News & Views
The Chichester Post Office has some VERY good news for Sita Anderson,
present Postmaster there. Some
government guidelines in favor of the postmaster positions have
changed for the better over the course of years. When Helen Bennett
was appointed as Chichester Postmaster by President Herbert Hoover
over seventy years ago “it was necessary for the postmaster to purchase
equipment and furniture for a fourth class office. Consequently
the lock boxes, money drawers, tables and chairs” belonged to her
(news article dated 1959). Hmmmm......Now I am curious to learn more about
Postmaster Assistant obligations. Incidentally, home delivery of
U.S. mails became available in Chichester in 1961, from July 1st
to September 15th, and only from the bottom of Sunshine
Hill “up to the Moggre House which is the county line”, and also
Silver Hollow to the Thomson residence, and Colony Road as far as
the Raschid residence.
old waterpipe, again! The Upper Chichester Water Supply had another
pipe freeze and crack...now in the parking lot of the Chichester
Wood Products factory...causing the water to shoot out of the ground
there (March 1961).
O. Schwarzwaelder, the father of modern Chichester (writer’s designation)
was responsible for vast hamlet improvements from slightly before
the turn of this century until the early 1920’s. Wonderful Tiskilwa
Park.... replete with lake, bridges, waterfall, boathouse, and other
impressive structures, certainly represented one powerful aspect
of the man, his aesthetic and artistic nature. A garden at the entrance
to this park (at the head of Park Road) spelled “Tiskilwa” through
the use of various variegated coleus plants. Schwarzwaelder’s numerous
homes, rented to employees of his woodworking factory, were meticulously
maintained. Picket fences and flowers abounded everywhere. He encouraged
the residents of these structures to maintain gardens by offering
rent rebates and yearly money prizes. It has been brought to my
attention that Chichester resident Randy Ostrander would be a likely
candidate for winning one or more of Schwarzwaelder’s awards, if
offered today. Many and many a cherished rose Randy has given away
in his time, it is noted.
Nancy Parsons recently provided yours truly with an envelope of
archival materials pertinent to the life and times of Addison Jones
who was born in Chichester before the turn of the century and who
lived to see the ripe age of 95 in 1990. The materials, collected
by Addison’s sister, Evelyn L. Wilber, describe a family’s and child’s
difficult times turned into a highly successful businessman (owner
of the Kingston Jones Dairy for 40 years) community activist (Ulster
Co. March of Dimes, Kingston Board of Supervisors, etc.) and renowned
sports figure (New York State Bowling Hall of Fame, “Triple Crown
of Mr. Bowler/Mr. Baseball and Mr. Sponsor”, etc.) Tied to many
of the rooted families of this area.... Jones, Ostrander, Benjamin,
Haynes, and etc....Addison Jones was memorialized in 1990 in all
of the area’s newspapers for his accomplishments, contributions
and successes in life. Several family letters, as well as a Jones
Family genealogical tree, were included in the packet. Evelyn Wilber
is seeking additional information on her Jones Family as related
to Chichester and its illustrious history. Anyone who might have
knowledge is requested to contact Charles J. Zimmerman, Town of
Shandaken Historian, Shandaken, NY 12480 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The last several weeks have been very rewarding for me concerning the
illustrious nature of our local history. Thanks to Ric Dragon and Brian
Power's web site...www.oxclove.com/chichester,
which lists my address, I received an e-mail correspondence from Joshua
Gibbs, a Computer Science major at the University of Washington at Seattle,
whose 7th great-grandfather was Samuel Chichester, one of
the founders of our hamlet! Included was a web site containing the Chichester
Family history and an elaborate Chichester genealogical workup. Numerous
additional Chichester Family historical leads, too plentiful to mention
here, were also included. Needless to say, this contact is an invaluable
aid to us Chichester researchers.... Thanks, Josh, for sharing your
family history and documentation with us. I informed Josh that a welcoming
committee would await his arrival should he ever plan to visit Chichester.
you know that the Chichester Band as well as a marching corp represented
Chichester, under leadership of the Schwarzwaelder Family? If you are
lucky enough to come across photos of these two groups, the man playing
the french horn is my grandfather, Daniel Zimmerman (as a youngster,
I was told he played tuba.... mistaken for the french horn). The Chichester
band performed at all special occasions as well as traveling throughout
the region to such spots as the Globe Hotel in Phoenicia, and the Lexington
House at Lexington, Greene County. Well....Chichester still lauds its
musically inclined citizens. Travel to the Phoenicia Hotel on Friday
nights and you will be fortunate to hear Chichesterite Mario Saponaro perform his musical
treats for you. Mario’s wife, Donna Costello, and her brother and sister,
were my art students from Long Island, and now live in one of the original
“tin town’ houses (a story in themselves) located directly next to what
once was my grandparents’ second Chichester home. Ask Mario about the
Ugly Van Band!
Brian Powers and Chichester upper water supply users.... Think you’ve
seen enough problems with this over-century-old system?....a 1959 news
article I recently located at the Shandaken Historical Museum describes
the following....123 community volunteers were needed after a sub-zero
temperature freeze-up of pipes totally disabled the system. Temporary
pipe, loaned by the Federal Civil Defense, was installed to by-pass
the frozen line, and water was pumped into the system from the Warner
Creek, requiring the boiling of water until the problem was resolved.
Chichester housewives declared.... “at least we can run our furnaces”.
