Tuesday, August 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for August 2021


Agnes Bell (Aggie) Armstrong was born 149 years ago on August 1, 1872, the daughter of Frank C. Armstrong and Jennette Burns.  Sadly, she would die only three days later.  She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  Three years less one day after her death, the Armstrongs had another daughter that they named Agnes Jeanette.  Sadly, she too would die young, dying when only two months old.


Ninety-one years ago today, August 2, 1930, this article appeared in the Binghamton Press.  Gilbert D. Miller was Bovina's last surviving Civil War veteran.  He would die a few months later on March 13, 1931.


Seventy-seven years ago today, the August 3, 1944 issue of the Delaware Republican Express including two items about the McKenzie family: "Miss Elizabeth McKenzie of Newark, N.J., returned to her work on July 30th, having spent a month's vacation here with her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Peter Mckenzie." Another item appeared about Elizabeth's brother: "The Rev. Gordon McKenzie of Scranton, Pa., was in town last Tuesday. He brought his daughter Janet and a friend to join her mother and sister Elizabeth, who are spending the summer in the Callie Boggs house (now the home of Harlo and Donna Bray)."


106 years ago today, the August 4, 1915 issue of the Delaware Gazette carried this article about three deaths in Bovina: 


Fifty-four years ago today, on August 5, 1967, Fred Ganger died unexpectedly at his home in Delhi. A native of Germany, he had a farm for a number of years on Cape Horn Road before retiring to Delhi.


Fifty-seven years ago today, August 6, 1964, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express, “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rabeler and her mother, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rabeler, and two daughters, Richard Jardine and sister Martha, and Tanya Lay took the bus from Delhi to the Worlds Fair at New York….."


112 years ago today, on August 7, 1909, the barn of William H. Maynard burned down. I believe this farm was about a mile off Cape Horn Road and was once the Warren Farm near the Bovina/Stamford town line. The foundations of the farm still exist. Here's the news article about the dramatic fire from the August 12, 1909 Binghamton Presss and Sun Bulletin: 


126 years ago today, August 8, 1895, there was a 'theft' at the home of Rev. Hayes. It was briefly reported in the Andes Recorder: "At the reception at Rev. Hayes' last Thursday evening some one borrowed two cakes."


129 years ago today, on August 9, 1892, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "T.A. Archibald had one of his nice gray horses killed by lightning…"


194 years today, on August 10, 1827, George Laidlaw was born in Scotland, the son of David Laidlaw and Helen Knox Hart.  He came to America as a child and married Janet Hume in Delhi.  They would have five children.  George died at the age of 49 in 1877 and is buried in Bovina.


123 years ago today, on August 11, 1898, the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York held a public hearing on the application of the Delaware Railroad Company to lay a railroad from Delhi to Andes, with a spur to Bovina.  Here's the Public Notice as published in the August 6 Delaware Republican.  And there are a series of entries in the Bovina NY History blog, starting with March 5, 2011, about this most serious attempt to get a railroad into Bovina: https://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2011/03/when-trains-almost-came-i-everything.html


Seventy-eight years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 12, 1943 Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Kate Birdsall, who is in nurses' training at Vassar Hospital, Poughkeepsie, is home on vacation." She likely also was home for the wedding of her cousin, Catherine Banuat. The same column reported that Marjorie Russell gave a shower in honor of Catherine.


Thirty-seven years ago today, the August 13, 1984, Daily Star (Oneonta) carried this article about Stella McPherson and her wonderful flower gardens: 


Sixty-eight years ago today, August 14, 1953, this photograph was taken of the "Beacon Lights" Sunday School class. The class met to hold a surprise party for Mrs. William J. Storie in honor of 25 years teaching the class. The class held a program on the theme 1928, including a history in photographs, popular songs and a fashion parade. Unfortunately, this is the best quality copy I have of the photo. If anyone has one that is better, I'd love to know. Front:  Elizabeth Mabon, Marion McPherson, Marian Spear, Vera Storie, Mary Burgin, Helen Hall; Second: Stella McPherson, Marjorie Walley, Ruth McGowan, Eleanor Archibald, Bea Thompson, Helen Burns, Dorothy Russell, Margaret McPherson, Marjorie Russell, Celia Coulter, Grace Roberts, Helen McDivitt; Third:  Helen Forrest, Mrs. Stanley McMaster, her guest from Canada, Leona LaFever, Gladys Lay, Laura LaFever, Helen Tyrrell, Gladys Doig, Doris Rabeler, Margaret Gordon, Rae Vandenbord


