Almond Historical Society Newsletter

April/May/June 2006



CONTENTS:


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HAGADORN HOUSE: BIRTHPLACE OF CONCERNED
CITIZENS OF ALLEGANY COUNTY


The book celebrating Allegany County’s bicentennial, Allegany County In the 20th Century: Stories of Change,” written and published this year under the direction of Craig Braack, County Historian, served as a backdrop for our April 2, 2006 Open House, with displays created by Mary Ellen Westlake to coincide with the County book’s sixteen chapters.


While it was impossible to cover all of the historical events of Almond from the County’s birthday, 1806, to the present, Mary Ellen selected an interesting mix of newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia to depict items of interest to coincide with the book’s sixteen chapters. In subsequent issues of this newsletter, we will feature some of the topics not previously published in past issues.


For this issue, we are focusing on Chapter 6: “With and Against The Law”, and the story written by Craig Braack. A letter, written in 1989 by the late Linn L. Phelan, who identified himself as the “83-year old Curator” of Hagadorn House, reveals the mood of the times: “‘Historically’ this house is the spontaneous ‘birth place’ of the ‘Concerned Citizens of Allegany County’ on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1989! The December 12, 1988 NEW YORK TIMES carried a map of the proposed sites of radioactive low-level dump sites, three of them in Allegany County. This upset us. So, during the holiday season at all the social gatherings the ‘talk’ was how we could meet and fight such a challenge. At such group meetings it was decided to hold a meeting to plan how to meet the threat of our lives. As Curator and a past president of the Almond Historical Society, I offered to open the Hagadorn House on New Year’s Day for such a discussion. Stephen Myers and his neighbors did a preliminary study of the proposed contents of the dump and found that it contained with the ‘low-level’ waste stream a high-level component that comprised highly radioactive reactor materials.

At 2 p.m. that day, with a large map of Allegany County in front of the 1794-95 ‘Count Rumford-style’ cooking fireplace for reference, 55 people had crowded into the two rooms. I called the meeting to order by ringing the old West Almond’s school bell, remarked that this was the ‘Boston Tea Party in reverse’ and turned the meeting over to Steve for the question to be discussed. By 5:30 p.m. committees were established as the ‘Concerned Citizens of Almond and Alfred.’ Donations were over $300 for printing purposes. Within 36 hours, messages were out to the public with flyers and posters. ‘Bump the Dump’ auto stickers were available, as were tee-shirts – all fund-raising activities for what is now the ‘Concerned Citizens of Allegany County’.” Now here is the rest of the story . . . .


MY NAME IS ALLEGANY COUNTY

by Craig Braack


On December 20, 1988, New York State announced that the county was one of ten host counties, statewide, selected for possible location of an innocuously named low-level nuclear waste storage facility (nuke dump). This came about as a result of the 1985 Federal Low-level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Disposal Act that stipulated that each state must take ownership of its nuclear waste and build its own LLRW site or join a compact with other states.


A few citizens quickly reacted and a meeting was held at the Almond Historical Society museum to form a protect group, soon called “Concerned Citizens of Allegany County” (CCAC) The idea of protesting grew rapidly as the dumpsite selection team had scheduled a public hearing in Belfast on January 26, 1989. Response was overwhelming as five thousand people attended. One of the protest leaders during his turn at the microphone urged the massive crowd to stand and led them in unison with foot-stomping and a hand-clapping chant of “Hell No, We Won’t Glow. . .” The Siting Comission members in attendance must have realized the depth of resentment and determination of the county’s citizens to stop them, while the citizens realized how serious a situation this was to the future safety of their county. The stage for potential conflict was now set. The magnitude of

Allegany County’s “David” taking on New York State’s “Goliath” was suddenly felt by all in attendance.


