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Chautauqua County Real Estate News and Notes: Westfield

Portage Pie Celebrates Pi Day

     Sometimes you just need pie. On a snowy day that had led Governor Cuomo to declare a state of emergency, I headed down to Portage Pies in Westfield NY for their annual "Pi Day" celebration. In mathematics, Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.  Because 3.14 is an approximate equivalent of Pi, March 14 is called Pi Day.Portage Pies is located at 42 Portage Street in the Village of Westfield, NY
Cooling racks at Portage Pie Westfield NY




     Opening the doors and stepping out of the cold I was greeted by the warmth and aroma from the kitchen. They were giving out slices of pie and coffee, but most customers seemed intent on picking up a whole pie. I had a coffee, a bit of my usual pecan pie, and caught up with three generations the Thayer family who own and operate this little slice of heaven.  

Raisa, Jack Jr., Al, Connie, and Jack Sr.Connie Thayer








Portage Pie is not just Chautauqua County famous:  they've been featured in the PBS Documentary A Few Good Pies Places (Video here), The Buffalo news, blogs, and have customers from all over the country who go out of their way to get their hands on these delicious pies.

     Portage Pies is currently open Wed-Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 11am-2pm (or until sold out).  Visit them online at their website, Facebooktwitter, by phone at  (716) 232-4036, or stop in at 42 North Portage St.

     Portage Pie is just one of countless reasons that Chautauqua County is such a great place to live.  At Howard Hanna Holt we are going to be spending more time pointing out local businesses, attractions and hotspots.  Have a favorite place/spot/event that you feel deserves attention?  Email us or send a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #feelslikehome.

     Howard Hanna Holt Real Estate is a family owned business and is the leading Real Estate Brokerage in Chautauqua County, with offices in Fredonia, Lakewood, and Mayville serving Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties.  It is a franchise of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the 3rd largest real estate company in America, the #1 privately owned broker in the nation and the largest home seller in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.  . With 270 offices across PA, OH, VA, MI, NY, WV, NC and MD their more than 9,000 sales associates and staff are guided by a spirit of integrity in all aspects of the real estate process. 

Writer Contact Nick Holt

Civil War Weekend in Westfield

Moore Park in Westfield NY will be filled this weekend as the annual tradition of the 9th Cavalry encampment takes place this weekend.  “Standing Ground: A Civil War Living History Event will be running from today (Friday June 10th through Sunday June 12th.  Members of the 9th Cavalry will set up camp in the park and offer a living history throughout the weekend.
            Weekend events include the following:

  • Flag Raising Ceremony (9am Sat.)
  • Drills and Demonstrations (10 am and 3 pm Sat, 1:30 pm Sun)
  • Craft demonstrations (Saturday and Sunday afternoon)
  • Candlelight Camp Tours (8pm Sat.)
  • Civil War Church Service at St. Peters Episcopal Church (10 a.m. Sunday)
  • “Letters from the War” Readings of letters from area soldiers during their service including letters from Fredonia’s Alonzo and William Cushing.  (Saturday at 2pm inside St. Peters)

The Chautauqua County Historical Society will also host its 2016 Summer Gala fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday night, June 11. That event costs $50 per person with all proceeds benefitting the historical society.

For more information on the encampment and summer gala, call the Chautauqua County Historical Society at (716) 326-2977.

In addition to the 9th NY Cavalry, other reenactment groups expected to be on hand include the 64th Virginia Cavalry, 4th South Carolina Infantry, 20th Maine Fife & Drum Corps and Cushing’s Battery A of the 4th Artillery.

The encampment weekend will continue Sunday, with the groups departing Sunday afternoon. The encampment, along with all other related events, is free and open to the public.
Lincoln Bedell Statue in Westfield NY

As part of the Civil War weekend, guests should stop by the Lincoln Bedell Statue across the street, commemorating the meeting between President Abraham Lincoln and Westfield’s Grace Bedell.  Bedell famously wrote the following letter to Lincoln:

Oct 15. 1860

Hon A B Lincoln
Dear Sir

My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin's. I am a little girl only eleven years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you will let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you   you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband's to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is a going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try and get every one to vote for you that I can   I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty   I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter dir[e]ct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chatauque County New York

I must not write any more   answer this letter right off 
Good bye
Grace Bedell

Lincoln wrote back to Bedell and later asked to meet her at a Train stop in Chautauqua County.

Bedell’s former home is currently for sale through Howard Hanna Holt Real Estate.  The five bedroom, 2332 square foot home is listed for 52,000.  For the property information follow this link. 

Local Teacher Wins Inaugural Grammy Music Education Award.

(January 21st, Westfield NY)Pictured Kent at event in his honor on Jan. 15, also pictured are three of his daughters and his wife.

Students and faculty at Westfield Academy and Central School (WACS) had a special surprise when music teacher Kent Knappenberger was announced live on the CBS Morning show as the inaugural winner of the first annual Grammy Music Educator award.  A special assembly was called this morning to announce it to the students.

Knappenberger was chosen out of 30,000 nominations for the award and will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award during the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees reception to be held later this week.  He will also receive at $10,000 honorarium.

The criteria for selection listed on grammyintheschools.com states that candidates were evaluated based on demonstrated evidence that they:  have made a measurable difference in the lives of students, have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education, are exemplars of the best in the field, have shown a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in our schools, have made a significant impact on their school and community.

Knappenberger has been serving the Westfield Community as a music teacher and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School for 25 years.   Kent is a graduate of Mayville High School.  He holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master's degree in music education, harp performance and literature from Eastman School of Music, and is a member of the National Education Association.  Knappenberger resides in Westfield with his wife and children.

Congradulations to Kent and Chautauqua Counties other fine educators and thank you for giving us one more reason why people should move to Chautauqua County.  I want more information on Chautauqua County Schools

Editors Note:   As a former student of Kent’s, I have a personal interest in this story as do most people who have been around him.  Beginning in middle school, I was under the direction of Kent for numerous groups both inside and outside of the school.  My younger brother and sister were also students of his.   For my siblings and me, Kent is more than a former-teacher; he is a trusted advisor and friend.  While I can cite the musicals I was in or instruments he taught me to play, I am most grateful to him for showing me and countless other students that with hard work, purpose, and passion we could accomplish things that did not seem possible.  I know it seems amazing that a public school teacher from a tiny town could beat out 30,000 entrants from larger schools with more talent and higher budgets to work with, but if you’ve spent time Kent and his students, amazing is expected.



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