Tin Horn

Observations and Discoveries

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

“American Idol,” 1949

“American Idol,” 1949

Do you remember when TV was in its infancy, in the late 1940s and early 1950s? If you were a kid then (and your family actually owned a TV!) you may recall “Teen-Age Barn,” a popular variety show on WRGB from Schenectady that featured young, local talent. It debuted on April 4, 1949 when there […]

Did the Osterhoudts live here?

Who lived here?

The flood buyout program that has cleared at least two dozen lots on Margaretville’s Main Street and contiguous streets in the last 15 years has claimed another historic property, including the brown house in this photo, located between Margaretville Central School and the Dollar General Store. These two buildings may have belonged to the Osterhoudt […]

“The thrill of my life”

“The thrill of my life”

That’s what Helen Keller said after landing two fair sized trout in Dry Brook in late July, 1935. The Catskill Mountain News reported July 5 that she had rented “King’s Lodge,” the former Kelly farm, one of the Gould properties, for the summer. With a sizeable staff to attend her, and “thousands of feet of […]

Alder Lake with farm house, barn and hatchery

From soldier to fish farmer

Research into the lives of Middletown’s Civil War veterans has revealed more than a few intriguing and inventive men behind the uniforms. One of those was Julius G. Smith. Born in Glen Aubrey, NY May 18, 1840 to George and Achsa Millard Smith, he was also known as Junious, or just plain June Smith. The […]

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. […]