PURCHASE ORNAMENTS ONLINE
26th Santa Claus Lane Ornament Now Available
Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its newest Santa Claus Lane ornament, a depiction of the Olean Public Library. Through the ornament sales, holiday lights are funded and can be lit in Olean from November to early January. The ornament, in a series created by artist Kathleen McDonald, is $25.00.
“Each year, GOACC has an online voting on what should be the next ornament for Santa Claus Lane,” stated Meme K. Yanetsko, GOACC COO. More than 60 buildings/parks were on the slate with these four front runners: Spragues Maple Farms, Cutco Kabar Visitor Center, Portville Pioneer Park and the Olean Public Library.
“The four competitors all received many votes, but the library came through with more votes as they are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2021,” added Mrs. Yanetsko. Included with each of the ornaments is a brief history --
- Olean’s first library began when a small group of public-spirited citizens met on March 25, 1871, in the private school operated by Mary Lyon. By the end of their meeting, the Olean Library Association had been born, and the group spent the next several months raising funds and searching for a location. They opened their new library on August 15, 1871 in a space donated by John G. Pelton, within his tailor shop on the west side of Union Street. Open on Saturdays from 1 pm to 9 pm, the library held 697 books and charged annual dues to its members.
- Slowly the library grew, and by 1878 its collections could no longer be contained within the tailor shop space. During the period from 1878 to 1888, the library moved to several temporary locations, including a rented room on the Birge block, the second floor of the Exchange Bank, the Olean Opera House, and 102 Hamilton Street. Community business leader George V. Forman, seeing the need for a large and permanent space, offered to donate his former office property to the library association in 1888, asking that the association create an endowment. An enormous fundraising effort was made by individual donors as well as by the Ladies Library Endowment Society, led by Julia E. Lamper Jewell, and the requirements for Forman’s donation were met. The Forman Library opened in its new location at 85 Union Street on April 2, 1889. Within the new space, the board expanded the library’s collections and created a free reading room.
- By 1895, the library board began to consider how to become a free library and thus access funding through the state of New York. Initially, the board deemed this idea impossible; city residents were facing economic hardship, and new roads required the City of Olean to charge a “paving tax,” which took up a large portion of the library’s small budget. However, board members continued to work with city and school officials to secure the library’s funding and future. On December 13, 1906, the institution was renamed “Olean Public Library” and became free to all citizens of Olean; by October 1908, the library board also donated the Forman Library property to Olean’s Union Free School District, allowing the library to be supported through annual school tax funding.
- $40,000 to construct a new facility that would meet the needs of the rapidly growing Olean community. Architect Edward Tilton was hired, and the cornerstone for the new building was laid on July 3, 1909. Area citizens greatly prized the new library, and it was home to musical performances, lectures, art exhibits, story times and all kinds of conferences. It was also the site of many community meetings, relief efforts, the World War I book drive for soldiers, and the official meeting room of the Olean Historical Society beginning in 1921.
- By the mid-1960s, it became apparent that the magnificent building was no longer a practical facility for daily library operations. After considering doubling the size of the Carnegie building, the library board instead decided to renovate the former Loblaw’s Supermarket into a new library that would easily be handicapped-accessible. The new facility opened in 1973 at 134 North Second Street, and it continues to meet the changing informational needs of the community, providing access to computers, scanners, fax machines, copiers, audiobooks, e-books, digital magazines, databases and more.
- Over the years, several library directors have enjoyed a tenure of more than 15 years, including Ella Hazlett (1881-1900), Maud Brooks (1908-1940), Maureen Curry (1972-1994), and Lance Chaffee (1998-2016). Today the Olean Public Library operates under the direction of Michelle La Voie, with 20 staff members and the support of an active Board of Trustees and a vibrant Friends of the Olean Library fundraising organization. These individuals carry on the vision and dedication displayed by the first founders in 1871, working to contribute to the future of all Olean residents.
“Hestia (Massachusetts) is the company who creates/manufactures these ornaments for many companies. They are precise in details of the building, taken from photos/brochures that we send out to them,” reported Lisa Carpenter, GOACC Administrative Assistant.
Every year, the Santa Claus Lane committee chooses the landmarks to be designed on the 3 1/2 inch circular resin ornament. The artist sketches the layout from photos provided by Chamber officials and a prototype is created. Once the prototype is approved, work begins with the process of pouring and hand-painting each piece. The ornaments arrive in Olean, individually boxed, with a brief description of the ornament.
Many of the previously made ornaments are still available with a limited inventory. The first to be unveiled was the Olean Municipal Building. In 2000, the Fannie E. Bartlett House was depicted, followed in 2001 with St. Mary of the Angels Church. Olean High School came next in 2002, St. Stephen’s Church in 2003 (sold out), St. Bonaventure University in 2004, and in 2005, a depiction of Santa Claus Lane. In 2006, the Olean General Hospital was created, in 2007, the ornament was the Olean Post Office, 2008 was Community Bank, NA with 2009 Ivers J. Norton. The next ornaments are 2010 Castle Restaurant, 2011 St. Francis Hospital (currently unavailable, with reorders arriving mid-October), 2012 Chuck Wagon Restaurant, 2013 Palace Theater, 2014 Boardmanville Elementary and 2015 Reds and Trudys. There were two in 2016 a depiction of North Union Street and of Olean Class Cars; 2017, the ornament was Cloud 9 Amusement Park, and in 2018, the ornament was Bradner Stadium. In 2020, two ornaments were presented: Archbishop Walsh and the Beef ‘n’ Barrel Restaurant, and last year was the Tasta Pizza locations. These past ornaments are available at the Chamber office and can be purchased online.
The new ornaments are available at the Chamber office at 301 North Union Street. They can also be purchased at the Olean Public Library, Laurens Street, Olean. Ornaments can also be shipped outside Olean for an additional $6 for shipping/handling charges per ornament. All ornaments are available online for purchasing as well at the Chamber’s shopping site – shop.oleanny.com . For more information on the ornament or GOACC activities, please call GOACC at 716/372-4433, stop in the office, or email.
SANTA CLAUS LANE
List of Santa Claus Lane Ornaments in order as presented.
Olean Municipal Building - 99
Fannie E. Bartlett House - 00
St. Mary of the Angels Church - 01
Olean High School - 02
St. Stephen’s Church - 03
St. Bonaventure University - 04
Santa Claus Lane - 05
Olean General Hospital - 06
Olean Post Office - 07
Community Bank, NA - 08
Ivers J. Norton - 09
Castle Restaurant - 10
St. Francis Hospital - 11
Chuck Wagon Restaurant - 12
Palace Theater - 13
Boardmanville Elementary - 14
Red and Trudys - 15
North Union Street street scape (1st hundred block west side) - 16
Olean Class Cars - 16
Cloud 9 Amusement Park - 17
Bradner Stadium - 18
Henry H. Hill - 18
Archbishop Walsh - 19
Beef ‘n’ Barrel - 19
Tasta Pizza '20
Olean Public Library '21
SANTA CLAUS LANE
Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 • email