Obituary for a Newspaper: History as it Happened

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED

A program presented by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown on August 12, 2017, and posted on its website March 27, 2020 in tribute to the Catskill Mountain News which ceased publication January 15, 2020.

Clarke Sanford typing out the News

Clarke Sanford typing out the News

Introduction

A weekly newspaper has been published almost continuously in Margaretville since Dr. Orson Allaben started the Utilitarian back in 1863. James Knox Polk, or J. K. P., Jackson bought the paper and became its publisher and editor in 1879. The Utilitarian was either replaced by or renamed the Margaretville Messenger in 1894. In 1902, its publisher William Hamilton Eells changed its name to the Catskill Mountain News. When Mr. Eells died of pneumonia less than two years later, the obituary on page one of his newspaper said “He was born a newspaperman. He possessed a style peculiarly his own, and in the reminiscent and narrative he had no equal in the country press.”
His successor, Clarke Alaire Sanford, was indeed Mr. Eells’ equal, as you shall soon hear.
On May 6, 1904, C. A. Sanford, at 26 years old, became the Editor and Publisher of the Catskill Mtn. News. His name would appear on the paper’s Masthead each week for the next 60 years. At C. A.’s death in 1964, the baton passed to his son Roswell, who in his time passed it to his son, Richard. This year, Dick retired, and for the first time in 113 years, a Sanford is not the publisher of the News.
Joan Lawrence Bauer is the new publisher and editor. The community wishes her a long, fulfilling and profitable tenure at the helm as she guides the News through its next phase. For this is no ordinary business. It is quite simply the history of our town etched in ink and delivered weekly.
The News has connected neighbor to neighbor, reflected technological change, and linked local readers to momentous world events for something close to 6,000 issues so far. This program is our tribute to the enduring Catskill Mountain News and to the family that brought us History as it Happened.
Sharing excerpts from the News from 1902 through 1973 are today’s readers, Roy Moses, Gene Rosa, Sydney Asher, and Sally Fairbairn, who will channel her mother, columnist Emmeline Scudder. Steve McQuide will serve as narrator, and will also give voice to his grandfather, C. A. Sanford, and to his uncle Ros.

Excerpts taken from Catskill Mountain News, 1902-1973

NARRATOR
July 3, 1902
Gentle Reader, this is the first number of the Catskill Mountain News. How do you like it? Of course it is not as good as we hope to make it. If you think any of your absent friends would like to see it, hand us their names and addresses and we will send them sample copies for a few weeks. . . . In assuming the management of the Margaretville Messenger and changing its name to the Catskill Mountain News, I am not disposed to make a lot of high sounding promises. My purpose will be to make a paper that will be acceptable to the people of this and adjoining towns. . . and to furnish each week the news of this section of the Catskill Mountains as well to fully represent Eastern Delaware. The News will make the interests of Margaretville and Middletown its especial charge. The political policy of the paper will be uncompromisingly Republican. W. H. Eells, Editor and Publisher. Terms: One Dollar per Year, payable in advance.

