Fred Cary Raynor


b. 1876- d. 1968











A Transcription of the Original Typescript by FCR

With Added notes by Wilfred L. Raynor, Jr. and S. Gardner

Albert Wisner Public Library

January, 2003






Memoirs of Fred Cary Raynor



1.      Memories of my boyhood days, from 1876 and on

2.      Why am I a mountaineer?

3.      Memories from the Parrot-Raynor Mines, 1860-1885

4.      Memories of the Raynor Mica Mine, 1870

5.      Memories of the great blizzard, march 12, 1888

6.      Speech at alumni class dinner, Red Swan Inn, July 3, 1916

7.      Speech, “Our Food Supply”, Warwick Grange, Feb. 13, 1917.

8.      Speech, “Who Grows Our Food Supply”, Warwick Grange Feb. 15, 1918

9.      Celebrating 100th anniversary of L. & H. R. R., June 4, 1960

10.  Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Warwick Methodist Church, May 1966-67

11.  My last talk with my death father before he died, Feb. 10, 1909

12.  Down memory lane—twilight dreaming



March 30th, 1963



No. 1

Memories From My Boyhood Days.  March 1950


            This is the story of one branch of the Raynor tree, concerning the members of the Raynor family who lived or are living in the area of Warwick and Glenmere Lake in Orange County.  I am putting this down as written to me by my grandfather, Fred C. Raynor (WLR, Jr.)

            (By Fred. C. Raynor): My grandfather, Samuel Raynor(2), was a son of Samuel Raynor, who lived on a farm back of Glenmere Lake.  He [S. Raynor(2)] was born in 1761 and died May 11, 1848 in his 88th year.  His father was in sympathy with the English Tories and helped to smuggle food and supplies to his brothers living on Long Island.  They in turn sold the goods to the Tories.  My grandfather would not help them do this.  Being in danger of his life, he hid in a load of hay that was being delivered to Goshen, N.Y.

            There was a suspicion among the sympathizers that he was hiding in the hayload, so the men pushed pitchforks into the hay to see if they could locate him.  One of the forks found its mark and pierced his knee, but he uttered no sound and the men, discouraged, went away.  Under the cover of darkness, he crept out of the hay and made his escape.  He found his way to the Delaware River near Milford, Pa.  There he camped, trapped, nursed his knee wound, but unfortunately it left him with a stiff leg.  He remained there for several years.

            One nice Spring day, while he was fishing along the river bank, Samuel noticed the bees working and flying from flower to flower near the water’s edge.  He watched them go into a hold in a tree nearby.  After the dark he cut the tree down and found it filled with honey.  The next day he fashioned a crude hive and eventually got the bees to come in to it.  Handling the bees carefully, he managed to build this up to 8 hives of bees.  Later, a caravan of people traveling westward to the new frontier saw Samuel’s bee hives.  He sold them 5 hives for $2,500.

            After the Revolution was over, Samuel was disowned by his parents, but he returned to Orange County to make his home.  After looking over the area of the Warwick Mountain range he decided that this was to be the spot.  Taking his money he made from the sale of the bee hives, Samuel purchased a tract of land from the Mistucky tribe of Indiana on the Warwick mountain.[1]  The Mistucky tribe had a camp ground just beyond our (FCR) old home, on a beautiful knoll by the side of a big Ironwood tree.  At the roots of this tree was an overflowing spring of wonderful water, which is to this day one of the springs that feeds the Mistucky reservoir which supplies the town of Warwick.

            And turning to another scene, “My great grandfather Sam Raynor(1)’s people all lived on two farms back of Glenmere Lake, now owned by the Goelet Estate.  They were thrifty people, good farmers and money makers, except for the last generation of 5 sisters and 1 brother, none of whom married.  They all lived together and eventually died of old age.  The last two remaining women were beaten and robbed by a young man from Florida (NY), who thought they had a lot of money hidden in the walls of the house.  They both died shortly after.  They were all buried in the Locust Hill Cemetery, near Wisner, N.Y.  The estate was divided by the court to the remaining relatives, one John Carpenter of Port Jervis getting the lion’s share.  I remember hearing at one time they had so much money in the Goshen bank that one of the bankers took it to NY City and purchased a shipload of coral.  This coral was not selling, but nevertheless had to be unloaded.  This fellow made a nice profit on it when he did sell it.  They also owned most of the Chester bank stock and also the Chester, Monroe, and Warwick Building and Loan Stock.”

            Now back to the main story:--

            Here on the tract of land purchased from the Indians[2], my grandfather married, lived, and raised a family of two children.  On, a daughter named Kezia, who married Jacob Babcock, a farmer, raised a large family. Their farm is now owned by Mrs. Frank Parker, near the old Acker School house.  My grandfather was 78 years old when my father (Samuel, the third) was born.  When my grandfather’s parents disowned him, they left him in their will, 5 shillings, so he couldn’t break the will.  But my grandfather never did call for it at the surrogate’s offices in Goshen, (hence the reason why I am on the poor side of the Raynor family.)

            How well I remember the house that my grandfather built.  A study building with one large living room and a huge stone fireplace, with the big heavy handmade crane with its old tea kettle, stew pans and broilers.  Kettles all made from the old black iron.  You could put 3 and 4 foot logs in the fireplace.  One large dish closet on one side at the right—on the left one a small closet for jellies and jams, with an outside stairway to go up to the two room bedroom.  My son, Wilfred L. Raynor (1), now has the old fireplace equipment over 200 years old and still in good condition. The floors were made from hand hewn oak timbers from the farm, 1 ½ inches thick and 12 inches wide.  When torn down in 1938[3] it was still in as good shape as when it was built.           

            How well I remember seeing that old sheepskin deed telling how England granted the land to the Indians.  It was over 150 years old.  Had my father held the land for 6 months longer, it would have been in the Raynor family for 100 years.  I remember seeing my grandfather’s will dividing the oxen, farm tools, chairs, furniture, dishes, pans, etc., to his wife, then on to my father and his sister.  My father paying his sister half value for the land.

            My grandfather, grandmother, 2-3 children and other kinfolks are buried up on the hill back of where the house used to be in the old family burial ground.  Still some stone markers there.[4]

            My grandfather drove to Newburg to see the demonstration of the first stoves for sale by a firm from Albany, N.Y.  The salesman who demonstrated the stove told how a person would only use half the amount of wood that people used to cook with in the fireplace.  My grandfather said, If that is true, I will buy 2 stoves, thereby saving all the wood.”  So he bought 2 stoves, one he gave to his daughter and the other he kept for family use.  My father continued to use it until better and newer stoves came along.  How well I remember that old stove.  The baking was done on the hearth in front by opening 2 doors (sliding), to let the heat out on the pans.  Very different way from the way used today.—But let me say here and now, our food today is nothing compared to what it was when I was a boy, for flavor and nourishment.  Those homemade canned fruits, dried vegetables, apples, berries and corn, jellies and jams.  The good homemade bread from flour direct from the farm.  The home killed pigs, hams, salt port and sausage.  Why shucks, people today don’t even know what real sausage should be—no water, no cracker meal, no potato flour.  No wonder people have indigestion, etc. such foods as they eat today—it is a disgrace to the jaybirds.

            While my father had very little education still he was a smart man.  Many people came to him for advice on mathematical problems, such as how many feet to a cord of wood in either 4 or 8 foot lengths, the size to build wood racks for the wagons to haul either ½, ¾, 1 cord of wood per load, or build wagon bodies to hold 20, 30, 40, 60 bushels of apples, potatoes, or corn wheat, oats, rye etc.  Or how to load or unload heavy timbers and machinery, or how many cubic feet to move or to dig a celler or foundation for a building.  It is very easy to solve these problems nowadays with all the schools and canned education one gets, as compared to 150 years ago.  My father, when he was 10 year old, ran away rather than go to school.  He did this one day when his mother had sent him across the road to get some wood to cook dinner.  He ended up in the western part of New York State—now known as Big Flats, NY, and remained there several years.

            There he bought a colt from an old colored man for 50 dollars, and he kept it on the farm where he worked until it was old enough to drive.  He stayed in Big Flats for seven years and he earned a hundred dollars there by racing his colt.  The he decided he wanted to come home.  He rigged up an old two high wheel sulky, tied his clothes in a bag under the seat and headed his horse towards Warwick.  When he arrived home his folks were very surprised to see him again, as they though he was dead, for they had no word from him all the while he was away.  Soon after his return the horsemen of the valley found out that he had a fast colt for those days.  On the Fowler Flat outside of Warwick, he outraced them all.  After winning several hundred dollars with his horse, he sold him for $500 to a farmer and horseman named Lewis or John Sutton.  Sutton had a race track on the Joel Henry Crissey farm, now owned by Astorino.  Sutton finally sold the horse to a New York City man for $1,500, who took it to Long Island for racing there.  When a boy, I remember going to the Sutton farm. The race track was located in the back fields.

            Having a fair sum saved, my father took the money and bought the land adjoining his farm from the old pioneer named Ezra Sanford, the great granddaddy of all the Sanfords in Warwick.  He had a habit of walking around the table at mealtime with a big loaf of homemade bread under his arm.  Using a big knife he’d cut off slices and toss them to the children at the table, saying, “Now, son, as soon as you’re able you pitch out for yourself and get a farm.”  And they all did.  Sanford’s house was a queer looking building housing as many as 3-4 families at a time.  We nicknamed it the “County House” because so many different families moved in and out of it, many working for my father, others in the iron mine.  The mines adjoined by father’s farm and were opened up about 1868, or early 1870.  My father took the contract to haul all supplies and ores by the ton from the mines to Warwick and back, and all machinery, etc., for the mines.  They loaded the ore on freight cars in Warwick.  Soon he rebuilt the old house into an up-to-date 12 room house, very stylish for a farmer of those times.

            My father, a very progressive farmer, planted one of the first apple orchards in Warwick.  He was the first man in Orange County to have running water in his house, cow barn and horse stable, spring house and water trough in the barn yard.  He used a lead pipe laid four feet under ground and this carried the water from a spring in the meadow near the mountainside it (the spring) never froze and ran continuously.  Hundreds of people from all over the county, some as far away as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, came to see my father’s plumbing system.  The pipe still lies there under the ground over 150 years old.

