The Town Historian

The Town Historian’s page at Milan NY History features stories from the rich tapestry of events, people and places in the town of Milan. We would love to post your images and memories here.

1. “Horse and Buggy – That was the original barn where feed and hay were sold. The men are John Wheeler and Joe Vanegra. Clare let me copy the photo many many years ago.” 2. “General Store – Taken in front of the store around 1988. Remember when we sold apples and I had the pet rooster.” 3. Warnefeld Bros General Store Jackson Corners, NY Robert Rogoshewski.

4. Another barn; 5. Milan Hill Road Ice Storm Mid 60s early 70s; 6. “Moving the old farm house”; 7. “Sign at the end of the driveway Rufflands. 8. Aerial Pic of Farm; 9. “Mr. Landauer’s House- I like this pic. Looks like a country postcard; 10. Shop; 11. “What used to be a shop. Many things made in there and many panes of glass broken by baseballs!”; 12. “Corn Crib”; I grew up on Rufflands Farm on Milan Hill Rd. Growing up on the farm, we had many memories sleigh riding in winter and being towed behind the tractor. Hikes and camping out back. Riding bikes up and down the driveway and eventually taking “bike hikes” with the Laibachs. Snow days meant shoveling out the feed bunks so my Dad could feed the cows and helping during hay season so we could go away camping for the weekend or leave on vacation. Later on, joined the fire department- many memories there also. In a nutshell, I loved growing up in Milan!!” Dave Hughes

5. John, Dick, Sally, and Linda Hermans 1968; 6. March 15, 1909 Percy sends a postcard to Mrs. Clayton Hermans Jackson Corners Dutchess County NY; 7. Walter Hermans, Linda, Helen 1943. Helen is holding Sally (1943-2002); 8. Hermans Farm House Academy Hill Road ca. 1927 or 1931. Car is a Buick; Memories and Images Courtesy of Sarah K. Hermans.

  • “I grew up on a farm on Salisbury Rd ( now Odak Farm Rd) – north end of Milan and now I’m on the south end of Milan. Great town always. Miss the farm days, but have great memories. Remember the general store in Elizaville and the Elizaville Falls-great swimming place. Fun times 😊” Anna Bautovich-Varlaro
  • “I have grown up and lived in Jackson Corners my entire life. The general store used to be open and cater to the fishermen in April and swimmers at the Turkey Hill Rd. Bridge all summer. I remember at times it was difficult to get across the bridge on a hot summer day. Now the store is closed and we don’t see many people fishing or swimming.” Al Sardaro
  • “My parents bought property from Walter Hermans on Academy Hill Road. We would spend summers in our tiny summer bungalow. They were carefree, joyful times. I remember biking down to the creek or the Jackson Corners store. John Steckler had a butcher shop and store. On the way home, sometimes Mrs. Hermans would give us a piece of her apple cake. I still have the recipe. Dick and John would be outside playing baseball. There were lots of wild black caps growing along the roadside. We’d spend hours swimming in the RoeLiff. Fun times.” Victoria Tambini LoBrutto
  • “Living so far away from neighbors and friends was not always easy. We would ride our bikes all the way to Jackson Corners to hang out with the crowd.” Linda Hermans

September 11, 2019, marked the eighteenth anniversary of the attacks we refer to as 9/11.

Books and essays have been written about those events, memorials constructed, and that day is forever etched in the minds of all Americans. We reflected on what it means to be an American and what liberty means to us. Let me take you back to October 31, 1940, when a student from the Pine Plains Central School District wrote an editorial for the school newspaper – The Central Sun. No matter what the year, your place of residence, or political affiliation, we continue to ponder the same dilemma. I offer this essay as written in that school newspaper.

Student Editorial

“Most of us here in America take so much for granted. How many have stopped to think what Americanism really means; and just what makes it different.

First of all, our Constitution guarantees us religious and political liberties, along with freedom of speech. It is in America that we may criticize the Presidents activities openly and without fear. In these United States we are also guaranteed a trial by Jury, an unusual occurrence in the world today.

Many of us object to refugees coming to our shores at this time. Did you ever stop to realize that the Pilgrims too were refugees, seeking freedom! We owe a great deal to the people who started the Crusade of religious tolerance and freedom of speech. Are we to give up the ideals for which they so bravely fought?

Another thing which makes Americanism different is the Flag and its meaning. In some countries of Europe today, it stands for a political party. Ours represents we the people, of these United States. The thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies. The stars for the individual states. Illustrating the fact that this country is made up of cooperative states, each holding an important part in the function of our national government.

