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Cairo Historical Society

Minutes for 2010

Cairo Historical Association
Minutes January 28, 2010
By Sylvia Hasenkopf 

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Robert Rose, Ann L. Clapper, David L. Clapper, Floyd Hempstead, Bob Hempstead 

Robert Uzillia welcomed the new members. 

1.     The minutes of December 17, 2009 were approved after the clarification of Linda Curry’s name in item 10. The minutes will be posted to the new CHA website.

2.     Discussion of outstanding actions from previous minutes:

    1. Robert Uzillia has not yet retrieved the Treasurer’s books from the previous Treasurer. This has now become critical as dues monies are arriving and we need to establish our financial status.
    2. Dues notifications were sent out to the current membership in early January. In addition, Sylvia sent a general membership call out to the Greene County mailing list that she runs. She also posted notices of our January meeting at the Post Office, at Slater’s, by the Library and at the Town Clerk’s office. Sylvia also printed up membership notices and gave them to Tara Rumph for insertion in the Portraits of the Past book as they are sold.
    3. Sylvia spoke with Carrie, John Coyne’s secretary regarding the possible inclusion of the CHA meetings in the Town Calendar. She suggested we use the Town website to create a page of the CHA and advertise our meeting schedule.
    4. Dot Rosenthal, the Town of Cairo webmaster, assisted Sylvia in establishing a presence on the Town of Cairo website under Cairo Historical.
    5. Robert Uzillia approached Mike Esslie to assist us in completing our incorporation process and Mike has sent a letter to Tal Rappelje on January 27th requesting the CHA paperwork.
    6. Robert Uzillia spoke with Mike Warner regarding the refund of the deposit, which he has kindly agreed to. Monies not yet received.
    7. John spoke with Linda Curry about assisting the CHA in creating our own logo. Linda has agreed to assist us and will attend the next meeting.
    8. The temporary roof on the Susquehannah Turnpike marker has not been completed.
    9. Sylvia spoke to John Coyne regarding the use of the Town Grant writer to assist us in securing funding for the Cairo Historical Walking Tour. John agreed to approach the Town Grant Writer; however no update received to date.
    10. Sylvia wrote a letter to Greene County Economic Development & Tourism & Planning requesting consideration for the funding of the printing of the brochures for the Walking Tour in 2010.
    11. Sylvia completed the creation of the CHA website. It can be viewed at
    12. Robert Uzillia read the letter of support written to the Town Board for the creation of a new facility for the Cairo Library.
  1. A brief discussion on locating a permanent home for the CHA ensued. We need a location where we can develop a collection centered on the Town of Cairo and be open to the public. It was recognized that the CHA is not currently in a position to financially afford a home of our own.
  2. John Gallagher suggested that we include the CHA meeting dates and possibly a link to our website on the Town of Cairo Chamber of Commerce website. He will forward the contact info to Sylvia Hasenkopf. Bill from Dragonfly Performing Arts is creating the new calendar that will post local events and meetings with a view to reducing scheduling conflicts.
  3. A Treasurer’s report is not possible until the Treasurer’s books are acquired from Deborah Sommer.
  4. Robert briefly presented an overview of the proposed Cairo Walking Tour to the new members. Writing of the individual signage continues. Sylvia mentioned that the next crucial step is to secure funding for the project. It was suggested that the Bank of Greene County be approached. David thought that the window of opportunity for 2010 grants may have closed, so there is a level of urgency in reaching out to them. Sylvia will approach the bank.
  5. Sylvia presented a membership update. Prior to the meeting there were 3 official members, and including those who joined at the meeting, we have 10 CHA members. A lively discussion ensued on developing a membership drive. Sylvia agreed to send out a Membership invite to businesses on the Town of Cairo Chamber of Commerce listing. It is recognized that the ability of the CHA to undertake our 2010 projects will be greatly enhanced with a stronger membership presence. Sylvia will hold on to membership dues until the Treasurer’s books are transferred.
  6. Brainstorming of new projects for 2010 ensued with the following tentative list, which we will prioritize next meeting.

It was recognized that the CHA needed to establish achievable goals for 2010, against which we can report back to the membership. Our ability to be successful is firmly based upon the willingness of the membership to participate in the planning and execution of the various events.

  1. Robert Uzzilia presented a number of artifacts from the Cairo Theater, which was run by Lydia Jane Van Buren, a local entrepreneur. Ms. Van Buren performed in many local play productions at the old Masonic Hall, which was located behind Golden Motors (since torn down). She ran a newsstand and candy store and started the Van Buren’s Theater around 1936, which ran until 1951. It was then sold to Dominick and Lena Violetti, who continued to operate the theater under the name Van Buren’s until 1955.  At that time the theater was renamed the Love Star Theater, complete with a neon sign featuring a cupid shooting an arrow. Ms. Van Buren also ran a boarding house, called Traveller’s Rest, which was located at the former Cairo Union School, located behind the current Masonic Hall.  It was said that Legs Diamond stayed at the boarding house at least on one occasion.

    Floyd Hempstead regaled us with a story about Lydia Van Buren at the theater. He told us that she used to be a Deputy policewoman in Cairo and if the youngsters got too rowdy during the show at the theater, she would stop the film and come out to warn them to be quiet or else….

Cairo Historical Association
Minutes March 25, 2010
By Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Anne Clapper, David Clapper, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead, Alma Veverka 

Anthony Patrick Patasso was also present and became a member. 

Bob called the meeting to order at 7:05pm and welcomed our new member. 

