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Down the Decades

April 23, 2024 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 4/23/24

140 Years Ago - 1884

The semi-annual Fair and Cattle market of the Town of Delaware will be held at the Halfway House on Monday. Music will be furnished by the Jeffersonville String Band.

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Down the Decades

April 23, 2024 Edition


140 Years Ago - 1884

The semi-annual Fair and Cattle market of the Town of Delaware will be held at the Halfway House on Monday. Music will be furnished by the Jeffersonville String Band.

Herbert Wood went from Jeffersonville to Liberty last Tuesday with his little mustang in one hour and thirty minutes.

About six o’clock last Saturday evening, the hotel of Henry Homer in Youngsville was totally destroyed by fire. A large number of people were there fighting the fire, and it was almost impossible to save the post office and the other buildings nearby.

A train struck and instantly killed an unknown man at Cochecton on the Erie Sunday night. The engineer saw the man walking the track and gave loud and repeated signals of danger. The man had a large slate and pencil in his pocket, such are used by deaf and dumb men and it is supposed that he could neither hear nor speak.

A violent gale coming from the lake region reached the Atlantic coast on Saturday night. There were wrecks on the Long Island shore, four schooners were sunk in the Hudson between Haverstraw and Sing Sing and two men were lost. Wrecks without loss of life are also reported from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware.

Extraordinary stories of the productiveness in the Coeur d’Alene gold mines in Idaho reach us. Miners are taking out large quantities even with a heavy snow on the ground. Thousands of people are going into the region and many disturbances take place.

130 Years Ago - 1894

The railroad crossing at Callicoon was the scene of a shocking accident last Friday. Philip Hembdt of the Halfway House between Callicoon Depot and Jeffersonville and Henry Von Bergen of Kenoza Lake were crossing the tracks when their spirited horse became frightened and, instead of going across the tracks, turned in the same direction in which a train was coming; then wheeled to the outside of the track, throwing Mr. Hembdt to the ground clear of the tracks and Mr. Von Bergen on the opposite side directly into the path of the train. Death was instantaneous.

“Bring on your fire now,” say the laddies of the Protection Hose Co. of Jeffersonville. The much abused engine is now snugly housed in the new building and in good working order. She was tried on Tuesday and water was thrown twenty feet above Scheidell’s large barns. Good enough!

The people of White Sulphur Springs are making a stone road through the place.

Agents of the American Harrow Company of Detroit are delivering samples of a new harrow to farmers in the vicinity of Livingston Manor.

Seward W. Miles and wife of Deposit were guests at the Eagle Hotel a couple of days last week. Mr. Miles, who appears to have an intimate business acquaintance with the projectors of our electric railroad, says that we will get the road if we raise thirty or thirty-five thousand dollars in Jeffersonville.

Dr. Richard Platz of Jeffersonville met with a mishap while returning from Monticello by a sudden lurch of the horse at Fosterdale. The crosspiece of the shafts gave way and the doctor was thrown to the ground and rendered unconscious. He was soon picked up by a passerby and assisted to the hotel.

A ewe belonging to Rufus Smith of Briscoe gave birth to four good size lambs, all strong and healthy. Three lambs at birth have always been considered the limit, and not more than two generally.

120 Years Ago - 1904

Callicoon Depot will have a water system, a stock company of prominent local people having been formed for the purpose. The company has been incorporated at Albany and is known as the Callicoon Water Company of Callicoon Depot.

Friends of Freda Mathern were pleasantly entertained at the home of her father, Peter Mathern, Saturday afternoon and evening in honor of her twelfth birthday. Games, music and singing were indulged and supper was served by Mrs. Mathern and daughter, Clara.

Fred Buck of Binghamton, representing the Springfield gasoline machine, was in town Saturday, talking up a town plant here. This system of lighting, it is said, has been in successful use for twenty years, and the cost is claimed to be one-half that of acetylene gas.

A question has arisen as to whether the church buildings of the disbanded German M.E. Church society of this village (Jeffersonville) can be diverted to other uses than that for which they were built. Judge Potts, after going over the deed for the land which was bought of Mr. Gutgessell for $150 does not believe the property can be diverted to other uses.

J.W. Steele, a farm hand near Rockland, was arrested Friday by Secret Service Agents Kline and Helmes, on suspicion of having passed counterfeit five-dollar bank notes in that section.

H.J. Cocher, a New York jeweler, will open a business in the post office building May 1st.

