Saturday, April 30, 2016

This Day in Bovina for April 2016

109 years ago, on April 1, 1907, Howard McPherson moved to Utica.  The Andes Recorder announced this move in its March 29th issue "Howard McPherson, who has been employed in Elliott Thomson’s blacksmith shop, has secured a position in a carriage factory at Utica and will go there April 1."

Fifty one years ago today, on April 2, 1965, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express Bovina column, "Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Thomas returned….from their vacation in Kissimmee, Florida, where they visited her father and other relatives."

102 years ago today, April 3, 1914, Floyd 'Steve' Aitken was born. He and his wife Therese, better known as 'Que,' lived in Bovina. He was the fire chief for many years. He passed away in 1982. Here's a photo of Steve taken by Bob Wyer in May 1947 (photo courtesy of Delaware County Historical Association).  

Seventy six years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 4, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Elizabeth Irvine is able to be out on the porch a little of late. She is recovering nicely from her long illness." Mrs. Irvine, who was the mother of Isabell Russell, would die three months later in July 1940.

116 years ago today, on April 5, 1910, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. George McMullen, of the Little Delaware, were here Tuesday in an automobile."

144 years ago today, on April 6, 1872, Hannah White Rutherford tragically died in what appeared to be an accidental drowning. Hannah was born about 1827 and married Robert Rutherford in 1847. They would have 10 children. Here's the text of the news article reporting her death. "On Sunday last the body of an unknown woman was found partly under a bridge near the Elk Creek road. On the same evening Coroner Jacobs held an inquest. The deceased was identified as the wife of Robert Rutherford, of Bovina, and had left her home on Saturday last, to visit some friends near where she was found. It is supposed that she reached the place of her decease after dark and walked or fell off the bridge and was drowned or chilled in the water, as she appears to have been carried partially under the ice."

136 years ago today, on April 7, 1880, as later reported in the Brushland column of the Stamford Mirror "Mrs. Hoy, a very old lady, died…at the residence of her son, Alexander Hoy, after a long illness."

188 years ago today, on April 8, 1828, John Thomson of Bovina posted the following notice for the Delaware Gazette: "ELOPEMENT. Whereas my wife Catharine, has left my bed and board without any just cause or provocation. This is to forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting after this date."

127 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 9, 1889 Stamford Mirror reported that "there are a number of mild cases of scarlet fever in the upper part of the town."

133 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 10, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported "A horse belonging to G.L. Butts was taken sick, one day this week, and a few hours afterwards died." The paper went on to report that "some of Mr. Butts' friends started out with subscription papers and today presented him with a $90 horse."

Ninety-nine years ago today, on April 11, 1917, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, a sale had been advertised by S.D. Joscelyn, but he called it off.  As later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Mr. Joscelyn has decided to stay on the farm where he now is." It is not clear where this might have been, though there was a Lewis Joscelyn on Coulter Brook Road. 

Seventy-six years ago today, on April 12, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "James Hilson was at Kingston to meet his sister … and coming home he found the roads very hard to travel on with the snow so soft."

136 years ago today, the Brushland column of the April 13, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported that "Mr. Samuel Campbell has returned home from the West, bringing the measles with him. Quite a number have been exposed."

105 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 14, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "A.J. Nicoll, of Delhi, held a meeting her last week and a Cow Testing Association was formed and over 300 cows have already been secured."

Ninety three years ago today, on April 15, 1923, Margaret Coulter Boggs recorded the following in her diary: "Been a nice day. All went to church. First time Grandma has been to church this year. We saw a flying machine go over today. First one this way."

120 years ago today, on April 16, 1896, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "John Burns, who lived with his son, Alexander, in the upper part of the town, died last week at the advanced age of eighty-eight years.  He had been in feeble health for some time, and the end was not unexpected.  He was the oldest man in town.  The funeral was held on Saturday.  James Coulter is now the oldest surviving citizen in town, the old settlers have all departed."

133 years ago, the Bovina column of the April 17, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported that "There have been three funerals in town this week: on Monday, David Black's; on Tuesday, Mrs. Robert J. Forrest's, who died with measles; and on Wednesday, William Archibald."

