A Changing of the Guard


Hello, and welcome to the Boonville Historical Club blog. It’s been much too long since this site has been updated, and for that we do apologize. Hard to believe – at least for me – it’s just been sitting here doing nothing for more than a year! But, thanks to a willing and able volunteer, it appears that won’t happen again. More about that later.  In the meantime . . .

Our last post concerned the club’s participation in the 5th Annual Oneida County History Day on October 1, 2011. Originated in 2007 by the Oneida County Historians Association to call attention to the county’s rich history, the 2011 History Day observance coincided with Boonville’s Annual Fall Arts Festival. Several Oneida County historical societies joined the Boonville club, displaying exhibits of interesting information about their areas.  There were lots of things going on, not just at the History Day focal point in the historic Masonic Temple, but all around Boonville. Attendance was great, despite the dismal weather, and lots of folks ventured in to look around.

masonic temple

There have been many photos hiding out on my camera sinHISTORY DAY 017ce that 2011 event. But, as the saying goes, “Better late than never.” So here are some of the photos we took of activities on that History Day.deb seelman and quilt HISTORY DAY 001


As you’ll note, there were many things to see and do.

Here are more photos for your enjoyment!

HISTORY DAY 016daryl marcy and patty with scavenger huntHISTORY DAY 029

And so, what about someone else taking over the updates for the Boonville Historical Club?

JoAnn Ballard, director at the historic Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center – the beautiful building pictured above – (www.dpnboonville.com) along with officers of the Historical Club, will add the latest news, so you won’t be wondering what’s going on! If you have any questions, you can contact JoAnn at dpnart@frontier.com.

Just in case you weren’t aware, yours truly has moved from the Boonville area, back home to York County, Pennsylvania. Although I miss all my friends in the Boonville area, and especially all the Historical Club ladies, it’s great being close to family.

My personal blogsite – previously called boonvillebeat – has long been neglected, too. But my goal is to update that site (now renamed)  more often, mainly to fulfill my urge to write! If you care to follow me, visit me often at www.dillydallyingindillsburg.wordpress.com.

Thanks for visiting the Boonville Historical Club’s blogsite. Please come back again soon – and tell your friends!





Filed under Boonville, Boonville Historical Club, Dodge-Pratt-Northam Arts and Community, History, Oneida County

History Day A Success!

We’re a bit late posting the news, but we wanted everyone to know that our ONEIDA COUNTY HISTORY DAY was very successful!
More news coming shortly. Please check back again soon. And thanks for visiting our blogsite!


Filed under History


History will come alive in Boonville during the 5th Annual Oneida County History Day on October 1. The Boonville Historical Club is planning activities for the whole family. Originated in 2007 by the Oneida County Historians Association to call attention to the county’s rich history, this year’s History Day observance will coincide with Boonville’s Annual Fall Arts Festival, so there will be plenty of fun for everyone! And don’t forget your walking shoes!


The historic Masonic Temple, next to the Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center, 106 Schuyler Street, will be the focal point for the History Day events. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Boonville Historical Club, as well as several Oneida County historical societies, will be on hand with exhibits of interesting information about their areas.

 Tammy DePaola  will be demonstrating carding, spinning, and weaving with a table loom – which shows the process from beginning to end! The Boonville Historical Club will also display the wall covering that members recently completed.

From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., there is a Kids Corner coloring contest for two age groups; up to 7 years, and from 8-12 years old. Kids can win a prize for coloring either a canal scene or a Civil War figure.

Boonville Town and Village Historian, James Pitcher, will be available from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to answer any questions about local history.

An exciting feature for everyone is the Civil War reenactment unit, which will be camping nearby. Members of the 76thNew York State Volunteer Infantry look forward to visitors, and the soldiers will be happy to answer questions and explain their activities.

The 76th NYSVI Re-enactors Unit as they appeared at the June 3, 2006 dedication of the historical marker in Erwin Park honoring Boonville's 97th NYSVI.

Included in the History Day events are walking tours to view the historic architecture in the village. Maps are available for self-guided tours throughout the day. If you’re not brave enough to venture out on your own, a guided tour will depart from the Masonic Temple at 11:30 a.m.  Another fun family activity is the Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt.

Maps will be available beginning at 11 a.m., and at 2 p.m. a winning name will be drawn from the correct entries. The lucky winner will receive a gift certificate for the Historic Hulbert House.

Local author Irene Uttendorfsky will be promoting her newest book, “I Will Stand With My Father,” a novel for middle school readers about the Revolutionary War in the Mohawk Valley as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old Oneida warrior. Irene’s book signing will take place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Masonic Temple. For more information about Irene visit www.ireneuttendorfsky.com

The Boonville Black River Canal Museum, Main Street and Route 12, will also be a part of History Day. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will host a variety of activities, including an open house, tours, and demonstrations of old-time skills.  The film, “Little Ditch,” an excellent documentary about the building of the Black River Canal, will be shown continuously throughout the day. As always, admission to the museum is free.

Stephanie Dietz, author of “Under the Blinking Light,”will host a book signing at 1 p.m. Her children’s book is based on her two daughters going to camp in the Woodgate area, and it debuted this summer. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., there will be a shingle-making demonstration by Bob Coscomb. The cedar shingles can be purchased for a $2 donation. Charlie Hammond will be on hand with his forge to brand the shingles. Mark Kehl from Woody’s Mountain Folk Art will be demonstrating his wood-working talent outside on the lawn.  Peg Sawyer will be inside the Mercantile Building with her loom, and Sharon Woodcock will have a display of antique canal era toys in the Archive Room in the Conference Center. Books, canal items, shirts, and jackets will also be available for sale in the Mercantile Building.

 For more details about the Canal Museum, visit their website: www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com.

In addition to the free History Day activities, the Fall Arts Festival will provide ample opportunity to enjoy food, crafts, cooking contests, music, sidewalk sales, and more fun for the kids. So plan to visit beautiful, historic Boonville on Saturday, October 1.

For more information about the Boonville Fall Arts Festival, call the Chamber office at 942-5112 or visit www.boonvillechamber.com.

The Hemlock Mercantile General Store at the Boonville Black River Canal Museum complex, Main Street and Route 12.


Filed under Boonville, History, Military, Oneida County

Nettles Soup?

Shown after the program at the meeting on April 4, left to right, club president Barb Traxel, guest speaker Lisa Fazio-Ferguson, and club VP Joan Ferguson.


Our most recent  meeting took place  Monday evening, April 4, at the Presbyterian Church fellowship hall.  The program – open to the public – featured practicing herbalist Lisa Fazio-Ferguson, owner/operator of Hawthorne Hill Herbs, an herbal apothecary in Newport, New York  (www.hawthornehillherbs.com).

Lisa discussed identification and preparation of local wild plants, many of which can be found growing in our own backyards. These plants can be used for medicinal purposes and as nutritious food. Lisa also  handed out lots of information, including a recipe for nettles soup! Calling our attention to the various species in our area and in the Adirondacks on the “at-risk” list, Lisa said many herbs and flowers are becoming scarce due to loss of habitat and acid rain. 

Members also discussed a “welcome home” covered dish dinner for our Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division Adopted Platoon, which will probably be held in May. Our soldiers recently returned safe and sound from Afghanistan.

But backing up  a bit – way back! Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, for several reasons. I went to the December meeting without my camera, and just recently got my hands on the group photo taken that night!