SYDNEY
Sept. 11, 1902
The Stone School House Sunday school will hold its annual picnic on Saturday, Sept. 20 in Knickerbockers Grove. A general invitation is extended to all. Martial music will be in attendance and there will be swings, a tug of war, and a ball game between the Canada Hollow and Stone School House Nines, for amusement. Ice cream and lemonade or hot coffee to suit the taste and the weather. All will be free, No collection. It is only asked that participants will help to make dinner with their baskets.
GENE
Dec. 18, 1902
While coming into town on Saturday evening with a load of oats, William L. Thomson and Chan Squires met with a mishap that was but poorly relished by the latter. When opposite W. O. Kelly’s they turned out to allow a team to pass and their load turned over, and as a result Chan went gracefully down the bank and into the drink up to his ears. A day or two previously he and C. J. Dickson went up on Huckleberry Hill to get a load of wood. On the way back, at a point below the fish hatchery and without any apparent reason, the whole outfit, minus the horses, went 20 feet down a bank and while Chan landed in the brook, as usual, a cord and a half of green wood landed on top of Mr. Dickson. When Chan rose to the surface he spouted like a whale and asked Mr. Dickson if he was hurt. A voice from under the woodpile said he could tell better when he got out. With the assistance of Owen Palmatier and his boy they got the load on again and rode triumphantly into the village. On the trip next day they broke a sled runner, so Mr. Dickson told Chan that he guesses he was a hoo-doo and would have to stay at home. It would seem that the incident of Saturday was rather in support of Mr. Dickson’s conclusion.
ROY
Aug. 7, 1903: A. H. Todd, the Griffin Corners genius, is preparing to astonish the natives at the Margaretville fair this year. He will exhibit an Orient motor buckboard, the lowest priced automobile in the world. Built like a buckboard wagon, it weighs 350 pounds and will go 150 miles with one supply of gasoline. It will carry two people and has demonstrated that it can climb a hill with the larger and more expensive machines. Its price is but $375 and will annihilate space at the rate of 30 miles per hour.
NARRATOR
May 6, 1904
We copy the following from the Deposit Journal: A dispatch from Oneonta, dated April 28, says, “Clark Sanford, who recently bought the Catskill Mtn News, a weekly published in Margaretville, left Oneonta yesterday to take possession of the plant. Mr. Sanford is a native of that town and has an extensive acquaintance in that section. Mr. Sanford is a former Deposit boy and a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Sanford for several years residents of this place. Clarke is a graduate of the Deposit High School and a fellow who possesses every qualification for an ideal country editor. He has a nose for news as sharp as his pen is keen and is one of those young men who is bound to succeed in whatever he undertakes.”
With this issue we assume the responsibilities of the News. There will be no radical change in the policy of the paper, It will stand unswervingly for what we believe to be the best interests of Margaretville and vicinity. It will tell the news as we see it, with our best endeavors not to be biased. It will promote and aid in every way in its power any project that looks toward local advancement. Clarke A. Sanford, Editor and Publisher. Circulation: July 3, 1902, 399; This week: 1,100.
When I came to Margaretville in the spring of 1904, there were two positions open for young people in country villages. One was teaching school, the other farm work. The latter paid $15 per month, plus board. I was paid $4 per week for the last term of school I taught (before taking over the News). I borrowed $400 to buy the paper, and had about $7 to my name afterward. The News emloyed four women to set type by hand. Their wages were $4 per week, each.
Taxes were low. Wire service was by telegraph, transportation by horse, buggy and railroads. Entertainment was dancing, home talent plays, musicals and lectures. A boy took his best girl for a buggy ride Sunday afternoons.
ROY
August 13, 1904
The Margaretville Cornet Band have engaged the Metropolitan Specialty Company of New York to give an entertainment under their auspices in Olympic hall May 13 and 14. The troop shows the finest collection of moving pictures produced by Thomas A. Edison, including the complete play of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Another sensation is “The Life of a New York Fireman.”
GENE
March 9, 1906
To the people of Margaretville:
As there seems to be a vague idea in the minds of many of our citizens concerning the need of a new school building, I will attempt to state a few facts and figures to prove both the need of and the financial benefit to be derived from a good high school building. In the academic department we have 48 pupils who have to study in a room 47x25x10 where there is absolutely no provision for ventilation. Perhaps you don’t mind if your child breathes the foul air cast out of the lungs of the other 47, but some parents do care. In the laboratory at one time of the day there are 28 pupils and seats for only 18. You say the district cannot afford the great expense. High schools which have the necessary room, equipment and teaching force to carry on four year courses receive from the state $20 per year for each non-resident pupil. There are 25 of them who board here and allowing $2.50 per week for board and expense, there is a total of $2500 put in circulation here during the year. To the east there is no high school nearer than Kingston. Down the river, there is none until Hancock. Next year, Stamford and Delhi will be our nearest competitors. The citizens of Margaretville need a new school building! R. L. Countryman, Principal
ROY
Nov. 22, 1907
Not one of the 200 people who attended the opening exercises in the new high school building Tuesday evening had an idea that the building was the imposing structure that greeted them. The rooms were all lighted and the great area of shining windows made a pleasant sight. Inside the big ventilating fan, the sanitary drinking cups and all the other appliances were in operation From the Board of Education, A. C. Fenton told of the cost of construction, which was $13,402.58.
SALLY
March 29, 1907
There was a lively hearing before Justice Austin Tuesday evening in the case of the people against Fred Barber for stealing a large dominick rooster of William Delameter. Delameter had witnesses who swore they’d seen Barber take the rooster early Saturday evening. Barber swore the fowl he killed was a sitting hen his mother had given him. There were loopholes, however, in his testimony, and Justice Austin fined him $15 which he paid.
Nov. 3, 1907
The most notable event that has occurred in the building of the Delaware & Eastern Railroad took place last Saturday morning when the engine and first train of cars passed over the big iron bridge at Arkville at 9:20 am. And proceeded toward Margaretville as far as the rails are down. The train was loaded with officials of the road and citizens of Margaretville and Arkville. Train 1 for Margaretville passed the covered bridge at about 10 oclock this Friday morning, The first car to reach the corporate limits was pushed by a gang of Italians yesterday. The two sections of track have been joined and a railroad man said yesterday that by Monday night the engine would have gone as far as Whortleberry Brook. 13,000 ties recently purchased have begun to arrive, and the laying of the track will now progress at the rate of 3 miles a week. This ought to bring the engine to Arena by the middle of this month.
GENE
Nov. 11, 1910 “Estate of John D. Rotermund bequeathed to wife.”
The will is in some respects a curious one. In case the wife, Elizabeth Rotermund, is not living at the date of testate, he directs that both his wearing apparel and hers shall be burned, and that his horse, Grover, is to be shot by a competent veterinary.
SYDNEY
Sept. 9, 1910
Three youths were fined $4 each before Justice of the Peace LeRoy Scott on Monday for the theft of “Peter,” the bull pup of George Robinson. The pup is especially valuable because he can smoke a pipe and drink beer . . .
Dec. 2, 1910
Andes has skunk thieves. Some person or persons is taking skunks out of several traps belonging to boys. The tracks show it is two men. Certainly it is low business, to say the least.
SALLY
Jan. 20, 1911
There will be a game of hockey, ice and weather permitting, between Margaretville and Roxbury on the binnekill this afternoon at 2:30. This is the first matched game of hockey ever played in the village and there will probably be a good crowd on the banks to watch the sport.
February 24, 1911
Have you heard about Cleano, the only cigar in the United States where every employee through whose hands it passes must furnish a doctor’s certificate that he is free from all infectious diseases. Smoke “Cleano” the 5 Cent Wonder. Sold by H. D. Gregory, Arena, NY
Nov. 3, 1911
C. A. Sanford and G. M. Parker have entered into co-partnership for the sale of EMF and Flanders Automobiles in Delaware County. They received a carload of cars Wednesday and have the same on exhibit here.
NARRATOR:
I’ll admit: The automobile craze hit me hard. I dreamed, talked, thought automobile. I read in the New York Herald of a Pope-Toledo car for sale in New York for $300. I gathered that amount of cash in 1907 and bought the car. The man who sold it to me told me it would not run faster than 12 miles per hour. This was more than double horse time. I bought the car, had it sent to Kingston by boat, then driven here. The car ran as I expected with one exception. Every time I drove it, the chain ran off the sprockets. It was a get out and get under task to put it back on.
But I could see cars were the future and got into the automobile business early. Having a newspaper to advertise in, and on the front page, didn’t hurt.
Sept. 19, 1913: Local Automobile notes. Sanford and Jenkins here have taken the agency for the Buick car for this section of the county in addition to Ford, Studebaker and Overland. Buicks range in price from $950 to $2,000. All models are equipped with electric lights and electric self starter.
GENE
March 18, 1912
The village of Arena narrowly escaped total destruction by fire Monday evening when the store of Harry Gregory and the dwelling house of Mrs. Minnie Brown were burned to the ground and the remainder of the village saved only by the heroic efforts of the fire department. The loss is estimated at $14,000, of which total insurance comes to about $7,000. Nearly a dozen other buildings caught fire. The fire originated in one of the gasoline lighting machines that generate gas for lamps. A cat yowling in the store after the fire started lent credence to the story that one of Gregory’s children was in the flames and there was considerable excitement until the youngster was found.
