Lake George Town & Village Historian Margaret “Peg” Edwards talks Dec. 9 about how she enjoys her work tracking down historical information for area residents and visitors. Edwards was named the 2013 Lake George Citizen of the Year by the village board.
Busy in her compact office in the Lake George Village hall Dec. 9, Margaret “Peg” Edwards opened a letter inquiring about an early-1800s artist that may have resided in Lake George.
“People contact me, trying to find out about a relative, and I conduct research, trying to connect the dots — but you don’t always get the dots to work with,” she said.
Edwards, 80 years young, is retiring effective Dec. 31 as Lake George Town and Village Historian — a position she’s held for the past quarter century.
Edwards said the time has flown past since she started in 1979 as the municipalities’ official historian. She took on the post after former historian Lee Montena, a friend at church, asked her if she would like to take over for her.
“I didn’t believe I had worked for 25 years until they told me,” she said. “I really enjoy reviewing old photographs and manuscripts.”
In honor of her many years of service, the Village of Lake George has named Edwards the 2013 Lake George Citizen of the Year.
This week, Village Mayor Robert Blais praised Edwards for her many years of tracking down historical and genealogical information for others.
“Peg is certainly deserving of the award,” he said. “She’s been a very diligent, reliable and dependable source of information about our community, and she will be sorely missed,” he said.
Edwards said she was drawn to the position because she always had an interest in history. She noted that throughout her life, she enjoyed reading historical non-fiction.
“I was born in a historical place, so it was natural for me to enjoy history,” she said.
Edwards has been working in both the town and village offices maintaining historical data — housed in separate buildings — relating to each municipality.
Her collection of photos, newspaper articles and memorabilia has brought bygone days to life for so many people with local ties, Blais said. She’s also answered thousands of inquiries from residents and visitors over the years.
Also, Edwards would often attend special occasions armed with her camera to record history in the making.
Recently, the town and village received a grant to consolidate the offices under one roof and have agreed to move all records to a newly renovated space in the town offices. A state archive grant is funding 80 percent of the project. The local share of the grant is the dollar value of the labor provided by village and town employees in constructing modern storage facilities.
Margi Mannix, a long-time village resident and granddaughter of former historian Margaret Mannix, has accepted a provisional appointment to assist in the transition while offices are being consolidated, Blais said.
Among the changes to take place is the computerization of historical records in the office.
In the meantime, Edwards will be learning to operate a computer, she said. “My family wanted me to retire,” she said. “But I’m planning to learn about how to run a computer anyway.”