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Ashland Speaks

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 12/1/23 | 12/1/23

By Lula Anderson

Thanksgiving weekend is over and the Christmas Season is officially underway.  (Welcomed) Carols on the radio, a touch of snow in the air.  When I do go out in the evening, I see the lights and decorations slowly starting to appear.  A beautiful festival of lights chasing away the gloom and darkness of the early sunsets.  Christmas trees and candles in the windows are beckoning us.  The smell of wood smoke fills the air and makes me think of nights sitting around the fire with my mug of hot cocoa.  Yes, we are going through the most wonderful time of the year.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with Christine, Nellis and my sons sitting down to dinner with me.  The next to the best china came out and I was very lucky that my helpers came the next day and cleaned my kitchen and put everything away.  Judy went to brother Marty’s in Niskayuna to be with her family.  For the first time in many years, Bill Mead did not join them, but stayed at Conifer Lake with friends Susie and Ciril.  Not to worry though, there was still desserts to share for days following.

Last Monday 50 attended the WAJPL Friendsgiving dinner meeting.  We had two guest speakers, one from Home Sweet Home in Athens and Catskill and our KeyNote Speaker, Richard Tollner who is such a fount of information.   The food, as usual, was plentiful and the conversation flowed.  I think, maybe, the workers at the Town House miss our meetings as we always sent food up to them.  Richard packed a couple of plates for them to enjoy.

Dot Giordano called to let me in on her Thanksgiving news.  She went to Robin and John’s for dinner where there were 11 around the table.  Daisy and Barney VanEtten’s family came to visit, Leslie from South Carolina and Steven from Schenectady.  Kent Creech came to visit with the kids.  A great family filled weekend.

The weekend of December 2 will be jam packed full of activities.  Windham UMC will be holding their annual Tea and sale from 10 until 4.  Santa will be coming at 2, so drop on by.  Windham Community will be holding their Parade of lights that evening.  Santa will be appearing at the Centre Church after the parade (around 5:30 to 6) where he will light the tree.  On Sunday, December 3, the Ashland Community Church will have their tree lighting for the community of Ashland.  Please support your town and enjoy hot chocolate, caroling and prayers. 

On December 9th, the Ashland UMC will be holding their annual Cookie Walk.  Please feel free to donate some of your favorite cookies when you come to buy.  The bigger the selection the better the “walk”. 

Hope restoration Christian Fellowship at 117 St Rt 296 Windham will be showing a video on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 6pm about the Hebrides Revival and Intercessory Prayer.  All are welcome.

Prayers for the family of Bob Lawrence,  Barbara Morse Livsey and for Rosalynn Carter.  Healing prayers for Opal DeLong and Barb Cooke.  Pneumonia is hitting hard this year as well as other respiratory ailments.  Please stay healthy.

A word from my doctor friend, don’t fret the memory loss that comes with aging, your cardiac health benefits.  You spend so much time retracing your path when you forget why you walked into that room, that you get your daily steps in.. 


As mentioned, Windham Town Assessor, Richard Tollner was WAJPL meeting.  Instead of tax info, Richard shared with us his love of local history through post cards.  After a vocal vote, he pulled up the cards of the old Sugar Maples in Maplecrest.  Starting in the 1930’s, the Moseman and Martin families ran the 500 guest hotel.  At that time it was truly a self-contained establishment where everything was provided:  room, 3 meals a day, swimming in its Olympic sized heated pool, or in the local creek if you wanted, lawn games:  shuffleboard, tennis, ball games,  horseback riding, a barber shop and beauty parlor—all for one price.  The grounds were meticulously kept with hide away gardens, patios, balconies, and plenty of poolside seating.  Guests stayed for a week or the whole summer.  Families would come to visit relatives that were staying and spend a week with them.  Several of our members remarked that they first fell in love with this area because of their vacation at Sugar Maples.  All of the locals recalled the Red Cross Swimming lessons that they took.  Each of the area hotels opened their pools to the local children during the lunch hours so we could learn to swim.  What was memorable of the Sugar Maples size was it was HEATED, and had a high diving platform. 

Unfortunately, time and  the change of vacation destinations, with travel to far and exotic places becoming commonplace, caused the decline of the once great vacation getaway locale.  Buildings needed upgrades, and it was no longer feasible to keep it open.  In the 1990’s, it was sold and most of the buildings torn down.  The Catskill Mountain Foundation runs it now as a center for creative arts where you can rent a studio or take lessons in ceramics, pottery, painting and a variety of crafts.  It is also home to a  natural agriculture farm where you can purchase the freshest vegetables picked directly from the greenhouse and handed to you.   

As much as we mourn the demise of the resort, it is a comfort to know that what was left to deteriorate is now a thriving part of the Maplecrest community.

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