It has been said that once to every nation comes a moment of decision that profoundly affects its future. In the two hundred years of Allegany County’s existence, that moment was on December 7, 1989, when Sheriff Larry Scholes met with high-ranking officials of the New York State Police – two inspectors and a colonel. After the initial exchange of pleasant greetings, their conversation turned serious – who would handle police duties when the Siting Commission members made visits to the county – the State Police or the Sheriff’s Department? The State Police made is abundantly clear it was solely the Sheriff’s responsibility. Sheriff Scholes, after stating he had no road patrol or enforcement officers, leaned forward and specifically replied: “Take this message back to Superintendent Constantine and Governor Cuomo from Sheriff Scholes – That’s S-C-H-O-L-E-S. Sheriff

Scholes says ‘BULLSHIT?’” The die was cast!


In his excellent definitive book on the entire Nuclear Dump Fight, Dr. Thomas Peterson of Alfred University quoted Sally Campbell, media coordinator for ACNAG, when she said on December 8, 1989: “The battle

between the nuclear industry and the county will now take place at the sites in the cold of an upstate New York winter. This will be our Valley Forge.”

CCAC felt it best to fight the Siting Commission through legal action. A few members peacefully formed another group to take a different course of action – Allegany County Non-Violent Action Group. (ACNAG) This group would pursue its protests through acts of civil disobedience. Siting Commission members made several attempts in 1989 and 1990 to make on-site inspections of the three proposed dump locations – the Towns of

Allegany, Caneadea, and West Almond. All attempts failed when CCAC and ACNAG members peacefully blocked their way. Many arrests for civil disobedience resulted, with all arrested protesters identifying themselves by saying: “My Name Is Allegany County!”


The denouement came on April 5, 1990, when commission members attempted to visit the Caneadea site. However, this time they came with about thirty-five uniformed State Police officers as intimidating escorts. Superbly executed maneuvers by “turtle-masked” ACNAG and CCAC members impeded their progress several times. The first delay was on the bridge on County Road 36 when six prominent senior citizens chained themselves to the bridge railings. The Siting Commission members decided to walk the several miles to the site. Several strategically placed pieces of farm machinery slowed them somewhat. After walking a mile or so on a beautiful spring day, the commission members, surrounded by officers, were met by six mounted, masked riders. A tense, brief standoff ensued until an order was given to “take ‘em down!” A few physical confrontations resulted with several riders being forcefully “removed” from their mounts. Thankfully, wisdom prevailed on the part of the police and all withdrew. Official videos of the day’s events were on Governor Cuomo’s desk that night.


Shortly after, the governor ordered all work stopped in locating a dumpsite. But the story is far from complete. The initial Federal Act of 1985 was challenged in courts for two years. Eventually, the case came before the United States Supreme Court in June 1992. The justices ruled by a 6-3 vote supporting New York officials that Congress went too far with their 1985 Act. The cases of New York vs. U.S. 91-543 show that the voice of the people made a difference.


When the Nuclear Dump Fight started, the entire county was in only one New York State Assembly district with the seat held by John Hasper of Belfast. Right from the start, Mr. Hasper (as did New York State Senator Jess Present) “went to the wall” to keep Allegany County free of nuclear waste. The dump issue was “resolved” shortly before the 1990 Federal Census was completed. As political jurisdictions are based on population, district lines are redrawn every ten years. Some political observers are of the opinion that John Hasper was the victim of Governor Cuomo’s retribution as Allegany County was subsequently carved up and placed piecemeal into three Assembly districts, effectively putting Assemblyman Hasper out of office.


The amount of nuclear waste is growing at an alarming rate, as is the problem of what to do with it. Activist Jim Lucy perhaps summed it up best when he said: “I would consider it a victory in the battle, but we haven’t won the whole war.” The Siting Commission still exists but is no longer funded by the State. The Commission could easily resume its dumpsite search with new funding.


Author’s note: Were this to happen, the (Allegany County Bicentennial book) editors have complete faith in the belief that CCAC and ACNAG would be at full strength within an hour of learning about that funding action. Their readiness to act would be equal to that of April 5, 1990.