The minutes will note that the monthly meeting scheduled for February 25th was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

  1. The minutes of January 28, 2010 were approved as written. Anne Clapper moved to accept them, David Clapper seconded.
  2. Old Business:
    1. Robert U. advises that Mike Esslie has not heard back from Tal Rappleyea, the Town of Cairo council, regarding the incorporation status for the CHA. After a brief discussion it was decided that Robert U. will request Mike to begin the process from scratch.
    2. Robert U. presented the returned $250 deposit cheque from Mr. Warner to John G. for redeposit to the CHA bank account.
    3. Robert U. advises that no work was completed on the Susquehannah Turnpike enclosure due to inclement weather over the last two months. It was agreed that this would be a priority project for 2010.
    4. Sylvia advised that she has received support from Valli at the Chamber of Commerce to create a link to the CHA website on the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s website and to post the CHA meetings and events on the Chamber’s master events calendar. The request has been forwarded on to the Chamber’s webmaster.
  1. Sylvia provided a membership update. Sylvia sent out 113 membership letters to the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s membership list. Eighteen new members were received, a 16% response rate – very encouraging. In total, the membership stands at 29 members. Membership dues collected to date are $795. There are 5 levels to choose from, Benefactors ($50), Sponsors ($35), Business ($20), Family ($15) and Member ($10). To date we have 10 Benefactor memberships, 1 Sponsor, 3 Business, 7 Family and 8 Member. Membership dues in the amount of $795 were handed over to the Treasurer. Sylvia requested reimbursement from the Treasurer of $60 for stamps and stationery for the membership drive.

    Sylvia proposed that a Facebook page for the CHA be established, which she has volunteered to run. There was concurrence around the table.

    Sylvia also advised that the Greene County Historical Society has agreed to sell Portraits of the Past at the Vedder Research Library. They purchased 5 books outright at $12 per book. Sylvia handed a cheque over to the Treasurer for $60.

  1. John advised that he has received the Treasurer’s books from Debra Sommer, however a full review of the accounts has not yet been completed. Consequently, the Treasurer’s Report for March 25th is incomplete. Clarification is needed to transfer the Treasurer’s responsibilities to John Gallagher. It is unclear whether the EIN number used to open the CHA bank account at the Bank of America is a unique number to the CHA or someone’s SSN. In addition, the meeting minutes from January 28th, removing Ms. Sommer as Treasurer and electing John Gallagher as the current Treasurer are needed by the Bank in order to transfer accessibility to the funds.  John has committed that these issues will be resolved and a Treasurer’s Report will be ready for the next CHA Monthly Meeting.
  2. John will invite Don Bouton or Linda Curry to our monthly meeting in April, to discuss the creation of a CHA logo.
  3. A lively discussion ensued regarding the projects the CHA would like to support for 2010. This year we would like to keep it simple and achievable. It was agreed that planning for the 2011 projects should begin in the fall of 2010.

    Projects that were adopted and project leaders volunteered.
    1. Cairo Historical Walking Tour – project leader Robert Uzzilia
      The feasibility of launching this project in 2010 was discussed. Given the need to lobby for significant funding for signage and advertising, it was agreed that the planning, writing and lobbying for funds would occur in 2010, with a launch in spring 2011.
    2. Cairo Mountain RR section – project leader Robert Uzzilia
    3. Painting of Historical Markers – project leaders Rob Uzzilia and Robert Hempstead
    4. Cairo Cemetery Inventory – Sylvia Hasenkopf
    5. Cairo Archival Day – Robert Uzzilia and Sylvia Hasenkopf
      It was felt that this event could/should be linked to another fun event like the Ice Cream Social and be held during the summer
    6. Movie Nights – Sylvia Hasenkopf
    7. Susquehannah Turnpike Marker Enclosure – Robert Uzzilia

    Project leaders will be expected to present project plans at the next meeting and updates at subsequent meetings.

    John Gallagher proposed that the CHA officers meet with the Jazz Committee of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce to explore the possibility of partnering with the Chamber on a Legs Diamond fundraising event. David Clapper seconded the motion. John to advise when the meeting will take place.

  4. Floyd Hempstead regaled the meeting with some stories of Fraleigh’s Pond, which is located by the Town Park. In winter there were ice houses by the pond that cut ice and stored it in straw to be sold in blocks to local gas stations to keep soda and ice cream cold in the summer months.
  5. Robert U. motioned to adjourn the meeting a 9:03pm. Seconded by Ann Clapper.

Cairo Historical Society
Minutes April 22, 2010
By Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Anne Clapper, David Clapper, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead

Bob Uzzilia called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.

