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
(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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.