Friday, March 31, 2023

This Day in Bovina for March 2023

Here's the monthly compilation of entries from the Town of Bovina Facebook page: 

Twenty-eight years ago today, the March 1, 1995 Walton Reporter carried this Bovina column by Ann Cairns.

118 years ago, on March 2, 1905, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "…it was 14 below zero."

101 years ago today, on March 3, 1922, "The Hamden Club" presented a "farce comedy in three acts" in Bovina Center. Bovina didn't have an opera house - they likely meant Strangeways Hall. And I'm still trying to figure out what "The Hamden Club" was, though the players (except for Bostwick Hume) are on the 1920 census for Hamden.

127 years ago today, on the evening of March 4, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, while "Alexander Forrest and lady were coming home from Andes the horse upset them in some way and ran away. It was caught at the Centre and put in Hilson and Blair’s sheds.  Mr. Forrest hired someone to take them home and when he arrived, he found the horse had not yet put in its appearance, and he had to go back and hunt for it."

201 years ago today, on March 5, 1822, Francis Coulter signed this oath of office as a commissioner of highway before Town Justice Elisha B. Maynard. Note that he signed his name as Francis Coltert. His name went through several variations, having been born with Coltherd as his last name. Coulter died in 1846. 1822-03-5 F Coltert Comm hgy

Fifty years ago today, the March 6, 1963, Oneonta Start published this article about the impending demolition of Angelica Gerry's mansion at Lake Delaware. 

Eighty-three years ago today, on March 7, 1940, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Dickson entertained at dinner …Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomson, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Decker, and Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Burgin."

Eight-eight years ago today, on the March 8, 1935 Walton Reporter carried this Bovina column:

137 years ago today, the March 9, 1886 Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror reported that "preparations are being made for the opening of a new Street near Hastings store." It is not really clear what road is meant. It could be a reference to Maple Avenue, which was established around 1893.

100 years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 10, 1923 Walton Reporter reported that "Miss Edith Liddle ran a heavy, splinter under the nail of the middle finger of her left hand on the last Sabbath of February. She thought she had it all out but a swelling, bloodshot forearm that sickened her made the return from her school on the following Wednesday evening a task. Dr. Ormiston dressed it on Wednesday evening and on Monday, Mar. 5th. she was permitted to return to her school work. Some little things make big trouble." I think this Edith was the daughter of Alexander Liddle. He died in 1920 in Manhattan, where the family was living. It appears Edith came to Bovina, possibly to live with her grandparents, David and Margaret Liddle. By 1925, she was in Oneonta with her mother and step father but by the end of that year, she was married to Leonard Hall. She spent much of her life in Delhi. She died in Florida in November 1983.

109 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for March 11, 1910, reported that "Mrs. Frank A. Russell has received from the Pittsburg Life and Trust Co., $1,000 in payment of policy held by her late husband." Frank had died at end of January, leaving his widow, the former Adalaid Coulter, and three children, sons Millard (aged 12), Arthur (aged 9) and Ernie (aged 5). Addie was remarried in 1924 to Thomas Cowan but was widowed again two years later. She died in 1951.

111 Years ago today, March 12, 1912, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The town board held a meeting… to consider the question of leasing a stone crusher, but no decision was reached." The board met again the following week and voted to lease the crusher, but had yet to decide what kind. On April 9, they made the decision and signed the contract.

162 years ago today, on March 13, 1861, this order was issued to pay William H. Fish "on account of wages earned by him duly qualified as a teacher in district No. Eight…" He taught from November 13, 1860 to the March 13, 1861. The order is signed by John Raitt, Jr. John L. Wight and H.S. Grant. District eight was on Biggar Hollow and was a joint district with the Town of Andes. 

138 years ago today, March 14, 1885, the "reading room in Brushland" was opened. As later reported in the Stamford Mirror, the paper further noted that "Arrangements will then be made to have the regular evenings when the room will be open thereafter." It is not clear where this was located, but likely was in the UP Church basement.

