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Down the Decades

June 25, 2024 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 6/25/24

140 Years Ago - 1884

Your correspondent “C” falls into an error in regard to the name of our village and his error is so common that I will endeavor to set him and the general public …

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Down the Decades

June 25, 2024 Edition


140 Years Ago - 1884

Your correspondent “C” falls into an error in regard to the name of our village and his error is so common that I will endeavor to set him and the general public right. The original name of this place was not “Thumansville” as he ascertained. The village received its name when the Post Office was first established in this place about 1848, with the name of Callicoon or Collikoon, as it was spelled, which name it has borne to the present day. Thumans built their hotel and opened it to the public in 1852, some four years later. They, anxious to engrave their name on the village, put Thumansville Hotel on their sign, but the residents here have never recognized their right. The public, misled by the SIGN, came to know this place as Thumansville. In 1852-3 the tannery was built. The owners could not name it “Callicoon” as the Inderlieds at North Branch had given that name to their tannery and Horton & Co. named theirs “North Branch,” a slight coolness existing between the owners of the tannery and Thumans. They would not endorse them by naming it after them, so they called it Monroeville and made an effort to change it to that name, but a counter petition was made and the name Callicoon was retained, much to the satisfaction of the neighborhood, to whom the name Callicoon was more satisfactory. In fact, we feel proud of it.

130 Years Ago - 1894

A thunderstorm visited this section Saturday afternoon, during which several crashes of thunder were heard, preceded by the fiery fluid. Lightning made its presence felt at several places in the vicinity: the barn of Henry Berghoefer was consumed by the flames; Leo Hemmer of N. Branch lost two cows; a lamb of Casper Fuhrer, the Swiss Hill butcher, was killed while lying under an ash tree; Martin Hermann, the Callicoon Depot building, was knocked down by a force of lightning.

Theo. A. Cook, the Hortonville creamery man, is paying his milkmen one and one half cent per quart of milk, while the market price and the price paid at other creameries is but one and one quarter cents. 

Stoddard Hammond, says the Ensign, is erecting a fish hatchery at his property near DeBruce. The building for the hatchery is nearly completed and is 20x60 feet in size. A dam is being erected which will make a fine trout pond, covering several acres.

W.C. Brand had a very exciting ride behind his mare Friday evening. After watering at the trough a mile east of this village, the mare stopped to eat grass, and in pulling her up, the bit broke, the headstall slipped down her neck and away went the mare. As the horse turned the sharp corner leading up to the Mansion House stables, one of the hind wheels collapsed, letting the end of the axle to the ground. Finding no opening doors to welcome it, the disappointed animal continued its flight around Meyer’s store, picking its way cleanly between lumber piles, boxes and wire fence, fetched up in front of the store, where it was stopped by spectators.

120 Years Ago - 1904

Butcher L.B. Goodman of this village sustained a broken leg while killing a critter at George Hemmer’s. 

Youngsville — a daughter was born to Henry Spielmann and wife, May 28th.

At last it appears that Jeffersonville is to have a resident baker. George Bohl, a baker of Scranton, has leased of Mrs. E.C. Brand the Shute place and will start a bakery there shortly.

The 600 light gas machine, to be installed in this village by a local stock company, has been ordered and is expected to arrive in a few days. A lot on Center Street has been bought off Charles Scheidell for the plant.

The residents of Kohlertown, our Delaware suburb, are agitating the project of extending the village water main down to their section. It is thought that the best way to do this is to create a water district in that town.

Among the victims of the General Slocum steamboat disaster in New York last week were Mrs. Jacob Schrumpf and sons, John and Willie, who have been summer guests for several years at F. Laufersweiler’s and Charles Wilfert’s in this village. Among the rescued were the Misses Weiss, relatives of Mr. Laufersweiler.

110 Years Ago - 1914

The Callicoon town board was again called together to sign a contract with the Livingston Manor Electric Co., for lighting our streets. But, as before, no contract was signed. President Frank M. Woolsey of the electric company was again conspicuous by his absence.

Graduating — Floyd T. Scheidell graduated from the Syracuse University with the Class of 1914. Miss Inez Kohler is a member of the graduating class of Liberty High School this year.

Henry E. Pfeifer of Beechwoods has appealed to the Commissioner of Education to have the trustees of the school district No. 7 of Delaware restrained from building a new schoolhouse on the old site, and petitioning for a vote of the district on selecting a new and larger site more centrally located.

Jeffersonville has a danger point which may be termed “Dead Man’s Curve.” We refer to the stone bridge at the curve on Main Street. This bridge should be widened out and have a walk on either side separated from the road by a railing.