Club member Joyce Charboneau gets some tips from herbalist Lisa Ferguson at the club's most recent meeting.

As usual, the December program was a  delightful Christmas get-together. Club member Linda Marcy invited us to her beautifully decorated home.  Luscious snacks, drinks, and a holiday “sing-along,” accompanied by our own Glenyce Trainor on the keyboard,  put everyone in a festive mood. Twenty members and associate members attended the “musical” meeting, while the snow gently fell outside.

Club members are in a holiday mood during the December meeting.

Because the  club does not meet in January, there’s nothing to report for that month.

Peg Sawyer, center, at the February meeting with new club members, Chris Adsit, left, and Deb Seelman, right.

Yours truly was in Pennsylvania visiting relatives at the time of the February meeting. So, I  can only report second-hand information. The club met at Boonville’s First Presbyterian Church on February 7. Member Laura “Peg” Sawyer presented a program on Architecture of the Great Camps in the Adirondacks in the 1920s and 1930s. She showed photos of some of the great camps, including Sagamore near Raquette Lake. William West Durant, Sagamore’s owner, used natural materials, logs, stone, and twigs for buildings, structures, and furnishings. Laura showed her audience a twig plant stand, a pack basket, an Adirondack chair, and a handmade white-birch container. Club president Barb Traxel welcomed new members Chris Adsit, Deb Seelman, Charlene Ludwikowski, and Diane Kilbourne.

Peg Sawyer talks about Adirondack architecture at the club's February meeting.

The March 7 meeting was scheduled to take place in the Town/Village offices building. The meeting was cancelled, however,  because of the weather! Snow storms in the morning caused school closings, and the policy is, when Adirondack schools are closed, the club does not meet. Often, by the time the club would normally meet, the snow is no longer a problem. But the policy has been in effect for many years! The program was to have been about the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC),  presented by Forest Ranger Robert Coscomb. Perhaps we’ll get to hear him another time.

Mary Yahnke will present a program on “Tourism in the Adirondacks” at the May 2 meeting. It will again take place in the First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. The public is invited to her presentation, which follows the club’s regular business meeting.


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“Acid Rain, Acid Snow” is November Meeting Topic

The Boonville Historical Club’s featured speaker for the November 1 meeting in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church was local author, activist, and historian  Dr. John Slade, Woodgate, who spoke on the subject of acid rain, particularly its  effects on the Adirondack Mountains and everything that lives within the area. Dr. Slade is the author of the book, Acid Rain, Acid Snow,  published in 2000. He has  also written about 15  other books, including the epic American Revolutionary War novel, Bootmaker to the Nation (for more about John’s books see www.woodgateintl.com). Club Vice-president Joan Ferguson was in charge of the meeting, since President Traxel had recently been hospitalized.

Dr. Slade signing a copy of his book, "Acid Rain, Acid Snow"

The club’s next meeting is planned for Monday, December 6. It will be a festive holiday celebration, with the singing of familiar Christmas carols.

We continue to collect items to send to our Fort Drum Adopted Platoon in Afghanistan, and members are requested to bring donations to the next meeting. Anyone who would like to help with this project, please call club President Barb Traxel at 942-4010.

Members have also been asked to put on their aprons and whip up something special for the Bake Sale during  the  Christmas on the Canal event at the Boonville Black River Canal Museum on Saturday, December 4 (for more information see http://www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com).

Ladies interested in joining the club, please click on our Membership tab at the top to learn more. You can also contact membership chairman Marilyn Fowler or Club Treasurer Vivian Brucker at vivbrucker@yahoo.com or call 942-4251.

 We’ll be updating this site again soon, so we hope you’ll stop back and visit!

And comments are always welcome.

Club Historian Joanne Sattler (left) reads an early club program that belonged to Marilyn Fowler’s mother.

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NEW OFFICERS TAKE OVER; Adopt a Platoon Continues

Sorry,  it’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to update this blog! There have been several changes over the summer, so to keep you up to date, I’ll post the information here.

At the club’s dinner-meeting this past June, an election of officers was held. Taking over as president is Barbara Traxel; the new vice-president is Joan Ferguson; Melanie Fitzgerald will serve as recording secretary;  Elaine Tompkins remains as corresponding secretary, while Vivian Brucker will serve another term as treasurer. Joanne Sattler continues as  club historian.  These new  officers will serve a two-year term.

The first meeting of the 2010-2011 season was held Monday, October 4, in the Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, and featured a program by member Patty Bellinger. It detailed the life of a young girl in the Adirondacks from birth to graduation in the early 1900s.  The club’s them this season is The Adirondacks

In keeping with this theme, the group’s next meeting will feature well-known local author, activist,  and historian Dr. John Slade, of Woodgate. He will present a program entitled Acid Rain, Acid Snow, also  the title of a  book he published in 2000. Not only does Slade lament the declining Adirondack environment resulting from acid rain and snow, the book also contains many original poetry pieces. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 1, in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church, beginning at 6:45 p.m.  

The club continues to sponsor a platoon from Fort Drum, and has recently sent several cartons to the soldiers of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Reconnaissance Platoon (CBRN Recce – pronounced “see-burn rec-key” – or Chem Recce for short). The  platoon is part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (HHC1st BSTB), 10th Mountain Division, (Light Infantry). 

Plans call for more boxes to go out shortly. If you’d like to donate some goodies or toiletries or other personal items, including books and magazines, please see our list posted on November 9, 2009, entitled,

“What We’re Collecting.” You can also



No, they're not aliens! These are members of our adopted platoon, in protective garb, ready for duty!

 leave a comment below with any questions you may have. 








For more information on the next meeting or about becoming a club member, contact President Barb Traxel at 942-4010, or Treasurer Vivian Brucker at 942-4251.

Thanks for visiting our blog! Stop by again soon. We’ll continue to update these pages, and we welcome your comments.  

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Technology for Historians 101


Some of the attendees enjoying refreshments after the Oneida County Historians Association meeting. Left to right, Elmer Niles, Carl Saporito, Judy Routson, Earl Allen, Bonny Niles, Lou Parrotta, OCHA President Dick Williams, and Jean Williams. Thanks, Dick and Jean, for the delicious goodies!


I was honored to be asked to give a brief presentation to the Oneida County Historians Association (OCHA) on Tuesday evening, June 22,  about this blog. Not just the blog, but also  why we went with WordPress. The meeting was hosted by The Clinton Historical Society (www.clintonhistory.org). OCHA President Dick Williams is also a member of this group.    

The Oneida County Historians Association is an organization of  county municipal historians, local historical societies, and other such groups.  Although the Boonville Historical Club is not a society, we like to support local and county history.    

Hubby and I  dodged the raindrops on our way to the former Clinton Baptist Church, home of the Clinton Historical Society. Nevertheless, it was worth the trip: the topic was interesting and timely, and I enjoyed meeting like-minded people, all devoted to conserving our area’s rich history.     

On the agenda with me  were two excellent and very knowledgeable speakers, Phillipa Brown and Carl Saporito. Phillipa, or “Flip,” is the Waterville town historian, and Carl is webmaster and paginator for the Oneida County Historical Society (OCHS)  website (www.oneidacountyhistory.org).    

Flip maintains a colorful and interesting daily blog (www.huddleblogger.com), and has garnered many followers. She enjoys history and her blog, and she’s definitely a busy lady!  