133 years ago today, on August 15, 1888, Mr. Frank Armstrong of Bovina was married to Mrs. Mary Brown of Colchester. It was his second marriage. His first was to Jeanette Burns, who died in 1885. His second wife died in Bovina in 1911. Frank would get married for a third time, marrying Mary E. Niesh. He would be widowed a third time when that Mary died in 1924. Frank died in 1925. Mary Brown's history is interesting. She came into the marriage with a son, James Franklin Brown. His father is unknown. James married a Coulter and had several children, including Mary Brown, who married Edwin "Ted" Burgin. Here's a framed certificate commemorating Frank and Mary's marriage. 


Sixty-nine years ago today, on August 16, 1952, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "An amateur show for the benefit of the Bovina library was held … at the Community hall. It was directed by George Duphily. Twelve others took part. There was selections of music, songs and two movies. About 75 were in attendance for which a nice sum was realized. Much credit is due Mr. Duphily and others who helped to make it a success."


141 years ago today, the August 17, 1880 Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror reported that "an ice-cream sociable, in the interest of the M.E. Church, was held at the house of Mrs. Loughran … proceeds amounting to $10.65."


128 years ago today, the following item appeared in the August 18, 1893 Andes Recorder - "Bovina is noted for its great butter - pure Jersey butter that is a strong competitor of Elgin [Illinois], and is growing in favor with the butter men every year.  A correspondent says: 'When we were young 100 pounds of butter per cow was a fair average; now from 300 to 400 pounds per cow does not satisfy the Bovina dairyman.  We expect, if they keep on grading their stock, by the time of the next centennial the Bovina cow will be giving butter instead of milk.'"


The Seventh Annual Coulter Family Reunion was held ninety-six years ago today on August 19, 1925 at three residences in Bovina Center, George Russell's (the Robson House),  James Thomson's (the Pelletier house) and Harvey C. Burgin's (the Jason and Lisa Stanton house).


102 years ago yesterday, on August 20, 1919, one hundred and fifty relatives attended the Archibald reunion held on Wednesday at home of William J. Archibald.


138 years ago today, the August 21, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "Coulter Bros. have taken their portable sawmill to Shavertown to do a large job of sawing at that place."


119 years ago today, on August 22, 1902, the Bovina Fortnightly Club held an entertainment. 


151 years ago today, the August 23, 1870 Bloomville Mirror carried this plea concerning the post office in Brushland: 


Ninety five years ago today on August 24, 1926, William Gavett of Delhi, was severely scalded by steam Tuesday while employed at the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery.


110 years ago, the August 25, 1911 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder included the following item: "Robert Graham, who went to Canada in the sixties, is visiting relatives in town. In his younger days he was a teacher and went to Canada to teach because wages were much better there. His last visit here was 25 years ago." Graham, born in Scotland in 1830, died in Canada in December 1925.


The descendants of David, William and Berry Miller held their annual reunion ninety-seven years ago today (August 26, 1924). The reunion was held at Belle Miller's (now Amy Burns' and Tom Lamport's house across from Russell's Store). Later newspaper reports said that about 75 people were present but that "several families were not represented."


Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 27, 1942 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Margaret K. Gladstone of Suffern, N.Y., is visiting relatives in town."


Ninety-two years ago today, on August 28, 1928, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, Bovina resident "Miss Caroline Dickson arrived home…from her European trip. Her sister, Mrs. Curran accompanied her here." Caroline had left for Europe on July 6. She had arrived back in New York harbor two days before on the "Carona," which had left from LeHavre on August 18. This is the passenger list from the Carona, downloaded from Ancestry.com, showing her listing. 


113 years ago today, the August 29, 1908 Hobart Independent carried this report concerning the railroad coming to Bovina. This wasn't the first attempt but it was almost the last. The interest that was so strong when the major attempt took place in 1898 had waned considerably as the automobile came into being.


