Oral History

Bill and Betty Elliott

Bill and Betty Elliott

HSM has begun preserving our town’s history by collecting on tape the memories and stories of many local elders. Ten interview tapes were transcribed with a grant from the O’Connor Foundation. They included Virginia McCumber, Howard Etts., Jr., the late Marian Connell, Bill Sanford, Bob VanBenschoten, Bill and Doris Stahl, the late Harold Weiss and daughter Sindy Becker, Bill and Betty Elliot, and the Moseman siblings Eleanor (Blish), Margaret  Goodman and Jimmy Moseman.

Interviews are ongoing. If you would like to help, please email us. history@catskill.net

The Darlings and their portrait

The Darlings and their portrait

In a 2008 project, funded by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts administered by the Roxbury Arts Group, five area farmers were interviewed and videotaped by artist Ellen Wong who also painted their portraits for a project called “The Face of Farming.” Recorded interviews were filed with the Library of Congress, and copies were given to HSM.

Participants included the Darling family of Route 30, Roxbury; the Elliott family of New Kingston; the Fairbairns of Rider Hollow; the Grays of New Kingston; and the Loughmans of Weaver Hollow.

In 2009, HSM helped facilitate an interview project undertaken by the New York State Military Museum to record the service histories of area veterans.

WWII veteran Bob Hill being interviewed

WWII veteran Bob Hill being interviewed

Eleven men and one woman who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm were interviewed by Wayne Clarke of the Saratoga Springs museum. Copies of the videotaped interviews have been added to the HSM collection. Participating veterans included John Schoonmaker, Bob Hill, Ralph Persons, Bill Elliott, Ted Wiesenthal, Stan Siegel, Harry Davis, Dan Gatoniuk, Bob Carrol, Paul Steinfeld, Peter Molnar and Patt Svoboda.