An exciting foot race took place at Kenoza Lake last evening between Theron Taylor and Bartender Meyer of the Fern, both 250 pounders, from the Fern to the M.E. Church and back. Theron won by about 200 feet. Much money changed hands on the results, and landlord Schoaf presented a large silk flag to the winner.

100 Years Ago - 1924

August W. Rittershausen of Youngsville, who has been principal of the Union Free School at Ephrata, Fulton County, has been engaged as principal of the high school in the incorporated village of Delanson, Schenectady County.

Arthur Rouff, aged 27, of White Lake, is in the Thrall Hospital in Middletown with one eye gone, the sight of the other impaired and both hands and one leg injured as the result of the explosion of a dynamite cap and stick which he was about to place beneath a stump on his property.

Mr. and Mrs. M.F. Ernst of this town announce the engagement of their daughter, Louise Veronica Gertrude, to Fred H. Wachter of this place. Miss Ernst is one of our telephone operators.

Herbert W. Grishaber of Jeffersonville and Miss Gladys Every, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Every of Livingston Manor, were married at St. Paul’s Church parsonage at Callicoon Center on Thursday, June 12. A number of boys from here went to Livingston Manor last night and gave the couple a serenade at the home of the bride.

Mr. and Mrs. John W. Murray of Cedarhurst, L.I., who bought the Bennett drugstore here, are now renovating and stocking the store with new goods. They have taken rooms with Mrs. Cronauer in the Bennett cottage on Maple Street.

90 Years Ago - 1934

The First Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield, N.J., was the scene of a very happy event when Miss Doris Enid Sanger became the bride of Rev. George Wendell Jung, pastor of the Jeffersonville Presbyterian Church. Many of the Sunday School teachers from here attended.

Mrs. Kate Kohler, aged about 54 and widow of William Kohler, died at her home in Galeton, Pa., June 16.

Kenoza Lake — School closed here last Friday and teachers and pupils were entertained for the day by picnicking on the farm of John Zbaren. All reported enjoying a delightful time with eats consisting of sandwiches, pickles, cake, ice cream and lemonade and ice cold milk, generously furnished by the genial host, John Zbaren and his son, Carl.

Herman E. Sprague, the 80-year-old editor of the Liberty Gazette, sustained a fracture of the left arm just above the elbow one day last week when he was struck by a truck while crossing North Main Street near the school in Liberty.

80 Years Ago - 1944

Last evening a farewell party was tended to Rev. Fred Foerster and family by members and friends of the Lutheran Church at the church parlors. Dr. Foerster is leaving to take the pastorate of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Terryville, Conn., after serving here, his first pastorate, for nineteen years.

The Misses Elsie Weber and Dolores Canaveri of this place were inducted into the WAVES in New York and entered Hunter College for their training. Mrs. Edwin Weber accompanied her daughter to the city and saw her taken in.

Last Sunday afternoon, June 18, brought down the curtain on the 94 years of the oldest resident in this community – Mrs. Anna Ranft. The end came peacefully at the home of her niece, Miss Adele Cape in Youngsville.

Tomorrow night in the Jeff Central School, the school band, members of the Callicoon Center Band, and the former village firemen’s band will form a mass band for a parade and war bond rally.

We had two very heavy rainstorms here the past week. The one last Friday evening was accompanied by lightning which burned the barn of Andrew Beiling on Durr Hill between here and Youngsville. A lot of hay and some farm machinery were also consumed. 

70 Years Ago - 1954

Miss Dorothy Townsend, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Townsend of Jeffersonville, and Arthur Hassis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Hassis of Lake Huntington, were married here last Sunday in the First Presbyterian Church.

Mr. and Mrs. William Rupp of Callicoon Center announce the engagement of their daughter, Adelaide Lorraine, to Ed Devenpeck of Altamont, N.J.

The Wahl family, whose home was totally burned to the ground last Thursday afternoon, will build a new one-story house on the site of their former two-story building.

All 28 seniors have passed their examinations and will be graduating from the Jeffersonville Central School.

Joseph G. Beiling has been awarded the contract for construction of a building to house the new automatic chlorinating equipment which will be installed on the reservoir property.

June Cathleen Krantz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Krantz of Callicoon Center, became the bride of James Vincent Donohue, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Donohue of Paramus, N.J., at a double ring ceremony at the North Branch Reformed Church Saturday.

Paul Kohler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Kohler, is home after being discharged from the Army last Tuesday at Camp Kilmer, N.J. Paul served about two years in the service and had been with the Signal Corps in Korea.

Alfred E. Adler was the $50 merchandise winner at Victor Vincent’s.

Two of our high school debaters, Mary Ellen Steinhauer and Frank Nolde, accompanied Joseph K. Strawbridge, debate coach, and left last week for Greensburg, Pa., for the National Forensic League Tournament.

