Friday, November 20, 2009

Holidays in Oak Hill

To all you Upstate NY folks, head to Oak Hill to shop for the holidays! There will be many one-of-a-kind gifts and hand-made items available to choose from, as well as Christmas trees and gingerbread houses for sale. And you can sing your heart out on December 13th at 2pm as St. Paul's Lutheran Church invites everyone to the annual Christmas Carol Sing (there may even be some caroling afterward if everyone is into it). I will be selling greeting cards and holiday cards (blank inside) at I.U. Tripp along with goodies from several other local residents, so come and check it out!

The activities start on Thanksgiving day, with Oak Hill Kitchen ( taking reservations for a holiday meal, and then on Friday the stores will be open. Bring your guests to Oak Hill to peruse the shops, view the historic buildings, have some lunch and do a little shopping. Check out The Wayside Inn for lunch ( or Oak Hill Kitchen, get your tree at Pine Valley Christmas Trees at 7878 Route 81, and head to one of the many stores in town for a little shopping. The stores to s
ee are I.U. Tripp (, DeWitt Hotel Antiques, Raad Gallery, and a special holiday boutique at 7904 Route 81. And you can even give your pet a holiday treat with a spa day at Oak Hill Groom and Board while you shop. For more detailed information see the official press release below...

Businesses, crafts people, artists, and neighbors in Oak Hill are getting together to present Holidays in Oak Hill starting with Thanksgiving and continuing until Christmas. They hope that people will bring their friends and family, shop for one of a kind holiday gifts, buy a Christmas tree, relax in a local restaurant, look at historic buildings, participate in a Christmas Carol Sing, enjoy a day in the country.

Oak Hill, a historic hamlet 8 miles west of Greenville on Hwy 81, draws a number of visitors in July for Oak Hill Day; so why not try a winter activity, many of the residents thought. That was the conception of Holidays in Oak Hill.

Beginning with Thanksgiving dinner at the Oak Hill Kitchen and moving into Black Friday, visitors can come to IU Tripp Antiques & Collectibles and a special holiday boutique at 7904 Rt. 81. On Saturday after Thanksgiving the Wayside Inn, DeWitt Hotel Antiques, Raad Gallery and Oak Hill Groom and Board will also be open. All these businesses, housed in historic buildings along Hwy 81, will continue the venture through the month of December. Everyone will expand their usual offerings to include some one of a kind local items as well as gift certificates for local services.

In December, Pine Valley Christmas Trees, sold by former residents John and Sue Slovak, will be available at 7878 Rt. 81.

On Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church invites everyone to the annual Christmas Carol Sing and possibly to do some caroling afterwards. Cocoa and cookies will be served.

The Wayside Inn, owned and operated by Sean and Susan McCarthy, serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The Inn was built about 1812 and has been a tavern, hotel, boarding house. It was also a boarding school for girls, a way station for farmers taking their livestock to the docks in Coxsackie, and a stagecoach stop. Now it’s a place to have a pizza or a fine meal in the country atmosphere of the Catskill Mountains. For more information go to

The Oak Hill Kitchen, now owned and operated by the Twelve Tribes, started out as the Lyman Tremain Opera house. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday 10 to 10 with live music on Monday nights. They are taking reservations for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with music. In addition, they will offer baked goods, teas, mate’, soaps, lotions and gift baskets. Their website is

Oak Hill Groom and Board, the newest hamlet business, is owned and operated by Pat and Mary Kratz. When Mary, who has worked in the grooming business for 15 years, decided to open her own business, she and her sister Pat searched for about a year to find the right location. Finally they purchased the old Miller Garage building at 14 Oak Hill Road and Hwy 81. They then spent about 18 months renovating the space. First they offered only grooming and bathing. After another year they were able to open kennels for boarding. Mary even has experience bathing and brushing out guinea pigs and she bathes cats as well as dogs. Stop by and meet Pookie, their own resident cat, who comes out with great composure to greet newcomers. Morna, their own dog, may possibly be visiting. For Holidays in Oak Hill they will offer gift certificates for holiday giving as well as Mia Bella Candles, made of all natural ingredients.

