Dead Reckoning

Poet Dylan Thomas eloquently wrote “After the first death, there is no other,” but what about when your cemetery dies? More...

Posted 5/10/2016 07:31 PM

Shadow on the Land

With the News’ year-long series examining the storied relationship between our villages, New York City and our mutual watershed struggles, I thought it would be instructive to look at the earliest days of the development of the reservoir which has af More...

Posted 4/26/2016 06:20 PM

In This Place: April 6, 2016

The Past is a Foreign Country

That almost proverbial phrase, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” is actually the opening line from The Go-Between, a novel by L.P. Hartley. More...

Posted 4/5/2016 04:36 PM

In This Place: March 23, 2016

Can Spring Be Far Behind?

Here are some images from this time of year from the archives, all reminders of what we can anticipate — or dread! More...

Posted 3/22/2016 08:16 PM

In This Place: March 9, 2016


My salute to Women’s History Month is a bit “backhanded,” but I thought it would be fun to share with you what passed for a sort of women’s lib 100 years ago, so we could all enjoy how far attitudes to women’s autonomy and equity have come since then More...

Posted 3/8/2016 09:13 PM

In This Place: February 24, 2016

February Flotsam

Here are some items that drifted “downstream” as I was making my way through these late winter days decades ago. Don’t worry, I am not going to rub our noses too much in good snow years; like you, I think this ubermild winter is nothing to dwell on. More...

Posted 2/23/2016 05:57 PM

In this Place: February 10, 2016

Love Won’t Wait

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I hope you will enjoy these stories of elopements — some happy, some quite adventurous and a few of them deemed criminal. More...

Posted 2/9/2016 07:55 PM

In This Place: January 27, 2016


In honor of this week’s Progress edition, I’m taking a look back at some of our most enduring enterprises and endeavors and thinking about what has contributed to their longevity. More...

Posted 1/26/2016 08:19 PM

In This Place: January 13, 2016

Comings and Goings

It’s a new year still and so I thought we could look at some “comings and goings” from this time of year in decades past. More...

Posted 1/12/2016 07:26 PM

In This Place: December 30, 2015

Headlines of 1915

One of my fun jobs at the end of the year is to take a look back and compile some of the top stories in our “Year in Review.” You can read the first half of 2015’s top stories on page 6B, with some additional photos on 8A. More...

Posted 12/29/2015 07:19 PM

In This Place: December 16, 2015

Social Media, c. 1905

In exploring some of the quainter aspects of early telephone service and etiquette, I was struck with how every new communication form goes through some of the same behavioral bumps. More...

Posted 12/15/2015 08:15 PM

In This Place: December 2, 2015

December Doozies

From the outré to the whimsical to the downright unbelievable, front page content in the early years of the 20th century was often a far cry from anything you would find anywhere in the paper by mid-century. More...

Posted 12/1/2015 10:03 PM

In This Place: November 18, 2015

A Young Man Meets His Destiny

Seventy-seven years ago, on November 18, the Catskill Mountain News printed the obituary of one of its most beloved citizens, Gordon Maurer. In only 13 short years, he had ensconced himself as the life blood of his adopted hometown. More...

Posted 11/17/2015 05:46 PM

In This Place: November 4, 2015

Call of the Wild

We’ve spent several weeks with those masters of wild critters, the game protectors, but anyone with a passing interest in Catskill woodsmanship will also remember Niles Fairbairn, trapper and animal trainer extraordinaire. More...

Posted 11/3/2015 09:24 PM

In This Place: October 14, 2015

Good Cop, Bad Cop

After discovering fun tales from Game Protectors Bryan Burgin and Bob VanBenschoten during my research last week, I thought these almost revered figures would make an interesting column for this week. More...

Posted 10/13/2015 07:48 PM

In This Place: September 23, 2015

Icarus Descending

I had planned a September serendipity — a potluck as it were — but the first item I alighted on, this tale of a runaway balloon, was a theme too fun to resist. More...

