Monday, February 28, 2022

This Day in Bovina for February 2022

Here's the compilation of the February 2022 Town of Bovina Historian Facebook entries:

185 years ago today, the February 1, 1837 Delaware Gazette carried this ad, dated in December 1836: "John Reed Tailor. Respectfully returns thanks to the inhabitants of Bovina and its vicinity, for the liberal support tendered him since he commenced business and begs leave to inform them that he has opened a Shop on his new premises with a complete assortment of Trimmings, adopted to the texture and form of the garments of his customers. He has brought up from New York, Draughts, Plates and Reports of Fashions for the season and no expense will be spared to render his establishment commensurate with the growing taste and respectability of the community."

101 years ago today, on February 2, 1921, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The school teachers of the town were at Bloomville attending a conference Wednesday, adding more useless expense on the districts."

Eighty-two years ago today, on February 3, 1940, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "The Andes girls won over the Bovina Center girls in a basketball game..." The Andes girls beat the Bovina team in Bovina, 43 to 10.

141 years ago today, on February 4, 1881, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "'Reuben,' the well-known carriage horse, belonging to Rev. J.B. Lee [of Bovina], was found dead in the stable…" Lee lived in the house next to the church, now the home of Amy Burns and Tom Lamport.

Ninety-two years ago today, the Delaware Republican reported in its February 5, 1930 issue, under the headline "Bovina Man an Inventor" that "W.G. Coulter of Bovina Center has invented a machine for the spreading of crushed stone in the building of public highways which promises to be of great value. He applied for a patent on the spreader and has received word that the patent has been granted."

119 years ago today, the February 6, 1903 Andes Recorder Bovina correspondent reported a rather horrible incident involving a former Bovina resident and a mad dog: "Last week word was received at this place that James. L. Ormiston and his two daughters, who resides at Wilmington, Delaware, had been bitten by a mad dog.  The dog, which belonged to a neighbor, attacked the youngest daughter, aged about seven years, and an older sister went to her assistance, and both were severely bitten when Mr. Ormiston came to their aid.  He succeeded in chocking the dog to death, but not until it had bitten off one of his fingers.  His brother, Dr. Ormiston of Delhi, who went to treat them, reports that no hydrophobia symptoms have developed and it is thought that they will come out all right."

Seventy years ago today, the Delaware Republican Express for February 7, 1952, reported in its Bovina column that Mrs. Bernard Perry and Mrs. Boyce Rossman attended a Stanley Hostess party at the home of Mrs. James Kinsey in Bloomville."

Seventy-one years ago today, the February 8, 1951 Delaware Republican Express reported in its Bovina column that "the arch bridge at the lower end of the village has been closed all week, while repairs are being made." This is the Scott Bridge that stood for about 80 years at the lower end of Bovina Center. The bridge was demolished in 1955 after a new bridge was built.

Seventy years ago today, on February 9, 1952, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express Bovina column, "Howard LaFever jr., entertained thirteen young friends at a birthday party on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 9th, in honor of his 6th birthday. One of his guests, Tommy Burns, also celebrated his 6th birthday, it being the same day. There were two birthday cakes, cup cakes, cocoa, and ice cream for refreshments. All had a fine time."

118 years ago today, on February 10, 1904, Pete Johnson of  Bovina died. The Andes Recorder had this 'obituary' of him: "Pete Johnson is No More. Died, at the residence of Barna Johnson in this village[Bovina], February 10, Pete Johnson, cat, aged 14 years, 11 months. Cause of death, stroke of paralysis and alleged overdose of chloroform. We all knew Pete, faithful and loyal to his own home, and other cats and dogs stayed away. Some people had caused it to be suspected that he was occasionally too fond of young chickens; he never said much about it. Other cats can now take the blame."

Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 11, 1943 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Clarence Burns has bought the William Stock farm and has already taken possession."

138 years ago today, the Brushland column of the February 12, 1884, Stamford Mirror reported that "Thomas Hamilton, of Bovina, is very low with pneumonia and there is very little hopes entertained of his recovery." By the time that this issue had gone to press, Mr. Hamilton had passed away at the age of 78.

100 years ago, on February 13, 1922, the Bovina Town Board met "to make arrangements for building a new bridge to take the place of the stone arch bridge at the former Strangeway store in Bovina Center." As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The present structure was built about 1858, by James R. Scott, who furnished and hauled the stone and built the bridge for $100. The highway commissioner was severely criticized for his extravagance, it being alleged that he would bankrupt the town."

154 years ago today, on February 14, 1868, this bond document was signed for Thomas Purdy in his role as constable for the Town of Bovina. 

