Afton Historical Society Museum Honors The Military
Published: May 26th, 2023
By: Kelli Miller

Afton Historical Society Museum honors the military The Afton Historical Society/Museum will be open on Saturday May 27 from 1 to 4 p.m and is located at 116 Main Street in Afton, NY. Exhibits in the Military Heritage Room include a Civil War Soldier's Diary. (Submitted photo)

AFTON — This memorial weekend The Afton Historical Society/Museum, located at 116 Main Street, will honor service members with their Military Heritage exhibit on Saturday May 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Afton Historical Society Secretary Wendy Caldiero said, “The Military Heritage Room exhibit has many photos of Afton Veterans and a Civil War Soldier's Diary, as well as many military items from all of the United States wars.”

According to the April 15 North Afton minutes, research will be done on the Revolutionary soldiers buried in the North Afton Cemetery and once completed, a request will be submitted for a roadside plaque stating that it is a Revolutionary cemetery.

Story Continues Below Adverts

A rough cross was made for Elisha Woods, one of the Revolutionary Soldiers and will be placed 20 paces from a certain grave stone. It will be an approximate location yet he will get the recognition he deserves.

Historical files tell another story of a soldier from Afton who was Sarah Rosetta Wakeman. She disguised herself as a man to work on the Chenango Canal as a coal handler in order to help her families financial situation, but once she encountered recruiters for the 153rd NYS Volunteers, she enlisted for three years in the Civil War.

She joined the Union Army under the name Lyons Wakeman and served 2 years as a Private. She was based in Washington DC and provided guard duty.

Her next transfer to Louisiana was to participate in the Red River Campaign. She survived her first battle in April 1864 but a long 700 mile march under heavy heat and humidity, and poor diet, led to her death in June of the same year. She was not discovered to be a woman until after she died.

The museum also has a large collection of family files, books, scrapbooks and other documents. Contact Wendy Caldiero at to access the files.

The Afton Historical Society received a grant from the Community Foundation for South Central NY for the purchase of a laptop on which files can be loaded about Afton history and can also be used by individuals or borrowed by organizations to use in educational programs.

Files currently loaded in the laptop include the History of Afton, Centennial revisited, buildings of Afton, Afton walking tours and more.

Story Continues Below Adverts

The Afton Historical Society was established in 1986. It was the successor to the Jericho Historical Society and the Isabelle House Association. The goal of the Society is to preserve, promote and protect historic culture in the Town/Village of Afton.

The organizations members: President Dennis Jeffers, Vice President Barbara Johnson, Secretary Wendy Caldiero, and Treasurer Daryl Mulwane, Dr. Fred Johnson and Curator Nick Caldiero.

Visitors are welcome on Saturday or call to schedule an appointment 607-693-1408.