Fifty one years ago today, on April 18, 1965, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express Bovina column, "The following out of town families of Mrs. Sophia Reinertsen attended church services…and were Easter guest of their mother: Mr. and Mrs. Linden Kelly and family of Norwich, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Reinertsen of New York, [and] Mr. and Mrs. Edwin LaFever and daughter Christine, of Unadilla."

145 years ago today, the April 19, 1871 issue of the Delaware Gazette contained the following notice: "All persons are hereby forbidden to fish in the Lake called Landon's Lake, or Livingston's Lake, in the town of Bovina (by the subscriber, the owner thereof and of the grounds surrounding it) under penalty of the law. Robert J. Livingston." This notice appeared for several weeks.

135 years ago today, on April 20, 1881, John Russell, son of Stephen and Mary Russell, married Agnes Orr, the daughter of Robert and Barbara Orr. The Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror for April 26 reported that "Our friend, John Russell, went to Kortright yesterday, and returned in the evening, bringing a young bride with him." They would have three children, Henry, Clarence and Everett before John's death at the age of 56 in 1910. Agnes survived her husband by 23 years, dying in 1933.

135 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror dated April 21, 1881, reported that "Miss Louisa Dennis is about commencing the millinery business in Brushland."

Fifty one years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 22, 1965 Delaware Republican reported that "Mr. and Mrs. James Haran and family of New York spent Easter at their home in Bovina Center."

Fifty five years ago today, on April 23, 1961, Bovina native Fannie Thompson Snyder passed away at the age of 101 years. She died at the home of her daughter in Masonville. Born in Bovina in 1860, she was the daughter of John and Betsy Thompson and was married twice, first to Ambrose Young and later to Eugene Snyder. She had lived in Masonville since 1942. She was survived by two daughters, three sons, 20 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

115 years ago today, on April 24, 1901, Wilford White Barnhart was born, the youngest child of Jeremy Barnhart and Kate Miller. He would take over the family farm on Pink Street. In 1921, he married Viola Russell. Wilford and Viola would have six children. Wilford died in March 1979.

158 years ago today, on April 25, 1858, Elizabeth C. Doig was born, the daughter of Walter Doig and Margaret Armstrong. She married Edwin Burgin on New Year's Day 1884. Her only child, son Harvey, was born on October 27, 1884. Libbie would die a few days after her son’s birth on November 2, 1884.

126 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 26, 1890 Delaware Republican reported that "J.D. Mitchell started for New York…to attend a sale of thoroughbred Alderneys."

180 years ago today, the Delaware Gazette for April 27, 1836 posted the following notice: "A new Post Office has been established at Bovina Centre in this county - Hiram Dennis, Esq., Post Master."

Thirty eight years ago today, on April 28, 1978, Gladys Doig died. Born in 1909, the daughter of Adam Biggar and Sarah Johnson, She was married to Ed Doig, who survived her. She was buried in Bovina. This photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association, shows Gladys in January 1943 with her husband and two of her children, Marilyn and Raymond. 

134 years ago today, the April 29, 1882 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican reported that "The telegraph line from the Valley to Brushland has been staked out and part of the poles delivered. The office will be in Rev. J.B. Lee's house and Duncan C. Lee operator."

127 years ago today, the April 30, 1889 Stamford Mirror had the following report: "Robert J. Livingston, of New York, owner of Lake Delaware, recently employed Wm. Youmans to protect the same. On a recent Saturday evening, Youmans and Sheriff MacArthur, of Delhi, with a posse visited the lake, where they found a large number of persons in masks engaged in fishing. An alarm was sounded and all escaped to the woods except five, who were arrested. There will be considerable of a stir over the matter."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - March/April

Here are the March and April entries in the 1884 diary of David Fletcher Hoy. Hoy was living in Bovina in 1884. The diary was transcribed by his great grandson, John W. Hoy. Thank you to John and to his dad, David F. Hoy III for allowing me to share this diary.

March, Saturday 1.    1884.
I did not do anything to day to amount to much.
The Turk's [?] was up with their beans [?] today
I helped D. J. Miller to chop wood in the afternoon, over at Dennis [?]

