Watercolor, fishing gear among HSM prizes

An original watercolor of a local scene by Halcottsville artist Alix Travis, and an antique fly rod and creel are raffle items being offered by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown this year. The prizes were displayed for the first time March 15 at “Fins and Flies: A History of Fishing in the Catskills,” an illustrated talk by angling experts Ed and Judy Van Put held at Fairview Public Library.
The one-of-a-kind painting (no prints have been created) depicts the sap house (“sugar shack”) of Bill and Doris Stahl’s Hubbell Hill farm, blue mountains meandering in the distance. It has been archivally matted and framed.
Alix Travis works from her Bragg Hollow Studio, a former blacksmith shop, where she is surrounded by tools of the former occupant’s trade. Her watercolors of landscapes, barns and buildings reflect not only the beauty of the Catskills, but the region’s history.
The painting may be seen at NBT Bank in Margaretville and at upcoming HSM programs.
Another Halcottsville resident, Bill Sanford, donated a split bamboo fly rod for the fund-raising raffle. The eight-and-a-half foot, double tipped rod was given to Bill in the 1930s by his uncle, Robert Hait. “I caught a lot of fish with that rod,” he remembers.
The Lucky Strike rod is believed to have been made by a Canadian firm famous for its fishing lures. It is being raffled along with a classic cane fishing creel with a canvas strap, and a colorful hand-painted wooden lure, made in 1991. Fran Faulkner donated both.
For more information on the raffle items, please call Marilyn Pitetti, 586-2860. To find out about HSM membership or coming events, call Diane Galusha at 586-4973.