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Down the Decades

August 15, 2023 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 8/15/23

130 Years Ago - 1893

Policeman Philip Schmidt of New York is visiting with his family in this vicinity. He came up with a horse and wagon by way of Newburgh.

VonBergen and Yager are kept on …

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Down the Decades

August 15, 2023 Edition


130 Years Ago - 1893

Policeman Philip Schmidt of New York is visiting with his family in this vicinity. He came up with a horse and wagon by way of Newburgh.

VonBergen and Yager are kept on the road night and day now delivering their mineral water, which has no equal.

We have two gristmills in Jeffersonville and we haven’t got any. The farmers have to go to neighboring places to get their grain ground. Why it is, we do not know, but suppose that there is not water power enough here.

Liberty Union School opens on Monday, September 4. The following instructors will be in charge: A.W. Abrams, Ph.D., principal; Miss Nettie Ward, Grammar; Miss Ada Ernhout, Intermediate; Miss Jennie Green, First Primary; Miss Libby Clements, Second Primary.

A meeting for the purpose of electing officers and completing arrangements of organization for an Episcopal Church Society in Liberty was held in Liberty last week. The church will be known as the Church of the Holy Communion and a resolution was passed that the pews and sittings be forever free. C.L. Beaumont was elected senior warden and R.W. Sears junior warden. The vestrymen elected were Henry Gurd of Liberty Falls, James G. Greening and F.E. Beaumont of Liberty and Dr. H.M. Ives of Parksville. At the vestry meeting on Wednesday, R.W. Sears was elected treasurer and F.E. Beaumont, clerk. Rev. Dr. York was elected rector. Meetings will be held in the GAR Hall until a church is erected.

Robert Lightfoot and family of Jersey City arrived at their summer home at Fosterdale last week, where they will spend the remainder of the warm season.

120 Years Ago - 1903

A Fair and Festival by the Willing Workers of Callicoon will be held in Willow Grove Tuesday afternoon and evening, August 19. If stormy, the next fair day. Dancing.

George Yager, the soda man, bought a horse last week from the gypsies stopping at Youngsville, for the fabulous sum of $3.50. Jake Knell of the Jeffersonville House took a great fancy to the valuable animal and, determined to have it at any price, finally succeeded, after much negotiation, in getting it at the enormous price of $4.10. Jake expects to take all the premiums in sight at the coming fairs.

Liberty is filled this week with race horses from all over, on account of the four days of racing there. Ten carloads came in one day alone. Some of the races have sixteen horses entered. The purses amount to $4800.

110 Years Ago - 1913

It is now apparent that Jeffersonville will have a national bank, a charter having been applied for. The petitioners are Charles Schmidt, Otto W. Meyer, Fred Schmidt, Henry U. Krenrich and Louis P. Faubel. The capital stock is $25,000. The stock is selling at $130 a share and all but one hundred shares have been sold privately. A building lot centrally located will be secured and a fire- proof bank building, all of concrete, will be erected for $5,000.

Coaching Day in Youngsville is going the way of coaching days in all other places — down the toboggan — due to waning interest among home people.

Cut Weeds, Briars and Brush

The highway law provides that all owners and occupants of land must cut and remove the bounds of the highway of all obnoxious weeds, briars and brush prior to the first day of September. If this work is not done the town superintendent is required to do it and assess the cost against the property. Wm. H. Knemm, Town Supt. of Callicoon.

Youngsville has more city guests than ever before. The boarding houses are all filled to capacity.

Frank J. Mason, the genial proprietor of the Waterfalls Casino, shows his enterprise and sagacity by catering to all and giving everybody a chance.

While turkey trotting is not permitted at the casino at any time, the turkey trotters will be given an opportunity there next Wednesday evening.

Five generations were represented at the home of Howard M. Smith on Sunday when Mrs. Harry Smith of Liberty was visiting. She is a great-great-grandmother and is 92 years old.