John Hahner, who has been occupying the Andrew Steiner farm below this village, last week bought the Valentine Dittmer boarding house and farm of 80 acres at Lake Huntington of George Townsend.

The semi-annual banquet of the Delaware Valley Society will be held in New York next Saturday. Prominent speakers have been engaged to give toasts and a metropolitan quartet will discourse vocal and instrumental music. Valentine Scheidell and wife and William Leib and wife of Jeffersonville will attend the banquet.

Mrs. Agnes Thompson has brought suit against Campbell Sprague & Co. for fifteen thousand dollar damages, sustained in the death of her son, Albert, who was killed in the company’s mill at Roscoe two years ago.

110 Years Ago - 1914

The Sullivan County Creamery Co. of Jeffersonville has bought the Supplee Dairy Co. of Philadelphia, the largest creamery at Coventry, Greene County, and has already taken possession.

Mark Kohler entertained a number of friends at his home in honor of his 17th birthday. Guests included Bertha Schmidt, Elsie Becker, Emily Scheidell, Mildred Kohler, Henrietta Kempf and Elsie Baum. Also Inez Kohler, Helen Bollenbach, Earl and Clifford Arlington, Ralph and Edward Neiger, Raymond Kohler, Kenneth Bernhardt, Clarence Knell, Charles Lixfield, Ed Kohler, Henry Bollenbach and Fred Seibert.

The wedding of Miss Louise Hahner of Lake Huntington and Fred Graf of New York took place Easter Sunday evening at the Presbyterian Church there. This was one of the happiest and most prominent social functions in the history of Lake Huntington. Guests were present from Kenoza Lake, Jeffersonville, Cochecton, Lava, Cochecton Center and nearly every family in Lake Huntington was represented.

The business people of Jeffersonville and residents along the road are petitioning the town officials of Callicoon to build a macadam road from Jeffersonville over the hill to North Branch and are subscribing funds and labor to help the project.

After an illness of one year from complication of diseases, Philip Bernhardt, a resident of this section for sixty-one years, died at his home in the Beechwoods, April 14th, in his 80th year.

Youngsville — Mrs. A. Abpla-nalp has taken possession of the Forest House, which was conducted the past five years by her son, John, who has moved to his house across the street, which his parents occupied. John expects to take a job in the milk business in New York. Mrs. Abplanalp will be assisted by her daughters, Emma and Ella.

Damascus Corr. — William Skinner went down the river with a raft last week for Elias Mitchell of Callicoon. Several men went on it as far as Lackawaxen. Each time a raft goes, we think it is the last one to go down the Delaware. I can remember when a raft was not such a curiosity. I have seen Big Eddy at Narrowsburg so full of rafts that one could walk across the river on them.

100 Years Ago - 1924

The Public Service Commission awarded a certificate for the operation of a bus line between Liberty and Jeffersonville in Sullivan County and to the Jeffersonville Transportation Company. The bus line serves many summer residents. Fred Duttweiler is the president and manager of the company, which has been operating for several years.

The Board of Education of Liberty will ask the voters of the district for authority to borrow $250,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for the erection of a new high school building.

The Jeffersonville Athletic Club is getting ready for another busy playing year. The Board of Directors are William Leib, president; Fred W. Schadt, vice president; Harvey W. Myers, secretary-treasurer; Albert Paolucci, William Deckelman, Harold Stephenson and William C. Fuhrer.

Mileses — The electric and hail storm of last Saturday was quite severe here and while it did no damage in town, it struck an ash tree about fifteen feet from the Peter Wagner house; also a tree near Andrew Kero’s in Hankins. It tore one end of the barn out for John Wahl on the River Road near Callicoon. In striking the barn, it tore the stanchions loose but did not kill any of the cattle.

John Townsend has been appointed clerk of the Board of Water Commissioners in the place of Fred Schadt who resigned because of his many other duties.

Mrs. J.C. Gain entertained about fifteen ladies from Jeffersonville and Kenoza Lake at a luncheon party in honor of the 84th birthday of her mother, Mrs. King of Canada, who has been sojourning here for some time.

 The Jersey cow of John Worden of White Sulphur Springs died Sunday after a four day illness. When Mr. Worden went into the barn to attend the animal, she charged on him and forcibly helped him through the rear window. He escaped with a few minor bruises and a bloody nose. Until the time the animal died she seemed to be in intense pain. After an autopsy it was found that a common pin had penetrated the walls of the stomach into the heart.

