Haines Falls men organize a Chamber of Commerce

Contributed photoTown of Hunter.

It was the spring of 1933 when a group of Haines Falls residents began talking about the possibility of forming a much-needed organization to help the Haines Falls businesses. Local shops were affected by the financial impact that many part-time residents felt due to the Great Depression (1929-1933); it had a domino effect, filtering down and eventually affecting locals.

Businesses were also injured by Prohibition (the nationwide ban on producing, importing, or selling alcoholic beverages from 1920-1933) along with the general decline in tourism.

The Haines Falls Chamber of Commerce was organized on June 17, 1933. “A chamber of commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokespeople and representatives of a business community. (Presently, the Mountain Top has the Greene County Chamber of Commerce and, more locally, the very active Town of Hunter Chamber of Commerce. Tannersville had a Chamber before 1927). (Hunter has had a Civic Association for many years, working similarly as the Chamber).

The June 17 meeting was called to order by George Schutt, elected as President of the Haines Falls Chamber of Commerce, presiding as chairman. Sam Schwartz of the Fenmore Hotel was elected first vice president, Wilfred McGibbon’s of the Pine Tree Lodge, as treasurer and W. Whitney Smith as secretary.

The following members served on the board of directors for a three-year term, Henry J. Myer, Edward Haines, Herbert O’Hara, Sam Schwartz, and Charles B. Layman. For the two-year term, W. I. Hallenbeck, Mrs. Gross, Mr. Ferraro, Abe R. Legg and Ralph Karamay. For the one year, Howard Matthews, Wilfred McGibbon’s, Alfred H. Legg, Fred Carnright and Mrs. T.J. Corr served.

Wilfred McGibbon was appointed chairman of the publicity committee by Chair George Scutt, while Herbert O’Hara and W.W. Smith chaired the subscription committee.

The guest speaker that evening was John Sullivan, a director of the Coxsackie Board of Trade. Sullivan gave an exciting talk and offered multiple suggestions on ways to supplement our business.

Until next week (2021), take care. Be thankful and be kind. You never know how one act of kindness can change someone’s life.

Happy, Happy New Year. May the aloneness we experienced in 2020 be over early in 2021! I believe we’ve learned to appreciate a few more things than we did a year ago. At least, I did. Thanks for reading.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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