  1. The minutes of March 25, 2010 were approved as written. Anne Clapper moved to accept them, David Clapper seconded.
  2. Treasurer’s Report:
    1. John advises that he has closed the old account and established a new account at the Bank of America. The old account had a balance of $137.24 which was transferred to the new account. The balance as of April 22, 2010 is $1222.24.
    2. Robert Uzzilia and John Gallagher have signatory powers to the account.
    3. John established the new account as a Charitable Civic Organization, which waives all monthly bank fees.
    4. John will present a full treasurer’s report at the next meeting and each meeting thereafter.
  3. Old Business:
    1. Robert Uzzilia advises that there is no further update on the incorporation status of the Cairo Historical Society.
    2. John advises he had applied for and received an EIN number for the Cairo Historical Society.
    3. Sylvia advises that she has established a Facebook page for the Cairo Historical Society. As of April 22, 2010 there are 24 fans. Sylvia is trying to create a very interactive site, whereby members may post pictures, comments and questions about the people, places and events that occurred in the Town of Cairo. Almost daily, Sylvia posts info or pictures about Cairo. Feedback to date has been very positive.
    4. The link to the Cairo Chamber of Commerce is in progress. Bill Domak from Dragonfly Performing Arts is working on this with Sylvia.
  4. Sylvia provided a membership update. Five new members have joined the Cairo Historical Society since last meeting – 4 Members and one Sponsor. Sylvia presented John G. with $75 in membership dues.
  5. It was suggested that we contact Barnes & Noble in Kingston, who have a large local history section, to see if there is any interest by them in having “Portraits of the Past” as part of their inventory. Sylvia will connect with them to see what they will pay for the book and advise next meeting.
  6. Sylvia picked up the monies collected by the Town Clerk’s office for sales of “Portraits of the Past”. She presented John with $199.00. There are 34 books left at the Town Clerk’s office.
  7. New Business:
    1. Cairo Historical Society logo. The meeting with Dave Bouton was not established. The need to move forward on this project was recognized as we need to create a symbol for the Cairo Historical Society that we can attach to our media, membership and project initiatives. John has committed to contact Dave and invite him to our May meeting. A discussion ensued regarding a symbol that would represent Cairo. The County Farm and Shinglekill Falls were suggested. The mountain range behind Cairo, with the Village of Cairo in the foreground was also discussed again. Dave Clapper indicated an interest in putting some ideas together for a logo.
  8. 2010 Projects updates:
    1. Cairo Historical Walking Tour – work continues on the writing of the signage for this project
    2. Cairo Mountain RR section – Bob U. advises that he is contacting local companies for railroad ties. The best quote to date is $15 per tie delivered. 17 ties are needed for the project. He will contact GNH Lumber in Windham for a quote. The cost of the ties will come from the Cairo Town Historian’s budget. He has received one 30 foot section of rail from Earl Hotaling. Zeke Cummings donated a 17 foot section. Joe Calcavecchia donated the spikes. Needed, is another 13 foot section of rail for a narrow gauge railroad. The completed section of railroad will mirror an actual railroad bed as it would have looked in the late 1800’s when the CMRR came to the village of Cairo. This initiative will tie in nicely with the signage the Cairo Historical Walking Tour will have in place for the Cairo RR Depot next year. The railroad bed will be placed by the historical marker on Fiero Drive.
    3. Painting of the Historical Markers – Bob U. and Bob H. visited the two markers needing painting and attempted to remove the tops in order to sand blast them prior to painting. The nuts were rusted on, making their removal impossible. A portable generator will be used to do the cleaning on site in the next few weeks.
    4. Sylvia presented the binder with all the cemeteries transcribed for the Town of Cairo. There are 19 known locations in the Town. A discussion ensued regarding the photography of each stone in each cemetery, recognizing this will likely be a multi-year project. Dave Clapper moved to approve $100 be allotted to this project and Bob U. seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.
    5. Cairo Archival Day – No report presented.
    6. Movie Nights – Sylvia presented a chart with 6 potential documentaries that would be of interest to our local community. It was agreed that Greene County, USA, a production of Jonathan Donald Productions, would be our first Movie Night presentation. The date was set for June 24, 2010 at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall, Main St. Cairo at 7:30pm. This would be a free event, however a donation jar will be available at the door. Bob H. has agreed to find the equipment needed to run the DVD. Anne has agreed to investigate the purchase of soda and popcorn for sale at the event. We need to locate a popcorn popper that we can loan or rent at a reasonable cost.

      The second DVD would be Deep Water, a Willow Mixed Media production. October 28th, 2010 at 7:30pm at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall on Main St. Cairo was chosen for this presentation.

      Both Jonathan Donald Productions and Willow Mixed Media have agreed to sell us copies of the DVD, at a discounted rate, for resale at the events. It was suggested that we obtain 10 copies of Greene County, USA and 5 copies of Deep Water. Bob H. motioned that we proceed with the purchase and Ann seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.
    7. Susquehannah Turnpike Marker – No report was presented
  9. John discussed the joint meeting between the Jazz Committee, representing the Chamber of Commerce, and the Directors of the Cairo Historical Committee. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the feasibility of co-chairing a fall fund raising event. The theme would be the Prohibition Era. The details of the event would be established by the joint committee. John advised that the idea was presented to the Cairo Chamber of Commerce leadership and was approved. Sylvia motioned that the Cairo Historical Society agree to co-chair the event. Ann seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously. John motioned that Sylvia be appointed the Cairo Historical Society’s co-chair, Bob U. seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
  10. Items of local interest:
    1. Sylvia asked if anyone knew of G.B. Arnold. She had seen a photograph at the Vedder Library, dated 1937, with the following mark on the back of the photograph: G.B. Arnold, Cairo, Watchmaker & Jeweler, Kodak Finishing, Enlarge, Coloring, Pictures Framing, Souvenirs. Bob U. advises that George B. Arnold had a store on Main St., Cairo at least from the early 1930’s and the store was still there in the 1970’s but run by his daughter Leta. Leta was known locally as “Skeeter”. Little is known about the family, however.
    2. Floyd advised that John Earl had the first telegraph in town. He ran a drug store on Main St. and many remembered his soda fountain.
    3. A lively discussion ensued regarding the neon signs that used to hang in front of shops on Main St. We are seeking pictures of these neon signs. The following were identified, but if others existed we’d like to hear about them:

1.     Love Star Theater – cupid was shooting an arrow at a heart

2.     Triangle Service Station advertised Sinclair Oil & Gas and utilized a lighted clock with swinging pendulum

    1. Bob U. showed a book of poems written by Benjamin Hine, a local resident, and published in 1835. It’s called “A Farmer’s Muse”.  In it Benjamin Hine wrote poems about local people and events, including the sad loss of the Sayre children in a house fire in the early years of the Village of Cairo.
  1. Robert U. motioned to adjourn the meeting a 9:15pm. Seconded by John Gallagher.