100 Years Ago - 1923

At the annual school meeting the financial report showed receipts of $15,020.34 and disbursements of $14,738.71. Chas. O. Wilkin and John P. Huff were re-elected trustees, H.C. VanKueren was elected for the unexpired term of Edwin Weber, who resigned. It was voted to engage an extra academic teacher, the meeting also voted to raise $10,000 by tax. The amount raised last year was $7,898.71.

Many people here were not aware that President Harding was related to our esteemed townsman and longtime justice of the peace, William J. Harding, merchant at Callicoon Center. Both trace their ancestry to one Abraham Harding, who lived on a farm at the junction of the Goshen and Slate Hill roads. The original Harding was born in Port Jervis on March 10, 1764.

Eisenberg and Sons have opened their new theatre at the old post office corner.

Earl W. Startup of Liberty and Miss Dorothy Abplanalp of Youngsville were married at the Kenoza Lake Methodist parsonage July 27.

90 Years Ago - 1933

The milk strike has been raging upstate the past week or more is reaching Sullivan County. All the state police have been called upstate by the strike. This county is left only with the sheriff’s office and town constables for protection. These were called into service yesterday to protect milk trucks and local milk plants.

Andrew Winterberger of Monticello, driver of a Crowley milk truck, was attacked on his way down Tuesday. Strike pickets threw stones which broke his windshield and gashed his head. Strikers are demanding 45 percent of the retail price of milk for all milk, or $2.54 per 100 pounds.

Helen Messemer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Messemer of White Lake, and Richard David Chellis were married Saturday evening at Monticello.

Manny Stewl, former convict who acted as intermediary in the O’Connell kidnap case, was arrested at Monticello last Tuesday and charged with kidnapping Lt. John O’Connell Jr., nephew of the powerful Albany County leader. Stewl delivered $40,000 to the kidnappers in New York City and took young O’Connell back to the Heiderberg Mountain Camp of the uncle, Dan O’Connell.

The City of Middletown is appealing to the state highway department to build a bypass around the city, believing that it would be profitable to send the traffic around the city and restore the space on the city streets for shoppers.

A son, Richard James, was born August 2 to Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Knack of Hortonville.

Fred Joegle of Jeffersonville is building a 90-foot garage at Liberty for Paul Killian near the O&W tracks.

80 Years Ago - 1943

A soldier in Alaska bought land last week at Lake Briscoe. He is Corporal Frank Huggler, who is now stationed on the Alcan Highway. He received a copy of the Record and in it noticed the advertisement of the sale of lots on Lake Briscoe and purchased one by mail.

Federal Judge Hulbert has confirmed the recommendation for the abandonment of the Port Jervis-Monticello branch of the O&W Railroad because of the heavy losses in operation during recent years. 

70 Years Ago - 1953

Over 400 pounds of clothing were gathered and shipped to the Easton, Pa., warehouse by the First Lutheran Church. At Easton it will be processed and sent to the neediest parts of the world.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hoffman, wife of Stephen J. Hoffman, assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Jeffersonville, died at her home last Thursday morning. She had been an invalid for a long time.

Invitations have been sent out for two August weddings — one August 29 for Joseph Clifford and Freda Clifford and the second, August 30, for Shirley Brown and Richard von Bergen.

Paul J. Walkowski of Belmore, L.I., was seriously injured when his plane crashed into a corn crib in a forced landing on Frank Norton’s farm in Bethel.

The family of the late John Bauernfeind of Beechwoods will have a family reunion at the home of Mrs. Amanda Stewart next Sunday.

Sister Virginia of the Franciscan Order is visiting at the Ray Shaara home. She has been at Niagara Falls.

Mrs. James F. Wood, wife of the White Sulphur Springs School principal, left yesterday to visit her old home in Switzerland and is taking with her their three small children, that her parents may have the opportunity of seeing them. Mrs. Wood, because she was proficient in three languages, held a position at the Army Headquarters as an interpreter during World War II, when Mr. Wood was with the Army of Occupation.