140 years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 30, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Quite a number of our farmers have finished their oat harvests." The same paper also reported that "Rev. J.B. Lee has purchased a horse."


160 years ago today, on August 31, 1861, Alphonzo Lee died at the age of 54. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Lee was "respected and esteemed among those with whom he had business or social relations. Kind and indulgent as a husband and father, accommodating as a neighbor, and benevolent as a man and christian, his memory will long be held dear by those who have enjoyed his acquaintance and friendship." Lee was born in Connecticut in 1807 and came to Bovina likely in the 1820s.



Friday, August 20, 2021

Bob Wyer Goes to Camp, Part 1 - Lake Delaware Boys Camp

The twentieth century saw the advent of two summer camps for children in the Bovina township. The first was the Lake Delaware Boys’ Camp was established in 1911 by Robert L. Gerry. A little over a decade later Mr. and MRs. Aaron Mirski established a camp at Tunis Lake. 

This entry will focus on the Lake Delaware Camp. Next month I'll post an entry about the Tunis Lake camp.

Mr. Gerry started his camp at Tunis Lake in 1909, using tents. He decided to move the camp to his own property on Lake Delaware. The camp exists to this day – and continues to use tents for housing the campers, but it also includes a chapel and other structures. The camp organ, donated to the camp by Robert Gerry’s father, Elbridge, still is used today. It was built in 1877 by Hilborne Roosevelt, a cousin of Teddy Roosevelt. It is not electrified and still operates with a large wheel to provide the air needed. 

During his forty year career, Bob Wyer of Delhi came on two occasions to photograph the camp. 

Here are two images taken of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp August 1942. In the second photo, you can see Bob Wyer's shadow at the bottom of the image. 

And he went back to the camp in August 1947 for more pictures.

Images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

August 1921 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

In August 1921, Bovina saw lightning strikes that killed four cows, a house burn down, several reunions and a verdict in an assault case on Pink Street the previous month.

August 5, 1921

Frank Coulter and wife attended the Ward Reunion at Andes on Wednesday.

The party with whom E.L. Coulter bargained for the sale of his large farm has thus far failed to return with the money.

Mrs. G.D. Miller fell Monday while going down the stone steps at their home and struck her head, sustaining quite severe injuries.

Lightning in Bovina

Bovina has been visited by severe storms the past week.  Last Thursday [Jul 28] afternoon there were four heavy showers and heavy thunder and lightning.  James Robson had four cows killed Robert Robson two. Sabbath morning [Jul 31] during severe electrical storm, lightning struck the barns of Arthur Hoy, Gustave Liftgren and Fred Bramley up Pink Street but none of them were fired.

Bovina Lawsuit Adjourned

Entire Town Turned Out for Hadley –Leftgren [Lifgren] Assault Case

A stranger in Bovina on Wednesday might have thought that on old time town meeting was in progress.  The cause of all the excitement was the expected Hadley-Leftgren assault case set down for trial on that day before Judge Strangeway.  The hour for the trial came at last and with it disappointment for it was announced that Fred Youmans, the attorney for the defense had been detained in Delhi by the stern command a cruel doctor who told him he was sick.  The case was then adjourned until August 15, and then the men and women can again don their glad togs and come to see it or perhaps it might again adjourn – who knows.

August 12, 1921

John W. Blair is having his farmhouse painted.  Alex Myers is doing the job.

Mr. and Mrs. William C. Russell left last Thursday for Wisconsin to visit his brother.

Miss Jennie Miller went to the Butt End on Thursday, where she will board with Mrs. Walter Wilter Wilson.

Douglas Davidson and wife, Sloan Archibald and wife, Milton R. Hoy, Mrs. W.I. Storie, Fletcher Davidson and Lois Ormiston motored to Washington county and visited the old Hoy homestead.

Bovina Man Has Operation

John W. McCune was operated upon Monday [Aug 8] for a bad case of appendicitis.  The operation was performed by Dr. Latcher assisted by Dr. Goodrich and the appendix had burst.  Mr. McCune was taken sick Friday while working on the grading job at the high school building in Delhi.

Coulter Reunion

The Coulter re-union will be held at Frank Dickson’s on August 24, 1921.  Please bring enough sandwiches for your family and one other article, also cup spoon and for.  By order Com.

