Learn about Altamont inventors, attend fiery theater, and shovel your snow

ALTAMONT — The new exhibition, “Ingenious Minds: Early Altamont Inventors,” will open in the Hallway Gallery on Sunday, Feb. 16, with a reception running from 3 to 5 p.m.   All are welcome to the opening’s catered reception in the village courtroom. 

The exhibit features the inventions of early Altamont businessmen Charles V. Beebe, Alanson Dietz, Philip Edelman, Fay C. Hayes, John Mersellus, Nelson Merrill, W.G. Seeley, Wheeler D. Wright, and many more.  The effort is in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute and the Altamont Free Public Library, which will present an invention program for local youth during Presidents’ Week vacation.  Consult the library website for times and sign up your child.

Did you know that you can learn more about village history at the Village of Altamont Archives and Museum Facebook page? 

You would learn, for example, that inventor Charles  Beebe opened his harness shop in Altamont at the current ReNu Spa building on Maple Avenue in 1891 and continued working at his trade until just a few weeks before his death in 1936. Charles Beebe’s high quality harness goods drew patrons from Altamont and many outlying areas.

Mr. Beebe received a United States Patent in 1887 for his invention of a seat for agricultural machines.  The object of the invention was to create a swinging seat that would protect the driver from injury caused by sudden jerks and jolts of the machine. He was a charter member of the Altamont Hose Company, and president of the Village 1899-1901.

The upcoming book, titled Images of America: Altamont has been submitted to Arcadia Publishing.  We expect a spring book-signing event in Village Hall.  Author Keith Lee was assisted in the production of the book by other volunteers:  Connie Rue (researcher), Ron Ginsburg (image producer), and Laura Shore (editing assistant).  The curator for the archives, Marijo Dougherty, was the project director.  A grant from the Altamont Community Tradition, along with private donations, helped fund the project. 

The cataloguing and recording of some 60 historic letters is nearing completion.  The handwritten letters were penned by Mary C. Crounse (1832 to 1867) and sent to her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Crounse.  The letters were written while she attended the New York State Teachers College in Albany. 

Annette Kramer, a new archives volunteer, has been diligently interpreting and transferring the text to a searchable database.  This process protects the letters from any further deterioration, making the text of the letters available for researchers and other viewing.  

AFD dinner theater

This year the Altamont Volunteer Fire Department Annual Ball will include a rip-roaring interactive dinner theater on Saturday, March 22, in the Village Community Room.  A production of A Red Hot Wedding will be hosted by the Home Made Theater Group. 

For a hot time that makes firehouse four-alarm chili look like baby food, come feast on the fun and frivolity as two very different families become one.  The chief’s daughter has fallen in love with one of the fire department’s lieutenants and sparks will fly at this fiery wedding.

The evening allows guests to eat, drink, dance, and converse while being caught up in the madcap activities.  There will be an opportunity for some of the guests to star in a supporting role as a family member or friend at this wedding.

Every family has its oddball or two and here is a chance for you to be one. Information will be included in the letters sent out in early February and on the Altamont Village website for those interested in participating.  

Included in this year’s festivities will be the interactive theater program; dancing; a buffet dinner; and beer, wine, and soda.  A cocktail hour will be held from 6 to 7 pm.  The Wedding ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.  Dinner will follow the ceremony.  Throughout the evening, the interaction will have you laughing. 

Tickets are $ 30 per person and will be on sale until March 15.  Tickets may be obtained either by mail or at the village hall during regular business hours.

This is the Altamont Volunteer Fire Department’s annual fund-raiser and the members truly appreciate your support.

Winter safety tips

The Altamont Department of Public Works staff works diligently to clear sidewalks of snow and does an excellent job.  However, under state and village law, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to keep sidewalks free of snow and ice.   

Jeff Moller, superintendent of Public Works, requests that residents also keep sidewalks clear of debris such as newspapers, trash containers, and other foreign objects that can be hazardous to both the equipment and workmen. Snow banks can create hazards for both children and drivers. 

Children tend to climb and play near snow banks and may accidentally fall into roadways.   Snow banks may also create sight-line issues entering and, when exiting driveways, drivers should use caution.

The winter months are definitely upon us.  Todd Pucci, chief of the Altamont Police Department, asks to remind residents about winter parking regulations.  There is no parking on the streets between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m., in effect between Nov. 1 and May 1.  The police department will issue warning tickets to vehicles in violation as a reminder of the village code. 

Unfortunately, if there is a pending snowstorm or a declared winter emergency, vehicles in violation will be issued parking citations and will be towed to allow for proper plowing.  Please be considerate, and thank you for your compliance. Your cooperation will allow for easier snow removal and safer streets for all of us.

Summer work opportunities

Winter will be over soon, we hope. 

Looking forward to balmier days, the village of Altamont is accepting applications for summer part-time employment at Bozenkill Park and in the Department of Public Works.  The positions available include lifeguards, booth attendants, camp counselors, and seasonal laborers.

Hourly rates are very competitive, and provide our local youth with much-needed employment.  Call the village offices at 861-8554 for an application or visit our website at altamontvillage.org.