90 Years Ago - 1934

The relief funds distributed in Sullivan County for the month of March amounted to $4,333.73, and County Welfare Commissioner Susanna Potsch wants to know why the heck more of the boys don’t join the CCC camps and relieve the county of some of the expense and at the same time make themselves self-supporting and a help to their parents.

Alex Krongel of New York, former baker of the Roth bakery here, will soon open a bakery in Callicoon, in the building formerly used as a bakery. Paul Cohen of Jeffersonville, also formerly of the Roth bakery, will go in with Krongel.

 Last week was country fiddlers week at the home of John Zbaren of Kenoza Lake, where Herman Wyss of Cochecton Center was a guest and he and John put in a lot of time scraping hillbilly tunes off their fiddles.

Alfred J. Stephenson, son of William and Frances Stephenson of Bethel, and Miss Viola Long, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Long of Beechwoods, were married at the Kenoza Lake parsonage on April 8th.

Charles Kohl and Franklin Knise pedaled their bicycles the sixty miles from Jeffersonville to Scranton and spent a few days there with Charlie’s relatives. They made the trip there in six hours. They came home in Harold Meyer’s car, which was a lot easier, especially up the hills.

Principal R.E. Lacy spent the Easter vacation at his home in Virginia, and right now it looks like the professor is humming that plaintive tune, “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” because he has the very flattering offer to take a supervising principalship in that state.

80 Years Ago - 1944

A special meeting of the common school district at Kenoza Lake was held at the church hall there to vote on three propositions: Shall the building be sold to the fire department for one dollar? All propositions were  carried. The school was closed a couple of years ago when all the pupils transferred to the central school in Jeffersonville, but no official action was taken to close the school until now.

Miss Evelyn Kohler Eggler, R.N., who enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps early in the present year, has been promoted to Captain. Capt. Eggler is a native of Kenoza Lake.

Over 250 members of the Eastern Star Order and their friends gathered at the central school auditorium, at a reception tendered to the grand officers by the Delaware-Sullivan District.

Elmer Knack, Callicoon Center’s contractor and builder, is a busy man. He had all the work he could handle during the winter and at present employs 16 men.

70 Years Ago - 1954

A certificate of commendation was presented by the Automobile Club of N.Y. to the Ace Garage in recognition of outstanding service to the community. August Lott, owner of the garage, provided a dual-control training car for use by the Central School.

The Protection Hose Co. of Jeffersonville held its annual meeting and elected the following officers: President Oscar Schaefer, Vice President August Lott, Secretary-Treasurer Michael Manzolillo, Chief Leonard Hess, First Lieut. Melvin Soule, Fire Surgeon Harry Mathern Jr. The Executive Committee named included Harold Stecker, chairman, and Clifford Krantz and Louis Mall.

PFC Eugene Doetsch and PFC Donald Hauschild of Camp Polk, La., were surprised to receive a visit from Eugene’s brother, Gerald, who was on a pass from Connay Air Force Base in Texas.

Thelma Many Duncan and John Nicklin, both of Los Angeles, Calif., were married in the Presbyterian Church in Jeffersonville on April 13 at 7 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Baker of Jeffersonville were the attendants and Miss Bethany Fuller was flower girl.

The Hon. Judge Lawrence H Cooke has promised to address the members of the Town of Callicoon Democratic Club at their meeting this week.

After paying his respects at the Brandt Funeral Home to his lifelong friend, William T. Knell, who passed away last week, John C. Beck, 79-year-old native of Jeffersonville, suffered a heart attack and died outside the funeral home last Thursday evening.

The marriage of Miss Kathryn Marion Robisch to Fred Robertson took place last Saturday in the First Presbyterian Church in Jeffersonville.

A daughter, Laurie Jane, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Stabbert Jr. at the Callicoon Hospital on Easter Sunday, April 14. She has an older sister, Kathy Lee.

60 Years Ago - 1964

Mrs. Helen B. Palen of Roscoe has notified the Sullivan County Chapter of American Red Cross that an answer has been received from her inquiry of relatives in the Anchorage, Alaska, area, and that they had survived the earthquake and were alright.

Miss Lillian Ellmauer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Ellmauer of Youngsville, and George Hanslmaier, son of Mrs. Jack Waldas and the late George Hanslmaier of Youngsville, were married in Youngsville on Saturday, April 4th.

