Monday, July 31, 2023

This Day in Bovina for July 2023

Seventy-three years ago today, on July 1, 1950, Elinor Monroe, daughter of Henry and Ruth Monroe, was married at the Bovina U.P. Church to Horace Brink. Here are some pictures from the day and the invitation to the ceremony. They spent much of their married lives in New Jersey. Horace died in Florida in 2004. Elinor still is with us at the age of 95, living in New Jersey. 

105 years ago today, on July 2, 1918, the Bovina Town Board resolved "to lease a Ford one ton truck of the value of $775 from the dealer … and pay for it at the rate not to exceed $10 a day for every day that it is used…"

Ninety-four years ago today, the July 3, 1929 issue of the Delaware Republican in its Bovina column reported that "work at the saw mill will close down for haying." The haying was challenging, however. The same column reported that "A few of the farmers have begun haying but, on account of rain, do not gain much." Image is from the Hilson family, likely dating from the late 1930s or early 1940s.


140 years ago today, on July 4, 1873, Bovina Celebrated the Fourth with an oration, "an excellent dinner", and an ice-cream and strawberry festival to benefit the Methodist Church. Here's the news clipping from the July 1, 1873 Stamford Mirror announcing the celebration. Thanks to Samantha Misa for discovering this and sending it on to me. 

112 years ago today, on July 5, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Daniel Calhoun, in southern Bovina, had three cows killed by lightning…."

Thirty years ago today, the July 6, 1993 Delaware County Times carried this Bovina column, written by Ann Cairns: 1

Forty-one years ago today on July 7, 1982, Leroy Worden died. Here's his obituary from the July 13, 1982 Stamford Mirror Recorder: 

Sixty-eight years ago today, the July 8, 1955 Catskill Mountain News reported "New Bridge Carries Traffic Past Bovina Landmark." The article went on to say "The past week the new bridge down by Frank McPherson's was opened to traffic and is sure getting a workout. It replaces the century-old stone bridge." The bridge was demolished at the end of the month. This image by Jim Hilson of the new bridge shows the old one being demolished in the background.  

Ninety-six years ago today, on July 9, 1927, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Ford car of Ralph Hafele and the Overland of Wilford Barnhart collided … at the Dennis corner in Bovina Center." This corner is where Bramley Mountain Road comes out onto County Route 6. The newspaper went on to report that "the corner is a dangerous one." Hafele, traveling with his wife and child, were driving down the main street while Barnhart and his family were coming down the steep pitch at the end of Bramley Mountain Road. The paper noted that while both cars were badly damaged, with "the Ford getting the worst of it." There were no injuries other than "slight bruises."

111 years ago today, the July 10, 1912 Delaware Gazette carried this item: "Monday the first installment of boys arrived from New York, for the boys’ camp maintained by Robert L. Gerry, on the James Wight farm, in Southern Bovina, where new buildings have been erected, and a swimming pool built. This arrival numbered 79."

165 years ago today, on July 11, 1858, Isabella Aitkin Archibald was born, the daughter of George and Jane (Anderson) Archibald. She married Alexander A. Hilson on February 9, 1887 and was the mother of six children, including John Hamilton Hilson, the grandfather of a number of Hilson family members still in Bovina. Isabella was widowed in 1923 and died in 1934.

132 years ago today, on July 12, 1891, Thomas H. Lee died. He was one of Bovina's Civil War veterans, though he was not native to the area. Born in Cadiz, Ohio, he came to Bovina on the death of his father, the Rev. J.B. Lee of the Bovina UP Church. Lee enlisted in the NY 144th Volunteers. He settled in Red Oak, Iowa and became one of the most respected citizens of that city. He served as the City Clerk, County Auditor and a Deputy Internal Revenue Collector. He was married in 1872 but his wife died in 1887. At his death, he left one son, aged 11 years old. Following in the steps of his father, the son made his home with his great uncle, Rev. Lee, now living in Franklinville, NY.

Three years ago today, on July 13, 2020, I visited the very talented Margaret Hilson, who was painting the "Welcome to Bovina" signs for the Bovina Historical Society. Here are a couple of shots of that visit, along with photos of the now installed signs. 2020 07 13_0021  2022-06-27 Sign installation; 2023 03 27_0014

Ninety-one years ago today, on July 14, 1932, Celia Coulter sent this letter from Bovina to her friend Marjorie Russell, who was visiting friends in Manhassset on Long Island. Here's the first page of the letter and the transcript of the whole two-page letter:

Bovina Center, July 14, 1932 

Dear Marjorie,

I’m awfully sorry I haven’t written before, but I was away Tuesday, and yesterday I didn’t feel very good and was in bed about all day, so I didn’t get around to write. You know I always have some excuse, don’t you?