Carl, too, proved his dedication to history. He  does a wonderful job keeping the OCHS website up and running. He’s well versed on the how-tos of being a webmaster and gave a thoroughly interesting talk about his duties.   

We all emphasized that modern technology is definitely a boost for all historians and historical groups. Easy to use and access, it  helps publicize any group and its activities.    

President Dick Williams  added to the program. He reinforced the benefits  of using free websites, blogs, e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to attract more people to historical organizations and events. There are many sites available to help spread the word about preserving our heritage, and we should all take advantage of them!

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Club Presents Annual Awards

The Boonville Historical Club presented its annual Fourth Grade History Awards to students in the Adirondack elementary schools during the year-end awards assemblies. The club presents these awards to a girl in each fourth grade section who shows an exceptional interest in local history. This year each recipient received a certificate and a Native American one-dollar coin. (See http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/nativeamerican/?action=2010NADesign for more information about the coin.)  



Those receiving the awards at Boonville Elementary were Raigen McGahey, a student in Ms. Tina Weiler’s class; Madeline Maher, in Mr. Richard Chrisman’s class, Sadie Buckingham, from Ms. Jackie Layton’s class, and Hannah Hutchinson from Ms. Christina Kornatowski’s class.  

At Forestport Elementary, the award went to Elizabeth Seelman, whose teacher was Ms. Erin Burns.  

The West Leyden award recipient was Ashley Britton, a student of Ms. Christina Jokajtys.  

Adirondack Central High School graduating seniors Amanda Marsh and Dalton Hyde tied for the club’s annual cash award, which they received during commencement exercises Saturday, June 26. Since 1979, the club has given this award at graduation to the senior receiving the highest mark in a grade 12 Social Studies elective, taught by the Social Studies Department. Both Amanda and Dalton had a 99 average. (Sorry we have no photos of the students!)  

Adirondack Central High School, Boonville, New York

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 The Boonville Historical Club is continuing to collect magazines, toiletries, and snack items for its adopted 10th Mountain Division soldiers, currently stationed in Afghanistan. Several club members met Tuesday morning, June 8, to pack three cartons for shipment to the soldiers.    

 If anyone would like to donate items for the platoon, please see our earlier post here, about what we’re collecting,  or call Joyce Charboneau at 942-4835, for more information.   

 The club would especially like new or gently read copies of People magazine and other popular men’s and women’s magazines, on topics such as sports, outdoors, fitness, movies, etc.
 Not shown in the photo  are Elaine Tompkins, Joan Ferguson, and Judy Routson, who also showed up to help with the sorting, packaging, and paperwork.
We’re hoping to meet again soon to package up more goodies for our guys and gals in Afghanistan. We’ll keep you posted!   

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Barb Traxel is New Club President

The Boonville Historical Club held its end-of-season dinner meeting and election of officers on Monday evening, June 7, at Steak & Brew Restaurant, Turin, with 22 members attending.

Several members were recognized for perfect attendance and membership milestones. Those with perfect attendance during the 2009-2010 season were: Jeanne Cerro, Joyce Charboneau, and Judy Routson. Others recognized were Vivian Brucker, with two years perfect attendance; Glenyce Trainor, three years; Barb Traxel; four years; and Patty Bellinger, 11 years. Patty and Joanne Sattler were recognized for 15 years of membership, while Melanie Fitzgerald was honored for her 25-year membership.

Congratulations to Barb Traxel, who will serve as president for the next two years; also to our new vice-president, Joan Ferguson. Vivian Brucker remains as treasurer, while  Melanie Fitzgerald replaces Barb as recording secretary. Elaine Tompkins and Joanne Sattler will continue as corresponding secretary and  historian, respectively.

After several years without a recipient, the club’s Outstanding Citizen Award , commonly referred to as The Woman of the Year Award, went to former club president Daphne Larrabee (see previous post).

The club has adjourned for the summer and will reconvene regular meetings in October. Women who live in the Adirondack School District are welcome to join the club, and can contact Vivian Brucker at 942-4251 for more information.  

In photo, front row, left to right:  Judy Routson, Joan Ferguson, Patty Bellinger, Melanie Fitzgerald, Vivian Brucker, Joyce Charboneau, Laura Sawyer; in back, Geraldine Crumb, Joanne Sattler, Elaine Tompkins, Carol Kulpa, Jeanne Cerro, Daphne Larrabee, Nancy Trainor, Linda Marcy, Evelyn Wagoner, Ruth Hughes, Barbara Traxel, Glenyce Trainor, Marilyn Fowler, and Shirley Linck.

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Daphne Larrabee – “Woman of the Year”


Daphne Larrabee

Congratulations to Daphne Larrabee!

She’s the Boonville Historical Club’s most recent Woman of the Year. The announcement was made at the annual end-of-the-season dinner meeting, Monday evening, June 7, at Steak & Brew Restaurant, Turin.

 A retired teacher and busy community volunteer, Daphne is the sixth woman to receive the coveted title, officially labeled, The Outstanding Citizen Award.  Members have taken to calling it the Woman of the Year Award since shortly after it was initiated in 2002. We don’t choose a winner every year – only if the committee finds someone who fulfills the criteria. 

 A Historical Club member since 1989, Daphne served as president from 2006-2008. She also volunteers at Matthew’s Place (local thrift shop and food bank), is on the board of directors for the Boonville Black River Canal Museum, and assists in many capacities at the Boonville United Methodist Church. She has been a long-time member of the church administrative council, is in charge of the volunteer clean-up crew, and is active in the United Methodist Women‘s group. Her duties with the Black River Canal Museum include the difficult task of recruiting, scheduling, and training volunteer guides.

While club president, Daphne presented a donation to Black River Canal Museum Director Dale Ferris.

 Daphne is a very busy woman, indeed!

 A Rochester native, Daphne taught third grade, kindergarten, and remedial reading in the Adirondack School District for approximately 23 years, before her retirement a few years ago. She met her late husband, Bob, while student teaching there. She and Bob, who passed away in 2002, were married in 1962 and had three children.

When her children were growing up, Daphne operated a small nursery school from her home. She was also involved in scouting with her children, and later Brownies with her only granddaughter. A former board director of the Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center in Boonville, Daphne also at one time served as its secretary.

Under her tenure as Historical Club president, members completed a beautiful quilted wall hanging, now on display at the Canal Museum. Another major project was the installation of a bench near Erwin Library in memory of deceased member Jo Vella.

As chairperson of the club’s fundraising committee in 2006, Daphne spearheaded a campaign to raise money for the repair and restoration of the Gettysburg monument to the 97th Regiment. The fundraising was so successful that a marker was also dedicated in Boonville’s Erwin Park.


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Remember WWII Vets This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died in our nation’s service. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on graves of Civil War soldiers; hence the original designation “Decoration Day.” Within 20 years, the holiday was renamed Memorial Day. Instead of a day to honor those who died during the War Between the States, it became a day to recognize all Americans who died fighting in any war.       

Diana Trainor, owner/operator of Apple Blossom Floral Shoppe, Boonville, demonstrated how to make Memorial Day wreaths at the Boonville Historical Club's May 3 meeting.