60 Years Ago - 1964

About 250 ex-students and contemporaries of Coach Kenneth C. Fuller came to pay tribute to his service as a teacher and to honor him as a friend on Sunday evening at the firehouse. It was quite an affair, catered by Ted’s Restaurant and with entertainment provided by Norman Loeffel and Leonard Reichmann. Testimonials were given the coach by representatives of his first class in 1927 and his final group of 1964.

Miss Susan H. Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald M. Smith of Watkins Glen, became the bride of Dr. Edward D. Miller, son of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Miller of Jeffersonville, June 13th.

Graduating this week from State University of New York at Delhi were Miss Mary Alice Knack, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Knack, Jeffersonville; Robert Henry Vakiener of Livingston Manor; and James Warren Boxberger of Liberty.

Cadet Frederick L. Williams Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick L. Williams of Callicoon, has been selected to serve on the instructor staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy this summer during a rigorous basic training course for the 985 members of the academy’s incoming class of 1968. Cadet Williams, who recently completed his junior year at the academy, was chosen for the special duty on the basis of his teaching and leadership ability.

The Youngsville School Kindergarten observed Flag Day last week in the proper way. They were presented flags by members of VFW Auxiliary 5808, Mrs. Vera Bernhardt, Mrs. Helen Luckey and Mrs. Ethel Schaefer.

The late General Douglas MacArthur commanded Filipino and American troops on the Corregidor and Bataan battlegrounds of World War II. On March 11, 1942, he ran the Japanese blockage to report in Australia, telling the Filipinos, “I shall return.” In the Philippines, the name of MacArthur will always be a symbol of Philippine-American friendship and cooperation in war and in peace. In June 1963, a chunk of the Rock of Corregidor, mounted on a hand-sculpted Philippine mahogany base, was presented to General MacArthur by the Philippine Government. It’s now being exhibited at the Philippine Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. 

50 Years Ago - 1974

On Tuesday, June 25, at 5 p.m., on a plateau high above the Quickway, nine-year-old Richard Baum will open the ground breaking ceremony for the new Community General Hospital in Harris. Richard, a member of Cub Scout Pack 181, Forestburgh, is the grandson of hospital board chairman Max Brender, and will lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Miss Marie Evelyn Tate became the bride of Loren E. Rosencrance Jr. at the United Methodist Church in White Sulphur Springs on May 25. Mr. and Mrs. Donald J. Tate and Mr. and Mrs. Loren E. Rosencrance Sr., all of White Sulphur Springs, are the parents of the couple.

About 200 friends and relatives gathered at the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon June 2nd to extend 50th wedding anniversary greetings to Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Hawley of Equinunk, Pa.

Susan Theysohn and Bruce Reichmann were united in marriage on June 1 at Holy Cross Church, Callicoon. Father Alvin Matthews performed the double ring ceremony.

Susan Frank, 5th grade, and Nial Bauernfeind, 4th grade, both students at JYCS, were winners in the poster competition sponsored by the H. Russell Kenyon Aux. 5808 of the VFW. Susan also placed first in county competition and was placed in the judging on a state level where she received a third place.

Liberty Lions Club President Richard Yaun has presented a check covering three-quarters of the Club’s $2,000 pledge to the hospital building fund. The Liberty group’s commitment is part of a $15,000 pledge collectively made by the Lions Clubs of Sullivan County for the ophthalmology department of the new hospital.

40 Years Ago - 1984

The hot and humid weather which has been boiling the atmosphere for the past week finally cooked up a few storms which hit the area with blasts of wind, heavy rain and bolts of lightning. At approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, George Glassel’s barn in the Beechwoods was struck and moments later when the Hortonville Fire Department arrived, it was fully ablaze. Four trucks from Hortonville, three pumpers and a tanker, responded to the call and the Callicoon Fire Department was standing by at the Hortonville Firehouse. The biggest loss was 40 tons of hay inside the barn. At the Clinton Long farm, 20 cows were hit by a bolt of lightning, 11 of them killed. Half the corn crop at the Long farm had been wiped out two weeks ago by torrential rains. A large maple tree near the  United National Bank in Callicoon was blown down, but no injuries were reported.

Ground was broken on Sunday, June 10, on Willow Lane, for the new $6 million sewer treatment plant in Liberty.

A 50th class reunion of the Mountaindale High School was held at the Mountaindale Park last Sunday afternoon. Among those attending was Helen C. Brown, principal of the Mountaindale High School when the Class of 1934 graduated. The event honored Esther Weingard Kotcher, a former member of the Mountaindale School Board.