Cairo Historical Society
Minutes May 27, 2010
by Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead, John Rieker, Robert Chappelle, Gail Chappelle

Bob Uzzilia called the meeting to order at 7:10pm.

Bob welcomed new Cairo Historical Society members John Rieker, Robert Chappelle and Gail Chappelle.

  1. The minutes of April 22, 2010 were amended – corrected Bill Domak’s name. Robert Hempstead moved to accept the minutes as amended, Robert Chappelle seconded the motion.
  2. Treasurer’s Report:
    1. John reports that he has secured online banking access to the Cairo Historical Society account at the bank of Greene County.
    2. The cheques for the Society were returned to the Bank as the P.O. Box for the Cairo Historical Association had been cancelled due to non-payment of the yearly fee. Consequently, John paid for a new Post Office Box for the Society – P.O. Box 803. He gave a key to Robert U. and one to Sylvia and retained one for himself.
    3. John presented a treasurer’s report to the members at the meeting. The balance in the account as of May 26, 2010 was $1,324.24.
  3. Old Business:
    1. No update on the status of incorporating the Society.
    2. No update on the status of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce website link for CHS
    3. No update on the creation of the CHS logo
  4. Membership update:
    Sylvia provided a membership update. We received 4 new memberships: Dave Dorpfeld, Greene County Historian and his wife Wanda, Steven Mann, Sylvia Harper-Nelson and Point Lookout Inn. Total memberships 38 year to date. Our goal is 50. Sylvia provided the Treasurer $95 in membership dues.

    The Cairo Historical Society’s Facebook page is up and running well. We have 41 fans. There are 2 events posted (the two Movie nights) and 41 photos of people and places are available for folks to view. Discussions occurred on the following topics: Cairo Revolutionary War Patriots, Howard’s Bazaar, Walter’s Hotel, Durso Shoe store – just briefly and seeking more info on this topic, Aratoga Inn, George B. Arnold Store and family, Calvary Episcopal church and Bennie Richmond.
  5. Sylvia read a backgrounder sent to her about the Howard family who ran Howard’s Bazaar. Many thanks go out to Don Howard, a fellow CHS member. The history will be appear at the end of the minutes.
  6. Sylvia asked Robert H. about the Cairo throw rugs that are for sale in Town Hall. They were made for the Cairo Bicentennial and 18 are left. Robert H. has agreed to consult with the Cairo Bicentennial Committee on the feasibility of selling the throws at CHS events.
  7. One “Portrait of the Past” book was sold last month. Sylvia presented the Treasurer with $15.

    Sylvia advised that she had contacted Barnes and Noble in Kingston to explore the possibility of selling “Portraits of the Past” through the Kingston Store. She presented the Barnes and Noble Acceptance Criteria for selling books through their stores. It is quite detailed. She has agreed to obtain further information on the costs of obtaining an ISBN number and we will continue the discussion next meeting.
  8. 2010 Project update:

a.   Robert U. and Robert H. advised that the 3 historical markers in the Town of Cairo (Strope Massacre, Bell Factory, Mower’s Stage Coach Inn) have been fully refurbished. They were sanded down and repainted. This project is now complete.

b.     Robert H. and Robert U. advise that they reviewed the site for the Cairo Mountain R.R. project and a project plan was formulated. To further enhance the site, it was thought that the old turntable location could be cleaned up and incorporated into the overall site plan. Robert H. and Robert U. have agreed to lead discussions with the Town and the owners of Mr. Big Top to see if something can be worked out.

c.   The Susquehannah Marker Enclosure has been painted for the time being, however plans are underway to replace all four enclosures for these markers in the Town.

      Robert H. mentioned that while he was working for the County Highway Department he removed flagstone curbs and sidewalks from Main St. They are store at the Couonty Highway department. He suggested we should make efforts to repatriate the flagstones to the Town of Cairo, to potentially use them in upcoming historical projects. It was universally felt that this was a good idea. Robert U. agreed to write a letter to our County Legislators, Bill Lawrence and Harry Lennon, seeking their support.

d.     Movie night plans are well underway. Sylvia is preparing a press release for the Greene County newspapers: Daily Mail, Greenville News, Greenville Mountain Pioneer, and Windham Journal. A suggestion was made that the local access channels could also be used. Sylvia will approach Valli at the Chamber to request an email blast to all Chamber members. A discussion began around acquiring a popcorn machine for the sale of popcorn at CHS events. Robert U. motioned that the acquisition of the popcorn machine be approved to a budget of $200 plus supplies. Sylvia seconded the motion. Robert H. agreed to undertake this acquisition and liaise with Sylvia and/or Robert U. if necessary. Robert H. will supply the laptop and speakers for the evening event. John will ask Mary Ellen to see if we can borrow the projector from the college for our event. John will arrange for the supply of soda and water.

Sylvia presented a $100 cheque to the Treasurer from Dave and Ann Clapper for the purchase of soda and water for Movie Night. Many thanks go out to Dave and Ann for their generous contribution and support.

e.   The next meeting of the Main Street Swing is set for June 2 at 6pm at O’Neill’s.  We are looking for more individuals who would like to be part of the organizing committee. If interested, contact Sylvia Hasenkopf. This is going to be a very fun event!

f.      Archival Night/Ice Cream Social – Sylvia advised that Stewart’s has agreed to provide supplies to make ice cream sundaes to the value of around $150. We have tentatively set July 31st as the date for our first archival day, 11-3pm. Sylvia will approach the Town to see if we can use the court room for our event. 

