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Down the Decades

September 14, 2021 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 9/14/21

90 YEARS AGO - 1931

Nieger’s Garage at the Fosterdale four corners was burned to the ground early Monday morning.

Hancock Central School District No. 6 voted to consolidate thirteen …

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Down the Decades

September 14, 2021 Edition


90 YEARS AGO - 1931

Nieger’s Garage at the Fosterdale four corners was burned to the ground early Monday morning.

Hancock Central School District No. 6 voted to consolidate thirteen districts and authorized a $538,000 bond issue for the erection of a three-story modern structure at the north end of Read Street on property obtained from Howard M. Read, former judge. Of the 240 votes cast in favor there were also 9 against the issue and one ballot was blank.

Members of the Fremont Center M.E. Church are planning a celebration for the week of November 15 on the 71st anniversary of the building of a church there.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Froelich of Callicoon are rejoicing over the birth of a son born September 7… a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. F. Kellam of Callicoon RFD 3 at Wayne Memorial Hospital on September 2… A little son arrived last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Keesler of Abrahamsville.

Miss Talina Anderson left for Canajoharie where she will teach again this coming year. It is her second year at that place.

The Wayne County Fair will be held September 22-25. It promises to be bigger and better than ever.

80 YEARS AGO - 1941

At the Callicoon Hospital, a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Larry Milk, born Friday; a daughter, Lois Margaret, born Tuesday, to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Raymond.

When Mrs. Frank Tobin arrived at the Acidalia school yesterday morning to begin her day’s work as teacher there, she was surprised to find nothing but a heap of ashes and smoldering ruins. The school had caught fire during the night and it burned to the ground without anyone seeing it. A petition was immediately circulated asking the Board of Education to close the school and provide transportation for all the pupils to the Long Eddy school.

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Magee are the parents of a daughter born September 4 at their home in the Markson apartments in Jeffersonville. This is their 5th child. Huff’s Hankins Clambake last Sunday was the usual success. More than 1100 were served an excellent meal by Charles W. Bock who was in charge of the bake.

The students returned to St. Joseph’s Seminary Monday evening. Most of the 130 in attendance came in two special cars on Train 27. Those from the west came on Train 2.

Harry P. Mathern, local truckbody builder, is considering an order for fifty ambulance bodies from a Newburgh contractor, who is to supply the ambulances to the government for use in Britain.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Schmidt announce the engagement of their daughter, Dorothy, to Al Kraker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Kraker of Hollis, L.I. The wedding will take place in the fall.

Herbert Gute, artist of Jeffersonville, left yesterday for a week or more in Maine to paint some landscapes for exhibition and sale. He is an art instructor at Yale University.

Fran Henke did a fine job of pitching to help the local “nine” beat Barryville. The members of the Callicoon DAA baseball team will be in the championship playoffs by virtue of their double win 3-2 and 3-0.

70 YEARS AGO - 1951

Augusta Consentino, a teacher at the Callicoon school, became the bride of Charles Behringer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Behringer, Callicoon, on September 1.

The ceremony was performed in Oswego.

William Lieb, 81, former owner and publisher of the Sullivan County Record, passed away at his home in Jeffersonville on September 5.

More than 250 parishioners and friends gave a farewell party for Father Alvin Hughes, O.F.M., popular priest of the Holy Cross Parish. He has been appointed as Guardian and pastor at Winsted, Conn. Mr. and Mrs. William Dirie Jr. of Callicoon are the parents of twin girls born Monday at the Callicoon Hospital.

Miss Joan King of Lords Valley, PA., became the bride of George F. Hoffman Jr. of Lava on August 17. The groom is stationed at Norfolk, VA., with the U.S. Navy.

Cecelia Winkelstern was the only entrant from Jeffersonville in the 4-H exhibit at Livingston Manor last week. Her baked goods, jelly, flowers, etc., took seven ribbons.

The descendants of David and Lucinda Milk gathered for their annual family reunion at the Goulds church on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, August 26, seventeen of the surviving players of some of the old Long Eddy baseball teams met at the home of Ed Kenney.