Family Stories Presented to Almond Historical Society

By Donna Ryan



Transcribing diaries of ancestors and family story telling have become popular pastimes in recent years, and the Almond Historical Society archives is the repository of some very interesting reading material. In the past few months, at least two more families have shared their documents, providing a look at life lived by earlier generations.


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The family genealogies and stories of the Weld, Whitford and Dunn families have been compiled by Marjorie Dunn Area of Tonkawa, OK, who grew up on Crosby Creek and graduated from AACS in 1954. One of this year’s AACS Alumni Humanitarian of the Year inductees, Marjorie notes that “telling stories and listening to them are universal human experiences. Stories are important parts of our lives, conveying both information and attitudes. Behavior or ways of thinking may be encouraged or discouraged through the telling of stories. A story begins with recounting an event or experience by a person who has seen or experienced it. To the basic report are added ideas, emphasis, emotion and certain details, which create a setting. Soon the story is passed on to others who have no immediate knowledge of it. Then passed to people who are far removed form original place or time,” she explains.


The Weld and Dunn families, although not Almond people, were brought together through Daniel and Huldah Stillman Whitford, who were married in Almond sometime in the late 1800s. Their son, Silas Stillman Whitford, married Eva Mae Weld of Cohocton in 1903, and they lived on the family farm on Hartsville Hill, New York. He is described as a “dominant personality – teacher turned farmer. He supported his family by peddling eggs and milk – vegetables and fruit from the farm. Each week, a horsedrawn wagon made the trip to Galbos farm market on Canisteo St., Hornell. He raised and butchered veal and pigs and milked Jersey cows. Silas was Deacon in Seventh Day Baptist Church and member of the school board. During Depression years he withdrew school funds just ahead of bank closures and NEVER banked again,” Marjorie writes.


The diary of his future wife, Eva Weld, written in the early 1900s from her home in Cohocton, “describes daily patterns of her life. There are glimpses of her family, community and occasional references to national news,” writes Marjorie. The entry for March 19, 1900, reads: “Today is my birthday. I am 25 years old. Father gave me a Red Letter New Testament and a dollar to get me a pair of kid gloves.” Regular chores included washing, ironing and mending; sweeping the “parlor, sitting room, hall, bedroom, dining room, and kitchen”; cleaning “my wheel” (bike); picking and canning grapes, plums, prunes, peaches, raspberries and huckleberries; baking cookies, bread, pies and cakes; and making mustard and tomato pickles. Social events included an oyster social, card and parlor games, reading, quilting, band concerts, and church picnics, the Naples Fair, and attending “Marque of Pandora” by Henry W. Longfellow at Fireman’s Hall.


On November 1, 1902, after myriad entries the previous year where she was apparently being courted by Silas Whitford, Eva writes: “Silas asked me to be his wife and I have accepted him. He was here all the evening did not go until half pasd (sic) 12 and then he kissed me good night for the first time. . .” November 17, Thanksgiving Day: “We did up the work and got the table ready and then changed my dress and went to meet Silas. There was 12 of us at the table. Silas and I went up town and got the mail, did not go back until most eleven. Silas gave me an opal engagement ring. . .”


Prior to her marriage on June 10, 1903, Eva recounts a very memorable trip when she and several friends took the train from Cohocton to Buffalo to the Pan Am Exhibition: August 22, 1901: “We took our own lunches and we ate just as soon as we got on the grounds. We spent the evening, the electric lights were beautiful. (In the boarding house) we slept down in the basement . . . we ate breakfast here and all it cost us was 75 cents for our breakfast and room. We had our dinner in the New York State Building. . .”


