Between the Lakes Group LLC

Between the Lakes Group LLC Local history, genealogy, and Americana from New York, New England, and beyond, published (or re-published) to make it available to all. We collect and re-publish history.
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Our publications began as CD-ROMs, and now are available as downloads. Our specialization is in the Northeast, and especially New York State and Connecticut. We are also exploring new dimensions in harnessing technology to make history more accessible and interesting to a wider audience. View our catalog at http://www.betweenthelakes.com/catalog.htm

Operating as usual

No particular comment necessary on this one....
04/02/2021
April 2: The Deadly Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 Hits Connecticut

No particular comment necessary on this one....

Today in 1919, the medical paper “Complications of Influenza” was read to a desperately worried Hartford County Medical Society, which feared a renewed outbreak of a devastating global …

People who know a lot about New York's Catskill mountains often draw a blank when you mention tanning (that's when you m...
02/23/2021
Tannery Hides and the Beaverkill Bridge - New York Almanack

People who know a lot about New York's Catskill mountains often draw a blank when you mention tanning (that's when you make animal hides into leather, btw) so we thought we would pass this one along today....

The Time and the Valleys Museum have announced Tannery Hides and the Beaverkill Bridge, a virtual program set for Sunday, February 28th.

We thought that we really needed to repost this while telephone directories are still something most readers remember!  ...
02/21/2021
February 21: The World’s First Telephone Directory

We thought that we really needed to repost this while telephone directories are still something most readers remember!

When's the last time you used one?

  Thanks to Connecticut inventor and innovator George Coy, the city of New Haven can lay claim to a number of “firsts” related to the early development of the telephone. Within two…

February 3: The First Mass Murder in U.S. History
02/03/2021
February 3: The First Mass Murder in U.S. History

February 3: The First Mass Murder in U.S. History

  One of the darkest days in Connecticut history occurred today in 1780, as 19-year-old Revolutionary War deserter Barnett Davenport brutally murdered his employer and his entire family in wha…

January 31: A Double Dam Disaster in Danbury
01/31/2021
January 31: A Double Dam Disaster in Danbury

January 31: A Double Dam Disaster in Danbury

  In 1860, residents living in Danbury, Connecticut banded together to build a large, earthen dam to create a reservoir that would provide a sufficient water supply for the town’s steadi…

This is the story of the Frisbee (or the Pluto Platter back when the Principal Partner of this organization had one as a...
01/23/2021
January 23: A Pie in the Sky Idea Flies Off the Shelves

This is the story of the Frisbee (or the Pluto Platter back when the Principal Partner of this organization had one as a teenager) -- and the connection to the history of Connecticut is one we did not know!

In 1871, a Civil War veteran and baker by the name of William Russell Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He later built a large factory on the city’s east side…

Happy New Year to all!  And here's a little about WHY we say "Happy New Year" now instead of in late March....
01/01/2021
January 1: March 25th Is No Longer New Year’s Day

Happy New Year to all! And here's a little about WHY we say "Happy New Year" now instead of in late March....

Today in 1752, Connecticans woke up to the realization that January first was, and henceforward always would be, New Year’s Day. The year before, and for 597 years before that, both in Old …

Here's a seldom mentioned bit of Revolutionary War history for this chilly morning....
12/30/2020
December 30: A Winter Mutiny at “Connecticut’s Valley Forge”

Here's a seldom mentioned bit of Revolutionary War history for this chilly morning....

  When Americans think of the hardships faced by starving, shivering Continental Army troops during the harsh winters of the Revolutionary War, they usually remember the infamous winter encamp…

After Connecticut -- where Between the Lakes Group is located -- got whacked a couple of weeks ago by a tropical storm w...
08/19/2020
August 19: Back-to-Back Hurricanes Cause Deadly & Catastrophic Statewide Flooding

After Connecticut -- where Between the Lakes Group is located -- got whacked a couple of weeks ago by a tropical storm with mammoth damage to the electrical grid, when connecitcuthistory.org featured the back-to-back hurricanes of 1955, Connie and Diane, there was no way that we were going to miss re-posting it.