            The water was cold enough so that my father, even though shipping milk as far away as New York City, never had to use ice to cool the milk.   This milk was considered the very best quality.

            The farm was located on very fertile soil, and we always had great crops of grain, hay, corn, apples, potatoes, plums and honey, lambs, hogs, goose, ducks, turkeys, chickens, were all raised in quantity.

            While hauling out ores and supplies, my father had 8 teams of big horses, one team of large mules for hauling, and one yoke of immense, big, red oxen.  He built a large cow barn, horse barn, granary, using the best materials.  He kept about 30 head of milk cows.  But they were bringing so much ore out the mines at that time he had to hire other teams from neighboring farmers and teamsters to help haul the ore to Warwick.  Our house sat in the little valley floor beside a grand stream of water.  The road running by and over it had about an eight of a mile of steep grade.  Here is where those big, red oxen worked helping the teams get up the grade.  My first job—I was strapped on the back of the near ox.  When a team hauling a loaded wagon would come along, the driver would hook the ox chain to the end of the wagon pole (it had..)[5]. Then the driver would call out for the oxen and horses to pull.  My, what powerful beasts those oxen were.  Sometimes, a new horse would balk when they came to the hill, but once the oxen were hitched to the load and told to start, nothing stopped them- balky horse and all had to follow.  Many a balky horse got badly skinned because they would throw themselves on the ground, but it made no difference to the plodding oxen.  They just dragged the horse along with the load until they reached the top of the hill, and were told to stop.  After a couple of those treatments the horse soon learned to stay on his feet.  Soon as they heard that old chain rattle, and the hook drop into that wagon pole hook, they were ready to go.

            At the top of the hill, the driver would unhook the ox chain, fasten it to the ox-yoke and turn the oxen around in the road.  Then it was my job to drive the oxen back down to the bottom of the hill and wait for the next team to come.  All day long, I would sit up on that ox every day, for years until I finally outgrew the job.  What a help to those faithful old horses were those faithful old oxen.

            There always was a hum of activity around our home.  I can remember the time when there were more people centered around the mines that there was in the Village of Warwick.  The mines closed down in the first decade of the 1800’s, and left my father with many teams and men.

            For several Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, my father would buy hundreds of turkeys, chickens, ducks, and goose, kill and dress them and with 3 team loads of dressed poultry they’d start for Paterson, New Jersey.  They left home about 12 noon and would arrive in Paterson about 6 in the morning.  I was always driving the team in the middle, so as not to get lost on the way if I fell asleep.  My, how scared I used to be to get into Paterson and see all those dirty streets and alleys.

            After feeding the horses, and getting some breakfast, we would drive the wagons up to the center of the city and stand and sell the poultry on the sidewalks.  Sometimes a woman would want me to carry her bird home for her.  That used to scare me.  Believe me, there’s no place like the country for the country boy to live in.  One of the drivers, Jacob Stalter, always by the time we reached home, would have a least a dozen ducks, goose, and turkeys, and no end of chickens all alive.”

*   *   *

            “There was a very steep bank back of our house, also a nice two-story and attic wood house.  The first floor space of this wood house was for wood and coal, the back cellar in the bank used for apples, potatoes, buckwheat, caniallo (sp?  Graham flour) and corn meal.  In fall would kill hogs and hang spare ribs, pork tenderloins, hams, etc. in this room and well they would keep until used.  We needed such a storage room for food in order to feed seven or eight hired men in addition to the family.  Mother baked 32 very large loaves of bread every week besides making pies and cakes.  All this in addition to the enormously large washings to be done on Mondays.  With so much work I wonder now how she lived as long as she did, no wonder she died so young.  She was a wonderful mother and her death left us four lonely children to ourselves.  I am sure God felt he needed her in his vineyard.

            My father, like most men in those days would have a spree for a day and night (24hrs.) about every six weeks, but no one could get him to take a drink at any place or price in between times.  He was a great pipe smoker using three pounds of Blue Line or While Line smoking tobacco every two weeks.  He never chewed tobacco and how he would condemn anyone who did, and would say, that it was a darn foolish habit.  He was a good mixer and had a great many friends.  Was a Republican and could get elected to office any time he wanted regardless of who was his opponent, Democrat or Republican.  I often wonder what he would say if he was alive today to see how the women smoke and drink.  Father was married twice.  The first family was four girls and one boy by Mary Louise Montros Raynor.  Second family by my mother, Mary Monell Raynor, was three boys and two girls.  When a boy of 6, 8, 10 years old there was 24 of us girls and boys, sisters, half-sisters, brothers, half-brothers and cousins who used to play and visit together.  Today, March 30th 1948 my 72nd birthday, I am the only boy still living and a sister, Grayce 70 years old still lives at Berkeley, California.  The other 22 with their mothers and fathers have all passed on into the Great Beyond.

            How well I remember that little old wooden school house way back yonder on the mountain top when I was a boy of school age.  Never any paint on it and the desks fastened to the wall all around the one room.  Seats made of split logs with wooden pegs driven in for legs.  We all had to sit with our backs to the teacher and great big wood burning stove standing the middle of the floor.  On cold snowy or rainy days at recess or noon hour we all circled around the stove singing “The Farmer in the Dell.”  The farmer takes a wife, the farmer kisses his wife, etc., etc.  Well it was really some good old fashioned kissing game, with no lip stick, not tobacco or beer taste.   Just good sweet lips.  Yum, um, and the good looking girls and teachers, they enjoyed it too.  There were four classes a day.  Reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling.  Writing was the last lesson of the day and I was always so far behind that I had to hurry with this writing or get locked in the school house all night.  I would think of the bears and wild cats and My O My would I hurry to get out with the rest, so hence the reason for my good penmanship.

            Sitting here in the Sunny Southland, enjoying the nice warm sunshine, listening to the mocking birds, looking at the beautiful flowers nature brings forth—My O My what a pleasure to recall those good old days, the memories of those childhood days.  Yes, some hard ones, but Oh so many happy ones.  So many wonderful happy ones all along my life’s journey.  God alone knows how thankful I am, having had such wonderful Mother and Father.  Hoping and trusting these boyhood memories will linger on till the journey’s end, the sun goeth down.  Then may the name Raynor live on forever and forever.


                                                                        Fred Cary Raynor    

                                                                        Grand Pa and Great Grand Pa.                              

                                                                        March 30, 1951


P. S. My father purchased the second lot in the Warwick Cemetery.  There father and mother are buried.  In the early 90’s I personally hauled all the stones, from our old farm, that are laid up at the entrance to the Warwick Cemetery.  These stones came from near the old izen glass or mica mine holes shown on the farm map.

            Mary Monell Raynor, my mother, was a daughter of Samuel Monell and Hannah Bennett (see birth, marriage and death record in the old family Bible) What a darling woman she was—a school teacher at the little old school house on the hill.  She was such a beautiful down eyed girl with grant erect figure and very soft voice.  No wonder father fell in love with and married her.  What a change it must have been for her to be step-mothering for six children and have five of her own.  No wonder her health broke down in early life.  At about the age of 41 years in early June she had a bad cold.  Our old family doctor, Dr. Cary would some times drive up to the farm t get fresh eggs.  How well I remember that fatal day for my mother.  I had just come home from Warwick after taking a violin lesson from an excellent violinist, George McElroy.  Arriving home, I found Dr. Cary sitting the house talking to my mother.  He took my violin, looked it over and said it was a nice one and that (last line missing from photocopied page)… said for me to change my clothes and go hunt eggs as Doc wanted some fresh ones.  When I came in the eggs doctor was just laying on the table four very large capsules of medicine.  He told mother to take one before breakfast, another after supper.  After taking the capsule before supper she became very sick and unconscious—vomiting greenish stuff.  The school teacher got some raw eggs down her but they came up cooked like they had been fried in green paint.  I drove the horse as fast as it would go to town to tell Dr. Cary about mother.  He told me she would be o.k. soon and gave me some medicine to settle her stomach.  I was not loosing any time returning home when about half a mile from the house the doctor came running his horse for all it was worth and yelling for me to get out of his way.  I let him pass by, his bay horse looking more like a white horse than a bay. He had run it till it was all lather.  He rushed in, made strong black coffee and poured it down my mother’s throat, but it came back up, still steaming and greenish.  What suffering and agony for two weeks with mother unconscious all of the time.  Finally doctor said he had been taking dope himself and had given mother wrong medicine by mistake.  The dose he gave her was for a man 300 lbs. in weight.  It was a month before we could get mother to allow a doctor to come see her.  Finally she had a Dr. Jayne, an old man in his 80’s from Florida drive to see her, and he said, nothing could be done for her.  He sent one of the capsules to the state to find out what Dr. Cary had given mother and the report came back that there was enough strychnine in it to kill three ordinary men and if mother had taken after supper as the doctor said to, she would have died during the night.  As it was, it acted quickly on her empty stomach and she thru so much of it up.    Dr. Cary soon shot himself as he lost all his patients.  It was at this time that Drs. Frank and Seeley Cummins came to Warwick.  Dr. Frank Cummins took mother’s case and did all he could for her.  It was a great feather in his cap to treat her, but she lived for eight years on nothing but sour lopped milk and old dried bread grated off and the two beat together with an egg beater.  He stomach was gone, and she was paralyzed from her knees down.  No feeling at all and had to walk on crutches but could not walk up the least grade at all.  My, what suffering, what suffering for one so young, so beautiful and so much to live for.  Nice home and four nice children of her own.  I being the eldest, she would coax me to stay home to try and look after my sister and two younger brothers.  She was a fine Christian woman, always patient and loving as she possibly could be.  How well I remember I wanted to be a surveyor so badly so I could get a government job and be sent around the U. S.  I wanted to see the country so badly.  I wrote to Eastman Business School at Poughkeepsie to get the desired information and cost.  The reply came on a day my father was on a spree.  He opened the letter, read its contents, came home from his spree and Oh what a licking and kicking he gave me about it.  My surveyor’s career ended right then.  How badly my mother felt about it.  Calling me to sit down by her knees and talking to me in a motherly way.  How sad and how disappointing it was for me and how deeply it hurt her also.  Talking so nice and telling me not to let it discourage me as God would help me in some way.  Oh, what a dear mother.  How I have wished I could only have her back to visit.  What I would give.  I’d be so happy I’d start over again.