About two weeks later, September 6, she writes: “We heard President McKinley had been shot twice. He was in the building Temple of Music (Pan Am exhibition) when shot. The man that shot McKinley was a Pole, Leon and was an anarchist. . . .September 8: President’s condition is very grave . . . September 14: President McKinley is dead . . the Pan American grounds were closed. . . . September 15: William McKinley, born January 29, 1843, died September 14, 1901. That is the inscription on the casket that will contain the remains of the martyred president. It is a red cedar, handsomely carved and covered with the finest black broadcloth. The interior is first lined with copper; over which is a full tufted satin covering. A French bevel plate glass runs the full length of the top of the casket. The outside case is made of red cedar, finely finished. The corners are capped with polished copper and the handles are of the same material. On the top of the case is a copper plate bearing a duplicate of the inscription of the casket. McKinley’s last words were, ‘It is God’s way, His will be done, not ours.’


September 19, 1901: President McKinley’s funeral was today, commenced at 1:30 at the Methodist Church in Canton, Ohio. Mrs. McKinley was not able to go to the funeral, but she is bearing up very well. When they left Washington they had 125 pieces of flowers. The funeral procession was over two miles long, and lasted until after five o’clock. President McKinley’s cradle that he was rocked in was near the vault and covered with flowers. . . it was sent from Niles, Ohio, for the funeral and will be sent back again.”


After their marriage, Eva and Silas lived on the Whitford homestead on Hartsville Hill, where “Grandma rarely left the farm,” according to Marjorie. They had seven children: three girls, Hazel (Dunn), Marian, Lillian (Clark); and four boys, Robert, Harold, Frank and Max. Robert and his wife, Dorothy Clark, lived on Main Street, Almond, for many years, where he was caretaker for Almond Library and Woodlawn Cemetery, as well as worked for the Erie Lackawanna for 42 years in the maintenance of way department. Frank married Abby Hoyt, and they, too, lived on Main Street in Almond and he worked for the Erie Lackawanna like his brother, Bob. Both Frank and his brother, Max, served in World War II, and are listed in the anniversary issue of The Almond Newsletter” , which was sent to servicemen from the Almond Union Church. Both men are reported as being somewhere in Italy in 1944, with these comments sent back by them: Max writes: “I wish to thank you very much for this splendid piece of home news – it makes one feel that he hasn’t been forgotten by his town even if it has been years since he last resided there. . .” Frank comments: “I received your newsletter today and was very glad to get it. I know, I for one will be looking forward to receiving one each month. A fellow overseas really enjoys reading all these little happenings that take place in his home town.”


The family story tells of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day, “traditional holidays with the Whitford family. While the men cranked homemade ice cream, the ladies prepared the meal, leaving young cousins to explore. Particularly, we like to slide down the banister in the cold hallway connecting the kitchen to living room. After dinner we’d pester the older cousins to take the buggy to a high place in the road. We’d pile on and ride it, willy-nilly to the first ditch! What fun! Summertime, croquet was played so often in the front yard, there were distinct ruts guiding the ball to the next wicket. There were fruit trees to climb and a manual grinding stone in the shop that we liked to operate. It was good to be a child at the Whitford Homestead,” Marjorie writes.


Church socials were incomplete without Eva’s cottage cheese. It had a special flavor and texture, which others failed to duplicate. She cooked the clabbered milk slowly at the back of a woodstove and finished it with fresh Jersey cream. Water was pumped by hand on the back porch. Deep in the old well were home smoked hams. A dishpan stayed on the kitchen stove. While catching up on news, dishes were washed, dried and put away. Most talk revolved around World War II, rationing stamps, recipes, survival tactics, and speculation of where Frank and Max were serving. . . Thumb-tacked to the wall behind the round stove in the parlor was a world map. As we pared apples in front of the wood fire, we searched for the colored pins marking the places where it was believed the boys were stationed,” the story continued.


Dishwater was thrown out the back door to nourish grandma’s fenced in flower garden – fenced in to safeguard it from farm animals and other marauders! Nearby, a cream separator ‘whirred’ in the back room. Cats were always on the prowl for a hand out!”


