Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Meloharp Comes Home

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library board of trustees, using set aside “museum” funds, recently approved the purchase of, and received, a St. Johnsville made Meloharp. 

        Trustee Sharon Fuller, in her extensive research of local businesses, discovered that the stringed instruments were briefly made in the village.  Fuller turned that information over to Trustee Mat Rapacz, who had been researching the piano makers Roth & Engelhardt and discovered the Meloharp connection to the piano company.  While browsing the Internet Rapacz located an instrument in Philadelphia and completed the purchase on behalf of the library.

        The Meloharp was invented by George B. Shearer of Oneonta in 1895.  St. Johnsville piano action makers Roth & Engelhardt soon enticed Scherer to locate his company in their “old cheese factory” building at the end of South Division Street along the railroad tracks.

        By March, 1896, seven styles of Meloharps, ranging in price from $6 to $30 retail, were made in St. Johnsville.  Meloharp contracted with Roth and Engelhardt to make 30,000 of the instruments for them.  About 9,000 were produced before a dispute over payment and quality turned into a lawsuit which resulted in the Meloharp Company leaving St. Johnsville.  Scherer attempted to revive his company in New Jersey, but was not successful.

        The Music Trade Review of October 26, 1895 described the Meloharp as a “remarkable instrument particularly in its quality and volume of its tone; no stringed instrument of its size has hardly any limit to its possibilities in automatic chord production.”

        Library trustees hope to have the instrument, in fairly good condition, restored enough to make it playable.  Library board President, Rebecca Sokol, commented that the board is absolutely delighted to be able to bring this very special piece of St. Johnsville history “back home”.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Discussion Titles Announced

You are invited to see the tab, Book Club Notes, where the titles have been announced for November 2014-June 2015.  Hope you can join us!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome Sal

We welcome Sal Davi as a member to our museum committee.  Sal will initially be helping Trustee Mat Rapacz with the military photographs, similar to the work he has been doing for American Legion Post #168.
The library has approximately 2000 unique pictures and upwards a total of 3000 photographs, including the military photos.  Two years ago, Mat and Richard Bellinger spent countless hours sorting and identifying the photos.  The photos are collectively and individually framed as well as stored in a collection of albums and inventoried.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Remembering September 11th

Over the years as library director I have been invited to speak at a number of public occasions.  One of the most profound occurred in 2011 on the 10th anniversary marking September 11.  My remarks proceeded a baseball game at Soldiers and Sailors Park.  My dad always said that as a nation one of the worst things we could do would be to forget the great sacrifices made in the name of freedom.  As you go about the business of living tomorrow remember those people who gave so much on that September day.  Whatever your belief system, there but for the grace of God, goes anyone of us.   

Soldiers and Sailors Park
St. Johnsville, NY
September 11, 2011

As you look out under the canopy of this glorious September day, a day much like ten years ago, you see our future as a nation resting squarely on the slim shoulders of these young boys; some of whom are far too young to have felt the impact of that particular fall day. 

It is these boys, as well as all the children across this great nation, with their enthusiasm and excitement that have given us reason, even during the darkest of days, to keep pressing forward. 

Whenever we are faced with cataclysmic events that define and shape us as individuals and collectively as a society we have no trouble at all recalling where we were and what we were doing when those events unfolded. 

On this grim day a decade ago we see in our minds eyes, through the haze of an entire nation’s mourning, the images which have forever become engraved in our hearts.  We often wonder how much we can possibly bear, how great a burden can we carry?  The sacrifice and suffering of September 11th demonstrated to us that while we as a nation may bend, we remain unbroken. 

As clear as if it were yesterday we recall the determined faces of emergency personnel and first responders and the haunted look of broken families and a devastated citizenry.  Within the stillness of our minds and hearts we hear the focused words of our leaders and the comforting prayers of our pastors. 

We need to remember, never forgetting that day, and all that has occurred at home and abroad because of September 11.  The twin flames of hope and remembrance light our path towards the future as we continue to struggle to find a new kind of normal. 

On what is probably one of the saddest anniversaries our country marks we need to keep hope alive because it is when our despair extinguishes that flame of hope our enemies claim victory. 

On this day remember and pledge yourselves to never forgetting.  On this same day play ball and laugh and hold your loved ones close because if there is one thing September 11, 2001 taught us it is this; how quickly things can change, almost in the twinkling of an eye.    


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Calling all Needlers~

        Nifty Needles is set to resume for the 2014/2015 season.  The group will meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 10 AM beginning September, 23.  All are welcome to the table. Please plan to join us and feel free to invite a friend.


                                                        Dawn Lamphere



September 23, October 14 & 28, November 25 and December 9 & 23

January 13 & 27, February 10 & 24, March 10 & 24, April 14 & 28, May 12 & 26 and June 9 & 23.


Please note:  as we go forward in to winter (boo hiss) should the Oppenheim Ephratah St Johnsville Central School district be delayed or closed on any of the above date Needles will not meet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Just for Kicks

In doing some shelf reorganizing I came across this nifty book I forgot we had: What are the Seven Wonders of the World and 100 other Great Cultural Lists-Fully Explicated.

Just for fun I thought I would throw a question up every now and again.  Unlike Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune there will be no prizes:) Enjoy!


What are the seven deadly sins?