Warren County Historical Society Presents …
The Digital Version * * * “REWIND”
In preparing for Warren County’s Bicentennial, local historians, historical societies and other individuals were asked to prepare historical information for a souvenir magazine. Because much more information was submitted than space would allow in the final publication, we have decided to use the extra material for our Rewind column. Christine Ianson of Hague submitted this very interesting information on the people of Hague. Using sources from the Hague Historical Society and material written by Clifton Webb, long time town historian, and other sources, Christine shares with us a very interesting look at people from very early Hague history. Christine also provided enough information for additional columns that we will publish in the future.
September 01, 2013
IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE TOWN OF HAGUE
The Second Hundred Years (1913 – 2013)
This is the second article on people from Hague who had an impact on the town. It is part of the material submitted by Christine Ianson for the bicentennial souvenir magazine. In this material, Christine highlights some of the important people from the last 100 years.
DICK BOLTON (b. 2-2-1927)
Dick Bolton (aka Richard E. Bolton) followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Richard J. (“RJ”) in becoming a long-term Supervisor of the Town of Hague. A decade after his retirement, he tells a little about himself, saying that he and his older brother Jack were adopted by their grandfather RJ Bolton. RJ was originally from Brant Lake. Every day he came to Hague with a load of bark that he sold to the local tanneries. RJ liked Hague and decided to stay here and run a hotel. Originally he owned the Hillside. Then he built the Trout House. Two Trout Houses burned.
Speaking of the “lifestyle” at the Trout House Hotel, Dick recalls that they had bingo and movies once a week, and a piano player, Bert Lovely, in the bar on the weekends. A room rental included three meals a day. The Trout House farm, run by Nathan Elethorpe, supplied the hotel with vegetables, milk and beef to serve their guests.
When asked if his grandmother (Mame) had any special recipes, Dick said she would just go into the kitchen and cook with a pinch of this and a pinch of that. Dick would make a fire for her in the morning in the wood stove. “She made apple pie like you couldn’t believe.” If the churches were having functions, they would always ask for Mame’s pies. They always had pie for dessert.
Until his retirement, Dick Bolton lived in Hague for his whole life, except during his years at Champlain College and his three years in the US Navy. Working hard during his youth under RJ and Mame prepared Dick for a successful life. During his 29 years at International Paper Company (IP) he worked his way up to becoming Yard Superintendent. In meantime, he served as Town of Hague Supervisor for over a decade (1978-1991) while working on committees like NY State Supervisors, the NY State Association of Towns and Warren County legislators.
It’s easy to see what made Dick Bolton such a great asset to our town. In 1986, soon after being re-elected, he expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of his staff, stating that it “enables him to do his job more effectively.” And this was evident when the Hague Community Center was being built. In December of 1991when retired from duties as Town of Hague Supervisor, Dick spoke at his last Board meeting of Hague’s volunteers and benefactors. His words are paraphrased on p.4 in The Hague Chronicle 12/1991.
The Center was built for less than $450,000-with 95% of the painting on the inside done by volunteers. Many items were donated by groups or individuals, including landscaping by the Carillon Garden Club, blacktopping by Rifenburg Construction Co., Adirondack lobby furniture in memory of Jack Henry, former councilman, and supervisors office in memory of Richard J. Bolton, Dick’s grandfather, for many years a supervisor of Hague. Martin Fitzgerald and Dick Frasier donated their time as overseers of the project. This center is used extensively by the people of Hague and has become an integral part of our community.
The list of his other accomplishments is long, very long. Supervisor Dick Bolton laid the groundwork for much of what we have in Hague today.
Dan Belden and Dick Bolton
Dan Belden began his 40-year career in Town of Hague in 1971 beginning as Superintendent of Highways. Then in 1992 he became Town of Hague Supervisor after Dick Bolton stepped down from the position. Dan served as Supervisor for nearly 20 years, until his retirement in December of 2011. He took pride in his accomplishments as a public servant. During his first twenty years as Highway Superintendent he worked at upgrading roads and keeping the Town’s equipment in good repair and also kept the snowplows going day and night to clear Hague’s steep hilly roads.
