Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving, the failed pie sale...and memories in deep purple!

After  much hard work this week,  still recovering from a concussion, I was able to carry on and the three great helpers and a few friends managed to make the pies necessary for our annual fund raiser the "Thanksgiving Pie & Bake Sale". It was a bust!  

Thank you to those who did come... but the depression of seeing all those pies on the table was too much.  Tons of pies..and what to do.

It brought me to memories of all those that put them on with me before...now dead...missing in action as my father would say.  Some great times were had then, friends and neighbors coming in with goodies, talking to everyone and catching up with plans for Thanksgiving.   Children of these old timers did stop to help the museum and say hi, and even give words of encouragement...but...

So we will have to be open today , on Sunday, and try to find homes for the pies and to tell more stories of the old days and memories of the Town's passed inhabitants.. (my friends)... and maybe me...a relic that needs to be retired.

Whatever it is, the snow, the terrible fires out west, whatever... I could not stop singing or humming a very sad song…"Deep Purple"!

When the deep purple falls..
Over sleepy garden walls?…
And the stars begin to twinkle in the night..
In the mist of a memory ..
You wander on back to me..
Breathing my name with a sigh..

As of course, you would suspect …the song has an unbelievable history.  This piece of music was written originally as a piano piece written by pianist Peter DeRose, who broadcast, 1923 to 1939, with May Singhi as "The Sweethearts of the Air" on the NBC radio network.

"Deep Purple" was published in 1933 as a piano composition. The following year, Paul Whiteman had it scored for his suave "big band" orchestra that was "making a lady out of jazz" in Whiteman's phrase. "Deep Purple" became so popular in sheet music sales that Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1938 or 1939.
It was recorded so many times by different bands and sung by different singers that it is amazing.  On the hit charts it was a  number 1 song in 1939 with Larry Witman, it was also number 2 for Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, a number 9 for Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, number14 on the charts for Bing Crosby, number 17 for Artie Shaw and His Orchestra….. all in 1939. 

By January 1949 Paul Weston and His Orchestra recorded it as well as Billy Ward and His Dominoes in September.  For us 60 year olds it became number 1 again for Nino Tempo and April Stevens in September 1963 and also a hit for Donny and Marie Osmond in December 1975.

It just seems to remind you of every love, every person you ever knew.. and how loneliness feels at night.

In the still of the night
Once again I hold you tight..
Though you're gone,
Your love lives on when moonlight beams
And as long as my heart will beat,
Sweet loved ones we'll always meet..
Here in my deep purple dreams…



To those who miss someone, friends who are departed,  or those who lost dear ones in 2018, or to war, or lovers left alone….hum along and sing
along…..



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thanksgiving Pie Sale, World War I and Veteran's Day!

Winters cold has settled in for a bit with snow crystals making their debut this fall…strange how it seems to be imitating the World’s mood right now. Paris and all in Europe are celebrating Armistice Day, this year marking the 100th Anniversary of the end of the war touted as the "War to End All Wars", here we celebrate Veteran's Day. Many wars have come and gone since then, others still go on.

Meanwhile the radios are already blasting Christmas music and the stores have pushed their Christmas sales up to accommodate a crazy group of people who actually leave their family and Thanksgiving celebrations to haunt malls for deals on a day dubbed “Black Friday”... I am pretty sure the clerks that have to work aren’t happy or giving thanks for them.

When I was in retailing we were closed on Sunday and Holidays…CLOSED! 

Today we take for granted the ability to shop until we drop…but really should we?  I actually wonder if we ever as a collective society think about how lucky and wealthy we are.  By world standards even the poorest of poor here in the USA are better off than much of the world’s people.  

Our “Capitalistic society” has dropped most people into debt and into a stressful world of acquiring items we do not need and also forcing many to live up to the standards set by advertisers and by our neighbors who have this or that that is new and shiny.

So for this “Thanksgiving” I offer a suggestion.  For at least one minute of our day let us sit and reflect on the World, on our life, on our loved ones and above all on how lucky we are.  We have come along way from that first Thanksgiving day…but I fear we have long way to go until we can understand that for many just having a family that is alive, having some food of any variety to eat, having a roof over their head and some warmth, and having their health, is all that they need to be happy. Truthfully it should be enough for all of us.

