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

In This Place: May 28, 2014

Decoration Days of Yore
To start research on this week’s column on Memorial Day celebrations before the end of WWII, I first had to remember that our grandparents called it “Decora­tion Day,” and that its primary focus — whatever the pomp, parades and festivities — was a solemn cemetery visit to decorate the graves of veterans.Bill McGarvey plays echo taps from atop the Margaretville cemetery on May 30, 1950.Bill McGarvey plays echo taps from atop the Margaretville cemetery on May 30, 1950. The history of Decoration Day began shortly after the Civil War to honor the dead of that bloody conflict, whose graves were liberally scattered throughout every community in America. However, certain Southern states resisted the holiday until sometime around WWI, when the holiday’s portent was shifted to honor the fallen veterans of any war. It is interesting to note that here, even before WWI had begun, Catskills denizens used Decoration Day to honor veterans of all previous conflicts. Decoration Day back then was solemn and ceremonial; it all crescendoed at the graveyard, with “Taps,” and a sermon or benediction of some sort by the clergy.

In This Place: May 21, 2014

Just a Memory

I wanted my Memorial Day column to revisit the Vietnam conflict in our villages; a war that still stirs feelings and the one whose vets always seem to get short shrift on “Decoration Day.” My plans were waylaid by the absence of 1968 in the archives — a year in which our villages lost men to that conflict — I’ll have to pursue another strategy to retrieve them.

In This Place: May 7, 2014

Here’s to the Ladies that went out with a blaze — or a blast
by Trish Adams

In This Place: May 14, 2014

Here’s to Our Man on the Street: Clarke A. Sanford
by Trish Adams

There is no way to measure what our communities owe Clarke Sanford. A progressive, brave, brilliant young man who bought the News in 1904 on a note with $1,400, he was in front of every trend for six dec­ades: motion pictures, automobiles and, always, getting the news. His grandson Dick will tell you the News was something of a hobby until after the wars, before then he was too busy building our hospital, a theatre, car dealerships and goin' fishing.

In This Place: April 30, 2014

In honor of Arbor Day, I’m providing some snapshots of life in Margaretville’s CCC camp of the 1930s. One of FDR’s most popular “New Deal” programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps put young men to work around the country, planting trees, build­ing roads and trails during the Great Depression and affording these young men a chance to earn a buck, grow up and even get some education on the side.

In this Place: April 23, 2014

The ad is from the March 7, 1913 edition — you'll find more fun advertisements after our stories...The ad is from the March 7, 1913 edition — you'll find more fun advertisements after our stories...

In This Place: April 9, 2014

Fishing for Tales
by Trish Adams
I got myself into another whole kettle of fish this week with “fish­­ing.” Those of you who have yet to plumb the archives don’t know what happens when you search for “fish­ing” – an ocean of material “jumps” at you, and if you don’t go after every one, well, the best tale might get away!
So I did my best, and got an education into fly fishing at the same time. There’s enough great fishing lore in the News to keep us going for many a season more.

In this Place: April 16, 2014

By Trish Adams

April: Whatever Weather Wends Our Way
Easter comes late this year, and so will my Easter column. Instead I thought we'd enjoy a good old-fashioned olio of thises and thats. When trying to attract the reader’s eye, it never hurts to start with true crime or have “murder” in the headline, even if one didn’t occur. In this “crime most dog-gone foul,” the only real tragedy seems to have been the loyal family pet (what kind of coward shoots a dog?) This murderous gang was so inept they didn’t even have their victim’s first name down pat. And three of them chickened out.

In This Place: April 2, 2014

“Tramping” with “Oom John”
In a year when we’re all longing for spring, I thought we could spend some time with the man who was born on April 3 and attributed his optimistic nature to this “hopeful” time of year — naturalist and Roxbury native, John Burroughs.
Making selections was hard — Burroughs was a frequent topic in this paper and his obituary, memorial services and centennial cele­brations alone could fill many columns.
So I focused instead on the day-to-day news of his doings and sayings, and the unassuming way he lived among his neighbors and friends.
Coincidentally, the News is now running a serial story, “Roose­velt, Bur­roughs and the Trip that Saved Nature,” sponsored by the New York News Publishers Association. Although we are now on Chapter 5, you can find the entire series here on our website in the “Features” section. The book is meant to introduce children to the conservation movement, which got an enormous “leg up” from the lasting friendship between Burroughs and Roose­velt. This is how it all started . . .

March 27, 1903 — John Burroughs Honored
President Roosevelt has invited John Burroughs, the naturalist who is a native of Roxbury, to accompany his party on a trip to Yellowstone Park. The invitation [was] inspired by Mr. Burroughs’ article in a March per­iodical which the President had been reading.

HAPPY CAMPERS: President Theodore (never "Teddy" to his friends) Roosevelt and John Burroughs during their historic trip to Yellowstone in 1903. Photographer unknown.HAPPY CAMPERS: President Theodore (never "Teddy" to his friends) Roosevelt and John Burroughs during their historic trip to Yellowstone in 1903. Photographer unknown.

In This Place: March 26, 2014

“No Passengers: This Train is Headed for the (Grave) Yard
by Trish Adams

Most times, significant histor­ical transitions come and go and people don’t notice until years or even decades later that an epochal shift has had a huge impact on their lives and their communities.

That is not the case with the demise of the railroad — and especially its passenger service — among our villages and towns. Indeed, old and young alike seemed acutely aware of the immense role the railroad played in Catskills industries and its quality of life. Nostalgia was rampant before the last passenger train had left the station.

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