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April/May/June 2002


Donna B. Ryan, Editor 54 Main Street Almond, NY 14804 

Phone: (607) 276-6760 Email address:

Jeff Ryan, Assistant Editor Ryan Agency Hornell, NY 14843

In This Issue

Links to Stories



Be sure to put Saturday, May 18, on your calendar:
It’s our annual
Trash & Treasures Sale
Yard Sale 10 am-3 pm
coffee and donuts, a bake sale, and our famous beef on wick lunch. Hot dogs and soda available.!
We need your help: Please leave good saleable items  (no clothing, large appliances or tires, please) at the  Hagadorn House the week prior to the sale for pricing.
We also need baked goods to sell. If you can help that day, please call:
Kitty Baker at 276-6465 or Hazel Bracken at 276-2673

Help us kick off the summer season on
Monday, June 24,
at 5 pm with our annual
Strawberry Festival!
We need clean kool whip containers (not cottage cheese or margarine containers, please) prior to that day. Please bring them to Hagadorn House or call Hazel Bracken 276-2673.
If you would like to help, tell Hazel.

Our Condolences to Friends Lost...

Agnes Woodruff, mother of Helen M. Mullen, passed away on September 21, 2001 at the age of 101. She lived on McHenry Valley Road, belonged to St. Brendan and Jude Parish, Almond Sr. Citizens and was a charter member of Ellis Island Foundation in New York City.

Edith Palmer Williams, 93, daughter of the late Luin and Harriett Karr Palmer of Almond, died in Rochester on March 29, 2002. She graduated from Almond High School and Hornell Business School, and was employed by Dr. Harold Neild and A. McHenry Jewelers in Hornell, where she resided. The AHS board of directors expresses its gratitude for $120 in memorial contributions received so far in Edith’s name.

Margaret Klingensmith, died on December 12, 2002, at the age of 85. She had retired from Herrick Library in Alfred. She and her husband were longtime members of AHS, and were involved in cultural, historical, and social events of the community. Margaret enjoyed bird watching and “old things.”

Carol Fenner Williams, 72 ,died February 16, 2002, in Battle Creek, Michigan, after a long illness. Born in Almond, she graduated from Alfred Almond Central School, Class of 1948, and was a well-known author of children’s books. She was the charter inductee into the AACS Alumni Association’s Arts and Humanities Hall of Fame in July, 2001. Her book, “Yolonda’s Genius,” won the Newbery Honor Award in 1996 and has been signed for a film by Disney. Carol gave a large part of her book collection to the 20th Century Club Library a few years ago, including several written by her aunt, the late Phyllis Fenner.

Looking for Information...

Robert Bowen, one of our LIFE members, expressed his gratitude for the “interesting information” he found in the online Woodlawn Cemetery census in his genealogy search. A nephew of Almond’s well-liked physician, the late Dr. Chauncy Bowen, he is looking for information about his family, namely the Ward, Armstrong, and Rector families. If you can help him, contact Robert at 76 Lambert Dr., Rochester, NY 14616-3251.

The Fenner Store Delivery Wagon

We received this letter and photo from Dean Wells: “Enjoy your newsletter. Thought you might like this picture of my grandfather, George Lewis (1883-1963) when he drove a delivery wagon for Fenner’s Store. His route took him through McHenry Valley, Karr Valley, Jersey Hill and North Almond Valley. Also I saw Otto Goodwin’s name mentioned in the last newsletter. I remember him in the 50’s running stock cars at Monroe County Fairgrounds in Rochester, NY. If memory serves me right, he did win a feature against some of the top drivers in New York State. Yours truly, Dean Wells.

We Hear From our Members

Carol and Harry Reynolds of Wayland, with whom we spoke while researching Fisher’s Fun Farm, thanked us for the newsletter and promised to check out the website periodically. “Your programs look very interesting. We’ll have to visit your museum sometime too. Keep up the good work, and thanks again.” Thanks to the Reynolds for joining AHS!

Another information source we checked was Ruth Dennis: “Your newsletter arrived today – you really got a great deal of information about Fisher’’s Fun Farm – you will have brought memories to many seniors who grew up in the area. . . Charlie Henderson is phenomenal with memories.”

Jim and Joanne Kame Thomas filled in some interesting details when they e-mailed from their home in California: “I just finished reading the newsletter . . . it is very interesting reading. About the question from Ben Reynolds about the aircraft spottingtower: The building was a small round building that belonged to Ray Hanks and was in back of their house in Almond. It was moved by our house (on Whitney Valley Road) as a spotter place. It had chairs and a phone, and was about 10-12 feet in diameter. I remember Francis Grimes Sr. having to stoop while inside. Many people from the area spent time as spotters during WW II. I spent many hours watching for planes. About all we ever saw were DC3s, probably Capital Airline flights from Buffalo to NY or NY to Buffalo. We then called on the phone to report the direction of the plane. We think the building must have been moved from our home to the Martin farm while I was in the Navy. Joanne said that her mother, Evelyn Kame, was one of the spotters.” 