Reading this young woman’s diary and the family story written by her granddaughter, one began to feel a personal connection with Silas and Eva Weld Whitford. Born March 19, 1875, Eva died December 16, 1946 at the age of 71, “following Christmas Day with her family. Eva and Silas parked their car at bottom of Crites Hill and walked the steep half-mile road of snow. I recall grandpa appearing at our door early the next morning to tell us she had died in her sleep,” Marjorie writes.


Her husband lived another ten years, and died at the age of 81 in 1957. Both are buried in the Alfred Cemetery.


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MemoriesStories from the lives of predecessors and families of Jane Winifred Hardy Peters”, written by the late Jane Winifred Hardy Peters, has been presented to the Almond Historical Society by her family.


More than 150 pages of memoirs, genealogies, and photographs are contained in a three-ring notebook, the cover of which is a color photo of the Hardy farmhouse on Ryan Road, Karr Valley, ca. 1920, where Jane grew up.

Presented to the Almond Historical Society by her children, Carolyn Azubah Peters Eckel and Hans Martin Konrad Peters, Jr., and their children, the book contains information about the following families: Brewster, Johnson, Williams, Hardy, Dyke, Karnes, Eckel, Lynch and Peters.




Jane’s story begins in 1855, with the birth of her maternal Grandmother Mary Eva Johnson Williams, who lived “up Shovel Hollow . . . somewhere near Andover. .” Mary Eva’s parents, John Kennedy Johnson and Caroline Brewster Johnson, packed up essentials in 1863 to travel via lumber wagon with two little girls to Michigan where he worked in the woods to cut timber for railroad ties. There are many fascinating stories of pioneer life and the family’s eventual return to Andover, where “Evie” married Nathan Cole Williams in 1877, settling in Elm Valley. The second of their seven children was Caroline, who married Raymond Hardy in 1907, settling on the farm on Karr Valley in the mid 1920s. They had six children: Marion Eva (Dyke), Clayton, Duane, Nathan, Jane (Peters) and Virginia Karnes.


Raymond, a graduate from the University of Rochester, and Caroline, a graduate of Geneseo Normal School, were intelligent and hard working, and were called “The Educated Farmers”, according to Jane’s memoirs. Prior to their marriage, Caroline taught “elementary school upper grades in Whitesville” and Raymond “aspired to being a lawyer.” Jane notes that he “always had a good memory. I remember he helped us children with Latin and other homework. I remember Mother as an intelligent, strong and determined woman. To her, education was an absolute necessity for all her children.


My mother and father were very active in the Almond Union of Churches . .. we all went to church and Sunday School. . . Sundays were different. The men and boys took baths on Saturday night and the girls generally bathed on Sunday morning. Then we wore our one set of fresh underclothing for the week. We drove off to church and Sunday School at 10 a.m. and returned home about 1 p.m. Then we helped get dinner on. The afternoon was for reading and relaxation. We did no sewing, no canning, no haying, no reaping, only milked and fed the animals in the morning and evening. If God needed a day of rest, so did we. . .”


Writing of Sunday afternoon family activities, she tells about a “huge granite stone that had been dropped by a glacier” located near the pasture gate. “Loosely mixed feldspar, mica, a bit of flint, and every conceivable shade of quartz could all be found in this boulder. This became Father’s geological classroom. The igneous process, the formation of the earth and glaciation were all worked into a story that we never tired of hearing. Years later, Father moved the boulder to the cemetery (Woodlawn, Almond) and had it inscribed to be a marker for his and Mother’s graves. . . I have never forgotten the geology lessons he gave us.”


For the most part, social events revolved around family get-togethers, and the activities at Almond Union and

Almond School. However, one year, Jane writes about another event: “To raise money for a worthy cause, and also to bring forth community spirit in the Days of the Depression, the town put on a play called “Mrs. Temple’s Telegram”. It was a parlor comedy and enjoyed by all. My father played the part of the butler. . . After the performance was over, the cast went to the big Hotel Sherwood in the big town of Hornell. It had a population of about 15,000 and we called it a city. It had a park, two movie houses, drug store, grocery stores which eventually became supermarkets, a big library, the big Steuben County Bank, a very nice hotel, plus a big high school, various industries, the main one being the Erie Shops. Repair work on the engines and cars of the thriving Erie Railroad took place there.”


