Sunday, June 30, 2019

This Day in Bovina for June 2019

162 years ago today, June 1, 1857, Walter Hamilton died in Bovina. Born in 1809, he was the son of Robert Hamilton and Jean Ray. He married Dorcas Pamelia Hilton, who bore him six children. She ran the tavern that was in what is now the Jardine house for a number of years.

120 years ago on June 2, 1899, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "B.S. Miller returned Friday from a trip to Washington, the Capital city, and New York city, and reports an enjoyable trip and much sightseeing. He spent Decoration Day on the battlefield at Gettysburg." Berry Shaw Miller was one of Bovina's Civil War Veterans.

Seventy-six years ago today, the June 3, 1943 Delaware Republican Express's Lake Delaware column had the following items: 

Forty-four years ago today, the June 4, 1975 Stamford Mirror Record had an article entitled "Rescue Squad to Hold Fund Campaign." The article went on to say "Everyone will be receiving an information letter concerning the Bovina Rescue Squad early next week. The week of June 6 through 14 there is to be a house to house canvas for funds. Be generous when your neighbor calls, your life may depend on it some day! Mrs. Byron Trimbell is chairman of the Fund Raising campaign."

123 years ago, the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column for June 5, 1896 that "Telephones will be put in by T.E. Hastings and A.T. Strangeway, in their residences." Hastings and Strangeway were both merchants in town at that time. In the same column and in another telephone related report, "Perhaps there is no other town in the county that has much more telephone line than has Bovina. Now the talk is of running a line up Coulter Brook to New Kingston, and another line up Pink street and connect with Almeda [South Kortright]."

Sixty-seven years ago today, the June 6, 1952 Catskill Mountain News, in its weekly Bovina column, reported that "Mr. and Mrs. John Bathen and children, Linda, John and Carl, of Woodmont, Conn., Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hummel and three children of North Haven, Conn., were weekend guests of Mr. and Mrs. Sig Bathen."

139 years ago today, on June 7, 1880, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "Two of our 'worthies' had a tussle with hard cider last Monday and got rather the worst of it."

119 years ago, the June 8, 1900 Andes Recorder reported that "Several years ago a number of persons subscribed money and a telephone line was built from Bovina Centre to Margaretville via. The Butt End and New Kingston, but the line was never incorporated and was always out of repair and for some time has not been working at all. A new stock company we understand has been formed to reconstruct the line and expect to have it completed in about a month."

134 years ago, the Bovina column of the June 9, 1885 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported on a couple of Bovina residents traveling in the west. "T.R. McFarland is enjoying an extended trip through the far West," while "Miss Jennie Russell has gone to Dakota to spend the summer with her brother John K. Russell." McFarland likely was Thomas Russell McFarland (1845-1915). Jennie and John K. Russell likely are the children of Stephen and Jean (Bryce) Russell.

180 years ago today, on June 10, 1839, Allen Ballentyne "was found drowned in a well on a place adjoining the farm on which his family lived" in Bovina. As later reported in the June 19 Delaware (Delhi) Gazette, it was thought to be a suicide. The story about this tragic death and that of his father is in the Bovina NY History Blog at

Ninety-nine years ago today, the June 11, 1920 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder reported that "A Buick touring car from South Kortright collided with the iron bridge at Lake Delaware and was saved from falling into the stream by one wheel being caught in the bridge."

147 years ago today, on June 12, 1872, Michael Miller and F.C. Armstrong, Assessors and Fence Viewers for the Town of Bovina settled James Ormiston's claim concerning a lamb that was killed by dogs. Fence viewers, who adjudicated disputes about boundaries and maintenance of stone walls, also had the job of determining how sheep or lambs were killed. They looked at the lamb in question and interviewed witnesses to determine that the killing was done "by dogs and in no other manner." The viewers certified "that the amount of damages sustained by the said James G. Ormiston in consequences of the killing of said lamb as afoursaid is $6.00." There was a town fund to reimburse farmers for such killings when it could not be determined whose dog did it. 