Sunday 2.
I went to church to day and to prayer meeting at night
Father and mother went down to see Ed Burgin

March, Monday 3.     1884.
Father and I went up to John Archibald this morning

Tuesday 4.
I am at Archibald
Jim Will  "  [ditto marks indicate "Archibald"] went to see Anna Thomson and got his horse stole

March, Wednesday 5.    1884.
I am at Archibald

Thursday 6.
I am at Archibald
Jim Will took Anna Thomson over to a party at New Kingston

March, Friday 7.  1884.
I am at John Archibald to day

Saturday 8.
I am at John Archibald
Came down home at night
Nancy Fletcher sale is to day Ma was over
[1839-1909; only surviving child of Christiana Miller and James Fletcher? Lived at Andes]

March, Sunday 9.   1884.
I went to church to day  There is no prayer meeting to night
It stormed very hard at night.

Monday 10.
It is stormy so we did not go up to Archibald to day I was down to Doug s
Father & Mother went to James Jacks a visiting
Jennie & I went down to Strangeway's
Ed & Sibbie [?] was there

March, Tuesday 11.  1884.
I went down and done Doug's chores for him and Maggie Jennie & Dougs went to W [?] Delhi.
They came back to night
Pa & Ma are down to Mrs James Collins' sale to day
Biddy sold for $65

Wednesday 12.
Rained most all day to day
I went up to the upper end of the town this afternoon and stayed all night at Archie Forman [Foreman]

March, Thursday 13.  1884.
I went from Forman to John Archibald in the morning and commenced work
Father came up with Archie at noon

Friday 14.
I am at John W. Archibald working to day
I lathed to day
Pa was down at Cookes at night.

March, Saturday 15.  1884.
I am working at John Archibald to day
Came down home at night and went to a school exhibition at the Hall had a good time.

Sunday 16.
I went to Church to day
There is no services to night

March, Monday 17.   1884.
I went up to John Archibalds to day to work

Tuesday 18.
I am at Archibald
Came down to Brushland at night
I got home at 11 oc
Will Johnson got his horse stole from Wm Elliott to night

March, Wednesday 19.   1884.
I am at Archibald to day

Thursday 20.
I am at Archibald
We finished raising the roof to day
We went down to Wm Cooke's at night

March, Friday 21.  1884.
I am at Archibald
We put on siding to day

Saturday 22.
I am at Archibald
We put on siding to day
Came down home at night
John has gone to Delhi after lumber to day

March, Sunday 23.   1884.
I went to church to day There is no prayer meeting to night at the U. P.

Monday 24.
I helped David Hoy to build a scaffold in the R. P. Church to day [also known as the Covenanter Church; probably this mention refers to David Miller Hoy]
I was up street at night

March, Tuesday 25.  1884.
Dave & I went up to John Archibald to day
Dave came down home at night

Wednesday 26.
I am at Archibald
Dave came up again this morning
Father went down to Mr. Foreman's at night

March, Thursday 27.    1884.
I am at Archibald
Father did not come up until noon
Dave went down home to night
I was down at Cookes at night

Friday 28.
I am at John Archibald to day
I was down to Cookes at night
I was not down [i.e., "not down to home"?]

March, Saturday 29. 1884.
I am at J. Archibald to day
Came down home at night walked all the way.
Uncle John was in to night.

Sunday 30.
I went to church to day There is no meeting to night
There was not over 80 at church to day

March, Monday 31.     1884.
I came up to John Archibald

 April, Tuesday 1.     1884.
I am at Archibalds

 April, Wednesday 2.   1884.
I am at John Archibalds

Thursday 3.
We finished working at John Archibald to day at noon
I went over to Richardson at night Miss Hastings Miss Thomson E.J. Miller  D, W.M, G. Raitt was there
Came home at 12 oc

April, Friday 4.     1884.
I did not do much of any Thing to day except to tap my boot [might be "foot"—a fine way to express boredom, now that the Archibald house is finished?]
I was down to Doug and Geo Gladstone to night

Saturday 5.
I did not do much of anything to day
I made two malets [sic] to day and was up to the store.
Uncle John was in at night.

April,   Sunday 6.   1884.
I was up at Church to day
there is no meeting
Monday 7.
We did not commence at John Hastings to day as Father went to Delhi and Dave to Kortright.

April, Tuesday 8.          1884.
We begun work for John Hastings to day
I was up in the Huddle at night.