 A Congressional declaration in 1971 moved the traditional observance from May 30 to the last Monday of the month, a move that has diminished the true meaning of Memorial Day. Many people, especially veterans, would like the original date restored. They feel that when Congress created a three-day weekend, it distracted citizens from the spirit and meaning of the intended observance.        

This month (May 2010) marks the 65th anniversary of Allied victory in Europe during World War II. V-E Day was celebrated on May 8, 1945, when a treaty was ratified after Germany’s unconditional surrender. Fifty years later, during the war’s end  anniversary observance, William Detweiler, National Commander of the American Legion at the time, wrote,        

On this Memorial Day, it’s fitting that we Americans pay special tribute to the men and women who gave their lives while serving in America’s armed forces during that war…”        

 It’s an appeal that 15 years later is especially appropriate, as veterans from that era – those of the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw called them – are rapidly passing away.          

Boonville's Monument to its many WWII veterans and all those of the Greatest Generation. A project of the local Charles J. Love, DSC, American Legion Post #406, it was dedicated on Memorial Day 2004.

     Fourteen men from Boonville made the supreme sacrifice in WWII. They were:       

  • Robert Brach
  • Grant Galarneau
  •  Harland Hennessey
  • Joseph Hamlin
  • Francis Lahah
  • Douglas Lambert
  • Walter Leaf
  •  Donald Miller
  •  Norwood Oper
  •  Clifford Phillips
  •  Stanley Sargent
  • Victor Strobel
  • William Wardale
  • Edwin Wisnieski

Many others from the area were among the 16 million men and women who served in the United States  armed forces  during the war.  Americans need to remember the sacrifices of  these and all the men and women who served.     

 And this Memorial Day is a perfect time to do just that. As you enjoy the day with family and friends, remember these words of  Commander Detweiler, written in 1995:         

 “I hope that Americans across this nation will pause to pay tribute not only to those who died in service, but to their friends and relatives – their personal heroes – who served in World War II…They are the men and women who saved America and the free world from absolute, certain destruction.”        

Boonville's 2009 Memorial Day Parade

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Filed under Boonville, History, Military

NNY FWC Spring Meeting and Luncheon

Boonville Historical Club members, front row, Geraldine Crumb, Melanie Fitzgerald, President Joyce Charboneau; back row, Laura "Peg" Sawyer, Daphne Larrabee, Secretary Barbara Traxel

Several club members enjoyed a luncheon buffet at Gentry’s Clam Cove, just outside Governeur, following the Northern New York Federation of Women’s Clubs’ annual spring meeting on Saturday, May 1. The Historical Club has been a long-time member of this regional organization, and as such, we encourage local students to enter the federation’s art and poetry contests.

At this meeting, several students from Adirondack Central School District were winners:

Damen MacDougall was awarded the $30 second prize in the art contest, and Kaitlyn Traxel won $20 as third place art contest winner. Both are ACS High School students. Eighth grader Alyssa LaQuay tied for second place in the poetry contest. Other ACS students who participated were Sage Chase, Amber Case, Summer Wysocki, Brenna Galligan, Nicole Latvis, April Perry, and Jessica Hurley.

NNY Federation of Women's Club president, Shirley Hoover, left, presided at the annual spring meeting and luncheon. Her granddaughter, Elizabeth Hoover, next to Shirley, provided violin music during lunch.


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10th Mtn. Div. Adopted Platoon Update

SSG Jason Roberts

Shortly after our adopted platoon arrived at Camp Mike Spann in Afghanistan on Saturday night, March 27, our Point of Contact (POC),  2LT Kapua Ampong,  discovered she was being detached from the unit. She was sent to Bagram Air Force Base to serve as LNO (liaison officer). We’ll miss her, but SSG Jason Roberts has now replaced her as our POC, and he’s doing a great job of keeping us posted. On May 8, Jason sent an email  update as follows:

 Hello again, sorry it’s taken so long to reply.  It seems every time I actually have a chance to sit down and try to get on to reply either something comes up or the internet is down.  I talked to the guys (and girls) and the biggest thing right now is “entertainment” things mainly movies, video games, computer games, board games (risk, chess, etc), and a few asked for books.  I believe I told you we have electricity so a lot of the guys have had their t.v.’s, laptops, and game systems mailed out here.  The USO has been sending a steady supply of hygiene stuff so we are pretty good on those things and I am working on getting some pictures to mail to you guys It takes a long time to get them to attach to an email and the last time I tried to email you I ran out of time trying to attach the pictures… but i am working on it.  They are trying to improve some of the base and just recently moved the MWR/Library to a larger building… it has 2 pool tables, a ping pong table, a few couches to watch movies, and a small/med size selection of books… most of the movies/books are older and outdated.  The last unit had a problem with soldiers “signing” them out and not returning them so our selection of either is severely hindered.  The girls also would like some hair care products and accessories… hair pins, clips, the thin scrunchies to hold their hair up and some good brushes so they can keep their hair clean and health and they keep losing their pins/clips and scrunchies getting worn out… also I think it was a Bio-silk or Nexxus conditioner cause their hair is getting damaged from the sun and dust etc. Also “feminine” products and razors so they can shave and do their girl things.  Thank you for your time and support of our platoon,
Jason Roberts

 Although we’re still waiting for confirmation of the shipping address, Historical Club members will soon begin preparing packages to send to our adopted 10th Mountain Division soldiers,  including some of the things mentioned in Jason’s most recent email.    

Thanks to our adopted troops in Afghanistan and to all our American military personnel, wherever they're serving!

  If anyone would like to donate items (see earlier posts  for a complete  list) or help with postage costs we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us at boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com or leave a comment here on this weblog (don’t worry if it doesn’t show up immediately – it goes through a spam check first)!


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 Time has flown by so quickly!

  (I had started to update this blog several weeks ago, but unfortunately, with traveling to Florida and so many other activities to take care of lately, the post got put on the back burner. I do apologize for the tardiness!)

  It’s been over a month since we had lunch with our Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division Adopted Platoon. Several Historical Club members and two spouses met the 16 soldiers on March 10 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Watertown for lunch, just  shortly before their deployment to Afghanistan.

What a great group of young people! It was wonderful to meet them all,  to talk with them, and to learn more about their lives. It’s amazing that they are from all different parts of  the country.

The platoon leader and our POC (Point of Contact) for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Reconnaissance Platoon (CBRN Recce), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (HHC, 1BSTB, 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry) was 2nd Lt. Kapua Ampong. Kapua’s Platoon Sergeant is SSG Jason Roberts. Under their command are 16 soldiers: SSG Tony Riggs, SSG Duffy Ewert, SGT Cole Etheredge, SPC Peter Walsh, SPC Michael Escoffery, SPC Thomas West, SPC Edgar Salinas, SPC Anthony Norris, SPC Bob Conteen, PFC Donavon Ditzler, PFC Jake Antignano, PFC Terrell Brownfield, PFC Joshua Henkel, PFC Jessica Cabrera, PFC Jade Fernandez, PFC Richard Gegekas. Two of the soldiers were unable to make the lunch because of job duties.

 Club members who traveled to Watertown to meet the soldiers were President Joyce Charboneau, Judy Routson, Daphne Larrabee, Peg Sawyer, Elaine Tompkins, and Barb Traxel, along with Keith Routson and Jack Tompkins.  