A chapter in the book is written by Jane’s sister, Ginnie, remembering “My Mother, Carolyn Azubah Williams Hardy:” She writes: “My Mother was a VERY hard working person. She worked with the outdoor work as well as taking care of her children and home. Mom taught me how to knit and embroider, sew, and can food as well as many other household tasks. Mom had to do everything the hard way, as did all people who lived on farms in their day. We had a sink in the corner of the kitchen, with a cistern under the house. There was a pump that pumped the water from the cistern to a platform by the sink. The cistern was a collection place for rain water that (fell) from the eaves of the house. This soft water was used for washing clothes, hair and bathing. There was always a kettle on the stove with warm water for washing hands and faces. . . . Outside of the woodshed there was a well for drinking water. This water was carried across the kitchen in pails. This water was also put in the reservoir of the stove, which held several pails. In this way water

was heated.


The washing was done on a scrub board in washtub, and run through a wringer that was turned by hand, the clothes went into a rinse tub that was filled with water. There was a bar fastened to two suction cups that turned around to rinse the clothes. They were run through the wringer again and hung on lines winter and summer. Imagine doing wash for 8 people like this? Then there was the ironing that was done by heating flat irons on the stove cover. A fire had to be kept in the stove to heat the irons. There were three of these in varying weights, with a handle that changed from one to the other as each iron cooled.”


The horses became old and as time went on were replaced with a 1939 Case tractor. Electricity was installed in 1939 also. This allowed for an electric washing machine, flat iron, a refrigerator and a stove. What a wonderful thing this was to have these appliances to help with the household burdens. Eventually, in 1941, a bathroom was installed.


We had a wonderful time on the farm,” the girls relate in the book. They speak warmly of their siblings, and tribute is paid through stories and poems about Marion, Nate and Clayton, who had already passed away when the book was written. Although twelve years separated the oldest from the youngest, they cared for one another and remained close through life.


Raymond and Carrie continued to live on Ryan Road for 20 more years. In 1950 they moved to Almond Village, their family having all grown and married. In her later years, Carrie developed age-related dementia and Raymond cared for her until she died in December 1965 at the age of 85,” the story relates.


The snippets of farm life in the 20s and 30s that we have recorded here are only a fraction of the stories found in Jane’s memoirs. She goes on to tell the fascinating account of her husband, Hans Peters, whose family was of gypsy lineage, suffering starvation for many years during the Great War, emigrating to the United States on January 1, 1928. They married in 1940 after her graduation from Geneseo, raised two children, and were involved with the Friends Meeting, and Bryn Gweled, an intentionally cooperative community in lower Bucks County, Pa., as well as their own building business.


Carolyn Peters Eckel writes about her mother, Jane’s life, noting that she found “happiness in her immediate and extended family, community, work and love of the divine in all humanity. Many activist organizations such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Socialist Party, as well as the Southampton Friends Meeting, benefited from her faith and dedication.”


Hans passed away in 1987, and in 2003, “Jane started working in earnest to produce a notebook of family stories and photos, based on her story collection and writing over many years. With assistance in typing, proofreading and printing, she gave birth to it in 2004,” Carolyn writes, offering additional copies upon contact with her.