  1. Robert U. advised that there will be a Memorial Day Parade on May 17th , starting at 11am at Slater’s Great American. Robert H. will bring his Model T car down and members of the Cairo Historical Society are invited to ride along.
  2. Local Interest stories – from Don Howard about Howard’s Bazaar:

    Aunt Beth (Howard) Holder dictated recollections of her father, Norman Milton Howard, and Howard's Bazaar

    Beth’s notes: Regarding the ownership status, Norman did not work in the store when it was started and May Howard was the sole owner initially.  When Norman started to work in the store, he was given a 1/3 ownership, while May had the other 2/3 ownership.  Before joining Howard's Bazaar, Norman worked in Freehold at Curtis R. Lacy's general store.  In 1940, Norman's ownership was increased to 50%.  When May died in August of 1950, he became the sole owner.  After Norman died, in June of 1952, the store was run by family members to sell off the remaining inventory.  In 1953, the store building was sold to ? Durso, who converted it to a shoe store.

    Beth's notes continued: Norman's sister, Ada (Howard) Vaughn, wife of Burr Vaughn. Burr and Isaac Howard had a shop in back of the store where they made wooden Catskill Mountain souvenirs during the winter.  In addition to selling them in Howard's Store in the summer months, they also sold and delivered some souvenirs to a store in White Junction, Vermont.

    May and Edna Howard moved to an apartment over Howard's Store in the late 1930's after Ada and Burr Vaughn died within six months of each other..  Their apartment was connected by a passage way on the second floor to the house next door which Norman owned.  The apartment had no bathroom, so they shared the bathroom in Norman's house.  The store was also connected to Norman's house by a passage way on the first floor.

    Norman had "wicked" hours.  He rose at 5 a.m., cleaned the store until 8 a.m. He ate dinner with the family at noon. (I remember he usually had a nap before returning to the store, a habit I have adopted).  In the summer, he worked until the store closed at 9 p.m. 

    Norman never opened the store on Sunday.  He taught Sunday School for 35 years and was one of the elders of the Cairo Presbyterian Church who helped provide the minister with food during the Depression.  His great grandmother, Mehitable Howard, was one of the original members of this church. All of the family's social life was centered around the church.
  3. Robert U. motioned that the meeting be adjourned at 9:15pm. Robert H. seconded the motion. He noted that to accommodate the start of Movie Night at 7:30pm at the next meeting, June 24th, a brief monthly meeting will occur at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall at 6:45pm.

Cairo Historical Society
Minutes July 22, 2010
by Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead, John Rieker, Robert Chappelle, Gail Chappelle, Linda Cole-Larsen, Joanna Frang  

Bob Uzzilia called the meeting to order at 7:08pm. 

  1. The minutes of May 27, 2010 - Given that the June meeting was devoted to our first Movie Night, the minutes were distributed and corrections/additions solicited. Gail Chappelle’s name was corrected and the final minutes were posted.
  2. Treasurer’s Report:
    1. John presented a treasurer’s report to the members at the meeting. The balance in the account as of June 30, 2010 was $1,303.05.  
    2. A large expenditure was noted for hall rental of $190, which was paid to John Gallagher. John had not been paid since June 2009 (4 quarters at $45 per quarter), as well as the Movie Night (extra $10 on the night of the meeting).
    3. A capital expenditure of a popcorn machine for our events was made in the amount of $180. Supplies for popcorn making were also purchased in the amount of $58.19. We should have enough popcorn for years to come.
    4. The donation from Dave and Ann Clapper of $100 was of great benefit in helping the Society offset its costs for soda and the popcorn machine for Movie Night.
  3. Item Sales
    1. Book sales continue to be quite active. Bob U. sold three books at his antique’s store. The Town sold three. Bob U. collected $195 from the Town and Library in additional book sales.
    2. Two Greene Co, USA DVD’s were sold.
    3. Cairo Throws:

1.   Bob U. advised that a meeting of the remaining officers of the Bicentennial Committee had met and agreed to donate the proceeds of the Cairo throws to the Cairo Historical Society and also provide the remaining throws to the Society for their fundraising efforts. Many thanks go out to the Cairo Bicentennial Committee for their generosity.

2.   The Cairo Historical Society will sell the throws for $45.

3.   Bob U. presented the Treasurer with $505 in revenue from the sales of the throw rugs. Two cheques were also presented, but are stale dated. Bob U. will contact the individuals to see if they would be willing to rewrite the cheques.

4.   Bob and Gail Chappelle bought a throw, on the spot.

5.   Sylvia will post the availability of these throws on the CHS website and on Facebook.

  1. Old Business:
    1. Bob U. suggested that we consider using the image of the anvil as our logo. He sees this image as being a part of the historical foundation of the Town of Cairo, as the “Forge” was located in Purling in the very early years of the Town. In addition, the symbol of the forge is used on the school yearbooks.
      A lively discussion ensued. Other symbols of Cairo were suggested, such as the Hotel Walters or the fountain in the Village.  Joanna volunteered to review what other societies are using as their logo and report back to the next meeting. The discussion was tabled until the next meeting.
    2. No update on the status of incorporating the Society. Sylvia has volunteered to spearhead this project.
    3. Sylvia advises that the link between the Cairo Chamber of Commerce website and the Cairo Historical Society webpage are not in place. Emails to Bill Domak have gone unanswered. Working with the Chamber directly in hopes of resolving this.
    4. Sylvia reported that the ISBN number will cost $125. This number is needed in order to have the Portraits of the Past book sold at Barnes and Noble. They have a large local history section. Further information is needed regarding the discounted cost of the books to Barnes and Noble. Discussion also ensued regarding the sale of the books through local retailers, such as Van Gorden’s. Sylvia will investigate.
  2. Membership update:
    Sylvia provided a membership update. We received 6 new memberships: John Rieker, Robert and Gail Chappelle, Joanna Frang, Robert and Mary Lou Becker, Melanie Hogue and Tyler Rush and Raymond W. Smith. Total memberships 44 year to date. Our goal is 50. Sylvia provided the Treasurer $110 in membership dues.

