Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 8 meeting of Helderberg Hilltowns Association

The minutes for the latest meeting of HHA has been posted on the main page of AlbanyHilltowns.com.


The next meeting place for HHA on Monday night 7pm will be the former Red Baron on Lake Road off County Route 1 on the north end of Lake Onderdonk in Westerlo.

Our reason for visiting this location is that it has been offered as a site for a community cannery. Owners Rich and Vickie Bylsma have some other ideas that could work with ours as well – such as a permanent farmers’ market with cool cellar for self-serve items, and a couple of ideas that could allow us to earn a little income to support our activities.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion of the so-called Dark Skies initiative, updates on the website, and, of course, reports and plans for the Farmers and Artisans Tour (known to the cognoscenti as FAT) which is galloping along due to the efforts of Jane and her crew.

I’m hoping you can make it. If you know you are coming please respond back to me, so Vickie will know about how many tables to set up. Thanks. Zenie Gladieux

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hungerford Burial Grounds posted on Bernehistory.org


HUNGERFORD CEMETERIES CLEANED UP AND TRANSCRIBED
Daniel Hungerford Family Burial Ground. Photo May 2011 by Gary Ovitt
Two Hungerford Cemeteries have been recently added on the BerneHistory.org site and one new one added. The Stephen Hungerford Burial Ground and the Hungerford Farm Burial Ground have been updated with new burials and photos, and the Danial Hungerford Burial Ground has been added. This is due to the work of Gary Ovitt, a Hungerford researcher. He and a small group of helpers cleaned up the Stephen Hungerford Family BG and the Daniel Hungerford Family BG and documented with photos the burials in both plus the Hungerford Farm BG.
Cleaning up the Daniel Hungerford FBG. Photo by Gary Ovitt, May 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

RECENT ADDITIONS OF HISTORIC SITES

A large number of new pages have been recently added to the Helderberg Hilltowns web pages on the sites of historic and scenic interest in the Town of Berne.
The most historic site in the town of Berne is on the north side of Fox Creek below the bridge in the center of the hamlet of Berne. This is where the mills and factories were located that caused the hamlet to be located where it is. And yet the town turns its back on the mill site. It is as if it never existed. This would be a great area for an historic park, perhaps created as an expansion of the existing Fox Creek Park on the south side of the creek.
Fox Creek Park is located along the old road to Knox on the above map made in 1975 by Robert Lambert for an article in Our Heritage
  • Fox Creek Park is below the Berne Falls in the Berne hamlet. It is reached by a short access road on the west side of Helderberg Trail just south of the bridge across Fox Creek in the hamlet of Berne. In 1977 one could still see on the Fox Creek Park side of the creek evidence of fastenings for a log dam. Perhaps they are still visible.
  • Weidman's Mills - About 1752 Jacob Weidman built a log dam at the top of the Berne falls on Fox Creek to create a mill pond to power the first sawmill. By 1781 his son Peter had built a grist mill below the sawmill.
  • Simmons Axe Factory was started about 1825. This mill had its own dam, a log structure with stone wing walls.
  • Berne Grist Mill - The Berne Grist Mill was the successor to Weidman's grist mill built by Jacob Weidman after 1750. Weidman's mill had burned shortly prior to 1832, the year in which it was rebuilt by Malachi Whipple. Whipple also built, along with Ball and Dwight, aa carding and fulling mill adjacent to the Weidman property in the 1830's. The use of these lands and their water power source was more or less esablished by the pond above the bridge.
Waterfall on Fox Creek
Nov. 2009, Charles Sloger

Proposals

  • The park should be expanded to include land on the opposite Fox Creek Park where the historic mills and factories stood: Weidman's Mills, Berne Carding and Fulling Mills,Simmons Axe Factory, and others. Their historic sites should be marked. There should be a trail along the north side of the creek connection the mill sites.
  • A King Post Truss Bridge for pedestrians might connect the two parks. Both sides could be still called Fox Creek Park; it would just be doubled in size to include the historic mill sites on the north bank of the creek.
  • Perhaps the land on the south side of the Foxenkill between Fox Creek Park and Berne Town Park could be bought to expand the park. The land has not much value to its present absentee owner because of it's inaccessibility from the main Yarmchuk farm which is on the opposite bank. On the other hand, it is very accessible from the hamlet side, especially the school, and would be a valuable addition to Fox Creek Park. If the land can not be bought cheaply, perhaps a right-of-way for a trail could be purchased of would be given to the town. The trail would extend from Fox Creek Park to the Berne Town Park with access to the school.

Photo Gallery


Other Historic Sites in Berne - Using as a basis An Inventory of Historic and Scenic Resourses In the Town of Berne compiled by Thomas Conklin for the Berne Conservation Advisory Council, 1979

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FOX CREEK PARK

Fox Creek Park

From Albany Hilltowns



Waterfall on Fox Creek
Nov. 2009, Charles Sloger

Contents

[show]

Location

Fox Creek Park is below the Berne Falls in the Berne hamlet. It is reached by a short access road on the west side of Helderberg Trail just south of the bridge across Fox Creek in the hamlet of Berne.

History

 

Weidman's Mills - About 1752 Jacob Weidman built a log dam at the top of the Berne falls on Fox Creek to create a mill pond to power the first sawmill. By 1781 his son Peter had built a grist mill below the sawmill.
Berne Carding and Fulling Mills - By 1797 Miner Walden Carding and Fulling Mills had been below the older Weidman's Mills. It later produced wooden shoe pegs.
Simmons Axe Factory was started about 1825. This mill had its own dam, a log structure with stone wing walls.
In 1977 one could still see on the Fox Creek Park side of the creek of evidence of fastenings for yet another log dam. Perhaps they are still visible. There are probably a number of foundations of mills and factories along the north side of the creek.

Visitor facilites

  • There are picnic tables under a small pavilion, basketball hoop, and open meadow to play in.
  • There is a convenience store and restaurant at the entrance to the park where you can buy something for a picnic in the park.
  • A short path provides access to the creek and view of the falls.

Proposals

  • The park should be expanded to include land on the opposite Fox Creek Park where the historic mills and factories stood: Weidman's Mills, Berne Carding and Fulling Mills, Simmons Axe Factory, and others. Their historic sites should be marked. There should be a trail along the north side of the creek connection the mill sites.
  • A King Post Truss Bridge for pedestrians might connect the two parks. Both sides could be still called Fox Creek Park; it would just be doubled in size to include the historic mill sites on the north bank of the creek.
  • Perhaps the land on the south side of the Foxenkill between Fox Creek Park and Berne Town Park could be bought to expand the park. The land has not much value to its present absentee owner because of it's inaccessibility from the main Yarmchuk farm which is on the opposite bank. On the other hand, it is very accessible from the hamlet side, especially the school, and would be a valuable addition to Fox Creek Park. If the land can not be bought cheaply, perhaps a right-of-way for a trail could be purchased of would be given to the town. The trail would extend from Fox Creek Park to the Berne Town Park with access to the school.

Photo Gallery