Tin Horn

Observations and Discoveries

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

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 […]

Calling all bakers!

As you know we need a new roof and will be doing a lot of fundraising this year to pay for it. Our first event will be a bake sale at Freshtown (between Freshtown and CVS) on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 10AM to 2PM. Since it is Valentine’s Day weekend we think homemade chocolates and […]

Does the man on the left look familiar?

Does the man on the left look familiar?

Paula Eisenstein Baker, Houston, TX cellist and musicologist, is trying to verify whether he is Bernard Nadelle, a prominent cellist with the house orchestra at the Capitol Theater in NYC in the 1920s and 30s. Eisenstein Baker, adjunct instructor of violincello at University of St. Thomas in Houston, is writing a book about an overture […]

The groaning board

The groaning board

At this the season of feasting, we offer this 1944 photograph of Max Kass, proprietor of the former Kass Inn in Kelly Corners, which was known for its marvelous buffets. The Inn was started in 1919 when Max Kass and two others (Nachman Groubarth and Harry Taub) bought a six-room farmhouse and 284 acres from […]

The ‘last word’ in campaigning, 1940 style

The ‘last word’ in campaigning, 1940 style

  He was nowhere near Margaretville but his presence loomed large on October 14, 1940 when the “GOP Motion Picture Caravan” streamed in to town to campaign for Republican Presidential hopeful Wendell Wilkie, who was fighting an uphill battle against Franklin D. Roosevelt. The sleek trailer, one of several criss-crossing the country stumping for Wilkie […]

1950s Fleischmanns

Marilyn Mayes Kaltenborn spoke recently at a Fleischmans history program at Skene Memorial Library. She is the author of  “An Unconventional Childood,” a memoir about growing up in Fleischmanns in the 1950s and ’60s, the daughter of Murray and Bertha Mayes. With help from Richard Pultz and Ian Cohen, Marilyn came up with this list of […]

Bob Hubbell

Bob’s gone, but the cider-making continues

Burr Hubbell reports that the ancient apple press at Hubbell Homestead farm will be operating Sept. 28 at 1 p.m., Oct. 5 at 1, 1:30 and 2:30, and Oct. 6 at noon, 1 and 2. Anyone interested in seeing history at work is welcome to stop by and watch the process unfold on three levels […]