McKinley Austin, Chickamauga Park, Ga., to Jennie Austin October 7, 1917
I am sorry you were worried about me. I might say though that it is best to always believe the best; you’ll hear of the worst. I have learned since I joined the army not to worry.
I would have written sooner this time, but we had 24 hours in the trenches, a long hike, and a couple of sham battles and I have been so tired when the day’s work was over, I didn’t feel like writing. The strike is over and we can go to Chattanooga when it doesn’t interfere with our duties. McKinley
McKinley Austin, Chickamauga Park, Ga., to Mort Austin November 3, 1917
I got out of the hospital alright. I wish I could get off and come home for a couple of weeks, but they are only giving short passes now.
I am sending you some pictures I had taken in Chickamauga. One of the pictures is of me on the bridge below Chickamauga, another of two fellows from the 52nd down at Crawfish Springs, another of another fellow and me at the same place and the other of a place on the road to Chickamauga. Continue reading →
Wednesday, October 1, Lon (84) received a birthday card from his brother Ell.
Thursday, October 2, one of the state police stopped in to see if Lon had seen anything of the neighbor’s adopted boy. “A lot of young fellows were riding horseback up our lane and down the field across the road. I think they must have been looking for Harold’s boy,” noted Aida.
Friday morning Aida was once again at the A&P. But they did not yet have the bread she wanted. Arthur and Lon had gone to Port Jervis in the morning. When they came back, Aida rode to the Village with Arthur for the bread. Art then drove Aida home.
Mae was over and told Aida that they found Harold’s boy with his aunt at Glen Spey.
“Listened to exciting war news of ship sinking off Brazil,” Aunt Anna Leavenworth of Islip wrote on Friday.
Monday, October 6, in Eldred Lon went to the A&P and the Post Office. Monday evening the Yankees won the World Series.
Wednesday Rowlee fixed the church door and the steps on the stoop at Aida’s. Aida was at the A&P and Post Office on Thursday.
Saturday was the Methodist Church Picnic. The group stayed in the Church Hall and didn’t go to the lake as usual, because it was too windy.
Sunday, October 12, in Islip, Anna knitted afghans for the British Relief.
Monday morning in Eldred, Lon went to the Post Office. Robbie Bosch and the Myers’ boy who worked for them, took wood over to Lon’s in the afternoon. Lon made some cider.
Ella Leavenworth who lived on the west side of Eldred, bought 100 pounds of potatoes from the A&P on Monday.
Tuesday when Aida got back from the A&P, she helped Lon finish carrying in his wood. Lon made some more cider. Continue reading →
Monday, September 1, was Labor Day. Art was at the old Austin farm for quite a while in the morning.
Tuesday morning Aida was once again at the A&P. In the afternoon her niece Lillie stopped by for a few minutes. On the west side of Eldred, Garfield continued working on the porch floor he had started.
Wednesday Arthur was on his way home from work when he saw his uncle Lon who had just bought some ice cream at one of the grocery stores. Art drove his uncle home. Then the two of them went to Aida’s, and all three (like true Austins) ate the ice cream.
Arthur and Aida talked a few minutes about an Algebra problem, then he went on home to Alfred and Bessie Hill’s where he boarded, or soon would.
Thursday noon Aida was at the A&P. Lon asked his nephew Bill (who hadn’t gone to work because it was so rainy) to give him a ride to Yulan.
Saturday morning in Eldred, Aida stopped at Lizzie Wilson’s on her way to the A&P. One of the boarders from the Rothman House accompanied Aida on her way home.
Sunday, September 7, Dr. Austin and Herman Bosch were in to see Aida after Lon went to church.
Monday Lon ate dinner at the County House with a minister’s organization. When he got back, Arthur drove him to his brother Bill’s and then back home.
It was terribly warm on Wednesday. Hopefully the butter Lon bought (along with some bread) at the A&P, did not melt on his way home. Continue reading →
We had a holiday today as this is the day when the drafted men were called.
There was a big parade in Chattanooga. My company was not in it fortunately and I had a day off.
I watched the men march down Market St. They took about three quarters of an hour passing. The drafted men marched behind the soldiers. There were a number of Civil War veterans in the parade wearing their old uniforms of blue or gray.
I bet the drafted men will be sick of war soon. We got some hard drill at first, but I don’t think it was anything to what the conscripts get.
Some of our non commissioned officers were transferred to train the National Army as the conscripts are called, and from the way most of the regulars feel and speak of the “d—- slackers” they won’t be shown as much consideration as we were.
Some of our men got awful lectures at first and the NC officers say that a man that has to be made to fight, doesn’t deserve to be shown the patience a volunteer deserves.
I don’t mean they will be ill treated because of the rules in the discipline that forbid striking a man and all that. But they will probably get some savage calling downs and be reminded they were forced to fight for their country.
At noon a couple of the boys and I were down on Market St. I was just going to look for a restaurant when a fellow came up to us and said. “Boys, there’s a lunch for you soldiers at the courthouse.”
The lunch was served by the “Daughters of the Confederacy” and they sure treated us fine. They seemed to be afraid we won’t get enough to eat and they kept urging us to eat some more. Continue reading →
In 1950 Charlie Pankow married Ann Hughes, a regional account manager for the Woolworth Company, who had been a guest in the Highland Lake area. At the time Ann, her sisters, brother, and mother Lillian Hughes lived in Brooklyn.
