News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Edmeston news

KLINE: Law-Abiding Citizens, Criminals Different


Law-Abiding Citizens,

Criminals Different

To the Editor:

I was born and raised in Otsego County. My whole family are hunters, and therefore we all own firearms. My siblings and myself were taught at a young age and learned how to use them properly. I am a gun owner and hunter now.

It is our Constitutional right to own and bear arms.

I have taken safety courses that are required to hunt and also obtain my pistol permit. I wish to be as self-sufficient as possible, whether that means feed myself or protect myself if I absolutely must.

There are many women who feel the same way as I do about firearms. Especially when it comes
to self-protection.

According the NRA: “In July 2020, ‘A Girl & A Gun’ conducted a survey of more than 6,000 members to specifically focus on women’s reasons and interests. Results showed that 43 percent of women joined AG&AG to practice self-defense skills, and 92 percent were in the process of obtaining or already had acquired their concealed or open carry permits.

“This complemented the NSSF survey data that 25 percent of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms-safety course and 63 percent inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future.”

When I took my pistol-permit course, there were many women present who were interested in being able to conceal and carry for that exact reason. In my opinion, it would be a huge advantage if more women would own a firearm.

Did you know? One in four women age 18 and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence in their lifetimes. This is absolutely mind-blowing and uncalled for. I have been in scary situations where I felt so unsafe that I had to get an order of protection, and even still he broke that. I will not fear for my life and safety again, because if it means life or death I will protect myself.

I understand people’s concern about gun laws, but people such as myself who own guns are not the people causing the turmoil. The criminals do not go through legal ways to obtain their firearms.

The Governor is adding to the Safe Act, and I can promise this will not help in the ways some people think.

The people who are causing the mass shootings and whatnot are different than us hunters and country folk. We follow the laws and go through the proper procedures to buy and own a firearm. Firearms are a way of life for us, not to mention our Second Amendment Right!

I am very pleased to be part of the Otsego County 2AS Grassroots Organization. We collected thousands of signatures from many 2AS supporters in Otsego County who wish to show the state representatives that we would like them to make a stand for our right.



1,000 AXES TO GRIND Jim Mayne’s Massive Collection Showcased At Edmeston Museum


Jim Mayne’s Massive Collection

Showcased At Edmeston Museum

Edmeston’s Jim Mayne examines two of hundreds of antique tools he collected in more than a half-century of farming. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Here’s a sample of hundreds of vintage tools in Jim Mayne’s collection.

EDMESTON – For years, Jim Mayne had coveted the Leonard Hammer, an 1848 tool patented by Edmeston farmer Leonard Powers.  It was only the second such patent issued in the United States.

“I was visiting a friend who had it, and I asked if I could buy it off him,” said Mayne, interviewed Saturday, Sept. 19, amid a collection of many hundreds of vintage tools. “He said no, but then when I got home, it was waiting in my mailbox.”

The Edmeston Museum has a replica of the Leonard Hammer, as well as the patent in a pop-up show is it hosting Saturdays through Oct. 17.

“Leonard Powers was a farmer, no special engineering skills, but he had some ideas for providing additional support, so he applied for and received a patent.” said Museum Curator Deb Mackenzie of Hartwick.

“You find that a lot in rural areas,” she said, “where someone has an idea to improve a rake, a knife or an ironing board, they’re not afraid to ask for and get a patent on it.”

The Leonard Hammer is one of thousands of hand tools in Mayne’s collection, which also includes the first hammer ever patented – from South New Berlin in 1845. “I paid $750 for it,” he said. “I had a friend who collected tools, so I got into it.”

Two-year volunteer Kristopher Convis, an Edmeston Central freshman, holds up a Black Raven ax, one of the rarest items in Jim Mayne’s pop-up exhibit at the Edmeston Museum. (JIm Kevlin/

Recalling a collection of his axes and hatchets at a presentation in Town of Middlefield Historical Association in the School District #1 schoolhouse, Mackenzie reached out to him to help him curate a collection of axes and hatchets, now on display at the Edmeston Museum.

“Jim is an amazing collector,” said Mackenzie, adding, “He has such a vast knowledge of antique tools.”

