed it into a sanitarium. This failed and in 1912 a hotel company operated it as a summer hotel. When this failed, a group of businessmen in Perry bought the property for use as a Military and Naval School. This prospered for a few years, and after being vacant for a while, a group of persons related to the Genesee Conference bought it and saved it for the Conference. The Assembly got it back in time for the 1919 Season, which was the first season following the fall fire at the Auditorium.


Epworth Inn as it looked in its heyday.







Building #3 - Methodist Manor
(Built as Sutton Manor); circa 1900-2006
Purchased with other Sutton lands in 1944.
In editorial process:


This magnificent structure which was constructed on land directly in front of Silver Lake had a sidewalk running in the front down to the Lake and a sidewalk in the back running straight to Lakeside Avenue. Even in its declining 100+ years, parts of its original majesty could still be identified. Access to the Silver Lake Railroad was in its vast front yard.

Sutton Manor, part of the extensive Sutton Estate, was owned by Mr. Edward Sutton, founder of the Fro-Joy Ice Cream Company of Buffalo which eventually was sold to General Foods. The Manor was a three-story structure with 20 rooms, a ballroom and 32 beds, right on the lake. In order to expand, the Silver Lake Institute Trustees purchased the Manor and adjacent Sutton estate in 1944. The Sutton Manor's name was changed to The Methodist Manor and was used to house the Institute faculty, students, and paying guests.

In later years, as part of Asbury Camp, the Methodist Manor was used extensively in housing children and youth for those age-related camps in addition to United Methodist Church training and fellowship events. The United Methodist Church of Orchard Park used the Methodist Manor for over 40 years during the last week of June as one of three Asbury Camp buildings for its church camp. They continue to this day using the replacement building known as Asbury Manor located on the opposite side of Lakeside Avenue. 

Had the Methodist Manor received its due care, it may still have been standing today, but who can really say with its foundation of wood. Having been built around, and possibly before, the turn of the century, the old Manor was torn down in 2006 for safety concerns. Its replacement, the Asbury Manor, was built across Lakeside Ave. on higher ground, conveniently level with the upper entrance to the Koinonia Inn.

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W. PETE MAIRS

W. PETE MAIRS
Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.

GERALD C. SAHRLE

GERALD C. SAHRLE
Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")
"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.

BRENDA J. PADDOCK

BRENDA J. PADDOCK
Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com.

AUGUST 4-7, 2022

AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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