Shortly after their arrival in Afghanistan at Camp Spann, Kapua discovered she was being detached from the unit. She was sent to Bagram Air Force base to serve there as LNO (liaison officer). SSG Jason Roberts has now replaced her as our POC. We recently heard from SSG Roberts, who told us there were additional personnel changes.  In his email, Jason wrote:

I finally got my email up and working so I figured I would write you and let you know how everything is going.  The Platoon is good, a few changes were made shortly after we arrived here.  We lost Lt. Ampong, SSG Ewert, SPC Salinas, and SPC West as well as gain a few…a SGT Connolly, SPC Malave, and SPC Constance.  We are doing well though adapting quickly.  We go out a few times a week on mission, prep and train when time allows and try and let the guys have a little down time to unwind.  Most of the guys spend their time watching movies or playing on their psp’s, computers, xbox etc, read books and we built a horse shoe pit out behind our two buildings to help us unwind.  The weather has been ok it has stayed pretty nice so far, a little warm but bearable.  The food is good, most of the time, they have a BBQ pit for lunch and dinner along with the regular chow hall.  We have electricity in each room and hot water for showers. 

 Prior to hearing from Jason, we also had an email from Kapua, who wrote that she had made it safely to Bagram AFB. She says she tracks “all equipment and personnel coming and going to Spann from Bagram.” Her main job is “tracking people for R&R.”  We are sorry to lose her as our POC and wish her well in her new position.

We’ll soon be preparing packages ready to send to our adopted 10th Mountain Division soldiers. If anyone would like to donate items (see previous posts for what we’re sending) or help pay for the postage, we’d  be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us at boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com or leave a comment here on this blogsite (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t  show up immediately; it has to checked for spam first!)

Thanks to our club president, Joyce, for most of these photos!


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More Boxes Sent to Afghanistan!

On February 18, three of us met in the library of the Boonville United Methodist Church to pack more boxes for shipment to marines under the command of our favorite First Sergeant.  We packed four boxes, for a total of nearly 90 pounds of goodies, toiletries, and reading material.  They were packed tight. As the clerk at the Post Office commented when she weighed the 31-pound carton of media mail (magazines, books, newspapers, etc.) – “Boy, you guys really packed it full!”

We were  grateful that a generous donation from the local  Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE) #2158 helped us with the cost of postage. Thank you, Boonville Elks!

Joan, Judy, and Joyce packing boxes. Joan did not want her photo taken!

It was a cold, windy day outside, and none of us were having a very good day, so no one wanted to have their photo taken. But record it for prosperity we did, thanks to my husband’s photographic skills!

Since we recently learned that Chris will  be coming home in April, this will be the last shipment we’ll be sending to him. Our adopted platoon of soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum (see earlier posts) will be deploying soon. Several weeks after they’re settled at their new location in Afghanistan, we’ll start mailing them items. We’ll be putting out a plea for more donations when we have a better idea of what the guys and gals in the Chem Recce platoon prefer. We plan to meet the soldiers for lunch on Wednesday, March 10, so we’ll get to know them and their preferences a little  better.

Many thanks to everyone who has donated articles and cash for this program! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. You can contact us by email at boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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This is a Soldier

In conjunction with our Adopt A Platoon program at Fort Drum, we were invited to take part in a seminar entitled,  

“This is A Soldier 101” 

on Friday morning, February 5,  at the beautiful Black River Valley Club in downtown Watertown, NY.  The program was presented by The Northern New York – Fort Drum Chapter AUSA and the Fort Drum Army Family Team Building. It was a real challenge to get there by 9 a.m. (especially since I didn’t sleep the night before).  But we (President Joyce Charboneau, my husband Keith, and I)  arrived in time – early enough for coffee and pastry, as a matter of fact. 

There were three different parts of the seminar:  

Expectations and Impact of the Mission on Family Life 

The Chain of Command; and 

Family Readiness Groups and the Deployment Cycle. 

The presenters were volunteers – Army wives –  and each presentation was informative, interesting, and well done. I learned a lot about military life, and have a better appreciation of what our soldiers and their families go through.  

So, THANK YOU to everyone who serves in America’s ALL VOLUNTEER Army

We even received certificates for taking the course. 

Pikkwan Boston, AFTB/AFAP Program Manager, Army Community Services, hands out certificates at class conclusion.

“What is AFTB? Army Family Team Building is about Readiness – for both the mission and the Family. AFTB is about adapting to Army Life. We teach and train America’s Army and their families in a wide variety of knowledge, skills and behaviors that foster personal and family readiness. AFTB is a never ending resource that is available to every member of the Army for free. The Army takes care of its own, by teaching its own to take care of themselves.”  

I guess one of the main things I learned, is that a soldier’s family has a lot of support these days, compared to those in years past. Help is just a phone call away. 

 Thanks for visiting our blog. Please stop by again soon for the latest updates. If you have any questions about The Boonville Historical Club’s Adopt A Platoon project or any of our activities, please write to us at boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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Hello Again and Welcome to our Blog!

I just wanted to let you know that yours truly will be heard over the airwaves again on local radio station WBRV, the
Moose, on Monday, February 8.
I’ll be talking about the items we’re collecting for our Marines in Afghanistan.

I just happened to hear part of the recorded interview today, Thursday, February 4, and heard news director Brian Best say that I’d be on again Monday, telling listeners how to donate! I guess he broke the telephone interview into several short spots, and I heard just one of them earlier. The conversation was recorded Januay 18, so he’s been spreading it out over the past few weeks. I hope people don’t forget what it is he’s promoting! (To learn more about our local radio station, please visit www.themoose.net

Also, club president Joyce Charboneau told me she’d received a call from our area  Pennysaver reporter about our projects. I had sent out a press release to them yesterday, and I’m so excited to hear they were interested enough to call Joyce for more information. We need all the help we can get.

Tomorrow, at the crack of dawn, Joyce and I will be heading to Watertown to learn more about our 10th Mountain Division soldiers, who are a part of our Adopt a Platoon project. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest news and developments.

Historical Club Members, including yours truly in the front center, wore red at our most recent meeting, to support National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5, 2010. Also shown, left to right, Daphne Larrabee, Joan Ferguson, Barb Traxel, and Nancy Trainor.

Please visit us again soon, or if you have any questions, write to boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you. And of course, we’ll be happy to take any donations you can provide.  Thanks for stopping by!


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Our most recent meeting on Monday evening, February 1, featured an impressive program by Cathy Duncan, of Remsen, and two fellow members of the Boonville Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE) #2158.   

 Cathy presented a chronology of the American flag, along with her observations of our national symbol  since she was a youngster helping her grandfather take in his flag at dusk. A retired Air Force Lt. Col., Cathy’s presentation was well done and one that every American citizen should hear. Assisting her were Esteemed Lecturing Knight Dan Rundle, Ava, left, and Exalted Ruler Charles Howard, Boonville, right.  

Most of the members present wore something red, an early observance of National Wear Red Day, which takes place on Friday, February 5. The intent of  WEAR RED DAY, a movement of the American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN, is to call attention to the fact that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women (see www.goredforwomen.org).  

Left to right, Melanie Fitzgerald, Vivian Brucker, Glenyce Trainor, Patty Bellinger, Daphne Larrabee, Joan Ferguson, Barb Traxel, Judy Routson, Nancy Trainor, Jeanne Cerro, Marilyn Fowler, Linda Marcy (partially hidden), and Joyce Charboneau.

