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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Pine Hill’s Kaleidoscope of Arts Crafters

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 6/7/24 | 6/7/24

Gail Freund at the PHCC ‘Alter Ego’ opening reception 

Wendy Brackman’s ‘Sing OUT Louise’ at the PHCC ‘Alter Ego’ opening reception 


By Robert Brune

PINE HILL — The Pine Hill Community Center (PHCC) has been flourishing with a fantastic schedule of artistic talents within their Catskilled Crafters group. This past fall the number of eclectic wreaths drew a huge crowd of people bidding on a the works of these greatly talented people, contributing to raising funds to keep the lights on and bringing more shows to the center. 

Gail Freund is one of the key contributors of the PHCC crafters group and shares a part of her story that led her to become involved. “In 2016, after living in NYC for 40 years, I was laid off from my job as design director for a costume jewelry company.  It seemed devastating to me at the time, but in retrospect, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” Freund was quickly recruited to participate in the Catskilled Crafters by Berns Rothchild who runs the PHCC thrift shop. Gail discovered this to be a great way to connect with other creative types that have found their way up to the northern Catskills area. Here’s how Freund recalls her introduction to the PHCC crafters; Rothchild approached her and said, “We are working on a quilt at the Center and YOU ARE GOING TO  PARTICIPATE.” My though bubble was, I have no interest in quilting! Later, she picked me up in her car, and I met the renowned artist Hedi Kyle who was sitting next to her in the front seat. Serendipitously, all the years I lived in NYC, I always wanted to take a book binding class at Center For Book Arts, but was too busy working.”

Freund goes on to explain how her interest snowballed after meeting more of the crafters, “I met Wendy Brackman, who is an artist and quilter. Wendy is a whirlwind of creative energy, filled with enthusiasm. “Winters are difficult in the Catskills”, Wendy explained, “and I wanted to give some of my friends an outlet to occupy their minds and hands”. She wanted to teach English Paper Piecing using the beautiful colors and patterns of the silk ties.” Brackman is an astonishing artist who comes from parents who were performers. Her mother worked with her as a vocal coach, but Brackman gravitated towards visual arts with a talent that has allowed her to travel the world entertaining groups of folks with her wonderful infectious personality and gift for arts and craft. 

As far as the current project that is on exhibition, Freund helps us understand the democratic nature of the group and decision they made, “This years’ vote was for Alter Ego. Each project has a defined parameter, yet everyone is encouraged to do their own personal interpretation in any medium they choose. There are once a month meet ups in The Pine Hill Community Center’s back room. Many people share materials and techniques.  Seeing the working progress excites and motivates people. I get such a thrill to see how wildly different the interpretations are. I like the democracy of a vote and am inspired by the fact that many of the participants are not trained artists. I think this allows more unexpected results and creative freedom.”

At the opening reception for ‘Alter Egos’, equally fascinating as the art provided by the crafters, is the Artists’ Statements booklet on display… The motivations and goals of each artist allow the viewer to better grasp the nature of each piece. 

Some examples of the statements: 

Wendy Brackman

Titled: Sing OUT Louise (Quote from the famous musical Gypsie Rose Lee)

‘Originally trained in classical music, my parents steered my singing style and instruction towards the serious study of voice training at age 13. Turns out I had “great pipes” for operal voice training, It is quite amazing. The volume of sound you can produce with your instrument is all about breath control… In retrospect, my choice to be an artist, as opposed to pursuing a career in opera, makes beautiful use of all my inventive and natural talents – although I am forever in awe of both. 

Ellen Green Stewart

Ellen is one of the newer members of the Catskilled Crafters…

‘As a practicing Art Therapist (Roxbury Central School), I believe in working spontaneously to allow the unconscious mind to emerge with it’s own ideas. We know there is inherent healing value in the act of creating, but also in the act of allowing the work to flow where it wants to.” 

Christien Aromando (Flower Child)

I’ve always felt that putting on a wig created an instant portal into an alter ego. It has been a dream of mine to adorn myself in a wig made entirely of fresh flowers, universally connected to nature, eternally feminine, and symbolizing love, beauty, and joy. This sculpture represents my inner and outer Flower Child. My hope is that, upon gazing at her, she radiates peace into your heart.’

