OCR Interpretation


Catskill Mountain news. (Margaretville, N.Y.) 1902-current, September 28, 1972, Image 11

Image and text provided by Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, NY

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031247/1972-09-28/ed-1/seq-11/


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— O u t O f T h e M a i l b a g -A.11 letters to the Mailbag must bear the signature of the writer. Un- signed letters or those’' signed with nctitious names will be thrown away. The writer may ask that his name be Withheld or a pen name be used, but his letter must contain an original signature.^ Letters must be addressed to The News and not to individuals, though they may be in reply to an in d i v i ^ a l ’s letter. Letters must be from Catskill Mountain area residents or about Catskill Mountain area topics. Letters in support of j)olitical or causes not having a direct area interest are not used. Letters must also be free of libel or personal attacks. Pine Hill, New York September 18, 1972 To The News: Discussed in the village this summer were two things: The old trees had to be cut down and the kids were so bad. Why isn’t one day each year set to gather the children to­ gether and have them plant new trees in strategic places a b o u t, town? Pine, white birches and sugar maples. We once did this at the vil­ lage school. Now it seems. Arbor day is forgotten and also the fact th a t little children are only learning how to live. Hills are a good place to plant young trees. Their roots hold the soil and keep it from sliding. Very truly yours, B ette Seward Arkville, N. Y. Sept. 18, 1972 To The News: In a recent issue of The News I noted th a t the Penn- Central R.R.- had again peti­ tioned the Public Service Com­ mission to abandon their Cats­ kill Mt. branch of the railroad (the old U lster & Delaware). I think they may have in effect already done so as I have not noticed any freight cars on the tracks at Arkville in more than a month. It seems incredible th a t a railroad should decline from w h a t it was when I was a tele­ graph operator a t Fleischmanns 65 years, more or less, ago to w h at i t is today. One of the principal reasons for railroads all over the coun­ try getting anto trouble is the fact they were generally taxed to death. The U lster & Dela­ w are railroad owned 14 miles of right of way, 14 miles of m ain track and 3 miles of side track, five stations and four freight houses, and when I first came into office as asses­ sor this was assessed at $65,- 000. The right of way extend­ ed from the Ulster-Delaware county line at Grand Hotel s ta­ tion to the Middletown-Roxbury town line a short distance above Halcottville. Over the years as their business fell off the assessors each year de- D E m n L I Q U D H S T O E E W I N E S and S P I R I T S OPEN Mon.—Thurs. 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M . Fri. and Sat. 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M . FREE DELIVERY PHONE AREA CODE f.07 32B-77BE creased their assessment by some amount until in 1971 it was down to $10,000, and this is more than I think the rails and right of way is worth to­ day. If and when the rails are taken up in my opinion the 14 miles of right of way would not be worth much if anything. I noticed in a letter that some­ one stated that if the road was abandoned the right of way would revert to the former owners. I doubt if this is so, at least in this section. I remember my father tell­ ing me when the road was building toward Griffin Cor­ ners th a t the town of Halcott bonded the town for $10,000 to assist the redlroad in reach­ ing that far, and this bond was paid off over a period of years by adding a certain amount to everyone’s taxes each year un­ til the bond was paid off. I recall hearing my mother say th a t for two years she raised and sold ducks in order to pay the bond assessment with the taxes. When the railroad was build­ ing it reached and stopped for a tim e a t Big Indian, and the news got ’round th a t the first train would reach there on a certain date and time, and a large crowd gathered at Big Indian to witness the event. The story used to be told that •among the crowd was a man and his wife from Dry Brook and when he looked down the track and saw the engine ap­ proaching he shouted to his wife “run Annie, ^un, the buU- gine is a cornin’ .” Another reason that the rail­ roads in general got into fi­ nancial trouble was th a t they steadily refused to reduce their freight rates and eventually lost the freight business, except for carload lots, to the trucks which paid no taxes, only a license fee. The same was true of the express business, every time the express business dropped they would increase the rates in order to make up for reduced volvmie of business and thereby lost th a t also to the trucks. The old Ulster and Delaware was a busy railroad 65 years ago and for many years there­ after. There were two morn­ ing trains up and down