I suppose you are having a fine time and have just been “raisin’ cain.” Well, I hope you haven’t disgraced Bovina Center, but knowing you, I don’t think you would. I expect you have been seeing all the sights in the Big City.

I received your card yesterday. I certainly hope you haven’t blistered your back at all these beaches you saw.

Ethel came up Monday night and we went for a walk, as far as McPherson’s. You see I have to get another partner when you are gone. We had a pretty good time, anyway. We didn’t have to walk home, though.

Cherry canning is the vogue just now, as you would know if you were home. All I can think of is cherries, cherries, cherries.

We had quite a bit crowd at Young People’s meeting and church Sunday. There wasn’t an empty chair, I don’t believe.

There isn’t much news to write. All I’ve been doing doesn’t amount to a row of pins. I went to Prayer Meeting last night but that was nothing new.

Well Marjorie, I hope you have a nice time and get home safely. Be good on your homeward journey! Ha! Ha!

Lots of Love, Celia

Eighty years ago today, July 15, 1943, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express reported that "Several children from here are availing themselves of the opportunity for swimming instruction offered to them by the Red Cross at Silver Lake."

Catherine McNaught McCune died 149 years ago today on July 16, 1874. Born in Scotland in 1796, she married John McCune, who died in 1850. She had ten children, including Sarah Ann (Sally) McCune, who was my great great grandmother. Catherine is buried in the Bovina cemetery (her husband's grave is in South Kortright).

108 years ago, on July 17, 1915, Herbert Olmstead, a Bovina farmer, was injured when he was cut by a mower machine. The accident was later reported by the Otsego Farmer (Cooperstown) newspapers: "Herbert Olmstead, a Bovina farmer, was taken to the hospital at Delhi Saturday night by Drs. Scott and Whitcomb of Bovina Center suffering from severe cuts on both lower legs. While mowing with a machine late in the afternoon Mr. Olmstead backed his team to turn a corner, when one of the horses caught a reign under its tail and without thinking of the danger Mr. Olmstead stepped in front of the cutbar to loosen the rein. At that instant the horses started and the sharp knives caught him near the ankles, cutting into the bones of the left foot and making a bad gash in the right foot." Herbert appears to have recovered from this accident. He left Bovina before before 1920, living in several places, including some time in Syracuse. He died in California in 1971 and is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood.

Seventy-one years ago today, the July 18, 1952 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column the following: "Four fresh air children have arrived in Bovina. They are Kenneth and Tommy Lee of New York city, for a two-week vacation with David Roberts; James Benites of the Bronx, guest of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Archibald; Joseph Maraldo of Queens, guest of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Schabloski."

It's been four years since we held our major fundraiser for the Bovina Bicentennial celebration. Suggested by Chuck McIntosh, we held a pie and cake auction on July 19, 2019, with Chuck serving as the auctioneer. We raised over $3000 during a very hot day. Thank you to the many people who contributed desserts and their time. 

115 years ago today, on July 20, 1908, this statement was issued by the Bovina Cooperative Creamery Company for the estate of the late William L. White, who died in 1907. White's farm was on Coulter Brook Road and must still have been in operation. The Bovina Cooperative Creamery was located on New Road on what was then the McFarland Farm. The creamery closed sometime in the 1920s.

108 years ago today, on the evening of July 21, 1915, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Sloan Archibald and Miss Jennet Ellen Hoy both of Bovina Center, were united in marriage by Rev. Thomas Graham, the pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian church. The couple virtually stole a march on their friends, as until a few days previous there was not even an inkling that the couple had been casting goo-goo eyes at each other. They were given one of the biggest skimmeltons held in Bovina in many moons." A skimmelton, sometimes also known as a 'horning,' was a raucous gathering outside the home of newlyweds. This was Sloan's second marriage, his first wife, Elizabeth Russell, having died in 1911. Sloan's second marriage lasted until his death in 1928 at the age of 80. Jennette survived her husband, dying in 1942 at the age of 82.

143 years ago today, on July 22, 1880, the Stamford Mirror reported the following in its Bovina column: "A young man, known among his intimate friends by the name of 'Beecher,' proposed to go to 'Bragg Hollow' a few evenings ago, but was seriously annoyed by some wicked fellows who hid his sulky, and also threw a pail of water upon him, wetting his good clothes." Bragg Hollow is now known as Crescent Valley Road. A sulky is a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle.

Eighty-one years ago today, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican for July 23, 1942 reported that "Miss Virginia Decker started work in the Scintilla plant at Sidney this week."