146 years ago today, Walter Coulter, who grew up in Bovina and later settled in Walton, wrote the following in his diary for March 15, 1877: "This has been a cold blustery windy day. I went to Bovina to day. It was a cold long ride. I went to Brother Jims to night. I forded the river at the Hook. I stopped at Hamden. 1877"

Thirty years ago today, the March 16, 1993 Delaware County Times carried this article about the Bovina Center Library: 

Seventy-three years ago today, the March 17, 1950 Catskill Mountain News carried the obituary for Paul Rosa, who died suddenly on March 10 of a heart attack: 

102 years ago today, the March 18, 1921 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "George Miller has received word that the remains of his son, Clark Miller, who was killed in action in France are enroute to Bovina." He was buried at the end of the month in Bovina. In August 1918, his picture appeared in the New York Tribune, far right second row. His picture appeared on the same tribute page with the son of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was another fatality of the war. 

Twenty-six years ago today, the March 19, 1997 Walton Reporter carried this article about a gardening presentation sponsored by the Bovina Historical Society: 

The Delaware Republican March 20, 1880 edition from 143 years ago reported that "Thomas Johnston, of Bovina, was running his feed mill at a very high pressure, the cogs on the bevel gearing of the main shaft were completely stripped and the report was heard half a mile distant."

104 years ago today, the March 21, 1919 issue of the Otsego Farmer reported that "A plucky Bovina woman, Mrs. J. W. Thomson, waded into an icy stream a few days ago and rescued a five-year-old boy from drowning. Little Robert Hunt, while coasting, ran off a bridge and fell into the stream, eight feet below. The current was carrying the boy down stream when Mrs. Thomson jumped into the stream and rescued him.

184 years ago today, on March 22, 1839, Jane Murray, the seven-year-old daughter of John Murray and Jennet Scott, died. At the time of her death, she had five siblings. John and Jennet went on to have five more children, most of whom survived to adulthood.

129 years ago today, the March 23, 1894 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "George E. Gladstone is preparing to build a house on the new street." George built a number of houses in Bovina, in partnership with James L. Coulter. It appears that this particular house was one he built for himself. It was completed in the late spring of 1894. For many years, it was the home of Marvin and Eleanor Archibald. More about Gladstone and Coulter is on the Bovina NY History Blog at

118 years ago, on March 24, 1905, this letter was written by Charles H. Betts in Albany, addressed to Bovina Town Supervisor John Irvine, concerning the town's refusal to accept highway manuals delivered to them. This brief letter explains that the town must accept and pay for these manuals, pursuant to Chapter 536 of the laws of 1904. The referenced 'circular' letter is a form letter which explains it in more detail, noting that "if the Town Board concludes to defy the act of the State Legislature,….then it must do so at its peril." The form letter threatens legal action if the books are not accepted, and payment is not made. The fact that there was a form letter tells us that Bovina was not the only town to refuse them. 

121 years ago today, on the evening of March 25, 1902, a "warm sugar social" was held at the home of David "Champ" Worden, the first farm up what is now Reinertsen Road. The event was held "under the auspices of the Ladies Aid Society." Admission was 15 cents.

132 years ago, the March 26, 1891 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The snow is gone. The mud has come."

Eighty-three years ago today on March 27, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Friends of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Hoy gave them a surprise party…., it being their twentieth anniversary."

Ninety-three years ago today, the Andes Recorder for March 28, 1930, reported the death of David LaFever, the 15-month-old son of Benson and Anna Bell LaFever on March 24. The paper went on to note that “Mrs. LaFever has been bereft of her sister, Mrs. James Boggs, and mother, Mrs. Kate Barnhart, just recently, and a niece, Grace Boggs, passed away last December.  Mr. and Mrs. LaFever have one other child, a four-year-old son, Howard, who is recovering from an attack of bronchitis.” This picture of David was taken only a couple of weeks before his death. My grandmother thought he might have caught the illness that killed him while at the photo studio, where there was another child with a cold. 

136 years ago today, the March 29, 1887 issue of the Stamford Mirror had the following item: “The Great West. - We are indebted to John P. Atkin, of Jetmore, Kansas, for an illustrated 'Handbook of Hodgeman County, Kansas.' Mr. Atkin left Bovina, Delaware Co., N.Y. in 1882, and has been County Clerk for one term and is now cashier of the Hodgeman County Bank, at Jetmore. He is fast growing up with the county, which requires Delaware County boys to make it boom. We wish to hear from every Delaware County man, who has gone from us to seek his fortune." This John Atkin probably is the grandson of Isaac Atkin, an early settler of Bovina.

127 years ago today, on March 30, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "John P. Dennis tapped his sugar bush Monday, and others are busy at work in their camps."