Ricky Zia (Barnyard Chucky at the Pizza Parlor)

For many years when I take a bad photo, see myself poorly lit on Zoom calls, or get tagged in random pics online, I frequently say I look like ‘Barnyard Chucky’. So, for this project, I tried to create a doll version of that and from there I wanted to also add other things that I like. (Pizza, cocktails, and inspired by a candy wrapper with a splattered design)

For the hours of the Pine Hill Community Center: www.pinehillcommunitycenter.org 

The artwork and statements are thoroughly intriguing, and all of the artwork is for sale. 



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The Tapestry by Dr. Deborah Herodes - Anti-Social Media


When Posts, Tweets and Snaps Get Mean….Just Because!

Social media has always been a wonderful way to connect with people one hasn’t seen in a long time.  It is also a way to post photos of children’s achievements or grandchildren’s sweet faces.  For me, it has been a way to educate or at least get people to think for themselves, to research for themselves, to argue with knowledge. Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to say much of anything of substance without people personally attacking my information.  I find it interesting that in this “Kindness Matters” era that people may smile and be kind to your face, but the kindness ends when words are typed.

Although I know that everyone has differing opinions on everything, I also know that disagreements should be aimed at the disagreement, not as a personal attack on one’s thinking.  Try to never use the word “you,” when responding to a post you may not agree with; pointing a personal finger is never a good way to write a response or a post.  Never ever attack someone with idle threats or involve their families in your diatribe.  

It really is a sadness that we have never figured out how to argue successfully.  To do this, however, one must not write ‘off the cuff’ comments that have no factuality to them.  In essence, it’s like a small child disagreeing with you and you asking him/her why he/she feels the way he/she does, and he/she replies, “because.”  While there are those who will always say, “just because,” due to their inability to argue without anger, there are also those who will begin to study, read and learn if something you have posted nags at them.

I have been told that I should stop posting my political opinions online, “because”______________ (you fill in the blank.) But I cannot, because saying nothing about important issues is a ‘no can do’ in my book.  I am careful not to insult any person, except perhaps the political figure or well-known figure I am speaking about, but my posts are all factual, despite all the fake news “ya ya.”  There are real sites. There is fact-checking available.  Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, never intended to be lie-infused.

I am at fault for posting many things per day.  Sometimes they are of my beloved family, sometimes they are of a comedic nature, sometimes they are songs and singers, but they are always heartfelt, and I always encourage folks to scroll by my posts if they are sick of seeing my loves and my opinions.  Funny thing is, scrolling by doesn’t satisfy most people because passionate replies are often left for me, both in love and in anger.

I try very hard to ignore personal barbs and consider the source(s), but I wish I could teach a class on how to agree to disagree. My online service is housed by my friends, or they wouldn’t be able to see my posts.  Some I have had to block because their responses were too cruel for me to call them friends at all, but most I read and consider, if they are thoughtful, purposeful, honest and for the good of my fellow Americans. 

In this age of information, make sure that the information you are sharing with others is worthy of an educated mind.  Be accepting of other people’s opinions, but make sure you have researched the supposed truths they are bringing to you.  There is nothing worse than sparring with someone who has no idea what you are talking about; it's a waste of time. Instead try to educate them, in between your goofy photos of your pup and the funny memes about old age.

I know it is the old reporter and teacher in me that push me forward in my endeavor to keep all apprised of the important things going on in our world and in our community.  I’m not likely to change, but I can learn and want to learn everything possible about this place we call Earth.  I also want to inform and teach people about being freethinkers, who have a thirst for knowledge, fairness and truth.


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A Conversation About: Mastering Stuff

By Jean Thomas

“To master” something is a common goal among us humans. To become a master of some endeavor is worthy of respect. In academia, it’s pretty cut-and-dried: a scholar has “mastered” a particular set of achievements following a particular set of rules, and been awarded an official MA or MS degree. I admire those who hold such advanced educational rank. But mastery is an achievement that crosses all strata of accomplishment. It signifies a depth of understanding well beyond a casual interest. I will never grasp, nor do I desire to, the finer points of fly fishing or forensic science. But my respect for those who have mastered such fields is total.  This is where I remind myself of the mantra that “Everybody on the planet is better than me at something and I am better than every single person on the planet at something.” In a nutshell, it is my humble opinion that we are all masters of something to novices in the same field.

