Pine Kill Club

Excerpts from the Pine Kill Club Log Book
Written by Edmund Seeley

[Please Note: At the time of these writings, the Club House was located on the eastern side of the Dam, on what is now New Whitman Road, by the Port Jervis Club]

Log’s Forward:
“Behold the Fisherman: He ariseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household with the great noise of his preparations. In the evening he returneth.  His breath smelleth of strong drink. Empty is his stomach, and there is no truth in him."
                        -- Professor


August 5th to 12th 1907

Middletown, NY: Russell M. Vernon; Mrs. R. M. Vernon; Mrs. Hannah Gill; Cluitan M. Vernon
Florida NY: G. Herbert Vernon; M. H. Vernon
Brooklyn, NY: Nelson F. Gill; Mrs. N. F. Gill
Jersey City, NJ: Elmer Gill; Mrs. J. H. Eckert

August 20th to 27th 1907

Middletown, NY: A. Sprinstead; Mrs. Ezroy Hyatt; Lynn, Harrich and John Hyatt
Slate Hill, NY: C. Flood
Jerusalem, Palestine: Mrs. Minerva Pyrson
Bangor, Maine: Mrs. J. N. White

Fine weather all the time. Splendid luck fishing. Glorious moonlit nights. Fine sunrises and sunsets. Lake very calm, affording fine moonlight sails.

June 6th and 7th 1908

Middletown, NY: Frank S. Goodgion; George M. Carey; Floyd W. Strader
Slate Hill, NY: G. M. Wood

Arrived 9 pm Saturday June 6. Weather exceptionally fine. Fish were biting good. Grande caught 35. Stader caught 2 pound Pickerel. To all members of the club, who by chance cast their optics on these lines, the visitors of outfit wish to thank for the use of their clubhouse and boats, all are loud in their praise of the general hospitality and good fellowship qualifications that Mr. Wood is the possessor of.   

July 26th to August 3rd 1908

A. H. Springstead; Russell M. Vernon; C. Merrion Wood; John G. Gray 

Two Suckers caught in a thunderstorm, fisherman’s luck. Caught pickerel weight 4 1⁄2 pounds. 1 Bass weight 5 pounds. Gray bought 400 bait fish and Mrs. Gray invited all the natives to the circus at Middletown.

August 7th to 15th 1908

Russell Vernon caught a 4 pound bass. Weather has been fine, had a grand time.  Fishing not very good this year.

August 17th to 24th 1908

A. H. Springstead; E. Agustus Skinner; George A. Scofield; Theresa, Jean, Elizabeth, and Harriet Hyatt

Had a number of callers during our stay. All sorts of weather – wind, rain, sunshine and fine bracing air. Splendid luck in fishing; caught two Cats and 175 or 180 fish. All the party well behaved with the exception of (?) whom we had to chastise several times. He heaped coals of fire by not returning the punishment on those who needed it. The moonlight was glorious, sunrises and sunsets, rowing was delightful.

P. S. Anyone finding silver hat pin in the lake, kindly return it to Jean Hyatt and receive a liberal reward. (Very poor appetites... especially for pancakes.)

August 9th to September 5th 1908

Fine weather all the time. Fishing fair, but did not run large. One 3 1⁄2 pound Pickerel taken by our party. Gathered 5 quarts of huckleberries and found a large patch of Cardinal flowers. Made a trip to Wolf Pond. Roxie the dog enjoyed the outing as much as the rest.

September 16th to 22nd 1908

C. M. Wood, J. E. Mills, Miss Evelyn Loomis, Mr. & Mrs. William Medrick, et. al.

Party arrived with appetite that was quickly dispelled after provisions were unpacked and fire made of wood by wood for the Wood party. (However, let it be understood that the party in no case was a wooden party.) After strength had returned to the members by a hearty meal, above referred to started out to do some serious fishing. One of our party who had never before done any fishing, carefully instructed and carefully initiated into the mysteries of playing tricks on the little fishies, and soon showed her appreciation of the instruction by landing Sunfish, Perch and Pickerel, bringing them in so fast that her instructor had to give up fishing all together as his time was fully occupied in placing bait and removing fish. One Sunfish weighed (the 1st one caught) nearly ten pounds, and the average weight of the Perch and Pickerel was about 5 lbs. The lake was considerably lowered owing to the loss of the fish. In all, there were 58 fish caught by the primary department, and more or less by the graduate. Fishing became too easy and tame, and the party searched for bigger game. Armed with various weapons, a search of the woods was made. But no, Tigers or Crocodiles appearing, they found a soft spot on a huge boulder and watched the sunset.

