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S,allwood-Mongaup Valley

January 12, 2024

James Loney
Posted 1/12/24

One of the prime pleasures of reading the “Sullivan County Democrat“ is this paper’s utterly lovely, abiding, and seemingly peculiar devotion to our County’s past. I write …

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S,allwood-Mongaup Valley

January 12, 2024


One of the prime pleasures of reading the “Sullivan County Democrat“ is this paper’s utterly lovely, abiding, and seemingly peculiar devotion to our County’s past. I write “peculiar” only to highlight the fact that no one else anywhere within reading distance seems to care a whit about our past. Am I completely alone in relishing this paper’s weekly pages reporting to us in 2024 what happened 150 years, 100 years, 80 years, 50 years, or 20 years ago this week? “Honesty Jones of Jeffersonville sold his farm of near 20 acres in Narrowsburg for $550 to Mr. Abel Harrington of New York City;” or “A large fire consumed the entire Mason Hotel & adjacent horse barn Friday evening past in Monticello, an oil lamp explosion being the suspected cause.” Or “Miss Amelia Smith of Bethel, age 12, deceased of consumption this Sunday morning past, was interred with her loving brother Thomas  Averington Smith, age 3, who died two days earlier from same said insidious affliction,” or “Mr. Eggerton of Pt. Jervis took the train to New York City to buy what is there called the auto-mobile.” This paper is called the County’s “Paper of Record” for a reason. I hope you find as much pleasure as I do dipping back into the pages of this estimable and storied publication every week for both old and current news. If you have friends who are not subscribers—talk to them and tell them to subscribe. Local reporting is the lifeblood of our Republic and without it we have to fall back on national news aggregators who care not a whit about Sullivan County or Western New York. Local newspapers keep us from segmenting off into bubbles of misinformation. So do it—ask a friend if they have read this or that article—then get them to promise to subscribe. You will do them, yourself, and the Republic for which we stand a great service if you do.

January: a dull, cold, nowadays a half-snowy-half-rainy month. Days are growing longer, but only by seconds each day. Ahead lie the snowy months of February and then colorless wind-raked March. How to beat back some of the darkness? Well the King of the Ice (KOTI) ice fishing Festival is coming up on Sunday, February 18th over in Kauneonga Lake (hosted by our bosom friends at the Sullivan County Conservation Club). To brighten up even the darkest night the Bethel Business Assocation (BBA) has partnered with KOTI to put on a “Bethel Big Burn”—the first of its kind in America which WILL be imitated right and left—a spectacular grandscale KOTI kickoff bonfire at the Alton Distillery on Saturday night, February 17th. Google it for more details. Each free-of-charge ticket will allow in one carload of festival goers. If you would like to donate your now-defunct Christmas tree for immolation with hundreds of others on the pyre on February 17th, please bring over your undecorated (natural) tree to Alton Distillery this coming weekend (January 13th & 14th) from 1:00 – 3:00 PM each day. Let’s burn away the long cold nights and invoke the light of spring! Folks: get a ticket today and see you there!


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