It was fifty years ago today, March 31, 1973, that the Bovina Center Cooperative Dairy (aka the Bovina Creamery) saw its last day of operation. Betty Elliott had the presence of mind to follow her husband's last load of milk to the creamery and took several pictures. They can be seen at

Monday, March 20, 2023

Bovina Bicentennial Art Project, part 1


As part of the Town of Bovina’s Bicentennial Celebration, Brooke Alderson enlisted a group of ten local artists to create paintings of Bovina Landmarks. The artists were invited to paint their own interpretations of photographs of different Bovina buildings that are no longer in existence or have been altered. The resulting ten paintings were mounted on easels by Brooke and Scott Hill and were displayed throughout the hamlet during the Celebration at the site where the original structure stood (or still stands).

Over the next few months, I will be doing a series of entries highlighting the buildings and the paintings. The paintings are on display at the Bovina Public Library, where you can order prints of any that catch your fancy for $80, all proceeds going to the library. And stay tuned for an auction of the original works being planned for this fall. 

The Library thanks all the artists: Michael Frank Casey, Timothy Ashton Cunningham, Sandra Finkenberg, Lizbeth Fermin, Lori Glavin, Scott Hill, Gary Mayer, Richard Kirk Mills, Antonio Mora, and Cornelis Verlaan for allowing their wonderful paintings to be displayed at the Library, and reproduced both in this booklet and as individual full size prints. Special thanks also goes to Torkil Stavdal for photographing the paintings.

The entries will be presented in geographic order, with one building featured each month through November. 

Strangeway’s Store, painted by Antonia Mora


A store has stood on the site of what later became Strangeway’s since at least the 1850s. In the 1860s, it was owned by James Elliott and included the post office. On April 10, 1872, the building burned down. There was insurance of about $500 on the building and $2,000 on the goods. Andrew Strangeway reported in his diary that the store “was consumed to ashes in about 1 hour.”

A couple of weeks later, the April 24, 1872 Delaware Gazette called into question how the fire started: "We learn that Mr. Elliott, of Bovina, whose store and goods were consumed by fire on the night of the 9th inst., was in embarrassed circumstances, and has since absconded; and it has come to light that he has been using the names of some friends rather freely. Forgeries to the amount of $3,000 have been discovered. Alexander Kinmonth and Andrew Gladstone are the principal victims. It is now quite clear how the store came to burn. Mr. Elliott is a former Supervisor of Bovina." Interestingly, Alexander Kinmouth was James’ father-in-law. Elliott left the area permanently, settling in Chicago, where he died in 1896.

From Munsell's 1880 History of Delaware County

Undated image from late 19th/early 20th century

A new store was built in 1874 by Andrew T. Strangeway. Born in Bovina in 1839, Strangeway was a businessman early in his adult life. In the 1860s, he was selling Thayers Iron Mower to farmers as the agent for Delaware County. For several years, he partnered with John Hilson in operating what later was Hilson’s store. They dissolved the partnership in 1872 and two years later Strangeway built his store. 

The store was barely open when it was burgled, with “about $30 in money and $50 worth of goods, consisting of gloves, boots and shoes, etc taken.” Strangeway had interests in selling a wide range of products over the years. He sold something called “Bradley’s Superphosphate of Lime.” The ad in the Delaware Gazette in May 1875 noted that it was “A Powerful Manure.” As communication technology progress, Strangeway’s store became the home for the telegraph office in Bovina Center and, in 1895, it became the telephone office. 

In another business venture, Strangeway built onto the back of his store a hall in 1888. One of his competitors, John Hastings, who had what is now Russell’s Store, built a hall at the same time (though not attached to his store but somewhere behind it). The October 4, 1888 Hobart Independent reported this, noting that “Opposition is the life of business.” Strangeway’s Hall was used for annual town meetings and other public events until the Bovina Community Hall was built in 1930. 

Andrew operated the store until his death. In May 1907, he went to Rome, NY to have a growth on his lip removed, but the Andes Recorder noted that he also had heart issues. Though the procedure to remove the growth was successful it put too much of a strain on his body and he died only a few days after returning home. Several auctions took place over the next year to liquidate the store contents. 

This postcard probably dates from the 1910s.

Clayt Thomas' garage in August 1953 after the flood that hit the town. Photo by Bob Wyer.

