Eden Chamber 1960’s
Enter the 1960’s and Eden was still growing, as the population from 1940 through 1964 had increased fifty percent from approximately 4,000 to 6,000.
Utilities were much needed. The Chamber was active with members on water and sewer committees. Other projects included a clean-up fix-up campaign; a new house numbering system, and to find additional parking for Main Street businesses.
Donald Spencer was President of the Chamber in the years 1960 and 1961. During his term the administration of the Youth Recreation Program was shifted from the school to the Town of Eden.
A Look at Eden in the 60’s
Eden Central School had 14 busses. Eden Booster Club organized; Charles Carpenter was elected President.
A Bingo license was granted to the American Legion Post 880. Bingo began on October 21st.
Production at the Eden Kazoo passed the million mark for the year.
1962 - The Eden Sesquicentennial
Ruby Schue was elected President of the newly formed Eden Senior Citizens Club.
The Eden Jaycees organized. Gary Eye later became a district and regional Director.
1964 - Eden’s first Corn Festival
The Historical Society was organized. Ferris Randall was President. Ferris remains very active as of this writing.
V.F.W. Memorial Post 8625 of Eden was formed. Officers were installed by the V.F.W. Post of Evans, New York.
The Auxiliary of V.F.W. Post 8625 was installed by the Evans Post.
The Eden Corn Poppers formed by Janice Law. The membership in the 1st year grew to 150 members. The Eden Chamber of Commerce and Newell Faulkner Post 880 co-sponsored the unit. The Corn Poppers performed in Canada and adjoining states and in 1973 the Eden Town Board declared the Poppers as Eden’s Official Good Will Ambassadors. This year the Corn Poppers have reunited and performed in this year’s parade at the Festival.
The Eden Chamber purchased Eden’s first Christmas street decorations. 30 units of scrolls with lanterns were stored in the Canning Factory building. The decorations burned when the Canning Factory was destroyed by fire. However, the units were replaced in time for the holiday season.
The event of the 60’s was of course the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Eden’s 150th Birthday. George Guenther, then Supervisor of the Town of Eden was the General Chairman. Mr. Howard Hill, a great-great grandson of the first settlers of Hills Corner, now known as Eden, had the honor of acting as the Grand Marshall of the Sesquicentennial parade.
Different events throughout the town took place during the celebration; baseball games, wine & cheese socials, church services, band concerts, and lawn parties with a small carnival.
Of course one big attraction was the ‘Brothers of the Bush’. You either grew a beard or paid a fine and went to jail with the Key Stone Cops.
Some say a capsule was placed to be opened in the 2012 Celebration. To this date it has not been located.
With the success of the Sesquicentennial, members of the committee wanted to continue with an annual event. In 1963, the committee started to plan an event and in 1964 the First Corn Festival was held. Mr. George Guenther chaired the 1st and 2nd festival.
The Festival started on Friday night and continued on Saturday night and Sunday. It was a two-night, one-day event. Ms. Anne Heckman was the Queen of the first festival.
The Chamber assisted the early committees and became the lone sponsor of the third festival.
In the late 1980’s, with the Corn Festival continuing to grow, a corporation was formed. The corporation consists of Newell Faulkner Post 880, Eden Fire Departments, Eden A.F.S, Eden Methodist Church, Eden Chamber of Commerce, Eden P.T.A., Eden Athletic Association, Eden Democratic & Republican parties, and the Eden F.F.A.
Chamber Presidents of the 60’s
Chamber Secretaries / Administrators
Chairmen of Corn Festivals
Corn Festival Queens