128 years ago today, the July 24, 1895 Delaware Gazette reported that "Margaret McFarland died at her residence in upper Bovina on the first of last week, the funeral being held on Thursday, at the advanced age of 87 years. She was familiarly known as Aunt Margaret by many and as a shrewd, kindly and energetic woman." Margaret was the daughter of Robert McFarland and Elizabeth Sinclair, born in Bovina in 1808.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on Friday, July 25, 1924, St. James Chapel at Lake Delaware was consecrated, two years to the day after the cornerstone had been laid. The chapel was built by Angelica L. Gerry as a memorial to her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Livingston. The Catskill Mountain News reported that this ceremony was to take place, noting that "Miss Gerry's outlay in time and money to provide this unique set of buildings is generally estimated to run into several hundred thousands of dollars."

Eighty-three years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 26, 1940 Walton Reporter had these items: 1) About 50 people enjoyed a chicken roast at H.F. Davidson's Friday evening. 2) Mr. and Mrs. Arnie Reinertsen of Brooklyn are visiting his cousin, Mr. Andrew Reinertsen and family. 3) Misses June and Jean Schloss, twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Schloss, and Misses Reta and Reva Smith, twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Smith, all of Walton, have been visiting their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Smith. (The Smiths lived in the Mountain Brook area of Bovina.)

129 years ago today, the July 27, 1894 Andes Recorder noted in its Bovina column that "If the pathmaster of the road from the village to the turnpike would cause the stones to be thrown out, he would receive the thanks of the public."

112 years ago today, July 28, 1911, the Bovina correspondent of the Andes Recorder, reported that "G.D. Miller is exhibiting a ripe tomato, picked in his garden, that weights 1 1/2 pounds."

167 years ago today, the July 29, 1856 Bloomville Mirror carried an article entitled "The American Party in Bovina." The article went on: "Recently, at a large and enthusiastic meeting of the Bovina Council, held at their usual time and place, it was unanimously Resolved, That in Millard Fillmore and Andrew J. Donelson, we have full and implicit confidence as men of integrity and worth, exponents of the great American principles, and with a unanimity, unparalelled (sic) in Bovina's political history, will walk to the polls and deposit our votes for them, as the standard bearers of our party, and by so doing cast our votes and influence in the great scale of political harmony and equality." The American Party was also known as the "Know Nothing" party, a nativist party that was anti-Catholic. I do not know what they mean by the Bovina Council. That wasn’t the town board, so I think it was some council in the town involved with the party. In the Presidential election that fall, Fillmore got more votes in Bovina (56) than did James Buchanan (17), who won the Presidency. The most votes in Bovina by far (over 70%) went to John Fremont, the first-ever Republican candidate for President, with 179 votes.

It was a year ago today, July 30, 2022, that Bovina finally was able to celebrate its Bicentennial. If you want to revisit the parade, I did four blog entries in January 2023, starting with this one:

And you can see videos of the parade taken by Al Brown at

One hundred years ago today, on July 31, 1923, Bovina merchant Alex Hilson, passed away. Here is his obituary from the August 3, 1923 Andes Recorder: 

The people of Bovina were saddened Wednesday morning by the announcement that Alex Hilson was dead, having passed away at his home in Bovina Center at 9 o’clock on Tuesday evening, July 31, after an illness of several months from disease of the kidneys.

Mr. Hilson was the only son of John Hilson and Hannah Hamilton and was born in Bovina 64 years ago, or to be exact on March 3, 1859, and his entire life had been spent in the town of his nativity. At the age of sixteen he entered the general store of his father as clerk and on the retirement of his father in the eighties he assumed the business, adding new lines, and continued to conduct it until August 1, 1915, when he retired and turned the business over to hs two sons, who have since conducted it.

In February, 1887, he was united in marriage with Miss Isabel Archibald, who survives him with one daughter, Jane Hilson, a teacher, and two sons, John and James Hilson.

He was in politics a staunch Republican and for many years held the office of town clerk and also served in places of trust in local organizations. For twenty years he held the office of postmaster. He was public spirited and instrumental in the organization of many local enterprises.

The funeral services were held at 1 p.m. on Thursday with interment in the Bovina Center cemetery. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Bovina Bicentennial Art Project, part 5

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. 

Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery, painted by Scott Hill and Lori Glavin

In the latter part of the 19th century, Bovina became famous for the quality of its dairy products, specifically for its butter. Butter making was a lot of work. Farmers began advocating in the 1890s for the option of taking their milk to a creamery. One of the earliest reported interest meetings for a creamery took place in January 1896. The Andes Recorder in January 1897 made a plaintive plea in its Bovina column: “Why cannot Bovina have a creamery?” 

