SULLIVAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY HISTORY MAKER AWARD 2013
Gladys Olmsted, RN (10/19/1924 - 8/10/1997)
a pioneer in public health nursing in Sullivan County began her career as the county’s first Public Health Nurse in 1951, in an “office” with a dirt floor in the basement of the courthouse and retired 34 years later as the Director of the Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service. She saw great drama in public health nursing, “cutting down the rate of premature infant births, helping someone with polio move a muscle.” “How could you not be excited?”
SULLIVAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY HISTORY PRESERVER AWARD 2013
JOHN B. (Jack) NIFLOT (2/10/35 - 6/22/13)
Town of Fremont Board Member and Historian, whose dedication and advocacy for understanding and preserving the history and heritage of the Upper Delaware Valley is best exemplified by his co-founding of the Basket Historical Society in 1980, establishing its museum in Long Eddy and publishing/editing its newsletter, the ECHO, continuously since then.
The words of Max Yasgur, on whose farm the Woodstock Festival took place during three steamy August days during the summer of 1969, delighted the hundreds of thousands of young people who had gathered on his meadows to hear the legendary rock and folk music artists of the era. "I'm a farmer. I don't know how to speak to twenty people at one time, let alone a crowd like this..." reveals a different aspect to the festival, and its later reincarnation into the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, that is now explored by the new exhibit being assembled at the Sullivan County Museum. The land on which the stage was erected was cleared by early Scottish immigrants nearly a century and a half earlier. This exhibit will follow this, and subsequent, families whose own stories preceeded that of Yasgur.
Trouble at the Fallsburgh Tunnel
Sixty years after their construction, the tunnels along the route of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway began showing their age, the resulting deterioration causing serious problems for the railroad company. Throughout the spring of 1930, railroad workers worked at the tunnel below South Fallsburgh, relining the northern portal with a new ceiling of curved steel plates to help keep rock and dirt in place, and to prevent water from dripping onto the tracks below. Earlier, during the winter of ’29 – ’30, pools of water dripping from the leaky ceilings had formed on the tunnel’s floor, completely covering the tracks and eventually freezing, threatening derailment of trains. Throughout the cold weather, section crews had to continually remove the ice from the rails with picks.
Johnny Darling tales, compiled by Charlie Hick, past Town of Callicoon Historian
"One day Johnny Darling came to Thumansville to call on "Squire Harding," who is in addition to being justice of the peace was post master and druggist, too, for he needed some medicine for his wife who had been ailing. A crowd soon gathered around the stove in the Harding store and post office to listen to the yarns that they were sure Darling would spin.
"They had not to wait long. John was soon entertaining the crowd and all but forgot Harding's bottles. Talk got around to oxen and strong oxen in particular. John told the crowd of a yoke of oxen he once had and how he took them to plow in a stumpy field. During the plowing the plow caught a hardwood stump squarely in the center, split it open, took the plow with Johnny hanging on the plow handles through the split in the stump when it closed with a snap to catch the coat tail of the swallow tail coat John Darling always wore when he plowed and held him fast. This yoke of oxen was unusually strong and Darling claimed it to be the strongest he ever owned."