SULLIVAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
HISTORY MAKER AND HISTORY PRESERVER AWARDS
The individual biographies are original script from the Award Ceremony Programs, which were distributed at the time the awards were made.
To preserve the integrity and meaningfulness of the award, no editing has been made to the original script.
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
Edward 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.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2008
The Kutsher Family
It has become commonplace to read in a newspaper that a Sullivan County resident has recently observed his or her 100th birthday. However, such longevity is not common among the local hotels. In fact, when in 2007 the Kutsher’s Country Club celebrated its 100th birthday, it was the only survivor of the many famous resorts which at one time formed the Golden Age of the Catskill hotels. Over a full century, three generations of Kutshers managed to survive two world wars, a great depression, recessions and the advent of inexpensive air travel, air conditioning and changing vacation patterns-to name a few of the challenges they have faced. Out of respect for their century-long commitment to the Catskill resort industry, the Kutsher family has been chosen to receive the 2008 History Maker Award.
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.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2007
Alan Gerry was the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cablevision Industries Corporation (“CVI”). By 1995, after nearly four decades in the television business, the company which had begun in Sullivan County had experienced dramatic growth and operated 64 cable systems in 18 states employing more than 2,500 people. With over 1.3 million subscribers, CVI had become the nation’s largest privately owned cable company and the 8th largest multiple system operator in the United States.
Alan was a pioneer in many respects. He realized that television reception was unsatisfactory for many people due to topography or remoteness from towers and in 1956 he built his first “classic” television system in Liberty, New York, where he still maintains his corporate offices. Over the years he developed innovative capital structures that made possible the financing of CVI’s remarkable growth without accessing the public equity markets and his innovative use of microwave technology extended cable’s reach. He was among the first to use fiber and in 1989 installed fiber-optic cable in CVI’s San Fernando Valley system in west Los Angeles.