William Forsbach of Jeffersonville has been named to the state-wide Public Relations Committee of the Civil Service Employees Association. The appointment is for one year.

Walter Mall and his father took first prize in the Cub Scout “Bake-Off” over twenty other entries. Second place was given to Alan and Glen Snedeker and third place was awarded to Jack Hecker and his father.

The Annual Spring dinner of the Callicoon Center Rod and Gun Club was held Saturday. Arthur Soule, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Soule, won a three-year paid membership to the club for catching a 16” brown trout. Several other fish were caught but Arthur’s was the largest.

50 Years Ago - 1974

Mrs. Walter Mall of Jeffersonville announces the marriage of her daughter, Susan Grace, to Frank V. Bibb in Cornwall on March 28.

George Kinch, son of Winfred and Leila Kinch of Monticello, and Terry Durkin, daughter of John and Marion Durkin, were married on April 7, 1974, at the White Lake Presbyterian Church.

A retirement party for Herman Berberich to mark 45 years service with the New York State Electric and Gas Corp. was held last Friday night at King’s in Livingston Manor. Mr. Berberich was department head of purchasing and stores for the company at the Liberty plant on Wierk Avenue. About 150 attended the affair.

Roger L. Beaver, 25, of Youngs-ville was killed Sunday night when the motorcycle on which he was riding was struck head-on by a pickup truck at the intersection of Hemmer and Wahl roads in the Town of Callicoon. He was the son of Gerald and Ruth Beaver and was born in Liberty. He was a Vietnam War veteran belonging to the Green Berets.

Rev. George Zimmerman of Liberty was named “Fireman of the Year” by the J.C. Young Hose Co. No. 1 of Liberty.

John Peterson of Hankins, author of numerous books for children, is the recipient of the 1973 Four-Leaf Clover Award from Scholastic Magazine’s Lucky Book Club. Mr. Peterson has written thirteen books for children with a total sale of over 7 million.

To complete the picture, a sign announcing that Callicoon needed a pharmacist has now been replaced with one on the dugway announcing that “We Now Have a Pharmacist.” Becker’s Pharmacy is located in the building of Peck’s Market.

40 Years Ago - 1984

The final stage in the construction of a new sewage treatment plant for Liberty has started with bids being opened and coming to $5,334,085, according to Village Manager Jeffrey Carmen.

Benjamin A. Gilman, 22nd Congressional District Representative, stormed through Sullivan County Sunday to push for confirmation that there are servicemen missing in action (MIA) and prisoners of war (POW) who have not been reported by unfriendly countries. Gilman first appeared in Liberty where he donated a black POW-MIA flag, as almost 50 veterans and their families watched, which was raised on a pole at the Liberty Town Hall.

Well over 1,000 people packed the Tri-Valley Central School gymnasium Friday evening to enjoy a community carnival held once every three years to raise funds for the Madelene Adams Scholarship Fund. A profit of close to $4,000 was realized.

D. Wayne Johnson has been named superintendent at the Jeff-Y Central School. He comes from the Ticonderoga Central School District where, for the past six years, he has been principal of a 500 student elementary school.

Mike Bauer, an outstanding football, baseball and basketball player a the Delaware Valley Central School, has traded the glamour of those sports for the rigors and obscurity of rowing. A freshman at Cornell University in Ithaca, he is a member of the Big Red’s crew team.

The A.T. Reynolds (ice making) company in Monticello was featured in a special article this week in the Sullivan County Democrat as they celebrated a century of business. Started by Stephen Reynolds, a blacksmith by trade, in 1884 the business continues to be a family-run enterprise. A competitor opened up a  ice-making facility near the Reynold’s natural ice making plant on Kiamesha Lake in 1931, but after three years the Reynolds company bought out that company and has been the sole ice making business in the area since that time.

30 Years Ago - 1994

Fern Manor, an adult home in Kenoza Lake, is being rebuilt after a January fire and is waiting for permission to re-open. The sole owner, Phyllis Cannizzo, and Dr. Michael Conrad, a partner, have offered to buy the old Stevensville Hotel in Swan Lake but do not plan to use it as a replacement for the Kenoza Lake facility. While the Fern is being repaired, residents are living with other relatives or are located at other facilities.

LCDR Michael Rieger, son of William and Helen Rieger of Cochecton, rejoined his family in Biloxi, Miss., after returning from a very stressful seven-month deployment. For the past year and a half he has been operation’s officer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion #133. The battalion was deployed to Rota, Spain in July of 1993 with details sent to Italy, Scotland, Greece and Maryland.