Wednesday 9.
I am at John Hastings to day Knapp and Clark lathed to day
I was up to the store at night

April, Thursday 10.    1884.
I am at John Hastings to day working at the house

Friday 11.
I am working at John Hastings to day
Doug, Maggie, Alex. [?], D. Hoy. Josephine was here at night

April, Saturday 12.    1884.
I am working at John Hastings to day
I went down to Geo. Davidsons at night and to Dougs and stayed all night.

Sunday 13.
I went to Sunday school to day and T. Gordon [? Perhaps Thomas, a Civil War veteran, 1845-1921] taught the class
I went to the R. P. church in the afternoon.

April, Monday 14.       1884.
I went to Delhi today and got a pair of shoes & Rubbers [overshoes].
Geo Davidson, Minnie and Henry Coulter was here to night.

Tuesday 15.
I finished at John Hastings to day at noon and picked up our tools in the afternoon
Went down to Dougs

April, Wednesday 16.    1884.
I did not go to Pat. Doig's to day
I worked around the house yard today, grading for a sidewalk.

Thursday 17.
I work with father grading around the house yard
I went up to the store at night
I send a postal to Patrick Doig to day [perhaps a formal proposal, considering the work done in upcoming weeks. Probably Patrick Mitchell Doig, b. 1830]

April, Friday 18.  1884.
I helped to grade around the house to day
Mrs Collins came here to day
Doug was up drawing earth & stones. Maggie came up with him

Saturday 19.
I helped to grade to day
I went down to Doug's at night
Mother & Mrs Collins went up to Walt Biggar to day

April, Sunday 20.   1884.
I went to church to day
Came down to Dougs at night

Monday 21.
Came down to Delhi with Doug and went down on the train to Walton and then went up to P. S. Doigs.

April, Tuesday 22.   1884.
I scored all day to day [presumably, scoring for carpentry, marking for cuts?]

Wednesday 23.
I scored all day to day
We played dominoes at night

April, Thursday 24.    1884.
I worked on the frame today
Tom & I went down to John Millers at night

Friday 25.
I worked on the frame to day
Miss Doig, Dave, Tom & I played dominoes at night

April, Saturday 26.    1884.
I am at P. S. Doigs to day
I went over to H Scotts at night
Tom Clark went to Wm Tweedies.

Sunday 27.
I went to church at West Delhi to day with Geo Scott
George gave me a ride as far as R Bindsal [?] and then I walked to Wm Tweedies

April, Monday 28. `1884.
I am at P. S. Doig to day
We played dominoes at night
Tuesday 29.
I am at P. S. Doig's to day We worked on the beams ties to day Tom & I went out to a social at Royal Eld[enknuss? illegible]
They got $14.30.

April, Wednesday 30.     1884.
I am at P.S. Doig to day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bovina Butter - Follow-up to April 16, 2016 History Program

I thought as a follow-up to the History Program I presented at the Bovina Community Hall on April 16, I would remind readers of this blog of several past entries related to Bovina Dairying and Bovina Butter.

One of my first entries about Bovina butter was back in August 2009 about the legend about Bovina butter being served at the White House:

In December 2010, I reported on a speech by the head of the Farmer's Institute in 1910 about his experience visiting Bovina while taking a 'cow census:'

Here's an entry from July 2015 about Bovina at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893:

And I have a bunch of thank yous for all the help with Saturday night's program:

*Shannon Mason from Cowbella for supplying butter for the program Saturday night. In partnership with Bovina Valley Farms, Cowbella will be making butter at the Bovina creamery when everything is ready. She noted that her great great grandmother entered her butter at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Cowbella has used Jersey cows since around 1919 - we speculated as to whether any of them were descended from Bovina's Jerseys from the 19th and early 20th century. We may need to do some cow genealogy work here!

*Anne Gorell from Bread Fellows for supply bread to serve with the butter.
*Set-up and clean-up—Kim Riera, Briana Riera, Shannon Shoemaker, Mel Greenburg
*Refreshments—Jan Bray, Marni Greenburg, Kim Riera, Shannon Shoemaker
*Butter boxes—Bob Cairns, Carrie Choquette, Cindy Coffell, Angela Gaffney, Barbara Hanselman, Cathie Hewitt, Samantha Misa, Annette Robbins, Donna Weber, Noreen Yost

I needed the boxes as a way to represent the 112 pounds of butter it takes to fill one firkin.
And thank you to the Delaware County Historical Association for lending a firkin from its collections.