            Father seemed to drink more and times did get bad.  How I wished I could get something mother could eat, but nothing, nothing but lopped milk and dry bread.  How she wanted to live to see her children grow up, but it was not to be.  She would talk to each one of us how she thought we would do and grow up to be.  She began to grow worse and worse and the last 30 days of her suffering is too terrifying to write about.  I hope never to see any animal suffer like my dear mother did.  It was all so terrible for us four children to see.  After she passed on we had some hard struggling times.  It would be a long story to tell how and what happened to each one of us children but thank God we all grew up to be good citizens and real hard workers with the desire to have and own our own homes.  How mother would have loved to have seen and visited us.  I am sure God must have let her look down on us and that she was there to meet my two brothers and my dear son Hubert, who have passed to the Great Beyond.

            Fred C. Raynor:  My father, Samuel Raynor sure was a smart man.  He had very little education—just enough to read and write, but how he could figure out things.  How well I remember, when a small boy, about a monumental man who furnished the P. E. Sanford monument, now standing near the south west gate of the Warwick Cemetery.  It arrived in town on railroad flat cars with a very large heavy truck made for such heavy work.  The monument weighted twelve tons.  When they loaded the monument on the truck it settled 18 inches deep in the road bed.  It stood in the street along side the railroad switch opposite the Hynard Bros. store.  There were six or eight teams of horses standing around waiting to move it to the cemetery.  As soon as Dad saw it he laughed and offered to bet $300.00 they could not move it 3,000 feet.  Eventually the Supt. Came to Dad for advice and Dad offered to deliver it to the Cemetery for $300.00 provided no persons were allowed within talking distance along the way.  Finally they agreed.  Next morning Dad took one team of big gray horses—Jacob Stalter driver, one team of big black mules—Ben White driver, (Gabby Hayes of the movies remind me of Don White), and a yoke of big red Durham oxen.  I had driven those oxen for the past two or three years, having been strapped on the back of the near ox.  They would help the teams pull those heavy ore wagons up the hill at our farm house.  Well it sure was the talk of the town, Sam Raynor going to try to move the monument to the cemetery with only three teams.  Dad had plenty of heavy chains so he ran these chains around the entire load, truck and monument all chained together, then chain to whiffle tree of horses then to whiffle tree of mules then to the oxen yoke.  He had three extra men dig down in front of each wheel, put a six inch plank twelve inches wide and six foot long under each wheel to give it a start.  Jacob Stalter spoke to his team of horses—When White same to his mules in a soft voice and I said to oxen, Gee up Reds, here we go.  That load started to roll out to and up Oakland Ave.  Every four or five hundred feet stopped for a few minutes rest or blow as they called it in those days.  When the word was given to go it sure did go.  At the cemetery gate the oxen and mules were unhitched and left for the horses to handle down grade.  In the cemetery on the flat the load began to settle 8-10 inches deep.  Dad hustled the extra men and team to the railroad yards to borrow some planks, six inched thick, twelve inches wide and 18 ft. long to use again under the wheels till they came to a rise in the road leading up to the side for the monument.  The Supt. Gave Dad $300 agreed on and offered him, his teams and drivers a permanent job, set his own price to go with the company just to move monuments.  In those days rich people showed off their wealth in big homes and large monuments.  Dad refused the offer—rather be his own boss on his own farm.  The Supt. Then asked Dad why it was hose six or eight teams could not move the monument.  Dad said, well you started all wrong.  First they were all strange teams and drivers to one another.  I knew when the order was given nothing would move and those teams would see saw back and forth, the drivers begin to cuss and holler and that was what happened.  Dad said, that was why I could not make the offer unless all persons were out to talking distance all along the way.  My horses and mules and oxen all knew what was expected of them when the word to go was given and none were use to strange voices.  It shows you how animal instinct works out—horses do not like mules – mules do not like oxen, hence either one sulks or the one behind nips the one ahead on the rump to get out of the way and it was no mild nip either.  Animals like people soon learn.  Dad knew exactly what his teams could pull and how far without a stop to blow.  He never allowed a driver to abuse them, hence the unison at the same moment.  Supt. Asked Dad why Dad was so particular about how the chains were put around the entire load.  He said, Mr. you had a big heavy truck and an enormous load of 12 tons to move and I wanted it fixed that when all those three teams pulled nothing about the truck would break or give way to fool those teams.  I wanted everything to move and keep on moving.

            Now do you think Dad was a smart man?  I do.  Can you imagine how proud I was sitting on the back of that old red ox. (Buck was his name) and see the people looking at us move along.  That was a great day for me and that was a long long time ago and it was the talk of the town for many years.  I wish I could remember all those old fellows, Fleet Demerest, Thomas Demerest, Mannington TenEyeck, Thomas Randall—all hotel men.  How often I have heard Pierson Sanford say to Dad, Come on Sam, let’s go have a drink on that monument you moved in the cemetery for the benefit of the Sanford tribe.

            I wonder how many left in Warwick know that after the mines closed down my Dad used his teams to haul flag stones and curbing for the Village of Warwick side talks and the large flag stones for bridges for the Township.  How well I remember those long trips over to Quarryville—(See if  you can find this place on the map).  Leaving home at 3 A.M. with three or four teams via Edenville, Pine Island.  Boy, those old dirt roads this side of Pine Island would hake and quiver and scare me half to deal for fear of sinking out of sight.  You can imagine a small boy scared at such things.  Get to the quarry, load up and get back to Warwick about 9-10 P.M. then unload and drive back to the farm all in one day.  Wonder what the New Dealers, left Wingers, and what have you Unions would think of such things today?  Well that was the way our Grand America was made and how happy people were in those days.  Wonderful friendship and neighbors, the kind God wanted us all to be—how different to-day, March 30, 1850.  Well those trips were long and cold ones a s such trucking was done only in the Fall after the farm work was all done.  I can still see those flag stone piles down back of John Classons feed mill, now Conklin & Strong.  All the stone walks in Warwick at the same huge flag stone we hauled from Quarryville on Main Street, West Street, Oakland Avenue, South Street, Railroad Avenue and all the intervening streets, especially where you now find uneven walks are the results of Samuel Raynor’s ambition and energy to do his share of hard work to help make a better village for all of us to live in.  I remember in the early 80’s how he leveled off the gravel banks on Oakland Ave., making building lots where M. V. (?) Kane, Harry Hynard, Hiram Tate, Wm. Drumgould, James Lawrence, Harvey Van Duzer (Stage), James Ogden, Elihue Taylor—all homes built after he did the grading.  They were fine people, so different from our new crop of civilization.  In a few years more Warwick will be lost to another race.  Like the good old fashioned work horses, faithful unto death, we old Americans will have vanished with them, but it has been fun working and looking back on what an industrious generation had done.


*   *   *

            This probably should have been put in an early part of story.     

            My grandfather Raynor brought five skips of bees with him from the Delaware River region when he bought the farm at Warwick.  When my dad was a real small boy he saw grandfather shoot a big black bear who was carrying off one of his skips of bees and honey across the road and brook, under those big hemlock trees.  He had missed several skips but never any more after he killed that bear.  When I was 10 or 12 years old I use to peddle honey in Warwick and Bellvale at 10 cents a pound, three pounds for 25 cents.  All nice white comb honey in big pieces fifteen inches square.  Carried it in a big milk pan and cut off as sold.


*  *  *

            Another interesting thing—the brook ran along the foot of the hill. The road ran across the door yard close to the house and then crossed brook.  No bridge in that day.  Drove right through the water.  As Dad wanted to rebuild the old house into a modern one he got permission from the County to change both the road and brook and build a bridge across the brook.  He also built a big stone wall along the bank in the relocated brook some six feet high and two feet wide and filled in all ground in front of the house, making a beautiful lawn with many rose bushes, flower gardens, pear quince, peach, plum and cherry trees.  Also planted red and blue grape vines.  The house had a four foot wide porch, then two large spruce trees with walk between down to brook band between two nice arborvitus trees then down 4 or 5 steps to water edge.  A very pretty setting.  In center of lawn was a large mill stone – hole in center out of which grew a beautiful little white rose.  Hundreds of blossoms each year.  Around the stone under the rose bush was many kinds of rare stones, pierces of ore and mica.  Also some very queer shaped stones that I wish I had moved away to my home.  Now at age of 74 I look back on that grand old farm home – what memories of the joys and sorrows come back to me.  How I wish I could write a book of it all, including the many good neighbors, some real funny old fellows, the old black witch and aunt Abbie Decker.  All the big hearted wholesome people.  Get me some of those buckwheat pancakes with home made butter, sausage and pure maple syrup and boy you had a treat never to be forgotten.

            God bless me and my sister, who now lives in Berkeley, California and at evening tide of life, may we all meet again and be the one big family we were, and may this grand old world be better for our having lived in it and enjoyed its many wonderful blessings.

            God Bless all my children and kin folks and may they have the great pleasures and blessings in life that I have enjoyed.









Mon. Oct. 1, ‘64

Times Window



                                       I am looking out of the window

Through the twilight of closing years

And life appears as a drama

With trials and laughter and tears

As integral parts of its pattern,

Interwoven with triumphs and fears.


My window is clouded this evening,

Yet the valley seems very near,

My heart ever longs for the loved ones    

Whose presence gave courage and cheery,


And dim through the deepening shadows,

Like a play on a moving stage,

The race goes steadily forward

Ever changing from age to age.


And again I see at this hour,

Dear friends of long ago,

Whose footsteps once tripped lightly,

Uncertain now, measured, and slow.

The twilight deepens to darkness

And for many I look in vain;

Yet I’m sure on a brighter to-morrow

I shall see them once again.


