All posts by Debbie Groom

Pillow case dress project complete

Thanks to the many hands of church members, friends in the community and strangers who donated time, effort and material, the pillow case dress project has been completed at North Volney Methodist Church.

The final total was 110 dresses in various sizes that will go to help those in need.

The dresses will be donated to Hope4Women International, who will send them to Appalachia in the southern United States. This is an economically depressed area where there is a great need for many things, including help with good clothing.

This was only possible through the combined efforts of so many people. We at North Volney wish to thank all those who donated pillow cases and materials left from their own sewing projects.

Some people were not even sure where North Volney Church was located, but they wanted to help. One special lady who was unable to come to the church but likes to sew made 30 dresses in her home for this project.

We will bless these dresses during a church service and send them on their way to be used in health and happiness by their new owners.

Beverly Beck


Obamacare increases costs, benefit consultant says

I am writing to clarify some information written in Scott Allardice’s article about the Town of Granby’s employee health benefits plan (Report: Granby, town highway workers, could save with ‘Obamacare.’ Valley News, October 16, 2013).

KBM Management recently presented to the Town the renewal of their current health insurance policy for non-union employees, as well as an alternative to the union employee’s plan currently being negotiated with the Teamsters.

Contrary to the wording of the article “Obamacare” will not change the way the Town provides benefits, but will negatively impact the costs associated with the benefits.

The Town’s plan for non-union employees is increasing in cost as mentioned in the article; however, the amounts listed in the article are monthly increases, not annual.

This equates to a family policy increase of $1,680 per year. The Affordable Care Act is helping drive costs higher by imposing additional mandated services, benefit structure changes and taxes that are applied to premium.

The alternative policy proposed by KBM for all employees, both union and non-union, is not a direct effect of the healthcare reform law. This same plan design was proposed three years ago, the last time the union and Town negotiated their employee benefits.  This alternative is KBM’s recommendation to help keep the Town and employee’s costs in check by offsetting the increased premium drivers associated with Obamacare.

Brooks Wright

KBM Management, Inc

Employee Benefit and Risk Management Consulting

Fulton man supports Crandell, Castiglia

I would like to put forth an endorsement of Tim Crandell for 3rd Ward Councilor.

Tim is an active member for the 3rd ward community, he regularly attends the monthly meetings and speaks up with his concerns. I myself do not attend all the meetings, however, I can say that his opponent seems to have been conspicuously absent from most of them that I have attended.

In fact, he is virtually an unknown commodity, so I cannot speak to his qualifications or lack of them, if any.

Tim Crandell can be seen most mornings at about 6 a.m. at a local grocery, buying coffee a he heads to his job locally. Tim spends his days at work looking out for his employers best interests and maintaining business. As a potential employer in the position of taxpayer, this is exactly what I want in an elected official … somebody who will watch the pennies and dimes and watch out for our interests.

Tim is a personable guy, he is concerned and interested in what goes on in government. Tim will work for us and with us, he is completely without guile, he is an honest and stand up buy … something we need more of. Tim works for a living, he gets dirty and is not afraid of hard work … again .. something we need.

I am sure he will treat a spot as Councilor with the same diligence and respect he treats his regular job — he is a man of the regular folks and will act that way when elected. In other words, he will not live in an ivory tower. He know how things work and live in the real world. In other words, he will base his actions on fact, not feelings.

In the legislative race on the east side of Fulton, Mr. Castiglia is a very good choice. He is concerned not about what health benefits he can maintain at taxpayer expense, or other perks the taxpayers supply, much like current legislators in many cases. Again, Mr. Castiglia is a concerned citizen who gets it.

You readers may notice that my endorsements cross party lines. The reason for this is that as a taxpayer and lifelong resident, I want what is best for us the taxpayer and think that these two men can provide the dedication and service we need.

We recently made headlines as one of the most heavily taxed cities in the country. Any anybody trying to sell a home on the river about the taxes and how they affect selling homes.

In a city with an approximated 40 percent tax base and in a state where we now officially have more people on welfare than working, I say enough is enough. Enough with the touchy feely way of doing business locally and at the county leve. We are paying the freight and it is time we elected people who will recognize that.

Crandell for councilor; Castiglia for legislator.

Wes Belcher


Jerry’s Journal — Hannibal Street history

Almost the Mayor of Hannibal Street: Tom Trepasso has lived on Hannibal Street his entire life and says there’s only one person (Charley Liberti) who’s lived there longer than he has. “That makes me almost the Mayor of Hannibal Street,” he laughingly remarked.

I visited with Tom in his home a few weeks ago, per his invitation to stop by and look over some artifacts he offered to loan me.

