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Down the Decades

July 11, 2023 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 7/11/23

150 Years Ago - 1873

William Hardenburgh, well known in this part of the county, died in San Francisco, Calif., last Wednesday and was buried there.

Mr. Arthur Bird has retired from the …

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Down the Decades

July 11, 2023 Edition


140 Years Ago - 1883

We learn that Frank Biffar Jr., of Long Pond, has the reputation of being one of the best Indian Scouts in the West. He is at present residing in Arizona.

The fourth annual picnic of St. Mary’s R.C. Church at Obernburg will be held on Monday, August 7, providing the weather is fine. These annual picnics have always been times of real enjoyment.

The Jeffersonville Cornet Band has new uniforms which cost about $20 per subject. We can see no reason why that band cannot play nearly as well as ours when arrayed in their new uniforms. —From the Liberty Register.

The Jeffersonville Cornet Band does not expect their uniforms to be the only part of them that will please the audience, but depend on their musical abilities for favors; and do not propose to take a back seat for any band in the county even if they are the youngest and have never had an “imported” teacher. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, neighbor.

A target practice, to be followed by a grand dance in the evening, is to be held at Andrew Bayer’s Hotel in Fremont Center on July 21. Shooting to commence at 1 p.m. Dancing at 4 p.m.

130 Years Ago - 1893

The ladies of the incorporated monument association are arranging to give a skirmish in Monticello during the week beginning August 14th.

J.F. Sherwood is excavating for an artificial lake 300 ft. long and 60 ft. wide and from four to six feet deep on his island park at Livingston Manor.

Prof. M.H. Wright who has been in charge of the Livingston Manor School for five years, is being mentioned for the office of school commissioner for this district.

W.C. Brand is running a four horse tally-ho to Callicoon Depot to bring in city guests.

Baron and Baroness Cuno VonCompe of Brooklyn are the guests of Professor and Mrs. Stuehler of this place.

Do you hear the whistle at the creamery? Now if the mineral water factory, the tannery and several of our windy citizens would blow off their superfluous gas through a calliope, this would seem quite a manufacturing town at meal time.

120 Years Ago - 1903

On Sunday Marilea, relict of the late Michael Taylor, was buried at Long Eddy. She had always resided at Long Eddy, being the next youngest daughter of Joseph Geer, the first permanent settler of that place. Joseph Geer’s father came from Coleman’s on the Hudson and settled at Stockport on land adjoining Preston, the first settler at that place, immediately after the end of the Revolutionary War. Tradition has it that these neighbors did not agree, Geer being a Whig and an ardent supporter of the war, while Preston was a Quaker and a friend of the Penns, who were accused of sympathizing with the old country. Geer sold out and located at Long Eddy, where in 1800 he built a log house, cleared a few acres of land and then shouldered his rifle and went into the wilds of Ohio settling on the banks of the Miami River, whence he wrote his wife to sell or give away the Long Eddy property and follow him. Tired of this everlasting Yankee desire to “move on” she refused. The children, except little Joe, went however. The latter sturdily took up the task of caring for his mother and finally discharged his duties. He lived to be about 90 years old, never leaving Long Eddy. It was he who secured from an Indian the cure for the bite of a rattlesnake that has been in unfailing use in this community for a hundred years. Mrs. Taylor was buried in the Halsey Cemetery.

Two wires are being strung between here and Liberty by the Delaware River Telephone Co., making a metallic circuit. When completed direct connections can be had with New York.

Word received here announced the death of Joseph Benz of New York. A few months ago he went to Europe in hope of recovering his health but the trip proved to be of no benefit. His wife, the former Miss Celia Bosley of Jeffersonville, and her two-year-old son will make their home with the former’s sister, Mrs. A.B. Thony of Jeffersonville.

110 Years Ago - 1913

Work on the electric line from Livingston Manor is progressing. The setting of the poles will be completed into Youngsville this week and in another week should reach Jeffersonville.

Prof. Hilberling’s summer school for boys, formerly the Hotel Brandt near Hortonville, has reopened for the summer. Mathematics and the study of the German languages are the chief studies of the curriculum and there are three hours study daily for four days of the week. The rest of the time is given to the physical development of the students who are from the city.