Another day was spent exploring the adjacent islands, but as Friday was not here, and the party was not in a hurry for it to come, they resumed their journey by water and trailed various ancient bits of history. Wolfe Pond Boulevard brought us, via stones and wagon ruts, to where Wolfe Pond originally was, but nothing was found but rocks. Right here the writer would like to offer a suggestion to Pine Kill Club members and that is, that in the future, it would be wise if members would refrain from throwing cigar stumps in the lake, as there is already a sufficient quantity.  

The house was brilliantly illuminated with Japanese lanterns, in addition to the domestic variety that always sits outside the kitchen door and is useful for looking at a proper spot to throw the dishwater after late supper dishwashing. Music was wafted by the friendly evening breeze from an exceptionally fine talking machine, and fire works were set off by the bridge at midnight in competition with Middletown’s a la home wick preparation. It was decided that Yankee Lake far surpassed that city in its celebration. Meals were served a la carte, as the street is too narrow to admit a larger vehicle. Breakfast consisted of cakes, stirred up by the Primary Department, burned by the Vice President, and eaten by all, but digested by none.

October 15th 1908

We arrived safe and sound. Got some birds and fish, but no goose or duck. M. H. Vernon

November 14 1908

M. H. Vernon; Russell M. Vernon; A. M. Springstead 

Had a good time. No hunting and pond covered with about 3” of ice and 6” of snow.

April 17th to 18th 1909

E. H. Rose; E. M. Decker; R. M. Vernon 

We have spent all our time fishing for trout in the Pine Kill. Caught 67 all together. Weather fine – quite warm. Rose fell all over himself landing a big one and wet his pants. That is he fell flat, butter side down in the brook. Decker won the prize for size, so he treated to custard pie, but he lost the fish. Saw one small garter snake and heard many partridge churning. 

May 8th and 9th 1909

W . L. Robertson; C. M. Wood; George Miller; E. C. Allen; John Ketchum; Harry Kingsland 

Fishing fine – The Class caught 65 fish, one pickerel 3 1⁄2 pounds, caught by Robertson. Wood received second prize by his second pickerel, 2 3⁄4 pounds. Kingsland was the only trout fisherman, caught 18 fine ones.

August 5th 1909

Mary V. Belding; George S. Belding; E. A. Newman; Miss Florence Skelton

Charles Witman killed a large rattlesnake down along the Spring Brook below his house. It had nine rattles and measured four feet seven inches long. He presented the prize to Mrs. Vernon and Farris. A party from Westbrookville also killed one about a mile and a half from the lake when coming up to go fishing.

August 6th 1909

R. M. Vernon 

Whitman came in with another rattlesnake even larger than the first one. Had nine rattles one it, and was a beauty, being well mottled and of the most brilliant yellow color all over except the tail, which was nearly black in all cases. Whitman said this was the brightest colored snake he ever saw. It measured over 4 1⁄2 feet long, and he and the snake were photographed by R. M. Ferris. The fishing has not been very good this season. I think it is because we do not go out systematically and persistently. The water in the well is still there but quite low – last year at this time it went dry. Think it will go dry this year in about one or two weeks unless we get rain, but last year and this have been very dry seasons. Ordinarily we will probably have plenty of water. It is now 1 1⁄2 feet deep and good supply.

August 10th to 20th 

Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Bremrose; R. J. Bremrose; Miss Laura Rutan; Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Davis; J. H. Westervelt 

Caught 75 catfish, 30 perch, 5 bass, 10 pickerel, 7 eels. Most caught by R. Bremrose. Had fine weather from August 10th to 15th. Plenty of fish – Began to rain Sunday afternoon and rained all day Monday. Picked some huckleberries. Pickerel and eels weigh about 1 1⁄2 pounds. 