Those artifacts included a booklet of poems entitled “As I Remember” written by Fred Kenyon Jones in 1934 (the year this writer was born, gulp); a booklet announcing a Reunion of Teacher and Pupils at Walradt Street School in 1922; and a booklet about the Second Annual Field Day, sponsored by Fulton Police Benevolent Association, Inc., at Recreation Park on Monday, Sept. 4 (but of what year is left to wondering).

The booklets are sitting on my desk to glean from for future columns, so stay tuned. There’s lots of good stuff in them, such as the excerpts at the end of this columu.

Fishing for a circus elephant: Tom can tell you almost everything you might want to know about Hannibal Street’s history.  He remembers fishing for bullheads as a kid in Tannery Creek when it was still deep and full of fish, the circuses that were once held in the field by the old airport – and the circus elephant that got stuck in the creek one summer!

He remembers Kate, Helen and Charley Mangeots’s farm on Hannibal Street, their milk house out back – “the best milk in town” – he said, the dinner bell ringing and the time the cows got loose and wandered onto the railroad tracks.

“It was a terrible, terrible mess, scattered everywhere” he recalled about the cleanup after the cows and a train collided.

These days, Tom and his wife Barbara, they’ve been married for 43 years, still live in a beautifully kept home that once was his parents’ house. It’s the one on Hannibal Street with the Yankees’ logo on it. “Everybody’s a Yankee fan,” he said, but some don’t know it!”

Tom worked at Sealright for 14 years, then at Roller Bearing for 30 years. Now retired, he loves to work around the yard  — it changes with the season — the decorations, that is.

Right now it’s Halloween in his yard, and soon it will Christmas, his favorite time to decorate, he said, though in recent years he’s cut down some.

Colorful work: The North End Paper Mill came up in conversation and  I asked Tom if he knew what was going there. Those of us who frequently travel Hannibal Street can’t help but notice there is some kind activity in that old place, but what?

I was pretty sure they were not manufacturing paper any more, but I had seen cars parked there off and on and had taken note of the new sign on the front of it, and from what I can see there’s the possibility that one of these days that old mill will be sporting a brand new roof.

But, wow, was I surprised when Tom said his wife Barbara is the manager there and oversees a handful of men and women, mostly women, who also work there. She’s been there in some capacity since 1977, and now the manager, he said.

A crew of seven or eight, depending on who can work on any given day, usually four days a week, cut big rolls of tissue paper — “every color of tissue paper,” he said — into squares to package and ship out to florists and gift shops.

The building has been there for more than 100 years,” he said. “It might have been a tannery to begin with. It’s right by the creek and the railroad tracks.”

Tom reminisced about walking the tracks when he was a kid to go swimming at Recreation Park, and of his four years at Good Old Fulton High School, he said “it was the best time of his life … everyone used to have fun back then … we weren’t rich but never went without … it’s too bad young people (of today) can’t visualize what it used to be like,” he said.

Historical Humor: I thank Tom for taking the time to talk to me and for sharing the booklets as well. I especially enjoy the book of poems because it not only recounts our hometown history in rhyme and humor but also because of the people who lived here in that era — many of their names still ring familiar to me and I’m sure to many of you — like Fanning, Youmans, Perkins, Osborn, Case, Freeman, Loomis, Coleman, Knight, Mason, Baker, Allen, O’Brien, Dyer, Stevenson, Williams, Holden, just to name a few.

And, it would seem, our poet/historian, Mr. Fred Kenyon Jones had, at one time or another, many jobs around town: “I worked at Nestlés in 1901,” he wrote, “with 40 girls, we has such fun.”

In another of his poems he said, “I worked once in the Woolen Mill, Jimmy Connell came and went at will. Pay day I drew just three-sixty. Did I stay: Yours truly says nixie.”

And in a poem entitled Digging up the Dirt he wrote: “I worked once for Emmet Conrad, Bert Loomis was his business comrade; their business really wasn’t bad, the trouble was the help they had.”

His booklet is the source of the ads accompanying this column.

Now, here’s my caveat: Reader beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome. You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Granby learns about lake-effect snow, rain

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Granby Elementary School sixth-graders received an early dose of lake-effect snowfall Monday morning as local meteorologist Jim Teske offered his expertise on the subject.

Teske, a meteorologist with News Channel 9, discussed the forces responsible for generating lake-effect snow and the difficulties in forecasting snowfall totals because there are so many factors that come into play.

“It’s tough to try to forecast this because it could be snowing heavily in one area and the sun could be shining just a few miles away,” Teske said, noting that lake-effect bands are typically narrow and not as wide ranging as Nor’easter storms.

Teske detailed the role Lake Ontario plays in generating the snow that bears its namesake. Any unfrozen, large body of water can cause lake-effect snow, Teske told the students.