DeWitt Hotel Antiques will offer the country and formal antique furniture and accessories they are known for, as well as their special beeswax candles. Beau and Sarah have the upstairs rooms of the historic building set up as rooms with rope beds, bureaus, tables, quilts, accessories. The glass cases downstairs are filled with small collectibles and Staffordshire china. During this event Sandy Wood offers her new and gently used baby clothes for sale. Sandy, who has been the shop manager for a number of years, will be opening her own business, Sandy’s Baby Clothes, at her home in the near future. DeWitt Hotel is closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Raad Gallery, housed in the old Ford’s Store and operated by Fari and Elaine Raad, features antiques, paintings, Audubon and other prints and a wide selection of books. Fari has himself framed many of the prints. Also for sale will be folk art by local resident Ralph Hull, jewelry and jams by Jodie, gingerbread houses by local chef Karl Dratz, Lucinda’s Hot Fudge Sauce and Chocolate Pecan pies. Raad Gallery is open weekends 11 to 5 and by chance.

Karl started his gingerbread house business when he gave a house to WGY radio talk show host Don Weeks and the station gave out his phone number on the air. That year Karl made 80 houses. He has twice made extravagant houses for the Christmas Festival at the Vanderbilt House in Hyde Park. Karl has also taught classes in the construction of the houses. During Holidays in Oak Hill he will be taking orders for houses at both Raad Gallery and IU Tripp & Company Antiques and Collectibles.

IU Tripp and Company, housed in the authentic 1888 general store building with an 1830’s store attached, will offer their usual antiques, collectibles, textiles, advertising items, books, smalls as well as a special addition of vintage Christmas collectibles. For Holidays in Oak Hill, the store will devote the long center counter to work by area individuals. There will be hand woven bags by Sue Wood, Lucinda’s Hot Fudge Sauce and Chocolate Pecan pies, Red Bear Hand Cleaner, Beth Schneck Photography, Jodie’s jewelry and Akeesha's earrings, Honeybee Laboratories soap. Chef Karl Dratz’s gingerbread houses will be available to order. Mike Hayes’ book on Oak Hill and Steve Gross and Sue Daley’s Time Wearing out Memory will be for sale. Will Wagner, of Wagner’s Custom Carpentry and Repair, will have gift certificates to purchase for the person who has everything but could use some work done around the house. Refreshments will be served. IU Tripp and Co. is open weekends 11 to 5 and by chance. Nick and Mary Lou Nahas always welcome guests who stop to experience the general store atmosphere. Their website is

7904, a special boutique for this event, will feature clay, fiber and color. Offerings will include necklaces from tribal to bling, ladies scarves, china plus clay kitchenware and experimental pieces, and Junior Detective kits from Scene of the Crime Mystery Books, plus some surprises. 7904 will be open weekends 11 to 5 and by chance.

Visitors to Oak Hill can see the three local houses—the Brick House, the Column House and the Icicle House—which were featured in the recent film Greene County, USA: A Local History of National Importance. The Tripp House and Store are featured in the winter issue of Early Homes Magazine.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oak Hill, NY Methodist Church 150 Year Anniversary

November 2nd marks the 150th anniversary of the building of the Oak Hill, NY Methodist Church. On June 15, 1858, Rev. A. F. Selleck called an organizational meeting to form a new church in Oak Hill. The church cost $1500 to to build, and was completed in 1859.

On Sunday November 8th, the Oak Hill Preservation Association will present a plaque to the congregation recognizing the building's listing on the National Register of Historic Places. A celebration of the anniversary will be held at the Durham, NY Methodist church on the Susquehana Turnpike (County Route 22) near the intersection with Route 145. After the 10:45 AM service on Sunday, November 8th, Mary Lou Nahas will be presenting a slide show of the history of the church and will focus on the central part the church has played in the life of the hamlet of Oak Hill over the years. A carry-in dinner will be part of the anniversary celebration, please bring a dish if you plan on attending. Please contact Mary Lou Nahas at 239-8217 with any questions or if you are interested in contributing to the work that needs to be completed on the church in order to preserve it for the next 150 years.