 Let’s look at some specifics, because, of course, there’s always something that inspires my topic. This past week I was invited to the graduation of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties 2024 Class of Master Gardener Volunteers. On the same day the Master Gardeners of Albany County hosted their open house and plant sale, famous among gardeners throughout the entire Capital District. These people don’t just sign up and volunteer and receive a title and a name badge. Mastery must be earned. After an interview with CCE staff, the volunteers undergo a twelve week training consisting of classroom training, often with professionals from Cornell, on-line instruction, and road trips. This all culminates with the preparation and presentation of an individual research project. Once graduated, the individual is free to share this new expertise with the public in many ways. CCE provides a Master Gardeners hot line for problem solving by phone and on line, a speakers bureau for civic and school groups, and the possibility to pursue projects individually. I’m attaching links to a pair of episodes from the “Nature Calls” podcast; one is an interview with the head of the state wide MGV program, and the other an interview with an actual Albany County MGV trainee. There is a Cornell office in every county, so if you’re interested in learning more, call or email them.

https://ccecolumbiagreene.org/gardening/nature-calls-conversations-from-the-hudson-valley/episode-105-nys-master-gardener-program

https://ccecolumbiagreene.org/gardening/nature-calls-conversations-from-the-hudson-valley/episode-104-an-mgvs-perspective

Cornell, being a land grant university, has offerings beyond gardening. There are comparable trainings available for those of us who want to “master” more specific fields. At this time, it is possible (once you’re approved for the training) to become a Master at Forestry, Beekeeping, Food Preservation, Naturalist training, and even Composting. I’m sure I left some out, but this training is top notch and has provided the public with a corps of volunteer experts across the state, ready to educate their neighbors.   We aren’t all geared to become educators or spend hours doing volunteer work, but we are all capable of “mastering” something. You are probably already a master at something, whether you are aware of it or not. Ask your family and friends. I did, and was delighted to learn that I’m known as a master B.S. Artist. I was flattered until I realized it didn’t refer to my musical or painterly skills. You might be a Master Mechanic or Fly Tie-er or Cook or Carpenter or Babysitter. Think about it. 



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Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Flashbacks

One of the more enjoyable parts of aging is the frequent flashbacks that occur for no apparent reason.  The one that occurred during my usual morning ponder wasn’t all that enjoyable.  For some reason the bane of my early employment as an elementary school teacher was back in all his glory.  My years of formal education including my classes in the fine art of teaching never mentioned creatures like---Bruce.  That’s not his real name but as close as my lawyer will let me come.  Short, round and loud, kids like Bruce are the reason there are so many former teachers flipping burgers at fast food joints.  He never did any of his schoolwork but he always had a lengthy excuse that always ended with it being someone else’s fault.  Threatening him with failing grades on his report card brought in a flood of back work which I quickly found out was a result of copying others work.  He had bribed, threatened and cajoled his classmates into letting him copy their work.  He copied it faithfully, mistakes and misspellings and all.  When I pointed this out to him, he promptly accused the kid whose paper he had copied of copying his work.  During the holiday season, he collected money from his classmates for a needy family he knew.  One of his little minions whom he slighted reported that Bruce had blown the money he had collected on a shiny new snowboard.  When confronted with this fact Bruce replied that he really needed the snowboard so he wasn’t exactly lying.  Bruce  treated his fellow classmates poorly but was the height of decorum around adults.  He buttered up the principal, a some what portly imposing lady, by writing her letters praising her performance as an administrator.  He picked her dandelions on the playground and always commented on how nicely she was dressed.  Behind her back, he referred to her as Principal Crisco.  When one of his cronies asked why, he made the mistake of remarking within earshot of one of the teachers that Crisco was lard in the can.  When confronted by Old Crisco, he said that he had called her Crisco because that’s what his grandmother used to make the best, the sweetest cookies in the world.  He invented a playground game.  He drew a line in the dirt about a foot from the back brick wall of the school.  The object of the game was to run as fast as you could and stop at the line without smashing into the wall.  The line at the Nurse’s office showed that it wasn’t an easy game to do well at.  Bruce was very good at talking children into trying it but some of them noticed that Bruce himself never tried it.  It was with a sense of great relief that I moved Bruce up to the next grade level at the end of the school year.  I did tell Bruce that I was thinking of retaining him due to his lack of effort.  He told me that if I did he was going to ask for me as his teacher again.  Bruce was promoted.  I followed his educational progress for years as he polished his skills and got more slippery and slimy as he moved up the educational ladder with as little effort as possible.  He graduated and I lost track of him for awhile.  I often wondered what penal institution he might be confined in and running into one of my colleagues who had had Bruce in High School, I inquired as to his whereabouts.  Seems he found the job he’d been training for all his life and was now serving his second term in Congress.