and the same in the afternoon. While my memory after all these years is a bit dim, I think the numbers of the morning trains were 8 and 9 and the afternoon ones 35 ,and 36. These were locals that started each morn­ ing from Arkville to Oneonta and to Kingston point, and re­ turned in the afternoon, and there was often “extras,” such as excursions and circuses, etc. The road was so busy in the daytime that most of the coal trains had to run nights. Some times a coal train would come through East in the early morn­ ing. Sometimes a coal train would get stuck before it got to the top of the .grade from Fleischmanns to Grand Hotel station and one could hear the driver wheels on the engines spinning on the rails for a long distance. There was some device on the engines by which the en­ gineer could feed a stream of sand on the rail in front and under the driver wheels and they would again take hold. Sometimes it would be neces­ sary to cut off and set the brakes of a couple coal cars and go on to the top of the grade and return and pick them up with a locomotive. I remember when walking home to supper one evening of seeing two coal cars coming down grade above to Fleisch­ manns station at a terrific speed. It seemed th a t when the engine came back to pick these that had been cut off the train, the virbration loos­ ened the brakes and they took off down grade as runaways. I ran back to the Fleischmanns station and called the operator and Arkville and told him two runaway loaded coal cars com­ ing and he said yes, they just went by. They run themselves out some distance above Kelly Corners. Fortunately, there fW W W W W rtftW W VW VVVVW VW W W W W W W VW W W W W The Machine That Changed Winter . . . Has Changed Now it’s 1973—Ski-Doo has news for you. New engines, new power, new quiet, new seat design, new style, new sizes, new colors. The most exciting ideas that only 35 years of building snowmobiles can produce. Holsapple Recreational Vehicles Bearsville-W ittenberg Road Bearsville, N. Y. Tel. 914 678-2890 Excellent Service and Parts Supply '^ J W J V , W W J V W W W W J V W J W ^ M N V , W W V W W V j F A L L H A R V E S T OF F A S H IO N S Sponsored by Margaretville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Presented by Country F lair Oneonta, N. Y. W e d n e s d a y , O c t . 4 12 Noon KASS INN Tickets May Be Purchased at Door $6.50 was nothing on the Arkville nor Fleischmanns crossings. The milk train came through Fleischmanns every afternoon at approximately 4 p.m., and it was said that the milk train at that time paid all the oper­ ating costs of the road. All passenger trains carried mail including what was known as the “Husbands” train which was due at Fleischmanns F ri­ day nights at 8 p.m. Some­ times this was late and at the time I was a clerk and oper­ ator in the Fleischmanns post office, it interfered sometimes with my date with one of my best girls as I had to wait to receive the mail at the post office. The mails were carried by a character by the name of Bill Hen Crispell, who drove a horse to bring and pick up the mail pouches from trains to the post offices and from them to the trains. He had a sort of hack wagon wdth seats on the sides and carried passengers as well as the mail. There was always a cow bell fastened to the bot­ tom of the horse’s collar and it could be heard for quite a distance. A pusher engine was kept at Arkville and Big Indian to help the heavy trains up the grades on both sides of Grand Hotel station. There was a turn table at Phoenicia, Big Indian, Arkville and Blpomville to turn the engines when they were wanted to run froward. The parlor car trains ran from Weehawken to Stamford in the summer. The husbands train was so called, because tlie boarding business of the times was far different from what it is today. The family would come up as soon as school was out in June and stay until around Sept. 1 and the hus­ bands would come up on the late train Friday evenings and rectum on Sunday afternoons. About all passenger trains ran to Kingston Point, except the parlor car trains, and pick up passengers from the Hudson River day boats. Then there was No. 20, which was the pay car and officials’ insijection car when they made a trip the length of the road. I t was a small engine with a passenger coach mounted on top and was covered with brass trimmings from head to toe and which was always kept shining. There was a tremendous num­ ber of trunks th a t came to Fleischmanns, and other points, ^ the most of them were “checked” on the passengers tickets. I have seen many freight cars come loaded to the tops with nothing but trunks. The late Crawford Greene was freight agent at Fleischmanns for many years, and there was a great amount of freight that came in and was shipped out. A man by the name of Ed Fow­ ler had charge of the trunk deliveries to places that did not have theii- own trunk hauling equipment. I remember help­ ing carry trunks upstairs, my parents kept “summer