Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2010


                The history preserver award is given each year to a person who has done significant work in preserving Sullivan County history. By extension, that includes groups of people with a common bond fitting the criteria for the award.
                The most significant groups dedicated to the preservation of our history are those thousands of men and women from Sullivan County who served in our armed forces. These citizens in uniform, through their courage and sacrifice, have enabled this nation and community to survive adversity and continue to fulfill our historical destiny.
                The Sullivan County Historical Society is honored to present the 2010 History Preserver award to all those Sullivan County veterans who have served our country.

Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2009

ed-van-putEdward Van Put


                Some of us are fortunate enough to discover at an early age those chief interests that will form our lives. Edward Van Put remembers the influence that a commonplace event had on his life when he was twelve years old. His uncle took him fly fishing and Ed found the experience so fascinating that he soon became “hooked” on trout streams. At an early age he had met his life work.
                With a little experience he learned that the finest trout fishing was to be found here in Sullivan County and whenever a weekend was available, he would leave his home in northern New Jersey to come up to the Catskills to be close to streams such as the Beaverkill and Willowemoc. At first his fishing days were limited, but finally in 1965 he moved up to Livingston Manor. In order to support himself he worked for several years in Sullivan’s Department Store in Liberty but, unfortunately, learned that a busy place like Sullivan’s did not leave much time for fishing. The result was that he decided to follow his inner feelings and seek a job more closely related to the world of trout fishing. Despite stiff competition he passed a state examination and accepted a position with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Read more: Edward Van Put

Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2008

Charlotte M. Osterhout (1928 – 2008)

                Charlotte Main Osterhout passed away on May 18 of this year. Before she died, she learned that the Board of Directors of the Historical Society had unanimously voted to present her with the 2008 Award as History Preserver. We trust that Charlotte was aware of the high regard in which she was held by the Society, for by this decision, the Directors permanently included Charlotte with that outstanding group of county historians such as James Burbank, Manville Wakefield and John Conway, to name a few, who previously had received this designation.
                In the few months that have elapsed since her death, the Society has acquired an even deeper appreciation of what she brought to the preservation of County history. First and foremost, she radiated patience and warmth with people from all over the country who came to seek information about their ancestors. At that time her exceptionally retentive memory contained a huge number of family connections, which enabled her to share forgotten family relationships with those people seeking to understand their ancestral background. For many people genealogy is the stepping-stone to a broader interest in history and Charlotte also had the ability to relate some of the family details with larger events taking place in the county and beyond.

Read more: Charlotte M. Osterhout 

Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2007


mgerryMaurice Gerry


                 A native of Ferndale, NY, Maurice attended the two room school house on what was called School House Hill, along with his brothers, Paul and Alan. A graduate of Liberty High School, Class of 1949, he served in the U.S. Navy before going to California in 1954.
                He managed to come home every fall for 32 years and as his parents Bill and Naomi grew older, he started to spend longer periods of time in his beloved Ferndale.
                He purchased his first house in 1981. It was the Ryan House on Ferndale-Loomis

Read more: Maurice Gerry

Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2007

Paul Gerry

                Paul Gerry was born April 1, 1926 in New York City, the son of the late William and Naomi Gorowitz. He attended the Industrial School of the Arts in the City where he learned the many aspects of photography. During WWII he enlisted in the army and was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound received during the Battle of the Bulge.
                The Gorowitz family, which also included two younger brothers, Alan and Maurice, moved to Sullivan County and purchased an old homestead in Ferndale. After being discharged from service, Paul began his career as a photographer. He soon acquired an outstanding reputation and took photographs of the many famous comedians and entertainers who performed at the major Catskill Hotels. His most famous photograph, one which received worldwide distribution, was that of the wedding of the youthful Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher at nearby Grossinger’s Hotel. His aerial photographs of the 1969 Woodstock Festival also received worldwide distribution. For thirty years Paul served as the official photographer for the New York State Police and his photographs of accidents and fires were used both by the local and metropolitan newspapers.

Read more: Paul Gerry



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