For a handy bookmark that includes more about WEAR RED DAY and the most common heart attack symptoms, click here: WEAR RED DAY BOOKMARK. (See also www.judyroutson.wordpress.com for more information)

Club members  also discussed our latest ADOPT A PLATOON project and our platoon leader, Kapua Ampong , and our future association with the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum (see our earlier post on this subject).    

We are still in need of personal hygiene articles, reading material of all kinds, new or used, and lots of snacks and goodies to send to our favorite Marines in Afghanistan, but we expect to  send out  several packages soon. Please contact us if you have any questions, by calling President Joyce Charboneau at 942-4835, or write to boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com Visit us here again soon for more details of our latest shipment. 

 We’ll also be taking part in a seminar about our adopted soldiers on Friday, February 5. Several of us intend to travel to Watertown, assuming the weather cooperates, for the program at the Black River Valley Club. More news about this event later.        


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10th Mtn. Div. Assoc. President Mike Plummer, Platoon Leader 2nd Lt. Kapua Ampong, and Historical Club President Joyce Charboneau

Translated, that heading means we met our Adopt A Platoon (AAP) Point of Contact, 2nd Lt. KAPUALANI H.  “Kapua” AMPONG, Platoon Leader (PL) for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Reconnaissance Platoon, CBRN Recce (pronounced “see-burn rec-key”) – Chem Recce for short – on Monday afternoon, January 25, at Fort Drum.  Kapua and her platoon are part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (HHC1st BSTB), 10th Mountain Division, (Light Infantry).

Kapua had this to say about her group:

   My Platoon Sergeant (PSG) is Staff Sergeant (SSG) Jason Roberts. Under our command, we have 17 soldiers. Our platoon has two sections: the CBRN section and the security section. CBRN consists of 7 Chemical Soldiers, and Security consists of 10 Infantry Soldiers.  Whether it’s a chemical related mission or an escort/security mission, we work together as a single unit to complete any task or mission assigned. We are the Wolfhounds!

   Club President Joyce Charboneau drove my husband and I to the Link-Up meeting. It was exciting to meet the young soldiers and some of the other sponsors, including Rotarians and Girl Scouts. We also met the man who is largely responsible for the success of the Adopt A Platoon program, Mike Plummer, head of the local chapter of the Association of the U. S. Army. You could tell that Mike certainly has put his heart and soul into this project of matching every 10th Mountain Division platoon with a sponsor. During his introductory speech to the sponsors and platoon leaders, he told us that the 10th Mountain Division is the most deployed  in the country.

 Joyce and I talked with Kapua for a short time and learned a little about her. Kapua will set up another meeting in early March. This will be an opportunity for the other club members to meet with the soldiers of her platoon, prior to their deployment at the end of March.     



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History of the U.S. Flag at Next Meeting

The Boonville Historical Club invites the public to a presentation about the history of the American flag on Monday evening, February 1. The program is in keeping with the club’s current theme, “Freedom is Not Free.”

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Cathy Duncan, a Remsen area resident, and a member of the Boonville Elks Club, will present the program. Duncan has had a longtime interest in our country’s flag. She will display her flag collection, which consists of the original version up to the present time, and discuss the changes the flag has undergone. Her presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Episcopal Church fellowship hall, Ford Street, Boonville. It’s actually behind the church, which faces Schuyler Street. Light refreshments will follow.

Prior to the public program, historical club members will hold a brief business session, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

For more information, call Judy at 942-4173 or Joyce at 942-4835. You can also send email to boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com


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Why We’re Doing What We’re Doing and Thanks to BUMC

Thanks and appreciation to Boonville United Methodist Church, and especially to Administrative Assistant Crystal Dauback, for helping spread the word about our “Adopt a Platoon” collections, and for allowing donations to be dropped off at the church.  If you’ve read our earlier posts, you know that we’re collecting things for both our adopted platoon, as well as our adopted marines in Afghanistan.

You may have read Crystal’s article about the club’s project in the January edition of the church newsletter, Tidings, which includes a list of  things we’re collecting.  Crystal emphasizes that it’s easy to  pick up a little something extra each time you  go shopping. And it’s  easier on the budget if you spread out your purchases. Maybe you’ll see some type of snack food on sale at the grocery store. Add it to your cart, and you probably won’t notice the extra amount on your bill. Do this each time you shop, and  your donations will  add up.

 Or if you’re shopping at Wal-Mart or a local dollar store, pick up something like a Chap Stick, a deodorant bar,  or eye drops for just a dollar or two.  And don’t forget to save the paperbacks, magazines,  or newspapers you’ve read (no matter how old they are) and add them to your stack. You might  even ask your family and neighbors to do the same!

When you’ve collected a bag full (or what you think is a reasonable amount) of goodies, personal hygiene articles, or  reading material, take it to the Boonville United Methodist Church office, which is on the lower level, and can be reached by the Ann Street entrance, or from the parking lot on the opposite side of the building (the entrance to the fellowship hall and  Senior Nutrition and Head Start programs). If you need more directions, call Crystal at 942-2626. She is in the office Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 2:30 (See www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com). Club members, of course, can bring donations to the club meetings. 

Are you wondering why we’re collecting these things? You may be thinking: Doesn’t the government provide the basic necessities to our soldiers? Well, yes, of course it does. But that’s the problem – it’s just the basics, and it’s our understanding that they often run out of these essentials. Here’s what the author of a website called  www.operationhooah.com wrote:  

Thousands of brave soldiers are deployed to Forward Operating Bases  (FOBs) in pretty rugged and primitive conditions. Some in remote outposts live in dugouts or hand built fort-like structures of timber, rock and mud sandbags.  In the WINTER, it is very cold and wet, and in SUMMER it is beastly hot, dusty and dry over there in Afghanistan.  Soldiers deployed to outposts and firebases are often dirty, hungry, bored, lonely, very cold, or miserably hot, and much of the time, in harm’s way.  Many do not have  any laundry facilities; the only water is what the Chinooks helicopters can deliver, so some only get a shower once a month.  Often, sanitary conditions are quite dispiriting.

And, as we posted earlier, the mother of a marine in Afghanistan, to whom we sent the first shipment of items we collected, had this to say about her son and his unit:

They can use all the help they can get. His unit is responsible for getting everything that anyone needs anywhere in Afghanistan by land convoy or by air. It is an extremely dangerous job…Any kind of food is much appreciated; there is a lot of contaminated food and water over there. They are in South Afghanistan, and were the first to go there. There was nothing there except desert.  They are building everything and living out of tents.

Our contact for the Adopt A Platoon Project, Mike Plummer, who heads the 10th Mountain Division Association, wrote these words:

“The thought was that if the community could somehow show their appreciation and pride to these Soldiers, the Soldiers would feel better about what they were doing and be less concerned about being away from their friends and/or family members.”

 So now you know! If you’d like more information, please visit the above mentioned site,  www.operationhooah.com, which has many more suggestions on what can be sent and what should not be sent to the soldiers. It also reminds us that these soldiers are young women, as well as young men. 

Thanks for your support! We hope to hear from you soon.


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A SLIGHT CORRECTION: In an earlier post we told you about a scheduled trip to Fort Drum to meet our “adopted” platoon. After further clarification, we realized we won’t be meeting our soldiers just yet!

