September/October 2012
(everything in the subscription newsletter is here, with photos on separate page)
(newsletter website:
(this newsletter's photos' page:


Welcome back, after a month’s absence. Debra and I enjoyed almost three weeks in France, returning home just in time to witness some near-peak autumn foliage color.

A cool-ish weekend of temperatures in the mid-50s had preceded our Columbus Day meeting. Present were Phyllis Beechert, Christine Mickelsen, Orrin & Shirley Stevens, Albie Hulick, Fred & Carol Lamb, Ron Golden, Bette Welter, David & Judy Rundell, Lew Knott, and Don Teator. It was nice to see some new faces (just as it is nice to see long-familiar faces!).

We started with a share session.

            Phyllis came with a number of local “ordinary” documents, a service I appreciate. Among them was a Spring 2012 Albany Medical Center newsletter recognizing Irene Cross’ contribution to the Patient Pavilion Pediatric Oncology Equipment Fund. Irene was a Greenville/Medusa/Middleburgh community member.

            Other documents included: A Service of Remembrance flyer for Roberta Jennings; the 2012 Memorial Day at Veterans’ Park flyer; and the April 10, 2011 Celebration of a New Ministry (Episcopal) booklet.

            In addition, Phyllis contributed her notepad with the names from the framed Donor List that was on the Gazebo. Unfortunately, Phyllis undertook this job just as moisture was obliterating some of the engraved names; fortunately, Phyllis got to it in time to record the vast majority of the names. Perhaps, I can use it for an article and see if people can remember twenty-some years ago to finish off the list. Thank you, Phyllis, for such useful historical work.

            Lew Knott brought in, and contributed to the files, six issues of the Greenville Local, dating October 16 – November 20, 1935.

            (A brief aside first. I have in the Historian’s files a continuous supply of Greenville Locals from mid-1963 to present, with a smattering of earlier copies. If you know of copies before mid-1963, and those copies need a home, let me know. (Another program could be the holdings of Locals here, and elsewhere.)

            I amused myself for a couple hours one day perusing these six issues. Each issue was a larger sheet, folded in half to make four pages, 15” x 22”. The editor was Ralph M. Yeomans, with F. G. Bleezarde the business manager.

            Many of the issues contained the GCS Gargoyle (a student publication), with Volume 2, Issue 1 appearing on the October 16 issue.

            Also, an unnamed person had contributed a continuing series travelogue about Canada, the final four pieces of which are in these issues.

            One ad that ran in each issue was one for Colonial Stores, which I scanned and is found on the front page. Three other scans are included.

            Other tidbits:

·   Wessel’s Garage, 50 cents for labor (this garage stood where the current day Mangold Realty sits which, of course, for so many years was recognized as Flach’s Barbershop, next to the creek entrance into the pond).

·   “gossip” columns from these towns: Greenville (by far, the greatest amount details), Greenville Center, Coxsackie, Grapeville, Lambs Corners, Windham, West Greenville, East Greenville, Dormansville, South Westerlo, Newry, Freehold (once), Cairo, Oak Hill (once), Lampman Hill (I believe to be near the junction of 403, McCafferty Rd, Medusa Rd from Norton Hill), and Latham’s (don’t know where this is).

·   L. H. Powell is advertising his stores in Norton Hill and Medusa for paint.

·   Cecil Smith (Greenville) is advertising fresh & salted meats, as well as his taxi service.

·   Mrs. Emma Phinney, of Freehold, is advertising “Fancy & General Merchandise, Refreshments”

·   Gus Baker has dinners, lunches, souvenirs, candy, cigars, cigarettes, pipes, tobacco, and Draught Beer (Main Street, Greenville)

·   chicken thieves stole from Hercules Rivenburgh and C. Homer Hook on North Street, Greenville

·   Albert Koehler  is selling refrigerators and appliances

·   Catskill reports a mail robbery.

·   Alfred M. Johnsen’s obit is posted. He was born in Norway in 1895.

·   Earthquake tremors, at the beginning of November, cause a stir.

·   Jesse Baker’s obit shows he is age 42, leave wife Addie Burgess Baker (Greenville Center).

·   Mrs. S. M. Lynam (Freehold) is injured when she falls out of a moving car.

·   Charles Hamann, Jr., 23 years old, is accused of possible patricide when the father returns from checking out a possible theft of his chickens in the dark and is nearly killed with shots from the son’s gun.

·   Rev. Norman Adams returns from Germany to address an assembly of students to talk of European travels and opinions.

·   The 45th Christian Endeavor Convention of the Catskill Mountain Union was held in the Methodist Church in Norton Hill.