"To butter or not to butter, that is the question."
Photo by Roz Foster, lighting by Chris Ingvordsen.

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder 100 years ago this month.

April 7, 1916
·       William J. Archibald has rented the Joshua Hobbie farm uptown, to Eli Felton, of Walton.
·       In the primary election held Tuesday in Bovina 34 votes were cast – 18 Republican, 13 Democratic and 3 Prohibition.
·       Sloan Archibald, who lives on the place in the upper part of the village, known as the McDonald place, is having the house made two story. [Note - this is my current home.]
·       Mrs. Frank Hobbie died at her home in upper Bovina on Saturday, April 1, from tuberculosis, at the age of 27 years, 3 months and 25 days.  Her maiden name was Bertha Shaver and she was born at Downsville.  The family moved here from Colchester in November.  She leaves a husband and two small children.  Her mother died about a month ago but the dauter was never informed of the fact.  Rev. Thos Graham, pastor of the R.P. church, officiated at the funeral held on Sabbath.  Burial was made at Downsville on Monday.

April 14, 1916
·       Alex Myers went to Andes Wednesday to do some paper hanging.
·       Charles Brown of South Kortright, has purchased the John Hobbie farm up Pink street.  Mr. Aldrich, who for the past two years has occupied the farm, has moved to Grand Gorge.
·       Friday evening by a majority of one the members of the Bovina Center Fire department voted to keep the smaller of the two bells sent on approval. This bell was made of bell metal and the larger bell was of a new composition of cheaper metals and was only warranted for five years.

April 21, 1916
·       The Town Clerk’s office has been moved to a room in the new Fireman’s building.
·       Douglas Davidson has moved from his farm (42.2506°N 74.8045°W) to the house (42.2547°N 74.7949°W), recently purchased, at the foot of Russell hill.
·        Thomas H. Johnson has begun to saw lumber at his mill near William Elliott’s in New Kingston, and six men employed.
·       Aaron Todd has finished his work for Fred Bramley and taken a job on the Ulster & Delaware railroad.  His household goods are yet here.
·       Mr. York, of Delancey, has moved into the old Aitken place adjoining the residence of Alex Hilson.  He has hired to drive team for Tracy Sherman
·       One farmer seems to be bound to get all the sap that will run this season.  No less than 16 buckets at one tree were counted the other day.  The sap runs have been good.  As high as 200 gallons of syrup and 100 pounds of sugar have been made – equal to 1,700 pounds of sugar.
·       Dr. Scott, assisted by his brother in law James Salton, is taking down the Ell part of A.T. Doig’s house, the material to be used to build a kitchen on his house.  Mr. Doig will build a new addition in place of the part removed.  He is also putting in electric lights, using a motor run by water from the village main. 

Bible 187 years old
In arranging the town books and records in the Bovina Town Clerk’s office an old Bible was found, which was printed 1729.  Both covers and some of the first and last leaves of the book are gone.  From entries made in the family record page it is evident that the Bible must have been brought from Scotland by the late William Miller, Sr. [Where this Bible is now I have yet to determine.]

April 28, 1916
·       Mrs. John A. Irvine is very ill with blood poisoning which started in her hand. [This is Isabell Russell's mother. She would survive this, passing away in 1940.]
·       G.D. Miller is having a small addition built onto his residence and changing the interior so as to make it more convenient for two families.
·       William Franks, who during the past year has occupied what is known as the Thomas Mabon farm, on the Turnpike, moved this week to a farm at Arena.
·       Mrs. F.W. Hyatt, who has been in Yonkers for several weeks and who underwent operations for gall stones, tumor and appendicitis returned home this week much improved in health.

Succumbed to Pneumonia

            Mrs. Agnes Northrup died April 26, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Leonard Sloan in New York City, with pneumonia.  She was born in Bovina 63 years ago. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Leonard Sloan in New York and Mrs. Gideon Miller, of Bovina, and one son Elmer Northrup, a dentist, in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The remains will be brought here Friday and the funeral held Saturday.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Historian Annual Report for 2015

Overview of Some Goals from Last Year’s Report 
The ever present book on the history of the Town of Bovina remains a goal. Commitments over the winter of 2015, the time of year I can best devote to this project, prevented me attaining this goal, but I continue to hope and push it forward.