SALLY
Sept. 6, 1912
The fair held at Margaretville last week by the local Agricultural Society was the most successful one in many years. Thousands of people from surrounding villages were present Thursday and Friday and witnessed the flight of the Curtiss biplane which was the greatest sight ever seen in the Delaware Valley. Timothy Loughman of Dunraven had 125 varieties of potatoes. He won many first prizes. E. E. Risley of Walton had 2 and a half carloads of poultry, a herd of cattle, 35 sheep and 15 hogs. His 1200 rabbits were at home this week.
NARRATOR:
In May of 1913 I married Bertha Moss. A modest article went on page 1 of the News, of course. Family milestones were duly recorded in my newspaper over the coming years. I wrote obituaries for my parents, Jones and Carrie Sanford, in 1928 and 1929; birth announcements for our children, Roswell, Eleanor, Barbara and Nancy. And I wrote of the passing of my dear Bertha in 1951, one of the hardest assignments I ever had. But life goes on, and so does the news. . .
SALLY
July 18, 1913
Mrs. E. F. Keeney, Mrs. F. H. McGahie, Mrs. Jack Goodwin and Mrs. C. A. Sanford were in Roxbury Monday attending the suffrage speech there. . . . August 13: A goodly number of Margaretville women assembled at the home of Mrs. E. F. Keeney July 17 when a Margaretville Equal Suffrage Club was formed. Officers were elected as follows: President Mrs. E. F. Keeney, Vice President Mrs. Clarke A. Sanford, secretary and treasurer Mrs Ralph Mungle, auditor Miss Jennie Searles.
June 5, 1914
52 names in favor of equal suffrage were signed at the suffrage meeting in the Opera House last Wednesday evening.
Nov. 5, 1915 Women, License and Democrats lose election
Tuesday was a Republican sweep, a dry victory and a suffrage calamity. The women carried only 7 election districts and but one town, Sidney. All of the 7 towns voting on the excise question went no license – Delaware County is absolutely dry. A novelty at the polls this year was the woman watcher. Mrs. E. F. Keeney and Mrs. C. H. Fuller acted in that capacity at the local polling place.
NARRATOR
The women, eventually, prevailed, which pleased my wife! Village politics, on the other hand, was generally dull, but sometimes proved entertaining.
GENE
March 19, 1915
Not in many years has there been so much excitement as there was in Pine Hill Tuesday. This is the first year that there has been opposition for the honor of being a village father. Ever since the village was incorporated there has been only one ticket nominated. This year there were no nominations made, thus making it necessary for the voters to write the names on the blank ticket. That there has been no street lights since last fall seemed to be the main issue. Last November there was a fire and the firemen had to light matches to get the hose cart from the fire house, a place where a light is supposed to be the year around. The polls closed at 3 p.m. and George E. Rose was elected president by five majority.
SYDNEY
Jan. 30, 1914
C. B. Sherwood, mail carrier on the route from Vega to Kelly Corners, says the number of parcel post packages to be delivered is gradually becoming greater and at the present rate of increase he will need two horses and an express wagon before the close of the year. It seems the people are just awakening to the benefits of the system and also to the exhorbitant charges of the express companies. The Post Office Department showed a surplus the first of January of over $3 millions of dollars in part due to the profits of the parcel post system.
NARRATOR
The WORLD WAR was a calamity we could hardly imagine. And eventually, we sent our own young men to the trenches in Europe.
From The Mailbag, April 19, 1918, came the following letter from the parents of a local soldier:
Dear Father and Mother, We have been at the front for five days and had some excitement the first night. The Boche sent over gas at about 11 oclock. We were all in bed when the alarm sounded and we scrambled for our gas masks. They make us perfectly safe when we get them on. We were also under heavy shell fire. We have dug trenches and put up barbed wire entanglements so you see we have had some real war. I think the war will be over before the summer ends, but you can’t always tell. I would just as soon it would last quite a while yet as I would like a little excitement. Mother, I will try to write to you as often as once a week, but you know there will be times when I cannot get a good place to eat and sleep to say nothing of writing. You folks might send me a box if you like. If you do, please put in a cheap fountain pen. I guess I will say goodbye. Floyd Graham, “Somewhere in France”
SYDNEY
May 31, 1918
At the Women’s Christian Temperance meeting it was decided to purchase more yarn and keep busy knitting socks for the soldiers. What we lack is means to buy material. We have many willing workers. Dry Brook correspondent.
June 28, 1918:
Until further notice, Sunday, Tuesday and Friday will be beefless – beef not to be served by hotels or restaurants in any form. Also, use no crackers, pastry, macaroni, breakfast or other cereal food containing wheat and use no wheat flour, except in thickening and binding.
SALLY
August 9, 1918
From our Roxbury correspondent: The community was shocked and grieved to learn on Monday that Earl Dudley, who enlisted in the US Marines in the spring of 1917, had been killed in action in France, with victory in sight, on June 26.
NARRATOR
August 23, 1918
Publishers of weekly newspapers must arrange for a reduction of 15 percent in their circulation beginning Sept. 15 in order to meet requirements of the pulp and paper section of the war industries board.
Sept. 11, 1918
Advertisement: “The Kaiser: The Beast of Berlin,” an astounding expose of his methods. A play that no red blooded American should miss. Opera House, Margaretville, Wed. Sept. 18, Two shows, 7 and 9. Admission 30 cents.
ROY
Dec. 20, 1918
Frank Long was discharged from the army at Garden City Monday and started at once for Margaretville. He is the first overseas man to arrive home. He has been in England for several months, in charge of machine guns used on airplanes. L. B Halpern arrived in Margaretville Thursday. Claude Kaufman arrived home Monday evening. With one exception all the boys in France have been heard from. Middletown has a good chance of no more casualties.
NARRATOR
In a bewildering world that sometimes seemed upside down, News readers found comfort in the historical sketches written during the 1920s by Lincoln Long, a minister, a state assemblyman and a beloved local resident who took it upon himself to visit, interview and record the reminiscences and family stories of his New Kingston neighbors.
ROY
THE INGLES OF NEW KINGSTON
NARRATOR
Meanwhile, C. A. was actively pursuing other business interests. With movies at the opera house drawing good sized audiences, he decided to build a modern theater on Main Street.
August 11, 1922: New Theatre to be named after great singer
Margaretville’s new playhouse, which has been under construction for some months, will be dedicated Friday evening, August 25. It has been named the Galli-Curci Theatre in honor of the great diva who is building a beautiful mountain home near here. Amelita Galli-Curci will be among those present at the opening. Estelle Leibling, a prima donna who has made Margaretville her summer home for many years, will appear on the program. The new theatre is safe, fireproof and comfortable. The seating capacity is about 600. The seats rest on a slanting floor that will give everybody opportunity to see the stage and screen. The projection of the pictures is accomplished by two motor driven simplex machines that give a steady, flickerless picture. The stage is of ample size to carry a large road show and it is probable that we will have several shows during the season. The floor of the stage is the best kind of hard maple, 50×30 feet, which will give plenty of room for dancing.
GENE
October 25, 1929: Billions lost in Stock Market on Wednesday
Many local investors in the stock market are mourning the loss today of a handsome margin of paper profits, swept away in a few minutes in the stock market Wednesday. A new and wholly unexpected avalanche of selling swept over the market, carrying scores of stocks down from $10 to $96 a share, and wiping out more than $3 billion in paper values in the brief interval of about an hour.
Sept. 12, 1930
The business depression has reached the local creamery. They have shut down the dried milk department and are trucking the skim milk to the Roxbury plant. Robert Russell is transferred to Roxbury and three of the men are now on part time. New Kingston correspondent.
SYDNEY
April 13, 1934: Fleischmanns Fire Destroys Six Buildings
The neighboring village of Fleischmanns suffered a $100,000 fire early Wednesday morning when six buildings in the center of the business section on Main Street were burned to the ground and three families narrowly missed being caught in the flames. The wind blew a gale and a dozen buildings in the village were on fire at one time or another but without serious damage. The structures destroyed are Halpern Brothers department stores, two buildings; N. Franklin bowling alley, and Franklin residence and shop; Moe’s restaurant, a building owned by Halperns and rented to Moe Weintraub; the Vermilya building, known for years as Vermilya’s jewelry store and now occupied by Charles Muller; and the J. Brill home. Mr. and Mrs Ralph Reed and daughter escaped in their nightclothes and saved nothing, not even shoes for their feet. Mr. and Mrs. Morris Halpern and daughter and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pultz and daughter lived over the Halpern stores. They all got out safely, but saved nothing. It is doubtful if the buildings will be replaced. None of the owners had any thought of rebuilding yesterday, and one said that the area would be an excellent place for a gasoline station.
SALLY
July 19, 1935
Supplies for the erection of the Civilian Conservation Corps camp on the Roy Leonard farm, a mile below the village, are beginning to arrive and work on the camp, which will bring about 250 men to this community will soon begin. One of the first projects of the program will be to cut a ski trail from Margaretville to the Dry Brook peaks. This trail will be about 16 feet wide and will afford an excellent opportunity for the sport, which will attract many winter visitors.
Jan. 10, 1936
More than 200 seek 30 WPA jobs. Claire Whittaker of the National Unemployment Bureau of Delhi was in town Tuesday to sign up all who were eligible for employment on the local WPA project. The number of applicants was so large and the number of jobs so small there are sure to be disappointments. Disappointed ones take it as a personal grievance and complain that those get jobs that have pull. But just how 25 or 30 jobs can be distributed among 200 men is a problem. Fleischmanns Correspondent.