Seventy-nine years ago today, June 13, 1940, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Ray Jardine attended the circus at Binghamton…"

136 years ago today, on June 14, 1883, the Armstrong family reunion was held at the house of F.C. Armstrong. The Stamford Mirror reported the reunion and had noted that "John Armstrong, wife, and daughter, of Salinas, Cal., are visiting friends in town.." and attended the reunion. John Graham Armstrong was the son of John C. Armstrong (1797-1864), an early settler of Bovina. John G. Armstrong died in Salinas in 1904. F.C. Armstrong was John's younger brother, Francis Coulter Armstrong. He died in Bovina in 1925.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on June 15, 1920, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone and Mrs. Fred Thomson were operated upon Tuesday at the home of the last named for the removal of their tonsils. Dr. Goodrich and Ormiston were the surgeons." More on this story and something else they did on the same day is in the Bovina NY History blog at

108 years ago today, the Bovina column of the June 16, 1911 Andes Recorder reported the destruction of a barn in Lake Delaware: "The old barn of Alonzo Tuttle at Lake Delaware was struck by lightning and burned during the storm of Monday night. The building was used mainly as a place in which to store farm machinery and a few stalls had been put in for extra horses. In addition to the building a ton or two of hay and machinery was destroyed. There was no insurance. The barn was built by Thomas Wight and had probably withstood the storms of nearly three-quarters of a century."

126 years ago today, on June 17, 1893, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "M. Robertson raised his new barn last Saturday." This likely is a gentleman named Marion Robertson. Born in 1857 in Hamden, he was in Bovina from the late 1870s to 1901, when he relocated to Meredith. The farm was actually his father-in-laws, David Oliver's, up on East Bramley Mountain Road. This later was the Banuat farm.

Two hundred and four years ago today, on June 18, 1815, Adam Scott died. A native of Scotland, he was married to Janet Ingles and had three children. He is buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery. Here is his stone: 

123 years ago today, the June 19, 1896 Andes Recorder had the following item in its Bovina column: "Bovina young men ought to petition farmers who have hired girls to keep good tempered dogs or shut them up at night. One night not long since a certain man heard a terrible holloing, and on investigation found a young man up a tree and a dog keeping close watch. On being asked what he wanted, replied in a trembling voice, that he wanted to see the hired girl, then under his breath 'I will kill that man eater as sure as my name is O.K.'"

Eighty-one years ago today, on June 20, 1938, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Margaret C. Coulter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter G. Coulter, graduated Monday from Cornell University at Ithaca. Walter Coulter, and daughter Mrs. William Parsons, and Elizabeth Strangeway, the latter an aunt, attended the exercises." Margaret was better known as Celia. She passed on April 21, 2015 at the age of 99.

Forty-one years ago, the Bovina column in the June 21, 1978 Stamford Mirror-Recorder, written by Ann Cairns, reported the following item: "The Bovina transfer station is now in operation at the site of the land fill. Hours are Saturday from 9 to 4 and the station will also be open on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 during June, July, and August. Permits are required to enter the transfer station and can be obtained at the Town Clerk's office."

Ninety-seven years ago today, on June 22, 1922, "Lloyd Irvine and Millard Blair, who have been visiting their parents here, left….for their return to Seattle, Washington." Lloyd was the brother of Isabell Russell; Millard the brother of Helen Thompson.

125 years ago today, on June 23, 1894, Dick Johnson was badly injured in an accident at a saw mill, likely the Johnson family mill. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "he was running the saw in the mill and a stick flew from the saw and struck him on the side of the head, cutting his face and mouth quite badly. He was unconscious for some time, but it is thought he will recover." How this Johnson was related to the Johnson family is not clear.