Our Flag has ever stood for justice and humanity. More than 130,000,000 people owe it allegiance, a vast assemblage composed of nearly every race in the world, but all united by one bond of loyalty and devotion to the Flag which symbolizes Liberty. Americanism means LIBERTY to me! What does it mean to you?”

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Honor Our WW II Veterans

As I reflect on the. past of D-Day commemorations, I can’t help feeling that we should honor our veterans every day of the year. Without those brave men and women, there would be no freedom as we have come to expect. As you drive on Route 199 in the Town of Milan, make that turn into the Town Hall driveway. Drive up the hill and park your car at our Veterans Memorial. Take a moment out of your busy day to rest on our bench and read through the names of all those who served. We have names listed from the Revolutionary War through our current War on Terrorism. It was World War II veteran Stanley Zatwarnicki, now deceased, who, in 2005, began the process of constructing our honor roll.

World War II Veterans compiled by Reggie Coons:

  • William Aston
  • Robert Bathrick
  • Henry Billings
  • John J. Bowe Sr.
  • Franklin Brehmer
  • Lewis Brown
  • Anne Call
  • Donald H. Carr
  • Alfred Coon
  • Richard C. Coon
  • Robert C. Coon
  • Robert W. Coons
  • Daniel Cunningham
  • Fred Cunningham
  • Michael Cunningham
  • Steven Cunningham
  • Thomas Cunningham
  • Sabino Cuomo Sr.
  • Leslie J. Decker
  • Erwin Droge
  • Edmund F. Dunn
  • Adolf K. Earhart
  • Harold T. Fell Sr.
  • Joe Fell
  • Thomas Fredricksen
  • Joseph Gray
  • Peter J. Hamiwka
  • Alphonse Hericourt
  • Ann Hericourt
  • Edward Hericourt
  • Walter Herman
  • Winfred Herrick
  • John F. Hoffert
  • William Hromada
  • James C. Hughes
  • Emerson Hyde
  • Roy A. Jacoby
  • Thomas Jeffreys
  • William Jennings
  • Arnold Johnson
  • Henning Johnson
  • Paul W. Karpowich
  • Andrew Kilmer
  • Arthur Kline
  • Paul Kochinka
  • William Landauer
  • Harry Levy
  • Malcolm Lown
  • George V. Maihiou
  • Peter Maracich
  • Charles Marks
  • John McKinney
  • Albert C. McIntosh
  • Herbert McIntosh
  • Adelehi Michetti
  • Angelo A. Michetti
  • John G. Michetti
  • Joseph Michetti
  • Ellsworth S. Myers Jr.
  • Prentiss Nadeau
  • Chester Nastach
  • Edward C. Neal
  • Fred Neuberger
  • Russell Nichols Jr.
  • Russell Nichols Sr.
  • Michael Odak
  • Lorean Pease
  • John Perz
  • Hiram Phillips
  • Thomas Pinchbeck
  • Andrew Pink
  • James F. Rice Sr.
  • Charles Rumford
  • Darrell N. Russell
  • Anthony J. Salamone Sr.
  • Joseph Schaffer
  • George Scheer Jr.
  • Fred Shook
  • Winfield Shook
  • Rosewell Simmons
  • Robert Sprauer
  • David Stern
  • Herb Swank
  • Samuel Swartz
  • Nicholas Szuchy
  • Aldo E. Tambini
  • Madeline Udiljak
  • Vincent Ventineglia
  • Helen Wadlin
  • Herbert E. Wadlin Jr.
  • George Waldron
  • Henry F. Weiss
  • Alan S. Wheeler
  • Michael M. Witowich
  • Stanley Zatwarnicki
  • Daniel Zic.

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Yeoman Cemetery Sign

Many Milan residents have asked about placing a historical marker at the site of the Yeoman Cemetery, located on Willowbrook Road. One can see this cemetery from the Taconic Parkway, but there is no access from the Parkway. I am in the process of completing the documentation for this cemetery so I can present it to the William Pomeroy Foundation. This foundation awards grants for the purchase of historical markers. It is a lengthy process as the foundation prefers to receive primary sources for documentation of authenticity. I can submit secondary sources but that may delay the process. Once I am successful, I’d like to pursue a marker for the Quaker Cemetery located on Morehouse Lane. Research can be tedious, so please be patient.

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