I was successful in presenting a Bovina history pageant on April 18. More information further in the report.

In researching Lizzie Coulter, a Bovina resident who was sent to Virginia in 1868 to teach for the Freedman’s Bureau, I encountered the name of George Graham. He grew up in Bovina, fought in the Civil War, and became involved in the Bureau, running their office in Southern Virginia. I’ve discovered that the records of the office he ran for the Freedman’s Bureau are at the National Archives. I’ve also discovered some other interesting items about Graham’s life in the south (he ended up settling in West Virginia). I had hoped to find out more about him in 2015, but I’m going to need to make a trip to the National Archives to review the aforementioned records.

James L. Coulter and George Gladstone built a number of homes in Bovina in the late 19th century – I want to more definitively identify the houses these gentlemen built. This project continues.

Social Media
The Bovina NY History Blog ( celebrated its sixth anniversary in April. I did 51 entries for 2015. I’ve settled to doing on an average four entries a month. A list of the entries is in the appendix to this report.

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.

I continue writing articles for the Walton Reporter once a month on the history of Bovina.

-January 14, 2015-Bovina Ladies in 1860
-February 18, 2015-Dangers of Coal Gas
-March 18, 2015-“Jane Stafford is a Poor Person”
-April 15, 2015-Bovina Civil War care for veterans
-May 13, 2015-Russell's Store
-June 17, 2015-When the Trains Almost Came, Part One – Everything Looks Favorable
-July 15, 2015-When the Trains Almost Came, Part Two – The Dirt is Flying
-August 12, 2015-When the Trains Almost Came, Part Three - Our Supposed Railroad is at a Standstill
-September 16, 2015-When the Trains Almost Came, Part Four - Buying a Pig in a Poke
-October 14, 2015-Cathels Family Tragedy
-November 18, 2015-Hands, Fists, Brooms, Broomsticks and Firebrands – The Story of Horace and Clara Warren
-December 16, 2015-“Took a sketch of the premises….” – The Farm of Alexander and Esther Storie

I wrote three articles for the community newsletter produced by the Bovina United Presbyterian Church.

Bovina History Calendar
After considerable thought, I recommended to the Bovina Historical Society that the Bovina History Calendar go on hiatus. The calendar is a lot of work for little or no return on investment. I haven’t ruled out resurrecting it at some point, but for now, the society needs to focus its efforts on larger scale fund raising efforts.

Bovina Historical Society
I serve as an ex-officio member of the historical society’s board. During the late spring, I began an effort to clean up the museum a bit by reducing the clutter. Some items were moved to the old fire house for storage. In the fall, I covered as much of the artifacts as I could and removed some items from the wall to protect them from falling during the winter. I met with Carver Farrell in the fall to discuss the Bovina Busy World display. This is an ‘automaton’ that was created by a number of Bovina wood carvers in the 1980s, including Carver’s dad. He is interesting in getting it working again and creating a better display for it, donating his time. We hope to start on this in the spring of 2016. The museum was open for Bovina Day in July and for the Open Barn and Studio Tour in August.

I did two presentations during the year proceeds of which went to the historical society (more information below).

Bramley Mountain Plane Crash
We made another expedition to the site of the 1945 crash of a Texas AT-6 Trainer on Moon Mountain and found more wires from the airplane. Samantha Misa, Chris Ingvordsen and I met with Ed and Dick Davidson to show them our find. They verified that they likely come from the plane that crashed.

On April 18, I presented the Bovina History Pageant. In 1955, 60 years ago, the Bovina Recreation Club had presented a history pageant. I was interested in trying to present a similar program. Utilizing the original script, I pared it down and added items for a new history pageant. I then drafted Roz Foster, Chris Ingvordsen, Briana Riera and Marni Greenberg to help and advise me and they hit the ground running. Along the way we also drafted Doug Parrett for just about anything we threw at him. And I drafted about 30 or so members of the community to take part in the various tableau representing various chapters in the history of Bovina. There were too many to list here, but a complete wrap-up of the pageant is at the Bovina NY History Blog at I was thrilled with the success of the event, with standing room only. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the help. The proceeds from the event went to the Bovina Historical Society.

