Special Pieces from the Blue Barn Collection

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Historic Sidney roller rink burns to the ground

Above: A photo of the Hill Cest Roller Rink in the village of Sidney, New York, on fire late on Tuesday, August 26. Photo via the Delaware County NY Fire Wire & Emergency News Facebook page.

The Hill Crest Roller Rink, a nightlife institution for generations of Delaware County residents, burned to the ground in the village of Sidney on Tuesday, August 26. 

The building, a "very, very old" wooden structure located at 2181 County Highway 4, caught fire late in the evening, and was fully engaged quickly, according to Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond.

"The fire burned very hot," he said. "It burned right to the ground almost immediately."

The fire was called in at 11:30 p.m., said the building's owner, Tracey Chapman. 

Chapman was out of town on Tuesday night when he got the call that his business was in flames. He raced back to Sidney, and when he arrived it was clear that the roller rink had been destroyed.   Read more

Eats & Entertainment in the Great Western Catskills

Photography, Two Old Tarts, Tess Mayer


It’s easy to work up quite an appetite when out enjoying the beauty and happenings of the Great Western Catskills. Luckily, scenic Delaware County has something to offer everyone when it comes to delicious foods and welcoming restaurants. From Sidney to Margaretville, hungry travelers can find tasty fare to satisfy their cravings and fuel them up for their next adventures. Here are just a few of the many pairings of food and fun available to the explorers of Delaware County.  Read more

On the brink of a buyout, junkyard burns in Fleischmanns

Above: The VW Parts junkyard on fire in Fleischmanns. Photos by Julia Reischel.

The VW Parts building owned by infamous Fleischmanns junkyard operator William Hrazanek caught fire around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26. The former junkyard, located at 717 Wagner Avenue, is in the process of being purchased as with federal disaster funds as part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) buyout program. 

"FEMA is going to tear it down anyway," said Hrazanek as he stood watching the flames. "It's less work for them."

The fire was in full swing at 5:30 p.m. A tall column of smoke loomed over a crowd of students who were watching the fire from the grounds of a yeshiva next door. Multiple fire departments were on the scene.  

Hrazanek said that he has no idea what started the fire, and that he was in the process of selling the contents of the building, mostly auto parts, to Euro Nutz Inc. in Saugerties.  He said that he believed that workers from Euro Nutz had been inside the building earlier today, but that when he arrived at the scene, the door was locked and the fire was in progress.   Read more

Early Morning Line up of Carts for Margaretville Health Foundation Golf Tournament

Line up of golf carts early Sunday morning awaiting the participating golf players of the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament sponsored by the Margaretville Health Foundation.  A group of dedicated community members with a passion for golf.  We thank and acknowledge their dedication to improving the quality of health care here in the Catskills. 

Antique Engine Jamboree & Powerfest at Hanford Mills Museum - Sept. 6

[East Meredith, NY August 25, 2014] Antique tractors, Model A Fords, a 1926 Ahrens Fox Pumper fire truck, a 1956 Chevy Belair and a variety of gas and steam-powered engines will be featured at the 31st Annual Dan Rion Memorial Antique Engine Jamboree and Powerfest at Hanford Mills Museum on Saturday, September 6 from 10 am – 5 pm.

The Museum’s wood-fired steam boiler plant will power horizontal and vertical steam engines. The event also will feature Mill tours, renewable energy exhibits, great food, children's activities, and live music with the Stoddard Hollow String Band.

Hit and miss engines, model steam engines, water-cooled and air-cooled gas engines will be on display. Visitors can talk with the collectors, many of whom have spent hours restoring engines.

“People come to Hanford Mills to explore the power of the past,” explains Museum Executive Director Liz Callahan. “The collectors and enthusiasts who display their engines, cars, and tractors are eager to share stories and their expertise. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and understand the ingenuity of the past.”  Read more

Farmer's Market of the Week: Stamford Pop-Up Market

The Watershed Agricultural Council and Pure Catskills are featuring a different Catskills farmers' market every week during the 2014 growing season.

This week's market is the Stamford Holiday Pop-Up Market, located at the railroad station, 21 Railroad Avenue, in Stamford, NY. The pre-Labor Day market will be held Thursday, August 28, from 4-6:30pm.

The Stamford Holiday Pop-Up Market, sponsored by the Greater Stamford Chamber of Commerce, is usually held the Thursday before a major holiday. 

Fruits, vegetables, baked goods, pickles, dairy, jams, meat,, eggs, wine, crafts and more!

Vendors include:   Read more

Head-on crash kills one, injures four in Colchester

A head-on collision between two cars on Cat Hollow Road in the rural Delaware County town of Colchester claimed the life of a Nineveh man, and injured four Bronx residents, on Thursday morning. 

The crash occurred around 10 am on Thursday, August 21, when an Isuzu Amigo driven by 48-year-old William Sharpless of Nineveh collided with a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 30-year-old Bronx resident Crest Wood.

Sharpless was driving south on Cat Hollow Road when his car was struck head-on by Wood's Jeep, which was driving northbound in the southbound lane, according to a statement from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. The incident was investigated by the New York State Police Troop C Collision Reconstruction Unit and Delaware County sheriff's deputies. 

Sharpless was declared dead on the scene by Delaware County medical examiner Richard Ucci. He had no passengers in his car.   Read more

Lightning strikes Fleischmanns church

Above: Pastor Adrian Todd looks out of a broken window in the bell tower of the Fleischmanns United Methodist Church on Thursday, August 21. The windows were blown out when lightning struck the building that morning. Photo by Larry Dunlap.

Lighting struck the bell tower of the United Methodist Church in Fleischmanns at 8:45 a.m. on August 21, blasting off siding and blowing out six windows.

"Somebody said it sounded like a bomb went off," said Adrian Todd, the pastor of the church, which is also known as the Fleischmanns Community Church. "It was loud."

Todd wasn't at the church at the time of the strike, but several people were driving by and witnessed it.

"The windows blew out just as they were right in front of the church," Todd said.

The windows were plain glass, not stained glass. Todd said that the church's insurance company is investigating and determining whether it will cover the damage. 

There were no injuries. Todd said that the tenants who live in the adjacent building were not affected.

Volunteers helped clean up the shattered glass off the church lawn yesterday, and today the broken windows are covered with plywood.

The church building dates from 1884, and as far as Todd knows, this is the first time it has been struck by lightning.

Is there a theological explanation?  Read more


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