Happiness is a simple thing that cannot be bought, cannot be acquired in a mall, but it can be shared and enjoyed in our hearts. So share the happiness you have with your loved ones and friends…sharing and caring in this cold world will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside… but only if you are thankful for what you have.

PS Support your local community and if in our area come to our Eaton Museum Pie and Bake Sale on November 17th, to be old Auction Barn on Rt. 26 in Eaton..9 - 4pm....tons of pies and bake goods for a good cause... the Old Town of Eaton Museum.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Thanksgiving, Democracy, some of its Roots & Pie!

We have been getting ready for our Colonial Holiday Celebration this week... and I have been going through the genealogy of a number of the early settlers of the Town of Eaton and vicinity it is interesting to note how many of the early settlers could trace their bloodline back to members of the Mayflower.  Myles Standish III directly from Myles Standish is buried in the Eaton Cemetery.  Patience Kent, who married Bigelow Morse, was related to three of them: the John Howland, the John Bilington, and the Isaac Allerton.  Some like Hanna Hall Clark are related to the first elected official, Governor Bradford.

Bradford was a very interesting person who was born in Austerfield, England, and who faced many hardships in his early life including the death of his mother and father.  William Bradford, who as a boy walked to a separatist Church in Babworth, broke at an early age with the Church of England.  This break eventually led him to Holland and on the venture of his lifetime with his fellow Pilgrims, to the New World.

Once here in America, Bradford was elected to office as Governor, a post he held for 36 years, the first ten of which he received no compensation for.

Bradford wrote a number of books of poetry and books on Congregationalism: his most important work, however, was a volume called Of Plimouth Plantation (Which we will talk about at a later date.)

Since the Plymouth Colony had no Royal Patent, they adopted their own system of government, a system that was drawn from their needs and from their faith.  It is this system that was set forth in the Mayflower Compact.

From The Mayflower Quarterly, the American historian Samuel Eliot Morrison says. “In 1636 the Pilgrims even created a Bill of Rights of their own.”

The article, written by J. Allyn Bradford, shows that in the rules they set forth which included that no laws would be made or taxes laid without the consent of the citizens (called Freemen), a free election of Governor and Assistants, the right to an impartial and equal justice, nobody was to be punished except by the law of the Colony, as well as a trial by jury, only called if there were two witnesses to the crime and or sufficient circumstantial evidence.

Between Bradford’s and the Colony’s reforms was the separation of Church and State, something we still employ today.

The key word in our pursuit of the history of the Pilgrim’s is DEMOCRACY.  Democracy, is the basis for the
Pilgrim’s government, carried through both the church and the state.


     The church of the Pilgrim’s was based on a primitive church discussed in the Bible in the Book of Acts.  In our Colonial terms it was called Congregationalism, a subject that Governor William Bradford discussed in full in one of his writings late in life called A Dialogue Between the Older and Younger Men.

     The Pilgrims were actually pushed out of England because they believed that the King was not the head of the church, but that Jesus Christ was.  The church itself was democratic in all of its dealings, and it left marriage a civil, not spiritual, right.

     William Bradford must have been a shrewd and valued leader in all aspects of the unbelievable hardships faced by this group of religious rebels who crossed a raging sea and forged a home out of unfamiliar, hostile surroundings.  Bradford’s election 30 times to the post of Governor of the Plymouth (Plimouth) Colony certainly proves that.

Just a Reminder the Thanksgiving Pie Sale is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 9 - 4 pm at the Old Auction Barn on Rt. 26.  Come down and support the Museum and pick up a pie or two for company!







Monday, October 22, 2018

The world, life today and a poem for those who have gone before!

As some of you might have noticed I was missing from blogging for a while.  Some of the reason due to illness, some of it due to not feeling like thinking about the crazy world we live in and the horror of our times.

Missing from our society is the rational day-to-day mundane parts of life.  We have media blasting us on all sides about politics, wars, fundraising, sports, supposed star personalities, new products to buy and things that really do not matter to a vast majority of the world’s people. To them, the day is made up of getting up…trying to feed, cloth, and shelter their families and themselves.

It is sort of disgusting to watch our modern entertainments such as music, videos and TV revolve around sex, nudity, absurd fashion, video games and media hype. Storage businesses are booming because we feel compelled to go out and buy items many of us cannot use or do not need,,, because we feel good to be able to buy things.

