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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

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Ashland Speaks

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/29/24 | 2/29/24

By Lula Anderson

February is over and we are on the cusp of Spring.  The air feels different, and we all itch to go outside.  Do we start our outdoor cleaning?  Nope, don't get fooled, you know that there will be more snow in the future.  The other morning it was 9 degrees outside and even though the afternoon sun was beautiful, it was downright cold out there.  Our last big holiday weekend is done for the winter.  Looking at the traffic, I would say it was a success for all business owners.  

Another Thursday, another Banner Day at the Jewett Nutrition Center.  Another 30 gathered for meat loaf dinner and good conversation.  We got some "newbies" to show, and Gail is making sure all of them are signed up for the future.  This Thursday is Chicken Dijon which is one of Gail's specialties.  Check in your local post office for the Greene County Round Table news which includes the menu for the month plus all pertinent information from Greene County Department of the Aging.  

Don't forget that March 10th is the day we spring forward.  It is really good to see the extra daylight in the evenings.  Judy has been tempted to walk to Bill's house on the lake, but it is still too early.  Monday was a teaser.  It was downright balmy when she left at 4, but when she left Bill's at 5:30 she was glad she drove because of the drop in temperature.  

Have you been counting the deer that have been feeding in the pastures during the early evening?  Last night there were over 20 between the two Conifer Lake entrances.  

St Patrick's Day is looming and I just got news that the Masons will be holding their 25th annual St Patrick's dinner on March 9th from 2:00 to 6:00 at the Lodge at 5345 St Rt 23 in Windham.  Meals are $20 each and include prime cut corned beef, cabbage, potato, Irish soda or rye bread, dessert and coffee.  Eat-in or take -out.  

A reminder from the UMC in Windham re their Corned Beef luncheon on March 15th starting at 10:30 AM.     Hensonville Hose Co Fish Fry is in full swing on Friday nights.  It's important that we support these events as it helps defray the costs of heating, and general upkeep of these organizations.  

Prayers for Christine Newcomb on her upcoming surgery.


On of my favorite shows is The Incredible Dr Pol on Nat Geo.  The other day, he was with his son who was taking a hundred-year-old barn down, piece by piece, just like taking a Lincoln Log toy apart.  Carefully removing beams to be reused.  Never breaking a piece.  He mentioned that it was a "bank barn."  What, I asked myself, is a bank barn?  I've heard of houses from Sears, but never a bank barn.  Oh, wrong kind of bank, not money bank, but a barn that had been built into a bank.  The hay mow was on the road level and farmers drove in and unloaded.  The cows were down underneath, which was reached by another path that went around the barn.  Well, that was just like my father's barn, but we never thought it was special.  It was convenient to drive in, then when we fed the cows, we dropped the hay bales through a hole in the floor which went to the stabling area.  very little lifting.  The pasture was at the bottom of the bank .We let the cows out to graze and the creek was at the edge of the pasture, so they had easy access to water.   

On the corner of 23 and county route 17, leading to Jewett, was the Case barn.  All that is left is a foundation, and woodchuck housing, but you can see how it was built into the bank.  Instructions to Jewett always included follow 23 west until you see the red barn, then take a left.  Now it's turn where the barn used to be.  Charlie Thompson's barn on Rice Street, Jewett, is still standing, and you can see the set up from the road.  

Since watching this story, I have been aware of how many bank barns there are and have been in this area, especially along rt 23.  Christman's  fit the category, as well as my father's barn.  I now look at the different types of barns in the area and try to figure what type they would be considered as well as thinking about the farmers who worked in them and the many kids who played in the hay mows--be they road level or climb a ladder to get into them.  

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