                                 Fred Car Raynor       

                                 March 30, 1951

                                 (autographed March 30, 1963)


Handwritten note added on Oct 1964: “Now after 4 more years and 9 months still wonderful memories…(line off page)”






No. 2

Why I am a Mountaineer


            Why am I a mountaineer?  To me it is funny.  As I turn around in the path of life and look squarely at that mountaineer it brings a smile as well as some deep thinking.  Most every community in those early days had one “Old Granny” who delivered the babies to their future homes.  She always carried an old covered basket on her arm and move everyone far and near had use for “Old Granny”. (Aunt Jane Smith).  She lived near the old Black Pulpit Rock on the highway near the Simon Van Ness Inn.  It was “Old Granny” that took me out of her covered basket and dropped me off along the little old Mistucky water stream, which still flows on to fill the Mistucky Reservoir, the present water supply for the Queen Village of Warwick.  This Stream is named after the Mistucky tribe of Indians who had their campingrounds less than one eighth of a mile from my birthplace, in fact the deed[6] to my fathers farm was made on a sheepskin with quill pen from a grant given to this tribe of Indians by the English government.  Had my father held it six months longer it would have been in the Samuel Raynor family 100 years.


            Southeast of my home I could look on the old Gore Mountain tract.  To the North the old Birdsall (handwritten correction from Birdseye, by Wilfred L. Raynor, Jr.)[7] or Old Hickory Hill Mountain and about the first story I can remember is about these red-skin Indians who lived so close to my house.  As I grew older the more I hear about the Indians being driven West and the more I grew the stronger the desire within me to go West to get first hand information about the Indians and the great western country.  The more I would read the more the desire grew within me and believe you me between the teachers iron wood whips and Dad’s old leather boots I kept growing.  I decided I would like to go to Eastman’s Business College at Poughkeepsie to study to be a civil engineer then get a position with Uncle Sam and be sent around the U.S.A. and particularly to the West to work.  I thought the West was just a small county beyond Pochuck Mt.  I had the idea all the land east of Pochuck Creek was Eastern U.S. and West of Pochuck was West of the Mississippi.  You see I had never been further away from home that to a Village they called Warwick, then to Stone Bridge, to Bellvale, to Andrew Houston Farm, Walt Quackenbush, Jonas Lockwood Farm, Granny Hall Farm, to Samuel Raynor Farm, my home.  This was sort of a circular trip about twelve miles and that was a long trip especially walking and barefooted at that.


Andrew Houston by the way was a man with great experience with rod and chain (not ball and chain).  He used the iron rod as a stake and the chain of links to measure the land with.  Those days most everyone owned land.  Some one piece and some half a dozen or more.  Hitler now reminds me of the people of my early boyhood days with their quarreling with neighbors over line fines.  Especially two old duffers.  One Jonas Lockwood, the other Grinnell Burt.  Grinnell decided to build a railroad from Warwick to Greycourt.  He has to have railroad ties and bridge timbers.  Jonas had a lot of mountain land with timber to make ties.  Well after arguing about the price Grinnell agreed to pay Jonas five cents per each railroad tie.  Think of it boys—In those days it was work or go to bed hungry.  No C. P. A., no C. I. O., no A. F. L., no F.D.R., no Jessie James, no Ickies,[8] no New Dealers.  I’ll bet today that railroad ties cost near five dollars each.  Jonas had several boys and girls and they all worked cutting trees down day and night by lantern light.  Score, hew, and dress the ties and bridge timbers day time, deliver them to Warwick by the hundreds, was work for all.  Finally Grinnell thought Jonas was making money too fast so Grinnell started to buy up wood lots around Jonas property on the mountain side. At night Jonas would cut down Grinnell’s trees by mistake of course.  Grinnell found out about this and would not pay the price for his own trees, which Jonas had cut into ties.  So Andrew Houston with his iron rod, red flannels and chain was called to survey the lines.  As I have said, Andrew Houston was a man of great experience, and especially with such quarrelsome fellows, so he would tell Jonas to take the iron rods and red flannels.  About a hundred or more to carry and stake the line as he directed.  Then he would give that long heavy link chain to poor old Grinnell to drag along through the bushes while he, Andrew, looked through the key-hold or needle eye of his three poled instrument.  Not one person in the whole country-side could read, see nor guess what Andrew saw.  After about three-quarters of a day both Jonas and Grinnell being tired out, would cuss each other unmercifully.  Finally Grinnell would say, Begad Jonas you old Mossback[9] you can have the land if you will take the trees off and deliver them to me in Warwick.  Then Jonas would stomp the ground and roar like one of those big old Durham bulls and roar, “Grinnell you darned old Mug Wamp[10] you pay me for what I have already hauled to you for your railroad, to hell with you and your land.  Well Sir, those two fellows kept poor old Andrew Houston on the road back and forth so much till the town of Warwick had to build a read honest to goodness highway road from Bellvale up the valley past Andrew Houston, Walt Quackenbush, Peter Howell, Jack Squews, Jonas Lockwood, Granny Halls on down the valley to the Samuel Raynor farm, the home of this wanderer, and then to Warwick.  Grinnell and Thomas, those two Burt brothers were very smart. They were carpenters by trade and while working on a barn for Wm. Wheeler they both threw away their hammers, sold their saws, and took a solemn vow, never to do any more manual labor again as there was no real money to be made by manual labor anyway.  It was a hit and miss proposition as the old Negro said, he knew it was because he had married four times and every time he had missed.  Grinnell decided to build a railroad from Warwick to Greycourt as I have mentioned.  Thomas was to build a Savings Bank in Warwick so that as fast as Grinnell made money with his railroad he could put the money in his brothers bank.  Brother Thomas could then load the money to the people around Warwick to build homes, raise crops, etc., and ship them on his brothers railroad to the city markets.  Soon after Grinnell got his railroad built he and old “Mossback” Jonas Lockwood got to be very chummy, so Grinnell to ease his conscience from worry because he had bought the ties so cheap from Jonas decided to get for Jonas and his entire family some kind of cut rate ticket to that wonderful rich farming country of Iowa, also the land of buffalos and Indians.  This appealed to Jonas as he was tired of the slow hard way of living up on the mountains above Warwick.  Grinnell would grin and laugh when he would tell Sam Raynor about it, saying, “Be Gad it sure took a lot of figuring and laying awake nights to get Jonas out of the country.”  He was worried that Jonas would get the idea that he (Jonas) owned the railroad because Grinnell had only paid Jonas five cents for the candles and kerosene oil railroad ties.  However, the Jonas family arrived safely in Iowa and it was many years before Jonas returned to Warwick.  When he did he never batted an eye at his one time enemy and friend, Mug Wamp Burt.  Time nor space permit me to tell of the many amusing things I have seen and heart from those two great big noble hearted pioneer men. Yes indeed for all their faults, the good qualities of both men out weighed their faults.


Most everyone for miles around knew Walt Quackenbush, a farmer and neighbor of Andrew Houston.  Walt was an unusual fellow, good natured, full of fun, but never would get weighed.  Said it was too much trouble.  He was so large he could not get himself all on the scale at one time.  Had to weigh in sections so no one ever knew how much he did weight but he sure was a big fellow.  Walk and John Bradner, who had a general store at Bellvale had a lot in common.  Walt would make his trips to Warwick along and he was a real load for both his horse and wagon.  All his old friends in Warwick would coax him into the hotel bar room for a drink, but Walt would never drink.  He always took a cigar.  Told the fellows he preferred a good smoke to a drink.  Not one of the fellows ever knew Walt never smoked either.  He took the cigars back to John Bradner’s in Bellvale and traded them for salt, sugar or flour thereby keeping the John Bradner store supplied with first class cigars.  The people who bought the cigars never realized that Walt Quackenbush was the supplier of the good smoke they were enjoying.  One I asked through the Warwick papers if anyone recalled hearing John Bradner sing the song “Old Zip Coon”, a Walt Quackenbush version.  Those who had never heart John Bradner sing his song missed a treat never to be heard again.


After my father forbid me going to Eastman College my dear good Mother would talk and sympathize with me not to give up the idea of seeing the great western U.S., its grandeurs and wonders of nature.  So from Walt Quackenbush’s method I got an idea—why not save pennies?  Getting myself a box nailed together good with a hold in the top I had a place to put any spare money, thereby started to save for ticket to California and the great West Coast of U.S.  I would be ashamed to tell how many years it has taken to get enough money for the trip.  Mother died, and each year I would hope to go.  Living in my hopes year after year, then both of my brothers died leaving only my sister living at Berkley, Cal., and myself living at Warwick, NY.


                                                                        Fred Cary Raynor

                                                                        March 30, 1963











No. 3

Old Raynor Mine


            After the Civil War, a young man named Peter Parrott who liked to hike through the countryside and woods discovered a piece of mineral to be iron ore.[11]  Along the boundary line of Samuel Raynor’s farm the mine was opened and operated by Peter Parrott.[12]  Samuel Raynor took and held the contract to haul all the ore to the Warwick Railroad and loaded it on cars to be sent to a smelter at Greenwood Iron Works on the Erie R.R.  Peter Parrott and E.H. Harriman—Iron-Ore-Mine’s, recent years referred to the Old Raynor Mine, in the vicinity of Tuxedo Park, Southfield and Sloatsburg.  There the mineral was separated from the rock and made into small iron bars or little pigs as they were called – 50 to 100 pounds each.  Samuel Raynor also had the contract to carry all the supplies such as building material from Warwick to the mines—other materials such as steam boiler engines, water pumps, drills, hawsers, picks, candles, blacks giant powder, fuses, and caps for blasting, feed for the horses and mules, in fact everything pertaining to successful use in operating a mine.


            It was a thriving business section for some 15 years or more; great quantities of ore were hauled to the R.R. by some 20-25 teams of horses and mules—a distance of 3 ½ miles, which was a big expense in those days even though they were paid only 50 cents per ton.  Some teams could only haul 2- 2 ½ tons per load per day; this included a man to drive 2 horses and wagon over very poor, rough roads.  In spring time the mud in many places was axle deep and knee deep for the horses.  No wonder they could not pull any heavier loads.  Stop, Look, and Listen!  $2.50 per day for a man and team of horses besides wear and tear on harness and wagons, etc.


