Monday, February 20, 2017

Historian Annual Report for 2016

Overview of Some Goals from Last Year’s Report 
My plan for another Bovina historian history program was successful, with a presentation in April on Bovina Butter. It was well received and was timed well with the plans to start producing butter at the Bovina creamery again.

I did a cemetery presentation as planned in the fall but weather issues forced it to be moved inside instead of holding it on-site.

Another family history trip to Scotland, similar to the one I ran in November 2014, did not come off, due to lack of people signing up.

Social Media 
The Bovina NY History Blog ( celebrated its seventh anniversary in April. I did 67 entries for 2016. I’ve settled to doing on an average four entries a month. A list of the entries is in the appendix to this report. A special thank you to David Hoy and his son John Hoy for sharing the 1884 diary of their ancestor, David F. Hoy.

Started in 2013, I continue to post daily entries on the Bovina NY History Facebook page, finding some event that happened on that particular day. The entries are compiled each month for the blog.

Monthly articles for the Walton Reporter
 January 20, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part one
 February 17, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part two
 March 16, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part three
 April 20, 2016  Ward Baker - America's Most Soulful Violinist  
 May 18, 2016  Prosperous Bovina Farmers
 June 15, 2016  Illegitimate Child of Robert Dysart
 July 20, 2016  The Brothers in Law, part 1
 August 17, 2016 The Brothers in Law, part 1
 September 21, 2016 W.S. Gordon 1921
 October 19, 2016 The Müller Family
 November 16, 2016 A Bolt of Lightning
 December 16, 2016 A Bovina theft - " wit two heads of cabbage...."

I wrote three articles for the community newsletter produced by the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. I also did an article on Bovina’s stone arch bridges for A Time and a Place, which is a shopping, dining and things-to-do publication published out of Arkville.

Bovina Historical Society 
I serve as an ex-officio member of the historical society’s board. Last fall, the society discovered a powder beetle infestation in the basement of the museum. This prevented me from opening the museum this year. Instead, the historical society moved some items to the old fire house and opened that for tours on Bovina Day in July and during the Open Barn and Studio day in August.
Town of Bovina, New York,

I did three presentations during the year proceeds of which went to the historical society – the April history program and two cemetery programs.

On April 16, I presented a program entitled Bovina’s Lumps of Gold, Celebrating the Past and Future of Bovina Butter. This was not as elaborate the 2015 history pageant but was a chance for me to present the history Bovina’s dairying heritage. The timing of the program was fortuitous, given that plans are moving ahead to start producing butter at the Bovina Creamery. Cowbella in Jefferson provided some butter for refreshments after the program. The proceeds from the event went to the Bovina Historical Society.

On May 21, I did a reprise of the cemetery tour I did in October 2015 of the Bovina Center Cemetery. In the fall, on October 22, I conducted a program that was to be a twilight tour of three Bovina cemeteries – the Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery, located at Bovina Road and County Route 6 in the Mountain Brook area of Bovina, the Associate Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Reinertsen Hill Road and County Route 6 and the Brush Cemetery, located at Maple Avenue and County Route 6. Unfortunately, inclement weather forced the program indoors at the community hall, but about 20 people attended. Again, proceeds went to benefit the Bovina Historical Society.

Correspondence and research help 
As usual, the two most popular topics for research help were genealogy and property history. Concerning genealogy, I had two different people, including a woman from Australia, researching a gentleman named William Cowan (and the requests came to me about a day apart). Unfortunately, there is little information that connects this gentleman to the rest of the Cowans in Bovina, but I was able to get these two researchers in contact with each other. I received inquiries about the Warren and Crosier families. I also received a couple of inquiries concerning burials in Bovina cemeteries. Thanks to the work of Ed and Dick Davidson, these inquiries usually are easy to address.

About once or twice a year, I receive inquiries concerning Native Americans in Bovina. Other than information about Tunis the Indian and his legendary lead mine, there is little other information to share. Certainly Native Americans passed through the area but likely never settled here. When the first settlers came to Bovina in the 1790s, they did not record any such encounters.

A number of property owners had inquiries about their houses. In most cases, little documentary information exists about when a particular house was built, but I was able to direct people to things like the 1856 Gould Map and the 1869 Beers Atlas for more information. Locations for the property inquiries included Martha Lane, McNaught Hill and Jim Lane roads, Calhoun Hill Road, Pink Street and Townsend Road. I also had an inquiry from a realtor about Suits-Us Farm on Pink Street and the Maynard Farm on Bovina Road. Kristen and Tim Schneider, who happen to be my new neighbors in the house once owned by the Haran Family, have had numerous questions about the previous owners of their property and have shared some information they found along the way. A question also came up about Marvins Way and the origin of the name.

While it was not steeped in associations with the town’s earliest history, I was reminded that the property once was owned by Marv Hosier, thus the likely origin of the name.

I was able to provide to Mike and Lori Glavin historic photographs of their property on Pink Street, mainly because the property once belonged to my great grandparents. I receive a number of such requests but find in most instances I am not able to oblige due to the lack of images. Luckily, I was able to help John Finn in his request for historic images of Hilson’s Store and the Bovina Creamery. Much of the credit here comes from the Hilson Family, who have generously shared many of the pictures from their collections. Just this year, while cleaning out the old creamery, Chuck McIntosh came upon a box of negatives of photographs taken by the late Jim Hilson in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

I also received an inquiry about the Bovina and Middletown Telephone Company from Diane Galusha. Mary Pelletier, who was one of the school marms for the Bovina Historical Society’s School Day Camp, contacted me for information concerning some of the families that went to the Maynard School.

