Family Day at Old Stone School

Family Fun Day at the Old Stone Schoolhouse in Dunraven, two miles west of Margaretville, will be held Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10 to 3. In case of heavy rain, the free event will be held Sunday.

While there is no admission fee, donations towards the upkeep of this historic site – former District #10 — are most welcome. Family Fun Day is sponsored by the Old Stone School Association and the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM).

There will be lessons with costumed teachers through the day. The 20-minute lessons, conducted in the two-century-old one-room school where grades 1 through 8 were taught the three Rs for 140 years, will include arithmetic, reading and writing.

Youngsters will use slates to practice ciphering and will stitch their own copy book to demonstrate penmanship and spelling. They may even be asked to read a poem aloud. Fun classroom games like “Button, button, who’s got the button?” will engage the students.

“Recess” will include old fashioned outdoor games like hoop rolling, catch, tag and three-legged races. Quieter activities, like butter making, cat’s cradle, checkers, marbles and dominoes will be offered beneath a tent.  Nature walks in the immediate vicinity of the school may prompt artistic activities as well.

Traditional music will be performed by Eli and Lillian Taylor.

Visitors are invited to bring a lunch and picnic on the grounds. They can ring the school bell, see what it was like to carry pails of water from the pump, and imagine going to the outhouse when nature called (it still works!).

The 1820 structure located adjacent to the former Delaware & Northern Railroad tracks, will be open all day. Exhibits will highlight its colorful history as well as the stories of some of Middletown’s other one-room schools. The Stone Schoolhouse is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Coloring books will be offered for sale, and raffle tickets for a basket of Catskills products will be available to purchase, proceeds benefitting the Historical Society.




The Catskills in a Basket!

This treasure trove of items made in or about the Catskills is the HSM raffle item this year.

“A Tisket, a Tasket: The Catskills in a Basket” was assembled by fundraising volunteers Jackie Purdy, Anne Sanford and Marilyn Pitetti.

The large wicker laundry basket contains more than $400 worth of locally made or sourced food products, books, home goods and more. These items will provide endless enjoyment as well as gift items for your favorite people.

You can buy tickets at our upcoming events (check our calendar), and at select community events. For information or to make other arrangements to get tickets, contact us at

The drawing will be held at the Annual Meeting October 22.

Items in the basket

Cole Hill Honey (2 jars) and beeswax candles

Union Grove Maple Spirit (750 ml)

Happy Giraffe ‘Mountains are Calling’ mugs (2)

Hubbell Farm Maple Syrup (quart)

Outsiders pretzel snacks (3 packages)

Blue Sky Farm blueberry wine

Shaver Hill Farm maple walnut topping

Gift Certificates

               Home-made pie by Barbara Moses

               $100 Locust Grove Soaps

               $10, Café Marguerite

               $15 Happy Giraffe

Cauliflower Festival canvas bag

North American Songbirds puzzle

Hand-made pottery pitcher by Ros Welchman

Tea Thyme Herb and Fruit Farm Farmers Market Minestrone Soup Mix

Halcottsville and New Kingston Cemetery Tour DVDs

Bebert’s Morrocan Condiments spice mix


               When Cauliflower was King

               Cauliflower Cookbook

               Catskill Crafts

               Murder in the Catskills

               U&DRR 1902 Catskills guide



Sincere thanks to the donors:
Pat and Randy Moore

Yaekels Liquor Store

Doris Warner

Anne Sanford

Marilyn Pitetti

Jackie Purdy

Barbara Moses

Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce

Ros Welchman

Locust Grove Soap Co.

Theater photos, memorabilia sought

The Galli-Curci Theater in downtown Margaretville turns 100 this year and organizers of an anniversary celebration are turning to the public for help in locating photographs and memorabilia.

Photographs of the theater, especially its interior; early playbills, invitations, ticket stubs or anything else relating to the theater are requested so that they might be scanned or photographed to add to a display planned for an open house August 27-28.  If you have something to share, please contact  or call 845-586-4689 and someone will get back to you.

The theater, built in 1922 by publisher and entrepreneur Clarke Sanford, was named for opera star Amelita Galli-Curci who sang at its opening August 25 that year. For more than half a century the brick theater on Main Street was the entertainment center of the community, hosting first silent movies then ‘talkies,’ vaudeville shows, home talent plays, traveling musical troupes, high school graduations, celebrations and observances.


The current owners of the theater – Mike Cioffi and Jonathan Glazer – have planned a centennial celebration for August 27 and 28. In addition to a reception and Saturday night concert by vocalist Gina Hanzlik, the theater will be open both days so that visitors can view an exhibit on the history of the building, Clarke Sanford and Amelita Galli-Curci. 1920s era silent movies will be screened (free popcorn!), and people may add their comments or recollections of movies or events there to a giant memory wall.