            Several years before the mines closed down Mr. Parrott was in money trouble because of low price for the iron he sold and the high cost of hauling both ways.  Several times the R.R. Co. surveyed from Warwick to the mines to see if a branch line could be built but it was all up grade, in some places very steep; so the idea was abandoned.  Mr. Parrott finally persuaded one of his former schoolmates to invest in the mines.  This schoolmate was E.H. Harriman, father of our present governor of New York State.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Harriman were lovely people.  Every miner who met them said, “Those kind of people are the salt of the earth.”  Never once did I ever hear a word of criticism about these people or Mr. Parrott, nothing but praises.  I really believe, had E. H. Harriman lived, he would have given the mines to the State or New York or made it into a park and given it to the state.


            After spending more money, the report came out that the western country was opening mines near the R.R. and could cut delivery costs.  The Parrott mines also had a great deal of sulphur waster material; all these factors resulted in a dead loss which finally closed the mines.  Oh what a sad loss!  So many thrown out of work as the mines had been working 24 hours a day.  People moved away—nice families—most all English or Welsh.  Several people moved to the Highberny[13] mines in N.J.  The houses, shops, and engines were all deserted and left to rot down or be burned up by squatters who moved into them.


            In 1904 Miss Fannie Hitchcock, whose father had been a very successful mineralogist in the northwest, came to Warwick and purchased farm after farm, mountain land and also the mine property.  Miss Hitchcock also studied mineralogy in college, she started to open up the mines, which had filled with water, some shafts 150’ to 200’ deep.  After spending many thousands of dollars and losing expensive pumps she gave up the idea of mining.  She had purchased several thousands of acres of land in and around the mine property and so controlled both land and water supply.  After her death came the report she had left the property to the University of Pennsylvania in her home city of Philadelphia, Penna.  The property was finally sold off in different sized portions—most all of it had gone back to nature and was grown with trees, bushes and briars, etc.—till it had become a vast forest or wilderness.


            About 1954 Jacob Deere of Greenwood Lake discovered uranium on it around the old dump where tons of waste material is lying on the old mine property (Birdsall, not the Parrott mines).

            The U. S. Government has granted a contract for $400,000 worth of the product which is being mined and milled by the Ramapo Uranium Corporation.  They have spent over $100,000 opening, blasting, digging and milling the ore and claims the right to mine some additional 500 acres.  This company is working just across the road from the old Parrott-Harriman mines—more often called the Raynor Mines since it joined the Raynor farm on two sides and because Samuel Raynor was the general contractor during the mine operation from the beginning till the closing.  The $64,000 question to me is “Was the waste or sulfur from the Parrott Harriman mine sulfur waste or was it Uranium?” Uranium was not heard of in those days.


            Of these Raynor mines, here let me say, within ¼ miles lived the peaceful Mistucky tribe of Indians.  They were good judges of good land, excellent water.  Their camp was close by an everflowing spring that helps feed the Village of Warwick water system, named and called the Mistucky Reservoir, after the Mistucky Indians.  I found several Indian arrowheads, no doubt from the ore or rock that were being mined.  The arrow heads were of different and harder material that any I have seen in other parts of the U.S.


            I, Fred C. Raynor, born and raised on the old Raynor farm, saw and read the deed given to his grandfather, Samuel Raynor the 2nd, when he purchased the land from the Indians.  It was written on a sheepskin and was from and English Grant. [14] The writing was done with a quill pen, having a large quill pen drawn on lower corner of deed.


            Only recently I read an article about the amount of Uranium that might and could be in the roadbeds of the highways and foundations of homes and buildings in the now Arden, Tuxedo, Ramapo Valley area that was used from the dumps from the old smelter that was long ago abandoned.  Probably our governor Averiol Harriman, son of E.H. Harriman can add something here to answer the $64,0000 question above mentioned as his father lived on and owned many thousands of acres of land surrounding the above mentioned territories.


            These historical mines should have been made into a beautiful state park.  Another reason why this article should be places on record—is that these mines were the first Uranium mines found east of Colorado; something New York State ought to be more than proud of; because Uranium is now in its infancy and like the beginning of electricity, no one can foresee what great possibility the future holds for the people of the world from its valuable use.

            I am proud to be a native of New York State—God Bless her and keep her forever—the Empire State of the Union.  


Fred Cary Raynor     March 30, 1963































No. 4

The Raynor Izen Glass or Mica Mine


            March 30, 1963—Another beautiful sunny day, now as I sit here in St. Petersburg, Florida, enjoying the glorious sunshine—my thoughts remind me that my sons—grandsons—great-grand-sons, so often ask me to tell them something of my boyhood days, so maybe I should tell about the Izen Glass mine, as I used to go there often, when a boy.


            Today, I wonder if any one living knows where the mine is located.  It is on Rock Hill, only person that would guess who knows would be George Hansen, the noted trail writer.  I hope he does—as he, at one time, lived near by it, in Sam Hurt house.


            It is located along my father’s farm and Old Thomas Welling’s farm line fence.  It is the only Izen glass that could be sawed or cut with sharp axe-layers of Izen glass or Mica.  Father would go with a workman, cut out chunks—take to Warwick to the hardware merchants Ogden and Co., and Finch and Colwell- the two hardware merchants.  Those days all parlor or living room coal stove style square or round pot-bellied.  Around the body of stove above the fire pot was frame work sort of little fancy window shapes or styles left open to be filled in with little pierces of Izen glass or Mica, which stood the heat from the fire no glass would and made a very pretty sight when fire was burned, especially nights.  It also showed how fast or slow the blaze was burning, thereby the damper in stove could be regulated accordingly.  A window light would get broken or it too thin, would burn out, hence the reason for my father to get more Izen glass for the stores.  It was very easy to split off in sheet form any thickness desired and each to cut in any shape, a style to fit the frames.


            I remember the fun us kids had going to the mine, cut out pieces to take home—and often give some to people who needed a piece for their stoves, especially the old ladies who had no one to get it for them.  Sometimes we would get a 2 cent pierce or a 3 cent piece for us to spend.  Who today ever saw a 2 cent piece or a 3 cent piece of money?  They like the old coal stoves, have gone out of existence long, long years ago—perhaps you can see one at a museum or old antique store.


            Here let me tell of the scare of a city man.  My brother-in-law John G. Schleich who was a first class plumber—lived and worked for a hardware merchant in Passaic, New Jersey.  The first visit to our home on the farm after he married my half sister, Louise he heart us talk about the Izen glass mine.  One day he walked alone to see it.  So we saw him coming running full speed, yelling at the top of his voice—so scared he could hardly talk—said 2 big read animals (foxes) was laying asleep in the mine hole—so my father loaded up the old muzzle-loaded shot gun—told John to go shoot them—so off he goes on the run.  Soon we heard gun shot.  So we saw John on his way home—the old gun had kicked John over so bad—when he raised up, the foxes were disappearing over the hill.  John had never seen so scared before in his life.  Was badly black and blue arm and shoulder—and a chunk of Izen glass to take home with him to show and prove he had been in the country—saw and shot at, 2 wild animals and a piece of Izen glass or Mica but no fox skins to prove his story.  No doubt today the old mine pit is filled up with leaves and sticks of dead wood.  Yes folks, those were good days of the long ago.



No. 5

Survivors of the Great Blizzard of March 12, 1888


            On March 12, 1961 a meeting was called at the Tourist Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.  I attended the meeting, there were 53 present, some very interesting experiences were told, one lady 94 years old was the oldest person there.  Her home is in New Hampshire.  She was a lively as a person 55 years old in looks, action and conversation.


            I was called to the Microphone to tell my experience.  How well I remember that storm.  The snow was from 4 to 5 feet deep on the level.  Many drifts from 8-10-15 feet deep.  The storm started on Sunday night, rain. Sleet, then snow for 4 days with terrific wind.  The 5th day was clear and cold—16-18 degrees below zero for several days.  My father hitched 4 horses—1 yoke of big red Durham Oxen, hitched to a pair of heavy bob sleds, with 5 men, 2 boys, one was me, loaded 6—40 quarts cans of mild and plenty of shovels and blankets.  Started for Warwick, a distance of 2 ½ miles.  Followed the highway 1/2/ mile to foot of Elbow Hill.  Here the valley below, as far as eye could see, was a vast snow covered section—no sign of roads or fences.  We had to cross through fields, over fences, brooks, through two farmers barn yards, keeping on the highest ground, we almost were buried in snow many times.  Often men had to shovel in spots.  We had dairy farm shipped our milk to New York City by R.R. train, arriving in Warwick at 12 noon—no trains to be had—father left the 6 cans of milk at Hynard’s Grocery Store to be given free to any one who would come and get it.  Then father, with men, made pathway of Main Street past bank and Post Office on to the Wawayanda Hotel and back to Hynard’s store.  The men shoveled a path across Main Street from Bank corner across the A.H. Drew’s store, making a tunnel through snow banks which us boys and men walked through several times.


            We left at 1:30 p.m. for return home, arriving at 4:30 p.m. This was repeated the next several days until a milk train came in and out of Warwick.  Several farmers on horse back would drive their dry cows and young cattle up and down the road from one farm to the other so as to get roads open for travel.  The highway from Warwick to our farm on the New Jersey state line, distance of 7 miles, was not open for travel until April 20th.


            Never before, nor since, was such deep snow, bitter cold weather and bad traveling.  It was a great experience, one I never shall forget.  All those wonderful, kindly, faithful people have all passé on, as I am the last survivor in our community who remembers that great Blizzard.  I would like to suggest here and now at your meeting next year, you have a stenographer present who can take, and type these talks and experiences given from these few survivors, so that a copy could be given to a historical Society in each survivors’ home town, for the future generation to come, may read, before it’s too late and soon will be a thing of the past.


            These are wonderful experiences and memories, far too precious to be forgotten and lost, with no records of a rare occasion.  I feel God has been especially good to me, in many ways, through all these long years.  I am so thankful to be here to hear of these personal experiences from so many different localities.


            Thank you—God Bless each one of us, until we meet again. 