Thought for the week—Six out of seven dwarfs are not happy.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Whittle12124@yahoo.com      


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Local History with Dede Terns-Thorpe - Candace Wheeler

This story is a follow-up to last week’s story on Onteora’s co-founder, Candace Wheeler. Her description of the early park cabins tells how she wished to keep a minimalist lifestyle at Onteora.  

 It’s been a learning experience and a privilege to study Wheeler. She seemed naturally bright, an organizer, and a friend to all. It appeared her goal was to keep her life simple, get to know your neighbors, and enjoy the wildlife, bears, foxes, chipmunks, woodchucks, and other critters. 

Her description:

The typical house was wood framed with shingles and rustic slabs on the outside, wainscotting, and burlap on the inside walls, with at least one porch. A stone fireplace was necessary on both floors for warmth.  Architect Reid designed homes with a rugged stone mantelpiece on either side of the hearth and a balcony over the living area. 

The artists’ studios had northern skylights and most of Reid’s houses displayed his murals around the living room. In ordinary cottages, each bedroom had a washstand, furnished with a crockery basin and pitcher, a sloop jar, and a soap dish. Each bathroom contained a zinc tub with a cold-water faucet. Hot water was brought from the kitchen in watering cans. 

Homes had earth closets, rather than bathrooms. Twice a week a man, driving mules and called Honey Wagons, came to service the closets. There were no screens on the doors and windows, but over each bed was a canopy of mosquito netting. Oil lamps were used. Usually, a house was built with one special squirrel-proof room for winter storage of bedding. Each corner had strips of tin applied to keep out the critters. Bedrooms for the servants were usually on the upper floors. 

Local merchants made their rounds about twice a week - the butcher, the grocer, the ice man, and other merchants. (This next statement surprised me.) One itinerant group we always delighted to see was the Indians, with huge gunny sacks slung over their shoulders and containing a variety of items woven from grass of an incredibly fragrant odor: baskets for knick-knacks, sewing, and trash, coasters for glasses, placemats, napkin rings, etcetera. 

Twice a day the mailman would arrive on his wagon bringing mail. This was a highlight of the day for many vacationers. 

A Winter Garden

“During the winter days when my garden lies lonesome and shrouded with snow on the great white uplands, I remember not alone the sheets of color and the general beauty and brightness, but individual flowers walk in loveliness through my mind and seem to salute my senses with their fragrance.

Candace Wheeler

An interesting 2001 Washington Post article said the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amelia Peck said of Candace Wheeler, "She literally got forgotten." The article said that Wheeler was to textiles what Louis Comfort Tiffany is to the art of glass. The two were briefly partners in an interior design firm known as Tiffany & Wheeler. 

That Wheeler has been forgotten while Tiffany's reputation has prospered adds poignancy. Today, of more than 500 designs created by Wheeler and her firm, only 40 survive. Sad.

Thanks for reading. Take care, and stay safe.

Dede Terns-Thorpe/Hunter Historian



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Oak Hill and Vicinity by Mary Lou Nahas - The News

For thirty years I have been collecting information about Oak Hill and Vicinity.  I am always pleased to come across an old diary which recorded what the writer was doing daily.  One of my first purchases was the diary of Helen Tripp who lived in the brick house as a girl.  It is small, written in pencil, and covers only about three months of one year there, but I’ve used the information in stories and articles and even in a book and a national magazine.  I paid $75 for that diary and am glad I did, even though I later found the information had been transcribed and shared; I could have gotten the stories for nothing, but it is special to me to have something Helen herself owned while living in the house as a young woman.

Early ledgers are also exciting finds.  They may be in rough shape today but were of top quality when new:   leather bound with beautiful handmade heavy paper. I wonder what they originally cost?  A favorite of mine is the Day Book of Lewis & Philo Hicok, 1832, These brothers from Greenville owned the brick house in Oak Hill about then.  It is exciting to see their handwriting and read what they were recording.  