During his 20 years as the top official in Hague’s government, Dan had his work cut out for him from the beginning. Dan Belden’s goal in every accomplishment was to serve the people and keep the Town of Hague budget as lean as possible. He fulfilled his goals for improvements making a reality sewer connections, putting in sidewalks, safe water systems, dredging the silt out of streams entering the Town beach, managing the geese and duck over-population that endanger the purity of drinking water, keeping the beach beautiful and safe for swimmers. To that end, Supervisor Dan focused his efforts on obtaining monies through state and federal grants for the Town of Hague and its people. In Dan Belden’s own words, “I brought in $20 million for the town of Hague’s citizens.”
Dan Belden will be remembered for bringing in a sewer system to the Hamlet of Hague. Replacing old septic systems with a modern sewer system was a great challenge in these Heavenly Hills of Hague with its many steep roadways. Sewers go far in keeping Lake George waters pure. But if the projects he initiated are forgotten, Supervisor Belden will be long remembered for reaching out to the people—for the time he took listening to their needs and concerns and for responding day or night to emergencies.
He was chosen by the whole community as Hague’s Senior of the Year on December 6, 2011. Chamber of Commerce member Sal Santaniello presented him with a plaque: “2011 Hague Senior Citizen of the Year – DANIEL D. BELDEN – In Recognition and Appreciation of your Many Years of Dedicated Service to the Hague Community—from the Hague Chamber of Commerce.” The award was given at the Hague Senior Citizens’ Annual Christmas Party at HVFD. (Dan was a volunteer with the Fire Department.) Sal noted that “Dan is always there when needed and attends all the local functions.”
Warren County Board of Supervisors said farewell to its outgoing members on 12-16-2011. Supervisor Dan received kudos from many colleagues. Horicon Supervisor, Ralph Bentley said all would miss Dan’s expertise and his knowledge of highways and public works. From the County Board’s Chairman, Dan Stec, came these words: “Dan’s a statesman and consensus builder. He has always had the best interests of all Warren County at heart.” All wish him well in his retirement.
DULCIE PALMER – July 28, 1924 – July 13, 2011
(Note: On January 5, 2007, Dulcie participated in an interview at her home on the Ti Road, conducted by members of the Hague Historical Society. What follows is a transcription of that interview done by Pat McDonough.)
Dulcie had earlier mentioned that she was a DeLarm. That was all we needed to know to pique our interest! Chris Ianson and I called on Dulcie who spent nearly two hours with us.
Dulcie was born in 1924 to Leola Maud DeLarm Kill and Clyde Emory Kill. Her mother, daughter of William Wilder DeLarm and Hannah Jenkins DeLarm, died when Dulcie was five days old. Dulcie was taken in, cared for and raised by her mother’s sister and her husband, Gertrude and Andrew Lewis. They lived in Ticonderoga and that’s where Dulcie grew up.
There were three DeLarm daughters of William and Hannah – Leola, Mona and Gertrude.Leola DeLarm was brought up at the Trout House by the Wheelers.Rollin DeLarm was Leola’s brother and the father of Keith and Jim DeLarm (both of Hague), making Dulcie their cousin.
In 1992 Dulcie came to live with and care for her Aunt Mona Mattison in the home where we visited her today. At one time her Aunt had lived in a red brick house on the left going south toward Hague. She used to bake cookies and pies and made penuche candy all of which was ordered by the boys from the Cook’s Bay campsite. They loved the penuche candy! This was back in the 1930’s. Her Uncle Earl Mattison used to sell milk, eggs and chickens to the camps. When they would make their deliveries to the campground, they’d be singing away in the truck and along would come the French’s dog Peggy, racing them along the road.