GENE
Feb. 11, 1938
Three men caught in falling bridge.
John Roberts, son John and Fred Bell were thrown into the ice cold waters of the creek Monday when the old Arkville covered bridge collapsed as they were tearing it down. The elder Roberts was caught across his back by a big timber and pinned underneath the waters. The other two men who were thrown in with him released the timber from his back and he was brought to the Margaretville hospital. It was found his injuries were not serious. The other two had some scratches and bruises and a polar bear bath. The Hampton Construction Co. was taking down the bridge to use the excellent hundred year old heavy lumber which it contains.
SYDNEY
March 27, 1936
There was a haze over the Catskills all day Wednesday caused by the dust storm from western states. It first looked like a distant rain, some thought it smoke. But it seems to be fine particles of dust from the western farms. Maple sugar producers were worried. Some claimed that it interfered with the product and made it gritty.
ROY
Oct. 14, 1938: Great building activity hits this village
Never in the history of Margaretville has there been the building activity now being entered into. The half million dollar central school nearly equals the entire assessment valuation of the village. There is also a new garage under construction on the old Pocantico Inn lot, and new sidewalks throughout the village, being built under the direction of Claude Caswell. Vicinity villages are also going along on the school proposition. Andes has a handsome structure finished some months ago and occupied. Roxbury is about ready to let the contract for a new school structure. Delhi will build at a cost of about $750,000. Downsville is also to have a new school building soon. Fleischmanns completed an excellent building not long ago.
Dec. 16, 1938
Approval of the new Town of Middletown WPA project to improve 1.2 miles of the Thomson Hollow Road at an estimated cost of $10,661 was received Monday by James Conley, field director of the Works Progress Administration. 23 men taken from the local relief rolls will start work on the project today. They will be employed for four months.
NARRATOR
While New Deal programs built schools, improved infrastructure and provided jobs to local men, area farms just kept keeping on, many of them counting on cauliflower to see them through.
May 29, 1931 Classified ads:
For Sale: For Sale, Twenty Thousand cauliflower plants, read to set. Wilbur Bouton, Margaretville. For Sale: Cauliflower plants ready for delivery now. John Haynes, Dry Brook, Arkville. For Sale – Cauliflower plants, ready to set, $2.50 per 1,000, also potatoes for 30 cents per bushel. W. H. Fairbairn, Seager.
SALLY
July 6, 1934
110 in the shade at Halcottville
Most of the ladies of this vicinity have been very busily engaged during the past several days in picking strawberries. The crop was reported very plentiful considering the long dry spell and many quarts were picked and canned. Last Thursday the thermometer on the post office here registered a new mark of 110 degrees. We have never seen it any higher. Reminds us that February 10 the same temperature device showed a new low of 36 degrees below, but why bring that up? Several of the local farmers, including Chester Mead and Kelly Brothers, have commenced the harvest of the hay crop. Cauliflower is growing very rapidly, corn is looking fine.
Sept. 20, 1935
The cauliflower crop that failed in August made good in September and that part of Delaware County which has altitude enough to bring cool nights is harvesting a bumper crop at good prices. The market this week for prime quality has been from $2 to $2.20 a crate. One Dry Brook firm shipped 260 crates one day last week. An interested grower told the New this week there were 56 cauliflower buyers and solicitors in town one day last week.
Sept. 11, 1936
Monday afternoon saw the greatest shipments of cauliflower ever to leave Delaware County. Every truck in a wide radius was hired. There had been no Sunday or Monday morning market and the 3-day flood of the vegetable was enormous. Prices were low, many scarcely realized enough to pay cartage, crate and commission.
NARRATOR
The 1930s also saw the introduction of a new feature in the Catskill Mountain News, which gave C. A. Sanford a chance to editorialize without preaching, and to be colorful and creative and talk about anything that struck his fancy.
The Spotlight, Nov. 23, 1934
A few weeks ago, someone mistakenly, we hope, shot a cow. While the animal could not be any deader, it would seem to be a more respectable demise if it was unintentionally done by the executioner. It is hardly possible that the cow’s horn and benign forehead could have been mistaken for that of a buck’s. Mayhap some nimrod, suffering from acute astigmatism, aimed at a deer and killed the milker. However, this sounds rather fishy as the most edible parts of the critter were missing.
Yours confidentially, The Philosopher
Mountain Dew, March 8, 1935
I have a letter in which the writer takes us to task for our signature. He says, ‘philosopher is high hat.’ We took the matter up with Mr. Webster and he says, ‘Philosopher – one who meets all vicissitudes with calmness.’ Our correspondent is right. So we change to a signature we know will fit. The Mountaineer
Nov. 18, 1938:
Dr. G. B. Mauer Killed Saturday while Hunting. Well Known physician dies instantly from shotgun wound. Community in gloom.
Dr. Gordon B. Mauer, beloved physician of this village, was instantly killed early last Saturday morning when his shotgun was accidentally discharged as he fell while hunting partridges on the Risely lot in the neighborhood of Hall’s Bridge.
Mountain Dew – Maurer tribute
GENE
Dec. 12, 1941:
Fire chiefs gather here, make plans for emergency. Every community will have protection at all times
All residents asked to assist in signing cards: All Persons will be classified as to ability in an emergency
Catskills could take evacuees in empty hotels: Former High school building in this village would care for many.
An order was sent out Tuesday from Mitchel Field ordering all air observation posts in the county to be manned 24 hours a day. This setup, a project of the American Legion, was set up months ago. Observation posts in this section are as follows: near the home of Mrs. Kathryn Dickson, Arena, Mrs. Dickson is chief observer; a high point in Halcott Center, not far from the home of Darwin Faulkner who is chief observer; a point on Hubbell Hill in charge of John Hubbell, chief observer; and a high point near the home of Albert Rosa in Dry Brook.
NARRATOR
Mountain Dew, Jan. 2, 1942
Most Americans did not believe there would be a war. Now, I suppose, those same doubt if it will affect them. It is some stranger in some far-away place who will be hurt.
Here are some pictures in my mind. With no tires, will this community go back to horse and buggy, grass grow in the streets and tradespeople do business as 40 years ago? Or will folks trade at home, and build up the community to something it does not now know? Will there be an influx of refugees from the sea coast that will make business hum?
Will New York’s plan to hurry the great dam on the Delaware bring prosperity and industry to the valley which is being bled by a rush of her boys to the front?
Will food and other rationing follow the tire rationing? How much will we be locally disturbed by the swing of the great armies and navies?
None knows the answer. Mt. Pakatakan stands out these starry winter nights and seems to lift a protecting arm as in benediction over the community. The mountain, here a million years before the birth of Christ, here through all the troubles of other wars, here in prosperity and hard times, in shortage and plenty.
And here it will remain to protect us in the great modern conflict and to inspire us in the uncertain days that are to follow.
SYDNEY
Jan. 16, 1942. The White and Orange, Fleischmanns High School. Editorial by Dorothy Schneider
The United States has been at war for seven weeks. The American people now have two different pasttimes to keep them busy. Instead of going to see our baseball and football players in their respective uniforms, instead we now go to see them in their country’s uniforms; but instead of going to see them in action, we stay home and carry on activities that will keep them in action, such as buying defense stamps and bonds, knitting, sewing and donating funds to the Red Cross. That is why this war is going to look like a baseball game. It will be America, England, Russia and the other Allies out in the field, and Germany, Japan and Italy up at bat. Then, with Roosevelt pitching, Churchill catching and Stalin umping, it will be three up and three down for the Axis.
SALLY
March 6, 1942
William Todd, only son of Mr and Mrs. Ney Todd of Dry Brook, was killed in action with General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines Dec. 8, the date of the treacherous surprise attack on the Philippines by the Japs. He was born December 24, 1922 and thus had not reached his 19th birthday when he gave up his life for his country. He is the first in the county to be killed in action in the present war.
ROY
Rules of rationing
Red Stamp Rationing – Red coupons in War Ration Book 2, covering meats, butter, fats, canned milk and cheese, are valid as follows: R July 11 to 31; S July 18 to 31; P and Q remain valid throughout July
GENE: Blue Stamp Rationing – N, P and Q blue stamps in War Ration Book 2, covering processed foods and dried beans, Etc., valid through Aug. 7.
SYDNEY: Shoes: No. 18 coupon in War Ration Book 1, good for one pair, must last through Oct. 31. Families may pool coupons of a household.
SALLY: Coffee – Liberalized one pound every three weeks basis, Coupon No. 21 will be good through July 21, Coupon No. 22 from July 22 to Aug. 11
ROY: Sugar – Coupon No. 13 in War Ration Book 1, good for 5 pounds of sugar, through Aug. 15. Five pounds for season’s home canning is available at stores on Coupons 15 and 16. If this is insufficient, an additional maximum of 15 pounds a person may be obtained on application to local rationing board.
GENE: Gasoline – A Coupons are worth 3 gallons each, B and C Coupons 5 gallons. The A coupons numbered 5 must last through July 21. B and C bear own expiration dates. May save A coupons for one vacation after July 15.
ROY: Fuel oil – application blanks for 1943-44 are being mailed to consumers. Users are urged to fill tanks during summer.
NARRATOR
Bertha and I were proud and terrified when our son Roswell enlisted in the Army in November of 1942. He and Betty Dickson of Arena had been married just over a year when he went into the service. She and their baby, named Roswell Randall, lived with her parents for the duration. Like many of our neighbors, and readers of the News, we waited, and prayed for his safe return.
SALLY
June 9, 1944 Invasion Day, Tuesday, was without excitement in the Catskills. Many of the mountain churches were open for prayer all day and many residents repaired to the churches for that purpose. Flags were displayed throughout the region. The invasion of Hitler in Europe was a general topic of discussion but none was found but that had complete faith in the ultimate success of the Allied arms.
June 9, 1944 Lt. Percy Mead awarded Purple Heart; Official dispatch tells how he was wounded over Berlin; Shell in compartment; Stayed at controls though wounded, brought ship back to England
July 28, 1944 Everett Paine killed second day of invasion, Margaretville paratrooper meets death in France June 7 . . . Dry Brook man, PFC Charles Ingram is missing in action in Italy. . . . Mr. and Mrs. Omar Griffin have received word from their son, Lt. Donald Griffin, who is a prisoner in Germany, that he is getting along well, and is in good health and well treated.
SYDNEY
August 17, 1945: Mountain crowds celebrate V-J Day all night
There was wild rejoicing in all the mountain communities Tuesday evening as the Japanese admitted defeat at 7 o’clock. Margaretville, Arkville and Fleischmanns fire departments combined into a parade and were followed by a large number of cars and trucks filled with hysterical, yelling, crying, laughing folks. Sidewalks in all the villages were filled during the evening. Fire crackers, denied last July 4, were brought out. Shotguns, pistols, rifles made as much noise as meager ammunition would permit. Crowds everywhere held up two fingers in the famous Churchill victory sign. There were streamers, confetti, great masses of tin cans and other junk dragged behind cars. Car batteries must have been depleted by the continual blowing, which lasted a great part of the night. So far as the News can learn there was no serious accident or damage. Whisky was freely offered on the street as friend met friend and toasted the great event.
NARRATOR
December 28, 1945. Mr. and Mrs. Roswell Sanford and son Randy of Arena, Mr and Mrs. C. V. McQuide and son Stephen of Manchester, CT, Miss nancy Sanford of NYC and William Harry of Summit, NJ formed a merry Christmas party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Sanford in this village.
A very happy Christmas, indeed.
We breathed a little easier, and found that humor was often just what the doctor ordered for trying times:
SALLY: The farmer wants but little here below – and gets it.
GENE: Bragging may not bring happiness, but will a trout fisherman with a 3-pounder sneak up an alley on April 1?
ROY: If every husband wore brassieres, lipstick and sat four hours in a permanent wave chair, he would know what hard work it is to spend all that money.
NARRATOR
Mountain Dew, Sept. 22, 1944
In a 25-mile ride home near midnight on a recent evening I counted 17 cats in the highway. Tom cats, she cats, black cats, white cats, tabby cats, maltese cats, little cats, big cats, sleek cats, frump cats, all manner of cats were in the road and all on the move. The cats run in the fields for game. Will someone tell me why they so congregate in the roads? I would like to drive along a road some night following a sunshiny day where there had been no traffic for a few hours and count the cats. In addition to the cats an occasional fox crosses the road in front of the lights. I have been told they love a cat supper. What weird and unknown mystery of the night takes place on the highways of the nation once the sun has dropped into his golden bed, decent folks and good hound dogs have gone to sleep?
Yours Truly, The Mountaineer.
And on June 10, 1949 there was this:
Cub reporter joins News
Alton Weiss, a senior at the Syracuse School of Journalism, has joined the News for the summer to learn something of the practical side of a weekly newspaper. The News asks for him the kindly consideration of its friends when he comes inquiring.
Al returned as a full time reporter and photographer in the fall of 1951, and stayed for more than 30 years, serving as editor from 1970 until the mid-80s.
GENE
Jan. 27, 1950: Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Dedicated by Lt. Governor Hanley Saturday
The dedication and official opening of the Belleayre Mountain Ski slope Saturday afternoon was the greatest day the Catskills have known since the Ulster & Delaware Railroad ran its first train to Pine Hill nearly a century ago. There was no official count of the crowd which was estimated at 2,000 people. They came in nearly 500 automobiles which crowded the parking space to its limits. The program at the reviewing stand had been opened by a color guard composed of Willis Marks, Richard Whitney, Robert Hill and John Pecoroni of the local American Legion.
Lt. Gov. Joe Hanley made the official opening address Saturday and touched a button which set in motion the $150,000 chair lift, the only one in the state. Mr. Hanley was the first to move up the 2,950 foot lift. Following the officials, 670 folks took advantage of the chair lift which operated until dark. Nearly 150 people went to the ski center Sunday and paid 75 cents each to ride up and back on the chair lift.
SYDNEY
June 30, 1950
Commencement at Andes Central School Tuesday evening was a big and well attended affair. Prizes awarded totaled $150, the largest distribution among this region’s schools.
SALLY
Dec. 1, 1950 Record Flood Greatly Damages Mountain area
Margaretville, Arkville and Dry Brook were hardest hit by a sudden flood in the East Branch of the Delaware Saturday evening between 6 and 10 o’clock. The flood was the quickets and highest in the known history of the village. The top of the water was 56 inches above the floor in the Jenkins garage on Bridge Street. Main Street became a river. Two boats paddled up and down with ease. Bridges and houses which had stood for a century or more were picked up and carried away. Did New York City rainmakers cause the great flood?
NARRATOR: New York City and its quest for water consumed the region, and of course the News, for many years.
Jan. 13, 1950: Gottfried out as attorney for NY: Comes Here
The matter of the condemnation of lands in this valley, which has moved slowly for 3 years, received a shot in the arm Monday at a meeting of the Delaware Valley Chamber of Commerce at the Arena schoolhouse. Ralph Sanford, president, was in charge of the meeting. He had invited all attorneys of the valley to come and speak to the assembled property owners. The school house was jammed with 175 folks and there was a long line of automobiles on both sides of the street.
The first speaker was Attorney Herman Gottfried, counsel in charge of the Water Supply divi¬sion of New York city. He sur¬prised the audience by announcing his resignation from the position named. He stated that he would quit on March 31 and come to the valley and represent any property owners who cared to seek his services. Mr. Gottfried has had full charge of the condemnation and purchase of land in this valley for New York city. It came with a distinct jolt to his hearers to learn that he is leaving the employ of New York on March 31 and will move to Margaretville with his family and open an office in this village at that time for private practice. He said he had gone as far as he could with New York and hopes to improve his position by a practice here.