                                                Fred C. Raynor (1962)


            I attended again this year, same place, on March 12, 1963.  There was only 24 present, which shows how the old survivors are passing away. Some experiences was given by new people.  I was called on again to speak.  After meeting adjourned a man came to me, shook hands—said he was from Syracuse.  When a young man he attended the University of Syracuse.  His fraternity house was a big old farm house—14 rooms in it, was owned by a Miss Elizabeth Raynor, whose father had build and owned the farm all his lifetime.  It joined on the University Campus grounds.  There is a street named Raynor Street in the City of Syracuse.  His Elizabeth Raynor, the owner, was a short, small woman, very nice looking, form and personality and very good business woman.  This man—named Browel through she might be some relation of mine.









Note from transcriber:  The Speeches of FCR, Nos. 6-8 have little local information.

The typescript of these speeches is included in the bound version of the memoirs









No. 9

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary

Of the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway Company

June 4, 1960

A Special Subject Beginning 100 Years Ago



            On April 20th, 1859 a group of men—farmers, businessmen and merchants drew up organization papers to build the Warwick Valley Railroad, from Warwick NY to Greycourt, NY ( a distance of about 13 miles) to meet the Erie R.R.


            On March 8th, 1860 a charter was received with the following directorate:  James Burt, James B. Wheeler, John L. Welling, Wilton McEwen, Gabriel Wisner, Ezra Sanford, William Herrick, Grinnell Burt, Nathan B. (or R.) Wheeler, James C. Houston, all of Warwick and John H. Brown, John Rutherford, Thomas B. DeKay of Vernon, N.J.


            A few years after the construction of the Warwick Valley R.R. extensive iron ore mines were opened near N.Y.- N.J. State lines, east of Warwick.  All the ore and machinery was hauled, by contract with Samuel Raynor, my father, from mines to R.R. station at Warwick.  All kinds of mine supplies and machinery was hauled from Warwick to mines under same contract with Samuel Raynor.  The ore was shipped to the Greenwood Smelter Furnace, now Arden Farms.


            During the Civil War dairying developed to large extent south of Warwick, N.Y. and also large line kilns were places in operation at McAfee, N.J.  The R.R. line was soon extended 11 miles to McAfee in 1880.  Construction to State line came under original charter of the Wawayanda R.R. Co., organized May 15th, 1870.  On January 30th, 1880 the two companies were merged under the name of the Warwick Valley R. R. Co.  On April 1st, 1882 there was formed the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway Co., a consolidation of the Warwick Valley R.R. Co. and the Lehigh and Hudson River R.R. Co., making a line from Greycourt to Belvidere, NJ—some 63 miles.


            With the advent of the Poughkeepsie Bridge an extension of the Central New England and Western R.R. was made to Maybrook.  The L. & H. R. R. interests organized the Orange County R.R. Co., chartered Nov. 28, 1888 to construct a rail road line from Greycourt to Maybrook, a distance of 7 to 10 miles, through Burnside—where a connection was made with the N.Y., Ontario and Western R.R.  This line opened January 1890 and was immediately leased to the L. & H. R.R. Co.

            With the increased demand for freight service and the decrease in passenger service—hence—the reason for the last passenger ride over the entire length of the railroad. (read about on following pages).  A great loss to the public of real comfort transportation but better financially for the stock holds of the good old L. & H. R.R. Co.  God bless her for another 100 years of prosperity.

*  *  *

            Two brothers born and raised in Bellvale, N.Y., Mr. Grinnell Burt and Thomas Burt, both learned the carpenter trade after several years of building homes, barns, etc.  Both men ambitious and energetic to make money—finishing building the William Wheeler house and barn, threw away their hammers and saws, decided to start something new.


            Grinnell decided to raise money to build railroad from Warwick to Greycourt, N.Y. to furnish transportation for passengers and all kinds of produce that now was hauled by team and wagons to Newburg to be shipped by boat down the Hudson River to New York City.  The railroad would be so much quicker and less expensive.


            Thomas Burt decided to buy a farm at west end of Warwick Village, now owned by William Hulse, Jr.  Then soon he opened a Savings Bank, believing the people would prosper and need a bank to deposit money in, and earn some interest.  He was President until his death.  Both brothers were far sighted and money making men.


            Grinnell was president of the railroad he established, from its beginning, until his death.  He built a nice two story house corner of Main Street and Edenville Road, now owned by Warwick Auto Company.  After Grinnell’s second marriage he built a very fine stone house on a knoll, beautifully finished inside. Had twin sons named Pierson and Grinnell, both successful lawyers now living in Groville, California.  That beautiful Grinnell Burt home is now owned by the St. Anthony’s Hospital—its lobby or reception room is the grand dining room once used by the Burt family.  The twin boys are probably the last and only survivors living of those two grand old American Brothers.  Grinnell and Thomas Burt—the kind of men that pioneered and made this famous U.S.


            How well I remember hearing my father and several of the old mountain men tell about how father and they worked to cut trees, dress bridge timbers and ties and deliver to the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad Co. to build line from Warwick to meet the Erie R.R. at Greycourt, N.Y.  It took several thousand ties beside the many bridge timbers.  Father would go through the woods day time marking trees.  He had two gangs of men, one cutting trees by lantern light, the other gang dressing out ties and bridge timbers during day time.  All had to be delivered on certain time or forfeit so much money.  Therefore, men had to work day and night.  Father had an argument over the size of the bridge timbers he said was took small and should be 2-3 inches larger to be safe to carry the heavy loads, but the stockholders decided with their superintendent because he was an older man that father, also father wanted more money for the larger size timbers, and thought his judgment best.  Father was caught in Civil War draft—but he was doing such a good job for the R.R. Co., the stockholders decided to hire a substitute to take his place in the army which they did do.  Another farmer—Jonas Lockwood who owned a farm and lived in what is now Cascade Park.  He took contract to finish telegraph poles—he was a man who looked like our Uncle Sam picture.  Big man—very hard worker and quick tempered.  Could not get along good with men—so father finished his contract on time and took his gang of men and helped Lockwood fill his contract so as not to lose any money, which the R.R. Co. stock holders did not like.


            However the R.R. Co. gave father a free pass to ride on first train from Warwick to Greycourt and return—which he did, it was his first ride on a train and did enjoy it.  I told in my story of my boyhood days about the bad feeling between Jonas Lockwood and Grinnell Burt, the President of the R.R. Co.  Only short time when R.R. had first accident—who knows where that was—well it was the bridge timbers gave way over the creek coming into Warwick, then the stockholders decided my father had the best judgment about size of timbers and weights they would hold up under, then had father replace all new larger size timbers for all bridges along the line, as he had suggested they do in the beginning.  This made my father a bigger man in President Grinnell Burt’s estimation, form then on—my father was always in demand with his teams and men for many contract jobs of various kinds.


            Right behind the present freight building is now a parking lot.  Here was located the R.R.’s first round house and shops.  An engineer by name of Tom Kelsey—big bulky man, wanted to show the officials how to make a flying switch—could be made in brining in passenger train by uncoupling the engine from the train coming into Warwick Station, thereby taking the engine on switch to the round house.  Here occurred the second accident—as the engine went right on through the round house, toppled off into the creek, and this accident sure did create a lot of excitement for the people.  Soon the R.R. out-grew this round house and it was moved down stream in West end of town, across Elm Street into much larger roomier building.  Stayed there for many years.  Then as larger engines, freight cars and coaches was ordered, the shops was moved down on the old Warwick Race Track, its present location.


            As time is about to run out, I wish I could tell you more of the early history of the R.R. – its ever faithful hard working men, such as old Daddy Michael Brady, the blacksmith, William O’Brine—the car carpenter Scott Miles, the General Superintendent—Robert Rutan the Sup. Car repairs, Thomas Ennis the telegraph operator—Billy Wells, the ticket agent and many others, it would be a long story, but full of history that was made 100 years ago in and around Warwick.


            When the Mines was opened, President Grinnell Burt highly recommended my father for all his wonderful job and good judgment for the R.R. Co. to owner of the mine Peter P. Parrot to give my father the contract to haul all the ore to Warwick R.R. Station which Mr. Parrot did.


            President Grinnell Burt was a staunch Democrat—my father a Republican.  My father ran for many years for several different offices and Grinnell Burt was always a reliable friend and worker to vote and help my father get elected—which he always did, regardless of who ever ran for office against him.


            I am very proud of both my dear mother and father.  They were very smart people for their time of life.  O how proud for me now, writing that my father road on first train in and out of Warwick—now me—to write after 100 long years what a pleasure and treat for me—my son—grandson—and great-grand son—4 generations of the family who worked so hard 100 years ago to help build the R.R. now we—the only 4 generations living are enjoying this last passenger train celebrating the 100th anniversary of its prosperous history—from Warwick to Maybrook—back to Phillipsburg back to Warwick—the entire length of the railroad.


            Good bless the deal old Lehigh and Hudson River Railway and may it have another 100 years of good prosperity.


                                                                        FCR  March 30, 1960













No. 10

The 100th Anniversary of the Warwick Methodist Episcopal Church


                      My grandfather, Samuel Monell, born of Scotch-Irish parents came from England to the United States, in his late teens.  His first job was working in the brick yards along the Hudson River, wile boarding with a family who lived in New Windsor, Orange County, New York.  He was a steady hard worker, saving him money, he came out to Warwick Sugar Loaf valley, and bought a farm on a back road from Bellvale to Sugar Loaf.  A farm now owned by the George Rumsey Estate.  The farm ran from the mountain down to Wickham Lake.  Having been a brick maker, he discovered in the swamp by the lake some clay good for making bricks.  He was a real old fashioned type of shouting Methodist.  He was one of the instigators of building a Methodist Church in Sugar Loaf, also Bellvale.  There was a small wooden Methodist Church located on North side of Church Street in Warwick.  The street was named after both the Old School Baptist Church and the Methodist Church.  Grandfather was a great man to help raise money to build the churches.  Often he would be away from home two or three days at a time driving around the country to raise money to build the churches.  Finally, as Warwick outgrew the Methodist Church, it became too small.  Grandfather Monell did persuade the church officers to build a brick church, and he would help build, made and donate brick.  It was a beautiful Church with a tall steeple pointing upwards toward Heaven.  How well I remember, as a boy, coming down off the mountain to school, as I would come through the woods looking out into the open country, at the beautiful queen village of Warwick.  What a thrill it would give me to see those four beautiful steeples pointing Heavenward atop the four protestant churches.  Now only one steeple left standing that is the first one ever build in Warwick, the dear Old School Baptist Church.