As a child, Dulcie had asthma and so in the summers she often went to spend time at her relatives’ farms – an uncle in Putnam and Uncle Rollin’s in Hague. She didn’t have to do any chores, “just played” with Janette and Toddy Fitzgerald (Frank’s children). She remembers one day they wanted to go swimming in the Lake (George) and it was a long walk. Aunt Ethel (Rollin’s wife) said they had to take young Jimmy so off they went down to Hague Beach. On the way home they had to run because a big lightning storm had begun. (Sally – one of Keith’s four children has the farm now.)
When asked what the farm was like, Dulcie remembered big red barns, cows, chickens and pigs. Uncle Rollin made “awful good sausage” from those pigs.They used to go up to Graphite for blueberry picking.
Dulcie’s Aunt Doris, married to Verner DeLarm, was a school teacher in Westport. Dulcie spent a week with her in the Westport school. It was different from Ticonderoga.I asked Dulcie if she came to Hague to go dancing. “Oh, yes, we went to the Dock ‘n’ Dine and the Cave where they had a juke box. The Dock ‘n’ Dine had bands.” They got to know the boys working at Arcady. Dulcie met one of them at the Woolworth’s in Ti where she worked. This was in the 1940’s and they used to have big picnics on the beach at Arcady and swim in the Lake. There was a big game room with ping-pong.
Asked if she knew any girls from Hague, Dulcie said she knew Laura Bennett and Helen Beadnell from cheerleading at the basketball games. Her cousin, Keith DeLarm, used to play basketball and even played at college (Cornell University). They always went to the basketball games, but on evenings when there was no game her parents let her have parties at their home. They liked to have spaghetti dinners and one night, when they were expecting 6 young people, about 18 arrived! They kept adding more and more pasta to the big copper canning pot, forgetting that the pasta swelled as it cooked. They ended up with so much cooked spaghetti that they put it in containers and offered it around the neighborhood to get rid of it! Keith DeLarm would come for the spaghetti dinner. His brother Jim was younger. Charlie Fitzgerald came once in awhile. He called it “crashing the party.”
At this point in our visit with Dulcie, she brought out a folder of wonderful old pictures and mementos that sparked our conversational direction.When Cecil (Rollin’s brother) and Bertha DeLarm opened up the Pine Hill Cottages, it was shortly after they had been married. Their family and friends had a “hornin’ in” party – they short-sheeted the beds in the cabin the newlyweds were to stay in, had wedding rice all about, bells ringing and a hammer banging on a big saw blade. A postcard of the Cottages that Dulcie showed us also showed Cecil’s house on the hill above the cottages. He also owned the land where Cape Cod Village is today.
There were photos of the Cook’s Bay Campsite (later it was sold to the State and became Rogers Rock Campground). The camps there were called “Ticonderoga Camps” for girls and boys. They had big parties there and they made ice cream. They had entertainment at night. The Cook’s Bay camps were owned by the French’s (Arthur S. French, 262 Springfield Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ)
She remembers that they had a good chef there – a great big Greek fellow – who made wonderful rolls and crumb cakes. He took a liking to Dulcie and used to give her goodies when she visited. One time she and her Aunt were watching the Greek knead the dough for his baked goods when he sneezed in his hand. He wiped his hand on his apron and went right on kneading! Dulcie didn’t like his rolls too much after that. They just took them home and “fed them to the dogs”!
She wasn’t allowed to go to the camp on Tuesdays – it was nudist day!Dulcie remembers going there after the campsite was closed at summer’s end and finding lots of goodies – little dolls, birch bark canoes, money – Dulcie was delighted one time when she found $5!
She recalled the story of a local murder in the brick house on Route 9N. The lady of the house was apparently hung and the rumor was that her body went into the bottomless pond that was behind the house.
CLIFTON F. WEST (August 26, 1908-July 6-2001)
The son of Burton West and Bessie Clifton West, Clifton fell in love with Marguerite Holman and spent over 50 married years living in their home on Hague’s main street, Graphite Mountain Road, across from the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. (After a fire, the home was razed in 2010.)