board­ ers” on the farm for many years starting in 1898, and I remember when the boarders went home dn the fall the trunks seemed heavier than when they came, and I used to wonder if they had not put some pretty rocks in the trunks or something like that. The road beside the large volume of frieght handled a tremendous amount of express for many years, every sort one could think of. There were so many different men who de­ livered express th a t their names have escaped my mem­ ory. One of the toakem en on M a r t in Is C h a m p new s , MargaretvlIIe, N. Y. Thurs., Sept. 28, 1972—Page Three H a l c o t t v i l l e M o r e T h a n 2 0 0 a t Jam es M artin of M argaret­ ville is the winner of the Kass goilf championship played earli­ er this month. He took the scratch tournam ent with a score of 151. Tied for second with 154 each were Des Heslin, Don Griffin and Tom Sherwood. some of the passenger runs was Doc Winchell, I never did know his correct name. It was customary for the brakemen to go through each passenger coach and call out the name of the next station that the train was approaching. The story was told that once when Doc was working on a treiin on the Stony Clove branch he started to call out the name of the next station, and as he stut­ tered he sometimes had trouble getting out w hat he wanted to say, and this was one of the times, and after a bit he said “Hell, we’ll be there before I get it out.” A conductor th a t I remember was Patsy Phillips on the pas­ senger trains. He always wore a uniform cap a few sizes too large for him so th a t it usually rested down on the top of bis ears. The conductors went through the coaches and punched the passengers tickets. When and if the rails are torn uip on w hat is left of the old U&D, I think it wiU be missed, even if the whistle of the diesel engines is a poor im itation of the whistles on the old steam locomotives, especial­ ly by those anywhere my age. The m ost of these memories go back to the days of my youth and seem like a hundred years ago. B. C. Todd By William E. Griffin F r c c S m o r g a s b o r d Halcottville, Sept. 28 The first meeting of the fall season of the Denver Card club was held Wednesday evening at the Grange hall. Mrs. Boyd Townsend of Kelly Corners was hostess. The club expects to meet twice monthly during the winter a t various places. Budget Passed A special meeting of the board of fire commissioners of the Halcottville fire depart­ m ent was held at the fire hall Sept. 13 to pass the 1973 budg­ et. Joseph Wranovics was ap­ pointed the chairman of the board for 1973. M i s s B a l c o m W e d T o R i c h a r d B a r l o w iMiss Pam ela Dawn Balcom of Fleischmanns and Richard Barlow of W alton were m ar­ ried Sept. 2 at the Clovesville Bible B aptist church and are living in W alton following a wedding trip through the state. Rev. Richard T a it officiated. The bride was given in m ar­ riage by her brother, Jerome K. Balcom of Fleischmanns, and was attended by her sister, Miss Cathy Balcom. Brides­ maids were Nancy Dunbar of Delhi and Jean Hoeko of Fleischm anns., David Barlow was best m an for his brother, and Jam es and William Bar- low Jr., twin brothers of the bridegroom, were ushers. A reception for 70 guests was held at the church hall after the ceremony. More than 200 guests attend­ ed the grand opening and free smorgasbord Sunday at the Old Mill House restaurant at Wa- waka Lake in Halcottville. The restaurant has been completely refurbished by the proprietor and host, W alter L. Lascar, and Eddie Costello, Halcottville caterer, has been named manager. The restaurant is part of the complex, which includes the large former Herrick P a rk cam.pground and the lake. The campgrounds are to be an all- year operation, with heated restrooms and sanitary facili­ ties. The restaurant will fea­ ture family dining. Also planned for the coming winter are ice skating and snowmobile races when the lake freezes over. F o r m e r T e a c h e r i n S h a v e r t o w n D i e s Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for Mrs.- Ed­ ward R. Scudder, a form er valley school teacher, who died unexpectedly last week Thurs­ day a t the Fox hospital in One­ onta. The services were at the Main Street Baptist church in Oneonta, and burial was Mon­ day morning in Glenwood ceme­ tery there. Mrs. Scudder had been a teacher in the Shavertown and Andes schools until 1940. She had also taught in Arabia and Treadwell schools before join­ ing the Oneonta school system in 1949. She had taught there until her death. I Victory Coupon, SO EXTRA STAMPS ^ Danish Boiled Ham Oscar Mayer Smokie 12 Oz. Link Sausage S f f TEDDER, MEATT mm cm CHyCK iOAST _ytCTDRy COIIPnij POPULARvT^IETifs ---------- - BETTY this COUPON ^ croc S r CAKEiWix MAXWai H m s s c o m i <^ITH THIS COUPON good th r u 9/30/72 FRESH-M A im STEWING FOWL n a a n i MOHAWK CANNED HAMS T O P F I ^ ^ I T BSEF U V E i S POU?]D Semi - Bnls. 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