110 years ago today, on February 15, 1912, Elmer Gladstone, son of George Gladstone, was operated on for chronic appendicitis. He came through the operation fine. In 1925 he was attacked by a bull on the family farm. He survived that too and died when he was 81 in 1956.

A heavy snowfall 102 years ago today, February 16, 1920, prevented the delivery of the mail. It did make it through the next day. Another storm about a month later would prevent mail delivery on March 12 and 13.

135 years ago today, on February 17, 1887, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "A large and interesting meeting of the Delaware Co. Dairymens Association, was held in Hastings Hall…Many prominent dairymen from other parts of the county were present and took part in the discussions."

Commodore E.T. Gerry died in New York City ninety-five years ago today, February 18, 1927.  Grandson of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he spent many summers at home on Lake Delaware. His son Robert and daughter Angelica each later built their own homes at the lake.

101 years ago today, the installation of radios in Bovina seemed to be the rage. The Andes Recorder of February 19, 1921 reported that "John H. Hilson has had a radio installed."  The same issue also reported that "John S. Burns in upper Bovina and Gaylie Hafele up Coulter Brook, have had radios installed."

139 years ago today, the February 20, 1883 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "There has been nearly 50 cases of measles in the Brushland School Dist. At this date. They are also quite numerous in the Andrew Brown District beyond the Lake." I'm not sure what district they mean here, but likely is the one that was on Biggar Hollow Road.

The February 21, 1902 issue of the Andes Recorder (120 years ago today) reported in its Bovina column that " Henry Hogaboom, formerly of this town, is now at the Military Home at Dayton, Ohio."  Hogaboom was a Civil War veteran.  Born in Sullivan County, he moved to Bovina as a boy and settled in Lake Delaware after the war until his move to the soldier's home.  He lived there 19 years until his death there in 1921.  His body was brought back to Bovina for burial.

115 years ago today, on the evening of February 22, 1907, the Fortnightly Club held this program at Strangeway's Hall in Bovina 

Ninety-two years ago today, on February 23, 1930, Clifford Boggs was born, the last child and only son of James and Edith Boggs. Sadly, his mother died in childbirth, leaving Clifford to be cared for, in part, by his aunt (and my grandmother) Anna Bell LaFever. Clifford died in May 1933 when he was 3 years old.  This is believed to be one of the few pictures of Clifford.

126 years ago, on February 24, 1896, a fire that happened during evening church services caused a ruckus. The reported of the fire was in the Andes Recorder: "About 8 o’clock Monday evening [Feb 24] while the people were in the United Presbyterian church attending services, the startling cry of fire ran through the church. In an instant all was excitement and a rush was made for the door and the street was black with people hurrying toward the store of Hilson & Blair where the fire had been discovered.  The fire had started in the rear of the store beneath the floor and within a few feet of the oil tank.  Plenty of help was soon on hand and went to work carrying water in pails, tubs and whatever would hold water.  Boards were torn off and the water poured on the fire and it was soon extinguished without much damage being done.  No cause can be given for the fire as fire has never been kept in that part of the building.  If the fire had gained a little more headway before it was discovered or had occurred a few hours later nothing could have saved the store, as we have no way to extinguish a fire once fully started."

Seventy-three years ago today, the February 25, 1949 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column that "Russell Jones of Stamford has moved his family to John Bellino's tenant rooms and will assist John with his farm duties." The Bellino farm was on Pink Street, now owned by Hall Wilkie.

Ninety-seven years ago today, the February 26, 1925 issue of the Hancock Herald under the topic "Farm Bureau Notes" reported on several cow testing associations, including Bovina. "The work of the Bovina Diary Improvement Association is progressing in splendid shape with H.C. Brackville as agent. Records from this association show splendid progress of the work and improvement in the various dairies tested. For the past month the five highest herds of the association reported by Mr. Brackville are owned by Isaac L. Mitchell, A.T. Archibald, John F. Thompson, James A. Boggs and John S. Burns. Considering the fact that many cows in the dairy are dry at this season of the year the average of these herds runs very good. 20 cows in Mr. Mitchell's herd produced 19696.6 pounds of milk producing 840.3 pounds of butter-fat or an average per cow of 42.1 pounds per month. The other dairies also average well for this time of year.

The Andes Recorder from 143 years ago today, February 27, 1879, reported the sad news that "Henry, Son of Wm. D. Thompson, of Brushland, who met with an accident recently, which was supposed to have ruptured one of his kidneys, is not better, and when last heard from he was still failing.  He is about fifteen years of age, and an only child."  Henry, born in 1862, had had three siblings, but they had all died as children, two before his birth.  Happily, Henry did recover from this accident and was married four years later.  He died in 1930, leaving a widow and three children.