John J. Dillon of New York, publisher of the Rural New Yorker, has presented funds for the erection of a Catholic Church at White Lake near Hotel Rita. Work has been commenced. Mr. Dillon was formerly of Mongaup Valley.

100 Years Ago - 1923

E. Eisenberg, who is erecting a dance and moving picture hall on the old post office lot, was in the city last week, buying equipment. He expects to open up this month.

Policeman Fred M. Hick had an opportunity to try his nerve one night recently in running down a gunman when he saw the flash of his revolver, but the man was a good runner. The policeman fired five shots at him. One bullet “winged” the fugitive in the right shoulder and brought him to a halt in front of 220 West Tenth St. The fugitive caught by Policeman Hick was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital where he said he was John Clark, 21, a chauffeur, of 325 West 15th St.

Manager Paolucci, manager of the local baseball team, the Jeffersonville Athletics, had to change his infield in the game against Monticello Sunday due to the absence of shortstop Kenny, shifting Stephenson from second to short, Will from right to second, while Dudling took the right garden. Harry Miller, the lively 3rd baseman of the home team, had many chances and handled the greater part of them very nicely. Herb Hassis, catcher, worked hard as usual and little running took place on his strong right wing. Oscar Will, the little butcher, did some unusual slaughtering at the bat. Al Fullshire, the local’s crack first sacker, had another big day. In addition to nailing bad throws to the first station, he also starred at bat, losing the ball twice in the tall grass in right field for two home runs. Charley Widgerson, our curly twirler, with good support held the opposing batsmen safely excepting in one inning. The final score was 15 to 3 in favor of Jeff.

90 Years Ago - 1933

On Monday, July 3, when David Odell, aged 17, became incensed because his father, Arthur Odell, and his brother Charles, wanted him to get out and earn some money to live on he left the home in a huff but returned later and finding the house vacated he secured an ax and tried to hack his brothers’ car to pieces. But finding that too strenuous work, he looked around for some other mischief he might do for revenge. Seeing a gunny sack near the house he set fire to it and threw it through the window into a pile of old clothing and started for the woods to watch the building burn to the ground. He was captured by the state police and made a full confession. An older brother, Arthur Jr., is in the Monticello jail serving a sentence for beating up his father recently.

A special election has been called in the fire district to vote on issuing bonds for $4,500 with which to buy a new fire pump and fire hose.

Lawrence McGrath of Livingston Manor, for over 20 years forest land appraiser for the New York State Conservation Commission, resigned his position on July 1.

Bill Knell of the Mansion House has resurrected from the attic an old beer sign of the 1895 vintage. The frame of gilt and gold leaf furnished in eloquence the background for letters in black, “Jac. Ruppert’s Knickerbocker Bier.”

80 Years Ago - 1943

The former Delaney bungalow at Kenoza Lake, lately owned and occupied by Mrs. Kraemer and the Poppy family, was bought by the Homeowners Loan Corp for $3,500 which is less than the claim.

Genevieve Sutherland of Parks-ville, teacher in the Central School, was married to Francis J. Ganon of Johnston at St. Peter’s Church, Liberty, on June 29.

Relatives in Jeff of Lieut. Albert Oberg, aged 26, of Brooklyn, are anxiously awaiting word of the young man who was on the destroyer Strong which was sunk last Monday in a sea battle with the Japs off New Georgia Island. Lt. Oberg was a graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy. His mother was the former Marie Lindt of Kenoza Lake.

Walter Mrozek, son of Julia Mrozek, and Miss Stella Kowitt were married in New York City on June 26.

Miss Charlotte Beiling sponsored a miscellaneous shower at her home Saturday night for Miss Doris Hick.

A daughter was born at the Callicoon Hospital July 5 to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Newham... A daughter was born July 7 to Mr. and Mrs. Feldon Lindsley at the Liberty Hospital. The mother is the former Jennie Carney. This is the second grandchild of County Clerk and Mrs. J. Bruce Lindsley.

70 Years Ago - 1953

It has come to our attention that our local attorney, Hyman C. Levine, is receiving favorable consideration as the Democratic nominee for the office of Special County Judge and Surrogate.

The new unfinished building on the Dueer property on the Briscoe road will be converted into a parochial school to care for the Catholic children of Youngsville and Jeffersonville. The property has been acquired by Rev. Aloysius Burggraff, a priest of the Paulist Order of New York City, who has now decided to turn it over to the Franciscans.

