Book looks back at New Scotland

Current, former residents contribute stories

Peg Dorgan with the  New Scotland Historical Association's newest book, “Times of Ours Lives: New Scotland Memories.”

Peg Dorgan with the New Scotland Historical Association's newest book, “Times of Ours Lives: New Scotland Memories.” Photo by Marcy Velte.

— History books may help future generations learn the facts about the past, but memories are much more personal.

That was the thinking of members from the New Scotland Historical Association when they created their book “Times of Ours Lives: New Scotland Memories.” So popular it is now in its second printing, the book contains dozens of stories from before 1970 written by previous and current New Scotland residents.

“They are such real stories about real life,” said book organizer Peg Dorgan, a New Scotland Historical Association member.

The historical association had previously released a local history book on New Scotland through Arcadia Publishing. Dorgan said the book was popular, but didn’t tell the personal tales of residents or convey the emotions behind them.

The group then advertised for people to write about their favorite New Scotland memories to contribute to the book. Some stories are not of great length but all are important, according to Dorgan.

“They take you back to what it was like to live here in those days,” said Dorgan. “For young people, it might be about stuff their grandparents talked about and for people my age it helps you re-live the life you had.”

Some contributions include stories about the 1959 Voorheesville fire, long-gone buildings, “school antics and of leisure-time activities before computers and cell phones.”

New Scotland Historical Association Chairwomen Ethie Moak wrote several stories for the book. One memory told of attended second grade in a two-room building that had been converted from an old horse wagon shed on Maple Avenue in Voorheesville.

“Snakes use to come up out of holes in floor in the bathroom of the girls room,” she said. “We still talk about it every reunion.”

Judy Kimes of Clarksville contributed several stories as well. One was about how she obtained her pet duck Wilbur who continued to live for years on her family’s farm.

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