(everything in the subscription newsletter is here, with photo and list below)
(newsletter website: http://www.dteator.com/glhg/glhg.htm
An April day as nice as one sees in April greeted the baker’s dozen of us who came out to the first meeting of the year: Bob & Marie Shaw, Stephanie Ingalls, Orrin & Shirley Stevens, Allyn & Mary Shaw, Ron Golden, Christine Mickelsen, Lew & Sue Knott, Mary Heisinger, and Don Teator.
NOTE: Next meeting is the THIRD Monday of the month, May 20, at Baumann’s Brookside (junction of Red Mill Rd and Johnnycake Ln).
Being the first meeting of the year, it was a share
And the star of the show was Allyn and Mary’s “can you guess what this is” menagerie. The brought in five grinders, and we had to guess what each one did.
The first was a small-ish grinder, secured to a wooden cube with a drawer. An Adams brand, Mary said; they discovered it (a coffee grinder) was made in Oak Hill.
The second was a minature lookalike for a meat grinder. And it was, used as a company token. Vegetables could also be passed through.
The third someone guessed, with the small but tough looking grinding wheels—a nutmeg grinder.
The fourth looked similar but not as tough—a spice grinder, and I think someone guessed that, generally.
The fifth one was big—2-3 feet tall, mounted on a wooden base for security purposes. Two foot-and-a-half metal wheels were used to power the grinder. When asked, Mary was gracious and patient enough to disassemble the grinder so we could see the grinding wheels. I would attempt to describe it but it would take too long, and I should have taken a photo. It turned out to be a grist meal, usually grinding corn. It was commented that the mill was made for about ten years, and the copious dust it created caused its short production life.
Thank you, Mary and Allyn. (Mary did the presentation, and Allyn ably commented from his chair.)
This presentation sorta led to a discussion of other items
that we grew up with that have outlived their usefulness or were improved upon
so much to make them unnecessary, unless you still have one. We youngsters could
recall a few such things that are now considered curiosities or obsolete or even
unrecognizable (except for the fuddy-duddies that grew up with it). (Local
history can be so humbling!)
(When I started teaching, there was no such thing as a personal computer. Now, a school cannot exist without them. What did you do without them?!)
Don gave an update on his boarding house project, one that
could be his sole focus for a few more years. Those of you with computers can go
to my website (dteator.com) and click on the Greenville Boarding Houses for a
The additions include Happy Days, Birch Hollow, and World Top Acres, with considerable activity on the last one.
I would encourage anyone to suggest additions or changes, and, if you have any experience with boarding houses/resorts, to write your own account, no matter what your role was, and to possibly share it for my files and maybe for the website.
Don showed the latest copy of Hudson Valley Magazine, with
its article of “Eight Hot Hudson River Towns.” And Catskill was one of them.
For those interested, you can go on to the magazines web site.
Don also updated about his involvement with Greenville Elementary’s After School Enrichment program, meeting once a month, now for the fifth month, with one more to go, each month with a different slice of Greenville local history. So far—school, Academy Square, town offices, photo albums, and cemetery. May’s, weather permitting, will be a walk up North Street and back through Vanderbilt Park
Another call to the Town Historian from a person doing family history came asking for the site of the Jump mill, as noted in Beers history. I took a picture of the earthen dam visible from Place’s Corners—the intersection of Country Rt 41, Sunny Hill Rd, and Drake Hill Rd. The earthen dam, from what I understand, held back water from the Jan deBakker Kill (or its various spellings), until a freshet washed out the east side. Does anyone know any thing about this “dam” – its age, last use, or history? If so, let me know. And, is there another dam on the Jan deBakker Kill?
Mary Heisinger had a few items (nice to see you, Mary!).
One was a packet of pamphlets—mostly American Legion-related. Good additions
to the paper documents in the American Legion folder.
A second folder was something given to the Library among some contributed books. Lo, and behold, it was a “MAMAries and MAMArabilia” folder, created for memories’ sake and given to the members of the choral group – the Mamas (without the Papas), a takeoff on the 1960s pop group, a name later shortened to the Mamas. The booklet gives a history of the formation of the group and then some of the services they provided, singing gratis for any organization that asked.