    The Cairo Historical Society’s Facebook page is continuing to grow. We now have 52 fans. There are 2 events posted (Movie night in October and Archival Day July 31st) and 91 photos of people and places are available for folks to view. Discussions occurred on the following topics: Travis family, Acra general store, 1911 Cairo High School graduating class, Monday Council Club, Dexter’s Dance Hall, Acra School house District #2, the Presbyterian Manse, Quaresimo Family, Wm. H. Lewis Day Book and the Chichester Family. We are particularly grateful to Virgene Travis in Montana, who is sending loads of pictures from Violet Hamilton’s photobook.
  3. Project Updates:
    1. Movie Night update:
      The showing of Greene County, USA was a great success. We had 44 people in the audience. Although we had a minor technical glitch towards the end of the program, it appeared that the movie was a resounding hit. Jonathan Donald, the producer, was on hand to answer questions about the making of the movie. Many thanks go out to Jonathan for his willingness to allow us to show the movie and for attending the showing. The fundraising was also quite successful. We sold 2 memberships, 2 DVD’s and 1 book. The 50/50 draw brought in $18 as the winner of the draw redonated his share to the CHS.

      The next Movie Night is scheduled for October 28th. We will be showing, Deep Water, a documentary about the New York water system, which begins on the mountaintop in Greene Co.
    2. The digitization of the Cairo cemeteries is underway. Blackmar Cemetery on Garcia Rd, the John Balis stone and the Taylor/Cole Cemetery are complete.
    3. No update on the Susquehannah Turnpike Marker enclosures.
    4. No update on the Cairo Mountain RR initiative.
    5. No update on the Cairo Historical Walking Tour.
    6. Planning for the Main St. Swing event is underway. Next planning meeting is July 28th at 7:30 at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall. We are starting to tighten up the details.
    7. Archival Day and Ice Cream Social: This event will happen on July 31st at 11:00am to 3:00pm. Bob U. and Bob H. will be bringing soda fountain tables to the event to lend some historical flavor. Stewarts will be providing ice cream sundae kits for the event. Ads have been run in the Daily Mail, Greenville News and Greenville Mountain View Pioneer. Slater’s has been running an announcement of the event for the last two weeks. Sylvia, Bob, U., Bob H., Linda Cole-Larsen and John G. have volunteered to assist.
  4. A discussion about the CHS’s mission statement and vision statement ensued. A mission statement exists, however we have never developed a vision statement. As the mission statement was written quite some time ago, it may be wise to revisit the wording and scope of the document. The mission statement will be obtained and circulated to the membership for comment, before adopting it. Joanna has volunteered to investigate what other historical societies have created and report back to the next meeting.
  5. John Rieker mentioned that next year will be the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. This would make an excellent theme for next year’s projects. A lively discussion ensued and this topic will be revisited as we start our planning process for 2011 projects in the fall.
  6. Bob U. mentioned that he was approached by Barbara Tolley, who has a Red Cross quilt from the Town of Cairo, that she is interested in donating to an historical society in Greene Co. She has already spoken with Shelby Mattice at the Greene County Historical Society. The quilt has signatures on each of the 143 squares of local Cairo individuals. It was felt that the quilt is an integral part of Cairo history. Bob U. will approach Barbara with the CHS’s interest in acquiring this item.
  7. Bob U. also mentioned that the McManus family have the original school bell from Union School District No. 1, Cairo. They wish to donate it to the Town. Bob U. will speak with them about the CHS acquiring the bell, as part of its historical collection.
  8. The business portion of the meeting was adjourned 9:15pm. Seconded by John Rieker.
  9. Sylvia presented the Cecil R. Miller donation. Cecil R. Miller was the Round Top Methodist Church and Acra Methodist Church minister from 1938-1940. Pictures he had made of the two churches, the Methodist Parsonage in Round Top and other buildings in the area were passed around the table. Cecil was also the Secretary-Treasurer of the M.A.R.T. (Men’s Association of Round Top), which had been organized in 1938. A letter written on letterhead from the organization is part of the donation. Forty businesses, resorts and houses are listed as members, as well as 20 individuals.  More information about this organization is sought.

    Dexter’s Dance Hall invitation from 1853 was passed around the table. Dexter’s Dance Hall was located in the building behind the fountain in the village (formerly the Tolley and Francel house). Bester Dexter had married Julia Keller, the daughter of Jacob Keller, who ran the tavern from the early 1800’s. Jacob died in 1839 and he left the tavern to his daughter.

Cairo Historical Society
Minutes September 23, 2010
by Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, John Gallagher, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead 

Bob Uzzilia called the meeting to order at 7:14pm. 

  1. The minutes of August 26, 2010 – John Gallagher moved to accept the minutes as written. Robert Uzzilia seconded the motion.

  2. Treasurer’s Report:

    1. John presented a treasurer’s report to the members at the meeting. The balance in the account as of September 23, 2010 was $2,507.05.  

    2. John stated that the bank balance does not reflect the bank error (deducting monthly fees) which he will have reversed by Bank of America.

    3. Robert Uzzilia moved to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Sylvia Hasenkopf.

  3. Item Sales

    1. Book sales continue to be impressive.  Nine books were sold. Sylvia presented the Treasurer with $135. Robert Uzzilia advised that 160 books are left for sale.