The store had several owners after Strangeway’s death in 1907, including at one point his two competitors – John Hilson and A.T. Doig.  The building was sold to Arthur Hillis in late 1923 and was converted into a garage. He sold the business to Kenneth Kaufman in 1927. Clayton Thomas bought the garage business in 1936 and ran it until his retirement in 1970. Wayne Gallant had the garage for a decade, starting in 1974. Heinz Berneke ran Bovina Motor Works from the garage for several years.  Current owner Tom Hetterich has put a lot of work into renovating the building, including Strangeway’s Hall.  

The Artist

After studying fine art at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Antonio Mora amassed over twenty-five years’ experience in restaurant kitchens including such well known eateries as Restaurant Daniel in New York and Avenue in Long Branch, New Jersey, earning a two star review from the New York Times and a rave from Gourmet. His education in color relationships, form, line, perspective and theory has given him a solid base on which to build his skills as a cook and chef, and his food is as balanced and beautiful as it is delicious.

In the wake of the disruptive global pandemic, Mora left the city and worked with Sohail Zandi at Brushland Eating House and Russell’s General Store in the western Catskill Mountains of New York. He remains active as an illustrator, creating commercial labels and fine art prints.

Friday, March 10, 2023

March 1923 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the pages of the Andes Recorder 100 years ago this month.

March 2, 1923
Mrs. Robert R. Gladstone is under the doctor’s care.  Mrs. Russell is the nurse. [Mrs. Gladstone was born Margaret Thomson. She survived this illness and died five years later in 1928.]
The Dry Milk Plant in connection with the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery will open for business about April 1.
The road from Bovina to Delhi was opened up Wednesday [Feb 28] for trucks, after having been closed for anything but sleighs for about two weeks.

March 9, 1923
Clarence Brown and Jason Whipple, who have been on the Thos H. Johnson’s farm, will leave it about the middle of the month.
Miss Margaret Hoy, one of the oldest residents of Bovina, died on Sabbath, March 4, at the home of her nephew, Arthur Hoy, where she had lived since her health failed a year or so ago, so that she could not live alone.  She was the last of her generation and was born in Bovina 85 years ago, and had always resided in the town.  The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon, from the United Presbyterian church, of which she was one of the oldest members.

March 16, 1923
Mrs. Robert R. Gladstone is improving very slowly.
Barrels are being received every day from the Dry Milk plant.
The Bovina Water Company has declared a dividend of 5 percent.
Clarence LaFever has returned from Long Island, where he went last August.
The new switchboard for the Bovina Center telephone office arrived this week.
G.D. Miller, who has been housed up as the result of a fall, is able to be out again.
A woman representative of the Delaware County Home Bureau was here Tuesday.
Cecil Russell is still unable to attend to his store duties.  John McCune is assisting in the store.
Sloan Archibald and his wife and Mrs. Douglas Davidson spent Monday with their aunt, Miss Jennie Miller who is a “shut in” at the Butt End.
John Burns visited bonesetter Sweet at Oneonta last week and his knee was put in better condition and four toes on the same leg put into place.
Fred Johnson, who is helpless from a shock, was taken to the home of John Taylor at the foot of Elk Creek, Monday, in order that he may be more easily cared for.

March 23, 1923
Mrs. Ganger, who was called to Columbus, Ohio, recently by the serious illness of her brother, returned home last week.
The body of John T. Doig, formerly of Andes, who died at Detroit, Michigan, was brought here the first of the week and put in the vault.  The funeral services and burial will be held at a later date.
Alex Wilber, of Arena, who had since the death of his wife last fall had lived at Everett DeSilva’s in upper Bovina, died March 9.  Early in February he went to Arena on a visit and was soon afterwards taken ill with a cold and pneumonia followed.  His age was 78 years.

March 30, 1923
Lauren Dickson is home from Yale law school for Easter vacation.
Town Superintendent Coulter and a force of men have been making the town highways passable for wagons.
Miss Knox, who teaches up Pink street, is having a vacation of three weeks which she is spending at her home in Walton.
David F. Hoy, registrar of Cornell University, was a recent guest of his sisters, Mrs. Douglas Davidson and Mrs. Sloan Archibald.
Mr. and Mrs. Marry Robson will move back to Bovina Center from Frasers, April 1st.  He will be employed at the New Andes Creamery, Inc. at Andes.