The dawn of the 20th century in Bovina saw not one, but two creameries were constructed. In late June 1901, the Bovina Cooperative Creamery was organized located on Bovina Road not far from the Schuman property. Two weeks later, another group of farmers formed the Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery, located in the Bovina Center hamlet. 

The Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery opened for business on New Year’s Day 1902. The Bovina Center Creamery in its first year had over fifty farmers bringing their milk, receiving 17,500 pounds of milk a day. The creamery established a dry milk plant behind the creamery building. The creamery was powered by steam in its early days. In 1924, they converted to electricity.

The Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery operated for over 70 years. In 1939, it became the Bovina Center Cooperative Dairy. During World War II, sweet condensed milk was produced and dry milk production was replaced by the production of dried eggs to fulfill a government contract. This contract likely led to the replacing of the old wooden creamery with the current brick structure in 1944. 

By the 1950s, the focus of the creamery was on liquid milk. In the 1960s, several area creameries closed, leading to a brief increase in the milk coming to Bovina Center, with farmers coming from as far away as Durham, NY. It wasn’t enough to save the creamery. In March 1973, the 43 farmers still hauling their milk to Bovina met and with one dissension, voted to close the creamery and dissolve the Cooperative. 

For over 30 years, the Bovina Coop Dairy’s creamery building saw a new life as the home of McIntosh Auction Service. The weekly auctions were a popular draw in the 70s, 80s and 90s. In 2001, McIntosh Auction Service relocated to Margaretville, using the creamery building for storage. In 2016, after several ‘farewell’ auctions, the building was sold to Bovina Valley LLC to become once again a functioning creamery.

Scott Hill:  I came to Delaware County in the late 90’s. Like so many others, I fell under the spell of this natural world, the light, the easy pace, the friendliness of the community. I embraced the area and absorbed its history. I like stories and the local lore, and how they relate to the quest for a better life. 

I came from California many years ago, and for me, New York was freedom. It still is freedom. Before us, the struggles of the early post revolution farmers and homesteaders in this area were struggles for freedom. It was not easy for them and the struggle continues. 

In Irving's story of Rip Van Winkle we read not only of a man who sleeps for many years, but also of slumbering early America, a new land changing, awakening.  

We are all now living through another shift and awakening. The way forward will not be easy. There will be darkness, but the light will come. Scott Hill - artist, designer.

Lori Glavin is an abstract painter, collagist and printmaker who lives and works in Bovina Center, NY and Connecticut.  She is the recipient of a 2019 Connecticut Individual Artist Fellowship Grant and has exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally, including solo and group shows at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in VT, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT, World Collage Day in Ghent, Belgium, Dimmitt Contemporary Art in Houston, The George Gallery in Charleston, SC, The Flinn Art Gallery Greenwich and Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, among others.  In 2007 she co-founded Wilson Avenue Loft Artists, a community of artist studios in Norwalk, CT.  Ms. Glavin has an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse, NY.

Monday, July 10, 2023

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

Here's what was happening 100 years ago this month in Bovina. There was a lot of visiting going on in town....

July 6, 1923

Miss Nellie Bretz, of Andes, spent Saturday in town.

Mrs. Low, of Brooklyn, is a guest at Lancelot Thomson’s.

Katheryn Martin, of Charlotteville, is visiting her aunt, Mrs. Fred Thomson.

Mrs. John Burns was called to Kingston last week by the death of her sister.

William Archibald, on the Robert C. Scott farm, is having his large barn reshingled.

Editor Robert P. McIntosh and family, of Delhi, were callers in town on Wednesday.

Thomas C. Strangeway had the bad misfortune to fall Saturday and break two or three ribs. 

Edward Russell, wife and daughter, Eunice, of Delhi, were visitors here Tuesday evening.

Lester Hoy and wife, of Frasers, and Harold Robinson and wife, of Delhi, were here Wednesday. 

Mrs. Fred Thomson took her Sabbath School class on an auto trip to Ashokan dam on Thursday.

Mrs. Bertha Miller and two daughters, Shirley and Lelia, of Walton, are visiting Bovina relatives.

Miss Jane Hilson is home from South Orange, N.J., where she has been teaching the past year.

Mrs. and Mrs. Clarence Smith and children, of Stamford, Connecticut, are visiting her mother, Mrs. F.W. Hyatt.

Mrs. and Mrs. Robert E. Thomson and Mrs. and Mrs. Robert R. Gladstone visited Andes relatives on Thursday.

There was a large attendance at the home talent entertainment given Tuesday evening as the last number of the lecture course. 