A retired dairy farmer and Burlington Flats native, Mayne, 87, moved to Edmeston in 1951 to take over his uncle’s farm, bringing with him his wife, Jacqueline. The couple raised four daughters and a son, Bob, who lives with them.
Mayne began going to auctions and antique stores seeking hammers, axes, wrenches and other hand tools. “I have so many books on nothing but wrenches and hammers,” he said. “I love showing them.”

From there, he started added padlocks and oil cans to his collection. “There was a man who was helping out with an auction in New Berlin, and there was a can at the bottom of a box that got covered up. He wanted to buy it for next to nothing, but the auctioneer hauled out the can and I bought it!”

He paid $300 for that can of Winchester Gun Oil, the only oil they manufactured and a very rare item on the collector’s market.

And it’s not his only rare piece. Among the axes and hatchets in the Edmeston Museum exhibit is the Black Raven ax, manufactured by Winchester and prized for its rarity.

Jim Mayne isn’t too sure what this ax is all about. If you know, let us know at

“It’s very picturesque,” he said, pointing to the seal on the head. “If you see one on Ebay, it’s going for three or four hundred dollars.”

He has two; the first is in the museum’s pop-up display; the second – with a less-clear engraving – is in his collection at home.

He used to mount and bring his collection to the Otsego County Fair. “I would bring about 10 things to the agricultural building and I would always win prizes,” he said. “But then someone complained that I was monopolizing it, so I stopped doing that.”

It had been almost a decade since Mackenzie had seen the Middlefield exhibit, and wanted to share it once again. “I know a lot of people haven’t seen it,” she said.

The Edmeston Museum is open 9 a.m. – Noon on Saturdays, and the exhibit will be on display until Oct. 17.

And if you miss it, you may just be able to still catch a glimpse. “You don’t need to go to the museum to see my tools,” he joked. “You can just come to my house!”

Frank E. Mullet, 99, Edmeston; 18-Year School Superintendent


Frank E. Mullet, 99, Edmeston;

18-Year School Superintendent

Francis E. Mullet

ONEONTA – Frank Emerson Mullet, loving husband and father, and retired 18-year superintendent at Edmeston Central School, passed away peacefully on Sept. 14, 2020, at the age of 99.

Raised in Spencer, Mass., he received a sports scholarship to catch for the Bates College baseball team in Lewiston, Maine, where he majored in physics. During college, Frank traveled to California and worked at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank.

After World War II began, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a signalman on destroyers protecting convoys traveling to and from Europe and North Africa. He received several medals and an honorable discharge in 1945.

John F. Holdorf 1933-2020


John F. Holdorf

Edmeston School Superintendent


John F. Holdorf

EDMESTON – John F. Holdorf, 86, of Edmeston, passed away June 10, 2020, at home with family guiding his end-of-life care.

Born Aug. 24, 1933, in Huntington, NY, John was the son of Harry A. Holdorf and Maria Rubacha Marrs.  Raised and educated in the Huntington area, he was a graduate of South Huntington High School where he excelled scholastically.  He was also a three-sport athlete, with football being his favorite sport.

Upon graduation in 1952, he received the RPI Award for mathematics and the Rotary International Athletic Award.   In addition, John was also the recipient of a full academic scholarship to Harvard University, which he declined in order to remain close to his family.

From Edmeston Comes NYC Angel Of Mercy

From Edmeston Comes

NYC Angel Of Mercy

Funeral director David Delker discusses his missions to New York City. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

EDMESTON – The family, David Delker said, was desperate.

“They were calling from Florida, but their mom was in The Bronx,” he said. “She wasn’t a COVID-19 death, but the funeral homes in the city had a month and half backlog, and they were just calling further and further upstate.

“They were panicking, they had seen the horror stories and were thinking the worst. But as soon as I started talking to them, you could hear that fear dissipating.”

Delker, owner of Delker & Terry Funeral Home in Edmeston, has begun serving families from New York City and downstate.

“I’m happy to drive four hours to get someone’s mom or their dad and bring them up here for a service,” he said. “Because that’s what I would want someone to do for my family.”