    2. One throw was also sold. Sylvia presented Treasurer with $45.

  4. Membership update:
    Sylvia provided a membership update. We received 1 new membership: John and Gail Kargoe. Total memberships are 47 year to date. Our goal is 50. Sylvia provided the Treasurer with $15 in membership dues.

    The Cairo Historical Society’s Facebook page is very active. Sylvia advised that she posts new material almost every day and there is quite a bit of additional comments and new information that is posted by the Facebook membership. We now have 72 fans, an increase of 7 fans since last month. There are 2 events posted (Movie night in October and Case’s Speakeasy on September 25th). Discussions occurred on the following topics:
    Riedlbauer brothers (Carl owned Hillcrest Manor and Frank owned the Ravine House), Fred Muller (owned the Glenbrook), Ida Bonesteel, Raymond D. French (owned Point Lookout), Milton Howard and his mother Maude, Alpha Hempstead, Greene County Fairgrounds, Durso Show Store, Cairo Garage, A&P locations in Cairo, Ethel Ruland

  5. Old Business:

    1. Sylvia advised that she has sent Mike Esslie the new mission statement and requested him to begin the process of incorporation for non-profit status.
      Given the flurry of activity to get the Speakeasy event ready, the investigation of the 501 status has not been completed. John G. will follow up with Mike for next meeting.

    2. It was agreed that a slight modification to the Mission Statement is acceptable and preferable. The new Mission Statement reads as follows: “The mission of the Cairo Historical Society is to collect, study, interpret and preserve the history of the town of Cairo, NY for the education and cultural enrichment of present and future generations.”

    3. Sylvia handed out examples of logos of historical societies that Joanna Frang had prepared. She agreed to send out an email copy of the packet for review/consideration

    4. No report presented for the CHS Vision Statement.

    5. Sylvia advised that she heard back from Eric Burger, Regional Buyer for the Northeast for Barnes & Noble. He reviewed “Portrait of the Past” and feels that there possibly is an audience for this book at the Kingston and/or Albany stores. After some discussion, it was agreed that this item will be tabled until 2011, as our current book sales are brisk.

  6. Project Updates:

    1. Two additional Cairo cemeteries were digitized – the Barker Cemetery and White Farm Loop Cemetery are complete. Seven cemeteries are now digitized.

    2. No update on the Susquehannah Turnpike Marker enclosures.

    3. No update on the Cairo Mountain RR initiative.

    4. No update on the Cairo Historical Walking Tour. Work on this project will begin when the Case’s Speakeasy project wraps up.

    5. Planning for Case’s Speakeasy event is complete and the event will happen on September 25th!

    6. Movie Night – October 28th – the press releases will be out in early October. Sylvia is looking for volunteers and hopefully attendees!

  7. New Business:

    1. Sylvia has received a draft Deed of Gift document prepared by Joanna Frang. She will email the document to the Cairo Historical Society Membership for comment.

    2. A brief discussion ensued about the need to find a home for the Cairo Historical Society, so that there is a safe and secure facility to house donations.

  8. The business portion of the meeting was adjourned by Robert U. at 8:21pm. Seconded by all present.

  9. Sylvia presented a booklet, entitled “Benefit Concert for the new Band Uniforms, Cairo Central School Concert Band, Thursday February 25, 1971”. The booklet was gift from Carol Spohler. Inside are ads from many local businesses, including, Bodratti’s Store, the Round Top Beauty Shop, Freeman’s Tavern, Victory Market, Barbato Service Inc., Canna Agency, Cairo Shopping Center Liquor Store, Rockface Diner, Dinger’s Taxi and many, many more. The concert band members, all Cairo High School Students are also listed. A list of the stage band members and Majorettes is also included. Thank you Carol!

    John Gallagher showed an old intercom system that used to be part of the building. It is unclear which owner/business used this.

    Robert U. brought in the Jewett Telephone book that has a listing for Cairo, 1930/31 Winter.

Cairo Historical Society
Minutes December 16, 2010
by Sylvia Hasenkopf

Members Present: Robert Uzzilia, Sylvia Hasenkopf, Robert Hempstead, Floyd Hempstead, John Rieker, John Kargoe, Gail Kargoe, Linda Larsen  

Bob Uzzilia called the meeting to order at 7:08 pm.  

  1. The minutes of September 23, 2010 – Robert Uzzilia moved to accept the minutes as written. John Kargoe seconded the motion.

  2. Treasurer’s Report:

    1. In John’s absence Sylvia presented the treasurer’s report prepared by John to the members at the meeting. The balance in the account as of December 15, 2010 was $3,936.51.  

    2. Robert Uzzilia moved to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Sylvia Hasenkopf.

  1. Item Sales October

    1. Book Sales for October – 11

    2. Throws sold – 9

    3. DVD sales – 5 Greene County USA , 5 Deep Water, 8 Catskill Mountain House.

    4. Donations - $58

  2. Item Sales November

    1. Book sales continue to be brisk.  Thirteen books were sold.

    2. One throw was also sold.

    3. DVD sales were outstanding. 27 Catskill Mountain House DVD’s were sold and 1 Greene County USA DVD was sold.

    4. Donations - $37

  3. Membership update:
    Sylvia provided a membership update. We received 3 new memberships in November: Susan White, Ed and Maureen Forrester and James A. Carlson Sr. We have met our membership goal of 50 for 2010.

    The Cairo Historical Society’s Facebook page continues to be very active. We now have 112 fans, an increase of 40 fans since September’s meeting.