The leather-bound account book of Jacob Bogardus, 1799, is wonderful until you open it and find it had been used as a scrapbook; pasted over the beautiful handwriting and entries regarding Augustine Provost and other early settlers are color pictures clipped from 1950s magazines with recipes for tasty treats like Ginger Minute Tapioca, from third prize winner, Miss Elzabeth B. Dean, Dundee, NY.  There are many recipes for meat loaf:   I find the helpful hint of a Country Friend: M. B. of Rensselaer that chicken fat and butter make a cake of better texture than all butter.  A tablespoon of salt to four of alcohol will effectively remove grease from clothing.  There are quilt and crochet patterns glued firmly over the elegant early handwriting; I’ve never been able to successfully remove them.  Fortunately, only about half of the pages were used as a scrapbook.  Many of these old ledgers were not valued for history.  I am sorry about that.

Another ledger with marbled  boards, front and back, and leather spine is completely covered with firmly pasted down newspaper clippings.  These clippings are carefully fitted into  every inch of the book, including the front and back covers.  Some are national stories, some are poems, jokes, some are just fictional stories.  While I can see the beautiful ink cursive writing through a few of the pasted articles, I can’t read a single original sentence. Fortunately, a number of the articles are local columns from the newspaper, telling what people were doing.  Those I find interesting and will share some of them with you. 

Conesville Items:  Conesville is in want of a doctor.

Wm Smith lost a valuable cow.

Wm. Patrie lost a colt with the horse distemper.

 Harter Brandow and Wm Patrie have traded farms.

Peter Richtmeyer and Romaine Brand have gone to New York with a fine lot of poultry.

Many of our farmers have sold their buckwheat to the Eagle Bridge grist mill firm at fifty cents per bushel.

Donation held at Conesville, Wednesday eve for the benefit of Rev. Goss, receipt $52.

Another Conesville Column reports

Local news is a scarcity.

Edith Laymon has returned from a visit in Durham.

Nelson Murphy, of this town, was buried last Saturday.

Mrs. J. H. VanStaenburg is suffering from sever illness.

Artemas Brown is doing a job of mill-writing at Kortright, Del. Co.

A little skirmish at the Bridge recently.  No damage, done, no one hurt.

Geo. Lewis and Burton Tousley of Strykerville are speculating in hen fruit.

We congratulate ourselves that there are no candidates in this town for School Commissioner.

Mr. M. Patrie has the sympathy of the entire neighborhood for his misfortune in losing his barn and contents by fire.

All persons wishing to purchase cooper work of any kind will do well to call on M. S. Champlin.  All work warranted.

A more accommodating and better man than Postmaster at Manorkill, than the present incumbent, Mr. W Phelps, would hard to find.

Frank Hagadorn recently had his three sheep sheared.  The united weight of the three fleeces was 36 pounds.

Four of the seven parties arrested at Mackeys Corner last week, and taken to Livingstonville for trial, charged with participating in tar and feathering Mr. and Mrs. Contine, were found guilty of assault and battery, and were each fined $20 or fifty days in limbo.  It is rumored that the trouble is not ended yet.

Darius Partridge, of this town, is at work on the Mammoth Hotel, which is at present being built by Mr. Geo. Harding, of Philadelphia.  It is situated on the summit of South Mt., Hunter, Greene Co.  He informs us that they have at present over 400 men employed on the grounds helping in its construction, besides, many others working elsewhere in connection with the Hotel.  The work is being pushed forward under the direction of the most competent foremen in this State or Penn., and all under the careful management of Mr. J. G. Scribner, a gentleman who is fully qualified for the position.  There are over 80 teams employed at present in hauling material and upholstery from Catskill, Malden, and elsewhere.  The managers contemplate the completion of the hotel by July 1st, at which time it will open for the summer season, 115 loads of furniture have been received and put in place in the hotel. 

Mr. Page T. Hoagland of Gilboa, Scho. Co, is now a resident of Nebraska.

A.A. Hoagland who is now in Plattsmouth will soon remove his family to that point.  We learn that Mr. H. is employed in B & M Carship there, and has an engagement with the Company for one year.

