The Daily Star
---- — “Reading the Land” — two programs on prehistoric Middletown — will lead off another series of events and activities for the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown.
The 2014 season will include the Third Annual Living History Cemetery Tour, a folksong sing-out, a program on the lost community of Arena, and a slideshow on the history of skiing in the Catskills.
There will also be special events and an art raffle to raise funds for a new roof on the HSM hall. Contributions may be sent to HSM, PO Box 734, Margaretville, 12455, or via PayPal at www.mtownhistory.org.
Donations of baked goods for a Feb. 15 bake sale at Freshtown are also sought. Call Anne Sanford at 326-4817 to donate.
The geology duo of Bob and Johanna Titus will give an illustrated talk on the physical formation of the region at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the HSM hall at 778 Cemetery Road in Margaretville.
On Saturday, April 26, “Reading the Land” will continue with a 1 p.m. presentation by Linda Carroll of the Public Archaeology Facility at Binghamton University. She will describe and interpret artifacts found at a 2005 archaeological survey of the Arkville site where Laurel Gardens Housing project was later built.
Fundraising events include a Mother’s Day Weekend Penny Social and Chinese Auction on May 10, and an informal Summer Soiree Friday evening, July 11, at the Victorian home of Tom and Connie Jeffers in Margaretville.
HSM will hold an open house as part of Headwaters History Weekend from June 6 to 8, when history organizations and sites in Middletown, Roxbury, Andes and Halcott will open their doors, sponsor events and host special exhibits.
The Living History Cemetery Tour will be held on the first day of summer, June 21. This year’s tour will be at the Sanford Cemetery on County Route 36 in Dunraven. Area residents will portray individuals buried there as guides lead visitors through the burial ground. A section of the cemetery was used for reinterment of remains taken from the Arena, Millbrook and Dunraven areas flooded by the Pepacton Reservoir in the 1950s.
One of those communities — Arena — will be the focus of an illustrated talk by HSM President and author Diane Galusha. “Sixty Years Gone: Remembering Arena” will be presented Sunday, Sept. 14.
The 77th Regimental Balladeers who performed a concert of Civil War music last year, will return to HSM on Sunday, Aug. 24 with “Rise Up Singing: America’s Best Loved Folksongs.”
The Society will once again mount a farm-related exhibit in the History Tent at the Cauliflower Festival on Sept. 27.
The HSM season will conclude Oct. 26 with its annual meeting. George Quinn, author of History of Skiing in the Catskills, will be the featured speaker.
For more information, visit www.mtownhistory.org.