Tin Horn

Observations and Discoveries

Your contributions to this blog are welcome. Please contact us with questions, discoveries, or musings related to Middletown history.

Lost in the Sierras

A sad story of a climber lost in the mountains of California resonated with folks in Middletown more than a century ago. Kenneth Archibald, the son of Rev. Andrew Archibald, a native of New Kingston and a clergyman, disappeared while on a tramping excursion June 20, 1908. His remains were found two years later. On […]

Seymour Dane, on the high plains of Montana

Seymour Dane, Cowboy and Fruit Farmer

He was born in Arena on the East Branch of the Delaware River but he made his fortune raising cattle on the arid high plains of Montana, and ended his days growing oranges in sunny Florida. This unlikely arc by a man named Seymour Dane makes for an interesting story, one that surfaced in a […]

Evergreen Lanes as it looked before the addition was put on the front in 1986

The other winter sport

Skiers aren’t the only ones who love winter. Those who hurl heavy balls down long lanes towards meticulously arranged wooden pins brave all kinds of weather to gather at the local bowling alley every week to have some very noisy fun. Since 1986, Mike Finberg has presided over Margaretville Bowl, the “recreational mecca of the […]

An ode to the horse

An ode to the horse

The following remembrance , written by George D. Taylor in his 1950 memoir “These Hills are not Barren,” is full of affection and admiration for the animal that kept things running on the family farm before the advent of the tractor. A three-horse team is shown working on the Townsend farm in Bragg Hollow, Halcottsville […]

Will the circle be unbroken

If you missed the August 24 HSM concert by the 77th Regimental Balladeers here is a taste of the old-time sing-out that energized the enthusiastic audience. We dedicate this tune to three wonderful Middletown elders who left us this summer, all at the age of 95: Wanda Lanzi, Ginny McCumber and Faye VanBenschoten.  

Union troops advance on fortified Rebels

Honey Hill, revisited

Such a sweet name, but a place that came to signify hell on earth for hundreds of men who clashed there on November 30, 1864 just inland from the coast of South Carolina. The 144th Regiment from Delaware County was there. In the thick of it was Co. G, largely made up of Middletown volunteers. […]

The 1886 Halcottsville OSB Church

Sing it like you mean it

By Trish Adams First published in the Catskill Mountain News If your ancestors include Boutons, Faulkners, Scudders, Hewitts, Hinkleys, Hubbells, Blishes, Kellys, Dimmicks, Millers, Davises, or Greens, it’s likely that you are part of the founding stock of one of the hardiest, hard-core sects of Baptists in this country, dating back to the days before […]

The Coffin Man's calling card

Mystery in stone

There once was an itinerant stone carver who traveled the dusty roads of upstate New York in a horse-drawn wagon loaded with quarried pieces of sandstone. He was looking for families who had recently buried loved ones, to sell them a headstone for the grave. His “signature” was the coffin shape he would chisel at […]

Need your feathers renovated?

While doing some research in the 1880 Middletown census I came across an unusual occupation of a man named J. L. Thurber, age 54: “feather renovator.” He and wife Olive had three sons, Adelbert, 20, Eddie, 18 and Herman, 14, all listed as laborers. Hmmm, what the heck was a feather renovator? Google and Goodsearch […]

Who were the Waterburys?

Who were the Waterburys?

The headstone in the Sanford Cemetery, Dunraven is impressive, a bronze plaque on a granite monument: Robert L. Waterbury, MD, 1823-1881 “He lived so others may live”; Christiana Dowie, 1823-1878 “His faithful wife”; and two children, a five-year-old son, and a 22-year-old daughter who, we have learned, died in 1883 of typhoid fever while a […]