Billie Knief, our hustling gas station operator, was out of town a few days following an interest he has in antique autos to see what he could do at Hohokus and Ridgewood, N.J.

Miss Margaret Anita Fulton, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Fulton of Kenoza Lake, became the bride of Allan Sommer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sommer of North Branch, on July 5th, at 2 p.m. in the Methodist Church in Kenoza Lake.

Mr. and Mrs. James Braddock and the latter’s brother of Jersey spent the weekend at their summer home at North Branch.

Adolph Wagner carried away the honors at the 85th annual shooting match held by the Callicoon Center Scheutzen Verein on July 4. Springfield 30-06 Army rifles were used on a 220 yard range. A telephone system was used to simplify the scoring. An amazing episode took place when William Klinger, who has been shooting in these matches for 60 years, had one of the highest scores and took 4th prize.

60 Years Ago - 1963

Mr. and Mrs. William Fisher of Cochecton celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on June 16 with a family dinner at the Village Inn in Hortonville.

The people of Callicoon and its surrounding environs received a gift of a community hall and increased recreational facilities when a $100,000 grant from the Grover M. Hermann Foundation was accepted by the directors of the Delaware Youth Center on June 27. Included in the improvement plans is the construction of a hall 50x130 feet which will include kitchen and bathroom facilities together with storage room. A white maple floor will be used which will make the hall suitable for dancing and roller-skating as well as meetings and fundraising events.

The engagement of Roberta Schmauss and William Rittershausen has been announced.

At the Callicoon Hospital it was a daughter Sunday to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Clark of Swan Lake; a daughter, Monday, to Mr. and Mrs. Philip Hunt of Callicoon.

Margaret Gottschalk, daughter of Supervisor and Mrs. James J. Gotts-chalk, Hankins, was the lucky winner of the vacation trip in the contest at Carl’s Motor Sales, Callicoon. Paul Kellam won the four new tires and Shirley Stabbert won the consolation prize of 50 gallons of gas.

50 Years Ago - 1973

A steady and relentless downpour which began at four o’clock Thursday afternoon and by seven o’clock Friday morning had dumped almost 5 inches of rain over Western Sullivan County created havoc through flash flooding, hitting Callicoon with particular ferocity which caused physical damage conservatively estimated at over one million dollars. Hardest hit was the Western Hotel whose ground floor was left a total ruin. Adjacent to it, the furniture store operated by Donald Molusky in the basement of the Autumn Inn was hard hit. A new shipment of furniture, received only the day before, was completely buried in water and silt. The Victory Store and the Washing Well also suffered extensive damage. It was the sixth flash flood since 1921. The last took place in 1958. No injuries or loss of life was reported but several campers who had not heeded the warning of rising waters narrowly escaped with their lives. St. Joseph’s Seminary opened its doors and kitchens to give aid and comfort to the campers where over sixty persons remained overnight on Friday. The Delaware Youth Center also set up emergency hot food and a place to dry off to the sodden vacationers. The Hortonville Fire House was also set up as an emergency evacuation center. A number of trailers at the Upper Delaware Campground were completely ruined or extensively damaged. It was the worst flood in the history of Callicoon, and Callicoon was the hardest hit village in the Western end of the county.

Announcement has been made of the opening of a new office for the Sullivan County National Bank, to be located at Grossinger, on Saturday, July 7.

The most significant date in Sullivan County’s history will be formally marked next week with the dedication of a commemorative plaque near Roscoe, marking the completion on July 9, 1873, of the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad which provided the first direct-rail link to the metropolitan area and gave birth to tourism as a major local industry.

40 Years Ago - 1983

Beatrice and Matthew Hassis of Jeffersonville celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary recently with their family at a dinner at Woodloch Pines.

The 150-mile Walk for Independence by Dr. Thomas Goodman, executive director of the Sullivan County Association for Retarded Children (ARC), will be completed on the Fourth of July when Dr. Goodman arrives at the Monticello Raceway to finish the last quarter-of-a-mile of his walk after the sixth race. To date nearly $8,000 has been raised.

The granddaddy of them all, the 81st annual firemen’s parade in Narrowsburg on July 4, will be one of many celebrations honoring the 207th birthday of the nation.

