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.
The horse chestnut trees on Chestnut Street are in bloom. The street received its name from these trees.
The fruit growers at Highland have been setting out peach trees, raspberries, grapes and strawberries, but have not set out apple trees to any great extent.
Millham’s barrel factory is sending out two or three truckloads of apple barrels daily. There are 175 barrels to load.
The fleur de lays planted several years ago in front of the old stone houses on Huguenot Street by the Civic Committee of the Study Club are now in bloom and give an additional picturesque note to the street.
August Boller of Ohioville has set out 1,000 tomato plants. He expects to take the fruit to Kingston in his auto truck.
The first shipment of strawberries from Marlborough and Highland to New York was made last week.
Philip H. DuBois picked and shipped about 700 quarts of sour cherries on Monday. He has eight or ten pickers and wants more. He expects to ship about 1000 quarts a day for some time to come.
Fruit growers in Ulster County will have farmerettes again this year to help pick fruit. The state department of labor has received a call for 250 girls to pick strawberries, currants, raspberries and cherries. They are paid two and a half cents and three cents a quart. The first group of pickers has just been sent out to picker strawberries.
Farmers who have sheep have been shearing them lately. The price of wool is about 30 cents a pound. This is about 50 percent more than the price last year and about half the price during war times.
The Community Committee have had the bath houses on the banks of the Wallkill put in place for the summer. A number of boys have been appointed as police at the bathing place and to see that the place is kept clean, that the buildings are not damaged and that those who go there use the place in a proper manor. The police will report to the Committee anyone who does not behave himself or who climbs on the buildings or who in any way damages the property.
Concreting is making steady progress on the state road from our village to Highland. It is finished over a considerable part of the route. When it is done, it will require considerably less time to get from our village to Poughkeepsie and New York.
There are now no Hebrews in New Paltz, the last property owned by them having been sold some weeks ago.
There are seven pupils graduating from the High School Department this June: Frank A. Smith; Daniel Y. Brink; Carl L. Maisenhelder; Iva A. Sheldon; Martin O. Young; Signa E. Evers; Lulu Miller. With the exception of Miss Miller who will take a business course the girls will enter the Normal. The boys expect to go to college.
Pledges for preliminary expenses for the highway bridge at Po’keepsie have been secured to the amount of $3,200. New Paltz has been stirred up quite thoroughly in the interests of the bridge.
The new electric ferry boat “Po’keepsie” has been launched at Jamaica Bay and will be placed on the route between Po’keepsie and Highland on the Fourth of July. The boat is 150 feet in length and 52 feet in breadth. All machinery is below deck, permitting four lines of vehicles instead of the usual two. The new boat will help to relieve the congestion which occurs every holiday and sometimes other days.
With the new garage has come a great improvement in Mohonk’s own fleet of cars. With one exception the five-passenger cars have been discarded, only seven-passenger cars being used for motor excursions or to meet guests at Poughkeepsie or Highland trains. And guests need no longer fear an unduly expensive trip from Poughkeepsie. Two of the best trains in Poughkeepsie are met on request by Mohonk automobiles at a reasonable on-person fare. Not to be outdone by the motors, Mohonk’s livery looks like new. Many new horses, and especially better horses, are adding much to the comfort and pleasure of those who like the saddle and the carriage. To the delight of many former guests the carriage service from New Paltz over the picturesque stage road has been restored.
A large number of New Paltz people were among those who went to Rifton to see the pictures taken for “When Knighthood Was in Flower.” The Kingston Freeman says that the publication in that paper of the news that the picture was being filmed resulted in great crowds — on Friday night there were 500 automobiles. As the picture is dated 400 years ago it is necessary to keep out all these automobiles and all other modern objects. When the party of which a Freeman reporter was a member arrived at Rifton, the big “daylight machines were being set in place, and all of the other electric paraphernalia arranged. A flying machine created a veritable fury of wind. Torrential rain descended in “sheets” from a large hose attached to a fire engine which the company brought with them, and with great difficulty got into place, where it could operate unseen. The “lightning” producer was in readiness.
Last week we inquired when it was that lime was burned at Lime Kiln Hill [Main Street and Manheim Blvd.] and who it was that burned it. As no one has answered our question we will answer it ourselves. The Lime Kiln Hill dates back to the time of Roelif J. Elting who was a prominent man in the time of the Revolution and great-grandfather to most of the Eltings and a large portion of the Deyos, DuBoises and LeFevres of New Paltz. He had over seventy grandchildren who grew to maturity and most of them lived in the immediate vicinity. [Note: Back then, Lime was used as fertilizer on the rocky soil of many parts of the area. Remnants of the kiln were later found when laying the tracks to the trolley.]