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Darrtown "Gathering" #1 - April 18, 2009

Gathering Draws More Than 50 Back to Historic Village


Honoring their connections to Darrtown, over 50 people gathered at the Hitching Post on Saturday morning, April 18, 2009 to share memories about Darrtown-related people and events.


In addition to getting reacquainted with others not seen in a long time, many of those in attendance contributed stories and artifacts to the Darrtown webmaster that will help preserve Darrtown history.


The "reunion" style event was organized by Ron Wiley, Jack and Betty (Lindley) Daniels, and Fred Lindley.


The 10:30 A.M. starting time was made possible by Hitching Post co-owner Sean Hurley - which is notable because, only a few hours earlier, Sean closed the doors to the Friday night crowd! Sean served coffee and other beverages during the session and opened the kitchen at 11:30 A.M. to the delight of those who wanted to order food from the Hitching Post menu.


The gathering began with those present introducing themselves. Then, by using a projector and projection screen, a portion of this website ( was reviewed - primarily because some attendees, not familiar with computers and the Internet, had not seen the Darrtown website.


Sally Johnson, grand-daughter of Opal and Luther McVicker, was recognized as the person who traveled the furthest to attend today, as Sally now lives in Minnesota.


The "Sign-In" sheet for the April 18, 2009 Gathering included the following names:

Guy Metcalf

Gloria Metcalf

Jack Wiley

Pat Wiley

Jean Steele Derickson

Melvin Derickson

Jack C Steele


Knute Wagonfield

Vikie Wagonfield

Faye Thome

George Thome

Marvin Russell

Larry Simison

Linn Derickson


Richard Davish

Renee Findley

Glen Findley

Dale Bufler

Margie Bufler

Charles Menke

Janet Menke

Jean (McVicker) Rinal

Sally (Rinal) Johnson

Sharon (Rinal) Francis

Gary Russell

Delores Wagonfield

Charles Wagonfield

Lloyd Halsey

ABOVE: Audience members react with laughter to an anecdote shared by an audience member.


RIGHT: The numerals in the photo at the right identify persons in the image above: [1= Eugene "Knute" Wagonfield] [2= Charles Wagonfield] [3= Pat Wiley] [4= Fay (Bufler) Thome] [5= Jack Wiley] [6= George Thome] [7= Dale Bufler] [8= Sally (Rinal) Johnson] [9= Dick Davish] [10= Fred Lindley] [11= Jack Steele] [12= Linn Derickson] [13= Ron Wiley] [14= unidentified] [15= unidentified]


Notes from Darrtown Gathering 4/18/09


The program began with some preliminary remarks by Ron Wiley and Fred Lindley - who along with Betty (Lindley) Daniels and her husband, Jack - were the organizers of today’s “Gathering.” Then, the group turned its attention to a review of the website, which many in attendance had not seen.


Various individuals in the audience offered comments as their memories were jogged by the images projected on a projection screen. For example:


Harold Marcum was identified in the photo with Clyde “Junior” Wagonfield and the two lawn mowers.


The photo of Jean Kelly walking toward the Dees Grocery Store elicited memories of the Kelly family; which included the belief that Owen (Jean’s father) had been in the Merchant Marines, before the Kelly family arrived in Darrtown.


Becky Thomas was remembered as the youngest child of Gordon Thomas family.


The image of the Weiss house during a winter snow reminded someone that Jack Wiley’s family lived there in the mid-30’s.


Photos of the Dees Grocery Store prompted recollections that “Wimpy” Browning operated the store before Clarence Dees. Mr. Browning lived next door (immediately north of the store). Another person said that Mike Floyd and his sister Sue later lived in the house after Brownings.

It was mentioned that Danny Ferguson operated the grocery store after Clarence Dees.


Delores (Uhl) Wagonfield remarked that Winnie Francis ran the store before “Wimpy” Browning.


George Thome volunteered that Clarence Dees was known as “Matey,” among many in Darrtown. During WWII, Clarence served with the U.S. Navy during WWII in the southeast Pacific (Australia/New Zeland). Clarence developed the habit of calling others “mate” and, consequently, his nickname in Darrtown became “Matey.”


The image of the old school house (at the corner of Walnut Street and Schollenbarger Road) brought up the memory of Ed Fowler having lived there - before the Stevens family in the 1950’s. George Thome said that Ed Fowler purchased the school building for $2,000 and later sold it for $4,000.


The spelling of Opal McVicker’s maiden name was corrected. She was Opal Trew.


Members of various group pictures were identified (additions and/or corrections have since been made to the Darrtown website). The session ended after approximately two hours of viewing photographs and sharing memories.


ABOVE: "Vas you efer in Darrtown?" reads this sign posted on a ceiling support, inside the Hitching Post tavern. Contrast that advertising medium with electronic and scrolling "WELCOME TO" sign, on the wall in the image at the right).


RIGHT (L-R): Jean (Steele) Derickson, Gary Russell, Marna Evans, John "Jack" Daniels, Marvin Russell, and Betty (LIndley) Daniels.

ABOVE AND RIGHT: The numerals at the right identify persons in the photo above:


[1= Frank Menke] [2= Jim Jewell] [3= Pam (Menke) Jewell] [4= unidentified] [5= unidentified] [6= unidentified] [7= George Thome] [8= Rick Martin] [9= Charles Wagonfield] [10= unidentified] [11= unidentified] [12= Al Menke] [13= Charles Menke]

ABOVE: Darrtown University was on spring break this week, so the Marcum sisters, Kailen and Kara, were present to help with registration and serve coffee to attendees.

ABOVE (L-R): Jean (Steele) Derickson, Gary Russell, and Marna Evans.



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