A.A. Hoagland has gone to Plattsmouth to work in the B & M Car shops.  His son, P.T. Hoagland, started on Monday last for Plattsmouth expecting to work in the shops also.

Dr. George Ingraham, formerly located in East Durham, and who is staying in Catskill this winter, bought out a drug store at Amsterdam, at which place he will removed about April 10th.

The region of country found about Hervey Street and South Durham was settled by Capt. Asahel Jones, Deacon Obed Hervey, a Mr. Boumhourd, John Butler, Elder Arnold, Henry Bartell and perhaps other.  This was in 1788.

Olive, a fifteen-year-old daughter of this town dropped dead last Saturday while doing house work.  She had seemingly enjoyed her usual health up to the moment of her death, when she suddenly fell forward on the stove, and before she could be placed on a bed was a corpse.

Farmers are just beginning haying.

Grass throughout Toles Hollow bids fair for a good crop.

Anyone wanting shingles made will do well to call on Chas. Brink.

Singing school is held one night each week at the Toles Hollow school house.

Daniel T. McGary is doing a fine business, and why not, for he is a fine honest chap.

A very nice and expensive monument has been erected in the Manorkill Cemetery to the memory of Joseph Scovil.

The many friends of Luman Mattice of Shew Hollow, will be pleased to learn that he has returned from Utica, where he went last fall to be treated for derangement of the mind.  He is much improved physically, and has entirely regained his mental health.  

Suicide at Oak Hill

At the upper portion of the village of Oak Hill in the tenement house of Wm. Paddock, on Sunday morning, July 3rd, Mrs. Julia Smith was found dead in her bed.  Coroner Wm Stefens of Cairo, was summoned, who held an inquest, resulting in the following verdict: We, the undersigned jurors, find from all the evidence given, that Mrs. Julia Smith died by her own hand, by taking an overdose of laudnum, between the hours of 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning, July 3rd, 1881.  Emerson Ford, foreman, Hiram Alger, Andrew J. Hagadorn, Harry Tiffany, Ransom Arnold, Wm. Alger, Israel De Witt, Ernest Stryker, C. S. Hand, S. N. Osborn, Norman Traver. Mrs. Smith leaves several children, five in all, to mourn her loss.  She was the wife of Mr. Silas Smith, who left home last Thursday and did not return until summoned Sunday by the sad news of her sudden death.

Oak Hill:  Mrs. Ransom Arnold is failing in health.

Mrs. H. E. Rockefellow has potatoes in bloom

Hiram Alger has been to Canada to purchase horses.

Report says that Silas Smith has sold his team of mules

Miss Emily Cheritree is to spend this summer at Oak Hill.

Miss Olive Cheritree is taking a trip to Europe, where she will remain during the summer.

R H. King, of Prattsville gave a lecture on Temperance Sunday evening 29th in the Presbyterian Church of Durham.

While Mrs. J. Greene was sawing a bedstead post, the saw slipped, cutting a chord in her wrist, inflicting a bad wound.

J. Terbush’s funeral, held at the Episcopal Church, last Wednesday, was largely attended.  Rev. H. C. Brayton officiating. 

  • Oak Hill:  District school has closed.

  • Tulle lost a valuable horse last week.

  • Frank Nunnelly is in Troy visiting friends.

  • Rueben Moss has moved on his farm in Cornwallville.

  • Farmers about here are engaging laborers at $13 per month.

  • Rev. Gaylord preached his farewell sermon, Sunday afternoon, 27th.

  • Doc Smith of this place, purchased of W. Hagadorn, a cat which rumor says is about 23 years old.

  • Mrs. Alice Peck has been seriously ill for the past four weeks with typhoid fever.  Her father, Dr. James Conyes of Iowa has been attending her for the past week.  She is slowly recovering.

These local columns provide a picture of the life in Oak Hill and Vicinity at that time.  The dates are not usually given but can be guessed at.  I love that it is mentioned that Hiram Alger went to Canada to purchase horses and Olive Cheritree was going to Europe that year. Some of the stories are awful and sad; others just every day occurrences. 

  I also have a lovely small handbound book Everybody’s Guide:  Things Worth Knowing.  Comprising valuable information, recipes and tables, for the Mechanic, Merchant, Lawyer, Doctor, Farmer and all classes of workers in every depart of human effort. By R. Moore.  Author of Moore’s Universal Assistant and Complete Mechanic, Etc.  Copyright 1884.  Not locally written, it does publish a lot of useful information or at least information thought to be useful; it is well worn.  I’ll share some of that one day, but today I’ll just share the information from a newspaper, clipped out and pasted on a first page of the book.. 

