On August 13, 1919 the first American Legion Post in Yates County was chartered. The new Post was named in memory of Navy veteran Harold F. Johnson and Army veteran Charles E. Costello and assigned the number of Post 355.
The first Commanders of the newly charted Post were Raymond F. Harter and Francis P. Reilly. Post meetings were held on the third floor of the Arcade Buildingon Main Street in the Village of Penn Yan.
In 1928 the Post moved to rooms over Hoban’s Meat Market located at 110 Elm Street in Penn Yan. It was during these years that the Johnson-Costello Post Drum & Bugle Corps was organized.
By 1940 the Post was able to purchase the Beach Block located at approximately 102 East Elm Street in Penn Yan. The site is now the parking lot on the north side of East Elm Street just east of the Main Street intersection. January 8, 1941 was the first meeting in this new location.
In 1950 Johnson-Costello Post 355 purchased the Empire State Wine Cellar at 301 Lake Street. The large stone building, with a beautiful view of Keuka Lake, was remodeled with the lounge on the first floor and a large hall and kitchen on the second floor for dinners and parties. On April 25, 1951 a reception for American Legion Department Officials was held in the new Post Home. Several American Legion Posts and Auxiliary Units from Yates County were there to help make this a success. The host for the evening was Yates County Commander William J. Falvey and the Master of Ceremonies was Frank E. Monnin, Department of New York Historian.
June of 1989 saw the Post move to its present location at 2001 Himrod Road, the former Hilltop Restaurant was purchased from the D’Abbracci family.
Johnson-Costello Post 355 remains an active part of the Penn Yan and Yates County community.
Join Us and Keep this History Alive