As the deaths from COVID-19 overwhelm funeral homes and the city’s five crematoriums, grieving families are often left frustrated as they try to schedule a service.

“I’ve gotten 25, maybe 30 calls from the city,” he said. “If I can, I’ll refer them to someone closer to them, or I reach out to my network and find out who has an open spot for cremation and I’ll handle the service.”

New York State prevents funeral homes from owning crematoriums or cemeteries, but Delker will make as many calls as he has to in order to find an opening in the schedule. “I have a whole network across the state, so I can make those calls and find out who has an opening,” he said.

That network is crucial, he aid, because of burial rights for different religions. “I’ve done a lot of Hindu services,” he said. “They want to say their prayers at the moment of cremation, so I text them from the crematorium when I know it’s begun.”

Once he has made arrangements with the family – often driving downstate to meet with them – he will locate the body and bring it back to Edmeston himself.

“I want to put the rumors to rest,” he said. “The bodies are not stacked on top of each other. Hospitals are trying to preserve the dignity. There are trailers, yes, and there are a lot of them, but they are organized. But sometimes, there are a lot of questions about where a loved one is.”

His network allows him to have a “three-to-four day” turn-around, and he can quickly mail the remains back to the families downstate. “I do what I can,” he said. “Just because there’s a pandemic on doesn’t mean I can’t be kind and considerate.”

And for those who do have services, new guidelines are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re only allowing 10 people at a time for viewings,” he said. “Everyone has to be wearing a mask, and the chairs are six feet apart. We deep clean between every service as well.”

Delker also allows families to livestream the service over password-protected streams, such as Zoom or Google Chat, to prevent crashers.

To Aid Customers, NYCM Announces 15% Reimbursement

To Aid Customers,

NYCM Announces

15% Reimbursement

NYCM President/CEO V. Daniel Robinson

EDMESTON – To help customers affected by the economic downturn, NYCM Insurance today announced it will be issuing a credit to its approximately 230,000 auto policyholders.

All auto policyholders as of April 30 will receive a 15 percent credit back from their April and May premiums. Customers will not need to do anything to receive this credit, as it will be mailed to the address on their policy in the coming weeks.

“We are actively finding ways to continue to support essential employees and local communities, whom we are indebted to, however we want to also give back to our valued customers for doing their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said President/CEO Dan Robinson.

Pathfinder Village Aims To Calm, Inspire Residents On Lockdown

Pathfinder Village Aims To Calm,

Inspire Residents On Lockdown

Paul Landers, Pathfinder Village CEO, dons a mask on his rounds through the residences. With the campus on lockdown, Landers can only peer through the window and wave, but he makes sure to do so frequently.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

EDMESTON – Like many people, Laurie enjoys going to her favorite coffee shop – the Pathfinder Village Bakery – in the morning.

But with COVID-19 closing down the campus and confining the residents to their homes, the bakery is closed. But her house manager, Jamie Miner, set up a coffee shop on her back porch, complete with a freshly brewed pot and coffee shop cups.

“She pours her own coffee and pays for it, then sits at her dining room table, happy and content,” said CEO Paul Landers. “That’s love in action.”

Patricia A. Tasior, 71; Marine Served As Pittsfield Town Clerk

IN MEMORIAM: Patricia A. Tasior, 71;

Marine Served As Pittsfield Town Clerk

NEW BERLIN – Patricia A. Tasior, 71, of New Berlin, who served in the Marines and Air National Guard and, later, as Pittsfield town clerk, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at her home.

Pat was born on on Aug. 24, 1948 in Utica, the daughter of the late Joseph and Phyllis Kostyczak Tasior.  Pat grew up in Edmeston, where her family lived on the second floor of the Edmeston Hotel, which her father sold in 1987.  The site is now occupied by NBT Bank and the post office.

Edward Town Taws III; Known As Mayor Of Pathfinder Village

IN MEMORIAM: Edward Town Taws III;

Known As Mayor Of Pathfinder Village

Edward Taws III

EDMESTON – Edward Town Taws III, 56, known as the mayor of Pathfinder Village, passed away Saturday Aug. 31, 2019,  at Pathfinder.

