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Growing a sense of community

What it's like:

Rural, agricultural and friendly, the Town of Eden is best known throughout Western New York as the home of the Eden Corn Festival, which draws more than 120,000 people to the small farm community every year. While it still boasts a number of big farms, some now in the hands of the fifth and sixth generation of the same family, it is also a popular residential area, almost suburban in nature. Located south of Buffalo, the town is home to a kazoo factory and an alpaca farm, and is presently gearing up to celebrate its bicentennial next year.

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What makes it unique:

The people. There is a strong sense of community, with many organizations, including a very active Boys & Girls Club.

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Places to go:

The annual Eden Corn Festival, scheduled for Aug. 4-7. The Original American Kazoo Company, which features a museum and gift shop. Many stores, shops and restaurants, including O'Brien's Pub and the Four Corners Cafe. The Farmers' Market. Eden Valley Alpacas. The Eden Farm Museum.

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A person you should know:

Susan Minekime, who has lived in Eden for more than 40 years, is the former director of the Eden Library and is the town co-historian. She is married, the mother of two grown children and has one grandchild. Minekime recently published a book, simply titled "Eden," about the history of the town, as part of the Images of America series.

>Q: Why write a book?

A: It's something I'm familiar with. When I was still at the library, I became familiar with the series and thought to myself: Eden should have a book like this. Being a historian really helped with that. It's a pictorial history of the town.

>Q: You are also a co-historian for the town. What drew you to that?

A: I've loved history my whole life. It's sort of like a big puzzle to me. I like to find the pieces to the puzzle.

>Q: What is the most interesting thing you discovered while researching the book?

A: I really came to appreciate the richness of the town's history, and what a self-sufficient little place it once was.

e-mail: hjones@buffnews.com