Monday, April 20, 2015

A Normansville Help Wanted Ad

Looking around the internet for what kinds of cows they had at Normanskill farm (really, and the answer is Guernseys,) I found this ad for a Single Man that  made me chuckle. 

In tiny print over on the right:

Wanted - Single Man to take charge of Cow barns.  Must be good milker and strictly temperate. C.P. Stevens, Normansville, Albany County, N.Y.

Good with his hands and not a drinker - could be on  ;)

And then, in large print below the Normansville ad, is this gem.  

Now playing at Madison Square Garden Fat Stock ...

I am easily amused on this rainy Monday afternoon.

Source: The Cultivator & Country Gentleman, Volume 60. October 31, 1895. Albany, NY  via Google Books. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A New Book and a New Office

It is official - I will have a new book coming out in about a year. Last week in the mail I received my official, signed contract from the History Press.  I'll be rounding up my then and now articles from Our Towne Bethlehem and other unpublished items I have written and putting them together in a book.  32,000+ words and 60 pictures. Yikes! It is a lot of work but I am excited to make the articles available in a more permanent format.  Now, they are out for the month with Our Town and then they disappear from print, and from their website.   I'll probably include some odds and ends from this blog as well.  So wish me luck.  September 1 is my first big deadline.  We're looking to bring the book out in the spring of 2016.

In other big news, after 7 1/2 years of working mostly from home, your town historian has an office space at town hall and will be keeping office hours.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-noon.  Right now I am in the cubicle that is outside the supervisor's office.  Many thanks to all of those at town hall who have eased my transition to coming into the office, and thank you Robin for putting up with me invading your space!

And no that is not me on the right.  That's Katie Ladd working in the Callanan's office in South Bethlehem.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Slingerlands Players

Sometimes my job is all about serendipity.

The Bethlehem Historical Association is gathering items about Bethlehem in 1965 and I was able to lend them some posters from the Slingerlands Players.  Literally, the day I handed  over the posters, I opened an email from John L. Moore's son.  Was I interested in some of his father's artwork related to the Slingerlands Players?  Yes, yes I was.

It turns out that Moore was a graphic designer who lived in Elsmere.  He designed many, many of the promotional items for the Slingerlands Players and saved most of them.

The Slingerlands Players got their start in 1952.  Here's a clip from the November 20, 1958 Spotlight from an article called The Slingerlands Players and How They Grew:

(Love how they describe housewives!)

Productions, usually two or three a year, were put on at the Middle School and later the High School.  In 1972, they were able to buy a run down, former hotel in Unionville. It was just off Delaware Avenue on Unionville Feura Bush Road.  The Unionville Playhouse was their home until the group disbanded in the early 1980s.   For about 30 years, the Slingerlands Players were a fine example of community theater.

John L. Moore became involved with the Slingerlands Players as early as 1965 - he, his wife Hedi and their three children, moved to Elsmere in 1959.  He opened his own shop, John Moore Graphics, in 1972.  Besides his excellent graphic design work for the Players, Moore had a few bit parts here and there, worked on production design, scenery and sets.  Moore passed away in 2012. Hedi still lives in Elsmere.

When I asked his son what else I should know about his father, he threw in the tidbit that he was a long time friend of Julia Child.  Moore met her before she was a famous chef while both were in the service in World War II.