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Down the Decades

January 3, 2023 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 1/3/23

110 Years Ago - 1913

Perhaps one of the largest fires which has ever occurred in the village of Jeffersonville took place shortly before 4 o’clock when the large boarding house of John …

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Down the Decades

January 3, 2023 Edition


110 Years Ago - 1913

Perhaps one of the largest fires which has ever occurred in the village of Jeffersonville took place shortly before 4 o’clock when the large boarding house of John Beck Sr., capable of accommodating from 150 to 200 guests, burned to the ground with almost all of its contents. The origin of the fire is unknown although it was likely due to the explosion of an oil lamp which Mr. Beck had placed in the bathroom in the second story to keep the water from freezing in the water pipes. Had there been a strong East wind blowing, it might have destroyed a good portion of the village but the early morning was calm and no damage was done to the nearby buildings. Mr. Beck was similarly stricken four years ago in May and only through the great and heroic effort of the firemen, coupled with an efficient water system, that the loss was not totaled. Mr. Beck was allowed damages to the amount of $5,900 at that time. He rebuilt and remodeled the burned section with the exception of the cupola which he reduced to 3 1/2 feet instead of 4 1/2, its original height. The structure is reported to be insured in an amount above $20,000.

Clarence D. Fortnam of Tyler Hill recently purchased a $100 bull calf from the famous Fred F. Fieldeu Holstein Co. of Brockton, Mass., to head his herd of 50 registered Holstein cattle.

A fatal death was averted a week ago Wednesday  when Oscar, young son of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Smithers narrowly escaped drowning. A number of boys from school were skating on the thin ice when he broke through and sank twice. The boys were frightened and ran for the schoolhouse except Cecil Abraham, Harry Smith, and Myron Lord. Smith called for a board and Abraham tore one from a fence. Together they hurried out on the sinking ice and were instrumental in saving their comrade who was going down for the third time.

100 Years Ago - 1923

Elmer Knack, the contractor, is erecting a small mill at Callicoon Center where he will do custom sawing.

L.A. Rubin of Callicoon has sold his clothing business to W.H. Stengel. Mr. Stengel will close his grocery business, one of the oldest businesses in town. It was started more than 50 years ago by the late Peter Traynor and Mr. Stengel purchased the business in 1914.

Due to the severe weather, the dedication of the White Sulphur Springs M.E. Church has been tentatively rescheduled for March 15.

To augment its water system of fire protection, Jeffersonville has a committee at work investigating a chemical fire truck which the fire company has voted to purchase.

Due to the weight of snow on the Reithel’s barn roof in East Cochecton, it caved in Sunday morning. The neighbors turned out and helped clear up the wreckage and are now assisting in replacing the roof. Mr. Reithel is indeed grateful for the aid rendered him.

The work of completing the Fosterdale Grange building is well advanced. Four years ago this Grange purchased a site and erected a substantial hall with dance floor on the second floor and dining room and kitchen on the first. The building was not entirely finished, the Grange preferring to pay its way as it went.

90 Years Ago - 1933

Francis V. Huff of Fremont has been appointed deputy sheriff by Sheriff-elect Walter Flynn. He has for the past three years been the warden of the Sullivan County Jail. Former Sheriff Ben R. Gerow will become Sullivan County’s representative in the New York State Legislature at Albany.

Agnes Nudorf of Callicoon has been elected matron of St. Tammany Chapter, OES, for the coming year. Mrs. Ila Bury of Fremont Center was elected to membership at the annual meeting and a miscellaneous shower was tendered Mrs. W. Schenkar who was married on Christmas Day.

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Burr of Cochecton celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 27.

Volunteer firemen of Roscoe gave services free recently to rebuild the dam at Palen’s Mill Pond at Roscoe to furnish fire protection to the village. Floods destroyed the dam last October.

The Lorraine Hotel at Lake Huntington was burned on the night of October 12 and will be replaced next Spring by a three-story structure, it was announ-ced by the new owner, Max Ferber.

80 Years Ago - 1943

Patricia, daughter of Mrs. Charles Hoffmann of Hankins, and PFC Edward Nelson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Nelson of Fremont Center, were married December 18 at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Callicoon.

Cold, more severe for the month of December than anything which can be recalled, struck here last Saturday. Sunday morning found temperatures of 20 degrees below.

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Bauerfeind of Callicoon are the parents of a baby girl born Tuesday, December 22, at the Callicoon Hospital.