Pepacton Cemetery Tour is July 9

Pepacton Cemetery Tour is July 9

A walking tour of Pepacton Cemetery, where the remains of 1,525 people from burial grounds in the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoir basins were moved in the 1950s and ‘60s, will be held Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m.

The cemetery, maintained by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), is located on NYCity Highway 30A in the Town of Andes.

There is no admission to this event and reservations are not required. In the event of heavy rain at 9 a.m. the walk will be held Sunday, July 10 at 10 a.m.
Attendees are advised to bring water and sunscreen. The grounds are mostly level but sturdy shoes are suggested. The tour will take a little over an hour.
Tour guides will be gravestone conservator and Delhi Town Historian Marianne Greenfield, and Middletown Historical Society President Diane Galusha. Greenfield will explain the history of the cemetery’s development and the restoration of 305 headstones and 80 unmarked graves that she coordinated under contract with the DEP 2016-18.

Visitors will then learn about some of the men, women and children whose remains were relocated to this site, part of the former Ken Sprague farm that the City acquired for this purpose. Remains were removed from 12 burial grounds before those cemeteries were inundated by the impounded East and West Branches of the Delaware River.

Among the individuals tour-goers will learn about are:

  • Jabez Sisson who worked on a whaling ship off the coast of Greenland before retiring to Cannonsville where he lived with his daughter; he died in 1846 at age 94
  • Nathaniel Cannon and his three wives, Fanny, Mary and Susan, who all died at age 40
  • The six children of Robert and Hannah Knapp of Shavertown
  • Israel Barnhart, a “Calico Indian” during the Anti-Rent War of the 1840s
  • Phillip Cole of Colchester, who served with the 20th Regiment of US Colored Troops during the Civil War. He is one of 17 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery. There are also three veterans of the War of 1812 and one from the Spanish American War.

Many early settlers are buried at Pepacton. A number of their headstones were inscribed by the itinerant stone carver known as Coffin Man, whose story will be related to tour-goers.

The unidentified remains of as many as 30 people believed to have been enslaved by Alexander Cole of Colchester are buried in the Cat Hollow section of the cemetery. Here Galusha will share some of her research into slavery in Delaware County.

Directions to Pepacton Cemetery: From Margaretville, take NYS Rte 30 south to Shavertown Bridge; at the Shavertown Bridge turn right on County Rt. 1 (Tremperskill Rd.), then left on NYC Hiway 30A, 4 miles, cemetery on left. From Andes take County Rt 1 (Tremperskill Rd) to NYC Highway 30A, turn right, 4 miles, cemetery on left. From Downsville turn left on NYC Highway 30A at the DEP facility on Rt 206/30. 11 miles, cemetery on right.

For more information, call 607-267-2708.

Cemetery Tour Reservations Open

Cemetery Tour Reservations Open

MARGARETVILLE – Reservations for the Historical Society of Middletown’s 9th Living History Cemetery Tour are now open.

The popular tour will be held Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Margaretville Cemetery. Rain date is June 19.

In addition to the walking tour, offered from 4 to 6 p.m., there will be a special early bird performance at 2 p.m. on stage at the Open Eye Theater on Main Street to accommodate those with mobility issues.

Reservations for the staged or on-site performances are required and can be made by calling 845-586-4736.

Tickets are $20; those 15 or under get in free.

This year’s tour will feature portrayals of eight people from Middletown’s past. Tour goers led by costumed guides will meet these spirits and learn about their lives.

They include a pair of newspaper editors reflecting on memorable local events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the valedictorian of the first graduating class of Margaretville High School in 1896, and Italian immigrant storekeeper, baker and labor recruiter Pasco Dilello.

A barber, a game warden, and a suffragist will be portrayed, as will an early emigrant from New England whose family arrived in the Dunraven area in 1796.

Directors of this year’s production are Marge Helenchild and Michelle Macau.

For more information on HSM events and to become a member, visit

HSM offers headstone cleaning

Memorial Day is right around the corner and the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown wants to help you pay tribute to your loved ones by offering a unique headstone cleaning service.

A team of HSM volunteers is ready to clean monuments at cemeteries in and around Middletown this spring, using a safe and very effective cleansing agent and method. A donation of $30 cleans a single one-sided headstone; a $50 donation will clean two headstones or a two-sided monument.

 Before-and-after photos will be provided to those who take advantage of this offer, available only during the month of May.

Send a check and contact information to HSM, PO Box 734, Margaretville, NY 12455. Someone will be in touch to collect details. FMI: 845-586-4973 or

Information about HSM events and programs can be found at