The ‘‘Our towns’’ column is compiled each month by Carol Johnson of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the May 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.
Carpenters are getting about $5 a day in this village. Not in many years has there been so much building going on in our village as there is at present. Operations for six houses are in progress in the upper portion of our village.
Warren S. Tamney, who is now the owner of the New Paltz Hotel, is carrying on very extensive improvements in the interior arrangements. A number of the rooms will be provided with hot and cold water and redecorated, and other changes will be made.
The door of the new vault being placed in the Savings Bank came on the cars on Tuesday. It weighs eight tons. It took considerable time to get it from the railroad to its destination. Four horses and a tackle were employed.
Eugene VanWagenen is putting up a building for a poultry house 50×16 in the rear of his residence. He will now have accommodations for several hundred hens. Ira Beatty’s hens are laying well. He has about 50 hens and got over 900 eggs in a month, an average of over 30 a day. Farmers are getting 27 cents a dozen for eggs in village stores.
There are about 25 men at work at Camp Wallkill constructing a road and putting up two large buildings. A number of men working at Camp Wallkill get meals at the New Paltz hotel.
The road leading on the west side of the Wallkill toward the County House for which the county recently appropriated $5000 will be 1 ¼ miles in length and is expected to cost about $18,000. Mrs. Jamison, owner of Arbuckle Farms will give one-third of the entire cost. Those interested in the road hope that the town will contribute toward the road. It will be a great aid in going to the County house.
A movement is on foot to secure a petition containing a hundred thousand names asking for the construction of a highway bridge across the Hudson at Poughkeepsie.
A corps of 24 engineers has lately been at work on the Wallkill below Rifton, where a dam is to be built to furnish water power for the generation of electricity. The contract is soon to be given out and the work will be rushed. It will take about two years to build the dam, which will be located on the site of the old powder mill. The plant will be very much larger than that at Dashville. The two power sites formerly used by the Dimmick carpet mills will be under water and the water power at the Rifton grist mill will no longer exist. The work now underway is in the nature of clearing up brush, loose rocks, top soil, etc. The Public Service commission has authorized the sale of bonds to finance the work. The construction of the new dam and plant will be in charge of Frank B. Maltby, an experienced engineer of high standing who has had 35 years of active experience in the field and has had charge of or been associated with the construction of many much larger enterprises of this nature.
The Wallkill has become an object of great interest in a business way. One development treads on the heels of another. Camp Wallkill is quite an undertaking, but it is very small affair compared with the project for constructing a great dam and reservoir for generating electricity below Rifton. The undertaking is an immense one. When completed, the Wallkill will be a lake from our village all the way down to its Junction with the Rondout — a distance of about ten miles – broken only by the dam at Dashville.
The grounds about the Elting Memorial Library are kept in fine condition. Charles Palmatier does the work.
We are getting rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus and parsnips from our garden. The Springtown farmers have about finished planting potatoes. Timothy Sullivan is probably the largest grower. Jesse Deyo who works the Simon R. LeFevre farm has about 240 bushels planted.
Never before, perhaps, have there been so many apple trees planted as this spring. The high prices of late years have led farmers to go into the business. Kenneth DuBois and Mr. Ilensworth are among the number who have set out apple trees this spring. Frank LeFevre and Frost and McNab now each have about 6000 trees in their orchards including those set out this spring. There are many more apple trees set out along the Modena road than in any other place in this vicinity. The growing of apples bids fair to supercede other branches of farm industry in this town.
Geo. E. Johnston, Elting Harp, A. A. Poucher and Oscar Zimmerman spent Tuesday at McKee’s Pond in Sullivan county fishing for pickerel. They returned about 8 o’clock in the evening with several fine fish.
On the grounds of the New Paltz Normal School took place, May 12, one of the prettiest events of the year, when a pageant adopted from Ruth Sawyer’s The Princess and the Vagabond was presented by the normal students. Everything combined to make the occasion a very lovely one. The pageant was staged on the green directly in front of the main entrance to the building, the audience being ranged in a wide semi-circle under the trees and on the lawn beyond. The Normal School grounds, among the most beautiful in the state, are very well adopted for outdoor presentations of this sort.
The New Paltz Fire Department defeated the Wilbur A. C. at the Normal Grounds last Saturday by the score of 6 to 4. Pat Coutant, the local pitching ace, held the visitors to six scattered hits and struck out fourteen men. Jay Zimmerman had a finger splint by a foul tip in the first inning and was forced to retire from the game.
Mother’s Day was celebrated Sunday morning at the Reformed Church. Members of the Sunday School, which numbered over a hundred, were each given a carnation, the national flower for Mother’s Day and attended the morning service in a body. The Rev. Mr. Allen gave a short talk appropriate to the day to the children, after which they were excused.
A memorial to the service men and women from Marlborough is to be unveiled on Memorial Day. At Highland the members of the G.A.R. met and turned the entire charge of Memorial Day exercises over to the American Legion. The Legion has asked the various organizations of the village to join in the parade. There will be music by the band and a speaker at the cemetery.