ROY
July 16, 1954
A large crowd attended the auction Saturday at Gus Goerke’s barber shop, a business which has been operated in that community for nearly half a century. Auctioneer George Tupper reported that bidding was spirited and bids were high for many items of antique bric-a-brac which graced the shop over a period of years. Louis Lane also closed the door of his general store for the last time. A merchant in Arena since 1941, Mr. Lane has been in his present location for seven years. Businessmen and residents of Arena have been told to vacate their properties by the end of August. Arena is the last of four communities to be doomed by the Pepacton reservoir.

NARRATOR
Mountain Dew, Aug.21, 1953
The area of the Pepacton reservoir is a mecca for those who like to attend auctions. “How much am I bid?” is a clarion cry every week as households are offered for sale. Many of the items have been in the same family for generations. Others are modern appliances not needed in the new homes to which the folks are moving.
It seems to be a habit in the valley not to move until New York comes along with a notice. Then it is hurry, call an auctioneer, advertise an auction, look for a new home in another section where waters will not flood and one may remain so long as he can secure a livelihood.
Auction day arrives, a crowd gathers, the auctioneer begins his song. There is a heartache for the owner every time comes the cry, “Sold!”
Buildings from Pepacton down to the dam are being torn down, the trees uprooted, farmers and villagers gone, the top soil grubbed in a contract costing more than the land.
The auctioneer is singing in the middle and upper valley. Soon, will come evacuation notices, soon the houses will be torn down, the trees cut and burned in great piles, the soil grubbed. Then the valley will await the waters creeping up the river day by day as the diversion tunnel is plugged and the Delaware fills the valley it carefully eroded in the last million years or more.
“What am I offered?” Followed by “going going gone” are valley watchwords. Fiddleback chairs, cows, farm machinery, beds and mattresses, cupboards, dishes, antiques. It is a long list the auctioneer shouts to a milling crowd. There are bargains, there are high bids. But heartaches are not for sale, tears have little value, a last look at the old homestead is free.

