The Passing of Friends and Family

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Leonard Ornstein, Professor Emeritus of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and a renowned cell biologist, died May 7, 2013, at the age of 87. Dr. Ornstein’s grandfa­ther, Solomon Ornstein, bought the former Bleck’s Hotel in Equinunk in 1921, and within a few years turned it into a family summer home. Every summer of his life, Leonard Ornstein spent part (and, upon retirement, all) of the summer in residence at the home in Equinunk, where he had many of the most treasured experiences of his life. The remainder of the year he lived in Westchester County, New York.

He had a long and distinguished career in cell biology, and was involved in a number of groundbreaking studies, including development of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, used for the analysis of proteins and nucleic acids. He also researched and wrote about information theory and meaning, agricultural irrigation and global warming, among other topics, and in­vented blood diagnostic machinery widely used in hospitals. He held 26 patents in the fields of histochemistry, bioengineering and agricultural irrigation.

Art Appreciation Day - Recap

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This years Art Appreciation Day was particularly special as one of our own, Don Kaszner, showcased his work in the Calder Hall. His wonderful talent and inspiration showed through in his photographs, from outhouses to farmhouses and many things in between.

In 2003, Don received a Merit Award from the Upper Delaware Heritage Alliance for his excellent work. Formerly a EHS director, Don has been furnishing the Society with his great photography services for a number of years. In addition, he has been donating pictures he and others have taken to the society since the 1980’s. His photographs of the Stockport area have been a valuable asset, as much of the area he photographed is now lost to the elements.

This is his third showing here over the years. Don has been an integral part of the Society and we hope to see more of his work in the future.

Brass Bands in Northeastern Pennsylvania - Recap

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Music professor and Honesdale native Dr. Ken Kreitner presented a lively and entertaining program on Saturday, July 27 in the EHS Calder Hall. The presentation, liberally sprinkledwith notes of pure humor, was enthusiastically viewed by an audience of over 30 people. It is no wonder he gets consistently high ratings from his students for his teaching abilities. They call him a brilliant musicologist, with a wide range of interests, a great researcher and motivator. Based on his book, “Discoursing Sweet Music: Town Bands and Community Life in Turn-of-the-Century Pennsylvania”, his talk centered mainly on the history of brass bands in the local area, and on the instruments themselves. He demonstrated some of the instruments as well, after which he answered questions from the audience. Thank you, Dr. Kreitner; we were honored to have you enlighten us on one of our local historic pastimes.

Joel Hill Water-Powered Sawmill Opens Summer Season

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The Joel Hill Civil War era, Water-powered Sawmill will open its summer season on Saturday and Sunday, July 13 & 14. Demonstrations and tours will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Joel Hill Sawmill, built in the 1860’s and located off Creek Rd. in Equinunk, is housed in its original structure. It ran continuously up until the 1970’s when it was finally silenced. Its public-spirited owners at the Duck Harbor Co. donated the mill to the Equinunk Historical Society in memory of Joel G. Hill II, who died on March 20, 1987.

Visit the Annual Zane Grey Festival – July 20th

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The National Park Service and the Zane Grey’s West Society will host the Zane Grey Festival again this summer. The festival is geared towards fun for the entire family with many activities and events for children and adults. The festival will be held at the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

Zane Grey, the renowned chronicler of the American West, resided in Lackawaxen from 1905 to 1918. His home was along the banks of the Upper Delaware River, just below the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers and just north of the Roebling Bridge. Grey, an avid fisherman, was especially fond of this setting.

The Zane Grey Museum displays Grey’s memorabilia, photographs, and books in the rooms that served as Grey's office and study. Exhibits in the Zane Grey Museum give viewers a better understanding of the life and writing of the famed western author. His office and study have been meticulously recreated based on an interior photograph by famed photographer Louis Hensel. The National Park Service preserves Grey’s home as part of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.

Zane Grey’s legacy of literature and sportsmanship lives on in Lackawaxen. Come join the fun and learn more about the Western novelist from Lackawaxen. Refreshments will be served all day.

EHS volunteers will have a display table at the event.

Location: Scenic Drive, Lackawaxen, PA (41.48566, -74.98742)

Unusual Antiques - Recap

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Nationally recognized antiques expert, Richard “Smitty” Axtell, of Deposit, NY, grinned at our puzzled expressions. Spread on the table before him was an assortment of 25 or so “Unusual Antiques” that he invited us to try to identify. Now, this is the Equinunk Historical Society after all. Everyone in the audience has an abiding interest in things old and unique, but were we polled, we might have accurately guessed the purpose of only a few. The rest would have remained mysteriously intriguing. Reminding us that this year’s theme is “Historical Pastimes”, Mr. Axtell explained that these were all items that our ancestors might have spent their rare spare time creating.

Starting with a “tape loom”, he displayed a large, flat, wooden, fork-like, many-tined object held between the knees and used to weave sewn tape into linings for a lady’s bustle. Of course.

Many items were “whimsies” – items created for no other purpose than to amuse both children and adults. Why else would one carve a wooden snake? Or a satirical plaque of a rotund, rather unpleasant-looking fellow, possibly a politician? Was it for mockery? There were other purely decorative pieces as well; a carved barn swallow, and a pine dog.