Fort speaker will look at Cobleskill's 1940 movie, mystery notebook


Fort speaker will look at Cobleskill

The Schoharie County Historical Society Summer Lecture Series will continue on Thursday, July 26 at 7pm with “Reconstructing Cobleskill,” presented by local author and historian Peter Lindemann.
Through the use of film and photos, Mr. Lindemann will explore the intersection of a mysterious old film and a lost notebook, set to the music of the big bands.
The film clips have been taken from a “main street movie,” which was shot during the week of August 12, 1940 in Cobleskill and the surrounding area by a film crew from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The film was presented twice the following week in the Cobleskill High School Auditorium by the Exchange Club.
Some of the film’s highlights include images of crowds of people gathered in downtown Cobleskill; a new ‘1500 series’ locomotive; busy workers at the Van Deusen Dress Factory; a ‘fire drill’ at Harder Refrigeration; and as a bonus, visitors at the Old Stone Fort - when the exhibits were “interactive.”
Mr. Lindemann will also discuss the typewritten notebook titled “Annals of Cobleskill” which was compiled in 1960 by Arthur Van Voris, a former editor of the Schoharie County Historical Review. Only a few copies of the notebook exist in local libraries.
Mr. Van Voris makes an appearance in the film, exiting his hardware store through a screen door.
“The presentation is especially timely,” said Mr. Lindemann, “in light of the recent lackluster interest in rejuvenation of the downtown booster club - the Cobleskill Partnership - and the 150th anniversary of the village.”
The lecture will begin at 7pm in the Badgley Museum Annex at the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex, located in the village of Schoharie at 145 Fort Road.
Refreshments and a door prize will be generously provided by Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youths.
The cost is $5 and free for students and Schoharie County Historical Society members.
For more information, contact the museum at (518)295-7192, online at or on Facebook at