            My grandfather had three sons and two daughters.  His oldest daughter was my dear Mother, a dark eyed brunette.  She was a school teacher and a very religious woman.  A wonderful housekeeper and mother.  Also was a Sunday school teacher.  Well do I remember the first Sunday School room was in a hall room over Eager’s General Store.  As the church basement had no been finished off, there seemed to be a well or spring of water under the church, causing so much dampness, could not keep dry or warm.  Finally a hot air furnace was installed.  The room floored, wainscoting put up around room to top ground level.  Above this was plastered to the ceiling.  A side entrance was made down into the basement in the front corner next to the Grand Union parking lot.  How well I remember Grandfather Monell and his three sons telling of the hard work digging clay, making brick for the church.

            After the church was built, they made brick for the large manor house on the Thomas Durland farms, and for several others now owned by New York City for a home for wayward boys.[15]  When digging clay pits, they would lay a tree from one pit to the other to walk across.  During a hard rain storm, one son slipped off the log into the pit hole, nearly drowning.  This accident was the only reason my Grandmother Monell could get Grandfather to quit making bricks, and stick to his farm.  But he never would give up helping to go out and raise money for churches.


            A fine farmer family lived on next adjoining farm, by the name of Wilson.  They had two daughters, and one son.  One daughter married George Ketchum, the builder and owner of the Warwick Dispatch Paper.  Also a son named Joshua Wilson, known the country around as Jot, the famous Auctioneer.  He sure was a good one.  I have attended many of his auctions just to hear him cry a sale of articles on the farm.  Whenever chickens were put up for sale, Jot would stop and tell of his old Methodist neighbor, Sammy Monell.  Every time the circuit preacher would be in the community, he would always ride his hose up the land and stay over for chicken dinner and over night.  Monell sons would always have to chase the chickens and catch and kill two of them for the preacher’s dinner.  Well, sir, those old circuit riders came so often, the chickens had been chased through the bushes and briar patches so much they got smart.  As soon as they would see that horse and rider coming up the lane towards the house, these thickens would run up to the clock and lay their heads on the block, rather than be chased through the briar patches.  As soon as Jot would tell this story, and people would have a good laugh, Jot would start his jingle-jangle—“how much-how-much—am I bid for these chickens.”


            After the present church was built, the little wooden church was sold to the Catholic people for them to worship in, and did, until they, like the Methodists, outgrew the seating capacity and built a new stone church on the corner of 2nd and South Streets.


            After they finished off the basement for a Sunday School room, they continued to have so much dampness.  The people complained about it so much, the official board members, a Mr. Holbert, John Pud Mabee, Peter Post, George Pitts, James Hunter, Tuthill Lazear, James Demerest, and John Burt.  There was an old preacher named Shurter.  About 1886 or 1888, a new young preacher arrived in town, his name was Arthur Thompson, son of a carpenter contractor.  The parsonage at that time was a fine piece of property on South Street.  At this time my father was grading land on John Welling’s farm on Oakland Ave.  His farm home is now Hotel Wawayanda.[16]  Soon my father opened a street now Linden Place, and Clinton Avenue.  Mr. Welling started selling off building lots.  Rev. Thompson got the idea of selling the old parsonage property to a man who worked for Ballentine Brewing Co., to a man by the name of Isaiah Bunn, getting enough money to buy a lot and build a new parsonage on Linden Place.  It was leaked out that Mr. Bunn wanted to start a beer business on the old parsonage property, that report sure did cause a furor amount the trustees.  After several meetings and hot squabbles it was sold.  Then Rev. Thompson had his father and a younger brother Walter, come to Warwick, and a new parsonage was built.  Only a short time after this, Thomas Burt, another farmer on North West end of town, had a stone quarry on his farm.  He had to use a round-about way on McEwen Street.  He sold so much building stone, he opened a street—now Wheeler Ave.  At once, Rev. Thompson got idea of selling the parsonage on Linder Place, buy lot on Wheeler Ave., build a new parsonage which connects with main church property.  Linden Place property was sold to George W. Strong, a feed dealer.  In the rush to get the new parsonage done, no one though about the size of lot, until it was too late, then found out they did not own up to the adjoining properties, funning parallel with Main Street.  This lot was lot to the village, through short-sightedness of the church and official board.  As soon as parsonage was done, about 1893 or 1894, Thompson was moved.  Then Rev. Frank Beal, a big red headed preacher, came to heal of the wounds and disagreements among the church members.


            In the meantime, young Walter Thompson had gone to college to study for Minister.  Then he married a fine looking girl, Margaret Winslow, a Warwick girl.  Who remembers her?  In the early 1900’s the church began to need repair, inside and outside, the basement still troubled with dampness and water.  About this time the new man had arrived in town, good old fashioned Methodists. Dr. G. F. Pitts, and Walter B. Whitlock, a farmer who bought the Mills Brander farm, now owned by H. Nelson.  These men were put on the trustee board and from then on, things began to change and pick up.  Dr. Pitts was a very  influential man with presiding elder of the church, who always stayed at his home.  After much discussions, whether to build a new church, or repair the present one, next year a young preacher cam from over in Conn. Rev. J.C. Coddington, with wife and three children came.  A very fine family.  Rev. J.C. soon starting the ball rolling and repairs soon began.  At this time another fine Methodist man had bought a farm on the west end of town a Martin Van Buren Horton.  He soon owned and operated a saw mill at the end of Howe Street.  He also as a go-getter, had three fine sons.


            The repair question brought up the spring water in the basement.  Full power was given to Rev. J.C. and Horton to drain and repair.  The rotten floors were taken out, then cinders, two car loads, from the railroad shops were delivered from the railroad shops free by Carmen Charles Decker with Horton and three sons, was spread and tell tamped down in the basement.  A new flor was laid, and from that time on no more trouble in the basement.  The high ceiling in the main church was lowered and paneled with galvanized sheet metal.  Also side walls four feet up, then new stained glass windows were put in, new floor, new seats and new pipe organ, new carpet, and new concrete steps in front, old entrance to basement closed and new entrance made on side as it is now.


            In the rear were 12 stall sheds for horses and wagons in those days, a side driveway along the church to the sheds.  The adjoining property was held by the widow Holbert, as I spoke of Mr. Holbert in the earlier part of this report.  It being a double house, he daughter married a James Knapp, lived in one side.  After Mrs. Holbert’s death, Mr. and Mrs. Knapp would go to California to spend winters.  Dr. Pitts finally persuaded them to sell the house for $2,000 which his turned over to the church as he had always said the church should own it, as some day it could be used for a new patronage, or addition for Sunday School, etc.  He was financial secretary for many years.  I was treasurer at the time, for fourteen years.  After many squabbles among the trustees, some didn’t want to buy an old house, through the $2,000 was too much for the property  I argued to buy it, rent it, and put money in Building and Loan Association, after 12 years it would be pair for, which was done for 24 years.


            After this time, the trustees, W. B. Whitlock. S. B. Owen, E. S. Colwell, M. V. Horton, R. B. Lawrence, James D. Mabee, Samuel Layton, Dr. G. F. Pitts, had several meetings and discussions with trustee W. B. Whitlock who offered to give and deliver free, enough field stones off his farm, to build a nice stone addition or parsonage.  It was finally turned down.  Several times the tall steeple needed repairs.  A Mr. W. J. Rounswell, a fine carpenter and church member would always repair it.  He said last time repaired, he advised when needed again, it should be taken down or new timbers put in, at great expense.  After I resigned as treasurer, I was elected as trustee, by the way, I wish I could re-write some of the experiences Dr. Pitts, financial secretary, and myself as treasurer, had of needing money to pay the preacher.  Am glad today do not have those hard times any more, of paying the preacher.


            About 1910 Pierson Sanford wanted to donate a town clock to be put in church steeple.  After several squabbles with trustees, it was decided to let him do it.  In 1917 I purchased a farm and moved on it, still being one of the church trustees.  In the early 20’s the church steeple was struck by lightning and needed repairs.  Again many discussions and differences of opinion whether to repair, or take down.  One cold winter night, a deep snow and way below zero at 9:00 P.M.  I was called out of bed by Dr. Pitts, there was an official board meeting going on, a decision had to be made about the steeple.  He wanted me to come, my reply was “Only on one condition—to take down the steeple.”  As I had consulted a lawyer, found out the trustees would be held liable for any damages that would come from the steeple or slate off the church roof.  I dressed and drove up to the meeting—it was decided to take down the steeple, as our good friend carpenter Rounswell had passed on, no one else in Warwick could repair the steeple as he had suggested it being done.  As I drove home from the meeting, with a sad feeling I had voted to take down that grand old steeple pointing heavenward, but I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, caused by the falling slate or steeple blowing over in a bad storm.  Hence the reason for the church having a stubby-four cornered look. The clock has helped the appearance of the church.

            During the years, up to the J. C. Coddington’s time, the church had only an old pipe organ.  Cary hunter was organist.  Alice Mabee, Anne Reeves and Mrs. Dwight Dutcher, all loved to sing.  Occasionally would be a flair up, as Cary was old fashioned.  During the repair of the church, a new pipe organ was installed.  It was given free by – I think—John D. Rockefeller.  Mrs. Thomas Welling was leading pipe organist in our section.  She was playing at the Reformed Church.  She had differences with board members there, so she decided to come to the Methodist Church and play the new pipe organ.  The choir sure did flourish under Director Sherman Rightmyer and Mrs. Whitlock who was a good singer, the church sure did grow and prosper.