Lake Delaware House Sold

Charles A. Lee has sold his house and lot at Lake Delaware to Roscoe N. Brown for $1,500.  The place was formerly the old “Pent” Flowers store and Mr. Lee converted it into a dwelling.  Mr. Lee will go to Great Barrington and make his home with his dauter Mrs. F.D. M. Landon.

August 19, 1921

The Thomson re-union is scheduled to be held Friday at home of Ad Laidlaw.

John Aitken and family were at Delhi on Wednesday attending the Brown reunion.

Within the past two weeks Thomas Raitt in southern Bovina has had three cows and a horse die.

Miss Louise Dennis has returned home from Walton, where he spent several weeks with her nephew, Joseph Dennis.

William Gordon of New York, the grandson of the late Thomas Gordon, who has been ill for several months, is able to be around his room.

George Decker has bargained for the sale of his farm (Purdy place) near Lake Delaware to Robert Hunt, taking the Hunt house in Bovina Center in part payment.

Announcements have been received by Bovina friends of the marriage in Seattle, Washington, of J. Clifton Irvine and Miss Annie Maloney.  The groom is a son of Mrs. John Irvine of this place.

Bovina Town Picnic

It is to be Thursday, August 25, 1921, and annually hereafter on the last Thursday in August.It is to be a Basket Lunch picnic at Bovina Center.  Bring your knife fork, spoon and drinking cup.

There is to be public speaking, band music, contests with prizes – This is free.

Base ball game, Bovina singles vs. Bovina married.  Adults 25c, children under 12 yr. 15c

Everybody – that includes you – invited.  Come. Put a few pennies in your purse for picnic goodies.

Bovina Assault Case Tried - Jury Renders Verdict of Guilty in the Hadly-Liftgren Scrap

The much heralded Bovina assault case of A.E. Hadley against Gustave Liftgren and his son Edward Liftgren finally came to trial on Monday in the town hall before Justice Thomas C. Strangeway and a jury.  The court room was packed with spectators anxious to hear the evidence.  The case consumed the entire day and about 11 o’clock p.m. the jury returned a verdict of guilty of assault in the third degree.  The court sentenced each defendant to pay a fine of $40 and Edward Liftgren was given an additional sentence of fifteen days in jail.

Recorder readers will remember that trouble arose a few weeks ago over a spring belonging to Gustave Lifegren, which was located on the farm of Mr. Hadley, and that Liftgren and his son went to the barn of Hadley while he was milking, Hadley charged that he was assaulted by the two defendants and pounded and had a broken finger.

August 26, 1921

Miller Homestead Farm is exhibiting millet 6 feet 9 inches in length.

Miss Mable Thomson is ill at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dixon Thomson, and a fever is feared.

The Archibald re-union was held at Thos Boggs’ on Tuesday and the Coulter re-union at Frank Dickson’s on Wednesday.

John W. McCune is recovering nicely from his operation for appendicitis, and his trained nurse, Mrs. Theobald, returned to Utica on Wednesday.

A large moving van from Paterson, N.J. arrived Wednesday with a load of household goods for the Italian who has bought the E.L. Coulter farm on the turnpike.

Announcements have been received of the marriage of Ralph Barnhart, eldest son of Mrs. Kate Barnhart, of Bovina, and Miss Anna Ruland, of Jefferson, August 10.  The newlyweds are moving into rooms in G.D. Miller’s house.

Bovina House Destroyed - House on the Albert McPherson Farm Burned Last Saturday

The house on what is known as the Albert McPherson farm, which is now a part of the S.G. Bramly farm, on the Bloomville road, and which is now owned by Jean Muller, was destroyed by fire Saturday forenoon together with most of the contents. The fire is said to have been caused by the explosion of the oil stove of John Miller who occupied the house.  Neighbors soon saw the smoke and the telephone brought several cars from the village, but the house was enveloped in flames by the time they arrived and nothing could be done to save it.  Few of the contents were saved. The house was built only a few years ago by Charles A. McPherson before he purchased the Bramley placed and united the farms.  It is stated that there is an insurance of $1,0900 on the building and $8,000 on the contents.