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SUBMITTED by Kate Chamberlin, Daughters of the American Revolution (23-May-2010)

Have you met Peppermint Patty, a.k.a. Patricia Alena?

Patricia Alena taught Social Studies and History for 27 years, the last 12 years of her teaching career were in the Clyde-Savannah Jr. and Sr. Highs School. She was the 1994 recipient of the prestigious University of Rochester’s “Excellence in Teaching” Award.

To be considered for this award, a teacher must demonstrate a thorough knowledge and enthusiasm for his or her subject, give well organized and imaginative lessons, offer clear and interesting explanations of important concepts, establish control of the classroom, and offer an atmosphere conducive to learning.

He or she must also display a sense of humor, respect students, understand their problems, and be engaged with student extracurricular activities.

Pat is retired from teaching now, but as we’ve found with so many of our good speakers, her zest for life, community involvement, and passion to teach continues. She is a docent at the Peppermint Museum, a founding, charter member of the Lyons Heritage Society and its current Secretary to name but a few of her many activities.

In the 1990’s, when the Heritage Society was begun, they held their meetings in the Hotchkiss building and were allowed to stash their memorabilia there. Last year they planted a mint garden with not only peppermint, but also spearmint, birch, sassafras, and winter green. The fragrance of peppermint wafts throughout the building, leaving visitors with a wonderful euphoria and sense of living history.

The Hotchkiss Building,” Alena said, “will be restored to its period of peak production between 1885 and 1918, by the County and then turned over to the Village of Lyons for ownership. It took almost two years to come to a conclusion on accepting the almost $1 million worth of grant money!”

The Col. Wm. Prescott Chapter NSDAR has honored the late Ann Dickerson Hotchkiss by nominating her to the NSDAR registry as “A Woman in American History”. Anne Dickerson Hotchkiss was the maiden great-great-granddaughter of the founder of the Essential Oils Factory, and was the fourth generation to guide the family business.

The Hotchkiss Essential Oil Building is located on the corner of Water Street and Leach Road in Lyons, New York and is open by appointment only, phone (315) 946-0097.


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