Capt. Robert Herring, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Herring of Callicoon Center, is on his way to Korea with a general cargo of goods. Capt. Herring will be away on the trip for 3 or 4 months.

A son was born August 10 to Walter and Erma Mall of Jeffersonville.

60 Years Ago - 1963

Miss Jean Fulton and Roy Hoffman were married August 4 at the Kenoza Lake Methodist Church.

The explosions and fire which ripped apart the Lipschitz building at 350 Broadway Sunday morning could have damage amounting as high as $100,000 and has been termed Monticello’s worst fire of the year.

A stiff breeze and choppy water on White Lake resulted in the loss of a 280 cu. in. hydroplane, the “Comanche,” during the Fourth Annual Sullivan County Hydroplane Regatta Sunday afternoon. Harry Marti was the driver of the craft which sank in about 80 feet of water.

The heavy deluge of rain during the thunderstorms Thursday night was all that saved other buildings from burning on the Thomas Stetka farm at Black Lake. A barn, struck by lightning, contained a tractor, mower, plows and other machinery, but the cattle were in the pasture. The barn which was destroyed was full of hay.

50 Years Ago - 1973

Miss Melody Hector, 16, of Swan Lake has been named State Dairy Princess at a pageant held in Syracuse. The daughter of Howard and Georgia Hector, she was selected from 47 other county princesses and will reign for a year.

At the Liberty-Loomis Hospital, July 27, a girl, Jennifer Ann, to Mr. and Mrs. James Krupp of Livingston Manor; July 28, a girl, Tracy Ann, to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Riente of Ferndale; July 29, a boy, Frank Leroy, to Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kratz of Roscoe; July 31, a girl, Stacy Marie, to Mr. and Mrs. Allan Welton of White Sulphur Springs; August 1, a boy, to Mr. and Mrs. Alberto Rizzo of Liberty.

The second Pow-Wow of the summer, conducted by the Indian League of the Americas, will take place at Barryville on August 11 and 12.

Lori Orlando, Concord Hotel reservations clerk from Sidney, is slated this week to make the English Channel swim from Dover, England, to France, and at the same time to try to break the men’s world record of 9 hours, 44 minutes.

40 Years Ago - 1983

Fred Stabbert III, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University in May, has been named managing editor of the Sullivan County Democrat. Also named to positions at the Callicoon paper are Frank Brownell and Jan Cheripko, who will share the editorship with Brownell’s duties geared to general news and Cheripko’s emphasis on sports. Christopher Stein has been named to continue as general manager of Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc., with additional responsibilities in editorial and advertising supervision.

Kristian Kodet of Callicoon recently received a letter thanking him for a picture he painted and donated, entitled “Freedom,” to President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. Mr. Kodet escaped from his native Czechoslovakia with his wife and child several years ago. He has paintings on exhibit at the Eldred Preserve and the Barbara Walter Gallery in New York City.

More than 1,000 people attended the 24th annual Monticello Antique Show and Sale held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Monticello High School.

Julie Bennis was named 1983 Regatta Queen.

Dr. Paul Salzberg and staff members of the Grover M. Hermann Division of Community General Hospital in Callicoon were honored at an open house held in the hospital cafeteria on Wednesday. More than 140 people attended.

30 Years Ago - 1993

Roy Blackbear, a Mohawk Indian from Esopus, will present a program for children and interested adults at the E.B. Crawford Library in Monticello on August 11. A historian and storyteller, he will describe Native American history and customs before contact with the white man changed Iroquois and Lenape lives forever. He is curator of a Native American museum in  Esopus.

The Community Bank of Sullivan County is ready to open its doors as soon as the bank has raised the necessary cash to begin operations. A late fall opening is anticipated.

Alton C. Miller of Liberty and his World War II buddy, Tony Molins of Saddle Brook, N.J., met in a reunion 48 years after they served together in the Air Force.

Members of the Delaware Valley Job Corps Drill Team performed at the Callicoon Street Fair last weekend and received a loud round of applause for their efforts.

