OLEAN — An author who used the Bartlett House for settings in her novels will be the key attraction at the property during this weekend’s StrOlean event.
Elaine R. Snyder, who has published two paranormal mysteries set in the Olean area, will read from her books and host a book signing during the Pie on the Porch fundraiser Saturday during the first StrOlean event of 2019.
The Fannie E. Bartlett Center, which is owned by the city and operated as a historical center, will be open noon to 6 p.m. for tours and pie, with Snyder appearing from 2 to 4 p.m.
Caricatures will be drawn by Eric Jones from 3 to 6 p.m., said Dave Deckman, city historian and director of the center. Admission to the center is free. Pie will be $3 a slice and benefit the center. Caricatures are $15.
The Pie on the Porch has been well-attended during previous StrOlean events, Deckman said.
“It usually works out pretty well, depending on the weather,” he said, adding the house will be open rain or shine. “There will be a lot of attractions to bring people to Olean that day.”
Snyder said she is looking forward to the readings.
“It’s exciting,” she said, adding it should be even more enjoyable than readings at the area’s libraries. “I’ve always admired this home.”
When working on her first book, “Violet,” Snyder said the Bartlett House was a great fit for a setting.
“More than anything, I needed a place that was more of a historical society,” she said. “It needed to be a historic setting because it involves a ghost. Bartlett House just kind of fit — it just kind of organically fit.”
“Violet” is the story of a woman who seems like an ordinary mother and elementary teacher, but most people don’t know a secret she shares only with a few; she’s psychic. Her visions have often led to unusual but harmless situations, but lately she’s been wondering about the menacing figure who has been appearing to her. The sequel, “Indigo,” was released in 2018.
A former writing professor and public school teacher, Snyder and her husband live in an Airstream. She has been documenting their travels across the U.S. She lived in the Olean area for more than 30 years, she said, and she fell in love with the many historic properties that still stand in the city.
“It’s just fascinating to see these old homes,” she said, noting she hopes to help bring more people to visit the facility and share its stories. “It is a wonderful thing to be involved with that.”
She said she is “always impressed” by the house, as well as Deckman’s knowledge. “He’s a very wonderful resource for historic happenings in this area.”