“If you take a cold air mass and bring it over a relatively warm body of water, the lake adds heat and moisture to the atmosphere, and that helps create lake-effect snow,” Teske explained.

In addition to learning about the factors responsible for generating lake-effect snow, students learned about various resources used to help forecast the weather phenomenon. Barometers, thermometers, radar and upper air balloons all provide additional assistance to help meteorologists determine if a lake-effect event is on the horizon.

With winter just around the corner, sixth-grade teacher Joe McNamara said he thought Teske’s visit was the perfect way to introduce students to a subject that inevitably affects them beyond the classroom.

“Since we live right in the middle of it, I thought it was very appropriate,” McNamara said. “It will go a long way to help explain it when we get our two feet of snow in a couple of months. “I thought Mr. Teske did an excellent job, and I think the kids walked away with a better understanding of how lake-effect works.”

New York State Field Band State Championships Sunday at the Dome

Three Oswego County field bands will compete for state championships Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

Oswego, Phoenix and Central Square bands will compete.

Phoenix competes at 11:08 a.m. in the Small School 2 class. Central Square competes at 3:30 p.m. in the Large School 2 class while Oswego performs at 6:52 p.m. in the Small School 1 class.

So far this year, Phoenix has five first place scores in competition. Oswego has a first, a second, two thirds and a fourth while Central Square has two firsts and three seconds.

The Marching Bucs of Oswego High School are one of the charter members of the New York State Field Band Conference.

Last Saturday night at Central Square, the Marching Bucs captured first place at the Central Square Red Hawks competition with an 82.30 score while runner-up East Syracuse Minoa earned an 81.80.

Oswego is coming off two solid weeks and is peaking for the annual appearance in the state championship event.

The Carrier Dome show is one of the most emotional of the year as it is the final time the band will take the field for competition this school year.

Tickets will be available at the Carrier Dome Sunday. There is plenty of parking surrounding the Carrier Dome, but fans are asked to arrive early due to usually long lines and security check points at the gates.

‘Curtain Up on Murder’ comes to Fulton Community Theatre Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17

The topic is murder most foul and funny this November as Fulton Community Theatre presents Bettine Manktelow’s comic mystery “Curtain Up On Murder”.

The comedy runs weekends, Nov. 9, 10, 16, and 17 on the Jubilee Hall stage of Holy Trinity Church, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton.

Curtain time for the Saturday performances are 8 p.m. while the Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. Reservations may be made by calling Fulton Community Theatre at 598-7840.

For more information, check out FCT’s website at, or the theatre Facebook page,

Manktelow’s play tells the story of an amateur drama company rehearsing in the theatre at the end of a pier. Storms rage overhead and the doors are locked – they are trapped!

Events take a sinister turn when a mysterious, ghostly presence passes across the stage, and when the Assistant Stage Manager falls to certain death through a trapdoor, the remaining actors are thrown into disarray. Their panic increases when one of the actresses is poisoned and it becomes evident that a murderer is in their midst, who will not stop until they are all dead

The play features the talents of: Kathryn Elizabeth as Sandra, Marlina Marie Beebe as Ginny, Adam William Schmidtmann as Harry, Derek Potoki as Alex, Brenda Brown as Sylvia, Donald Crowe as Martin, and Beverly Cooney Poznoski as Moppet.

The production is under the direction of M. Marie Beebe, with Jaiden Beebe assistant director.


In and Around Hannibal

Hannibal District No. 2 Stone Schoolhouse

District No. 2 was located just north of the Village of Hannibal. The original schoolhouse was a wooden structure which was constructed about 1820.

During its early history, children were not graded at this school and school terms were held only during the winter for a 12-week period. As was the custom those days, the teacher boarded among the parents of her pupils, stating one week at a time in each home.

In regard to that practice, there is an amusing story about Mary A. Dudley, a teacher in this district in those early days.

One of the parents with whom she was to board knew Mary was very fond of johnnycake.

So the woman decided she would serve plenty of the teacher’s favorite food during her stay in this household. Accordingly, johnnycake appeared on the table three time a day every day for a week.

When Miss Dudley went home for the weekend, her mother, thinking she would have something that her daughter liked, (you guessed it!) had a large johnnycake fresh out of the oven. However to her mother’s dismay, the young teacher had lost her enthusiasm for her favorite food.

At a school meeting held in the fall of 1850, it was decided to build a new school.  The old building was sold at auction for $9.64 to Grover Burt, grandfather of James B. Burt.*

Trustee J.D. Curtis worked with a building committee composed of Nelson Cole, Martin Wiltsie, James W. Burt, Samuel Stevenson+ and Orson Titus to develop plans and specifications for the new building.  The new school was to be constructed of stone at an estimated cost of $390 and located on the plank road to Oswego.