            About this time, Frank Wilson, son of Auctioneer Jot Wilson, came home from the Conservatory of Music, where he had been studying.  As I was treasurer, his father came in to talk to me, said “Fred, if your church would pay my son $2 a Sunday to sing, I would come to church to hear him sing.  I will come in your store every Monday morning to give you the $2 providing you never let Frank know I give the money,”  which he did do for three years, when Mr. Wilson passed on.  The only other person who ever knew about this was dr. Pitts the financial secretary.  What grand singing they had every Sunday.  Soon Alice Hynard, beautiful daughter and singer, coming from the Conservatory of Music. Here she taught my son Hubert to sing as he was going to Cornell U. where he was a member of the Glee Club, traveling with the Glee Club, he was a fine baritone singer. He was called two different times to New York City by the Keith Theatre Co., to sing in the theatres, but he did not like the city at all and would not stay.  He came home and sang in the church choir several years, free.  What a tragic death for two such young wonderful singers, who have done so much for the church.[17]


            Rev. Coddington put in three hard years of work preaching chasing around to raise money for repairs—some $5,000.  As he left for the next conference Dr. G. G. Pitts, Walter B. Whitlock, myself, went to depot to see him off on the train.  “Right here is where I learned, first, about church politics”, which staggered me all the way back to my store.  As the train started, Dr. Pitts said, “J.C. Coddington has preached his last sermon in Warwick.”  I asked, “What do you mean, Dr.”  W. B. Whitlock spoke up and said, “Fred, I agree with the Dr.’  I said, Well, at the official board conference meeting, there was made a motion, and accepted by all the members of the board, that the Presiding Elder should return the Rev. J.C. Coddington for another year.  After all the good hard work he had done, repair the church, new pipe organ, etc.  I felt he should have been returned for another year’s rest, to enjoy the fruits of his work, but another preacher was sent, the salary was raised from $900 to $1,300 and the new preacher would never raise one dollar toward the balance of the debt.  Later on Mr. Walter Fuller came in from Walden, was employed by the Warwick Knife Co. until it closed down, then Mr. Fuller started in the Real Estate business.  Soon his son-in-law, Chas. Lewis, who against my will power, persuaded the newer members of the church official board to sell the valuable property that Dr. Pitts has so willingly turned over to the church for future use.  They sold it to the Stidworthy Bros. for a garage as every one knows the noise around a garage, but why was it sold.  Well of course, there was a commission for some one.  Rather than be a party to this sale, I definitely refused to be a member of the official board.  A new member was put on board, and the sale made of the property, it was lost to the church, and the money spent long ago.


            My grandfather Samuel Monell, in the early ‘70’s, moved westward, but returned 20 years later, lived with my father and mother.  He died at the age of 86.  His funeral services were held in the Methodist Church, the same church he helped build when he was a young man.  There has never been a break in the Monell descendents of Raynors in the membership of the church during this one hundred years, as of this date, at the present time, are now all four generations all members of this church.  All four are direct descendants of this old patriotic shouting Methodist Samuel Monell.  I am so proud of these four surviving members.  Our prayers are that God will abundantly bless this dear old Methodist Church of Warwick for another one hundred years.


            So be it!


                                    March 30, 1963  FCR





















No. 11

My last conversation with my dear Father

Who died Feb. 10, 1909 (born Oct. 10, 1832)



            How many, many times he told we three sons to always be honest.  To play the game of life square with everyone.  If anyone did take advantage of us—be sure to hang onto their coat tails until we got it back and get good interest with it.  Also t listen to all the advice that older people had to give us—think it over, then do just as we thought best.  On his death bed he said, “Fred, I well know how disappointed each one of my three sons were, when I sold the farm to Fannie Hitchcock—my reason was, all my life I had walked and road up and down those hills, wearing out many good horses, mules, wagons, big sleds and harnesses.  I purchased in my early days the farm from Ezra George Sanford, head of the Sanford clan.  He, with his family of sons moved down off the hills in the valley, bought farms and spread out and made money.  Our farm was a grand productive farm.  We had a good living, raised two fine families.  My seeing others make money and living good I decided if any of my boys wanted to get a farm, they should get down off the hills and buy in a more level country.  Always remember when buying a farm or a home—buy in a good location, near good friendly people, a place where you would be willing to live yourself and raise a family.  Then if ever you wanted to sell, it would be much easier to find a buyer.”


            What good advice that was as I have owned six difference pierces of real estate and never had to look for a buyer.  I sold four of them at a good profit.  I have tried to advise my sons and daughter to do the same.  I feel they have done well.  How true the words of my Father were for a man who had little education—only night studies that my dear Mother taught him.  However, many times since I have reached three score years I have realized my Father was a very smart man and I have wished hundreds of times I could tell both my Father and Mother what good wonderful smart folks they were.


                                                                                    FCR Oct. 1, 1964










No. 12

Down Memory Lane



                                                Every time I look at pictures

                                                That were taken long ago

                                                I think of things that happened

                                                And I feel an inner glow.


                                                For there among the snapshots

                                                Are the memories of the past

                                                Preserving in a graphic way

                                                The things we want to last.


                                                A picture of a happy lovely wedding

                                                Everyone so young and gay

                                                A treasure now, for those whose hair

                                                Is white or streaked with gray.


                                                A baby’s face so chubby

                                                And I wonder after all          

                                                How our kids, now grown and married

                                                Could have ever been so small.


                                                                        Fred C. and Lucy M. Raynor

                                                                        March 30, 1963













Transcriber’s Note 

The remainder of the manuscript has not been transcribed, being general speeches and the like.

In the Albert Wisner Public Library Local History Collection

[1] The land was actually purchased from a Mr. Dator; a prior Indian deed passed on with the sale documents may be the reason for confusion on this. The sheepskin deed mentioned was burned along with other effects after one of FCR’s children had scarlet fever, in order to prevent spreading the infection--WLR

[2] According to Wilfred (Bill) Raynor, Jr. in May 2002, this is an error.  See note 1.

[3] The house was torn down in 1924; WLF has no memory of it standing.

[4] See map of mine and graveyard area in “Raynor Mica Mine” section. 

[5] Line off page of photocopied typescript belonging WLR.

[6] See note 1

[7] handwritten note in manuscript: “Judge Birdseye mine shafts later called Standish Mines”

[8] We assume this reference is to supporters of Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, director of the Public Works Administration under Franklin Delano Roosevelt

[9] Mossback: a person who vehemently, often fanatically opposes progress and favors return to a previous condition or an old-fashioned person who is reluctant to change or innovate.

[10] What does he mean by “mug wamp? Here is a history of the usage of the word, and we’ll let you decide:

“This archetypal American word derives from the Algonquian dialect of a group of Native Americans in Massachusetts. In their language, it meant "great chief". The Puritan missionary John Eliot used it in his translation of the Bible into their language in 1661-63 to convey the English words duke and centurion. Mugwump was brought into English in the early nineteenth century as a humorous term for a boss, bigwig, grand panjandrum, or other person in authority, often one of a minor and inconsequential sort. It hit the big time in 1884, during the presidential election that set Grover Cleveland against the Republican James G Blaine. Some Republicans refused to support Blaine, changed sides, and the New York Sun labelled them little mugwumps. Almost overnight, the sense of the word changed to turncoat. Later, it came to mean a politician who either could not or would not make up his mind on some important issue, or who refused to take a stand when expected to do so. Hence the old joke that a mugwump is a person sitting on the fence, with his mug on one side and his wump on the other. There is also a slangy sense - less known these days, I believe - of a person who has been persuaded by his possession of a minor official position into a sense of self-importance, often becoming obnoxious as a result.”  Word history by Michael Quinion, 1996.


[11] Addenda, added by Wilfred Raynor in 2002: “Even tho’ FCR states that it was after the Civil War that Peter Parrott walked the mts. around and found the iron ore, I just found (looking at some Sam Raynor papers) an abstract of deed dated 9/22/1863.  This deed transferred certain parcels of acreage around the mine area that contained a lot of iron ore.  This was from Ezra Sanford to Peter Parrott and his brother Robert of Cold Spring, NY.  These lands adjoined the Sam Raynor property on one side.  The selling price was $5,090.  The Parrotts had a foundry in Cold Spring and invented the Parrott gun—a more accurate firing cannon used in the Civil War.”

[12] Further notes on the Parrotts:  It is possible that some of the ore mined at this location went into the superior cannons that helped win the Civil War: Peter Parrott was the brother of Robert Parker Parrot., and a former whaling captain who managed the Woodbury furnace for Gouveneur Kemble and later the Greenwood furnace. “Robert P. Parrott is known to many Civil War artillery researchers and collectors for his inventions of the projectile and cannon which bear his name.” Robert became supervisor of the West Point Foundry:  “The foundry was a private firm and administered by civilians. Parrott served the foundry well during the next 41 years. He became the lessee and operator of the foundry and experimented with the manufacturing of artillery. As a private citizen Parrott was able to experiment with cannons and projectiles without the usual red tape involved in government foundries. His accomplishments during his tenure included the perfection of a rifled cannon and its corresponding projectile (both named after him) patented in 1861, and the Parrott sight and fuse which were developed during the Civil War years. The fact that his foundry was used to manufacture his weapons is proved by the letters WPF (West Point Foundry) found on the Parrott gun tube, along with his initials RPP. Parrott's cannons were distinguished by a single reinforcing band around the breech of the iron tube. His first rifled cannon design, a 10-pounder (2.9-inch caliber), was turned out in 1860. By the next year he had developed the 20-pounder (3.67-inch caliber) and 30-pounder (4.2-inch caliber) versions, among other models. In 1864 the 3-inch Parrott rifle replaced the 10-pounder (2.9-inch caliber) rifle..” From Captain Robert Parker Parrott by Jack Melton,, on Dec. 31, 2002.



[13] Hibernia 

[14] As has been noted elsewhere, Wilfred (Bill) Raynor, Jr. states that this was not so, he got the land from a man named Dator.  An old sheepskin deed had been handed down, but was not the one for this transaction.  Older deed later destroyed.--WLR

[15] Now the correctional facility, off Kings Highway

[16] Currently the Warwick Inn

[17] Hubert Raynor and Alice Hynard had passed away from different causes.