According to the booklet, the original members were Elena Fuentes, Marcy Cunningham, Virginia Mangold, Sue Von Atzingen, Gail Biskupich, Joan Smith, Barbara Van Auken, Cathy Quackenbush, and Sharon Adinolfi. Later, when three members left, Carol Schreiber, Bruni Sutton, and Jeannette Rose joined.
Some of the pages were copies of newspaper photos and articles, and a couple show sheet music. Thank you, Mary, or whoever had the sharp eye, for rescuing such an interesting piece of Greenville history.
Mary also noted the Civil War Round Table, which meets the second Wednesday of the month. The GLHG will join forces with CWRT in July on their meeting night.
***Another note from Mary indicates that she with Curt Cunningham's assistance, on Saturday, May 25, starting at 11 a.m., is coordinating a Civil War tribute to Ayres Barker, a Greenville man killed at Gettysburgh. In addition, Mary has arranged for re-enactors (Lincoln & wife, and bodyguards, General & Mrs. Grant, an artillery officer & mount, a recruiting officer, a cornet band playing Civil War music, and more), Town of Greenville officials, Greene County officials, the Scouts, Rotary, and more to be part of the day. If you would like to assist Mary (she insists she could use some), please email or call. A new memorial stone for Barker will be placed on this day in the Greenville Cemetery, the starting point of the day's festivities. And, of course, c’mon out to support a good local cause and effort.
On a side table, Don had laid out several boxes and a long
list, a major find and time-consumer for the past month for Don.
When Harriett Rasmussen died, she left behind a trove of local history and genealogy notes. A first batch reached Don’s hands early on but, as noted previously, he knew there should more.
And, with Walt Ingalls’s instigation (maybe, Sylvia, also), we came upon this next batch of the treasure trove. In those boxes were the folders that formed Harriett’s “go-to” folders. Mostly arranged alphabetically, usually by surname, they consist of almost 300 folders.
So, Don sat down, one at a time, looking through each one, noting the type of information and how many pieces, and then entered that information on an Excel spread sheet, the same sheet laid out on the side table for the evening. (I will put it online as soon as I check back with Brian and have given the appropriate Cairo and Oak Hill files to the proper places.) So, we spent a while looking through folders, with a couple loaned out. Some folders had one piece of paper, while others had more than fifty. And some (family files) will go back to Brian after I have scanned the pieces desired for the files.
Thanks, Walter, for finding more work!
Don drew attention to Lew Knott’s collection of Felter material, some of which Don has processed, and the big half that still needs looking over. Thank you, Lew & Sue for sharing.
One of the off-shoots of the talking of things that aren’t there anymore was talk of Mose Van Zandt’s house on State Route 81. Based on what we talked about, I think there is enough for an evening, or half an evening, at least, some time.
So, that finished off our first meeting of the year, and thank you to those who came out to share and listen.
Just a reminder. Our next several programs include:
==> May 20 (third Monday): Baumann’s Brookside: a microcosm of boarding house era and progression. Meet at resort. (From Greenville: west on 81 one mile; left on Red Mill not quite a half-mile; in through main door into dining room. And a thank you to the Screibers and Lewises.
==> June 10: a speaker, Chuck D’Imperio, to talk about his upstate NY research and book writing. More next month.
==> July 10 (second Wednesday): joint effort with Civil War Round Table.
==> August 12: second “annual” Greenville history slide show
==> September 9: tentative but needs to be confirmed
==> October, November are still open.
==> Winter already????
I often suggest topics and projects to tackle. I am blessed to have Stephanie offer to alphabetize the obituaries of the Harriett Rasmussen collection. This is no small feat, and Stephanie even agreed to write longhand the names and dates of birth/death. From there, I will transcribe into an Excel spreadsheet that can be searched. Of course, the fine print of this agreement states that Stephanie can change her mind, take as long as she wants, try something else, and more!
I have included a photo (black & white) of the earthen dam mentioned earlier. And I am including a list of the names of folders from the Rasmussen boxes I catalogued.
See you on May 20.
The earthen dam on Drake Hill Rd, near intersection with CR 41 and Sunny Hill Rd; JdBakkerKill on right.