SOMERS, N.Y. -- The student interns at the Somers Historical Society are doing more than track history; they're making town history themselves.
A handful of teens working as interns for the society recently created a blog documenting and updating historical findings from their work over the summer. The blog features dozens of pictures and first-hand accounts from the students' work over the summer and the projects they plan to continue in the future to help preserve Somers history.
Intern Erika Panzarino, 19, said she and the other students wanted to let Somers residents know that there is a rich history locally and that work is being done to document and preserve it.
"We wanted to let people in the town know what we were up to and that they had these great pieces of history in their own town," she said. "So many people travel all over and go to museums in other places when they have this really interesting set of buildings and great artifacts literally in their backyards."
The students have chronicled their work sorting items at the Carolyn Wright-Reis Homestead and other historic locations around the town and around New York State. Intern Athena Traver has worked at the homestead helping preserve dresses and clothing designed by Carolyn Wright-Reis.
"I have had so much fun working with the team of people (at the Somers Historical Society and Homestead)," Traver said. "Every time I visit the house I learn something new and interesting."
For 16-year-old Lucia Kirichenko, the blog has became the perfect link for her to share her findings with Somers history enthusiasts.
"We all want people to get excited about Somers again," she said. "People forget that we have some amazing history here and we want to share that people."
But the students aren't stopping with the blog. Kirichenko is setting up a history club at Somers High School in the fall and Panzarino has helped start an "Adopt-An-Artifact" program aimed at preserving dozens of findings from the group. Through the program, residents can donate to the Historical Society to help preserve specific items that will be saved and later brought out on display.
"We're at a critical point with a lot of artifacts that could go into safe housing but if we let it go there might be no hope for these things," Panzarino said. "People can sponsor the objects so when they're put back on display, the names of the donors are on display with them as a show of thanks."
Grace Zimmermann, chair of the Somers Historical Society, said she was impressed with the work the students have done.
"They are all leading the blog and contributing wherever their destinations are if they travel," Zimmerman said. "It's really been great for us to have them and they're keeping everyone in the community in touch with our history."
To learn more about the Adopt-An-Artifact program and the students' work, residents can visit the blog online or visit the Somers Historical Society webpage. To make an appointment to see the artifact in person, residents are asked to contact the Somers Historical Society at 914-277-4977. Residents can also donate to the Adopt-An-Artifact program this weekend at the Mount Zion Church Concert Series featuring the classic rock group the Throwbacks at 6 p.m., Saturday in Reis Park.
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