Pendorf, Blackall honored for contributions to Rome’s historical preservation

Published Nov 18, 2017 at 4:10pm

The Rome Historical Society (RHS) recognized Edie Pendorf and Ron Blackall for their ongoing efforts to keep the City of Rome’s history accurate and relevant.

Society members honored the duo at their annual dinner on Thursday evening at Delta Lake Inn.

The society presented Pendorf with the History Maker Award, which honors those who make significant contributions to the Rome community.

The society recognized Pendorf for a number of contributions, and in particular her ability to faithfully catalogue news paper articles and the artifacts for future research.

“I’ve always been impressed with Edie Pendorf’s approach, her hard work and her ability with technology,” presenter Roberta Lader said.

Blackall received the Medal of the Order of 1777 from RHS trustee Matthew Fidler, who lauded Blackall for his humble, but hardworking, approach to maintaining the Rome Canal Museum.

“Ron takes an engineer’s approach of going about his work. We see the results at the museum, in the way he maintains everything from the train station to the boat launch,” Fidler said.

The Medal of the Order of 1777 is the highest award the RHS has established. It’s been awarded each year since 1969 to individuals who reflect the values of the society, along oath citizenship and patriotism.

Rome represents women

Fidler told the audience that 2017 is a significant year before the awards ceremony. It is the 100th anniversary of New York State granting women the right to vote, three years before the 19th amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, and the bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s construction.

RHS staff had assembled a number of articles at the inn, and Fidler singled out a copy of The Sentinel dated Nov. 7, 1917. It told the story of Wealthy Blair, an abolitionist and suffragist from Rome.

She teamed with her two daughters from the 1840’s through the Civil War to press the U.S. government to abolish slavery and establish the right of women to vote.

“Women weren’t allowed to vote, but they could petition the government,” Fidler said. “Women weren’t supposed to have a voice, but they used the voice that they did have.”