While having no power for a week -- which was pretty much the standard experience after the last storm -- is no fun, this one-two punch of hurricanes was an order of magnitude worse. In our immediate area, Between the Lakes Road (from which we get our name) was underwater by several feet as the Twin Lakes rose. In nearby Lime Rock, where the now-internationally famous road racing facility, Lime Rock Park, was still in the process of construction in a gravel pit, all the work that had been done was simply washed away, and the track would not open for another two years. The main street of that hamlet lost its bridge, and the abandoned mill buildings of the Barnum & Richardson Corporation were sufficiently undermined that they had to be demolished.

Head east to Winsted today, and, as you drive along route 44, notice that there are buildings on one side of the road but only a rather subdued stream on the other. Well, before that flood it wasn't that way. One side of Main Street was basically washed away.

  Today in 1955, torrential rains from Hurricane Diane — the second hurricane to hit Connecticut in five days — wreaked flood-borne death and devastation across the state. After Hu…

Why not stir the pot a little?  We're located in Connecticut, and think it is a pretty good place, so why wouldn't the f...
08/14/2020
August 14: Gustave Whitehead Flies, Making Two Wrights Wrong

Why not stir the pot a little? We're located in Connecticut, and think it is a pretty good place, so why wouldn't the first manned flight have taken place here!

    One of the most controversial events in aviation history took place in Fairfield, Connecticut on this day in 1901, as inventor Gustave Whitehead executed a half-mile-long flight in hi…

A little political theatre from 1874 and a story we were not familiar with.....
07/23/2020
July 23: Abby Smith and Her Cows Go Viral –– in 1874

A little political theatre from 1874 and a story we were not familiar with.....

Today in 1879, Abigail “Abby” Hadassah Smith, — who achieved instant national fame at age 76 because of how she responded to the man who took her cows — passed away at her home in Gl…

When trying to reconstruct family history, consider that external events have a huge effect on where people go and what ...
07/09/2020
July 9: A Hard Overnight Freeze in “The Year Without a Summer”

When trying to reconstruct family history, consider that external events have a huge effect on where people go and what they do. We typically think of wars in this context, but even weather events can really matter. Ever wonder why that elusive branch of the family might have suddenly "gone west" from New England? If they moved in 1816 or the next year or so, "The year without a summer" is something to consider.

[audio mp3=”   The winters of the early 19th century — the last decades of the “Little Ice Age” that chilled North America and Europe for over five centuries (1300-1850…

Some interesting Connecticut state history!  We've got a new book in the final stages (out in a couple of months) about ...
07/05/2020
July 5: Connecticut’s Other (for 177 Years) State Capitol

Some interesting Connecticut state history!

We've got a new book in the final stages (out in a couple of months) about the history of little Trinity Lime Rock, a church in Lime Rock, CT, that has an unusual connection with the so-called "new" State House in Hartford. But you'll have to wait for the book to find out what it is!

  From 1701 through 1878, the Colony (and later State) of Connecticut had not one, but two capital cities: Hartford and New Haven. During these 177 years of of shared governance, each co-capit…

Genuinely something that our educational system needs.  If we don't know where we came from, how can we tell where we're...
06/29/2020
June 29: In the Middle of a World War, a Vote for History

Genuinely something that our educational system needs. If we don't know where we came from, how can we tell where we're going?

  Connecticut history made history today in 1943, when Governor Ray Baldwin signed a law setting new standards for citizenship education in Connecticut schools. The new law required that any c…

Talk about timely!!It was almost exactly a century ago.....
04/02/2020
April 2: The Deadly Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 Hits Connecticut

Talk about timely!!

It was almost exactly a century ago.....

    Today in 1919, the medical paper “Complications of Influenza” was read to a desperately worried Hartford County Medical Society, which feared a renewed outbreak of a devas…

Here's an interesting bit of Connecticut history -- as it turns out, another aspect of the state's Northwest Corner, whe...
02/17/2020
February 17: A Great Hope for Hawaii Dies in Cornwall

Here's an interesting bit of Connecticut history -- as it turns out, another aspect of the state's Northwest Corner, where Between the Lakes Group is physically located (although our inventory covers many states). There are lots of fascinating stories that lead out of this one, especially about the impact of the Foreign Mission School on a small hitherto-homogeneous rural community as Cornwall was back in that era.