We no longer repair things we just throw them away and companies make items to be tossed or make things too cheaply or too complicated to repair.

So I settled back and tried not to think about anything…it worked for a while…but only a while.  So for a look back I decided to put history aside and post one of my latest poems.  It is not very good or great… but in a way, it is the history of how I feel about today, the world I am in and the people I have met, ... and those who have passed before.

So I will post this poem for Dianne Lodor, a dear friend and a tireless worker for Eaton and the Community, as well as one of original members of our history group.  I miss those who have gone before very much, and I am sure you have those you miss as well.... so this is for them and for you also... 

I hope you enjoy! View the video and note all of the missing people and perhaps yourself when you were younger in 1995.

Memories like cymbals clanging
In the empty corner of each room
Feelings left unfinished
Brushed aside to hide the pain
Of love

Time heals they say
But that is not so
It only deadens a heart grown heavy
With our life when filled 
With woe

It marks the channel of the oceans current
Changed by our tides ebb and flow
So out on this sea of life we sail
Not knowing the way wind 
May blow

Poems left for other lovers
Line by line written so
But memories prove unforgiving
In feelings that eyes do 
Not show

Life is like a bottle
Set adrift at evening time
The ride it takes only guided
By the moon and its
Earthly tides

With no control and no clear path
We wander shores of sand and sea
Always searching for love
And in the end finding 
Life’s realities




Sunday, September 30, 2018

History Lives at the Museum & Fall Festival is on us!

This has been a very interesting week.  Sunday I had tried to get off for a walk in Syracuse when I was called back to meet someone at the museum from out of state… I agreed reluctantly, but it was meant to be...  as the gentleman had a grandfather’s or  I should say a gr. grandfather’s diary that dated to Eaton in 1801.  Also the diary had much information on Eaton and in it... was a passage about picking up a new pair of shoes from Mr. Sprague the shoemaker in Eaton. 

Harriet Sprague is in the picture in the early year given to us by
her Gr. Granddaughter  Harriet Sprague of the opening of the museum.
Well fate had intervened since the museum was William Sprague’s home and he was a shoemaker.  Yes, history presented itself.  The old 1806 or earlier building, and its business, was a tannery.  It is a house that was in the family up to almost the day we acquired it…. owned by many generations of Sprague’s who lived there including the shoemakers of the family. 

Thank you to Glenn Topliff for his visit and picture.  He has promised scans of the diary with much info on the people of Eaton at that early time.

In order to keep this museum open for such wonderful  sessions we need money so the  museum will be hosting a Fall Festival History Weekend on Saturday the 6th of October and Sunday the 7th.  The Old Auction Barn on Route 26 will host a Garage Sale on Saturday from 10 – 4.  The garage sale will be ”pay what you want” . 

Also there on Saturday there will be a craft/bake sale featuring many hops related products including pillows, tee shirts, table top toppers and much more.  As usual all proceeds to benefit the Old Town Museum.  As a special treat,  I will be giving a Fall History Tour of the Historic Eaton Cemetery on Saturday at 1pm.

Events on Sunday will feature Lectures on area Landmarks including one on Brown’s Free Hall with a guest speaker at 1 pm at the auction barn.  Back Street Mary will be speaking on the Morse House and more at 2 pm.  The museum will be open for extended hours on Sunday from 12 until 4 and Back Street Mary will be there from 3 until 4 pm.

This event will close out a successful Memorial Day Celebration and a series of summer  lectures. 

Though the museum will be closing for the season,  as always the Saturday before Thanksgiving Pie Sale will be on with gifts and pies and bake goods for all.





Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fall Festival History Weekend and the Fall & Thanksgiving Season coming up!

Our Fall Festival History Weekend is coming up on Oct the 6th and 7th.  The weekend will close out the Museum season, a season that has been filled with events this year.  

On Saturday we will have a Garage Sale with crafts and bake goods at the Old Auction Barn on Main Street and at 1 pm Back Street Mary will give a Cemetery Tour in the Historic Eaton Cemetery. 

