Tag Archives: Military


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

“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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 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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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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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!


Filed under Boonville, History, Military, Uncategorized