What is it that makes one story live while others fade? The lasting story creates an emotional response –
an important moment shared by the teller and the listener, one that makes them both participants.
In the finale – it’s relationships that mark an individual – rather than accomplishments!” - Marjorie Dunn Area


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An addendum to this very personal family book comes in the form of this writer’s connection to the Hardy farm. In 1953, the Lee R. Ryan family purchased the Hardy farm, and lived there for the next 12 years, bringing up their family and working the farm together. The account of those years is found in the late Lee R. Ryan’s memoirs, also on file at Hagadorn House. Descriptions of the continual hard labor exerted to work that side-hill farm on a shoestring were all too familiar. But one of the farm’s landmarks, totally unknown to my husband, Lee A. Ryan, was related in this story written by Jane: “One time we found a well-worn fairy tale book of Marion’s. We went up the road about a mile to an Indian trail marker that was reputed to point toward Niagara Falls. By now it was a huge tree. A sapling had been bent, tied for a 3-foot distance, and then allowed to grow toward the sky again. Carrying the precious book, we managed to build a platform of stones so we could climb on the horizontal part of the Indian marker and read the fairy tales. We thought it was so romantic. However, it wasn’t really very comfortable.”


Many Karr Valley folks were familiar with the Indian Trail Tree on Bully Hill, the picture of which we ran in the Apr/May/June 2003 AHS newsletter that elicited a continual string of responses. Lee’s passion for finding these Indian marker/trail trees has taken him all over the countryside – and he never dreamed that there was one just a few rods off the Ryan/Hardy farm acreage! An immediate ride up to the said location, confirmed via phone with Ginnie Hardy Karnes, indicates that the tree she and her sister, Jane, enjoyed probably 70 years ago, no longer exists – undoubtedly the result of road expansion or reforestation. However, its probable location puts it in line with the ten trees at least two miles farther east, believed by Lee to be part of an old Indian trail.




Veterans Plaque Project Complete
By Donna Ryan


The dream of a local man and his persistence to see it to fruition has resulted in a lasting

memorial to the Alfred-Almond Central School alumni who have served in the military since the school’s inception in 1940.


Karl Grantier, ’55, a disabled Air Force vet, began gathering AACS veterans’ names and

service information about three years ago. Recently, six large wooden plaques were completed and now hang in the hallway of the new AACS sports complex. Arranged according to their AACS class, there are 340 individual names engraved on brass plates, along with their service branch and highest commendation received.


Of special interest are nine veterans who have been awarded some of the highest military commendations: They are: Ronald Rawleigh, ’43, US Army Paratroopers, Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf, Four European Theatre Campaigns with Four Bronze Stars and One Arrowhead, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, World War II Victory Army Occupation with Germany Clasp, and many more; Robert Snyder, ’49 Retired US Air Force, Pilot Air Force One, President Richard Nixon; James Habern, ’60 US Marines, Purple Heart; John (“Pat”) Wasson, ’60, US Navy, Purple Heart; Andrew Phelan, ’61, US Army, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and more; Earl Briggs, ’62, Ret. US Army, Bronze Star and more; Richard Smith, ’66, US Army, Purple Heart; Gary Kellogg, ’68, US Army, Three Bronze Stars with Oak Leaves, Three Air Medals; Jim Ninos, ’69, Ret. US Army, Bronze Star, Purple Heart; Mark D. Lewis, ’72, Ret. US Air Force, Airman’s Medal (highest commendation received by AA vets)


Explaining his motivation for he project, Karl said: “There was a nice wooden plaque in the front hallway (now moved to the new location) listing those who served in World War II, but I felt that all alumni who had served their country should be honored.” A couple of years ago, he obtained the AACS board of education’s permission, and then began the long task of collecting names and service statistics. A request for information was put in the past alumni newsletters, and Karl has made countless personal contacts with family and friends, gathering and verifying information.


Going on faith that alumni would donate sufficient funds to cover the cost of the project, Karl began to take names to Crandall’s Jewelry Store in Alfred, where Jim Palmer, ’60, gave an incredible amount of his time and that of his sales associate, Marlaina Cavaletti Shutt, ’91, engraving the name plates. “I am pleased that it is finished,” Jim said. “The recognition should be there for those who have given so much for us. There are a lot of names – it is just like ‘old home week’ when you read the roster.”