Charles Hafele and wife, James C. Mabon and family, and F.W. Hyatt, wife and daughter, Grace, were at Andes on the Fourth.

Mrs. Lester and daughter, of Long Island, spent the past week with her brother, Charles A. McPherson. Her niece, Marion McPherson, returned home with her for a visit.

Those who attended the convention of the missionary societies of Delaware Presbytery at Davenport last Friday were, Rev. and Mrs. F.N. Crawford, Mrs. Arthur Decker, Mrs. Fred Thomson, Mary Brown and Helen Gladstone. 

July 13, 1923

Mrs. John Oliver, is visiting her daughter, Mrs. Fred Thomson. 

William Hastings, of Walton, was a business caller here Tuesday.

Harry Martin and family, of Charlotteville, were here Saturday evening. 

Miss Margaret Gordon has gone to the Scott homestead in Fall Clove for two months.

Mr. and Mrs. James Barnhart were callers at the County Seat on Wednesday.

Mrs. Milton Stratton has been seriously ill the past week, but is now improving.

Mrs. Joseph Govern, of New York, has been a guest at Elliott Thomson’s this week.

Pat Fay is the new fireman at the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery succeeding Mr. Joslin.

Janet Laidlaw, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Laidlaw, was operated upon Monday at the Delhi hospital for appendicitis. Dr. Latcher was the surgeon. 

Bovina real estate transfers recorded are Martha H. Kelly to Mary Weber, $487.13; Martha H. Kelly to Calvin Russell, $272.71; Martha H. Kelly to Colin McNaught, $432.39.

Alice Gillespie, of New York, who came to Lake Delaware to spend the summer, was operated upon Saturday for an attack of appendicitis. She is a granddaughter of the late William Rogers.

James Hastings, an aged citizen of Bovina, became deranged this week and insisted on leaving home. He was taken to Delhi on Tuesday and is staying with Mrs. Marshall Arbuckle, who is a niece of Mrs. Hastings.

July 20, 1923

Millard and Arthur Russell have purchased a Jewett automobile.

Miss Nettie Doig, of Delhi, is visiting her sister, Mrs. T.C. Strangeway.

Mrs. William Tuttle, of East Delhi, spent the week-end at Milton Stratton’s.

Otis McCumber and wife, of Andes, called on her sister, the Misses Muller, on Sabbath.

Mr. Kelly and family from Syracuse have moved onto the William H. Maynard farm uptown. 

William Rogers and family, of New York, are occupying the Roger cottage at Lake Delaware.

Robert G. Graham, of Gladstone, New Jersey, has been calling on friends in this vicinity.

Work on the church, rectory and community hall being erected by Miss Angelica Gerry at Lake Delaware, is nearing completion.

Alfred Seager and sister, Mrs. Hyatt, who have been employed by Mr. Berger on the Armstrong farm, have moved into the house adjoining Elliott Thompson’s shop. 

July 27, 1923

Mrs. A.S. Banker, of Andes, spent Saturday at G.D. Miller’s. 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Myers, of Endicott, were recent guests of his parents here.

Mrs. James Boggs and Mrs. Benson LaFever were visitors at the County Seat on Wednesday.

Mrs. Howard Miller and little daughter, and Mrs. Elderly, are visiting at Fine Hunt’s.

Mrs. Gattfrit Olson and Miss Emily Hyatt, of New York, are visiting their father, F.W. Hyatt.

Mr. Todd has moved from the Dickson house and gone to work for Mr. Berger on the old Armstrong farm. 

Walter Clague, who had been working for Eli Felton, was operated on at the Delhi hospital last week for appendicitis. 

Mrs. Fred Thomson spent the past week with her brother, William Oliver, at Harpersfield Center and her sister at Charlotteville.

A nine pound daughter, Margaret Frances, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Monroe on July 20. Miss Woods is the nurse in charge. 

David Little and family, who moved last year from Lake Delaware to near Binghamton, are visiting her father, David Finkle, in Glenburnie. 

Lester T. Hoy, son of William A. Hoy of this place, who is employed in the creamery at Frasers, has purchased of W.J. Carpenter his double house on Franklin street in Delhi village. 

Mr. and Mrs. Alex Myers and grandson, Ledger, are spending two weeks with their sons and daughter in Endicott. Mrs. Arthur Decker is in charge of the telephone office during Mrs. Myers’ absence. 

Misses Bertha and Ada Scovel, of Long Island, are visiting their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Decker. Mrs. Arthur Decker, Mrs. George Decker and her father Nelson Tompkins, motored to Walton on Tuesday to meet them.