Hague High School was new when Mr. West graduated in 1928. He went on to get a degree from the Mildred Elley Business School in 1930. Then he worked at Island Harbor House, the Bartlett House at Sabbath Day Point and at Phoenix Hotel.
From 1945-1972, Mr. West worked at the Hague Central School in the brick school building which was razed after 1979, when the school became consolidated with the Ticonderoga Central School District. The present day Hague Community Center was built soon after that.
Hague Central School circa 1931.The principal was Mr. Morgan Chester. Ethel Andrus became Hague Town Historian after Mr. West’s death. She is seated in the second row, fourth student from the right.
Mr. West became Hague Town Historian January 2, 1978, earning $178 a year; he served in that capacity until his death. .He was a founding member of the Hague Historical Society and curator of Hague’s historical museum. He left us a rich legacy of written commentary on Hague’s people and their history. The Town has honored him by naming the Museum’s main room the Clifton F. West Memorial Room.
On September 14, 2007, Richard A. Frasier received the highest honor of his profession when he was inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Dick followed in his father’s footsteps and kept the Lakeshore Garage business going which he ran with his wife Edna, putting her in charge of customer service and bookkeeping.
Dick and Edna raised their four children in their home above the garage on Route 9N—Jessica, Lindsay, Lucas and Matthew. The garage buildings were originally built as part of Hague’s historic Trout House Garage first owned and operated by R.J. Bolton, before Dick’s father bought it.
Dick and Edna Frasier – 2007.
In 2004, Dick and his wife Edna sold their 9N home and garage property to build a much bigger Lakeshore Garage that could house the large tow trucks and wreckers that were becoming a major facet of his business. In early October of 2006, the original buildings of the turn of the century Lakeshore Garage were razed.
In 1980, Dick became a founding member of ESTRA, the Empire State Towing and Recovery Association. Since 1983, he and his wife Edna have organized The Empire State Towing and Recovery Show which is held each year at Fort William Henry Hotel in Lake George Village. At the end of May or beginning of June the Tow Show features training programs such as safety procedures for clearing accidents and presents demos in Towing and Recovery, like pulling an over-turned mega tanker truck to an upright position. The Tow Show also has its fun events. There’s even a tow truck beauty contest and a final Awards Ceremony. The show draws big crowds for all the events.
During the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, Lakeshore Garage became New York State’s official towing service. Dick Frasier provided 30 wreckers and was responsible for organizing the towing equipment and manpower from seven states to cover the Olympic region.
In his community, Dick has served on the Hague Town Board for 12 years and currently holds a seat on the Town’s Planning Board on which he’s also served several terms over the years. He has also been a long-time board member of Ticonderoga Central Schools and on Ticonderoga’s Moses Ludington Hospital Board of which he was elected Chairman and Treasurer over the years.
The Frasiers’ original Lakeshore Garage before its demolition in early Oct. of 2006. – C.M. Ianson Photo
Customers still rely on Dick for emergency repairs and routine car maintenance. The new Lakeshore Garage is now located at 30 Whispering Pines Road—a short drive from the center of Hague, with a right turn onto West Hague Road, just a little way beyond Hague Volunteer Fire Dept.
Lakeshore Garage is still the friendly gathering place where you can catch-up on all the “talking points” and hear a joke about the latest of Hague’s town topics.
(Note: In 2009 the Hague Historical Society held an interview with Jim DeLarm about his memories of life on the family farm in Graphite. The interview was video recorded by Judy Stock and transcribed by Pat McDonough.)
If you’re interested in Hague History, one of the folks it’s most fun to visit with is Jim DeLarm. He knows so much of what has transpired in his family and with those around him, and he loves telling all these tales. His conversation is peppered with “I know it for a fact.” I expect his father was just as good a story teller and the source for much of Jim’s material. Judy Stock and I spent two hours videotaping Jim in September 2009 and here is some of what he shared.
