Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Sunny Day With Susan

     Last Sunday was a beautiful Autumn day.  The temperature was mild, the leaves were colorful and it was the perfect day for a scenic drive.
     I took my five year old son to a cider festival in Milton, NY.  I noticed a sign in town which showed that there was a historic train station nearby.  I told Gregory that we'd take a look on our way back since he loves trains.  After getting the biggest pumpkin ever (according to Greg) I was en route to the train station.  He was so excited about the pumpkin so we just drove by and didn't even get out of the car.  We'll make the trip again someday.  While driving back to Route 9W on our way home, I saw Church Street and made a turn.  I knew what what I'd find on Church Street but Gregory did not and I said nothing until we arrived.
     Finally...  I had finally come in person to see the church with the cemetery where my 4th great-grandmother Susan was buried.  I wish I had brought my camera but I wasn't planning on this little side trip to the final resting spot of my dearly departed ancestors.  I had promised Gregory that I would not stop in any cemeteries but because this on was on the grounds of the church I told him that I just wanted to see the church.  This wasn't really a lie.  I did want to see this church and the cemetery beside it was a bonus.
     The United Methodist Church of Milton-Marlboro was built in 1812 and sits on Church Street in the town of Milton which is located in Ulster county, NY.  This church is the oldest Methodist building in all of Ulster county. They will be celebrating their 200 anniversary next month.
     I pulled into the driveway of the church and there to my left, near the front door of the church was a tombstone with the name DAVIS.  I felt like I was being beckoned from beyond.  I had to get out and look so I told Gregory that I'd be right back.  I just wanted to see the names and dates on the stone and grab a few leaves. My five year old son told me earlier in the season that leaf picking is silly so I wasn't expecting any help from him.  I was a little surprised when he asked to come out of the car.  I thought he was going to help me with the leaves but he just wanted to walk around and read the names on the stones.  The headstone reading Davis had the names Isaac and Emma Jane.  To their left was a stone which read Susan, wife of Charles L. Davis.  I'm guessing that there was no room in the cemetery that Charles was already buried in?  At this point Susan was remarried.  I didn't see her second husband next to her but then again I wasn't looking.  This was an unplanned trip so I was also unprepared.  The next time I venture out for any lengthy car rides I will have my camera, notepad, and plenty of pens.


Friday, October 12, 2012

~ Bushwick Beer ~

     Do you want a Bier?  Then go to the Oktoberfest and join in the celebration of the German Beer Festival.

     In the mid-1800's, a majority of the immigrants settling in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, NY were Germans; making them the dominant population.  This neighborhood was home to the brewing industry at the turn of the century.  Also known as Brewers Row,  this area consisted of about a dozen breweries taking up  12-14 blocks.
     During Prohibition in the 1920's, breweries made cereal beer, near beer, and lemonade.
     My mother and aunt grew up in Bushwick in the 1950's and 1960's.  They lived within walking distance of the Piels, Schlitz, and Rheingold breweries.  My maternal grandmother Eleanor drank Rheingold beer and I can still see those red and white cans sitting in the fridge.  My maternal grandfather, Robert F. Newell retired from the F. & M.  Schaefer brewery after so many years as a truck driver.  Can you guess what his beer of choice was?
     By the 1960's and 1970's most of the factories were closed down and the brewing tradition in Bushwick vanished.  So what became of the  breweries that made my grandparents favorite beers?
     The Liebman Rheingold brewery closed their factory in Bushwick in January of 1976.  The land which the Rheingold brewery sat on is now a senior community called Rheingold Gardens.  Those famous Rheingold girls from the 1940's and 1950's who are still alive are now old enough to live at Rheingold Gardens.  F & M Schaefer was the last brewery to leave Bushwick.  They bought a new, more modernized factory just outside of Allentown, PA in the Lehigh Valley. They left a week after Rheingold.

     Auf Wiedersehen !. to the Bushwick breweries. 


my grandfather drove a Schaefer truck !!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Historical Societies

     The Dutchess County Historical Society has let me down twice.  I called them to ask if they might know what school my grandmother's brothers attended in the mid-late 1930's in Poughkeepsie, NY and if the records still existed where I might find them.  I know where they lived but don't know which schools were in existence back then.  The man who answered the phone told me that they didn't have those records.  I didn't ask him if they had school records.  I asked where I might find them.  He didn't know.  Am I a glutton for punishment and aggravation?  I must be because I called this historical society again a few weeks later to inquire about hospital records.  My 2nd great-grandmother was a patient at the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane in Poughkeepsie, NY according to the Special Census on Deaf Marriages.  Flora Davis was 29 years old with two young children when she was a patient.  When was she admitted?  Why was she admitted?  Will I ever find out?  I'll call the mental health department to see if they can assist with locating the records.  I had taken a genealogy class a few months ago offered by the Dutchess County Historical Society.  The woman who taught the class seemed knowledgeable yet the man who answered the phone didn't know anything.  He told me that they have pictures and the history of this hospital but no hospital records and he didn't know where I could find records if they exist.  I didn't want to call the Dutchess County Historical Society but I didn't know who else to call.  I had called two local hospitals but they couldn't help.  I never thought to call the mental health department because I made these calls from work while I was on my lunch break and didn't have much time.  Let's hope I have no need for this society anytime in the near future.
     The lovely lady who works/volunteers at the Ulster County Historical Society is wonderful.  I had called with questions about the Rock School in Rifton, NY and it's teacher.  This woman not only answered questions about the one room schoolhouse and my 2nd great-grandmother's cousin who taught in this school but she mailed me a large envelope filled with information about the school, it's history and Anna Devine, my 2nd great-grandmother's cousin who had a school named in her honor.  One of these days I'll have to visit this historical society.
     The Ohio Historical Society is another very helpful society unlike the Dutchess County Historical Society who has people answering the telephone but unable to answer my questions.  My maternal grandmother's father, Samuel was born in Ohio.  Samuel's mother was also an Ohio native but his father was originally from NY.  When I found out that my great-grandfather, Samuel Davis had attended a reform school as a young teenager I looked this school up on the internet.  I was directed to the Ohio Historical Society's website where I found a history of this school and a list of names. I called the historical society to inquire about ordering my great-grandfather's school records.  The woman I spoke to was very friendly and very helpful.  I mailed my check and received a copy of young Samuel Davis' school records and the history of the school. It was very interesting.
     I have not joined any historical/genealogical societies yet because I don't have the extra money at this time and can't attend any meetings due to my work schedule.
     One of these days I'll become a member.

*while looking up the link to the Dutchess County Historical Society I found the website for the genealogical society.  When I called the historical society that clueless young man told me it was one and the same yet I just found two different websites.  This is why I shouldn't look up telephone numbers while on break at work.

Dutchess County Genealogical Society
Dutchess County Historical Society
Ulster County Genealogical Society
Ohio Historical Society