On the Sunday we will have the museum open for the last day and will have lectures at 1  pm at the Auction Barn on Land Marks including Brown's Hall in Georgetown and the famous Morse House in Eaton. We will have a Guest Speaker on the Georgetown landmark and of course, Back Street Mary on Eaton. The lectures are scheduled from 1 to 3pm.  Of course we will be having our fund drive Thanksgiving Pie sale on the Saturday before Thanksgiving

The date of May 26, 1637, a mere 17 years after the settlement of Plymouth, the tensions between the Puritans and the Native Americans had become strained.  The very people who they stole the corn from on their landing and who showed them how to plant corn and other crops. as well as how to fish and hunt, were being exterminated by the English and Puritans who had now flocked to the shores of New England. 

The most militant of the Native tribes the Pequot has started warring against the white settlers who were pushing them off of their land.  So Militia and English troops set up and ambush on May 26, 1637.  The surrounded the Pequot settlement and using surprise burned the native fort to the ground.  The women, children, sick and elderly hid in their teepees and thus were burned alive.

Governor Bradford is quoted as saying: “It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink there of: but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise there of to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands and give them such a speedy victory!’

The history Channel named this as one of the 10 days that unexpectedly changed history, for the attitude of removal or cleansing would be our policy.  We regarded all those Native Americans who would not become civilized - near white as Devils who must be killed or driven out.

The Wampanoag’s and their famous Chief Massasoit, who were friends with Bradford and the Plymouth settlement, began to complain about the white settlers freely taking the crops and invading their land. In 1622 a militia Captain killed 8 friendly natives and impaled their sachem’s head on a pole in Plymouth.  Hostilities had begun and as the colony encroached more and more on their land, New England became a battleground.  The Wampanoag’s thought they could coexist with the whites but by the 1670’s Massasoit’s grandson Metacom, known to the English as King Phillip, began what would become known as King Phillip’s War. 

Metacom noted that The Wampanoag “had bine the first in doing good to the English and the English the first in doing rong.”

Metacom claimed that phony contracts were used to take large tracts of land from Indians who had been made drunk.

When a praying Indian who helped set up the Praying Indian Village of Natick was found murdered, three of Metacom’s followers were accused, found guilty and executed.  King Philips war was on…settlements, major towns and villages were burned and sacked until finally on August 12, 1676 he was killed…thus ending the King Phillip’s War. 

*It is noted that in Plymouth for that Thanksgiving they bought his head back and paraded it around town.  They Puritans thought it a sign from God of their righteous ownership of this new land...they the chosen people!


* Today Natick has a National Day of Mourning instead of Thanksgiving.  A monument was placed marking the genocide that took place at 
that time!













Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fall, History, Travel to Palatine Church......

This week has been busy with stacking wood and getting ready for winter & our upcoming Fall Festival Event.  In my heart however, I wanted to be on the road again visiting my favorite places for fall travel...The one I love the most is the old Palatine Church on the historic Mohawk trail to Albany near Nelliston.  I take people to it whenever we are driving by.... it is probably the most notable German Palatine structure in upstate New York.

Rising off the highway it stands on a hill near a spot that was once the settlement of Fox’s Mills. The limestone church dates to 1770 when it was erected by the subscription and the labor of a number of families in the area. The Garoga Creek, which flowed near by, provided waterpower for a number of mills and businesses in the small community, now gone which is today called Palatine Church.

Most notable among the families of the area was that of Hendrick Nellis who not only donated the land it stands on, but helped build the church with other community members.

Nellis and his grandson however remained loyal to the Crown at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and had to flee to Canada. Other members of the family remained so typical of the division of loyalties at that time.

History has it recorded that in October of 1780, when the Tory forces under Sir John Johnson dropped down from Canada with the allied Native Americans to burn the farms and harvest of the valley, the church was saved by a British Officer who stopped it saying he had promised Nellis.

The site is also a historic marker site as it was the camp of the American Army under General Van Rensselaer after winning the Battle of Clock’s Field retreated to this site to make camp. Van Rensselaer refused to pursue the Tory forces, an act for which he was later tried for treason.

Today the church has been restored including its famous raised pulpit with sounding board and has had its organ rebuilt by noted organ builder Robert S. Rowland. Rowland built it in the style of old colonial organs. The inside has many historic artifacts on display as well as a rare 13 star American Flag that was found during the renovation.

Visitors from all over the world come to what is today call “The Shrine of Lutheranism in the Mohawk Valley”, and all passing it on Route 5 still admire its Colonial beauty! I love it! For more info on Fall Festival visit our Facebook page at Friends of the Old Town of Eaton Museum!