SALLY
August 20, 1954, ad:
The Schutt Construction Co., Inc. has commissioned me to sell at Public Auction in Arena NY Saturday, August 21 at 1 o’clock about 20 houses and outbuildings, including several barns, silos and garages. Open for inspection from 8 a.m. to 12 noon day of sale. Sale will start at first farm off Rte 30 across bridge. Terms of Sale: Cash.
A.W. Gilmore, Sales Mgr, Oneonta.

Ad: To Those who have relatives buries in the Arena Cemeteries. I have received the necessary information for moving bodies from cemeteries in the Pepacton reservoir area. I will be glad to serve you without obligation. George R. McNair, Harland Jester, Jester Funeral Home, Andes

SYDNEY
Oct. 1, 1954
Last mail taken from Arena office Thursday morning.
The last of 4 post offices in communities being demolished for the Pepacton reservoir was closed at noon yesterday when Mrs. Kathryn Dickson dispatched the last mail from Arena. The Millbrook Valley, Dingle Hill and remaining residents of Arena will be served by the Margaretville post office. Appropriate ceremonies, a tear or two mixed with the forced gaity of farewell marked the end of postal service in Arena. Mrs. Dickson is retiring after 22 and a half years as postmaster. She reports a great deal of interest in the closing of the Arena office, and that she has stamped and autographed about 800 last day covers. Mrs. Inez Atkin, former postmaster at Shavertown, and Mrs. Ivan Miller, former postmaster at Union Grove, were on hand for the final mail at Arena.