Thank you, Lew, for such easy, but seldom seen, entertainment.


Attention was drawn to the 20th birthday of the Vanderbilt Park, celebrated during Greenville Day at the end of September. Although the park seems universally enjoyed today, its acceptance twenty years ago faced some strong headwinds, and I am pleased to see it be a vital part of our community today.

            I relayed a request for information about the Greenville Drive-In. I have given to Ed Spannagel copies of articles, one about the drive-in’s inception in 1959, and the others about the change in ownership in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Then, we turned to the matter of the evening – looking over photos for the 2014 calendar, and thinking about people to recognize for their community efforts.

            Don had gathered about fifty photos to look over, laid out past calendars to review, and brought out a dozen photo albums of our hamlets for attendees to look over. A sheet and pen were available to note good choices for the upcoming calendar.

            So, for about 45 minutes, we wandered, chatted, looked some more, and commented, before heading out the door.

            The same idea was proposed for the recognitions of community members that the calendar has entertained for a number of years. A short list of suggestions Don had received was distributed, along with names of the past honorees, with room left to suggest other deserving people.

            Most were names, although a few organizations were noted, the first time that was suggested.


Our next meeting (and last of the year) is November 12. The agenda will go as follows, with room for contributions from the floor.

===a 20 minute travelogue, of my trip to France, showing some of our highlights – chateaus, vineyards, typical towns and small town buildings, churches, food. I say France but I really mean Paris, the Loire Valley (a two to three hour drive south and a bit west of Paris), and Burgundy (a three to four hour drive eastward from Tours in the Loire Valley). The trip back to Paris took a speck over two hours. For those of you who have visited France, feel free to share your memories (did you like tripe? Not me.).

===>narrowing down the photo list. Your help last month led to a few definites, and I will try to narrow even further.

===>and we should perhaps narrow our list of recognition possibilities. We started with three nominations pre-meeting, was joined by five to ten more, with no consensus on anyone. Typically, we share guidelines, come up with some possibilities, winnow down to some really-should-do’s, and then leave the final decision up to me, which seems to be working for the photos. However, no one suggestion for a character recognition seems to be gathering agreement, and I would prefer not to have to make this decision from such a spread of worthy contenders.

            So, I have a couple ideas to think about before attending next meeting, or, if not attending, to email, call or send your opinion.

            One, suggestions for recognition cited the Rescue Squad and the Volunteer Fire Company. A possibility would be to have each one be one of our monthly photo-caption combinations, at least for a start, and then, if a fuller recognition is desired, save them for a future calendar.

            Two,… well a caution first. Publicizing the names of people to be recognized may be a good idea, or it may make people, especially the modest or circumspect, uneasy. Taking that chance, I will share the names I have received so far. (I think being on the list is an honor in itself.)

==>Ginny Mangold
==>David & Pat Elsbree
==>Dave Battini
==>Rotary Club
==>Kathy Williams
==>Richard Ferriolo
==>Judy & David Rundell
==>Tom Carney

==>Phyllis Beechert

            Next? If we can be the usual careful selves we are, perhaps, we can narrow down to a leading candidate or two, focusing on the contributions these people have made to the community, above and beyond the ordinary call of life. Let’s give it a try; if all else fails, you can direct me to make a choice (and I will be as considerate of your opinions as I can).


Looking ahead.

            I will continue working on the resorts project.

            But…, one project that has been on my radar, and should be started, is the listing of  and documenting all the churches, both in the Town of Greenville, and perhaps, in the Greenville Central School District. I do have folders about Town of Greenville churches, and a little on the churches in the district. And… if anyone would like to tackle this one (looking at the sources, writing up summaries that I could put on my web site, picking the best pictures, etc.), I would be pleased to help. It would make a great winter project. (Having a computer, or finding a way to word process the files would make the transfer of information much easier!)


More Notes:

***Civil War Round Table meets the Wednesday after our meeting (Nov 14, 7:30 p.m.). Dr. Matt Farina who is a retired pediatric cardiologist and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Albany Medical College in Albany will speak to the group on Civil War Medicine. The presentation will deal with the myths of 19th century medicine and will cover the practical advances that occurred during the war but are often overlooked. A replica amputation kit and other medical items will be on display as part of the presentation.

            The Friday following our meeting (Nov 16, 7 pm), the Library is sponsoring a book signing/talk by Robert & Johanna Titus, authors of a new book about the Ice Age in the Hudson Valley. The Tituses will explain the geology of the Hudson River. Over the years, Robert has presented programs for the GLHG about our area’s geology.


OK, enough for now.

I hope to see you in November, or hear from you soon.


Take care,