The ‘‘Our town’’ column is compiled each month for the New Paltz Times by Carol Johnson, coordinator of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the February 1914 issues of the New Paltz Independent. If you would like to get a closer look at these newspapers of the past, visit Carol Johnson and the staff of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library, located at 93 Main Street, or call 255-5030. Meanwhile, enjoy these words from a century ago.
Monday last was Candlemas Day when the bear and woodchuck are supposed to come out of their holes and then go back again for another six weeks and snooze, if they see their shadows, as they did on Monday, because the sun shone. This is a tale that everyone has heard. Among the old people at New Paltz and we presume elsewhere, where the Dutch language was spoken, the 2nd of February was called “Vrowendagh,” that is “Women’s Day,” and on that day the women rule. We have been making inquiry to find how many people of the present day have heard this saying. We think there are but a few. The old people had a number of Dutch sayings and proverbs that are hardly remembered now.
The suffragists in this county are hard at work. At Highland, Mrs. M.W. Adams will open her house for a suffragette meeting next Monday at 3 p.m. Mrs. Harcourt J. Pratt has accepted the leadership in her district. At Clintondale, there will probably be a suffragette address at the meeting of the grange on Monday evening by Mrs. Bjorkman.
Eleven new students have been admitted to the Normal School, making a total Normal enrollment thus far this year of 322.
The entertainment at the Normal School gymnasium on Thursday evening by Edward Avis — whistler, bird mimic and violinist — was very pleasing. The gymnasium was well filled. The views of the birds, as well as the mimicry of their songs and whistling, was good, likewise the music. The audience showed their appreciation.
There are a few cases of measles among the children in this village. In Poughkeepsie, the disease is quite prevalent and in Kingston, one of the schools has been closed on account of measles.
Dr. S.W. Gerow has been confined to his house from illness for the past three weeks and Mrs. Gerow has been ill for several days past. There never was a more devoted physician than Dr. Gerow has been during his 51 years of practice in New Paltz and every one will hope for the speedy recovery of both.
The snow storm on Friday evening and Saturday forenoon was the worst in several years in this locality. The snow on the level was about 18 inches in New Paltz. Our village milk men, bakers and grocers did not get to all parts of our village on Saturday. It was not until Tuesday that milk was delivered on some of the streets. The carriers on the Rural Free Delivery routes made their tours with difficulty. Two from our village post office went on horseback. On the mountain side, it was impossible to reach a few. The trolley was laid up by the storm on Saturday. The cars did not get all the way through until Sunday night. No attempt was made to get farther down Main Street than the depot.
Tuesday night was the coldest of a long siege of cold weather. The mercury on Huguenot Street dropped to 22 below zero. The New Paltz Cornet Band gave a concert and dance at Rifton on Tuesday evening and had a good house. They had a cold ride.
On Wednesday morning, shrubs and trees were clothed with a thick coating of hoar frost, giving them a beautiful appearance, especially when the sun shone.
Under the present state law, tramps cannot be given a night’s lodging at the county poor house. Consequently, they come to Herman Krom, chief of police in this village, asking for a night’s lodging and he takes them to the village lockup for the night. He has had quite a large number of cases of this kind in the last few weeks. On Monday, Judge Atkins sent Tom Kennedy to jail for 30 days for vagrancy.
Amon Roosa and Henry L. Hasbrouck caught a fine lot of pickerel and perch fishing through the ice one day last week.
The committee appointed by the Dutch Arms to consider the matter of establishing a troop of Boy Scouts at New Paltz met on Wednesday and organized by the appointment of Mr. Cain of the Normal faculty as chairman and Harold Wood as secretary. There is bright prospect of success.
President Wilson on Wednesday sent to the senate the name of Luther Hasbrouck as a postmaster in this place.
The stores in our village will close on Monday next, which will be observed as Washington’s birthday.
Of late, a small stream of water has been running in the aqueduct, all the way from Ashokan past New Paltz. Men are at work with brooms, scrubbing the bottom of the aqueduct.