Since 2008, Martin Sweeney has been the historian for the town and village of Homer, New York. As a recent article in the Cortland Standard explains, Sweeney brings his lifelong passion for history to his role as village and town historian. His goal is to make history come alive for residents of the Central New York community. “We’re such a socially mobile society that people have no idea [about local history]; they can say, ‘Hey I’ve lived here and raised my kids for the past six years, I had no idea Homer had a connection to Abraham Lincoln. It is my job to tell them.” To achieve this, Sweeney draws from his long and dedicated career as an educator. During his tenure as a junior high school social studies teacher in the Homer School District, Sweeney would frequently get into character, dress in era-specific costume, and play music from certain time periods to illustrate to his students that history is never as far away as it may seem. He brings this same dedication for educating people to his role as village historian. Currently, Sweeney is engaged in a project aimed at establishing a monument in Homer’s town hall, which would commemorate three men who played an integral role in Lincoln’s life.
More information about Martin Sweeney and his career can be found in the aforementioned Cortland Standard article.