HSM at Halcott Fair, seeks Grange stories

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will greet friends and neighbors at the Halcott Fair Saturday, July 20 from noon to 4 p.m.
The annual event will take place in the Halcott Grange hall where the Greene Valley Grange once met and held dinners, dances and other community gatherings. HSM is anxious to hear from former Grangers – from Halcott or other local towns – for a project documenting the aims and activities of this once prominent farm advocacy and assistance organization.
Amy Taylor, HSM Secretary and member of a family that was prominent in Grange circles, will give a program, “The Grange Revisited,” at the HSM hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville on Friday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. The talk will be followed by a simple supper. Admission is by donation. Bring your Grange stories and photos!
If you have memories and items to share and can’t make the program, please bring them to the Halcott Fair, where HSM will also hold a one-day silent auction on a very special set of photography books by acclaimed photographer Mark Citret.
Collectible Halcott photo book
Citret lived in Halcott for two years in the early 1970s. The images of people and landscapes he captured there are beautifully rendered in his book Halcott Center: A Catskill Mountain Valley. The book includes an introduction by the famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams, with whom Citret studied.
A signed copy of the book will be auctioned with two others: Along the Way, a lush, hard-bound collection of 63 plates of Citret’s black and white images, including some from Halcott, and Signs Taken for Wonder, the catalog of a 2002 exhibition of his work at the Monterey Museum of Art in California, where he makes his home. FMI: mcitret.com.
Proceeds from the silent auction (bidding closes at 3:30) will benefit the Campaign for a Middletown History Center which aims to build an archives facility at the HSM hall. For information on the project and to make a donation, visit mtownhistory.org.

Cemetery Tour was a smashing success!

The 7th Living History Cemetery Tour, sponsored by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, takes place Sat., June 22 (rain date June 23).
This year’s tour is at Margaretville Cemetery, on Cemetery Road, just off Route 30 (upper Main Street) in the Village of Margaretville. Tour-goers will meet 10 people from the past on one-hour guided tours that depart from the parking lot every 20 minutes starting at 4 p.m. There are seven tour times available; reservations are required and can be made by calling 845-586-4736. Admission is $20; children under 15 get in free.
The cast of local players, directed by Frank Canavan and Joyce St. George, includes Agnes Laub as nurse-historian Ethel Bussy Coulter; Kelly Keck and Dave Turan as WWI vets Bruno Metzner and Marcus Korn; Ann Saxon Hersh as Margaret Hallock Newton, proprietor of the Pakatakan Lodge; John Bernhardt as banker and school board chairman James Henry Hitt.
Also, Melissa Day as Eleanor Sands Marvin, the granddaughter of Margaretville power couple George G. and Catherine Moore Decker; Jim Rauter and Gretchen Walker as Dr. James and Harriet Allaben; Amy Taylor as farm wife and mother Abigail Clum, and Burr Hubbell as John Dickson, Jr., a timber raftsman on the East Branch who served in the War of 1812.
Docents Barb Atkin, Tina Greene and Eli Taylor will lead tour groups to meet these characters. Other people from the past will be spotted strolling, playing and picnicking in the cemetery.
More information on this event and other programs planned by the Historical Society is available at mtownhistory.org; history@catskill.net; or 845-586-4973.

Sat., April 6 Genealogy for Beginners

1-4. The Past is Personal: Genealogy for Beginners. Doris Warner will explain where to find vital statistics, and residency data, personal info and much more to shed light on the lives of your ancestors. She will offer tips on organizing material and linking with other researchers. Fairview Library. $5

Sat., April 13 Writing About Your Ancestors

1-4. The Past is Personal: Your Family History, Writing a Narrative, a workshop to help you craft a narrative, for publication or posterity, using genealogical information you have collected. Led by journalist and family history hunter Violet Snow. Fairview Library. $5

Sat., May 4 The Art of Fishing

4 p.m. “The Art of Fishing,” a beautifully illustrated talk by noted writers and fishing experts Judy and Ed VanPut on how Catskill Mountain art and angling have long intertwined. HSM Hall. This is a FREE Headwaters History Days and Trout Tales event.

June 1-2 Relic Hunt

Relic Hunt by Nor’easters Metal Detecting Club, New Kingston. BBQ June 1. 6 p.m. Registration required.

Sat., June 22 Living History Cemetery Tour

4-7 p.m. Seventh Living History Cemetery Tour. Ten former residents return from the dead to tell their stories. Tours begin every 20 minutes starting at 4, last tour at 6. Margaretville Cemetery, Cemetery Road, just off Main St. $20. Reservations required. 845-586-4736

Sat., June 29 Vintage Baseball

Noon. Vintage baseball game, Mountain Athletic Club vs. Bovina Dairymen. Fleischmanns Park, Wagner Ave. Free admission; donations, souvenir sales benefit HSM Building Fund.

Wed., Aug. 14 Middletown Melodrama

7 p.m. An original theatrical starring local thespians, written and directed by Marge Miller. A bit of mid-summer silliness, with music! HSM Hall. Admission by donation.

Sat., August 17 Ghosts on the Land (DATE CHANGE)

“Ghosts on the Land: How Hardscrabble Farmers Changed History.” A two-part program by writer/researcher Jennifer Kabat, who invites visitors to explore remnants of an early homestead (meet at 5:30 p.m. at 1314 Bull Run Road, Margaretville; jenkabat@gmail.com). Followed at 7 p.m. by illustrated talk on the Anti-Rent War, its local players and connections to 19th-century social upheaval worldwide. HSM Hall. Admission by donation. (This event has been rescheduled from the original July 20 date.)