Friday, May 23, 2008



It's 44.2 degrees.

  • Friday: Sun and clouds to start, but becoming mostly cloudy with a chance for a few showers. High in the low 60s.
  • Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the low 40s.
  • Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. High: 66, Low: 43
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny. High: 75, Low: 50
  • Memorial Day: A mix of sun and clouds with a chance for a few thunderstorms. High: 77, Low: 55

Although we've had several rainy days, little ponds - like this one at the foot of Grant Hill - are still low.


Why "Memorial Day?"

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

"Decoration Day" in Waterville

The first real notice of a formal "Decoration Day" program appears in The Waterville Times in 1872. The image of the announcement is extremely poor, but the "Programme" was ambitious and included a march first, at 8:30 a.m., to the Catholic Cemetery for exercises and placement of decorations, proceeding thence to the "Cemetery at the Center" (Sangerfield.) (Transportation was provided for veterans and speakers and there was a "floral car.")

At 10:00 the procession was to form again in the village and march to the Waterville Cemetery for a ceremony that included more music by the Waterville Cornet Band and the Academy Glee Club; a Reading of the Roll of those who had died in the War, various odes and finally the placement of decorations.




Services at the monument at 7:00 A.M.



Parade starts at 9:00 A.M.

followed by Exercises in Monument Park.



The Barton Hose Co. will present a Ceremony at the
Veterans' Monument on Route 315

at 10:15 followed by the Parade at 10:30.


Oriskany Falls

The Parade starts at noon and ends in Douglass Park.


Click this link to read the history of Waterville's bronze
Civil War Monument


read the "Gettysburg Address."


Out in the countryside ..........

Wild mustard is starting to bloom along roadsides and in fields........

....... and in gardens "pie plant" (Rhubarb) is ready for picking!

Click the image to find recipes for rhubarb pie, cake, jam, wine, crumble, crisp ..... and more!

It's the first "long weekend" of the season, but many may not be taking their usual Memorial Day trips!

Another traditional event is announced on the bulletin board in the Park.


Yes: I DID go and see "Indiana Jones" and I'm still smiling!


Have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2008



It's Garbage Day!

40.6 degrees with light rain.

WKTV predicts: "Thursday won't see much improvement, with chilly weather, clouds and showers. Temperatures will be dramatically below normal for late May. We're forecasting low 50s, but upper 40s may be the best we can do. Showers will taper off later in the day.
On Friday, the core of this cold will finally pull out. During the course of this week, a massive ridge of high pressure and warmth has built into the Midwest and Upper Lakes. This will begin to collapse eastward Friday and Saturday. So while we probably won't notice much improvement on Friday, Saturday will feature more sunshine and milder weather. Temperatures will crack 60 on Friday and perhaps the mid or upper 60s Saturday. Then on Sunday and Monday, we'll feel the heart of the ridge over us. This should lead to plenty of sunshine, quiet weather and much warmer temperatures than we'll see this week. Highs should get into the 70s Sunday and perhaps well into the 70s to near 80 by Memorial Day!"

According to Superintendent Jamie Bechy, "the DPW will not be hanging the planters along Main Street in time for the parade due to cold nightime temperatures."


On the way to Hamilton in the rain.

Back in Waterville, I stopped at the Library to see Amanda Bawarski's Show in the Hallway Gallery.


More creativity was in progress!

Cupcakes were on the menu for the day's session of "Cooking with Books!"


There's color in the gardens!

In the Reading Room, the new iMac ........

........... which was given in memory of Richard F. Brown.

Dick was an avid historian - as well as an enthusiastic "Mac" man - and this computer is loaded with history! It holds a searchable data base of The Waterville Times since 1855; a sizable Powerpoint collection of old photographs of Waterville and links to more local history.


Despite a chilly drizzle, youthful cyclists practiced tricky performances at the Skate Park.



Both WKTV and the O-D are covering developments following the government's decision to put Oneida Indian Nation land into trust.



For the record.

Have a good day, everyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008



Recyclables Day!

It's 38.3 degrees

WKTV predicts: "A reinforcing shot of cold will pivot back in over us Wednesday morning. A cold front will usher in this shot during the late morning and early afternoon. With it will be showers and perhaps a thunderstorm. High temperatures will be slightly milder than initially expected, into the upper 50s. Lots of showers will develop Wednesday night, with even wet snowflakes likely in the North Country.
Thursday won't see much improvement, with chilly weather, clouds and showers.



(Please Click image for information, list of those whose names will appear on memorial plaques and downloadable donation form.)

Thank You!

Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home
Mark, Amy, Marie and Max

The Deansboro-Waterville Lions Club


New flowers at The Brunswick.

The DPW's Kevin Kelley was around town painting crosswalks. Here, at the corner of W. Bacon Street and Berrill Avenue.

150 years ago this week.
(Click to enlarge)


Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday W/ add-on

Tuesday afternoon:





It's 35 degrees and clear.

A headline in this morning's O-D reads:

"Cold Front May Bring a Little Snow"

WKTV's forecast reads: "We'll start off with sunshine, but the cold pool of air over us is going to allow for clouds to pop up everywhere during the middle of the day. Still, temperatures will improve over Monday, with many locations getting well into the 50s to near 60 degrees for highs. Then, a reinforcing shot of cold will pivot back in over us on Tuesday night and Wednesday."

Waiting for warm weather ........ the benches are all out and ........

more and more window boxes and planters are on display.

Despite the chill, the little bell-shaped flowers on Solomon's Seal are opening .......

and the "Crane's Bill" from Nine Mile Swamp is in bloom.

There's a new announcement on the bulletin board in the Park.

Mark that on your calendar!




