Jay Gould's map topic for HSM meeting
Margaretville — The Annual Luncheon Meeting of the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM) will feature an illustrated talk on the fascinating 1856 wall map of Delaware County created by Roxbury-born Jay Gould, long before he became a railroad tycoon and the richest man in America.
Meredith Town Historian Frank Waterman will be the presenter at the event, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 20 beginning at noon at the HSM hall, 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville. A buffet luncheon will include chicken Marsala, a mashed potato bar with a variety of toppings, fresh local vegetables and homemade desserts.
Reservations, at $15 per person, are required and may be made by calling Lucci Kelly at 607 326-4734, by October 15.
A summary of the society’s activities over the past year will be recounted after lunch, and election of officers and new executive committee members will be held. The slate includes President Diane Galusha, Vice President Carolyn Konheim, Secretary Lucci Kelly and Treasurer Marilyn Pitetti, as well as two new Trustees, Henry Friedman of Margaretville and Anne Sanford of Halcottsville.
Says Waterman about the subject of his talk: “It is almost unbelievable that Jay Gould’s 1856 map of Delaware County was the work of a teenaged boy. My presentation will tell the story of how he made this map and show interesting details and information contained on it. The presentation will feature the diary kept by one of Gould’s surveyors while surveying Roxbury and Middletown in 1853.”
The map is a priceless research tool as it includes the names of property owners and businesses pinpointed at their locations in the years between the 1850 and 1860 federal census. An actual Gould map will be on exhibit for the afternoon.
Waterman is currently president of the Meredith Historical Society and serves as Town of Meredith Historian. He is a retired professor of medical physics who returned to his hometown where he now devotes much of his time to researching, writing, and teaching the history of the Town of Meredith.
He is a Civil War enthusiast, the author of Raising Lincoln’s Army, about how Delaware County soldiers enlisted and were recruited for various units during the war; and Mother, You Mustn’t Worry So About Us, based on the letters between two soldier brothers, Clark and James MacDonald, and their family back home in Meredith.