Posted by
Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

By V.D. Mattice, Kingston, N.Y.
September 1921

"THE PASSING OF OLD GILBOA"
By a Former Resident

In the old Schoharie valley, Up among my native hills,
with its water-falls and bridges, And its quaint old-fashion'd mills.
It was there I used to wander, Many, many years ago,
Up and down the dusty roadway, To and from the town below.

Gloomy thoughts surge in upon me, And my heart it now grows sick,
At the painful sight that greets me, 'Long the old Schoharie creek.
Oft I ask myself the question—Yes, I ask it o'er and o'er;
"Is it true, or but a rumor, That Gilboa's to be no more?"

Motor trucks and huge steam shovels, With their gangs of brawny men,
Sure are tearing things to pieces, On Clay Hill and in the Glen.
And the village, it's deserted, All the natives, they have fled;
Some have gone to other quarters, Some are sleeping with the dead.

Dear old town, 'twill soon be flooded, Not a vestige left, or scrap.
And that once proud little hamlet, Will be stricken from the map.
Slow, but sure, the work's progressing, Soon—yes, at an early date,
Twill be said, "Gilboa's surrender'd To the iron hand of fate."

In the hallow'd ground just yonder, Where our precious dead were borne,
There to rest beneath the daisies 'Till the resurrection morn,
Oh, the scene it is appalling—They are taking them away,
Hear the click of spade and shovel; Yes, we hear it, day by day,

Many damage claims are pending—Some are large and some are small;
There should be this stipulation, "A 'square deal' for one and all."
It's a case of sheer compulsion—Taking what another owns;
Surely, it's no trifling matter., Forcing people from their homes

"Home, sweet home" the poor man's castle, Love and Friendship, Joy & Mirth,
Mingle here, and intermingle, "HOME" most sacred spot on earth.
There are sentimental reasons, Not a few, when all are told;
(Money values count but little) More enduring they, than gold.

Charming spot, where children revel, And the place where they were born;
There's the little chamber window, Where the sun peeps in at morn.
Many pleasant recollections, Cluster round that long-lov'd spot;
Recollections fondly cherish'd, That can never be forgot.

As I turn and look about me, Where the schoolhouse used to stand,
Where I went each week day morning, Holding fast to brother's hand.
And the church where once I worship'd, They are gone with all the rest.
Oh, the tears, I can't suppress them, Strange emotions fill my breast

Of the Buckinghams, Mattices, Strykers, Baldwins, Cronks & Weeds
Of the Frisbies, Shalers, Southards, Beckers, Mackey's Potters, Reeds,
Of the Warners, Hazzards, Haydocks, Just a remnant now is left,
And our home town, once so pretty, Of its beauty is bereft,

There are doctors, lawyers, teachers, Preachers, printers not a few;
Unpretentious, conscientious, Brave and noble, tried and true.
It's "Old Home Week," I can see them, And the tears that trickle down,
As they gaze in breathless silence, At the devastated town.

New York City needs more water, So the noted experts say;
Ashokan is not sufficient, With its million barrels a day,
Thirsty Yorkers must have water, Yes, they need a large supply;
More than ever, now they need it, Since the country's gone bone dry.

Old Gilboa, you sure are going, And the thought disturbs my sleep.
You'll be buried 'neath the waters, Swallow'd in the angry deep.
Dear Old Town, we'll not forget you, Not as long as life shall last,
At thy bier we pay this tribute—"Thou Hast Had An Honor'd Past."

 

 

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