“Corky” Dickinson Johnson, referring to the Fisher’s Fun Farm story, e-mails us this information: “I remember it mostly as the skating rink. My brother, Lewis Dickinson, and my sister, Ruth (“Stub”) Dickinson Stevens enjoyed skating there. My sister, Winnie Dickinson Mahoney danced at the “dance hall.” I went skating with my friends: Earnestine (Witter) Wakefield, Duane Dennison, Jean Studley Schlick and her brother, Bob Studley, along with most of the other Whitney Valley kids.” Speaking of her neighbors, the Fisher family, she remembers: “Their son, Paul Fisher (Junior) was one of the kindest and most considerate kids I ever knew. He appointed himself as my protector and guardian. Paul and I remained friends until his death several years ago. I knew Mrs. Fisher (Junior’s mother) and I remember her dark hair pinned up and she wore glasses. She sat on a stool in the kitchen to work and had trouble walking. She would peer over those glasses and say, ‘Corky, are you being a good girl?’ I always shook my head yes and smiled.”

An old family photo was recently returned as a result of e-mail connections. Craig Braack gives this account: “Out of the blue one day several weeks ago now, Richard Hanks sends me this e-mail stating he is a member of the AHS and saw my name/address on some website. It rang a bell with him in reference to this old photograph he had of a lady named Minnie Braack, and asked if she was related. Obviously, I answered right away in the affirmative. A few days later the photo arrived and it certainly was Aunt Minnie (My dad, Dick’s, sister). Saturday morning I mailed the photo to Cousin Nancy and she is making copies for everyone else.”

Don Heers, called to order an AHS notebook and back issues, and was excited about his purchase of a piece of 1941 Horsetraders Convention memorabilia on e-Bay.

Fran Washburn comments on the Fisher’s Fun Farm story: “In 1932 I was 15! I knew it when it was a roller skating rink. Of course, I can see ‘‘it’ from my south windows –practically next door!”

Dale Lorow comments: “I really look forward to the newsletters – they have brought back great memories. By the time I could go to the Fisher’’s, all they did was square dance to the Log Cabin Boys!”

Clifford Babcock, who is 88, remembers this: “I lived in Almond from 1916-1926 so I have a lot of fond memories. We lived in the old Stillman house that was behind the “Old Budd House” or Almond Hotel. The Spratts lived next door.”

From St. Louis, MO, Dave Ferry writes that he has old photos pertaining to the “Almond Union School and Academy” in 1897, as well as other school memorabilia up to 1924. “For many of these years, my grandfather,Elmer E. Ferry, was a member of the Board of Education,” Dave said, and offered to meet with us in July when he comesup for the annual reunion of the Class of 1945 to show us some of these treasures.

2002 Great Year for Memberships

“2002 looks to be a banner year for membership,” according to Doris Montgomery, and the AHS Membership Committee. She went on to explain that since the renewal forms were mailed with the last newsletter, 230 people have responded by paying their renewals. “Of these, 39 are new members, including two people who chose to become LIFE members. Four of our existing members also became LIFE members, making a total of 67 LIFE members,” she said.

Gerald and Lorraine Torrence
Cora M. Thompson
Clifford DuBreuil
Bryde Kuhne, LIFE membership gift from her son, George McIntosh
Dick and Kitty Baker
Carol A. Rossman

Not only is the committee pleased with the number of paid members to date, but the response to the surveys was very exciting as well. Due to the generosity of the members, approximately $900 in donations above and beyond dues payments has been received. Numerous folks also volunteered to assist in many ways, including donating items for the Trash and Treasures and Bake Sale, working at fundraisers, making refreshments for meetings, assisting with clerical, mailings, archives, telephoning, publicity, and house cleaning. “We were delighted at the response to the inquiries for assistance and donations. It has been a tremendous encouragement to us to see that there are a lot of people who care that much,” Doris said.

We must add, however, that there were almost 100 members from last year that we have not heard from yet this year. If your newsletter label is highlighted in yellow, that means that you have not renewed – and this is the last newsletter you will receive. “We don’t want to drop anyone from our list of more than 400 newsletter recipients,” Doris said. “So please send your check to Lona McIntosh, PO Box 187, Almond, NY 14804, today!”

From Your Board of Directors

Your board of directors has been very busy, making some important decisions and welcoming a new member.

The resignation of Lillian Hanks from the board was accepted with regret, and with sincere thanks for her many years of service in countless ways. Appointed to fill her position was Sarah Zeliff, who attended her first meeting in April. We welcome her to the board!

A gift from the Fred Bayless estate has been given to Almond Historical Society, and the board has voted to purchase a new copier. Robin Raner Ptak, who grew up in Almond and now has her own office service business in Arcade, is working with us and will have a new copier for us this month. This will enable us to print our own newsletters instead of sending them up to Alfred University. We are also thinking of some more creative uses for this incredible machine!

After considerable thought and discussion, the board has also voted to renovate into a meeting room the garage that is attached to the back of the Hagadorn House. It has become very difficult to accommodate our guests at Open House, especially when our programs feature speakers with slide presentations. We are excited about this project, and look forward to our first meeting in our new room – later this year.

We want to also thank Roger Mullen for the fine job he has been doing on the Hagadorn House lawn!