Ann had borrowed her older sister Mildred’s name and working papers so she could get a job at Woolworth’s before the legal age. The result was she was always known as Millie (except to her family) and Green Meadows became “Millie and Charlie’s” place.
Charlie and Millie married in mid-September and there were still several guests left at Green Meadows. Millie was suddenly charged with the tasks of cooking, waitressing, and dish washing. She was used to eating out in New York City, and could “barely boil water.” When she peeked out from the kitchen, she saw guests dropping her biscuits on the table to demonstrate their density.
Within a few winters Millie not only mastered the art of cooking and particularly baking, but became well known in the area for her meals and baked goods.
Guests gained about 10 pounds on their week-long vacations, as food was served “family style” and offered in unlimited portions with everything being made from scratch.
On busy holiday weekends like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, many of the Green Meadows guests would have to sleep at some of the other boarding houses around the lake due to lack of rooms, but they ate at Green Meadows, requiring twice the amount of meals, which in turn, resulted in two seatings for meals.
Guests were known to gather in the kitchen and help peel potatoes, crack eggs, and shuck corn. Most would come the same week or weeks every year. Some wives and children came for the whole summer and the husbands came up from New York City on weekends only. Continue reading →
Green Meadows—Matchmaker’s Paradise
Green Meadows (first Bosch’s Lake House, then Green Acres) was the most popular venue on Highland Lake for many years.
Located on the swampy end of Highland Lake, Green Meadows did not even have a beach, just a boat house, a dock, and a submerged fenced plank platform for children to wade and swim.
Competing boarding houses may have had more luxurious accommodations and even a beach, but none could compete with the friendly, festive atmosphere and plentiful, delicious food that the Pankows provided. Charlie Pankow transformed Green Meadows into a thriving business for 25 years. He was a great entrepreneur who knew how to show his guests a good time.
At some point before the 1940s, a semi-circle of small cabins were constructed in the rear of the main houses, shaded by plentiful apple trees.
The cabins were given colorful names, many named for well-known hotels: “The Waldorf,” “The New Yorker,” etc. Disney characters were painted on the cabins and even on the barn.
Every Saturday night there was a dance party in the barn, with much drinking and revelry. There was also a mid-week dance.
Other nights featured movies, bingo games and other entertainment. In the early forties “mock weddings” of randomly selected singles were held, complete with costumes and a “preacher.”
During the day, there were spirited games of bocce ball on the front lawn, lounging in the shade of the many trees, swimming and sunbathing at the boat house, and driving to visit local attractions. There was a snack bar in the “barn” and outdoor speakers filled the air year after year with the memorable hit songs from the juke box.
The days were punctuated morning, noon and late afternoon by the welcome dinner bell, signifying the call to yet another delicious meal. In the evening boarders would stroll along the road and later congregate in the barn for a scheduled event or just to socialize.
In actuality, Green Meadows was a match-maker’s paradise. Many couples met at Green Meadows and later married, including my mother and father. My mother, Florence met my dad, Willie, while she was vacationing there in 1941 and they married the following year. His brothers Henry “Whipple” and Charlie both met their wives when they were guests at Green Meadows.
Many waitresses, dishwashers, handymen and cleaners met friends and sweethearts while working summers at Green Meadows. —Ken Bosch. Farewell to Eldred, pp. 238–9.
Bosch Lake House
The original Wilhelm Bosch Lake House was on Hartung Road, a bit north and west of the top of Highland Lake.
Ed Bosch assumed ownership of Lake House in the early 1920s.
Ed built a small house for his father Wilhelm and his second wife Mary, across from the Lake House.
Charlie Pankow and Green Acres
Charlie Pankow was the new owner of the Lake House in June 1938.
Charles, his sister Agnes Schmid, and mother Agnes had been guests at the Lake House for a couple years around 1935. They became interested in becoming innkeepers and rented the Lake House as innkeepers in 1936 and 1937.
Charlie renamed the place Green Acres and it became a family endeavor. Charlie’s sister Agnes Schmid and her husband Henry’s sisters Catherine and Lillian, and a cousin Martha worked in the kitchen cooking; Charlie and Henry worked on renovations.
Henry Schmid worked for Commercial Union Insurance on Maiden Lane in Manhattan, and came up weekends. Henny was an accomplished self taught musician and entertained the guests with his ragtime piano skills, accordion, banjo or guitar.—Diane Pankow. Farewell to Eldred, p. 187.
We had dug a well where we got water for our use. We carried the water to the barn in the winter for the animals because it was too slippery and they would fall on the ice.
We had a dozen apple trees and we always had lots of apples to eat. Also, a big Bartlett pear tree and a larger cherry tree, black cherries and one red cherry tree, one crab apple tree, and two large grape vines, and they was loaded every year. Plenty of grape jelly for the winter or year around.
Pop also had 5 acres of garden and most of it red and yellow onions. Herman and I had to weed them. Some big piles of weeds.
But one year Gus Myers put a dam in the lake’s outlet and raised the lake too high and flooded the onion field, so no more onions to weed. We planted hay on the onion patch. How big the hay got. The Dailey boys always cut the hay for my father, and piled it all up for the winter. Pop sold some of it to the neighbors.
Herman and I used to go to Mud Pond and pick cranberries in the fall. There was loads of them. We picked 2 and 3 big feed bags full in a day. We got them home with the horse and wagon. Then we ran them through the fan mill to blow the chaff and leaves out. Pop sold them in Port Jervis.—Ed Bosch, son of Wilhelm and Mary Maier Bosch.
—Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p. 152–3.