Ranging from somewhere in their fifties to around seventy-five, the ball players enjoyed recalling the good old days of sports; even to a few innings of ball played by the more able. Former players present were Milt Armstrong, Charlie Gould, Walt Wahl, Oliver Hewitt, Harry Hubbell, Walt Hubbell, Charlie Clark, John May, John Milk, Charlie Milk, Ed Kenney, Bill Kenney, Blake Fitch, Frank Calloway, Louis Houschultz, Bill Wheeler and Morgan McKoon. Bill Gordon, Ray Houck, Harry Armstrong and Gus Prosken sent regrets.

60 YEARS AGO - 1961

Fifty-two years, and then some, is a long time to be employed by one concern. Such, however, is the record of Herbert C. Persbacker, Callicoon, who severed his connection with the Martin Hermann Lumber Co. Inc., on September 1. Mr. Persbacker began his employment upon graduation from Callicoon High School on June 27, 1909.

Miss Judith Engert became the bride of Ronald Highhouse Saturday, August 26, at the Callicoon Methodist Church.

A four-passenger Piper Cub, which was crash-landed on the farm of Bernard Henke August 27, still awaits disposition.

Charles Mills of Callicoon has partially dismantled the plane, preparatory to shipping it to Providence, R.I.

On Sunday, September 3, Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb “Bud” Schuler of North Branch were feted on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. More than 50 people attended the celebration at the North Branch Firehouse.

An Indian skull was unearthed recently by Brother Joseph Trunk, O.F.M., of St. Joseph Seminary in a rock shelter in Callicoon. Archeologists estimate the skull to be about 2,000 years old, belonging to a man who had died at about the age of 50.

Russell Gries, 54, who was injured in a Labor Day automobile accident, died as a result of the injuries on Sept. 6.

He was a resident of Damascus and leaves his wife, seven daughters and nine sons.

50 YEARS AGO - 1971

Approval has been received from the Administrator of National Banks, Washington, D.C., for United National Bank, Callicoon, to establish a branch office in Sparrow Bush, Orange County, to be located at the intersection of Route 97 and Corso Road.

Marius and Kathrine Kramer of Liberty were honored by friends and neighbors on their 50th anniversary August 29 at the Campbell Inn, Roscoe.

A certified check for $10,000 being held in escro was part of the proceeds Community General Hospital will receive from the September 3 concert to be held at the Monticello Raceway.

The Livingston Manor Airport is expanding its business and physical plant to accommodate a new international truck and tractor agency and is doing preliminary planning for an enlarged airplane storage and repair business.

40 YEARS AGO - 1981

Kathleen M. Stoddard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Stoddard, Old Loomis Rd., Liberty, became the bride of John M. Sauchuk Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. John Sauchuk Sr. of Big Hollow Road, Grahamsville, on August 16… Lori Grupp, daughter of Supervisor and Mrs. Lou Grupp of Jeffersonville, became the bride of Brian T. Edwards of Rochester on May 23.

Sullivan County Administrator Paul A.A. Rouis said Tuesday that he expected a 1981 sales tax revenue of $11.2 million in a forecast based on June/July sales tax returns.

The Richard Schulmann poultry farm in Cochecton and the Bob Kays dairy farm in the Beechwoods were selected for visits during the Down on the Farm Day on Saturday, September 12.

Along with learning how eggs get to market, watching cows give milk and seeing the entire farm operation, there will be good things to eat, an exciting tour and lots of down to earth fun.

Over $10,000 was pledged by Sullivan County residents in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Weekend Telethon held this weekend nationwide. The total amount pledged here this year was down from last year, when over $20,000 was pledged by area callers. Nationwide, the telethon, which for many years has been associated with the name of Jerry Lewis, was able to surpass last year’s total of $31 million.

Mrs. Martha Welkis took over as postmistress at the Thompsonville post office upon the retirement of Mrs. Sylvia Semel who has served in that position for the past 26 years.

Dr. Jack Goodman, a dentist in Liberty and greatly involved in civic issues, died at his home on September 2, 1981. He was 67 years of age.