The roots of the DeLarm clan in Hague seem to begin with Richard DeLarm. He was a trained Wesleyan minister who had served briefly in the Civil War and received a medical discharge due to tuberculosis. He found his way to Hague after his discharge and rode the circuit from church to church. When he married Emeline Kelly, they settled down on 200 acres of farmland he bought from the Rising family. Emeline’s family farm was in Coldwater Canyon where the Dykstras now live.
Richard and Emeline had a large family. One son, William Wilder, was the first in the family to receive a college degree. He attended Troy Business College. Apparently he wasn’t always happy about being away from the farm and wrote home asking to leave Troy, but his father was hell-bent on him getting an education and wrote back “You stay there until you finish.” He did! His 1885 framed graduation certificate now hangs over Bruce DeLarm’s mantle!
Having his degree, he was qualified to teach and became the local teacher over towards Tuffertown on New Hague Road. The core of Ralph Denno’s home was that schoolhouse. It was a four-mile walk from the farm to the school, so on good weather days father Richard allowed him to take the pony. But in bad weather, to protect the pony, William had to walk the eight-mile round trip. The school had a potbelly stove for which he daily cut a supply of kindling and carried that, along with his lunch bucket. All this for $1/day and after a while they raised him to $6/week.
William married Hannah Jenkins in 1889 and took over the farm when his father died in 1887. They had nine children: Cecil, Rollin, John, Leola, Gertrude, Verner, Mona, Kenneth, and Dulcie who didn’t survive. It was a bustling household.
Jim recalls the story of young Gertrude coming down sick and her father, being sure it was appendicitis, put out a call to Doc Cummings in Ti to come quick. The doctor arrived on the scene, ordered the children out of the house, and requested a white sheet to cover the kitchen table and a pot of boiling water. “I’m going to operate in ten minutes.” And so he did – successfully – because Gertie lived 80 more years! And, as Jim says, the next day they were back to shelling peas on the kitchen table!
The DeLarm farm in Hague, NY (Circa April 27,1957 )- Courtesy of Bruce Delarm
The oldest of William’s clan was John who ran the store and the post office at Graphite. Brother Kenneth worked in a machine shop in Springfield, VT, and he enticed his brother Rollin to come and work with him, but farming was in Rollin’s blood and he returned to Hague where he bought his father’s farm in 1920. Kenneth later moved to New Jersey where he ran a successful chicken farm.
Cecil, known as “Zeke”, remained in Hague and ran the saw mill on Dodd Hill Road. They also had two rows of cottages, 13 in all, on their property. Some of those cottages remain today as the semi-circle known as Lakeshore Hills at the corner of Dodd Hill and 9N. There was also an ice cream store there across from Judy Stock’s red barn. Cecil’s sawmill was a good local employer especially during World War II when he was supplying lumber for the government’s war efforts. Men who worked there didn’t have to serve in the armed services. Jim recalls working there as a youth and finding it to be one of the hardest jobs he ever had.
Leola died after childbirth, leaving her daughter Dulcie (Palmer) in need of care. Dulcie’s father was not able to care for her on his own so her Aunt Gertrude and husband Andrew Lewis took her into their home. Dulcie’s father never allowed her to be adopted.
The DeLarm farm was enlarged by 100 acres when Jim’s grandfather bought the Swamp Gore property from Gene Doolittle, a local trapper. In time Rollin bought the farm from his father William.
One story Jim loves to tell is how Leroy (“Roy”) Balcom came to sell his farm to the Graphite Company running the mill at the time. Seems Roy owned 300 acres on which the company was dumping sand from the refining process around the turn of the century. The company began to worry that Balcom would sue them. Not wanting to tip their hand, they sent a farmer to speak with Leroy about buying his acreage. Leroy said “you come around and I’ll give you a tour”. The farmer expressed interest and asked, “How much?” Roy said, “Make me an offer;” the farmer responded, “$5000.” Balcom was beside himself with glee and headed lickety-split off to Ti to have a deed drawn. Years later, standing about up at the Graphite store, Leroy recalled at some great length what a “killing” he had made. An official from the company was among his listeners and could hold his tongue no longer; “You could have gotten twice as much — $10,000 – that old farmer was working for us and we now own the land.” That must have blown some wind out of Roy’s sails! After the sale he moved on to Brandt Lake for a bit where he ran a bakery, but it didn’t work out so he returned to Hague, bought a house (presently O’Toole’s) and being a talented carpenter, made his living building houses.