POTTER’S HOLLOW:  A largely attended meeting of citizens was held on Saturday last to consider the offer made by the Society of Friends of their meeting house, provided the same should be used as a non-sectarian church.  Justice Hobert Poultney presided and it was to incorporate a church society under the name Potters Hollow Union Church.   John D. Loost, Joseph A. Rowe and Samuel W. Russell were selected trustees.  The offer of the Society of Friends was unanimously accepted as was the donation of Joseph A.. Rowe of a plot of ground upon which the meeting house can be located.  The Society of Friends have maintained a meeting as this place for more than 80 years and the discontinuance of their meetings removed one of the most honored landmarks of the community.

Mr. Wallace Bear and Miss Viola Bouck are married.

Wool sells for 15 cents per pound.

The town board will meet on June 20th to decide the question of constructing an iron bridge over the Catskill creek on the Oak Hill Road.

The action of David Young vs Douglass Clapper for damages occasioned by the shooting of plaintiff’s dog by the defendant, occupied Justice Radick’s court last week and resulted in a verdict of plaintiff of $10, Plaintiff was represented by the Hon. J. H. Mather and Judge H. Pultney and defendant by Messrs. Cowels and Faulk.

E. M. Sheldon, agent for the McCormack mowers, was in town Sunday.



Photo captions:  (photos by Christopher Nahas)

Many early ledgers were reused as scrapbooks.  Clippings and pictures were firmly glued in place. Photos by Christopher Nahas

Sadly, to me, the ledger which records information about Augustine Provost is covered with color photos of foods and recipes.  I’d like to know more about Provost and his neighbors.


I learn things about Lewis and Philoe Hickok who likely built the brick house in Oak Hill from their ledger from 1832.


There are several drawings of houses in the Hicock ledger, I wonder if this one is an inspiration for the brick house?

Helen Tripps small diary provides a view of her daily life in the brick house.


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Pratt Museum Exhibit

By Michael Ryan

PRATTSVILLE - The first exhibition of the 2024 season for the Zadock Pratt Museum, titled “Whose Folk,” features “an exciting blend of art and history,” says Museum board of directors president Carolyn Bennett.

Works by contemporary artist Cal Siegel are intertwined with pieces from the Museum’s collection, representing disparately connected centuries.

“Siegel's sculptures and photographs - various ceramic and wooden forms, vessels, and wall hangings - all refer back to historical architecture and objects with equal parts reverence, humor and criticality,” Bennett says.

“When displayed alongside historic artifacts from the Pratt homestead, visitors are asked to consider how the past informs the present.

“This exhibition is the first curatorial project by Tony Bluestone, a newly appointed member of the Museum board,” Bennett says.

“He is interested in how civic life is shaped by history and how cultural institutions deepen community engagement.”

In a review of the show, which runs through July 31, Victoria Horrocks writes, “with every object displayed within the Zadock Pratt House, I experience a charged encounter with the past.

“The exterior walls of Pratt’s home may be covered in white shiplap, but the inside is rife with the traces of a historic world preserved for all to experience.

“Standing in Pratt’s living room, meeting the gaze of [Pratt] family members’ portraits, I am transported to the time in which he lived, and simultaneously brought forth into the present through Siegel’s work.

“Collapsing time and creating a world unto itself, “Whose Folk” negotiates the house’s historic and contemporary presences,” Horrock writes.

Providing context on the various pieces, Horrock writes, “the assortment of seemingly banal objects Siegel has selected feel endowed with the profound presence of their collector and those who used them across time.

“When I encounter the objects in the Museum’s collection, I detect centuries of use both past and present.

“I sense lives the objects have touched and endured. Although the house may have belonged Pratt, through it I connect to larger narratives of local and national histories.

“Siegel’s work seems to coax these narratives out - and acknowledge a lineage of collective use that continues into the present,” Horrock writes.

Regular museum hours are noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, with a panel discussion scheduled for Saturday, July 20, at 4 p.m., between Siegel, Bennett, Bluestone and arts educator Sarah Workneh.


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