About HSM

Who We Are

HSM's hall, located at 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville

HSM’s hall, located at 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown is a non-profit membership organization chartered by the New York State Education Department in 2005. Our Absolute Charter was granted in September, 2015. Our headquarters is at 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville in a building that originally served as the clubhouse of the
Izaak Walton League, a sporting/conservation organization, and later the home of the New Kingston Valley Grange, which gifted the hall and seven acres to HSM in 2012. Exhibits, programs and special functions are now held there.

The Hall is available for parties, meetings and gatherings. Click here for rental information and an application form.

HSM has a small and growing collection of historic materials that have been donated to the society. The collection is housed at the Town Hall, but is not accessible by the public just yet.

Funding for our programs, preservation projects and other activities comes from member dues, donations, fund raising events, the Town of Middletown, the Village of Margaretville, and other generous supporters.

The Executive Committee 2019-2020

President: Diane Galusha

Vice President: Bill Blish

Treasurer: Marilyn Pitetti

Secretary: Amy Taylor

Trustees: Anne Sanford; Henry Friedman; Patricia Moore; Barbara Moses, Agnes Laub, Doris Warner

Our Purpose

The purpose of The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, Delaware County is to build awareness and appreciation of the heritage of the Town of Middletown, Delaware County, New York, by discovering, preserving and making accessible historical information and materials related to the Town and its environs. These objectives will be achieved through educational programs and preservation projects, and through cooperation and collaboration with other local organizations.

Our Beginnings

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown was formed in 2004 after 25 people attended an initial meeting in April of that year to see how much interest there was in establishing an organization focused on local history. Indeed, there was plenty of interest – and 28 ideas were proposed for projects and programs. $100 was donated as seed money and a bank account was established. An organizational meeting was held May 22, and an advisory group began working on a Constitution, By-laws, Mission Statement and program planning.

On July 10, the first program – on one-room schools — was held at the Stone School House, and 40 people attended. The next program, on the New Kingston Valley Comprehensive Historic Resources Survey, was held in August. More than 70 people attended.

That autumn, the advisory committee settled on a name for the organization, and adopted By-laws, a Constitution, and a Collections Management Policy, and elected the first officers. They included Diane Galusha as President; Carolyn Konheim, Vice President; Marilyn Pitetti, Treasurer; Patricia Adams, Secretary; and Philip O’Beirne, Trustee.

In November, a petition for a Charter from the NYS Board of Regents was submitted. Our Provisional Charter was granted in March of 2005, and HSM became a tax-exempt organization in August of 2005.

Following an initial membership appeal in early 2005, more than 40 people became Charter, or founding members. The Margaretville Covered Bridge, which spanned the East Branch of the Delaware River on Bridge Street from the 1860s until 1933, became our logo, symbolic of the ‘bridge’ we hope to make between the past and our contemporary lives.

Our Accomplishments

In addition to holding dozens of talks, workshops, panel discussions, tours and other programs on local and regional history, HSM has actively worked to preserve and promote the town’s heritage:

  • The Catskill Mountain News, 1902-1973, was microfilmed, digitized and posted on the web for research by anyone, anywhere with access to a computer http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031247. The original bound volumes of the newspaper are on long-term loan to Fairview Public Library from the News’ owners. .
  • Friends of Middletown Cemeteries, an informal subcommittee of HSM, has inventoried headstone inscriptions at several cemeteries, including the Margaretville Cemetery and restored the Arkville Cemetery.
  • A self-guided walking tour of the Village of Margaretville, and a self-guided Driving Tour of Middletown Cemeteries were developed.
  • Interviews of nearly 40 area elders have been recorded and most have been transcribed as part of our ongoing Oral History Project.
  • Roadside markers have been erected at several important local history sites.
  • A map of family farms in the Town of Middletown, c. 1950, was created, and a photographic survey of standing barns was conducted to preserve a record of these fast-disappearing agricultural icons.
  • A database of Civil War veterans from Middletown was compiled, providing military and personal records of 243 soldiers.