  When 25-year-old Henry Opukahaia first set foot in the town of Cornwall, Connecticut in 1817, he carried on his shoulders the far-reaching hopes and dreams of some of Connecticut’s mos…

We're especially happy to share this with you!  It's not just because it reflects some little-known Connecticut history,...
02/14/2020
February 14: The Sole Survivor of A Great Industrial Meltdown

We're especially happy to share this with you! It's not just because it reflects some little-known Connecticut history, but because we -- the management of Between the Lakes Group -- are also very much involved in the Friends of Beckley Furnace. We spend a fair amount of time there (during the warmer months, at least).

Beckley Furnace is definitely worth a visit, in our humble opinion!

  In the rural town of East Canaan, along the banks of the Blackberry River, there stands a curious rectangular tower. It is constructed of massive slabs of marble and reaches forty feet high,…

Is there history in places where you would never expect to find it?You bet there is!
01/23/2020
January 23: A Pie in the Sky Idea Takes Off.

Is there history in places where you would never expect to find it?

You bet there is!

  In 1871, a Civil War veteran and baker by the name of William Russell Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, later building a large factory on the city’s ea…

When did YOUR state join the United States?  Here's the answer for Connecticut -- and you can find the other early state...
01/09/2020
January 9: Connecticut Votes to Join the United States

When did YOUR state join the United States? Here's the answer for Connecticut -- and you can find the other early states here as well. (Note a few changes the the shapes of the states as well).

(Thanks to todayincthistory.com!!)

  Today in 1788, the delegates at the Connecticut state convention ratified the United States Constitution by a vote of 128 to 40, making Connecticut the fifth state to join the Union. While c…

At our small local post office (Taconic, CT 06079) the Postmaster and a local historian decided to research and post som...
01/06/2020

At our small local post office (Taconic, CT 06079) the Postmaster and a local historian decided to research and post some local history. Great idea!! Thanks!! #Taconic #postoffice #postmasters

At our small local post office (Taconic, CT 06079) the Postmaster and a local historian decided to research and post some local history. Great idea!! Thanks!! #Taconic #postoffice #postmasters

The title tells a bit of the story here, but the story (and podcast) tell quite a bit more.  You see, it wasn't just Eas...
12/28/2019
December 28: When Eastern Pennsylvania Belonged to Connecticut

The title tells a bit of the story here, but the story (and podcast) tell quite a bit more. You see, it wasn't just Eastern Pennsylvania that Connecticut once had a reasonable claim to.
You may be amazed at just how much more there was!

  Connecticut stands today as one of the smallest states in the Union in terms of land area. But during the 17th and 18th centuries, ambitious Connecticans dreamed of expanding the colony̵…

Some Connecticut history for today....
11/11/2019
November 11: The Last Connectican to Die in World War I

Some Connecticut history for today....

  In many countries around the world, November 11 is known as Armistice Day in honor of the truce that marked the end of hostilities on the Western Front between German and Allied forces, enac…

The fascinating story of a railroad tycoon who rose from a farm in aptly-named Poverty Hollow in Harwinton, CT, to found...
10/22/2019
October 22: From Yankee Peddler to Railroad Tycoon

The fascinating story of a railroad tycoon who rose from a farm in aptly-named Poverty Hollow in Harwinton, CT, to found the Central Pacific Railroad and become one of the leading railroad tycoons of the Gilded Age. There's a podcast to listen to and a story to read. We recommend both!

  Collis Potter Huntington was born on this day in 1822, the sixth of nine children born to William and Elizabeth Huntington of Harwinton, Connecticut. The Huntington family, owners of a farm …

Interchangeable parts, mass production, assembly line ... this Connecticut man was behind all of them.  Worth listening ...
09/01/2019
September 1: The Unknown Genius Behind Connecticut’s Industrial Greatness Dies in Hartford

Interchangeable parts, mass production, assembly line ... this Connecticut man was behind all of them. Worth listening (or at least reading) if you have an interest in Connecticut history or industrial history or the history of technology!

