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SUBMITTED by Larry Ann Evans, Museum of Wayne County History (18-Feb-2010)

New Museum Exhibit, “Wayne County and the Burnt-over District”

The Wayne County Historical Society’s Museum of Wayne County History has a new exhibit opening, “Wayne County and the Burnt-over District.” The preview party for the exhibit will be Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 7pm. .

Wayne County is unique in that many religions and religious movements had major connections to the area and three can even call Wayne County their birthplace; Mormonism, Modern Spiritualism and the Neversweats. The upcoming exhibit, which will run from March 5-August 7, will examine this part of the “Burnt-over District” a term coined by Charles Grandison Finney who in his 1876 book Autobiography of Charles G. Finney referred to a “burnt district” to denote an area in central and western New York State during the Second Great Awakening. The name was inspired by the notion that the area had been so heavily evangelized during antebellum revivalism as to have no “fuel” (unconverted population) left over to “burn” (convert).

“A WCHS volunteer, Loreen Jorgensen, has been instrumental in helping set up and research this exhibit,” said Executive Director of the Museum, Larry Ann Evans. “She has travelled around the county taking pictures of all the churches, speaking with those that want to loan something to the exhibit and much, much more.”

Evans will also be speaking at the preview party on the Burnt-over District with special interest on Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman minister of a recognized denomination in the United States who preached at the First Congregational Church at South Butler.

The Wayne County Historical Society’s Museum of Wayne County History is located at 21 Butternut Street, Lyons, NY. For more information call 315 946 4943 or check out the website, www.waynehistory.org.


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