In the fall, on October 24, I conducted a Tour of the Bovina Cemetery and had over 50 people show up on a chilly fall day. The tour went well – so well that I expect to repeat it in the spring of 2016. Again, proceeds went to benefit the Bovina Historical Society.

Correspondence and research help
Nancy Frost had several questions about her Bovina ancestors.
Loni Briscoe had general questions about the Briscoe property.
I sent several pictures of Hilson’s Store to Wendy Buerge and John Finn, who have purchased the store.
Sharon Rabeler Fouts and several other Rabeler family members and I have had several e-mail exchanges concerning the story that there were German dances in the area in WWII but some thought they were Nazi related (this story is related in the history of the Lutheran Church in Delhi). I have been doing some research to find more evidence of this but have not had any luck so far.
Jeanne Butler was interested in Teunis the Indian, specifically questions related to the rifle believed to have been given to Teunis. A more general questions about the Indians who passed through this area came from Cameron Dubes, who lives on Teunis Lake.
Roselle Scaduto requested help in locating the house that she and her late husband had in Bovina in the 1980s. After some further e-mails we worked out where the house is located.
Amy Bathen asked questions about her husband Jason’s Boggs ancestors (Jason is the son of the late Art Bathen).
William and Joan Foster requested information on their house in Bovina, formerly owned by Ken and Barbara Brown.
Mary Pelletier asked for information about the Maynard School in preparation for her role as one of the school marms at the Bovina Historical Society's day camp. I was able to direct her to several articles on my blog about Bovina schools. I also sent her to the Bovina NY History Flickr account for photographs of the school. She also requested information on different kinds of farming in Bovina, including sheep farming.
Jane Margolies asked for information about farming in Bovina for an article for the Watershed Post.
Laurie McIntosh, aka Story Laurie, had several questions about Bovina farms for a project called "Harvest of Songs" that she is producing, in collaboration with Farm Catskills. The project features songs written by Delaware County school kids, one of which is called "Milking Time at the Farm."
Kirk Moulton was researching the Seacord family and wanted help with the fact that there were two William Seacords in the 1810 census and wondered how they might be related. Unfortunately, I was equally stumped and could not figure out why there were two Williams.
Daniel Seib is an archaeologist with the Public Archaeology Facility out of Binghamton, working on a project for the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District. The project involved a narrow corridor of the Little Delaware River right behind the Town Garage.  He was hoping I might have pictures or other information about the mill that once stood there. Unfortunately, no pictures exist and there is not a lot of information other than what appears in some of the 19th century histories.
Miri Dainson, a research assistant at Hunter College Climate Lab, was looking for information from diaries and newspapers about significant weather events in the Catskills in the early 20th century.
Lynne Resch had questions about the barn on the old Conklin farm on Reinertsen Hill Road, which she now owns. The barn was built from the old timbers of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church.

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. As a regional coordinator, I am responsible for organizing a fall regional meeting each year. This year’s meeting took place in Germantown and focused on the issues related to cemeteries. At the association’s annual meeting, held in April in Corning, I gave a presentation on researching your local schools.  

Historic Markers
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has for a number of years provided funding for historic markers around New York State. I applied for funding this year for two markers. The foundation requires solid documentation of the information to be presented on the markers. I am happy to report that after some effort, and with help from the foundation, both of the applications were successful. One marker is to go at the Maynard School on Bovina Road. The other will be installed at St. James Church at Lake Delaware. The markers will be dedicated likely on June 4, 2016.

Plans for 2015

The book on the history of the Town of Bovina remains a goal.

In April, I will be hosting/presenting another Bovina history program – not as elaborate as the program in 2015. The theme will be Bovina Butter. Proceeds will go to the Bovina Historical Society. I also will be doing another cemetery tour in the fall, this time visiting three Bovina cemeteries.

Another family history trip to Scotland, similar to the one I ran in November 2014, is being planned for October 2016. We will need 15 people for the trip to go. Proceeds again will go to the Bovina United Presbyterian Church.

Respectfully submitted,

C. Raymond LaFever

Town Historian, Town of Bovina