Posted 9/22/2015 10:52 PM

In This Place: September 9, 2015

Back to School — Way Back When

OK, it’s finally time to hit the books again. For school officials and faculty well ensconced in our times of uber-technology and many would say, uber-bur- eaucracy, I thought we could take a look at what “Back to School” meant 100 years ago. More...

Posted 9/8/2015 10:08 PM

In This Place: August 26, 2015

After the Fair is Over

After the Fair is Over by Trish Adams   More...

Posted 8/25/2015 09:09 PM

In This Place: August 19, 2015


Perusing August editions of years past reminded me that when the fair comes to town, so do the carnies, a noble, sometimes maligned but often mischievous tribe. More...

Posted 8/19/2015 01:22 PM

In This Place: July 22, 2015

It’s Too Darn Hot

Whether soggy or sunny, we are in the dog days of summer, when a lot of things start heating up — tempers, barn fires, sweaty kids headed for the best swimming hole. More...

Posted 7/21/2015 07:48 PM

In This Place: July 8, 2015

Hay Fever

Now that we’re truly into the height of summer, you’d think it would be a good time to explore the fun and games that the alltoo brief stint of warm weather brought to our villages decades ago. More...

Posted 7/8/2015 12:51 PM

In This Place: June 24, 2015

Summers Ago

In this column I spend so much time in the earlier part of the 20th century that I thought for this summertime column I would focus on the 1960s, to see if I could discern any hints of times changing — flower children, social unrest, etc. More...

Posted 6/24/2015 09:12 AM

In This Place: June 10, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever More...

Posted 6/10/2015 09:47 AM

In This Place: May 27, 2015

Stories of Us from the Catskill Mountain News

Memorial Day Photo Montage by Trish Adams More...

Posted 5/27/2015 10:22 AM

In This Place: May 13, 2015

The Days of Our Lives

The Days of Our Lives The passing of Bonnie Etts last week — a genial and generous man who played his part “in this place” for almost 100 years — reminded me of the role the News has also played in those decades, not just reporting ‘news,” but also More...

Posted 5/12/2015 07:00 PM


This week we continue to take a glance at the building of the Pepacton Reservoir, this time in the post-war period and into the early 1950s, the period when property was finally taken, homes dismantled, and the valley ultimately flooded. More...

Posted 5/3/2016 07:56 PM

In This Place: April 13, 2016

Springtime for Maggie

Now that spring is finally on the way, I thought it was time to see how Maggie Scudder’s clan was faring some 60-odd years ago. Spring cleaning, new calves and some spring fever (well, spring mumps at least) were all in the picture. More...

Posted 4/12/2016 06:01 PM

In This Place: March 30, 2016

Opening Day

It’s that time of year already! (Already?! More...

Posted 3/29/2016 06:41 PM

In This Place: March 16, 2016

The Pluck of the Irish

Whether they stir the heart with pride, or make you cringe at the facile stereotypes, these tidbits of Irish-ness from the pages of the News do at least highlight the tenacity and colorful character that eternally enlivens the offspring of the Emeral More...

Posted 3/15/2016 05:31 PM

In This Place: March 2, 2016

Spring of Learning

This time of year, 110 years ago, an ardent campaign was begun to rebuild Margaretville’s high school. More...

Posted 3/1/2016 05:38 PM

In This Place February 17, 2016

Dug Himself in Too Deep

Floundering around as usual for a timely topic, I once again fell on some amazing fodder for you budding crime or mystery writers. More...

Posted 2/16/2016 04:57 PM

In this Place: February 3, 2016

Cold Case Investigation

In the run up to Valentine’s Day, I was going to share some tales of love gone wrong — a topic reported in lurid detail in the early part of the 20th century until the 1920s or so, when a respect for personal privacy or the perceptions of newsworthin More...

Posted 2/2/2016 08:26 PM

In This Place: January 20, 2016

Flood of Memories

This week marks the 20th anniversary of one of our region’s — and especially Margaretville’s —most devastating floods. More...

Posted 1/19/2016 08:01 PM

In This Place: January 6, 2016

Quiet Times?

