Published articles pertaining to Mt. Upton

“A voice from the past page” is dedicated to the written words or published news articles pertaining to Mt. Upton Central or its residents both past and present.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 21:19:43

    Sent to me by Kathryn L. Barton in the Guernsey Library Genealogy/Local History Room today. Will follow up on this at her suggestion for the other papers which would be weekly papers then now that we have some idea of dates. It appears that there was a graduating class (and no doubt it was small) there wasn’t one from the new school until 1936. I’m going to send for the articles.
    I have done lots of research at the Norwich Library but there is no way I can get down there right now so this woman was very generous with her time.
    It is my passion to do newspaper research and it is hers too. I had sent her the website address and she said she would look at the corner stone, I didn’t ask her to check the 1934 papers as we don’t know exactly when it was finished, but I guess it wasn’t finished for the 1935 graduation if the programs were held elsewhere according to this.
    Mary G.

    Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 5:02 PM
    Subject: Mt. Upton School

    Dear Mary,

    We found in the Norwich Sun, Tuesday, June 18, 1935 that there were several graduation programs. Some were to be held at the Opera house, the Baptist Church and the Methodist Church. At the bottom of the article it stated that the new centralized school would be finished and ready for the fall term.

    Nothing appeared for the school until the end of the school year – The Norwich Sun, June 26, 1936 issue mentioned that on Monday evening, June 22, the first commencement in the new school was observed. There were no photographs of the school or the first graduating class. Perhaps checking the other are newspapers like, New Berlin, Oxford and Sidney might prove more successful.


    Kathryn L. Barton

    Senior Library Clerk

    Genealogy/Local History


  2. Peg Ross, Town of Greene Historian
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 15:09:54

    This website is great. I found it through reading the minutes of the Guilford Hisorical society’s last meeting.
    First, thank you for the KKK articles. I have presented a program about the KKK in this area a couple of times and am going to do it again in Greene sometime in October. The articles you posted from the Norwich paper will be a good addition. It’s interesting to read about the involvement of the ministers in the 1920s. I have photos of a KKK funeral in Ninevah.
    Second, the sketch of Upton Park just jumped out at me because I recognized that my brother, Philip Seaman, of Gilbertsville, drew that! He and my mother, Gertrude Seaman were very interested in local history and knew all about the history and genealogy of the people who lived at Upton Castle. That is definitely my brother’s printing and drawing. I have quite a story about that place told to me by a woman in Greene who lived there for a while when her father worked at a lumber company.
    So, thank you for being interested enough to put some wonderful articles and things on your website about Mt. Upton. I grew up in Gilbertsville.


  3. Jean Rutledge Williams
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 14:53:31

    I knew Mt. Upton when I visited my Grandparents in about 1930 as a 10 year old
    They were Charles and Belle Chamberlain and lived across from the railroad depot

    Jean Rutledge Williams Grene, NY


  4. Carol Carson
    Nov 02, 2011 @ 22:48:07

    Love this site….thanks for taking the time!!


  5. Sue (Klingman) Walker
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 10:14:50

    Nice site Bill. On my rare returns to Mt. Upton, I am saddenned by how it has fallen into ruin. Can’t believe the school is a haven for rats, bats and transients. Sue (klingman) Walker, New Mexico.


  6. Bill
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 04:47:08

    Feature Article from Hemmings Classic Car
    June, 2012 – Jim Donnelly

    Deep trouble had infected this charming expanse of rural beauty. The upstate reaches of New York had a history of dairy farming that went back centuries. As the 20th century dawned, New York dairy farmers had grouped themselves into a uniquely well-organized and effective front to keep milk prices stable. “Farm unions” had existed in other states, and had struck at times for higher prices, but New York was unique in that its organization included a lot of relatively small farms across a very big state. That meant a lot of organized farmers.
    Even though nasty dairy strikes had occurred as far back as 1883, New York’s milk wars during the Depression years were particularly dangerous, nearly leading the governor to declare martial law in 1936. Essentially, the battles left innocent guys like Lynn Parker, who were trying to haul tons of milk in primitive trucks over incredibly scenic but slow highways down to New York City, as targets caught between the protagonists. In the village of Mount Upton, northeast of Binghamton and not far from the Pennsylvania border, hauling milk was dangerous when the worst New York milk strike broke out in 1939.
    Lynn was a driver for Dairymen’s League, one of the state’s three major milk cooperatives in 1939. Cutthroat pricing during the Depression had powerfully squeezed farmers in dairy co-ops, but the most traumatized farmers were those with small “independent” dairies, who saw their profits nearly vanish. Some of them began dumping milk in an effort to force prices up. When drivers like Lynn hit the road, on what was already a very long and slow trip, their trucks made perfect targets for strikers’ gunfire, although there’s no record of any milk trucker having been shot. In some locales across the New York “milkshed,” union supporters laid boards studded with huge nails across the road.
    Given what he was driving, the fact that Lynn was never hit had to be just dumb luck. His rig was a Mack AC-6, probably a 1931. The giveaways are the spoked wheel shape, balloon tires, number of hood louvers, crowned fenders to accommodate them, and the enlarged radiator cores ahead of the rudimentary non-C cab. Its engine was the gasoline six-cylinder BK, originally developed for bus and fire apparatus, making 110hp at 1,700 RPM. The rated speed for these trucks, with a load, was somewhere around 40 MPH. Evidently, that didn’t take upstate New York’s terrain into full consideration.
    “Traveling in those trucks, especially with people shooting at you or trying to blow out your tires, must have taken hours,” said Lynn’s son, Merrill. “It was a real haul. During the strike, they had to travel in convoys. My father told me that in summer, the cab was blazing hot, and in the winter, it was so cold that you would practically get frostbite.” According to Merrill, the truck may not even have had brakes on all wheels.
    Under the best circumstances, Lynn’s trip was a race against the clock. His Mack mounted a 2,000-gallon tank and towed a four-wheel full trailer with its own 1,000-gallon tank. Both were insulated, but neither was refrigerated. The tanks usually came from Heil or Trailmobile. The milk’s temperature could not be allowed to climb above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Merrill still has his father’s old driving logbooks. On a typical trip, with a co-driver, one log shows them heading from Poughkeepsie to Delhi, New York–230 miles in 11 hours; Middletown to Cobleskill, New York, was 228 miles in nine hours. Neither of these log reports count the final run to the big Dairylea plant in Queens. Much of the run came on what was then part of New York Route 17, before it was built to Interstate specifications (ironically, due to crashes involving dairy trucks and weekend vacationers to the booming Catskill Mountain resorts) and became known as America’s Autobahn. Lynn Parker crept over hills and through small towns, fortunate to average 25 MPH. It was common for truckers who loaded up to stop at roadside cafés such as the one pictured, in Richfield Springs in Otsego County. A run from New York City up to the Binghamton area, three pretty easy hours today, required an overnight stop in Middletown, or at least a crew swap.
    Even unloading the milk was difficult. “The other thing my father told me was that the trailers were terrible to back up. You’d have to get them lined up, and then lock a pin in to keep the front wheels from turning them, and then skid them backwards, sometimes while you lined them alongside the railroad tracks. It was quite an undertaking.”


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