November 2013
subscription newsletter text is here, as re photos
past newsletters are available at

A classic November day—mid-50s, partly cloudy—awaited the dozen who attended the last regular meeting of the year: Stephanie Ingalls, Bob & Marie Shaw, Lew Knott, Ron Golden, Orrin Stevens, Bette Welter, Evelyn Jennings (came and left early but still nice to see!), Christine Mickelsen, Phyllis Beechert, Melinda Mullen, and Don Teator.
          We took care of the prime order of business last—selection of the 2015 person-to-be-recognized. We previewed the names, citing the accomplishments of each while emphasizing the ideal of service above and beyond the ordinary scope of title or occupation. Another factor, someone noted, was the effect our nominees have had on Greenville history and culture. The name of Ed Beechert was added to the list, followed by a couple opinions, and we finally filled out the ballots.
          The group decided that an announcement of the winner should be kept a surprise.
          I will attempt to elicit votes from other members, either by email or phone for a final tally. Stay tuned, and thank you for your help.

          Most of the evening was a share session, with a collection of items showing. They included:
          Orrin showing his Stevens Hill album, a compilation that Sylvia Hasenkopf amassed for a research project Orrin had commissioned. Some of that research appeared in a Pioneer article. (Still to be settled definitively is the question whether the variety of Stevens families are related, despite continued disclaimers in the past!)
          (Another Stevens note
: I have spent parts of three days with Orrin, looking through local history documents and photos, some of which I have duplicated for the Historian’s files.)
          (Another Stevens note
: Another day with Orrin resulted in a treasure of photographs that not only tell family history on Stevens Hill but also record vignettes of hamlet history. I am sure you will see some of this in coming year or two.)
Thank you, Orrin

Reaction to the calendars has been overwhelmingly positive. Again, if you can nudge a few more sales, that would be appreciated. Currently, the expense break-even point is two-thirds complete. Reminder: calendars can be found at the Library, Tops, Kelly’s, Hilltown Agway, GNH, Town Clerk, and Read and Read Again. Of course, you can call me.
          I showed a recent purchase—the 2013 HS Yearbook, the 2013 MS Yearbook, and the same two books for 2012 which I had forgotten to purchase last year. How much did your yearbook cost? I suspect it is less than the $60 that the current HS book costs.
          Someone asked if we have all the yearbooks. The answer, sad to say, is NO. Starting with the first yearbook in 1939, the Historian’s files contain all but two. So, if anyone can locate the High School yearbooks of 1982 or 1984, I’ll trade you for a 2015 (or 2014 calendar).
          The Middle School collection starts, in my files, about 2002, with most of the yearbooks since sitting on a Historian’s shelf.
          And, I’ve been informed that the elementary grades have a separate yearbook, none of which I have.
          Yearbooks continue to be a quirky, but valuable, local history resource.

Recent Pioneer issues have contained an ad for contributions to the Potter Hollow School, and attention was drawn in the last newsletter. Considerable work had been ongoing, shoring up floors and foundation, protecting the windows, etc. I am aware of Ed Volmar being instrumental, and I am sure there are others who have helped on this mission.
          A brief look at the 2015 calendar was given, with descriptions of the kinds of pictures to be used. Help was asked for locating some Freehold Fire Company photos, and a couple suggestions were offered.
          An Albany Times-Union article from August 17 interviewed Pastor Ernest Fink who ministers in Albany. The piece noted Fink’s stay in Greenville in the 1990s.
          The Times-Union, in an October featured a GNH ad, made historically useful by a summary of the major advances GNH had made since its founding in 1937.
          A July 2013 insert (newspaper not noted) was a four page spread of the schedule of the 59th Greene County Youth Fair. The insert also presented a concise history of the fair.
          An October 3 article from the Altamont Enterprise publicized Lance Moore’s efforts at the Freehold House (formerly Freehold Country Inn), presenting a human face as well as a bit of history. The Enterprise rarely delves into Greenville but did so this time because Moore is a resident of Voorheesville, doing contracting work for most of his life.
          A July 27, 2013 Oak Hill Day flyer was saved and brought to the meeting. The paper includes, one side, a copy of the Oak Hill map from the Beers book, and, on the back, a listing, with short captions, of fifteen Historic Register buildings on the other side.
          Although it is about a year old, a copy of the Welcome to the Town of Greenville booklet, compiled by Town Clerk Jackie Park, was shown, and we thought it a good idea. Nice job, Jackie.
          Another quirky map shows Mid-Hudson Cable coverage of Greenville (as of 2009). This kind of document shows what people were living with. I suspect many of you remember those new-fangled video stores (Blockbuster is closing!) and some of us would be hard pressed, if asked by some eager young person, to explain how we “suffered” with such behind-the-times technology all these years (uppity kids! Or we are getting old!).
          And then there was the folder of stuff that Phyllis brought last month, and re-brought this month. Her goodies included:
--Two post cards of the Episcopal Church (both dated around 1910)
--Memorial Service flyer, Doug Stanton, June 2013
--2012 Veteran’s Day program
--2012 Greenville Interfaith Thanksgiving program
--2013 Mose Van Zandt American Legion memorial program
--Episcopal 19578 Centenary Celebration booklet
--Newspaper clipping, undated, two new pastors in Greenville area
--Greenville Interfaith welcoming flyer
--April 2011 Celebration of New Ministry program
--2013 Memorial Day program
--June 2012 Remembrance flyer for Marie Jennings
--Two advertisement post cards for Pine Ridge Farm (Plattekill Rd)
--And the following items pertaining to her husband Edwin:
--1943 GCS Diploma
--1943 War Service HS Diploma
--GCS Letter G (the real thing!)
--Letter G 1943 Certificate
--Notice of passing grade subjects, 1939
--Four FFA ribbons
The Civil War Round Table program has come and gone, and Ted Hilscher did an outstanding job on the fate of the 120th Regiment at Gettysburg. The 120th was the one which our local men would have joined to go off to fight in the Civil War.