Ted was born on Nov. 24, 1962, in Southern Pines, N.C., to Edward Town and Ann (Poindexter) Taws Jr.

Ted’s outsized presence left an impression on all whom were fortunate to know him. He was gifted with an extraordinary personality whose passion for living far exceeded the handicap with which he lived.

Darryl L. Dye, 80; Top Schwan’s Salesman In Nation

IN MEMORIAM:  Darryl L. Dye, 80;

Schwan’s Top Salesman In The Nation

Darryl Dye

EDMESTON – Darryl L. Dye, 80, who was top salesman in the nation a number of times during his 27 years with Schwan’s Home Delivery, passed away Thursday, Aug. 22.

Hel was born on June 26, 1939, in Edmeston, son of the late Roger L. and Mable V. Rose Dye. A lifetime resident of the area, Darryl graduated from Edmeston Central School.

In addition to Schwan’s, where he worked from 19879 to 2014, he was a dairy farmer in the Edmeston area from 1965 to 1988.  He also worked with Milt Davis, performing artificial insemination; Kraft Foods, and was a self-employed house painter.

Frances J. Marriott, 96, Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

IN MEMORIAM: Frances J. Marriott, 96,

Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

Frances Marriott

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frances J. Marriott, 96, one of 13 brothers and sisters from Edmeston, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning May 16, 2019 in Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Utica.  She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.  

She was born on March 3, 1923, in Edmeston, daughter of the late Charles and Nora Caulder Marriott.  A lifelong area resident, she was educated in West Burlington and West Winfield public schools.  In 1940 she moved from West Burlington to Richfield Springs.  

For many years she worked for General Electric in Utica, retiring in 1977.  

LANDERS: Pathfinder Success Due To Place, People, Purpose


Pathfinder Success Due

To Place, People, Purpose

CEO Paul Landers called up, from left, Sally Trosset, executive assistant & development associate; CFO Caprice Eckert; Kelly Meyers, senior director of admissions, and Dan Osborn, senior director, quality assurance & ancillary services. (He also called up Development Director Lori Grace, but she was taking this photo.) At right are Landers and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who was presenting a state Senator resolution honoring Pathfinder.

Editor’s Note:  Here are remarks President/CEO Paul Landers delivered at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce annual Gala & Celebration of Business Thursday, May 2, in Foothills’ Atrium.  Pathfinder was named the chamber’s NBT Bank Distinguished Business of 2019.

By PAUL LANDERS, Pathfinder Village President/CEO

About 43 years ago, 30 families were told they needed to find a new school for their children because the State of New York was going to shut their doors – this school was the Otsego School, a family-owned boarding school for children with Down syndrome in operation since 1922 in Edmeston.

Thankfully, a group of families, community members and a wise nurse named Marian Mullet did the unimaginable! They built, what is today, a world-renown planned community for children and adults with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities.

It began in a 23-acre cornfield, with a revolutionary mandate – that each life may find meaning.

Thirty countries, 26 U.S. states – they have come searching for this place – to learn, to be inspired, to work and to live. National and international educators, physicians, therapists and developmental disability experts have traveled to Pathfinder to share their knowledge and experiences with New Yorkers all because of the Kennedy Willis Center, our research, education and outreach arm of Pathfinder.

In 1980, we were a school house and seven homes on 23 acres. Today, we have grown to a 300-acre campus with 14 residential homes, a farm and farmhouse, state-of-the-art community health center, youth soccer fields and community hiking trails, chapel, cafe, village inn, research/education center, produce market and agriculture center, an adult day-treatment program operated by Otsego ARC, two off-site residences and two off-site day programs.

Dr. Streck, board chair, says Pathfinder Village now needs its own zip code!

Today, we are also more than Pathfinder Village. We are Otsego Academy, a two-year post-secondary education program; Camp Pathfinder, a young adult summer camp; Chenango House, an Alzheimer’s Care Home; Pathfinder Produce, a vocational training and community business.

In March, our founding CEO Marian Mullet passed away after 91 remarkable years. She was the revolutionary leader who left a remarkable legacy – a legacy that has touched so many, far more than she would have imagined. Today, those of us left to carry out this legacy are merely stewards of her vision and design.

