Annual Report for 2019

Theodore Rice, Town Historian



Due to my wife’s and my own health issues, not as much was accomplished in 2019 as in previous years.

January: In January I did some correspondence by email with various folks about Reed’s Hotel, activities to interest young people, and Timothy Hodge.

February: February was taken up with getting the Annual Report for 2018 done and sent in to the State. I also attended a webinar (at home) on “Inventorying Archives” put on by the State Archives. A large number of hours were spent trying to recover records after my computer crashed and I had to replace the hard drive.

March: This month started out with doing a number of hours of research for Deborah Beck of Virginia on Jabez Mosher. I also did more research on John Gregor. In mid-March I corresponded by email with a Mark Seeley about the Doane family who lived in White Creek for a short time in the 1790’s and early 1800’s. In late March a David Caton emailed me about Comfort Curtis. He is descended and was planning to visit the area with his daughter in April. I emailed him back some information and maps. Offered to try to get together and show him around. Never heard any more. Also during this time Sue Mowrey contacted me about the Historical Marker painting project. She had found someone willing and qualified to do it as a Community Service Project. I gave her the go-ahead.

April: I heard back from Deborah Beck with a request for sources of information. Also received an email from Gerard Preece who is working on a book about Girl’s Basketball in the Cambridge area. I was unable to help much with this. I spent about an hour hunting up information on Masten’s Bridge for Marilyn Robinson, and corresponded again with Mark Seely about the Doane family, but I have been unable to accomplish much on this. On April 27 I attended the APHNYS Region 5 conference in Troy, New York. Topics presented were: “Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal”, “Tips and Tricks for publishing local history”, and “New Research on the African American Community in Rensselaer County”, followed by a tour of the Hart-Cluett Historic House Museum.

May: From May 11 through the middle of the month I did some research and corresponded with Mark Seeley and Toni Schultheis about the Doane, Lambert, and Nelson families of White Creek. They all seem to have lived in the Pumpkin Hook area. From May 20 – June 11 I was very sick with either Anaplasmosis or Lyme Disease, but did manage to buy more paint and get it to Sue Mowrey for Joe.

June: from June 12 – July 5: about all I accomplished was to help Joe Wulfrum pull the Log Church sign, and to correspond with a Julie McGinty about doing a presentation for the DAR. (which never happened).

July: In this month I kept busy at: spending 5 hours researching the Blowers family online for a Douglas Bloomberg, weed whipping and trimming around the Log Church sign site and weed whipping around the John Wood sign to make it easier for Joe to paint and replace the signs, corresponding with Diane Robinson about Pumpkin Hook and Dawn Gager about the West and Coon families. On July 9 the Facebook Group reached 457 members! I worked about 2 hours on my presentation for the History Fair in September and corresponded with an Eileen Vorbach about the Malady family. On July 23 I worked about 4 hours on my slide presentation for the Washington County History Fair in September. On July 29 the Facebook Group reached 470 members. I did a bit of work on both the group page and the slide presentation.

August: The first half of the month I spent about 9 hours researching and emailing with a Robert Blowers about the Blowers family, working on the Presentation, and helping Corinne Eldred with some Town of Hoosick research. During the remainder of August I spent several hours sorting photos and working on my presentation, helped Annette Blanchard by email with her research on Job Prince, and contacted Bob Shay about more paint for the signs, and paying for the sand used for sandblasting them.

I also did some research on Elisha Allen for a Judy (Cymbal?) of Iowa.

September: I corresponded and researched with Marilyn Stewart on the Emburys and McCabes, Elizabeth Brockman on the Hodges, and Timmy Bullock on the Underground Railroad. Worked on the presentation for the Washington County History Fair. My grandson helped finalize the slide show on the 26th. On September 25 I corresponded several times with Bob Hodges in New Jersey by email. On September 28 my wife, grandson, and I spent most of the day hosting our exhibit at the Washington County History Fair in Hartford.

October: In October I corresponded with Sandra Trapp several times by email about the Pierces of White Creek. On October 5 – 6: Jim Perry emailed me about a buckle and other objects found with a metal detector on land he owned. I went down, looked at them, and photographed them. Researching online led me to determine that one was a cast brass badge from a Brunswicker cartridge box or pouch, most likely someone’s trophy from the Battle of Bennington. A buckle found in the same area probably also came from the same pouch. There were also several coins unidentifiable due to corrosion. We are now trying to determine who would have lived there at the time. The 1866 and 1853 maps show nothing at that place, but an 1859 survey he has shows a house or cabin there.

On October 6 Joe was still working at painting the signs. The John Wood one is back in place. He was working on the Ashgrove Cemetery, and still had the one in the Quaker Cemetery and the one at the Methodist Church to do.

On October 19 I went with NPS historian Eric Schnitzer to see Jim Perry about the items he recently found. (2 hrs). Eric confirmed it was indeed a Brunswicker Cartridge badge, one of only two ever found in America.

Near the end of the month I spent two or three hours researching a NY Supreme Court case about surveying errors and the true location of the east line of the Cambridge Patent.

November: In November I corresponded with Elizabeth Brockman by email about the Hodges and Curtis families. The historical markers were almost finished being painted. The White Creek Past and Present site is up to 509 members. I scanned and posted some documents I received from an auctioneer who got them at an Estate Sale he ran in Greenwich. On November 27 I did 2 hours research in Fort Edward on property owned by several early settlers, and worked for an hour or so on early patent lines at home.

December: I did some more research in Fort Edward on a man named Job Prince. Found out where he probably lived, and a few facts but not much. The historical markers are finished. I received some old papers and letters from an estate sale auctioneer and have been publishing them on the Facebook Group and website. The Facebook Group is up to 513 members.

I missed Town Board Meeting in December 2018-February 2019, April, June, July, October, and November. Managed to attend in March, August, September, and December. Unsure about May.