We’ll actually be meeting our POC, which translates to Point of Contact, or someone we’ll be communicating with about the platoon and their activities. We’ve been advised that at our meeting on January 25, we’ll set up another time to meet the troops before they’re deployed. At that time, we’d love to have as many people as possible go with us to meet the soldiers and wish them Godspeed. Do you think you might be able to join us? Watch for  more details, which we’ll post here as soon as they’re available.

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The Voice of the Black River Valley Joins the Cause

Yesterday, Brian Best, the news director at local radio station WBRV/WLLG The Moose (www.themoose.net) contacted me about our project for the soldiers. Apparently he learned of it when station owner Bill Flack came across a flier somewhere in town, listing the articles we’re collecting for shipment overseas.  

As a result of our discussion, I agreed to do a live telephone interview with Brian on Monday morning, January 18. Brian is mostly interested in the list of items we’re collecting, but his interview will certainly create some awareness of  the club and our activities.

I’m not sure yet when the interview will be aired, but if I find out, I’ll post it here. It’s a win-win situation, and I  appreciate the opportunity to talk about the club and our most recent undertaking.  

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported our project in any way! You’ve all been very generous with your donations, but we now have two groups we’re collecting for, so we need all the help we can get.

We’re proud of our troops and we know you are too!

Please feel free to contact us (boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com) if you’d like more information.

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Ready to Deploy!

It’s official…

We’ve just received word that our Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division soldiers – our “adopted” platoon –  will be deploying to Afghanistan, and our link-up meeting has been scheduled. Here’s what Mike Plummer wrote:

You have adopted a platoon from the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1BSTB):All sponsors will linkup with their platoon POCs at the Headquarters, 1BSTB at 2:00 PM 25 JAN 2010.  They are getting ready to deploy soon and this is the only time they have available.  

 So, some of us are planning to be at Fort Drum on the specified date and time. Everyone is welcome to join us as we meet our soldiers and wish them well during their deployment. But we will need to know if you plan to attend.  Here’s more from Mike, who heads the 10th Mountain Division Association:

I will need the names of all persons attending the linkup so I can give them to the Military Police at the gate so they will let you/them in.  If you do not have a military ID card, stop at the military police station at the gate and get a pass … your name will be on the Adopt-a-Unit roster to make it easier. You will need your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.

 We’ll need to hear from you immediately if you plan to join us, as we’ll be sending the names to Mike by Wednesday, January 20. Please call Judy at 942-4173 or Joyce at 942-4835, or send an email to boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com if you’ll be attending or if you need more information. Thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon!

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Adopt-a-Platoon is Now a Reality!

A few weeks ago, we received news from  Mike Plummer, who heads the 10th Mountain
Division Association. He told us that the president’s recent decision to send more soldiers to Afghanistan means that 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum will be deployed in March.  

 A heartfelt Thank You to everyone who donated items or postage funds  for our first shipment to Afghanistan.  BUT WE NOW NEED TO DOUBLE OUR EFFORTS!

 Club President Joyce Charboneau would like to continue our project of gathering needed articles for our “adopted” U. S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. in Afghanistan, who distributes the personal hygiene articles, reading material, and food to the marines  under his command. At the same time, we’ll go ahead with the new project:  Adopting a Platoon of  soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum Army Base, just north of Boonville. Besides sending them the items we’ve been collecting (see the list on an earlier post), we’ll also be sending cards, such as birthday and holiday greetings, as well as e-mails to our adopted soldiers. According to Mike Plummer, link-up meetings will start in late January for those of us within a two-hour drive of the base.

For more about the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, click on this link: http://www.drum.army.mil

You might also want to check out their weekly TV program: http://www.drum.army.mil/sites/installation/pao/drumtv/

We’ll be updated soon on the progress of the adoption, so stay tuned for the latest news!

For the original information from Mike Plummer about adopting a 10th Mountain Division Platoon chick here: FlyerIraq09









(Photo courtesy of Fort Drum Public Affairs)


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Boxes Headed to Afghanistan

Packing boxes for shipment to Afghanistan are left to right, Joyce Charboneau, Candy Combs, Paula Ferguson, and Joan Ferguson

Five boxes packed full of all types of goodies are on their way to our favorite Marine Sargeant.   

 Over the past several months, the Boonville Historical Club collected various items for soldiers in Afghanistan. Five large packages, totaling over 138 pounds, are now on their way to 1st Sgt. Christopher Combs, USMC, a nephew of club member Joan Ferguson. Chris will distribute the articles to soldiers in his command.      

Paula packs a box tightly

 On Thursday morning, December 10, Joan and her sister (Christopher’s mother) Candy Combs, and Joan’s daughter Paula Ferguson, joined club president Joyce Charboneau and vice president Judy Routson to prepare the boxes for shipment. The articles consisted of toiletries, foodstuffs, and reading materials.  The reading materials alone totaled over 78 pounds, and the total cost to ship all the boxes amounted to nearly $90. The club would like to thank everyone who donated articles for the soldiers or funds for postage. At the same time, however, we’d like to emphasize that this is an ongoing project and will continue indefinitely. 

According to President Charboneau, she would like to send a box overseas every month. While we continue to collect articles to send, monetary donations are also being solicited to help defray postage. For more information contact Joyce Charboneau at 942-4835 or send an email to boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com.    

Candy and Joan struggle to tape a box securely.

Candy fills out Post Office paperwork to ship cartons overseas.


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Annual Christmas Dinner Meeting and Pearl Harbor Day

Nineteen ladies of the Boonville Historical Club enjoyed a variety of tasty dishes during our annual Christmas Dinner-Meeting on Monday evening, December 7, at the Boonville Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. Hostesses Vivian Brucker and Carol Kulpa did an excellent job of dressing the tables for the occasion and everyone looked festive in holiday garb. With the first significant snowfall of the season (even though it was just an inch or two), and a Christmas carol sing-along, the words “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” took on new meaning.

Left to right, Carol Kulpa, Vivian Brucker, and Glenyce Trainor

  Response to roll call was to mention a fact about Pearl Harbor Day. As most everyone is aware, it was on this date in 1941 – early on a Sunday morning – that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, causing immense devastation, and thrusting the United States into World War II. It was a day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared would “live in infamy.” Several members shared vivid memories of that historic date. Others presented some very interesting facts.  Although the following may or may not have been included, here are some statistics on the surprise attack.

Japanese losses were minimal – negligible – in view of the victory they had won: 185 killed, one captured. American losses were staggering: 2,403 casualties (2,008 Navy, 218 Army, 109 Marines, and 68 civilians) and 1,178 wounded (710 Navy, 364 Army, 69 Marines and 35 civilians). The battleship Arizona saw the greatest loss of life, accounting for half the naval casualties. The US lost 169 aircraft and 150 were damaged.

While some people may want to forget past wars, December 7, 1941, was a significant day in American history. As one of our members mentioned, there is not enough media coverage these days of what happened at Pearl Harbor. 

 During the club’s business meeting, we signed Christmas cards to send to military personnel who have a local connection, discussed shipment of the items we’ve collected for the soldiers in Afghanistan, and voted to give a donation to Boonville’s “Feed the Reindeer” fund. The reindeer couple quietly reside in the Little Village Park each year at this time. 

 It was later decided that several members will meet on Thursday morning, December 10,  to pack the packages for shipment  to a nephew of one of our members, who is serving in the Marines in Afghanistan. He’ll see that they are distributed to others under his command (see earlier posts about this project).