            I made note of the Greenville Family Tree Project, the one that many of you recall me begging someone to start. Well, I have caught early snippets from both our volunteers—Carolyn Savery and Melinda Mullen. I gave both some obituaries to start with, and they are free to find other sources also. If you would like to pass on some Greenville Family Tree stuff, let me know. And, for this project, Greenville is defined quite loosely, more regionally to include bordering communities and to include those individuals whose lives affected Greenville.

Other notes:

A bit of serendipity fell my way this past month. A Ronnie Bain (someone I had never met or heard of until an email popped into my In Box) offered to mail me a Bill of Fare for Happy Days, date unknown, telephone of 126. I replied I would be most appreciative to receive it, and a few days later I found it in my mailbox, return address from Las Vegas.
          So, how does such a rare piece fall into Greenville’s hands again and from such an unlikely spot.
          Ronnie, in a separate note, told of his (forgive me, if I assumed the gender incorrectly) mother passing away in 2001 at age 91. Mom was born in Feura Bush and how she came to possess this Menu could not be ascertained. But, with a good heart, Ronnie wanted the menu to find a home instead of throwing it away, and it is shared with you.
          Joe Haut’s Bavarian Garden is where J.P. North’s is today, probably operated in the 1930s, perhaps the 1940s, with a distinct German flavor. A post card from the files shows a post card advertising the band that played there. In later years, it became Happy Days before its current operation. A copy of that menu is included in this newsletter. And also copied is a Daily Mail picture and caption from the fire in the early 1960s that destroyed the main house.
          Thank you, Ronnie, and for people like you.
More “Other Notes”
I will send out the annual letter sometime during the winter (February or March, most likely, depending on urgency and inspiration!).
          And our lull in meetings until April is my usual opportunity to exhort all of you to work on some local history project – recording some piece of history. Too often, we tell stories of our memories or of stories that others have told, but precious little of it is written down and, thus, will be lost until the last rememberer of that story is able to tell it.
          So, if you are in the mood some day, take a look around, think of something that is unlikely to be recorded, make some notes, and, revised or otherwise, turn it in to my files, whether at a meeting next year, or email, or mailing.
          For example, I suggested to Orrin that he make a rough map of Rt 26, from where it splits from 81 and goes past his house until where 26A comes back into 26. Sketch the rough placement of the houses, and make notes about who lived where and about when. And add some stories. What a valuable piece that would be. (Orrin, of course, is under no obligation to comply with this “demand” but he good naturedly allowed me to use this example.)
          Or, an account of school years, or some notes about a local organization, or a family account, or a neighborhood sketch, or a house history, or…, you can see that I have a long wish list.

The December 11 Civil War Round Table will feature Sylvia Hasenkopf and her new book, “May God in His Mercy Spare Our Lives: The Civil War Letters and Diary of Private Eseck G. Wilber,” who served in the local 120th Regiment. Sylvia will be good!

I trust your Thanksgiving celebration found you in good health, with friends and/or family, and now anticipating Christmas or other holidays.

Take care,