The Portville Historical and Preservation Society
17 Maple Avenue
Portville, NY 14770

www.portvillehistory.org
Portville, New York
Credits

The lovely watercolor
in our toolbar above is
a depiction of the office
at 17 Maple Avenue.  
The artist is Portville's
very own talent,
Marilyn Reynolds.

Recent Happenings in Portville

If you have visited our website recently, you will have noticed that the homepage and site contents
have not changed all that much since last February.  It has been a very busy year for the historical
society, mainly due to the generosity of one former Portville philanthropist, Colonel Charles O.
Eshelman.

Over the past decade, Col. Eshelman often expressed his wishes for preserving the past for future
generations.  In 2001, he had begun a transition of properties to PHPS by deeding us the Grange and
one-room schoolhouse at Bedford Corners.  Another local non-profit recipient of Charles' generosity
was the Pfeiffer Nature Center, receiving the Eshelman tract and farm on Yuba Dam Road as well as a
large parcel of undeveloped land at the corner of Deer Creek and Route 305 at Bedford Corners,
opposite the old school.  Col. Eshelman passed away in late January, 2010, leaving the remainder of
his estate at the Corners to the Portville Historical and Preservation Society.
Welcome to PHPS
Col. Charles O. Eshelman
1925 - 2010

The Legacy of Col. Eshelman

Building Restoration is Underway

The house and property was transferred to PHPS in June, 2010, and we began the process of
restoration.  The first repair that was most evident was to replace the roofing materials on both the
house and the garage.  This work was expertly done by Ron Nolder, General Gontractor, who is
himself a Bedford Corners resident.  An enormous weight was taken off the old house, when 5 layers
of shingles came off the upright section, including a layer of cedar shake underneath.  Buildings were
built to last in the old days, as evident from the number of old dwellings around town that have
survived since the 1800s.

Ron and his brother Bob also completed the front porch and back stairway on the Schoolhouse this
summer for PHPS.  Mrs. Nolder assisted in the project and did a fantastic job applying the dark stain
on both structures.  
The Eshelman Home at Bedford Corners proudly shows off its new appearance.  Several dead trees were
removed and others trimmed back to improve visibility up Route 305 from Dodge Creek.  All tree cutting
and grooming work was done by Todd Fries of Southern Tier Tree and Lawn.    
The Schoolhouse finally has its porch back on the front of the building.  Removal of the old porch
revealed a crumbling foundation underneath the main structure.  Doug Doty of Will-Do Construction
revealed a crumbling foundation underneath the main structure.  Doug Doty of Will-Do Construction
made the necessary masonry repairs and Ron Nolder constructed the porch.  The grade of the lawn will
be raised to meet the ADA-compliant ramp.  At right, Diane Nolder works on the finishing touches on the
new stairs.  A large deck was added to improve the safety of an emergency evacuation should the
occasion arise when the building is occupied.