The ‘‘Our towns’’ column is compiled each month by Carol Johnson of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the June 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.
Probably no one counted the autos that passed through our village on Memorial Day. But, quite certainly the number was greater than ever before; greater even than on Labor Day, last year, when over 1200 cars were counted passing a certain point in one hour and 40 minutes. Several thousand cars must have gone through our village on Monday. Fully three-fourths of the cars that passed through our village Monday were going south. The explanation is that they were nearly all from New York City or nearby cities in New Jersey. They had gone up to the Catskills or further north on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning and were now on their way back to their homes in the city.
The traffic from Mohonk to Poughkeepsie now avoids the New Paltz turnpike, which is in bad condition. They now go down the Plattekill state road as far as Philip H. DuBois (Brookside Road), thence across to Clintondale and by the state road from Clintondale to Highland.
The Poughkeepsie ferry company expects soon to close a contract for the building of the Poughkeepsie, which is to be an electrically operated ferry, the only one, it is thought, in the country.
Sunset Inn, Riverside, Shady Knoll and the New Paltz Hotel were crowded on Decoration Day, and had to turn many away. There have been about 80 guests of late at the Wildmere House. The Cliff House does not open till near the end of June. Both houses at Minnewaska are being wired for electric lights.
The body of Roelif M. Upright, brother of Mrs. Fred Dolson, who died in a hospital in France, after serving in the last battle fought, has been brought back to this country. It was awaited for burial by relatives in Gardiner.
A million artificial poppies were sent from France to this country to be sold for ten cents each for the benefit of the French war orphans. Kingston and Poughkeepsie each took five thousand. Some were sold in our village.
Peter Harp was at home Memorial Day and marched with the rest of the boys to the cemetery. He is engaged with a body of engineers north of Utica on work for utilizing water power. Lawrence Osterhoudt is in charge of the company. The Eltinge Post has disbanded but we were glad to see two or three of its members at the services at the cemetery on Memorial Day. Many people who desired to place flowers on the graves of their relatives visited the New Paltz cemetery on Sunday afternoon.
Frank Frianfreddo is building an addition to his house at Put Corner. He is the largest strawberry grower in the town, but the dry weather is cutting the drop short and he is now picking only 12 or 15 crates a day. They have been sold of late at Highland for shipment elsewhere at 24 cents a quart.
At the meeting of our village trustees on Monday evening two petitions for Daylight Saving were presented – one from the firemen and one from the businessmen. There was some discussion, but no action was taken. The trustees meet only once a month. So our clocks will not be shoved ahead for another month at least.
Mrs. Grace R. Wilmont of New York City, under the auspices of the Home Bureau, has been giving talks on home decoration in this vicinity. It is interesting to note that in New Paltz, Clintondale, High Falls and Hurley the meetings began on standard time. At Saugerties and Milton, the meetings began on daylight saving time.
The boys of the Mohonk School have ridden daily with the exception of two days this winter. Polo, jumping, cavalry drill, tilting, wrestling bareback, take place daily at one of the Home Farm fields.
Normal students about to graduate are securing positions for next year at fine salaries. Girls are signing contracts to teach at about $1400 and $1500 a year. This is at least double what girls just graduated received a few years ago. The summer school at the Normal will open in less than a month. Teachers are now in such great demand and wages are so high that we may expect a large attendance at the summer school.
Edward Payson Weston, the world-famous pedestrian is living on a farm near Plutarch. Mr. Weston celebrated his 82nd birthday on March 15 and is still hale and hearty and thinks nothing of walking 12 miles for exercise.
Father Duke of the Redemptorist College in Esopus conducted the mission, which was held at St. Joseph’s church in this village, each morning and evening, last week. There was a good attendance and a serious and earnest feeling was evident. There is very little difference in the preaching heard in the Protestant churches, nowadays and that herd in Catholic churches. Both are trying to fight the Devil.
Brick is being taken by truck from the New Paltz yard for building the new high school at Wallkill. At least 300,000 will be required. About 3,000 are taken at each truck load.
Peter Ean, the well-known bee hunter captured a swarm of bees and took 40 pounds of honey a short time ago from a hollow tree a little distance east of Butterville. This identical swarm left their home on the premises of Mr. Silkworth north of Main Street in April. Mr. Ean ascertained just the direction they had taken and made his reckoning as to where they would probably be found. The tree in which the bees and honey were secured was on the land now belonging to a Hungarian farmer. Mr. Ean has placed the swarm in a new home where he thinks they will remain.
The skeleton of a mastodon, with tusks 75 inches long, was unearthed last week by an Italian truck farmer while digging a ditch on his farm at Little Britain, Orange County. The bones were in a good state of preservation. One of the ribs measured 50 inches in length.
The graduates of the high school held their class day exercises in the auditorium on Monday afternoon. There were 16 graduates in all, four of whom completed the college entrance course and the others the Normal entrance course. After the graduating exercises a one-act play was given. The high school during the last few years has made a reputation for excellent dramatic work, and this was well-maintained by the performance on Monday afternoon.
The 35th annual commencement of the New Paltz State Normal and High Schools was of an exceptionally high order this year. The orations of Miss Barnes and Miss Elmore, representing the high school, and the valedictory by Miss Boyd, of the Normal School, showed much thought and care in their preparation and delivery. The address of Dr. George M. Wiley, Assistant Commissioner of Education was timely and interesting. The Chairman of the Local Board, Mr. Daniel Smiley, presented each graduate with a diploma.