30 Years Ago - 1994

The Monticello Kiwanis Builders Club (totaling 80 members in the Middle School) has planted flowers around the original Monticello High School in preparation for the High School Centennial celebration planned for Saturday. The marker is located behind the Middle School, which was the high school when it was built in 1894. Al Heins donated the flowers.

The Sullivan County Board of Supervisors granted Sid Bernstein the “go ahead” for his Woodstock 25th anniversary celebration after the Rhulen family became partners in the venture. Bernstein was ready to bow out because of lack of financial backing when SHEA Entertainment (an acronym for Suzie, Harry, Eric and Anthony – the children of Frontier Insurance founder Walter Rhulen) agreed to underwrite the full festival cost in exchange for a takeover of its management.

Jose “Joey” Rosado was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship, made possible through the efforts of the Sullivan County Public Health, which will allow him to attend the Elliott F. Joslin Camp for Boys with Diabetes in Boston, Mass. 

A truck turnover resulted in the spillage of 20,000 gallons of milk on Route 17 near Wurtsboro. According to State Police, the driver lost control of the rig on a turn between Yankee Lake and Wurtsboro, crashed through the guardrail and turned over in the westbound lane.

The Sullivan County Legal Secretaries of the National Association of Legal Secretaries observed their 30th anniversary with a dinner at Bernie’s in Rock Hill on Friday.  Of the original ten who formed the local chapter, four still remain active – Ruth Keeler Griffin, Virginia Baum Lindsley,  Helen Deutsch and Florence Gordon. Ann Durham is the current president.

The Highland Senior Citizens and their founder and first president, Shirley Reuter, were on hand for the dedication of their new meeting place which was dedicated Saturday.

Five members of the Class of 1939, the last class to graduate from Callicoon High School, met for a 55th class reunion. Raymond Lahm came from San Diego, Calif., Shirley Hartz from Binghamton, Warren “Doc” Lauder of Kennett Square, Pa., Warren McClure of Lillian, Ala., and Arthur Ferber of Verona, N.J. Also joining in the festivities at The Western Hotel were Edwin Forsblom of Hankins, Francis Henke of Callicoon, Margaret Schick Peake of Fremont Center and George Schmidt of North Branch. The next class of graduates from the school (1940) will be the first class to graduate from the newly merged (Long Eddy and Callicoon) Delaware Valley Central School.

20 Years Ago - 2004

Lance and Marshall Hudes, brothers who are originally from Monticello who now reside in Dallas, Texas, will compete in a worldwide adventure for $1 million on the special 90-minute extended season premiere of “The Amazing Race 5” on Tuesday, July 6 on CBS. The series will track the brothers in their adventure, thousands of miles away from their father Marc Hudes’ podiatry office in Monticello.

In eight days, thousands of people are expected to flock to Monticello Raceway for the opening of 1,800 Video Lottery Terminals (VTLs). These machines will then become the closest the New York City metropolitan area gets to slot machines until next year, when Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway obtain VLTs.

Road signs are being installed this summer marking the former locations of 26 communities displaced by five New York City reservoirs in the Catskill Region. The signs are part of a commemorative project coordinated by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) in cooperation with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In 2002, six roadside exhibits were erected – one at each reservoir – to explain the histories of the former towns and the building of the vast New York City water system. Signs have been installed for Neversink and Bittersweet, which were lost to the Neversink Reservoir. And in the Rondout basin, signs pay tribute to three towns, Eureka, Montela and Lackawack.

Tri-Valley’s Heather Iatauro capped her outstanding scholastic athletic career by winning another state title at the recently NYS Public High School Athletic Association championships. Iatauro, who is the valedictorian of the class of 2004,  won the girls’ Division II (small schools) 2,000 steeplechase in a time of 6:52.45 at the meet held on June 5 in Syracuse.

10 Years Ago - 2014

Shock was the emotion after the deaths of Frank and Carol  Kay when the explosion that took their lives Sunday night leveled their second home in Damascus, PA, and shook the surrounding area. The sound of the explosion traveled as far away as Cochecton. The couple lived in the North Fort Myers area in Florida during the winter and spent the last 35 years operating the Callicoon Flea Market during their summers in the area. The fire marshal and Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion that leveled the   home. 

A dozen SUNY Sullivan graduates proved that even in prison, when one door clangs shut, another one opens. Inmates at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg are studying through SUNY Sullivan. For those who think such men – convicted of heinous crimes, including murder, armed robbery, even illegally harvesting body parts – don’t deserve to get a free education in prison, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison’s Mary Donnolly pointed out that many of them will one day return to society. “And the only way you’re going to rehabilitate them is through education,” she said. This education also doesn’t come at taxpayers’ expense. The state eliminated college education in its prisons years ago due to budget woes, so Hudson Link, a nonprofit subsisting on private donations, stepped in. 


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