30 YEARS AGO - 1991

Sullivan County dignitaries, veterans and residents gathered to mourn the passing of former county sheriff and hardworking veterans’ advocate Louis Ratner, Wednesday, after a massive heart attack took the life of the wellliked public servant Monday. He was 69 years of age. He was injured while serving in the South Pacific during World War II and was instrumental in starting the Kelly-Ratner Post #198, Disabled American Veterans (named in part for his brother, Milton, who was killed in action during the invasion of Sicily in 1943), in 1983 and was credited with helping to establish the county veterans cemetery in Liberty where he was buried.

20 YEARS AGO - 2001

Editor’s Note: The Democrat issue for this year’s Decades entry was dated Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. These articles were on the front page:

In a county-sponsored poll released last week to the Sullivan West Central School District, the majority of 120 eighth graders at the school admitted to having had at least one alcoholic drink in their short lifetimes. More alarming... was the fact that 27.7 percent had used alcohol in the last month, and 14.4 percent said they had participated in binge drinking within the past two weeks.

Dozens of people gathered Sunday at the Delaware Youth Center to mark the 50th anniversary of the Delaware Free Library. When it first opened its doors on July 7, 1951, the library had 600 books and 60 registered patrons. Currently the library’s shelves hold 20,000 books and magazines, and its 2,000 patrons can access millions of books through the Ramapo-Catskill Library System.

Not even a week into the new school year, a written bomb threat at the Jeffersonville campus of Sullivan West caused district officials to send students home with a note yesterday informing parents of the scare. Although Assistant Superintendent David Rowley characterized the note as a likely hoax, he said that the school cannot afford to put children’s lives at risk by ignoring the warning. Authorities were investigating yesterday, but at press-time, nothing had been found.

Within the past week, two separate polls – one by the Sullivan County Democrat, and one by the local daily – have been released, indicating that area residents may favor gambling in Sullivan County – or at least think a casino is likely to be built in the county. Now a third poll showing similar results has been released. The firm of Connelly and McLaughlin, the representatives of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, who are looking at opening a casino at Exit 107 on Route 17 in the Town of Thompson, yesterday released a survey by Zogby International.

10 YEARS AGO - 2011

A total of 886 runners and walkers competed in the 19th annual Rhulen Rock Hill Run and Ramble to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the R4 patient fundraising an approximate $65,000.

While it appears that nothing’s left of the experimental wind turbine at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, the dirt-strewn site actually conceals a 60’x60’ swath of four-feet-thick concrete, arranged in an X pattern in order to support the turbine. ET, the company that built the windmill, dismantled it over the past few weeks after the experiment failed, reportedly due to insufficient wind conditions. Legislators agreed to investigate preserving the concrete (which would be costly and difficult to remove), covering it over with grass and using it as an emergency helipad. Legislator Ron Hiatt proposed asking ET to cover half the cost to do so, then consider ET’s obligations fully met.

Mr. Willy’s Restaurant in Monticello hosted a Community Unity fundraiser lobster bake in honor of the Catskills Regional Medical Center for playing the key role in saving Sullivan County RISE (Rape Intervention Services and Education) after the group lost its funding. RISE Director Cindy Zhinger was on hand. Community Unity is an  organization for those needing help in Sullivan County, consisting of RISE, DREAM Tank, The Federation for the Homeless, and The Recovery Center.

The brand new Time and the Valleys Museum opened  to a crowd almost equal to that at the prior week’s opening of the Daniel Pierce Library, which shares the new building. Museum Board Chair Dick Coombe served as emcee, recognizing the families whose loved ones sacrificed even their lives to create NYC’s vast reservoirs and water supply system; the new sign and logo were unveiled next to a manmade waterfall; exhibits showcased everything from the waterworks to local farm life and Town of Neversink history; Grahamsville native Manville B. Wakefield’s original oil paintings were on display; and Tri-Valley student Gail McAndrew sang the National Anthem.

Neil Stasilli III received recognition from Town of Highland Board Members Jim Gutekunst and Fred Bosch. Neil reached the level of Eagle Scout with 46 merit badges and a community project that included 700 hours of service clearing and repairing a 300-foot path at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Forestburgh for the Stations of the Cross. The stations were previously underused and with the new pathway, are easily accessible. Stasilli joins Councilman Bosch, former President Gerald Ford, Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg among the ranks of Eagle Scout.


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