Town of Fremont

Sullivan County, New York

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teams of horses, and horses hitched to carriages tied to trees throughout the grove (woods may be a better word). It was the day before electricity. The lighting was by use of so-called torches then in common use. A tank contained a quart or more of kerosene oil, a wick was inserted into this through a tube about a half inch in diameter. The wick was lit. There was no chimney or globe. The nearest thing to it in use today is the flare carried by trucks or in use to mark an open spot in the highway.
Philip Bietz, long-time Jeffersonville resident, than a band leader and dance orchestra man, played for the Obernburg picnic. He told me the band waited outside the church where the people gathered before going to the picnic grounds. At the conclusion of the church service, the band headed the procession to the picnic grounds. I presume the band played marches on its way. Like all early outdoor dance pavilions, the dance floor at Obernburg lay exposed to the weather, winter and summer. It furnished no ideal place for dancing. The crowd was so dense, however, that it was quite impossible to do any fancy dancing and no one complained. The mere fact that a big crowd had assembled - and there always did - left the impression that every one had a good time. The “Dutchtown” picnic was an event that no one for many miles around would want to miss.

Brewery Cellar Still Stands

Another institution for which Obernburg was known was its brewery. This was founded by William Deckelman, a brother of Judge William Deckelman’s grandfather, who later sold it to his son-in-law, Kille. It was operated until about 1905. For many years it supplied the taverns in Western Sullivan with the beer they used. A cellar with a stone arch ceiling was built as the brewery cellar. This cellar stands today quite as good as the time as it was built. It was a handiwork of an early German stone mason named Meyer, whose grandson, Arthur N. Meyers, of Narrowsburg, is now Commissioner of Jurors for Sullivan County. The priest’s house at Obernburg, also built of stone, is another of his jobs.
A celebrity that Obernburg produced was Gunboat Smith - whose real name was Ed Smith, an orphan boy for whom Joseph Moser provided a home. Smith enlisted in the Navy where he learned the boxing business and from this he got the title Gunboat. Gunboat Smith rated among the better heavyweight fighters and missed the championship by but a small margin.

Mileses Manufacturing Center

Mileses was in its heyday quite a manufacturing center. The Miles family first opened a tannery and saw mill. None of this family remains in Fremont today. I had several calls within the past few years from a couple named Miles, descendants of the early settlers at Mileses, now living in New Rochelle. They were interested in trying to establish a claim to the abandoned one-room school and grounds to be used as a country, or summer, home.
George Sipple told me one time of a descendant of the original Miles

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PO Box 69, Fremont Center, NY, 12736
Tel: (845) 8876605, Fax: (845) 8876605
WebMaster: Rita Greier

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