The History Maker Award is given to a person who has had a significant and positive influence on the life of Sullivan County or, more broadly, on the life of the nation or the world.
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 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.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2005
Lord High Admiral of the Delaware
When the pioneers first entered the lower Delaware valley, they found a land covered with Oak trees, other hardwoods, pines and in New Jersey, white cedar. A profitable business developed by constructing rafts and floating these logs down the Delaware to Philadelphia and other emerging settlements on the lower river. Not only were the timbers used to construct buildings, but they provided raw materials for a thriving shipbuilding industry. In time, however, the easily accessible stands of timber were used up and by the mid-1750's lumbermen had to turn their attention to more distant areas.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2004
Max Yasgur (12/15/19~02/09/73)
A history maker is hard to define. Some earn that reputation after a lifetime of dedicated service. Others earn the distinction based on a single courageous act. The man we honor this year is best remembered for one event, but he also earned a reputation for excellence and dedication throughout his life.
Max Yasgur was a dairy farmer in Bethel who suddenly found himself in the middle of the controversy about a rock concert. By standing by his convictions and fighting for the youth with whom he did not always agree, Max brought the most famous concert event in American history to Sullivan County and thereby dramatically influenced the County’s self-perception and future.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2006
Novelist and Screen Writer
Andrew Neiderman was born in Brooklyn, but at an early age his family moved to Sullivan County in the Catskills area of New York. After attending public schools in Fallsburg, he graduated from the State University of Albany where he received his Master’s degree in English. For the next twenty-three years he taught at Fallsburg High School. He is remembered not only as an outstanding teacher, but as a department chairman, faculty president, county teachers’ association president, director of dramatics and wrestling coach. He was appointed historian for the Town of Fallsburg and wrote the Sesquicentennial History of Fallsburg Township. Also, during this time, he married the former Diane Wilson of Fallsburg. They have two children: Melissa, a teacher in the Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California and Erik, a co-captain of a Lear jet who flies for a charter company out of French Valley, also in California. He and his family live in Temecula. The Niedermans have three grandchildren.