Friday, July 20, 2018

July Square Dance at Phoenicia Methodist Church

Toe-tapping traditional fiddle tunes will make you want to kick up your heels on Sunday, July 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. when John Jacobson and the Tremperskill Boys play for an old-time square dance.

In spite of the heat, dancers enjoy "Marching Through Georgia"
at the high-ceilinged Walton Grange in June.
The dance will be held at the United Methodist Church Hall, 25 Church Street, Phoenicia, NY  12464, located about two blocks off Main Street.  From Route 28, at the west entrance to Phoenicia, follow Main Street across the bridge, skip the left turn on Co. 214 and take the next left which is Church Street.  Approaching from the east, turn right on Bridge Street Extension and on Bridge Street, cross the bridge and turn left at the four corners, which is Main Street.  Then just after the gas station, turn right on Church Street. 

Catskills Folk Connection's square dances are designed for new dancers of all ages as well as experienced dancers.  Perfect for family fun.  All dances will be taught; and you need not bring a partner.  Refreshments will be available.

Should 90 degree temperatures return, don't worry.  The Church Hall is air-conditioned.

Admission: Adults $7; children 12 and under are free.

Catskills Folk Connection is sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group, and is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, by an Action Grant from Humanities NY, and by the O'Connor Foundation.

For more information, contact Ginny Scheer, Folklorist, at 607-326-4206 or


Thursday, May 3, 2018

It's Square Dance Season!

Dancing at Hilt Kelly's Celebration of Life, Halcott Grange, 2015

Catskills Folk Connection is kicking off the square dance season with an old-time traditional square dance on Sunday May 20, 2-5 p.m., at the Halcott Grange, 264 Route 3, Halcott Center, NY 12430.  John Jacobson and the Tremperskill Boys will provide the music, calling, and dance instruction, all in the tradition of the late, legendary fiddler and caller, Hilt Kelly.  Beginners welcome.  Partners will be provided. Experience is not necessary.  All dances will be taught.  And refreshments will be served.  Adults $7; children 12 and under are free.  For more information contact Ginny Scheer, Folklorist, 607-326-4206 or  

Catskills Folk Connection is sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group and is funded in part by the NYS Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, by an Action Grant from Humanities NY, and by the O'Connor Foundation.     

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"Stone In Winter" Display About Roxbury's Stone Houses

The More House 1829

"The Stone Jug" 1814

From December 29 through January 31 on view at the Roxbury Library is Catskills Folk Connection's display "Stone in Winter", exhibiting photos of Roxbury's six traditional stone houses.  The display was funded in 2017 through an Action Grant from Humanities New York. Photographed for the display by Jill Ribich, the houses are shown in their winter habitat that emphasizes the shape and texture of the stone structures.  The display was fabricated by Deb Fleming of Sign Designs and features a portrait of each house, showing the design of its facade.  The display is available for public viewing during the Library's regular hours Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 10-5, and Saturday 10-2. 

Constructed in the first three decades of the 19th century, the Roxbury stone houses share common traits, but yet are distinctive one from another.  Two of them, among the earliest, are two stories high with a symmetrical facade and refined details, such as contrasting brick trim or a version of a Palladian window, that bespoke the influential status of the first owners.  The others are one story high, two with the same symmetry of facade, two with doors that are off-center.

Three of the houses share the feature of having a walk in cellar.  Dan Underwood, descendant of the builder of the Oliver Underwood House, explained that this was not unusual in stone houses because he understood that the builders kept the cellar open as long as possible so the stone boat or wagon could be driven right into the cellar hole, easing considerably the labor of transferring stones up to the walls.  At the Hardenburgh House the on-grade cellar door led to a store, while in the Underwood House it led to a cellar kitchen.

The display at the Roxbury Library includes information about each house, as well as the winter portrait for each.  More information can be found in The History of the Town of Roxbury by Irma Mae Griffin, available to borrow or purchase at the Library, 53742 State Highway 30, Roxbury, NY  12474  607-326-7901.

Catskills Folk Connection is sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group, and is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by an Action Grant from Humanities NY, by Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and by the O'Connor Foundation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Second Catskills Folk Lyceum Talk

The Hardenburgh House, Roxbury NY

Saturday, October 28 at 2 p.m. Neil Larson will present a talk about the six stone houses in Roxbury and their architectural traditions.  

His presentation will take place at the Jay Gould Reformed Church, 53837 State Highway 30, Roxbury, NY 12474.

Mr. Larson is well-known in the field of historic preservation and architectural history.  His talk will consider the Roxbury stone houses in the context of northeastern building patterns and also of comparable stone structures in the Hudson Valley.  Join us for an interesting and informative afternoon.

For more information contact Ginny Scheer, Folklorist, Catskills Folk Connection, 607-746-3521 or

Catskills Folk Connection is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, by an Action Grant from HumanitiesNY, and by the O'Connor Foundation.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tonight on WIOX at 6 p.m. Photos for 2 Hour Program

Photos to Accompany Catskills Folk Radio Program

Tonight, Tuesday, October 17, on WIOX 91.3 FM and

Late 18th Century House in Margaretville

Gorsch House, Roxbury. Early 19th century symmetrical plan with lobby stair, 
Plan for symmetrical plan with central chimney intact.

Bouton House, Roxbury.  Early 19th Century symmetrical plan.
May have had end chimneys.

Walter Stratton House, 1828 Roxbury.   Assymmetical hall-parlor plan.

Stone Tavern Farm, Roxbury. Early 19th century - stone part only.
Hardenburgh House, Roxbury.  Late 18th - early 19th centuries.
More House, Roxbury.  c.1800.  Symmetrical plan.
Stone Jug, Roxbury. Early 19th century asymmetrical plan.
Maybe a "half-house".
Underwood House, Roxbury.  Early 19th Century two story symmetrical plan
Also known as Georgian facade and plan.
Hubbell Family Homestead, Kelly Corners. Early 19th century.
Two story symmetrical plan and facade, Margaretville.
Alsoknown as Georgian facade and plan.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Young Fiddlers at Fiddlers!24 in Roxbury

Traditional fiddler Jackie Hobbs of the New York Old Tyme Fiddlers Association brought her youth group to Fiddlers!24, the annual October event at the Roxbury Arts Group Last weekend.  Called "Fiddlin' Future", the group is a youth chapter of the Association, and includes some pretty amazing fiddlers.  Here's is a photo of Jackie's kids playing with the professional performers at Fiddlers!24's jam. 

Listen to WIOX tonight for a non-scheduled edition of Catskills Folk to hear just the audio of Jackie's kids and  more about the performances at Fiddlers!24.  91.3 FM or streaming on line at

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


The first Catskills Folk Lyceum lecture this year will take place on Saturday, October 14, 2-4- p.m.,(location TBD) and will feature folklorist Hannah Davis, New York Folklore Society's Upstate Regional Representative.  In keeping with Catskills Folk Connection's focus on traditional Catskills food, Hannah will speak about New York State foodways in her talk titled "Spiedies, Grape Pies, and Garbage Plates (Oh My!): A Serious Look at Upstate New York's Silly-Sounding Foods." 

Join CFC for an afternoon of fun in which we will find out about Hannah's recent work with good traditions in central New York.  At the reception following Hannah's talk, Catskills Folk Connection will share a mini-slide show about Catskills food traditions and will offer free recipe cards from local food tradition bearers. 

Watch this blog for the announcement of the location for Hannah's talk.  It will be in either eastern or central/western Delaware County.