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December 19, 2023

Paula Camobell
Posted 12/19/23

One of my very favorite Christmas events is coming up on Christmas Eve and it involves our beautiful Delaware River. The Shohola Area Lions Club will have their Annual Remembrance Luminary candles …

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December 19, 2023


One of my very favorite Christmas events is coming up on Christmas Eve and it involves our beautiful Delaware River. The Shohola Area Lions Club will have their Annual Remembrance Luminary candles placed on the Shohola Bridge and they will remain luminating the bridge all Christmas Eve night. Shohola, where the bridge passes above the river, is a significant site for occurrences and events in our area’s rich history. The word itself Shohola in the Lenni Lenape language means a “place of peace.” The Lenni Lenape are known as being peace loving people and are referred to as “the grandfathers or the “ancient ones” in Native history. Centuries ago, Native Americans including the Lenni Lenape traveling from Canada through to what we now know as New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey frequently used the Shohola stretch of the Delaware River to cross. Not very far from the Shohola Bridge site on July 15,1864 a train carrying Confederate prisoners of war collided head-on with a coal train. Sixty-five guards, prisoners, and train crew members were killed during the crash and several ended up being buried in Barryville. At the time of the crash a promise was made to the southern families who lost their loved ones that the burial would be done in Barryville with the promise that a memorial service would be held every year on July 15th anniversary date to honor those Confederate soldiers who died and that promise has been faithfully kept for the last 159 years! 

The luminaries are a way to remember your family, loved ones and friends during Christmas. It is unbelievably beautiful to walk on the candlelit bridge over the Delaware River especially at sunset when the luminaries are at their most radiant display against the open sky. I make sure I buy luminaries each year to remember my family members and take that Christmas Eve walk and rest assured the bridge is safe to walk. Before the event, you can purchase a Shohola Lions Club luminary at Wayne Bank, Milford Auto Body Shop, Harry’s Gas Station, and Rohman’s Inn in Shohola and on the New York side at Back to Baker’s and Il Castello Restaurant in Barryville, and St. Ann’s Church in Shohola after mass. The candles are only $5.00 and there is a space on the holder to print the name of the person you wish to honor and the luminaries burn throughout Christmas Eve night. Come to the bridge at 4:00p.m. on Christmas Eve and light your luminary yourself or the Lions Club members who will be on hand will do it for you. If you have never seen the luminaries take a stroll across the Bridge on Christmas Eve. It is really a wonderful Christmas community event.

There is certainly something amiss this Christmas as I have been missing the vibrancy and fun of the Santa Express in Eldred. Lou Monteleone had told me that after sixteen years of flying through the frigid nights the actual vehicle just had too many issues to get it up and running safely after being dormant due to the pandemic. Also, for some reason the insurance would have doubled. The Santa Village of Giving is now collecting donations of food, clothing, pet supplies and toys and Santa himself has visited the Village several times. This year Lou has been distributing food and clothing and toys locally so give him a call if you can use some of the donations (845-557-3321). This year by a miracle (Frank Monteleone) the entire Monteleone Gardens Park across from the Highland Town Hall has been decorated with a beautiful techno lightshow, and a massive Christmas Tree was placed in the park for visitors to enjoy. The spectacular lightshow, which is synched to music (90.7fm), is a wonder to behold and runs every night from 5-10pm. I must say because of the efforts of the Monteleone family decorating their properties the Town of Eldred looks really beautiful and puts you immediately in the Christmas spirit. Since this is my last column before Christmas, I want to wish everyone a very merry and peace-filled Christmas and leave you with an old Irish Christmas blessing-complements of my Grandma Helen Carty a proud former resident of County Cork-. “May you be blessed with the spirit of the season, which is peace, the gladness of the season which is hope and the heart of the season which is love.” 


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