Bridges

Passaic Falls, Passiac, NJ postcard in Austin Collection.
The Chasm Bridge, Passaic Falls, Paterson, NJ. Postcard in Austin Collection.
Washington Bridge and Speedway, New York. Early 1900s postcard in the Austin Collection.
Washington Bridge and Speedway, New York. Early 1900s postcard in the Austin Collection.

I have found a few older postcards in the Austin Collection (most likely saved by Great Aunt Aida Austin) which I thought Halfway Brook readers might appreciate.

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1943 Eldred Graduation

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Kate Strenglein and Mary Briggs (above X’s) help hold the Class of 1943 sign.

The Eldred school was under construction in 1942 and was not completed until the spring of 1943. I was Class President and Chuck Myers was Valedictorian of that graduating class.

The pictures in the 1943 yearbook have all class and team photos taken on the steps of the new building.

Because of the war, gas rationing started and our senior activities wet drastically curtailed. Fundraisers were out of the questions.

There was no class trip, no senior prom, and we were told there would be no yearbook. I personally pleaded with Mr. Ebers to at least let us have that. He finally relented with the proviso we must sell enough copies in advance to pay for publication. WE DID IT!

Time was our enemy! It was May. Many students felt they could not participate since exams were upon us. Mary Briggs, Chuck Myers, Harry Haas and myself hastily put together a small issue. As unbelievable as it would be in today’s society, I was given the keys to the new school building in order to use the typewriter at night.

Another major problem was where to find a printer at such a late date.

Mary Briggs’ father, Pastor of the Methodist Church in Barryville, came to our rescue. The company who did the church bulletin agreed to do it, but would only make copies of typed pages, hence the uneven margins.

The yearbook so hastily put together by today’s standards is a pitiful issue, but to us, has been an endearing treasure of memories. Actually, it’s now historical. It’s the first issue from the new school!

World events deprived the Class of 1943 of so much and yet we gained much as well. We were the last senior class to graduate form the new Eldred Central School!

At the graduation ceremony, it was intensely hot, so much so when Chuck Myers gave the Valedictory address, every time he turned his head, the tassel on his mortar struck to his face.

We were later informed the heat was on in the building to “cure the cement.”

We broke with tradition at the first ceremony. Just before marching into the auditorium, the boys exchanged tassels with the girls. The boys wore gold tassels and the girls wore blue.
—Kate Strenglein, President of the Class of 1943.

Kate Strenglein, 1943 Eldred School Yearbook.
Kate Strenglein, 1943 Class President.
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1902 Methodist Church

1902 Cornerstone of the Barryville Methodist Church. Photo: Gary Smith.
1902 Cornerstone of the Barryville Methodist Church. Photo: Gary Smith.
    The Methodist Church in Barryville was built in 1902. The parsonage at the Barryville Church was owned by both the Eldred and Barryville Methodist churches.—Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p. 212.

This brochure in the Austin Collection shows the church was completed by November 1902.

My great-uncle Lon (Albert Alonzo) Austin and Ira Austin, the Barryville blacksmith were on the Board of Trustees. I still don’t know if the two Austin families were related.

1902 Methodist Dedication Bulletin.
1902 Methodist Dedication Bulletin.
Inside 1902 Barryville Methodist Bulletin.
Inside 1902 Barryville Methodist Bulletin.
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