By: Nell Boucher, Archivist, Mohonk Mountain House
While doing some maintenance on a dryer in Mohonk’s laundry room, Maintenance technician James Callaizakis uncovered some interesting documents that had fallen between the cracks 103 years ago.
A 1915 Mohonk Bulletin had somehow slipped into the wall behind the dryer and was recovered, thanks to James’s keen eye. He knew this early twentieth century ephemera would be interesting to many people here at the historic resort.
The Mohonk Bulletin was published weekly to report on recent Mountain House events and inform guests of activities planned for the upcoming week. James brought the artifact to Renee Oloffson, Room Service Manager, who carefully wrapped it in waxed paper and conveyed it to the Mohonk Archives.
This particular issue of the Mohonk Bulletin was published the week after Fourth of July 1915, and includes details about the celebration. In 1915, the Bulletin was written by Hugh Smiley. You can feel the merriment as he recounts day’s festivities beginning with “hundreds cheered the amusing events.”
Honors were given to winners of the obstacle race and “great distinction” bestowed upon the winner of the potato race. Presumably winning by only a small margin, the victors in the doughnut and soda cracker contests “carried their honors modestly.” Tennis and baseball tournaments filled the afternoon and patriotic speeches were given after dinner.
The day culminated with all returning “to the piazzas to admire the truly splendid spectacle of colored illuminations of the face of Sky Top, with the red and green fires blending, as it were, the spring and autumn foliage into one, and weird colored lights blazing forth from crevices and grottoes, with the Stars and Stripes in the center. The boat carnival with its chain of gaily lighted craft encircling the lake, and the bugle call ‘Taps’ closed the memorable day.”
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