Greg, Meg and  Eleanor Bryan welcomed into their home a new member to their family. Russell James Bryan flew into LaGuardia Airport from Seoul, South Korea, along with five other babies. He was born October 23, 1993 and is adjusting well into his new home.

The Sullivan County Democrat garnered 12 awards at the 1993 Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the New York Press Association and held in Albany, including a noteworthy five first places. First place awards were received for Best Editorials, Class II - Frank Brownell, editor; Sports Coverage - Frank Rizzo, sports editor; Special Holiday Edition, Class II (holiday cookbook and gift guide, 32 pages of recipes, shopping bargains and a Christmas carol songbook); Coverage of Education - 30-page coverage of graduation; and Best Sports/Outdoor Column - Bob Crego. Second place was won for the Coverage of Agriculture (Down on the Farm and Little World’s Fair issues). Third place awards were given for Advertising Excellence - Class III, Special Section Class III (1993 Catskill-Delaware Magazine), Progress Edition, Best Front Page broadsheet, Class IV, Best Humorous Column (Lifelines by Kathy Werner), and In-Depth Reporting (Laurie Ramie on Woodstock ‘94). Fallsburg High School was awarded for The Comet in the NYPA’s 3rd annual high school newspaper contest.

Rockwell “Rocky” and Ruth Hill of White Sulphur Springs celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 3 at their Stuart, Fla., home. They were married in Narrowsburg. He is a retired corrections officer.

20 Years Ago - 2004

Early Sunday evening, 45-year-old Tom Schick was fatally injured in a two vehicle accident in Obernburg. His 16-year-old son John was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla where he was listed in critical condition, as of Monday morning, with a broken leg and serious head wounds. 

Four four-year degree programs will begin at Sullivan County Community College this fall through SUNY New Paltz. The degrees will initially be offered in business, nursing, human services and elementary education. Some of the classes will be offered through live, fully interactive video conferencing.

Brothers Christopher and Casey Grey were honored on Saturday afternoon as brand new Eagle Scouts of Troop 97 in Neversink, with Sullivan County Manager Dan Briggs serving as master of ceremonies. Tom Mitchell, who helps take care of the local baseball field, thanked Chris for his work to repair the field. Tom Matthews commended Casey for working to make the picnic area around the Neversink firehouse accessible to handicapped people.

Brittany VanHouten and Julie Caskey were announced on Friday as the winners of the 10th annual Alcohol and Drug Abuse Poster Contest sponsored by the Recovery Center. VanHouten was the winner of the English contest. Caskey lay claim to the top honor in the Spanish division.

In Grahamsville Saturday morning, there were close to 100 folks gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony to herald in the new wing on the Daniel Pierce Library.

The Laufersweiler family gathered in Milford, Pa. for their 6th family reunion on July 4th, 2003 with about 90 in attendance. The Laufersweiler’s great-grandfather settled in Jeffersonville around 1880 and made a living as a cobbler.

10 Years Ago - 2014

Exciting things are happening in the village of Jeffersonville these days: a new park, called the Backyard Project, is underway, and a Sullivan Renaissance grant will help pay for part of it. “JEMS is very busy doing many fundraisers,” explains Sue Bodenstein, the group’s president. “We’re trying to promote the town to get some business back.” The group is also working with the village on a vibrant new park, called the Backyard Project, situated on what is colloquially termed “the island.” Accessible from Route 52, and from Swiss Hill Road, by means of a bridge, the one-acre park will feature gardens, a nature path, concession space and an area for educational seminars and storytelling. Said Jeffersonville Mayor Bill Thony, “We’re looking to have car shows there, flea markets, and bring in speakers to give educational talks. Village Historian Bill Cutler is working on doing things there this summer.” Already village employees have removed a house trailer from the property, re-graded the land and constructed an egress to Lovett Lane, which can be used by the fire department in case of flooding by the nearby East Branch of Callicoon Creek.

April 22 is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the World’s Fair, and Gary Holmes will be at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, sharing memories and memorabilia with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of others who also fondly remember the life-changing extravaganza. Gary isn’t scheduled to speak, but he’ll only need to be asked to tell one of the many fascinating stories of his days at the Fair and his decades scooping up its relics. This website shows a true sense of how Gary – and so many others – fell in love with the World’s Fair www.nywf64.com/holmes02.html


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