    Discussions occurred on the following topics in October on Facebook:
    Case’s Speakeasy, Walter Tubler and his wife Emma Riedlbauer, Acra manor, Catskill Mountain Beverages, Franks Pizza, Vernon Chappell, Riedlbauer Family, Olmsted Brothers Hardware Store, M.A.R.T., John South, Blue Danube, Church Choir, Sunside Presbyterian Church Picnic, Green Lantern, Gertrude and Dorothy Tolley

    Discussions occurred on the following topics in November on Facebook:
    Ernest Van Orden, Vincent Di Stefano, Cairo Racetrack Racing Program, Cairo Fountain, Round Top Methodist Church, Rockface Diner, Little Buttermilk Falls, Sugar Loaf Bakery, Otis Hendricks Well Drilling, Boy Scouts ca 1940’s, Loren Chichester, Francis Carbine, Alexander M. Smith, Teale’s Restaurant, Cairo National Bank, William S. Lennon, GAR, Samuel E. Cozine, Daniel Sayre, Rombout Mandigo, Cairo Hose Co ca. 1920’s, Winter Clove, Meddaugh House, Kedemah Lodge, John Earle’s Pharmacy.

    A discussion ensued regarding the benefits of membership. It was agreed that more thought is needed in this area with a launch date for the 2012 membership year.

  1. Old Business:

    1. No report presented for the CHS Vision Statement.  To be tabled again in 2012 after the logo and non-profit initiatives are c fully underway.

    2. Robert Uzzilia and Linda Larsen have agreed to become a committee of two (more are welcome) to develop logo options for the Society. The creation of the logo is crucial before we proceed with other historical projects and initiatives. Sylvia will ensure that the logo packet is emailed to them.

    3. There are three stale dated cheques still requiring action. Robert Uzzilia has agreed to try and resolve this before year end.

    4. Deed of Gift project – Sylvia presented a draft Deed of Gift document. Joanna Frang did the lion’s share of preparing this document and our thanks go out to her. Mike Esslie had forwarded legal advice on the document, which was incorporated in tot the document. Additional changes were discussed and agreed to. Sylvia will prepare a revised document and forward to Mike for final legal advice.

      The need to establish a numbered ledger for donations to the Society was discussed. Pictures of the items are also encouraged when the donation is made, in order to expedite record keeping.

  2. Project Updates:

    1. No update on the Susquehannah Turnpike Marker enclosures.

    2. No update on the Cairo Mountain RR initiative.

    3. No update on the Cairo Historical Walking Tour initiative however can now commence now that the other 2010 year initiatives are complete.

    4. October Movie Night was a resounding success. Forty-four people attended the showing of Deep Water and there was a lively discussion afterward. Tobe Carey, the director, attended and the CHS is very appreciative of Tobe’s support this year. Revenue for the evening was $204. Item sales are included in the Item Sales portion of the minutes. Concession sales were $16 and donations that evening were $34.40.

    5. Sylvia presented the cemetery project, which was completed for this year. In total 12 cemeteries were digitized: Balis, Barker, Blackmar, Dewight Brownell, Solomon/Earl, Parks/Vining, St. Joseph’s Novitiate, Smith/Butler, Taylor/Cole, Weeks, White Farm Loop and Yeomans. Each tombstone was photographed as is and with chalk, where needed. Photographs and a full cemetery listing have been made for each cemetery and compiled, ready for review by interested parties. The Cemetery Report is attached to the minutes. It includes the name, location, GPS listing, altitude, number of stones, existing signage, maintenance/caretaker and current condition. The Cairo Cemetery Recommendations are also attached to the minutes. There are 5 key recommendations that were tabled. Further discussion will be tabled at the next monthly meeting.

    6. Case’s Speakeasy was a resounding success on September 25th 2010. John, who is the 2010 co-chair is absent this evening and will provide a more detailed report at the next meeting.

  3. New Business:

    1. Robert U. advised that he is working on a historical map of Cairo with FAS Print from Malone , NY . The company uses historical photos from Towns all over NYS and solicits advertisers for the community. Sylvia raised the concern that the map would overlap or duplicate the work being done on the walking tour of the Village. Further discussion dispelled the concern; however Robert Uzzilia will confirm the goals and layout with the company.

    2. Linda presented articles from the newspaper about documentaries about Hydrofracking and “How the Catskills Changed America” as possible Movie Night topics. She also presented an article on Tobe Carey’s new DVD, “The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around”, as a possible topic for Movie Night. Sylvia advises that Tobe has already agreed to the CHS using this documentary on a movie night in 2011.

  4. The business portion of the meeting was adjourned by Robert U. at 8:44pm. Seconded by all present.

  5. Robert U. presented a Lewis Miller Souvenir, that had an image of Shinglekill Falls

    Robert U. also presented a copy of the Greene County Directory 1892

    Linda Larsen presented a souvenir pen knife from the Catskill Mountain House.

    Linda also presented a lucky penny 1913 souvenir of the Catskill Mountains .

    Linda also presented two envelopes of local businesses: Central Garage and Louis Kaigler.

    John Rieker presented a bottle from White Bottling Works. Robert U. felt that the bottle was from the period of 1922-1935 when George White sold the plant to the Benedetto Brothers. Although the Benedetto Brothers owned the company, they continued to use the White Bottling Works name.

    John Rieker presented a 1928 license plate that he found on his property. The number was 2X 74 55, and one wonders whether a trace of ownership is possible.

    Linda presented the CHS with a poster of the Round Top Rodeo – our first donation from Hammond Fox. This is not the original but a wonderful color copy on foam board. Lou Briskie owned the Remuda Ranch where the Rodeo was held.

    Linda also presented the CHS with two photos of the Chadderdon Family – our second donation from Jackie Taylor in Florida . The photos have detailed listings on the reverse, identifying those on the front. They will be posted to the CHS Facebook page.

    Sylvia presented a Cairo Mountain Railroad Stock Certificate.

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