Fifty-four years ago today, the Lake Delaware column of the June 24, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express had two items concerning the Hewitt family: "Mrs. Stanley Hewitt and son, Lawrence, were dinner guests of her sister, Mrs. Joseph Pondolfino of Oneonta last Friday. Norma Jean Hewitt attended a slumber party at Donna Parsons' home in Bovina Center last Friday evening."

156 years ago today, June 25, 1863, Robert Thomson was born. He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dysart and Elinor Thomson. For more about Robert Thomson, visit the Bovina NY History blog at

131 years ago today, June 26, 1888, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "J.L. Ormiston and J.L. Coulter were at Syracuse….attending the Prohibition State Convention."

The Windham Journal carried an ad for "The Dairy Woman's Friend. The Gilt-Edge Butter-Worker." The ad included a letter from a Bovina farmer dated 141 years ago, June 27, 1878. The letter was from Robert J. Forrest and stated "Having been inquired of by many in regard to my opinion of the Gilt-Edge Butter-Worker, I wish to give it my unqualified endorsement. It is a success in every particular, and one of the greatest labor-saving inventions any farmer can place in his dairy. In doing the work of a dairy of twenty-two cows my wife insists that more than one-half the work is saved her by its use."

124 years ago today, in the June 28, 1895 issue of the Andes Recorder, the Bovina correspondent reported that "Irving Phinney has a new bicycle." In the same column, it was reported that "The most healthy thing for tramps and thieves, who are so numerous in this vicinity, to do is for them to leave before they get a dose of lead."

132 years ago today, June 29, 1887, during the installation of Rev. Milligan as pastor of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church, "the floor of the audience room broke down at each end." Later reported in the Stamford Mirror, the report noted that "the distance to the ground was small and no one was hurt, and the exercises were continued as though nothing unusual has happened."

Seventy-nine years ago today, June 30, 1940, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Doig and children of Downsville were guests of his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Doig…." That same day, Miss Virginia Decker, who has been spending a couple of weeks with her aunt, Mrs. Charles Scobie at Glenn Cove, L.I., returned home…."

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 6

Work progresses on a couple of fronts as we work to raise funds for Bovina's birthday party next year.

Under fundraising, I'm happy to report that Bovina native Thomas Hoy has made a generous donation to the Bicentennial celebration fund. Thank you Tom!

And more fundraising - work is proceeding on the Bovina Country Pie and Cake Auction for July 20. The event will run from 10 am to 2 pm, with the preview taking place from 10 to 12 and the auction from 12 until all items are sold. Here's the poster advertising the event:

And speaking of posters, we are working on having for sale by this fall a promotional poster for the Bicentennial, featuring a lovely 1888 painting of Bovina Center. I will have more details as to how you can get a poster in my July update. The plan is to sell two sizes - 12 x 18 and 18 x 24. 

Hope to see you at the auction. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

June 1919 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

June 1919 in Bovina saw some heavy showers and, later in the month, a lightning storm that killed nine cows on Pink Street.

June 6, 1919
·         Miss Viola Russell spent the weekend at Oneonta.
·         An electric fan has been installed in the office of the Dry Milk plant.
·         Arthur Bergerman, an uptown Bovina farmer, is producing over a ton of milk daily from his dairy.
·         Mrs. James Divitt has given up the Charles Hafele farm, which they purchased in the fall of 1917, and with her family moved to the Methodist parsonage this week. [This farm likely was off Coulter Brook Road.]

June 13, 1919
·         William Rogers, of New York, has arrived at his summer home at Lake Delaware.
·         At the sale at the Maynard homestead in upper Bovina on Wednesday cows brought high prices, going as high as $250 each.
·         Rev. Edgelow, rector of the St. James Church at Lake Delaware, has a new Ford car.  The barn at the rear of the Mason lot is being fitted up for a garage.