At last year’s alumni banquet in July, two of the plaques were officially presented to Nadine Shardlow, board of education member, with the promise that more plaques would follow. To date, $815 has been donated by alumni toward the project, total cost of which is more than $1500. Donations are still being received to cover the balance, as well as

paying for the cost of adding names in the future.


Karl entered the Air Force in July, 1955, just a month after graduating from AACS. On October 19, 1957, he was seriously injured in a fuel spill on the flight line at Moody AFB, Valdosta, GA. Suffering third degree burns on 37% of his body, he was air evacuated to Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX, where he was hospitalized for ten months, learning to walk all over again. After his discharge in 1960, he returned to Almond where he drove bus, tractor trailer, and owned a trucking company.


He became the first president of the Sampson AFB Veterans’ Association, serving from 1994-1997. His group assisted the Navy and Air Force vets who were once stationed at Sampson turn the old brig into a museum, preserving the memories of the naval and air force training base. “We helped get it started in the very beginning – we did a lot of physical work on the building, getting it in shape, cleaning it up so concrete could be poured and it could become a museum. Now there is a courtyard where vets can purchase bricks with personal inscriptions, along with displays of guns from different ships, jet aircraft, and other memorabilia. It is open through the summer and is free to the public,” he commented.

I hope people will go up and take a look at the plaques and will express their appreciation to all the veterans who served from AACS,” Karl said. Corrections or additions can be made by contacting Karl at 607-765-0999 or emailing him at kgrantier@gmail.com.




Trash And Treasures Report - May 2006

By Tammy Kokot


The weather held 'til the very end of the annual Almond Historical Society's Trash & Treasures Sale at the Hagadorn House in Almond, on May 13, 2006.  Threatening skies didn't slow sales all that much and a good share of the "trash" ended up being "treasured" by purchasers.  Even this volunteer worker ended up taking home a few things (OK, more than a few).  Proceeds benefited the Hagadorn House.


The hot dogs sold out and we packaged up the last of the remaining beef on weck and sold it in "bulk".  The last, lone hot dog on the grill called my name so I purchased it only to sell it to some hungry young fellow; literally right out of my hands (they were clean).  ALL of the baked goods found a home (or stomach) and to those who took the time to bake the "tasty treats"..."Thanks" and "YUM"!   


Many volunteers showed up to make light work out of lugging heavy and numerous items to the yard, organizing the "trash" on the many tables and helping out in many ways.  I arrived to find things already on a roll and saw eager shoppers perusing the items early.  Many thanks to those who cleaned out closets and garages to

donate lots of interesting and unusual items.  There were some pieces that had us all guessing.       


Though I've only lived in the  Almond area just short of three years, it seems that I see the same dedicated workers at all of the fundraising events put on by the Historical Society and the 20th Century Club, of which I'm a member of both.  Many of those faces have been involved for years...decades and in some cases, a half a century or more.  There seems to be a scant few of us that are under the age of 50 and the majority of which are over the age of 70.  The need for new members is evident...and wanted.  But don't expect to outshine some of those 70+ folks...they can run circles around me.     


Though there were many faces at the sale, many were "out-of- towners"...who are genuinely more than welcome.  What I didn't see were more locals.  OK, maybe you didn't need any more "treasures" but don't hesitate next year to stop down to buy lunch to support this wonderful cause. 


So, the next time there is an "event" in Almond (the Annual Strawberry Festival is June 26th!) come on down and show that you care for your Community.  And if you can't make it, a tax deductible donation is ALWAYS welcome! 


If you are interested in knowing more about these organizations, please feel free to give me a call.  Since I'm a newer member, I'll make sure to steer you in the right direction. tmkcandles@aol.com  276-2222




Welcome to our new life members



We want to give a very special welcome to our five new LIFE members:   

Dr. Joyce Howland, Alfred Station

Kenneth Patton, Smithton, PA

Merwin and Norma (Reynolds) Clark, Almond, New York

Bill Pulos, Alfred, New York

Thank you very much for your support!  We appreciate you!