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. For the first several years, we held programs at various locations throughout the town, and in January of 2012 took ownership of a building and seven acres on Cemetery Road, Margaretville, given to us by the New Kingston Valley Grange. 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, the O’Connor Foundation and other generous supporters.

The Executive Committee 2014

President: Diane Galusha

Vice President: Tina Greene

Treasurer: Marilyn Pitetti

Secretary: Jackie Purdy

Trustees: Anne Sanford; Henry Friedman; Fred Travis; Amy Taylor

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, 1902-1937, was microfilmed, digitized and posted on the web (http://history.catskill.net)  for research by anyone, anywhere with access to a computer. A dedicated computer station was installed at Fairview Public Library, where the original bound volumes of the newspaper are on long-term loan from the News’ owners. Phase 2 of the project has digitized and posted online CMN microfilm from 1938-73.
  • Friends of Middletown Cemeteries was established as an informal subcommittee of HSM. This group has inventoried headstone inscriptions at several cemeteries, including the Margaretville Cemetery, and is restoring the Arkville Cemetery.
  • A self-guided Walking Tour of more than 40 properties in historic Margaretville was developed and printed. Guided tours have also been offered from time to time.
  • Interviews of ten area elders were recorded and transcribed in the initial phase of an Oral History Project.
  • Roadside markers have been erected at several important local history sites.
  • A photographic survey of standing barns has been conducted to preserve a record of these fast-disappearing agricultural icons.
  • Profiles of nearly 300 Civil War veterans from Middletown are being compiled.