GENE
Oct. 1, 1954
Members of the Arkville Methodist Church rededicated their newly-decorated church building at a service Sunday evening. Many furnishings are from the Arena church, which is being demolished for the Pepacton reservoir. Pews from the Arena church were refinished by members at Arkville to harmonize with the color scheme. Last services at the Arena Methodist Church were held several weeks ago. Sunday, another Arena church, the Advent Christian Church, will hold its last service. The congregation has undertaken the construction of its new building on Maple Street in Margaretville behind the fire hall.
SALLY
March 26, 1954
Audience of 800 hears forum talk by Mrs. Roosevelt
A capacity audience of nearly 800 persons packed the auditorium of Andes central school Monday evening to hear Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt speak of America and world leadership. Charming her bi-partisan audience with her gracious manner and eloquent speaking, Mrs. Roosevelt asked for better understanding by Americans of their position of world leadership. The only real challenge to American world leadership comes from Russia, she said, but the Russians are not ready to try to take over that leadership unless they feel that other countries will rise to Communism. She feels that Russia should be kept in the UN because that is the only communication between free and iron curtain countries. Following her speech, Mrs. Roosevelt answered questions from the audience for more than half an hour. She parried a question on McCarthyism by saying that a Viennese acquaintance asked her if Americans couldn’t see the same signs that marked the rise in power of Hitler and Stalin.
NARRATOR
During the 1950s, a column called Feminine Furrows, Plowed by Maggie (a pen name) was a favorite among farm families. Emmeline Scudder’s casual, conversational style drew nods from even non-farmers as she grappled with being a do-everything mom, a situation many women can relate to even today.
SALLY
June 25, 1954
We didn’t have the table much more than set when Grampy came in from his kitchen. White-faced he muttered something about Nana didn’t do a very good job with the chicken. What a mess I found in his kitchen! Nana had put a hen over to cook in the pressure sauce pan. After it had started to steam properly she had adjusted the weights on the top, and come in to see why we were not on our way to the picnic. When Grampy came in from the barn he walked into the kitchen to find a breast of chicken under his feet at the door. Then the whole messy sight smote him. In some way the cover of the pressure cooker had been blown off. It had blown a hole clear through the ceiling. There was chicken everywhere. As I stood surveying the ruins, chicken grease dropped off the ceiling and down my neck. The cats and dogs were having a field day just licking the floor.
Nana alternately mopped the floor and picked up pieces of chicken. Grampy gathered up the pieces of the pressure cooker and spent his Father’s day scrubbing the kitchen free of chicken.

June 10, 1955
Since the last time I sat down to the typewriter, events have piled up to our eyes. We have bought a new tractor and additional acreage of pasture, survived a go-round of the mumps and are now about half way through the family with German measles. The two eligible girls have had their Salk shots. Pat, Fred and I are back at the fence-building routine. I am again struggling with the washing and ironing, I am still trying to figure out how Nancy and I, between us, could have used so many clothes in such a short time. Pat and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday by working as usual. We hope to attend the chicken barbecue given by the Artificial Breeders Co-op. Pat says that will be an anniversary dinner I don’t have to cook myself.
Jan. 20, 1956
Two weeks ago, Pat’s cousin came and helped us butcher. That started Nana and me on our task of meat cutting and wrapping. For the first time in many years, we cut and froze out own meat. By the time we reached the last quarter, the freezer was filling up and Pat was busy. He promised to help us after milking. I kept seeing his tired face. I bribed Nancy to help me carry the quarter into the kitchen. Then all the girls, big and little, went to work. I cut and boned out almost all the roasts. Nancy took the flank and brisket and boned all that for hamburger. Cindy and Kitty helped Nana mark and wrap the finished products. The two little ones took turns carrying packages to the freezer. By the time Pat and Grampy were finished in the barn, we had the fore quarter reduced to a skeleton. Being our own butchers was an extremely satisfying experience. Not only did we save money, but much of the process, from fattening the cow to having the hamburger ground was done as a family group. In addition to learning a great deal about where the various cuts of meat come from, the girls understand better the work of putting a juicy steak or a tender pot roast on the table.
NARRATOR
The early 1960s were quiet, peaceful, ordinary, whatever that means. The heart of the News was found in the community columns. Who was visiting, who was sick, who was fixing their house or buying a new car or getting married, what was happening in the schools. And on the baseball diamond.

SYDNEY
Roxbury: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Miller brought their son John home Saturday from Stamford Community Hospital where he had been a patient for six weeks with rheumatic fever. He is still confined to his bed but can be up a short time each day.
SALLY
Margaretville: Mary Ellen Scudder, daughter of Mr and Mrs Morton Scudder, of Riverby Farms, was selected one of the six best senior calf owners among 4-H club members in the United States. This Junior All American nomination was received after her calf placed first at both the Delaware County Fair and the NYState Fair. Mary Ellen has won many honors in 4-H work, including being named the State 4-H Ayrshire champion in 1958.
GENE
Halcottsville: L. C. Gray lost at least a thousand dollars at business during the winter so far. . . . Charles B. Rowe has made nearly 100 gallons of maple syrup, John T. Biruk, also of Bragg Hollow, is making a large amount as well. The price is $5 per gallon.
SYDNEY
Hubbell Hill: Carol Jean Mathis was guest of honor at a birthday party given by her mother, Mrs. A. Mathis, to celebrate her 8th birthday. 12 of her girlfriends were present.
Andes: Mrs. Lucy DeBellis has an Easter lily which is blooming a second time this year.
Pine Hill: Warren Smith was awarded an electric blender by Ford’s Magic Key contest.
Shavertown: The Edwin Finkle family is driving a new Dodge.
ROY
Roxbury: Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Hinkley have a daughter, born Friday, Nov. 13 at Margaretville Hospital. The little girl was born on the 4th birthday of her sister Sonya.
Dry Brook: The covered dish supper held at the Dry Brook Hall Thursday night brought in $60 net for the church. After the supper, pictures were shown accompanied by a reading on Spanish American citizens in the US by Mrs. Lena Knapp Haynes.
GENE
New Kingston: Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sanford spent Saturday night with their son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Sanford and family at Cobleskill. They were out of water for their dairy and cooking facilities due to the severe ice storm.
A busload of Margaretville residents spent Saturday visiting the NY Worlds Fair.
SYDNEY
The Keyhole, Margaretville Central School:
Report cards were given out April 18. . . There will be 100% attendance when the seniors leave on their trip April 21. . . Students are dancing in gym class every Wednesday. . . A Royal electric typewriter is on trial in the typing room and many students are enjoying the experience of typing on an electric. . . The Junior Prom, “Moon River,” will be held May 5 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
GENE

Oct. 21, 1960
Main Street was nearly desert¬ed as the Yankees tied up the last game of the world series Thursday afternoon in the ninth inning. A moment later the street became alive with shouting Na¬tional League supporters when Mazeroski’s homer sailed over the fence and gave the series to the Pirates. One National supporter had so many dollar bets scattered around the village that he could not remember who owed him.