  The largely unknown man at the root of Connecticut’s 19th century industrial greatness – Elisha King Root – died in Hartford on this day in 1865. Root’s machine tool genius revol…

Here's some interesting Connecticut history, including answers to such questions as when Connecticut got its first real ...
08/26/2019
August 26: Connecticut Finally Gets A Constitution.

Here's some interesting Connecticut history, including answers to such questions as when Connecticut got its first real constitution? Did Connecticut ever have an official state religion?

  Today in 1818, delegates to the state’s Constitutional Convention gathered at the State House in Hartford for the first time, charged with the formidable task of restructuring Connecti…

We’ve been interested in the ups and downs of Sullivan County, New York since roughly 1950 when a friend’s dad showed me...
06/28/2019

We’ve been interested in the ups and downs of Sullivan County, New York since roughly 1950 when a friend’s dad showed me a treasured original version of Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County.

Now it’s time for the cycle to take a new turn, and Sullivan County Historian John Conway tells us a bit about the future a new filmmaker sees!

RETROSPECT
by John Conway
June 28, 2019

The Next Act

Regular readers of this column know that the history of Sullivan County—and particularly of its renowned resort industry—has followed a fairly predictable evolutionary path over the past nearly 200 years, with periods of prosperity separated by transitions.

Those transitions have typically included myriad changes, such as the demise of the tanning industry and the arrival of the railroad in the latter part of the 19th century, the decline of the railroad and the influx of Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, and the rise and fall of the fortress hotels some 50 years after that. The recent arrival of the Resorts World Casino, the YO 1 Wellness Center and the Kartrite Hotel and Water Park also fall neatly into that pattern.

Now, students of the county’s rich and colorful history will have a rare opportunity to see how that evolution of history has once again influenced what is likely ahead for the region, when the Hurleyville Arts Centre presents a special program centered around the new documentary, “The Sullivan County Catskills: The Next Act” on Thursday, July 18.

The film is produced by Grayce Arlotta-Berner of Four Dogs Media and Peter Russo of Kisco Kid Productions, who spent the better part of two years putting the documentary together.

The Arts Centre program will include an introduction—and some context for the film—by the Sullivan County Historian, then the movie itself, and finally a question-and-answer period and panel discussion featuring the filmmakers, the County Historian, architects Victor and Robert Dadras, and former town of Thompson Historian, Alan Barrish.

The documentary, which runs less than 40 minutes, delves into Sullivan County’s storied history as a tourist destination, but only as a foundation for what possibly lies ahead: The Next Act. Filmmaker Grayce Arlotta-Berner admits that isn’t exactly how she envisioned the movie when she began the project, but the story simply took on a life of its own.

Arlotta-Berner says she has fond memories of visiting her uncle’s bungalow colony in Bloomingburg with her Dad when she was growing up, and she was moved to make a documentary about the unique bungalow colony experience that existed nowhere else but the Sullivan and Ulster County Catskills.

“The idea of telling the story of the bungalow colonies soon expanded as we began to see what was going on in the county,” she says. “The more folks we met with, the more we realized that there was much more to the story than the re-telling of the Borscht Belt.”

“The project began with the story by photographer and author Marisa Scheinfeld, and her moving images of the remains of the old hotels in the Borscht Belt,” Russo adds. “That’s where our exploration started, encouraged by Grayce, who had a connection with the bungalow colonies, and my wife, who spent a great deal of her childhood and teens in the Catskills. But that story was too one- dimensional, and at times sad, because you could never bring back that ‘Golden Age’ again. However, the more time we spent exploring the area, the more we began to witness the exciting re-birth of the new businesses coming in, and we realized the narrative had to be a more ‘then and now’ story. This summer being the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock helps that narrative.”