191 years ago today, a testimonial appeared in the Albany Evening Journal dated February 28, 1831 for "John Thomson, Botanic Physician:"  "This may certify that I have been afflicted with the Dyspepsia for six years past, and for the last 12 months, have not been able to do any labor. My food was principally dry toast and crackers. I was attended by three of the best physicians in Delaware county, where I reside, to no advantage. Having heard of Dr. Thomson, of Albany, I applied to him on the 2d day of this month, who relieved me immediately; and at this date find myself in a better state of health than I have before enjoyed since I was first taken sick and shall enjoy good health when my strength is fully restored, which is now fast gaining. I can now eat anything that a well person can and have been able to since the third day after Doct. Thomson commenced his attendance. Harriet A. Soper of Bovina." Harriett was 27 years old when this ad appeared. She was the daughter of Peleg and Nancy Soper. Dr. Thomson did something right - Harriett would live to be 82, dying in 1886. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Remembering Leonard Cairns

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Leonard Cairns, who had been my neighbor pretty much my whole life. Here's his obituary: Obituary of Leonard J. Cairns | Welcome to MacArthur Funeral Home &... (

Leonard was 93 at his death, the oldest man currently living in the Town of Bovina. He had lived in Bovina since he was 13. This Bob Wyer photo was taken in June 1944 at the Andes Central School, from where he graduated in 1947. Leonard is second from the left in the back row. 

I found this Bob Wyer photo of Leonard from May 1948. It was for the license he needed to drive trucks.

Leonard enlisted in the Marines in 1950. This image comes from the Bovina Historical Society 2006 calendar which featured Bovina veterans. Leonard served in the Korean War, receiving the Purple Heart. The image was provided by his family. 

Leonard was active in the Bovina community. He was the last surviving charter member of the Bovina Fire Department at its creation in 1949. Here's the first page of the new department's minute book with signatures of the charter members. Leonard's is on the first line of names at the right. 

Leonard was on the Bovina Public Library's board and was its President from 1970-1973. During his tenure, the library received an O'Connor grant to convert the old Bovina District 4 school building into the library.
Leonard and Ann celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2004.

Leonard celebrated his 90th birthday in 2018.

Leonard and Ann were good neighbors, even as they went into their golden years. They brought food over to my mom after my dad's passing in 2004. In 2011, I had hernia surgery and Leonard came by with a chicken dinner for me during my recovery. 

Leonard's lawn usually was the first one mowed in our little neighborhood - and he still was mowing into his 90s. It took some convincing to get him to let others do his lawn. 

I close with this photo I took in July 2009 of Leonard and Ann with their neighbors the late Mary Haran and her daughter Regina. They were watching the parade held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Bovina Fire Department.

RIP Leonard. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Bovina Sesquicentennial Parade - 1970

Donna Weber recently gave me some documents she found related to the Bovina Sesquicentennial Celebration, which took place August 29, 1970. I'm including two items of interest concerning the parade. One is the program announcing the celebration, with some additional notes in handwriting we don't quite recognize (if anyone does, let me know). 

One item that isn't quite right is the note at the bottom. The parade ended up assembling on Coulter Brook Road, not next to the library. 

And here is the list of the parade units. 

Here's a transcript (this was obviously a copy and it's a bit fuzzy):

1. Delhi Community Band

2. Andes Fire Department

3. Andes Ladies Auxiliary

4. Andes Fire Equipment

5. Bloomville Fire Department

6. Bloomville Ladies Auxiliary

7. South Kortright School Drill Team

8. Hobart Fire Department

9. Bovina Forum Float

10. Bovina Library Float

11. 1934 Chevy - Howard LaFever

12. 1932 Pontiac - Glen Meyer

13. Bovina Co-op Dairy Float

14. St. James Church Float

15. Go-Cart - Denise Lay

16. Bovina Our Heritage Float (Inman)

17. Mountain Brook Float

18. Bovina Ski Club Float

19. 1932 Ford - Florence Thomas

20. 1918 Premier - Clayton Thomas

21. 1927 Ford - George Duphily

22. 1910 Reo - Karl Allmer

23. 1926 Chryser - Bruce Armer

24. 1928 Reo - Bill Chattin

25. Burn-Lou Century Farm Float

26. Pre-school Float

27. Jack and June Burns Float

28. Gas Engine - Ron Russell

29. Don Drum Buggy

30. Dairy Princess - Fred Holcomb Team

31. John Hilson and Mary Beth Float

32. Delaware Pleasure Riders

33. Donna and Maryann Parsons

34. Hilltop Stables

35. Inman Horses

36. Timbertrail Ranch

37. Debbie Bellino

38. Howard Hughes - Pony and Cart

If you want to see what some of these looked like, I have pictures from the 1970 celebration on Flickr: 

Bovina's Sesquicentennial | Flickr

And on July 30, we will have the Belated Bovina Bicentennial celebration, including a parade, which we expect will repeat the route of the parade from 1970. Start thinking about what you would like entered in the parade. We'll be posting more information in the next couple of months.  

