Status Update, September 2018

I’ve done a good amount of research about the Jackson Corners Grange (1901-1975)—more than is useful to the book. Thanks to New York State Grange President Stephen Coye I learned that there are no records held by his organization for this Grange other than the application paper and report of officers, the last of which was made in 1975. I also found two lengthy articles in the local papers from 1951 for their 50th anniversary, the first of which then Master Dorothea C. Wolken (their first “Lady Master”) wrote about their history thus far. Though her article is a treasure trove, the second onem, written reporting on the anniversary event itself is incredibly frustrating at times, especially this line: “The address by State Master Henry D. Sherwood had all laughing at some of the very true stories he told concerning the Jackson Corners of years ago.” Couldn’t have written them down, guys?! Sigh. Not much has been recorded for historical purposes about this long-shuttered organization, so with the help of Milan Town Councilmember Jack Campisi who is writing about it for the Milan Bicentennial newsletter, we’ll work something up for the Milan NY History website https://milannyhistory.org/.

This summer has been a busy one and I’ve done only a small amount of work on the book, including examining the JC Grange treasurer’s records that Jack lent to me. I’m also reading through the 1903 Pine Plains Register newspaper to get a sense of how people felt about the world they lived in. It’s one thing to research statistics and hard facts, but getting into the heads of people whom no one now living remembers is tough. The papers have lead to both some interesting insights and also the old chestnut “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

I’ve had the genealogy sections completed (to my satisfaction) for so long and have assembled a ton good images to use that lately I’m feeling frustrated that I haven’t gotten to the layout stage yet. But I want to do the history justice—even if I don’t have currently have the drive to finish it.

Onward!

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