Both Arlotta-Berner and Russo say they are proud of the resulting film, and that the project gave them a new appreciation for what is happening in Sullivan County right now.

“I love history-- most of the documentaries I wrote, produced and directed over the past 20 years were based on historical events,” Russo says. “But this was a true learning experience for me, not having experienced the area as a child or as an adult. It wasn’t until I got married that my wife and her family shared with me the experiences they had up in the Catskills, and provided me personal stories and photographs, some of which are used in the film. There has been a re-birth in the region, and it is finally being talked about in the press. In many ways it’s an untold story, and in some ways ‘a diamond in the rough’ that we wanted to share with an audience.”

“I hope that the film will educate those who don’t know of the history of the area and inform others of the bright future that lies ahead for Sullivan County,” Arlotta-Berner says. “It’s about to explode and I’m so glad we were able to capture that energy in our documentary.”

The program is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, July 18 in the cinema at the Hurleyville Arts Centre, 219 Main St., Hurleyville. Tickets are $10 and can be ordered in advance through the Arts Centre website, https://hurleyvilleartscentre.org/next-act/.

Tickets will also be available at the door until seats are sold out, but seating is limited, so it is probably best not to procrastinate. It promises to be a great show.

John Conway is the Sullivan County Historian. Email him at [email protected]. He will be introducing the documentary, “The Sullivan County Catskills: The Next Act” and leading the panel discussion at the Hurleyville Arts Centre on Thursday, July 18.

PHOTO CAPTION: Filmmakers Grayce Arlotta-Berner (center) and Peter Russo (right) with a cameraman on location at the abandoned Pines Hotel.

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We collect and re-publish history. Occasionally we also compile and write it ourselves. Our publications began as CD-ROMs, and now most are available as downloads. Our specialization is in the Northeast, and especially New York State and Connecticut. We are also exploring new dimensions in harnessing technology to make history more accessible and interesting to a wider audience. View our catalog at http://www.betweenthelakes.com/catalog.htm

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Dear Former Genealogical.com Affiliate, Since our original print web site crashed in February of 2018, we have been mired in website development. The cost of these difficulties have translated into lost sales for us and lost revenue for you. What we have done to address the breakdown, at last, is build a new site on the popular Woo Commerce platform and install state of the art affiliate software. At this juncture, we are asking for your support. Sales of reference books in general and genealogy books in particular, are suffering. With printing costs going up and the value of the content going down as more and more data is made available over the web, it is no secret that the future of our traditional print publishing operation is uncertain. We are concerned that the contributions of the past –the personal nature of the story as well as the presentation or context – may soon be lost. Family history may well be reduced to names, dates, pictures, and places gleaned by search bots of the major websites. If you see the future as we do and are committed to keeping books available, we invite you to join us again as both messengers and partners. We promise to keep our affiliates informed and maintain the avenues of communication. To keep that promise, we will need you to complete the Registration Form linked on our current site. When we have your form, we will email an approval back to you and you will be set to go. The site will provide an affiliate code to you along with banners to display. We have posted directions on the site if you want to personalize the assigned code. Since any page links you had for our defunct site no longer work, you will need to create new links. If you want to link to any particular page, you can easily add your link to the URL for that page. If you have a lot of links to create, we can send you a list of all page URL’s. Here is the link to the sign-up page : Affiliate Register Page - Genealogical.com. To keep you apprised on new developments, we will provide you with regular notices of upcoming sales and/or new releases. If you have an area of interest, let us know that. As an important enhancement on our new site, customers/visitors can now purchase both print and eBooks. For the present, eBooks will be download only. In addition to our current ePub offerings, we plan to add hundreds of pdf titles. [Note: Our subscription offerings will continue to be available from a separate site. That site is not connected to the affiliate program. Let us know if you have requests or ideas for subscription packages.] Thanks for your past support. We look forward to working with you much more closely in the weeks and months to come. Joe Garonzik Marketing Director
I have an original Town of Liberty, Sullivan County, NY Sesquicentennial, Saturday, September 28, 1957, Historical Summary Program. It is in excellent condition and want to know what this program would be worth on the market?