ROY
October 6, 1961
Mr. and Mrs. Roswell R. Sanford returned from a trip which h took them around the world. They were members of a National Editorial Asian Study Mission of the Far East. They visited Japan, Formosa, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Viet Name, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Italy and Ireland.
NARRATOR:
Mountain Dew May 14, 1964
May is fragrance. The perfume of blooming wild flowers, the aroma of damp earth after rain. Haunting sweetness of old lilacs performing for another generation, seeing within their lifetime the progress from covered wagon to moon shots. May is the faint freshness of purple violets held to a willing nose by sunwarmed hands.
May is color. Pale pink of peach blossom, and cherry trees bursting with snow. It is a gold of dandelion on a green lawn, dew diamonds and rainbows. It is a goldfinch in the purple-clad branches, the flight of a bluebird, the red breast of a robin, It is arching limbs veiled in chartreuse leaves, in which the wind is at work.
May is the new colt in the pasture, the calf at play, the farmer at work early and the farmer at work late. It is straight rows in the garden. Weeds, rhubarb and asparagus.
Yours Truly, The Mountaineer.
NARRATOR, AS ROS SANFORD
May 21, 1964
Love of Progress Inspired Publisher through 60 years
Clarke Alaire Sanford, 85, publisher of this newspaper for 60 years and a pioneer in the business, betrterment and enrichment of the Margaretville area through most odf the 20th century, died Friday afternoon at the Margaretville hospital, one of the fruyits of his labors in this community, Death came gently when he could not overcome the effects of a massive coronary suffered within moments after he left his office Thursday afternoon.
Clarke A. Sanford, “The Mountaineer,” July 8, 1878-May 15, 1964
It was the season the Mountaineer loved best, a season to write again of nature’s beauty. For three decades nature had inspired the Mountaineer, at no time more than in May, the month of youth. Though he had welcomed 86 springtimes, few half his age were younger in mind and spirit than Clarke Sanford. He was fond of reminiscing. But his real interest was in the future. He saw in the automobile a symbol of progress while others saw a toy. He saw in the movies the greatest entertainment medium of the first half of the century. He was a pioneer in bringing both to his mountains. He took this newspaper, the automobile and the motion picture and created successful businesses from each, ventures begun in the Mays of his maturing years.
He had helped to found a hospital, helped to create a modern school, campaigned to bring about a major ski center and convinced the Delaware & Northern Railroad to set up shops in the village. He was president of the Margaretville Fair, director of People’s National Bank, chief of the fire department, and in the early 1920s, president of the village board.
My father had overseen the News’ coverage of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, following the movements and the fortunes of dozens of local servicemen. Now it was my turn. And the war was Vietnam.
GENE
Oct. 21, 1965
US Army, Vietnam. PFC Robert E. Todd has debarked here with other members of the 1st Infantry Division. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Ezra H. Todd of Fleischmanns, Todd is assigned as a heavy weapons specialist with the division which was ordered to duty here as a result of President Johnson’s announced troop build u[ in Vietnam. Todd entered the Army in April 1964 and completed basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. He graduated from Fleischmanns high school in 1960.
May 25, 1967
Marine Peter E. Millar, son of Mr and Mrs Kevin Millar of Roxbury, died Sunday in the Vietnam fighting. He had been in Vietnam since last July.
Sept. 28, 1967:
Capt Irving Smith, son of Mr and Mrs. Harold Smith of Margaretville, was awarded the bronze star with oak leaf cluster for heroic action on 26 August, 1966 at Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. Accompanying a command group of a 3-platoon search and destroy mission that was raked by intense automatic weapons fire, Capt. Smith, by delivering accurate suppressive fire, was able to destroy a machine gun emplacement at great risk to his personal safety.”
April 25, 1968
Margaretville’s first Vietnam war victim, PFC Claude “Skip” Green, fell of heat prostration April 9 while on patrol in Quang Tri province.
NARRATOR
I took the opportunity to go to Vietnam on a 3 week study visit with a dozen other weekly newspaper reporters in the summer of 1968. I wanted to see for myself what was happening there. The military naturally kept a tight rein on our movements. They were unhappy with the way the American press had been reporting the war, especially the Tet offensive that year. Still, we saw a lot, and I wrote stories on the bases we visited, the refugee problem, the ‘pacification’ programs and the local boys I met and interviewed: William Mugford of Big Indian, Clarence McIntosh and Bob McCumber of Margaretville, Guilford Morse of Denver, and John Ford and Phil Caswell of Roxbury.
The war went on for too long, divided our community and claimed too many lives.
In 1968, the News moved from the Galli Curci Theater building to a new stone building next to the Legion Hall in 1968. And from our bright, roomy offices, I was happy to cover some hopeful news as the decade faded.
ROY
Oct. 16, 1969: New hospital dedicated to healthy life
More than 200 friends and supporters of the Margaretville Memorial Hospital saw a long-cherished dream come true Saturday morning with the dedication of the new $2 million building. A warm October sun smiled down on the gathering as the community dedicated the building to the healing of its ill and injured and the care of its inform. Across the valley the new hospital faces the monument at the grave of Dr. Gordon Mauer who gave Margaretville its first hospital in a converted farm house. Bright new patient rooms, laboratories, operating, emergency and recovery rooms and public spaces now await their first occupants.
GENE
Oct. 8, 1970
State police are continuing a five day search of the Fleischmanns-Bedell-Highmount area for the missing head of a young woman whose nude body was found Sunday night in the upper Red Kill Valley. Efforts to determine her identity are centering on several articles of bloodied clothing found along route 28 in early September. The body was found Sunday by two Long Island boys who had been hunting with their father on the farm of Victoria Wasielewski.
SYDNEY
August 9, 1973
Drilling for gas in the New Kingston valley began Tuesday on the Charles Holdridge farm. The work is being done by Delta Drilling Company of Tyler Texas. It is estimated the hole will be 6,700 fee and will be completed in 26 days.
Sept. 27, 1973
A large sign, “Women Working” may have caused motorists on the Beech Hill Road to do a double take last week but it was no joke. A score of women residents of the area filled in the potholes over a stretch of three miles on the lower Beech Hill Rd. The road lies in the Town of Andes and the women say that complaints to the superintendent of highways brought no results. “This isn’t women’s lib, we just want the damn road fixed,’ one of them said.
ROY
Nov. 1, 1973
Two visiting Long Island hunters discovered Sunday that one robin plus two chickadees equals $180 in civil compromises for taking and possessing protected wild birds. Arraigned before Town Justice Sollie Darling of Fleischmanns, the men paid their fines and were released. Estimating that the 3 birds would dress out at a total of 4 ounces of meat, the rate per pound would be $720. Nor would they be allowed to taste it.
SALLY
Nov. 15, 1973
The former Fairview house at Arkville, which is undergoing restoration by the Armand Erpf Fund, is expected to be ready for occupancy by mid winter. The building will house the Erpf Catskill Cultural Center and will contain a library, historical archives, a museum and arts and craft center and a senior citizens center. Announcement was made Saturday by Rev. William Harter at a meeting of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development at Kass Inn. Mr. Harter also said that an effort is being made to preserve the Dry Brook Methodist Church through a community board of trustees. Other reports included one by Harris Gordon who discussed plans of the Catskill Mountain Transportation Corp to acquire the Penn Central Railroad from Kingston to Bloomville.
NARRATOR:
The Erpf Center was established in the venerable house on the hill in Arkville, where today you will find the Catskill Center doing its good work. The Dry Brook Church was saved – it celebrated 150 years as a community institution just this past spring. And at least part of the rail line that had first brought travelers to the Central Catskills a century earlier was preserved as a tourist excursion. You know it as the Delaware and Ulster Railroad.
History as news; news as history.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll through the pages of the first 70 years of The Catskill Mountain News, which, we’re happy to say, continues to report History as it Happens.