In This Place: Stories from the News Archives by Trish Adams

In This Place: May 6, 2015

Some gift suggestions for you procrastinators in this April 22, 1955 ad.Some gift suggestions for you procrastinators in this April 22, 1955 ad.
Here They Come, Ready or Not
Although we regard Memorial Day weekend as the official kickoff of summer, in years gone by many summer boarders headed for the hills in May. The notice below regularly appeared around the end of winter, week after week, year in and year out, imploring lodging proprietors to get their act together. The information of summer lodging choices was so valuable to the railroad and its passengers that there was no charge for a listing.

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In This Place: April 29, 2015

May Days in Motion
May Day — traditionally celebrated on May 1, seems to have moved around a bit in the actual coronations of May Queens and such. At women’s colleges it was a matter of great prestige to be named Queen of the May, but the ceremony was usually held later in the month. I also was surprised to find many mentions of Arbor Day celebrations in May. Although it started out in the middle of April, it was officially moved to the last Friday in April at some point, but never mind that — I found plenty of Arbor Day stories drifting into May as well — probably so moved by the impracticality of planting trees in the mountains in April!

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In This Place: April 22, 2015

Scattered Showers
This week’s column is a little spring bouquet of thises and thats, garnered from this time of year in decades past. As promised, with the change of seasons, we have another treat from Emmeline Scudder’s diary of farm life in the 1950s, Feminine Furrows.
Our first story, however, gives a whole new meaning to the term “opium den”:
April 16, 1915
Shot a Chuck — Highmount Man Makes Novel Capture of a Pet which Develops a Bad Habit

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In This Place: April 15, 2015

Just Another “Typo-cal” Day

Having mostly ink for blood, I’ve been relishing doing a newspaper-related column, one that looks at the growing pains, everyday tribulations and typos that beset even the finest news organization. Every editor has stories of typos so horrific that they can’t be reprinted even for the mirth factor: our editor’s favorite was the time the “o” was left out of the word “county” in a 48-point headline. Let’s spend some time this week looking at the “new” News of 1902, when Clarke Sanford took over:


In This Place: April 8, 2015

Anglers Ahoy!

After a long and chilly winter, it’s time to get out the fishing gear and enjoy some of Clarke Sanford’s trout tales, and memories of the fine fishing spots up and down the Delaware before they were sacrificed to the Pepacton Reservoir in 1954.
Let’s start with a tale of a dry fly purist who is sold on new technology as fast as a 15-year-old today for an iPhone 6.

May 6, 1949
Hank is a Catskill trout fisherman. For many years he has fished, with dry fly, all the good trout waters of the area. The pools of the Delaware, the Plattekill, Bushkill and Huckleberry are as familiar as his back steps.
He’s a good fisherman. He takes home five or six trout though he could fill a basket anytime. He is ready to argue at the drop of a claret gnat against the bait fisherman. He leaves one with the impression a fisherman who uses other than flies to take trout commits a grave error against the sportsman’s code.


In This Place: April 1, 2015

Fool’s Paradise

Who could resist pulling out some good pranks for a paper printed on April Fool’s day?

March 10, 1905
Various practical jokes are carried out by the workmen at the Pocantico and one of the best ones happened last week when some one gilded George Gregory’s overshoes with the gilt used for the radiators. Now, the man who did it has confessed, and the joke is not on the Collector. It is said that a new pair of overshoes were bought to replace the “golden slippers.”


In This Place: March 25, 2015

Women Marching On
FEMINEERED—I suppose the feminine-engineered concept has to do with ease of storing and cleaning, and the stylish looks of this refrigerator. I would think the fellows might be more interested in the built-in bottle opener. But then again, maybe now I’m being the sexist!FEMINEERED—I suppose the feminine-engineered concept has to do with ease of storing and cleaning, and the stylish looks of this refrigerator. I would think the fellows might be more interested in the built-in bottle opener. But then again, maybe now I’m being the sexist!
In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to present the archive’s take on feminists, the women’s movement and the concept of “modern” woman. Good luck! As you will see, I had to settle for a much more “expansive” notion of women’s progress.


In This Place: March 18, 2015

Springing to Mind

The calendar may say “Spring” this week, but in the Catskills spring in March is usually more a matter of prognostication and promise than actually showing up. Still I thought I’d get us in the mood for spring, or maybe at least spring cleaning, with this week’s column. I’ll keep it short, so as not to torture those of you still burning through your fuel oil! Here’s to a robin in every yard!

March 18, 1955 — From Clarke Sanford’s “Mountain Dew”
I have been told that the best time for a farmer to sell the old place is in March, while snow is yet on the ground the rocks and rough spots are covered and the buyer is full of spring enthusiasm. April mud may change the pic­ture.


In This Place: March 11, 2015

Mud for all seasons

Since it’s been such a brutal snowy winter, I thought I would remind readers about the next seasonal trial: mud. However, my research revealed that the plague of mud, although most often a spring affair, could occur just about any time of year. And in the days before paved roads, it could be almost as debilitating to traffic as floods and blizzards. So before we have to deal with it ourselves, let’s take a look at how mud gummed up the works for our ancestors.

March 27, 1908 from “The Stroller”
I decided to go to church last Sunday morning and wended my way up toward the Presbyterian edifice. All went well until after I turned the corner from Walnut Street but then I was stuck. The only way to proceed further was to wade. I looked ahead and saw several church goers and they were wading. The mud was well nigh up to their ankles but they were heroic and waded through. I did the same, about spoiled my shoes to say nothing of the looks of them. There seems to be no way to get to the church mentioned without wading through the mud. Now this could easily be remedied, why don’t somebody fix it.


In This Place: March 4, 2015 — the year of the issue is . . . 1915!

March of Time

This week’s column offerings, even the advertisements, are all from a single issue in early March. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out what year! I have stuck to the “fives” so you are looking for 19?5. Of course, I will try to make it as tricky as possible!

Test your historical skills, or make yourself hysterical trying to nail it down. The answer will be revealed in next week’s column. Of course, you could always “cheat” by visiting our archives on-line at www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/middletown. You might even have some fun there.


Balance of Alphabet Free
All whose names begin with the following letters are invited to attend the moving picture show at the Opera House Saturday night free: T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z. Next week there will be a surprise announcement in the matter of those who are invited to attend free.—adv.


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