The ‘‘Our towns’’ column is compiled each month by Carol Johnson of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the February issues of the New Paltz Independent. To get a closer look at these newspapers of the past, visit the staff of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library at 93 Main Street in New Paltz, or call 255-5030.
The Poughkeepsie ferry has had some trouble in running of late on account of the loose ice getting into the ferry slip and freezing solid between the trips of the boat. Navigation on the Hudson, at Poughkeepsie closed last Friday by the arrival of the Steamer Poughkeepsie of the Central Hudson Steamboat Company line. The steamer had a hard battle to get through the ice from Newburgh. But one boat has been operated since the advent of cold weather from Poughkeepsie south, but two steamers have been operating from Newburgh south. All the steamers are now tied up at Newburgh.
A large quantity of ice has been harvested at the Binnewaters.
There was fair coasting (sledding) in our village streets last week. The favorite route was down Main Street to North Front Street and then down that street.
Several Vassar girls took advantage of the break in the college term to spend a few days at Mohonk. There was coasting, skiing and skating. Saturday night a party of Vassar girls and Mohonk School boys chaperoned by Mrs. Hugh Smiley, rode on a bob sled to the log cabin in the valley where a most enjoyable evening was spent.
The R.F.D. Carriers have had to make their rounds with horse and wagon a great portion of the time this winter as autos could not be run to advantage on the country roads.
Miss Hylah Hasbrouck, Warwick, NY, sent her check for $10 to become a life member of the Huguenot Memorial Society of New Paltz. The number of new members who are joining is highly gratifying and we hope for many more. Miss Hasbrouck’s ancestors were for nearly 200 years the owners of the Memorial House.
The DuBois sisters, daughters of Gilbert DuBois, having sold their place at Napanoch and removed to Kingston, are willing that the famous old chest, brought to this country by the original Louis DuBois, should now be placed in the Memorial House, where it would be one of the most valued relics. There has also been placed in the Memorial House, a canteen found October 9, 1902 by Linus Anderson on the battlefield at Cedar Creek behind the breastworks of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps. Captain Blake tells us that the soldiers made a practical use of the old canteens after they would no longer hold water, by holding them over the fire till the solder was melted. Thus they obtained two “platters” on which they could fry their hard tack after soaking it in their coffee, and so obtain a very palatable dish.
Daniel Smiley, Jr., a lad of about ten, who has been very ill with pneumonia at his home at Mohonk is now improving. Miss Sarah Deyo and Miss Marks have been in attendance as nurses. There have been a number of cases of mumps and whooping cough at Highland. The Clintondale school is closed on account of scarlet fever.
John Smith of Highland has unloaded his fourth load of Ford cars at the station at Modena and is going to open a Ford Service station in the Modena garage.
George Muller has one of the cat family on exhibition at his drug store, known as a bob cat. The animal was shot Monday morning near Lake Minnewaska by Fred Van Leuven. Van Leuven was on his way to work and saw the bob cat coming steadily towards him. When it was about 25 feet away, he started shooting at it with a 32 caliber revolver, firing five times and hitting the mark four out of the five times. George Muller has purchased the body of the bob cat and intends mounting it. This specimen weighs about 30 pounds.
Of late years, a great deal of interest has been shown in village libraries in this part of the country. We all know what has been done in New Paltz in that line during the past year. At Highland the library within the past few months has been placed in the old Dr. Ganse office which has been purchased for that purpose. Marlborough is raising money for a library building. Stone Ridge has had a library for some time. At Wallkill, the library has a number of new books and a new sign.
One of the best of the new variety of apples is the Delicious. A fine specimen of this variety from the orchard of Isaac LeFevre is on exhibition in the show window in Conklin’s Store. This variety was introduced in this vicinity about 20 years ago by Solomon DuBois [former owner of Dressel Farms] and came from the Southwest.
About a hundred couples were present at the Senior Prom in the Normal Gymnasium on Saturday evening. Perkins Orchestra of Po’keepsie furnished the music. The class colors, wisteria and apricot, were carried out in Japanese decorations of cherry blossoms and Japanese panels, and girls in Japanese costumes served refreshments. About 25 from Poughkeepsie were present. The officers of the senior class are Margaret M. Crowley, president; Helen M. Williamson, vice-president; Margaret G. Graebner, secretary; and Helen M. Greene, treasurer.
Forty years ago New Paltz people were amazed at the change of Mohonk from a barren mountain, difficult of access, to one of the most popular resorts of the country. There is something of the same nature, though on a smaller scale going on at Chodigee [Chodikee] Lake north of Centerville. We remember the lake, as do many others, as the place to go for pickerel fishing. We only visited the Chodigee once. That was about 48 years ago. We went with eight or ten other young people in two wagons to have a good time and catch pickerel. We found a beautiful lake a mile or two in extent. There was a small house by the side of the lake where we left our horses and got some bait. Then we went out on the pond in two boats. We did not catch any pickerel but we found an old man with a boat in the center of the pond. He had half a dozen fishing rods all of which he was tending and he had caught quite a number of pickerel. Some of them we bought and transferred to our boat, thinking our friends that were in the other boat at some little distance would not see the transaction and would think that we had caught the fish. But when both boats got back to the landing place, we found that those in the other boat were well aware of the manner in which we had got those fine fish. However, all enjoyed eating the pickerel as much as though we had caught the fish ourselves. We remember, too, that we all got caught in a tremendous shower on our return. That was nearly 50 years ago. Within the past few years a great change has come over Chodigee. It has become a summer resort and the seat of the Raymond Riordan School, fame of which has extended far and wide.