And the water system was barely over sixty years old at the time!
in 1959...”for the first time in the memory of present day residents
of Chichester there is not a member of the Bennett family waiting on
them at the community post office.” Miss Helen had retired. Yours truly
has a vivid memory of securing the family’s mails from Helen Bennett,
cousin to Reginald R. Bennett. Stop by the Chichester post office and
you might find numerous additional articles related to our and the local
post office’s history, compliments of Postmaster Sita Anderson and other
community-minded citizens, alike.
Ah, those Chichester creeks! Now I'm
not going to reveal to you where the best fishing holes can be located,
a secret shared with me by my father nearly 50 years ago (well, maybe
one...near the old boathouse spot up in Tiskilwa Park), but suffice
it to say, the rainbows, brookies and German Browns may be waiting there
for the right fly to come along. Soooooo......stop by Brio's some early
morning and Bonnie might be able to help you with the right bait.....she's
kind of a fly expert, but don't take my work for it. See for yourself!
Had the pleasure of a
brief tour through Ric's Chichester studio/church this week and was
given some very old documents to peruse....items Ric had discovered
while working there ....Chichester temperance meeting notices and the
indicating Daniel and Mary Zimmerman as leaders of the group. An eye-opener
for me as the Zimmerman Family male members were noted for ther lack
of inhibitions where drinking was concerned. Ric has offered these records
to us for research in preserved form. Thanks, Ric.
Chichesterites might want to read a
section of Howard Frank Mosher's 1997 travelogue publication...NORTH
COUNTRY, which deals with our fair hamlet...the author's viewpoint.
Mosher, to those unaware, is the author who worked Reginald Bennett's
THE MOUNTAINS LOOK DOWN. I cannot quote content therein (copyright),
but my interpretation of Chichester life and lives differs drastically
from that of the famous author. Feel free to stop by and check out my
copy of NORTH COUNTRY.
Emily Smith Osborne, native
Chichesterite and the 'bike lady' of Rt. 214, has been continually sharing
with me photographs and documents related to Chichester's illustrious
history from the time I purchased her family's wonderful home here.
Other than myself, the Smiths have been the only other occupants of
this house from the time of its construction by William O. Schwarzwaelder
nearly eighty years ago. The structure, by the way, was probably the
last built by the Schwarzwaelder Family and was of modern vintage....bathroom
and poured cement foundation! Thanks, Emily, for your continued interest
in preserving Chichester's history and family lore......
fishin', but definitely NOT actin'.....relegated to the position of
stagehand for the next production of the Shandaken Theatrical Society....I'd
like to think it was that darned British accent, or lack thereof....)
August 26 ,1999:
During a luncheon at C.Z's home yesterday, and attended by Elizabeth Schwarzwaelder
Brillion and several local ladies, the following was overheard....
never, NEVER NEVER physically punished unruly or disobedient young ladies.
Instead he would ruffle their hair. He placed both hands on the head and
would twist, turn, pull, hair extending, and turn, ruffle, twist again and
AGAIN until the young lady or ladies would leave, appearing to have gained
another two or three feet in stature. This activity usually would solve
current and any future problems in the classroom!"
Marilyn, are you familiar
with this particular educational remedy? Today, a lawsuit, to be certain,
would evolve. Betty left me several Schwarzwaelder grandparent/parent photo
albums that, heretofore, have not been seen by historical-minded public.
I will keep you posted
re: Chichester NEWS and VIEWS. Attending to the Chichester Post Office window
has several added advantages!
September 02, 1999
Accolades abound here regarding Reg Bennett's
The Mountains Look Down...numerous residents....new, native and "in
between", are praising its existence....an historical work destined to become
an immortality resource publication. Nearly every postal patron who has
spoken with yours truly has lauded its long-term values.
postmaster assistant was sighted entering the Shandaken Theatrical Society's
establishment on Monday evening where he purportedly offered his artistic
services as stagehand worker. Instead, director Dennis Metnick INSISTED
he audition for the part of Rev. Cruxible of Oscar Wilde's famed 'The
Importance...." A puzzling British accent will surely stand in the way
of his achieving a part!, not to dismiss the reality that yours truly
is no stage actor. Acceptance of the position would be gratefully and
gladly taken, if only a miracle would occur.
residents on their way to the city (Phoenicia) have noticed that the beautiful
white birch in Marilyn's gardens has been topped....they are curious to
know where all the nesting birds there have gone. Does anyone know?
truly was stunned to have received a letter from Howard Mosher, Jr. after
the fact, indicating his desire to have yours truly write the last chapter
of Reginald Bennett's publication...The Mountains Look Down...dealing
with the community from auction to the present. According to Mosher, the
letter was sent to the Chichester post office where it was stamped...."addressee
unknown", and forwarded back to him.
truly regrets that Mosher had not consulted the telephone directory, computer-
accessed directories, numerous residents and all the people with whom
he worked from the Shandaken area. Yours truly believes that Reginald
Bennett, looking down, would have appreciated knowing that a member of
one of the oldest, if not oldest, worker-families of Chichester,
had been consulted to clarify numerous omissions in identification (eg.
Joe Tryme is Daniel Zimmerman and etc.) as his interest in the Chichester
village has proven to be more than a passing one. Yours truly is regretful
of this odd failure to have received the letter but believes there is
ultimately a very good reason why this "occurred". Time will tell. Anyone
wishing to see this strange correspondence may receive a scanned copy
for the asking.
fishin' (or actin' ) until the next issue.