All the stone used in construction was taken from the site of the schoolhouse.

*James Burt owned a clothing and tailoring store in the village which remained in Burt hands for more that 75 years.

+Sam Stevenson, live stock dealer and  father-in-law to Ella Leonard Stevenson an advocate for the Women’s Suffrage Movement, a hard worker for prohibition and temperance in the Village and assistant organist at the Baptist Church.

In conjunction with the school, a stone toilet was erected at a cost of $26.96.  This was later torn down to make room for an addition to the school.

To keep the school repaired, an annual tax of $5 was levied on the school district. Also, a librarian whose duty was to account for all the books owned by the school district was appointed at each of the annual school meetings.

In 1884, new desks were installed in the schoolhouse.

Family names associated with District #2 included Curtis, Welling, Cummins, Fowler, Ecker, Campbell, Hill, Burt, Parker, Parsons, Kennedy, Gerring, Bishop and Correll.  Some of the later teachers in this district included 1920-21- Grace Upcraft, 1927-28- Frances Stock, 1928-29 -Franklin Barry, Lucy Welling, 1929-30 – Martha Shutts, 1931-32 – L. Mae Signor, 1932-33 Leah W. Owen, 1933-38 – Madeleine Adsitt, 1938-39 – Hazel French, 1939-41 – Minnie Perkins, 1941-43 – Bessie Cooper, 1943-46 – Lois Chaffee and 1946-49 Mildred Howell.*

*Franklin Barry went on to become Superintendent of Schools in Syracuse and I was lucky enough to have known five of the last six teachers.

After centralization, the Stone Schoolhouse was converted into an auto repair shop, once operated by Jeff Fowler. Rolling Thunder Auto and Cycle owned the structure when it was razed on Nov. 11, 1993, for a new garage.

If anyone has memories of the Stone Schoolhouse, send me an e-mail or give me a call.


Members of the Hannibal Senior Band will be collecting cans and bottles from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26, at N&N Redemption Center to raise money for their upcoming band trip

The Hannibal Historical Society is hosting an Archives Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Hannibal Community Center on Oswego Street.  Town, Village and Historical Society Historian Lowell Newvine will show copies of newspaper clippings and photos dating from the mid 1800s.  Lowell will also be available to help with genealogy research.

The upstairs room will be open for those who wish to see artifacts owned by the society. Albums of photos taken by Virginia Davenport will be on display. There will be a sign-up sheet to order Pewter Christmas tree ornaments, depicting the newly-renovated and reopened Village Tavern.

The Hannibal Ecumenical Key Council Bake Sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon today (Saturday Oct. 26) at the Hannibal Village Market IGA.

The Ecumenical Key Council, is made up of members of the Churches of Hannibal. They meet the third Tuesday of the month at 2:30 p.m.  The money they make at their bake sales is split between the Hannibal Resource Center for their Thanksgiving Dinner Give Away and the Christmas Bureau at Hannibal Central School District.

The Ecumenical Key Council also hosts the Baccalaureate, and Thanksgiving services for the community.   New people are always welcome.

Hannibal Fire Co. Auxiliary Breakfast Buffet will be from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday Oct. 27 at the Firehouse on Oswego Street, Hannibal.  Menu includes pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, sausage gravy, biscuits, and beverages.

Don’t forget to come in costume and come let the breakfast crew cook breakfast for you.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or  play games or just some idle chit-chat!  Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation.  This week’s menu is:

Monday — Baked chicken, garlic red potatoes, vegetable blend, juice, jello

Wednesday — Roast pork with gravy, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts and carrots, ice cream

Friday — Pasta with meat sauce, Italian blend vegetables, tossed salad, pears

Activities: Monday — Wii bowling;    Wednesday — Halloween party; wear your costume!  Friday — games

The Jammers will be celebrating Halloween with a covered dish dinner at 6 at the American Legion.  You are asked to bring a generous dish to pass – ham and scalloped potatoes and table service provided.  The Jam will begin at 7. You are encouraged to wear a costume.

Music BOOsters (the BOO is in honor of Halloween) will be meeting at 7:30 p.m.  Thursday, Oct. 31.

Sports Boosters will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the high school libary.

The Hannibal Methodist Church will host its annual Election Day Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.  Takeouts will be available and delivery in the village can be done. Call 564-5346.

The church is handicap accessible and is 1 block west of the village on Church Street. The luncheon will include your choice of New England clam chowder and vegetable beef soup and a choice of sandwiches and pie for dessert.

Home and School will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 5 in Room 30 (Pre-K wing) at Fairley School.

The Senior Band Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in Lockwood Auditorium in the High School.

Remember this column is about and for the people of Hannibal and the surrounding area.  If you have an event that you would like the public to know about, send me an e-mail or give me a quick call.