Congratulations to the MPS cast of Welcome to the Jungle for taking the Gold Tiger Award. The production tied for second place in this year's It's a Zoo finals, held this weekend at the Stanley Theatre.

(Click on the image to see more views of the production!)

Becky Maggio sent this to me: click to enlarge!


Conversation about Actress Anna Cleveland, her children and their home, "Illahee" on Berrill Avenue, continues. A blog-reader has written with these reminiscences:

" I remember going with my mother to a tea party held on the lawn at the James residence-I think all ladies of vllage invited, a dressy affair. I also remember both Anna and Cleveland James, they had a nanny, called Nenny who chaperoned a group of little girls at a camp at Lake Moraine. Both Anna and Cleveland came over for a swim. Both older than I. I probably was about 13 when camping and 5 or 6 at time of tea. Tea was Probably about 1920 or 1921."


It didn't take long:

By mid-afternoon, yesterday, Missy Goodwin was back in touch with a cousin and classmate!


Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, May 19, 2008



Kristin Strohmeyer has just written to say:

" The votes are in and Waterville has won second place in this year's 'It's a Zoo!' Theatre Competition! (Yippee!) I think second warrants a trip to the Syracuse Zoo for cast and crew."

(I've checked both the O-D and WKTV for more coverage, but they were busy with other things.)



It's Garbage Day!
38.7 degrees.

WKTV's forecast: "We're going to be stuck in a weather rut over the next several days in Central New York. Below normal temperatures and showers can be expected for the next several days. Monday looks downright chilly with highs only in the upper 40s with occasional showers."



tonight at 7:00

at the Municipal Hall


Yesterday was thoroughly dank and dreary! (Rainy and cold.)

The village looked deserted and even the parking lot at Alcotts, which had been jam-packed for the past several days - was nearly vacant.

A lone fisherman made his way along the side of Chittening Pond, scattering a few Canada Geese who have taken up residence there.


I have received a nice letter from Melissa Goodwin Green of Flagstaff Arizona - WCS '96.
She's just found the blog and loves reading about Waterville. If anyone wants to write to her, I'll be glad to forward your E-letters to her!


These two pictures have come from Lyn Rhein in Stuttgart, Arkansas. She writes,

"Last Sat., May 10, a EF3 tornado touched down in our city doing extensive damage as you can see by the attached pictures. Thankfully, no one was killed and there were only 9 injuries--none serious. The damage is unbelievable--some house completely flattened, business destroyed, huge trees uprooted falling on houses, more than 300 utility poles either snapped off or just pulled from the ground, wires everywhere. Clean up has gone very well this week with lots and lots of help--Salvation Army, Red Cross, FEMA, neighboring communities. Arkansas has had over 40 tornadoes this year already, and the "season" still has a month to go."


When Paul Fleischmann saw the picture of the "Eastern Star Home" on the blog, he wrote and asked me if the name "Illahee" meant anything to me: no, not really. However ............. I typed it into the "search" block for The Waterville Times" and spent the rest of the weekend reading about actress Anna Cleveland James!

I'm not going to put everything that I learned about her here, right now, but - just to jog some more memories or invite your interest:

The Eastern Star Home existed in Waterville for only ten years or so, and then the facilities were moved to Oriskany. Miss Cleveland, who had grown up in Waterville, had become a fairly famous actress in Hollywood and New York and purchased the property in 1918. By 1919 she's in Waterville at her home, "Illahee." Until then, she had stayed with her aunt, Mrs. Hermon Clarke, on Stafford Avenue. (The Clark home was the "mystery house" of about a year ago and - having been moved to acomodate the old school - is now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carentz on E. Bacon St.)

Miss Cleveland was married, first, to a Mr. Belknap or Buckley and they had a daughter Anna Cleveland . Then she was married to Harry James, father of her son, Cleveland James. Mr. James died in 1921, and so the actress and her two small children made their home at "Illahee," entertaining out-of town guests nearly all the time (according to the Social Column.) From time to time, she traveled to New York, appearing in George M. Cohen's original production of "So this is London" and also in some silent films. She once suggested opening a complete movie studio here in Waterville!

(Skipping over lots of stuff) In 1934 "Illahee" became a Tea Room / Rooming House during the summer - Mrs. Barton entertained her bridge club there - and was completely closed during the winter, when Mrs. James took an apartment else where.

And this is where Paul's memory really kicked in, and he wrote:

"Our family had moved to Waterville about 1940 (I was a four year old at the time so can't recall the exact date) and lived on Tower Ave. For some reason we moved to the Putnam Mansion (corner of Stafford and Main) around 1944-45 and had an apartment on the first floor. And living upstairs was this grand lady named - Mrs. James! If memory serves me correctly, she was a descendant of Pres. Cleveland. Another 'connection' was the fact that my father, Dudley, was a business associate of Mrs. James' son-in-law, Baron Baron. I have no way of knowing if that connection between Dad and Baron was a result of meeting the James'and Barons at the Putnam Mansion or some other way. Baron and Anna James Baron visited Mrs. James and their children, Jimmy and Barrie, and we (Ann and I) used to play together when they were there. Anna Baron used to play Chopin's Polonaise on their grand piano in the evening (when I was supposed to be getting to sleep) . Another interesting fact about Anna Baron: She was a member of the WASP's (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during WW II and I recall seeing her in uniform on some of her visits.
I'm assuming that Mrs. Anna Cleveland James is the same person I knew at the Putnam Mansion (AKA as the original Harding Nursing Home).

Thanks, Paul!

I'll put the rest of the story together for Heaps of History, later on, because there's much more to be told about both the house and the lady.


Have a Great Day, Everyone!