Thursday, February 10, 2022

February 1922 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

Here's what was happening in Bovina 100 years ago this month, as reported in the Andes Recorder:

February 3, 1922

Mrs. Dixon Thomson has been quite ill, but is recovering.

A.T. Doig had a car load of Cadallac cars arrive at Walton this week.

Bovina teachers were called to Stamford on Wednesday for a three day meeting of teachers.

James Ackerly is tearing down the old barn on the lot which he recently purchased adjoining the property of Alex Hilson.

Harry Craft, who has been employed by Jean Muller was ill the past week from gall stones.  Mr. Muller is also ill with rheumatism.

February 10, 1922

Thomas C. Strangeway has moved into his new house [now the home of Jim and Peg Hilson.

Fred Thomson is digging the cellar for his new bungalow on the parsonage lot.

Lee Lent, of Treadwell, is the new cheese maker at the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery.

The local Dairymen’s League Co-Operative association have elected the following directors:  Frank Coulter, John Burns, Emil Schneider, James Barnhart and Charles J. Russell.

Everett Joslin will move from part of the former John Hastings house to A.B. Phyfe’s house.  John Armstrong and wife will begin housekeeping in the rooms to be vacated by Joslin.

Farm House Burned in Bovina

House on the Walter Amos Farm Destroyed Saturday Morning

The house on the Walter Amos farm in Southern Bovina was destroyed by a fire which broke out early last Saturday morning.

The farm, which is now owned by Robert L. Gerry, is occupied by Walter Robson.  That morning he arose and kindled the fire and probably about an hour later something was heard to fall in the attic and on investigation the house was discovered to be on fire, and had a good start.  Neighbors were called by telephone and arrived in time to help save the furniture.  Everything from the house and cellar was saved excepting two beds and a few gallons of maple syrup which were upstairs.

The house was a large story and a half frame structure and the wind was blowing against the fire causing it to burn slowly.  A woodhouse a few feet from the house was saved.  Mr. Robson carried an insurance which will cover the loss on his household goods.

Mr. Robson is moving into part of Mrs. Adam Biggar’s house in Biggar Hollow.

February 17, 1922

Mr. Redmond, who purchased the W.H. Maynard place up-town, moved his family there Friday.

Alex Myers started Monday by auto to attend the funeral of his nephew in Margaretville and on Palmer Hill they came upon a car standing in the middle of the road with no one in sight.  The snow had drifted around it so that they could not get past and they had turn around and come home.

The town board met on Monday [Feb 13] to make arrangements for building a new bridge to take the place of the stone arch bridge at the former Strangeway store in Bovina Center.  The present structure was built about 1858, by James R. Scott, who furnished and hauled the stone and built the bridge for $100.  The highway commissioner was severely criticized for his extravagance, it being alleged that he would bankrupt the town.

February 24, 1922

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Belino February 11, a daughter.

Daniel Franklin, the creameryman, was here the first of the week.

Mrs. Dixon Thomson, who has been ill for several weeks, is now on the gain.

F.W. Hyatt had a two-year-old heifer die this week as a result of a fall on the ice.

Nelson Siring has commenced building the cellar for Fred Thomson on the M.E. parsonage lot.

The singing school which has been conducted here by H.W. Frisbee will close March 10, with a concert.

Henry Monroe has moved from part of Mrs. Thos Gordon’s house, to the Dick Smith house across the street.

Fred Bramley had the misfortune to have one his fine matched team of young horses die the past week with horse distemper.

James Ackerley, who recently purchased the Northrup house, has the frame up for kitchen on the rear.  He will raise the roof of the old house and make it two story.

Bovina Team Ran Away

The team of Calvin Russell took fright at the creamery Thursday morning and had a lively run.  Coming onto Main street the team ran in at the Hastings feed store and onto the flat above the new street.  Continuing up the flat they went over the wall into a rocky pasture lot of Fred Bramley and were not caught until they reached Bramley’s.  No damage was done and not even the milk cans were thrown out.  How they avoided all the rocks is a miracle.