Jim DeLarm holds the painting he created of the Family Homestead in the Graphite Section of Hague, NY. C.M. Ianson Photo 2009
Years later Lonergan from the Graphite Company came to see Rollin and offered to sell him 200 acres of the original Balcom land. He said the company had no use for it. Rollin said, “Well, I couldn’t pay $5000 for it.”, but Lonergan said if Rollin would take it off their hands that year, he could have it for $700. The deal was made and brother Cecil later cut $700 worth of timber off that land! The farm now amounted to 500 acres and presently Jim’s house sits on a piece of that Balcom land.
Jim recalled tales of the Brace family who lived not far from the DeLarm farm. The father was a hired hand on the farm and was known to be a bit light fingered. He’d leave for the day with a couple of eggs from the chicken coop. When questioned by Jim’s grandmother, he’d say, “I only borrowed them.” Tools frequently disappeared as well and so on occasion they’d take a big wagon over to Brace’s, have a cup of tea with him, and Grandpa and Brace would load up the tools for return to the farm. Before long the same tools began to disappear again and the recovery routine repeated itself!
Rollin DeLarm had a bad hunting experience when he was about 17 years old. It was 1916 and he was out trapping toward Brandt Lake and the Spring Hill Farm. It was deer hunting season, he had his rifle with him, and there was a deer drive underway when he was hit by two quick shots. One entered in his chest and exited out his back; the second hit his hatchet case. He was able to stem the bleeding some by putting his finger in the entry hole. The hunters arrived on the scene and the young hunter, who had shot him, threw his gun and ammunition away, saying he’d never hunt again. Rollin wanted to walk on home, but the hunters insisted he go with them up to the store at Graphite looking for help. DeLarm kept drinking whatever water he could find on the way – puddle water included – and when they arrived at the store, his brother John said, “What happened to you, Rolly?” Of course, he was bleeding all the way, but they were able to get him a ride home and in the meantime, someone called the doctor in Ti and told him to come to the DeLarm farm. The doc arrived before Rollin did, and old William said, “Doc, what are you doing here?” “Got a call,” answered the doctor. “Well, there’s no one hurt here, but come in for a cup of coffee as long as you’re here.” No one had thought to let Rollin’s parents know so they were surprised when he walked in with a bullet hole in him.
The doctor said he didn’t know how Rollin was still alive, but he threaded an alcohol-soaked rag through a needle which he pumped back and forth through the wound. Rollin said the treatment was more painful than being shot, but he did survive and was instructed to take bed rest for three months while it healed. Despite Rollin’s objections, his father kept him strictly to the bed rest for as long as he could, but after two months Rollin was back to work on the farm though he did cause damage to the wound. Jim believes that opening of the wound was probably a good thing because it allowed any festering to leak out.
Though his horses were generally docile, one time Rollin was kicked by one and suffered a compound fracture of his arm. It needed to be put in a cast and Rollin told the doctor to “make it extra heavy.” “Why?” inquired the doctor. “Just want it that way,” was the response. He never told the doctor that it was because he wanted the cast to be strong enough to hold a maple sugaring pail! He could sugar, but couldn’t milk so his brother-in-law Henry Watts (Jane Crammond’s father) came up to the farm every day in his Model A to do the milking.
Jim’s Pa, Rollin, ran the family farm, and he and his wife Ethel (Fitzgerald) had two sons, James and William Keith.
© September 1 2013, Warren County Historical Society
Thank you to Christine Ianson from the Hague Historical Society for preparing this material.