Monday night negotiations were completed whereby the Monticello Bulletin purchased the Hurleyville Sentinel, located in the village by the same name. Charles D. Lawrence, publisher of the Sentinel, will retain his job printing established.

Fred Baer Jr. graduated yesterday from the Resident Ground Aviation Training School at Newburgh.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schmidt of Jeffersonville celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 21.

70 Years Ago - 1953

Supreme Court Justice-elect William Deckelman announced that he had appointed Blake Washington, clerk of the Board of Supervisors, as his confidential clerk, and Mrs. Hazel Darling, vice chairman of the Sullivan County Republican Committee, as his secretary.

Beverly Jean Mudge became the bride of Richard Porter on December 21. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Mudge of Callicoon.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gries of Damascus, Pa., a son, Monday; to Mr. and Mrs. Percy Tyler of Milanville, Pa., a son on Monday; and to Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Smith of Cooks Falls, a daughter on Thursday.

Blake H. Bates of Monticello, who is 78 years old, probably is the oldest bank teller in Sullivan County. No doubt there are but a few men holding down that position in the state who are older. He went to work for the National Union bank in October 1902. Queried on plans to retire, Mr. Bates said that he does not plan to leave his cage in the immediate future. Mr. Bates recalled that the bank burned in the big 1909 fire in Monticello but the records were in the vault where they were not lost.

60 Years Ago - 1963

Clarence Williamson, 52, custodian of the Fallsburg Central School, was killed Saturday night, December 22, when the car in which he was riding skidded off Route 17B in the Town of Bethel and crashed into a rocky embankment. He was a Kenoza Lake resident.

Mr. and Mrs. Williard Brown of Lookout, Pa., announce the engagement of their daughter, Sally, to Mark Hawley of Equinunk, Pa.… Mr. and Mrs. Russell Duttweiler of Jeffersonville announce the engagement of their daughter, Carol, to Daniel C. Fisher, also of Jeffersonville… Mrs. Ethel Rosenberger of Long Eddy announces the engagement of her daughter, Carolyn, to George Hubert, also of Long Eddy.

A 14-room house, the original farmhouse on what is now the Yasgur Farms west of the hamlet of Bethel, burned Monday afternoon, December 17. No lives were lost but the George Parks family and Mrs. Earl Brandt, who had an apartment on the second floor, lost all their possessions.

The new postal rates go into effect January 7. First class mail will be 5¢ per ounce; penny postals will now cost 4¢ each. Square envelopes are not recommended by the Post Office and envelopes over 9 inches high and 12 inches long require special handling and are not recommended.

Friday morning, a baby boy was born at the Callicoon Hospital to Mr. and Mrs. L. Paterson (nee Shirley Wood). Grace Wood is the proud grandmother. Also at the Callicoon Hospital, a son, Saturday, to Mr. and Mrs. George Klinkiewicz, Callicoon RD; a son, Saturday, to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Case, Narrowsburg RD.

Robert M. Rosen, Monticello, is among 29 attorneys practicing upstate who have joined the New York State Bar Association. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Rosen.

Ray Vitch, 22, of Jeffersonville was struck while walking to work on Route 52 near Youngsville, Tuesday, when a car skidded on a slippery snow-covered road, struck the guardrail and then hit Vitch.

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Graziadio of Honesdale (he was a former resident of North Branch) have purchased Palmer’s Traveler’s Inn, in Indian Orchard, Pa.

50 years ago - 1973

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cutler of North Branch were honored at a 50th wedding anniversary party held at the White Sulphur Springs firehouse.

Burr Sherwood, 87, a lifelong resident of Livingston Manor and a manufacturer of bowling pins at the Livingston Manor Turning Works, died Christmas Day at his home after a lengthy illness.

Former President Harry S. Truman died Tuesday, December 26, at the age of 88.

Mrs. Clara W. Joyner has been appointed postmaster at Bethel.

Mrs. Bernice Cole of Honesdale was the winner of a $25 gift certificate at the Band Box in connection with the Upper Delaware Chamber of Commerce Christmas drawing.

The James Santos family won a twenty-one piece ceramic nativity set raffled by St. George’s R.C. Church.

40 Years Ago - 1983

Sullivan County Supervisors on Tuesday named Lloyd Heller of Callicoon to fill the coroner’s post vacated by Thomas Masterson Jr. He was sworn in on Wednesday.

Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-22) will be the guest speaker at the Landfield Avenue Synagogue’s 70th birthday and mortgage burning celebration on January 9. He will speak on his recent visit to the Middle East and Israel.

Arthur and Elsie Mae Hill of Divine Corners celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary at the Hurleyville Methodist Church on December 12 with family and friends gathered to extend best wishes. The Hills are the parents of three sons, Maurice, William and Richard. They have 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and have lived in the same house since they were married at the Hurleyville parsonage on December 11, 1918.

Wendy Sue Huebsch of Hurleyville and David R. Burnell of Liberty were married on November 27 at the United Methodist Church in Liberty… Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Freiermuth of Beach Lake, Pa., have announced the engagement of their daughter, Judy, to Michael Diehl, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Diehl of Damascus, Pa. A September 3 wedding is planned.

Gil Weisinger, a reporter with the Sullivan County Democrat, recently won the first Tourney of Champions 8-Ball competition, sponsored this fall by J and B Cocktail Lounge in Liberty. He plans to enter the Miller Lite World Series of Pool.

30 Years Ago - 1993

After eight years of planning and delay, the Conrail overpass on Route 114 in the village of Cochecton is in place, permitting large trucks as well as cars to use the road. But it will be at least a year before Sullivan County has the funds to widen and straighten the highway where it meets Route 97.

The man who headed the drafting of the proposed Sullivan County Charter announced yesterday that he has changed his mind in regard to the best government form for Sullivan County. Eugene Blabey, who has previously backed a retention of the current board of supervisors system, now says that he would like to see a county legislature rule the government. Blabey is a member of the Sullivan County Charter Commission which has been working on revisions to the county’s government since last year. He has headed a five-member committee which was charged with drafting the proposed charter.

Agway committee Vice Chairman Henry Walter was one of more than 60 local Agway committeemen who provided grassroots advice and comments to the farm cooperative’s leaders during a two-day conference held in Holyoke, Mass., December 7 and 8.

David Hazen was home with his family in Galilee, Pa., in time for Christmas following being treated for injuries sustained when the cement truck he was driving overturned several times. Fortunately there was a car behind him who stopped and assisted him in getting out of the cab and called an ambulance which transported Dave to Wilson Hospital in Binghamton.

Missy Feagles of Narrowsburg was named MVP after scoring 35 points and grabbing 31 rebounds which led her team to victory in the 10th Lady Wildcat Tournament in Livingston Manor last Monday and Wednesday. Narrowsburg defeated Roscoe 32-28.

20 Years Ago - 2003

Cassandra Rhodes, daughter of Harold and Nancy Rhodes of Jeffersonville, and Charles Reeves of Fort Lewis, Wash., son of Ted Reeves of Berryville, Ariz., and Loral Reeves of Temecula, Calif., exchanged wedding vows on September 28, 2002 at a ceremony performed at the Stone Arch Bridge.

Harold and Mildred Skinner Keegan of Kenoza Lake celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary at the Stone Arch Inn in Kenoza Lake, hosted by their daughter and son-in-law, Viola and William Blume of Kenoza Lake. Their granddaughter, Lorrie, made a special cake for the occasion. They were married November 22, 1941, at First Grace Lutheran Church in Jeffersonville.

Lorna Koberlein and Ronald and Carolyn Koberlein, all of Binghamton, announce the engagement of their daughter, Andrea Lynn, to Charles Wilson Hamilton. He is the son of Alan Hamilton of Weston-Super-Mare, England, and the late Susan Hamilton.

10 Years Ago - 2013

With the recent $2.5 million grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council, The Center for Discovery in Harris will continue to have a major impact on the economy of the Catskill region and the state. According to an economic analysis (based on 2010 figures) The Center contributed $184 million to New York State and $134 million to Sullivan County economies. The study was performed by Shepstone Management Company of Honesdale, PA, and used standard methodologies.

At the Islamic Center of Monticello Saturday, more than 100 worshipers and guests assembled behind the county’s first and only Mosque as a ceremonial stone to dedicate an upcoming “Peace Fountain” to the victims of the Plav and Gusinje genocide (1912-13) was laid. The mosque’s congregation is made up mostly of Balkan natives who live in New York City, but reside in Sullivan County on a seasonal basis. The growing influx of these seasonal residents from Montenegro and Albania encouraged worshipers to build the mosque back in 2006 and it’s been going strong since.


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