Wednesday, July 20, 2016

South Bethlehem and the Horton Sisters

Last Saturday morning was a fine day for a history hike in South Bethlehem.  The group included Alan Baumes, a descendant of the prominent South Bethlehem family. He told wonderful stories about his great aunts who lived on Willowbrook Avenue.  More about the Baumes family in another post.  For now, I want to introduce you to the Horton Family. 

One of my favorite things that sometimes happens during history hikes is when property owners come out to talk.  At first I think they are just wondering about, and maybe suspicious of, all these folks standing in front of their house.   So I always give a cheerful good morning and introduce myself.  If we're in luck, they start telling stories about their home.  

So, walking along Willowbrook, a gentleman comes out and says, "You know, this is where the Horton Sisters used to live."  And I was like, "What!  The Horton Sisters!"  When I first was town historian, nine years ago this September, I came across a flyer for the Horton Family Orchestra from South Bethlehem.  It has been in a file ever since. Forgotten. 

How could I forget the Originators of Real Rhythm and the Horton Girl Unit?!

From what I gather, they were popular in the 1930s and 40s. I've found ads for their performances in Gloversville and Corinth as well as Guilderland and Albany.   Interestingly, I couldn't find them on the 1930 or 1940 US census.  Anywhere.  So, they will remain a bit of a mystery until more research gets done.  

April 12, 1940 Altamont Enterprise

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