Bovina Farmer Takes a Bride

Floyd W. Hyatt, a Bovina farmer who a few years ago purchased the D.J. Miller farm has again embarked on the sea of matrimony.  On Monday, June 9, he went to Yonkers, and that evening was united in marriage with Mrs. Brown, of that city.  He arrived home with his bride Wednesday evening and his neighbors gathered at his home to welcome the new mistress. [This farm was in the Bramley Mountain area, likely on Miller Avenue.]

Bovina Farm Sold
W. Robert Doig Disposes of Tunis Lake to C.E. Hulbert

W. Robert Doig has sold his farm in Bovina to Charles E. Hulbert of Downsville.  Tunis Lake, a fishing resort, is located on this farm and this was doubtless an objective for the purchaser.  Three generations of Doigs have owned the place, which was in the distant past the Northrup homestead.

The sale brings to mind a legend told, which has it that the Indian Chief Tunis whose wigwam was on the shores of this lake, had located a lead mine in the vicinity and had taken a man blindfolded to it to prove his assertion. However, no one has ever been able to bring such a mine to light.

June 20, 1919
·         This section was visited by heavy showers Saturday and Sabbath afternoons.
·         Edward Lamb, employed on the Miller homestead farm, sustained a dislocation of the left shoulder on Monday evening.
·         Sergeant Donald Lee, a member of the Lightning division, who served over a year in France, arrived home last Saturday, having received his discharge. [Lee would be Bovina's last surviving World War One veteran, dying in 1995 at the age of 99.]

June 27, 1919
·         Mrs. William J. Storie attended the semi-centennial celebration of the founding of Cornell University. Her uncle, David F. Hoy is the registrar of Cornell.
·         Clifton Irvine who has been in the army, arrived home Saturday.  He is going back to Seattle, where he was before the war, and Lloyd Irvine and Millard Blair expect to go with him. [Clifton and Lloyd were brothers of Isabell Russell.]
·         Wendell Ormiston, whose boyhood was spent in Bovina, and Miss Lillian Haler, a teacher in the Goshen high school, were married June 20.  He is a telephone lineman with headquarters at Goshen.

Lightning Does Damage in Bovina
William T. Miller Had Nine Cows Killed Last Thursday Night

During the severe thunder storm that swept over Bovina last Thursday night William T. Miller, living on Pink Street, Bovina, had nine cows and a yearling killed by lightning.  [The farm was at Pink Street and Scutt Mountain Road. It had belonged to William's maternal grandfather then his father. It later was the Doig farm.]

The cows were lying close to the line wall between the Miller and Storie farms and beneath a large tree that stood on the Storie side of the wall.  The bolt had struck the tree and going down this had passed through the wall and electrocuted the animals without leaving a ark on any of them.  Six of the cows were lying with their heads in one direction and as death came had straightened out and the head of each was lying on the cow next to it.

The loss is an extremely heavy one as Mr. Miller had no insurance and his only recompense was $1143 received for the hides.

A little over a year ago lightning struck and burned the barn of John M. Miller on the farm adjoining. [John Miller was William's brother.]

Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day and Art Reinertsen

Today (June 6) is the forty-fifth anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France by the allies. One of the soldiers in the first wave of the invasion was Carl A. Reinertsen, known as Art. He was the son of Andrew and Sophie Reinertsen. Born in Bovina in January 1919, he entered service in the Army in November 1940. In August 1942, he sailed to England and served in North Africa and Sicily, where he received the Purple Heart.

Carl Arthur Reinertsen, photo courtesy of his niece Marie Burns

He became one of Bovina's World War II fatalities on June 7 when he was killed in action on the Normandy beaches of France. 
Death notice from an unidentified local paper, likely the Delaware Republican Express or the Walton Reporter

Art's death was also noted in the September 19, 1944 New York Times in it's regular listing of Casualty reports from the War and Navy Departments

A memorial service was held on July 16 at the Bovina U.P. Church. 

His body was brought back to the Port of New York in November 1947 and was later buried in the Bovina Cemetery. Below is the application for his headstone, provided by the U.S. government in 1948.
From U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963