The ever-alert Steve Pelletier drew my attention to two postcard images of Bovina for sale on eBay. One was of the stone arch bridge that once crossed Brush’s Brook on what is now County Highway 6. The second image was one that I had seen before of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church, but it was a curiosity because it was mislabeled as the Bovina Methodist Church. I purchased both postcards.

Association of Public Historians of New York State  
I’m the Association’s Region 4 coordinator and also serve on the board as a trustee. In November, I was made the 2nd Vice President to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of the APHNYS President. As a regional coordinator, I am responsible for organizing a regional meeting each year. We passed on a regional meeting this spring and instead participated in the Catskill History Conclave, which was held on April 30 near Phoenicia. I attended the APHNSY fall annual meeting, held in September in Syracuse. The meeting was held jointly with the Family History Conference.

Historical Markers 
I applied for funding last year for two historic markers from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in Syracuse and was notified at the end of the year that we were successful. On June 4, both markers were dedicated. One marker was unveiled at the Maynard School on Bovina Road with four former students of the school helping with the unveiling. That afternoon, the other marker was installed at St. James Church at Lake Delaware.

This fall I applied for a marker to be installed at the Bovina Public Library next summer as part of the library’s celebration of the centennial of its regents charter. I received notice in December that the library will receive the funds for the marker. Tentative plans are for the installation to take place next summer.

Historical Records 
The family of Hugh Lee found a number of historical items likely collected by Hugh when he was town historian. These included the Civil War diaries of Bovina resident William Richardson (the grandfather of Isabell Russell). These diaries have been scanned and given to the Delaware County Historical Association. I have started transcribing these and plan to post them in a blog probably sometime in 2017.

The family also discovered in an outbuilding 43 various ledge books from Thomas E. Hastings. Hastings started his store in the 1850s in partnership with W.D. Telford. His partnerships changed over time but by 1871 he was a solo businessman. He likely built what is now Russell’s Store. The ledgers go into the 20th century. They will be donated to the Delaware County Historical Association after I finish my review of them.

The family of the late Celia Coulter turned over to me several family diaries, including those of her mother and grandfather. It was in Andrew Strangeway’s diary that we learn the exact date construction started on Hilson’s Store (August 15, 1867). These diaries also have been donated to the Delaware County Historical Association.

Plans for 2017 
In April, I will be hosting/presenting another Bovina history program. This one will be entitled Bovina Celebrates. It will be a slide show of pictures from past Bovina celebrations, including Old Home Days, the town’s Sesquicentennial and 175th birthdays and the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. The program also will serve as a launch for celebrating Bovina’s Bicentennial, which is coming in 2020. Audience members will be provided with note cards and pencils to provide a suggestion as to how we can celebrate this milestone event.  I also will be attempting another cemetery tour in the fall.

Another family history trip to Scotland, similar to the one I ran in November 2014, is being considered for October 2018. We will need 15 people for the trip to go. This trip is being offered through the Delaware County Historical Association.

And I close with a plea to whoever may see this to keep digging in your attics and closets for pictures of Bovina, including any Bovina celebrations, but also of pictures of everyday life.

Respectfully submitted,

C. Raymond LaFever Town Historian, Town of Bovina January 14, 2017

Bovina NY History Blog entries for 2016

1/12/2016  Remembering Those Who Left Us in 2015
1/15/2016  January 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
1/21/2016  "An Insane Female of interesting appearance" 1829-01-07 Del Gazette
1/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for January 2016
2/7/2016    Threshing Machines notice, Feb 1825 - 1825-02-09 Del Gazette
2/15/2016  February 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
2/22/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy of Bovina, New York
2/29/2016  This Day in Bovina for February 2016
3/7/2016    A Curious Find at the Old Bovina Creamery
3/15/2016  March 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
3/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - January/February
3/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for March 2016
4/8/2016    Historian Annual Report for 2015
4/15/2016  April 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
4/20/2016  Bovina Butter - follow-up to April 16, 2016 History Program
4/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - March/April
4/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for April 2016
5/6/2016    Coulter and Gladstone - Builders
5/15/2016  May 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
5/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - May/June
5/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for May 2016
6/4/2016    Scholars in a Century Old Schoolhouse - the Maynard School in the 1950s
6/5/2016    Photos from Yesterday's Historic Markers Dedications
6/15/2016  June 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
6/22/2016  Newly Discovered Postcard of Bovina
6/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for June 2016
7/7/2016    "The farmers in Bovina are worse off...." - Bovina Farmers in the summer of 1896 7/15/2016  July 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
7/24/2016  Bovina Celebrates the Bicentennial of the United States
7/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for July 2016
8/7/2016    The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - July and August 1884
8/15/2016  August 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
8/22/2016  Sixty Years Ago - Bovina Celebrates Old Home Day
8/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for August 2016
9/7/2016    Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Little Arthur Taggart
9/15/2016  September 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
9/20/2016  Wedding from 100 Years Ago - Cecil and Isabell Russell
9/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for September 2016
10/10/2016 The Second Raising of Hilson's Store
10/15/2016 October 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
10/21/2016 The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - September 1884 and conclusion
10/31/2016 This Day in Bovina for October 2016
11/7/2016   Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - "Who Died on His Passage to California"
11/15/2016 November 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
11/23/2016 “Found Dead in His Study With Heart Riddled With Shot” – The Death of Rev. Milligan 11/30/2016 This Day in Bovina for November 2016
12/7/2016   Duke of Bovina and Butter for Camelot
12/15/2016 December 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
12/24/2016 Christmas in Bovina
12/31/2016 This Day in Bovina for December 2016

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