Marian gave us this remarkable place! BUT, more remarkable than this beautiful place, are the PEOPLE and the PURPOSE of Pathfinder…

Here’s a little history about Pathfinder Village that many people don’t know.

The original plan was for the village to be built in Syracuse. But, after much deliberation and, I’m certain, influence from Marian, the board decided to build in Edmeston and remain in this county.

Why? Because they had tremendous confidence and faith in its people! People like: Senator Jim Seward, founding board member (39 years), Dr. Bill Streck, Bassett president, 32 years of service as our board chair, and the men and women of NBT Bank and NYCM, loyal business partners since our beginning.

People like Dan Osborn, 36-year employee who started out as a cook and is now the senior director of quality assurance and ancillary services; Caprice Eckert, 25-year employee who started out as a finance clerk and in my mind is the best CFO in the county today; Lori Grace, 22-year employee, started out as a marketing writer and now is the director of development, and Paula Schaefer, 21-year employee and music director.  She and the talented bell choir remind all of us the power and beauty of humanity.


Marian created a space to perfection and we have been blessed with the right people who have guided the village as society evolves. How remarkable is it that after 40 years, our planned community model remains relevant? This is why …

  • It’s Saturday morning in the bakery, people from all walks of life gather to enjoy fine food and fellowship. Nowhere else will you find such a diverse group gathered, everyone is equal.
  • It’s Michael and Holly walking hand in hand late one weekday evening; they have been boyfriend and girlfriend for more than 20 years.
  • It’s a business woman from NYCM attending an off-site leadership workshop at the Village. Taking a break outside, she says to her coworker, “This place is so beautiful; we are so fortunate to have this in our community.”
  • It’s Jared, giving a workshop on diversity at Bassett Healthcare to new hires.
  • It’s dancing under the stars on a warm summer night.
  • It’s friends gathered in the all faiths chapel to celebrate a life lived well and to say goodbye to a good friend
  • It’s a parent who decides to make the trip after years of research and soul searching, hoping that this is the right place for their child. As they head west on Route 80, coming over the bluff, they see Pathfinder and the feeling is almost immediate: This is the place. And later that day, when it is time to leave and their child wants to stay … now they know, this is the place!

This place, its people and its purpose.  This is Pathfinder.  I encourage each and every one of you to come to our café, take a walk on out nature trails, shop at our market, or get your flu shot at the health center.  I promise you, it will be the highlight of your week.


Grummons, Pathfinder Village Honored At Chamber Awards

200 Pack Atrium,

Praising Pathfinder

Village, Grummons

Funeral Director Les Grummons, left, and Pathfinder Village, represented by its president, Paul Landers, right, last evening were honored by 200 well-wishers who filled Foothills’ Atrium at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gala & Celebration of Business.  Grummons, of Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, was Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of 2019; Pathfinder Village, the NBT Distinguished Business.   Behind them, from left, are state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, NBT Regional Executive Jamie Reynolds, and Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan.  (Ian Austin/
Businesses Sold On Pathfinder Village


Businesses Sold On

Pathfinder Village

Residential Community Training,

Placing Residents In Local Jobs

Paul Landers stops in to see Grant Stubbs, center, who has an apartment where other residents enjoy hanging out, like Andrew Hyman, left. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta

Though with with a song on her lips, Joanna Draper, recovering from a brain tumor, is reclaiming her vocation as a singer. (Ian Austin/

EDMESTON – When she was 16, Joanna Draper had a brain tumor removed and was in a coma for a month. Though she recovered, her short-term memory was all but gone, dashing her hopes of continuing to perform in musical theater.

But now, you can find her serenading customers at the Pathfinder Village bakery and café, where she has worked for two years. “I’m doing so well that they let me work here,” she said. “I sing to the customers. I give them a hug if they’re having a bad day. It’s about treating people how I want to be treated, with kindness and a smile.”

“Her parents recognized that she would fit in here as a hire, not as a service recipient,” said CEO Paul Landers. “And since she started working here, her neurologist has seen her memory improving.”

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