Mark Etess, 31, general manager of the Grossinger Hotel and Country Club, has accepted a position as marketing director of the Atlantic City gambling casino, the Golden Nugget.

Thirteen students of the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center in Callicoon have undertaken to scrape and paint the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen, Pa.

After 23 1/2 years of service, Hankins postmistress Madeline Forsblom has retired from her duties. George Skizenski of Mileses is the new officer-in-charge.

As of Friday, the former Sullivan County National Bank in Liberty was displaying a Norstar Bank sign.

The Equinunk Historical Society has become the owner of the Calder House located in Equinunk. Built in 1810 by Levi Calder, the house stands at the intersection of Route 191, the Lordville Road, and the Pine Mill Road. It will be used to house a museum and headquarters for the historical society.

John Matzo of North Branch caught a five pound, five ounce, largemouth bass while fishing at Lake Huntington. The big fish measured 21 3/4 inches.

30 years ago - 1993

Friends and Advocates for Mental Health, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Sullivan County, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding with a dinner at King’s Catering House in Livingston Manor with over 150 people in attendance. Founding members Harry Baer, 1993-4 President Phyllis Gerber, 1st Vice President Morris Gerber, Directors Molly Olshan and Michale Olshan and Kathrine McCaffrey and William McCaffrey, Corresponding Secretary Ethel Mason and Recording Secretary Helen Joyner were recognized together with deceased members Rose Baer and Raya Templeman.

Richie Havens, who was the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, will perform at two shows at the Western Hotel in Callicoon on July 10.

High school graduations found the following numbers of students leaving this phase of their education from the following schools: Delaware Valley, 35; Eldred, 42; Fallsburg, 55; Honesdale, (Pa.), 212; Jeffersonville-Youngsville, 31; BOCES Special Ed, 10; Liberty, 71; Livingston Manor, 40; Monticello, 150; Narrowsburg, 23; Roscoe, 32; and Tri-Valley, 50.

Dr. Jeffrey B. Willens has been approved to serve as president of the Sullivan County Community College, taking over for Dr. John Walter who recently retired the position.

Linda Green DeCarlo, the new county administrator, is planning to start her job two weeks early in an effort to keep the county afloat financially. She has a strong background in economics and financial affairs. The county is facing a more than $10 million deficit while property tax collections are lagging despite repeated attempts to spur them on.

20 years ago - 2003

The Fourth of July could not have had more of a special meaning than it did for the Town of Tusten. At this year’s celebration, the Town of Tusten turned 150 years old and celebrated it in conjunction with the Narrowsburg Fire Department.

A part-time Masthope, Pa. resident drowned this past Friday in the Delaware after his canoe flipped in the rapids south of Barryville. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Livingston Manor celebrated its 15th annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday.

The Sullivan Renaissance and Gerry Foundation will hold its annual awards ceremony in Fallsburg High School’s auditorium this year.

The old retaining wall at the intersection of Route 52 and 52A near Kenoza Lake has a fresh, new look thanks to Diane and Terri Hess of North Branch, adding the look of fieldstones and vines to the wall.

The Shandelee Music Festival begins its 10th new season with an invitation to “Swing With Us Into the Next Decade.” Their gala will feature Sean Mahony and his New York Swing Orchestra performing.

10 Years Ago - 2013

Richie Havens’ heart never left Bethel. Now his ashes will be scattered about its most famous site. Havens was – and is – arguably the performer most closely identified with the 1969 Woodstock festival. On Sunday, August 18, his ashes will be gently released across the field where he improvised his iconic “Freedom” song 44 years ago.

Marisa Scheinfeld, a former resident of Kiamesha Lake, has published a project titled “Leftover Borscht” which includes about 80 photos of the Concord, Grossinger’s, the Pines, Young’s Gap Hotel and more. In many of Scheinfeld’s photos, nature seems to have begun  reclaiming the sites, with grass growing around pool areas or plants breaking through the concrete.

Despite scorching heat with temperatures in the 90s, a record 240 people ran and walked in the 12th annual Fighting Fires 5k on Sunday. The race around Smallwood Lake was held in honor of Daniel Barden and Chase Kowalski, two  boys who died in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut tragedy. Daniel’s family has been coming to Smallwood for over 50 years and always participated in the annual 5k.


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