Occupiers of the Woodstock site on Hurd Road and West Shore Drive were ordered off the field by Town of Bethel constables, Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies and New York State Police officers on Thursday after a private security guard, hired by disputed property owner June Gelish, filed a criminal trespass complaint. Three people were arrested and the campers tore down their tents and packed up their belongings.

The Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show’s 50th Anniversary “Nostalgia” Tour, starring Tim Chitwood, will be presented at the Wayne County Fair on August 13.

Travis Rosencrance of Liberty High School, participated with students from Walton and Hancock in a biotechnology conference, sponsored by Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers, a program whose aim is to develop interaction between biology teachers in upstate New York and to keep them abreast of current issues and technologies in the field of biology.

Liberty Lumber defeated Heinle’s, 13-1, to take the13th annual Sullivan County Democrat Softball Tournament, held at the White Sulphur Springs Firemen’s Park on Sunday afternoon.

20 Years Ago - 2003

As expected, Aileen Gunther confirmed last Tuesday that she will be the Democratic candidate to fill the 98th State Assembly Seat of her late husband, Jake Gunther III. 

Matthew Joseph “Joe” Freda of Damascus, Pa., 84, a real estate broker and owner of Matthew J. Freda Real Estate, died August 7, 2003 in Callicoon. He was a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and had flown missions in three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Summer interns announced at the Sullivan County Democrat are Laura Stabbert, daughter of publisher Fred Stabbert III and granddaughter of Publisher Emeritus Fred Stabbert Jr. Mercedes Manzolillo of Jeffersonville is also interning at the newspaper this summer.

Fond friendliness abounded at the Town of Highland’s 150th anniversary bash this past weekend. Said Shohola (Pa.) supervisor George Fluhr, “We are the big sister to Highland, and we just celebrated our 150th anniversary in Shohola, Pa., last year. We have a great working relationship with Highland.” Added Lumberland Supervisor John LiGreci, “The Town of Highland was formed from the Town of Lumberland. We are the ‘middle sister’ and we share many things with Highland.”

Important historical records were returned to their rightful custodian recently when the Monticello Lodge #532 Masons received five volumes of membership records dating to when the Lodge was instituted in December 1862. The ledgers were in the possession of the late historian Alvin O. Benton of Wanaksink Lake when he died in 1993, according to his daughter Susan Schock. Benton wrote “Early Freemasonry in Sullivan County and History of Monticello Lodge #532, F.&A.M.” in 1942, using the ledgers in his research.

ALIVE is sponsoring a contest to guess when Talullah, Village of Liberty Mayor Rube Smith’s pregnant cow, will give birth. Donation is $1 a guess, or 6 for $5, and you need not be present to win.

10 Years Ago - 2013

Sullivan Renaissance held its annual awards ceremony on Monday at SUNY Sullivan’s Seelig Theater for the second consecutive year. A far larger crowd than last year’s packed into the theater to witness the Livingston Manor Renaissance group’s Category C beautification project garner the coveted Golden Feather, and the $25,000 in grant money the first place award brings with it. The Manor Renaissance group joined forces with the Chamber of Commerce, and according to Chamber President Mia Koerner, a visioning workshop back in January led by Renaissance’s Helen Budrock helped the group greatly. The main work this year was restoration of the antique caboose at Exit 96 which serves as an information center. It also redid the business directory sign and moved it to Main Street across from the Waterwheel Junction on land donated by George and Shirley Fulton. 

The idea for the Monticello Bagel Festival originated in the Monticello Bagel Bakery. Jeff Siegel of the Monticello Business Association (MBA), who is spearheading the effort, recalled that the response from his MBA colleagues was underwhelming and skeptical at first. But then somebody mentioned his old neighbor, Hurleyville native Louis Wichinsky, who patented a bagel making machine in 1964. So Siegel set out to create a festival from scratch. He and his volunteers got media attention, lined up sponsors and vendors and floated around ideas for events. He even got NYS Senator John Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to introduce resolutions naming Monticello “The Bagel Capital.”


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