Friday, November 20, 2015

Henry Hudson wait....what??

While searching for images of Henry Hudson for a talk I am giving today - this came up.  Yes, that is a Pokemon card.

And this line came up on a biography website:

Place of death: In or near the Hudson Bay, Canada.

That's right, in or near the Hudson Bay. Which is correct, just an odd way of phrasing it. On his fourth voyage of discovery, Hudson and crew were forced to spend the winter in the subarctic on the shores of the bay that would bear his name. Ill-prepared, low on food, it was a harrowing experience.  Come spring, what was left of Hudson's crew refused to keep exploring, set Hudson and others adrift in a small boat and then headed back to England. Hudson was never heard from again.  And the few starving men that managed to limp back into port were all tried for mutiny.  So, an interesting turn of phrase that hides a tragic story.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rupert Wiltsie: A Bethlehem Veteran

In honor of Veteran's Day, I give you these snapshots of Rupert Wiltsie of South Bethlehem.

The son of George and Ada, Rupert Wiltsie was born  May 21, 1889 in South Bethlehem. He enlisted at Albany on April 4, 1918 and served with the 308th Field Artillery. This unit fought during the battle of Saint-Mihiel (Sept 12-15, 1918) and the Meuse Argone Offensive (Sept. 26 until the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice.) Both of these are in France. He was discharged at Camp Dix, NJ on May 26, 1919 with the rank of private 1st class.

After the war, Wiltsie returned home to South Bethlehem. He was living there with his parents during the 1925 NY census where he was listed as a fireman at the quarry (Callanans). By the 1930 US census, Wiltsie was married to Nettie, living in Ravena and still working at the quarry - now as a well driller.

Note the handwritten "Back from France" on the top picture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Then and Now: 895 Delaware Avenue UPDATED with airplane info

While tidying up my digital files this morning, I came across this snapshot.  It is a building I see every time I come out of the Bethlehem Y.  And yes, there appears to be some sort of aircraft on the right.  Maybe someone out there knows the story?

UPDATE on the airplane:

Henry Klett bought the plane from the military after WWII.  He flew it home and when it was not air worthy any more, he placed it in front of the Klett Company. Klett instructed pilots during the war and used a similar basic trainer at Dos Palos Airport in California.  Dos Palos was activated June 24, 1943 as a U.S. Army Air Forces primary (level 1) pilot training airfield.

Here's a now photo - thank you Google!