Ringing in a new year is often a time of reflection, contemplation, celebrating what’s to come and commemorating what’s past. I thought it would also be a fun time to check in on Maggie Scudder and her clan. More...

Posted 1/5/2016 08:00 PM

In This Place: December 23, 2015

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Enjoy these tales from Christmases long ago. Got your shopping done? Me neither! See you on the other side of the wrapping paper . . . More...

Posted 12/22/2015 06:14 PM

In This Place: December 9, 2015

The More Things Change ...

For this week’s column, I wanted to test my suspicion that certain types of stories and news have remained constant in our communities and in the paper, over the decades, year after year. More...

Posted 12/8/2015 10:25 PM

In This Place; November 25, 2015


I’m guessing that most of my “loyal” readers really enjoyed the “Letters Home” column in honor of Veterans Day. I wanted to follow up a bit with some of the fellows, so you would know they got home safe. Then, of course! More...

Posted 11/25/2015 12:10 AM

In This Place: November 11, 2015

Letters Home

In honor of Veterans’ Day, I thought we could treat ourselves to some letters from servicemen serving during World War II. The News is in fact so chock full of them that I actually had to confine this column to samplings from parts of 1943. More...

Posted 11/10/2015 10:51 PM

In This Place: October 28, 2015

Fair Game

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the rocky early years of game protectors in our region who were often reviled for collecting fines for illegal hunting from neighbors and friends. By the time Joe DeSilva retired in 1931 More...

Posted 10/27/2015 08:54 PM

In This Place: October 7, 2015

Following Uncle Jacob's Trail

In honor of the historic auction that was held last weekend on the VanBenschoten farm in New Kingston, I thought we could enjoy some snippets of this family’s long history in that valley.  More...

Posted 10/6/2015 09:32 PM

In This Place: Sept. 30, 2015

The Pull of Tractors

In honor of last week’s Cauliflower Festival, I thought we could reminisce about one of the festival’s most popular features: tractors!  More...

Posted 9/29/2015 08:51 PM

In This Place: September 16, 2015

Tall Tales from the Silo

This is traditionally the time of filling the silos to provide winter feed for livestock. More...

Posted 9/15/2015 08:40 PM

In This Place: September 2, 2015

Vanishing Acts

It’s hard to believe only 55 years separate the two fairs/festivals presented here. About the only thing they seem to have in common is rides and treats. More...

Posted 9/1/2015 09:06 PM

In This Place: August 12, 2015

Down with the Rent

This past week marked the 170th anniversary of the most climatic moment in the Anti-Rent Wars, when Undersheriff Osman Steele was shot and killed by “Calico Indians” on Moses Earle’s farm in Andes. More...

Posted 8/19/2015 01:32 PM

In This Place: July 29, 2015

Jack of all Trades

This week I was delighted to alight on the diaries of Matthew Griffin, a multi-faceted man who helped found Griffins’ Corners (now Fleischmanns.) The News reprinted his diary exactly 100 years after it was written. More...

Posted 7/28/2015 09:02 PM

In This Place: July 15, 2015

Vive La France

In honor of Bastille Day (July 14) I have unearthed some News mentions of the French, French classes, French exchange students and of course, our boys in France . . . More...

Posted 7/15/2015 11:05 AM

In This Place: July 1, 2015

Jump Right In!

On the first anniversary of our magnificent Community Recreation Center and its Olympicsized pool, a gift to the town from the beneficent Kingdon Gould and his family, it seemed fitting to look back at the earlier rough waters incurred in the concept More...

Posted 7/1/2015 10:15 AM

In This Place: June 17, 2015


Classy! by Trish Adams More...

Posted 6/17/2015 09:07 AM

In This Place: June 3, 2015

June is Bustin’ Out All Over By Trish Adams More...

Posted 6/3/2015 08:19 AM

In This Place: May 20, 2015

Stories of Us from the Catskill Mountain News

Ready for Some May-hem? In honor of the arrival of spring and warm weather I thought I'd spring a little May mayhem your way: a little collection of the unexpected, mischief-making or spring cleaning variety. More...

Posted 5/21/2015 01:45 PM