We concluded our meeting by singing several familiar Christmas carols, accompanied by Glenyce Trainor on the piano, who did her usual excellent job. 

The club does not meet again until February 1, when our program will be about the history of the U.S. Flag, presented by Cathy Duncan. The meeting, which takes place in the Episcopal Church fellowship hall, is open to the public, so plan to join us at 7:30 p.m.

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Remember Our Military With Cards

The Boonville Herald helped get the word out about sending  holiday cards to our military personnel, whether they’re in Iraq and Afghanistan or stationed here in the states.  It’s not too late to get a card in the mail to our servicemen or women with a local  connection. Here’s part of an article that appeared in the Boonville Herald a few weeks ago:

When you’re sending out cards this holiday season, you might want to take a moment to address a card or two to someone who’s serving with the military. It doesn’t matter that you don’t personally know the one to whom you’re addressing the card. It will be appreciated no matter where it ends up, but especially if it’s sent to someone in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Keep in mind that those serving our country are often miles away from family and friends during the holiday season, some of them possibly for the first time. A cheerful note or card can make a difference in their day.

Following is a testimonial shared by a soldier’s aunt, who says her niece wrote this in a letter to family and friends while serving in Iraq this past year.

“You may not realize, but every letter, card, care package and prayer received made each day go by that much faster. I cannot begin to thank each and every one of you for your continued support. Believe it when you hear that taking a moment to jot a quick note to a soldier will make their day: it’s true. Thank you so much for making the time away from home that much more bearable.”   

When sending cards, remember to address them clearly and follow Department of Defense guidelines to be sure they arrive at their destination. Use the service member’s full name, include the unit and APO/FPO address with the nine-digit ZIP code, and include a return address. 

Although the deadline has passed for mailing packages overseas in time for Christmas delivery, there’s still time to send first class mail. Cards and letters should be sent as soon as possible, but according to the USPS website, December 11 is the latest you can mail them and expect arrival at most APO/FPO ZIP codes by Christmas.

So, don’t delay. It takes very little time or money to support our military this way. Get the whole family involved. The kids will enjoy making handcrafted cards and the recipient will appreciate it. Don’t forget to include a note of appreciation and possibly a photo. And get your cards in the mail early.

Although this is a busy time of year, it’s also a time of sharing. You’ll feel good about doing a good deed, and someone somewhere will be grateful for your efforts. 

Here’s what one military mom told us: “Thank you for providing this opportunity for the community to contact our warriors. They appreciate every piece of mail!” 

In the interest of security, we’ve decided not to publish the list of our  military perrsonnel, but for those who would like to send a little bit of home to our soldiers, sailors, and marines,  please contact us (boonvillehistoricalclub@gmail.com) for a list of names or  see the articles in the Boonville Herald. I’m sure the person who receives a note or card will appreciate your thinking of them.

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What We’re Collecting

Flag 3 in Little Village Park April 4 2006Here is a list of suggested items the Boonville Historical Club is collecting for our “adopted” soldiers in Afghanistan, under the command of 1st Sgt. Christopher Combs, of the U. S. Marines (see previous post for more information or send an email to Judy at jaroutson@aol.com).

  • Various types of chips, dips, crackers, salsa, cookies, granola bars, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts
  • All kinds of microwaveable meals
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Boxes of flavored water or tea drink packets
  • Gum
  • Hard candy
  • Hand sanitizer (small travel size)
  • Body/baby wipes (individually wrapped)
  • Canned sardines, oysters, clams, tuna
  • Beef jerky/Slim Jims
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Tissues
  • Eye drops
  • Zip-lok bags (all sizes)
  • Bug repellent
  • Rolls of screen
  • Small electric heaters, new or used.
  • Coffee, tea, creamer, hot chocolate, sugar packets
  • Soups, canned or dry packages
  • Air fresheners for their tents
  • Febreeze to freshen their uniforms
  • Reading material (paperbacks, magazines, newspapers), new or used
  • Videos of taped TV shows (CSI, Survivor, Longest Race, football games, etc.)
  • Movies on DVDs
  • Hand and boot warmers

(Do NOT include items of glass, chocolate, things that melt, or homemadeproud to serve items.)

Thanks so much for your support!

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Freedom Is Not Free

Thanks to the efforts of club President Joyce Charboneau, the Boonville Historical Club’s theme this season is  “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.”

proud to serve

In keeping with this theme, during our first meeting of the season on  October 5, members decided  to participate in the “Adopt A Platoon” project of the 10th Mountain Division Association.  The 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army is based at Fort Drum, about 50 miles north of Boonville. (For more information, see http://www.drum.army.mil.)

Troops were expected to deploy in January. The club would be matched up with a platoon prior to their departure from Fort Drum.  A list of suggested items to send to the soldiers was discussed, and the group was excited about the project.

At that  same meeting , we heard Kae Young, from the Fort Drum Public Affairs Office, talk about her job and her experiences visiting soldiers in Iraq and at Walter Reed Medical Center. Kae added to the  list of suggestions of what  the  solders in Iraq and Afghanistan would really appreciate. (http://www.drum.army.mil/sites/installation/pao/DrumTv/)

Kae Young and Joyce at Hist Club Meeting 5 Oct 2009

Kae Young, left, with club president, Joyce Charboneau

A few weeks later, however, we heard from Mike Plummer, the president of the 10th Mountain Division Association, and our contact for the Adopt-A-Platoon program. He told us that the project had been put on hold because the Army had cancelled  deployment of 3,500 Fort Drum troops to Iraq. Mike said he felt the troops would be sent to Afghanistan instead, possibly in the spring. 

At our  next meeting, on November 2, we heard another interesting program by  Father Sean P. O’Brian, parish priest at  St. Joseph’s Catholic Church,  Boonville, and St. Patrick’s in Forestport. A commander in the U. S. Navy Reserves,  Father Sean served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan in 2007.

Bob Jones, Joyce and Father Sean

Bob Jones, Boonville Chamber of Commerce 2nd VP, Club President Joyce Charboneau, Father Sean P. O'Brien, US Navy Reserves Commander, following a presentation by Father Sean at the November 2 meeting.

Prior to Father Sean’s presentation, the ladies decided that rather than wait for Fort Drum troops to deploy, we’d  “adopt” Christopher Coombs, a nephew of one of our members. He is a 1st Sgt. with the Marines  currently in Afghanistan. He has already served three tours in Iraq. Christopher’s mother wrote this about her son:

They can use all the help they can get. His unit is responsible for getting everything that anyone needs anywhere in Afghanistan by land convoy or by air. It is an extremely dangerous job…Any kind of food is much appreciated; there is a lot of contaminated food and water over there. They are in South Afghanistan, and were the first to go there. There was nothing there except desert.  They are building everything and living out of tents.

She also sent a list of items that her son’s soldiers would appreciate, and we decided to begin collecting these things to send to Chris to share with his company (see the next post for a complete list of items).

If you’d like to help us show appreciation to our military personnel, please get in touch with one of our members (if you live in Boonville, you probably know who they are!) or call club president Joyce Charboneau, at (315) 942-4835, or email her at rcharboneau@twcny.rr.com or contact Judy Routson at jaroutson@aol.com.   Thanks so much for your support!

We hope to hear from you soon.

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