August 28th 1909

A. M. Springstead; W. H. Marsbach, Horton Purdy

Came up and went to Wolff Pond Saturday – caught 39 fish in two hours. Caught 5 large bass in Yankee Lake weighing 9 pounds. Nice lot of pickerel. We developed a phenomenal appetite, the air must be good and Mrs. Springstead's cooking is excellent.

September 8th – 11th 1909

Miss Carrie Stanton; Mr. John Ketchum; Mr. & Mrs. E. L ____?

One three pound Bass, twenty three pickerel, thirty fine perch, three large catfish and on big eel. One bushel of butternuts, one peck of chestnuts, and three delightful days which is the most important thing of all.

Note: Cleaned the lamps, floors and dishes. Brought in lots of wood, stored the boats, and closed the windows.

August 22nd to September 3rd 1910

Mrs. M. E. Jones; Mrs. Ezra Wyatt; Miss Theresa Wyatt; Miss. Jean Wyatt; Miss Elizabeth Wyatt; Miss Gertrude Purdy; Mr. A. N. Springstead; Mr. Julius Korn 

August 27th Miss Harriet Wyatt joined our party, remaining over Sunday and returning Monday in the “wee small hours” accompanied by Mrs. E. Wyatt. We were visited by Mr. H. Purdy, who remained until the afternoon of September 1st. Of course, one was not compelled to pin themselves to the porch of the Port Jervis Club House whenever one wanted to eat limburger sandwiches, but being of a kind and considerate disposition, they refrain our delicate olfactory nerves to any offensive odor. It is sad to relate that it was necessary to have some court plaster sent from Middletown to repair the damage done to the hearth of one of our party who was inconsolable over the departure of the young ladies from Seldon Inn. One other member of our party was so popular with all the ladies all around the lake that we were afraid to have him venture out unaccompanied, fearing we would never see him. Had it not been for the presence of our daily caller to liven us up, we would have grown lonely while two certain members of our party were amusing themselves in the company of more charming damsels. Weather was fine, having rained only part of the day on September 1st. Fishing was not very good, although we had all the fish we wanted to eat. Of course, our appetites were very very poor nevertheless everyone had a splendid two meals and hope to come again – at a time when there will be no distractions (or attractions) for the gentlemen of the party.

Week of September 16th 1912

A. N. Springstead; Mrs. G. N. Musback; W. H. Musbach; Lillian Musbach; Ola Hill; Clara Leschorn, E. E. Hunter

We had a wonderful time and when you speak of appetite why ours was simply out of sight. Aquilla and Mrs. M. did the cleaning, but others of our party did the cooking. Arrived Monday about 1:00 o’clock, weather fine, fishing not very good. Wednesday and Thursday rained.  Ola Hill caught a fish – a thing that had never happened before. A. J Holmes, who joined us Friday, tuned guitar and he and Mr. Springstead entertained the party with several of the latest selections, such as “The Hat My Father Wore,” “Old Black Joe,” as well as one of A. J. Holmes latest and best, “The Harbor of Home Sweet Home.” The entire party again wish to express their appreciation for the many kindnesses shown by our host, Mr. A. N. Springstead in particular, and the “Pine Kill Club” in general. May their shadows never grow less.  

September 7th to 15th 1913

Mr. and Mrs. E. G. William Musback; Lillian C.  Musbach; Clara Leschorn; Ola Hill

Arrived in the new auto truck in the pouring rain. Sunday afternoon, after a severe thunderstorm Saturday night, the weather cleared and has been lovely ever since. Men went fishing twice at Wolf Lake and returned with a good catch. Two of the girls went out rowing and had to be towed in on account of the stumps. Girls all learned to row, the above being a good example of their ability. Limburger has been very much in evidence during the week also baked beans and pie. Homeward bound on Sunday afternoon, after giving Mr. Springstead and the Pine Kill Club our thanks for a most pleasant and enjoyable week. The fish caught in Yankee Pond were appreciated on account of the hard work catching them.

July 1913

A. N., Mary and Ann Springstead; Paul Harmon  

Monday, July 6th, the advance guard of our party arrived at the clubhouse about 10 am via Smithems Express. 7:30 pm Cossorin, better known as John Eli, arrived in the rain. Tuesday was a very wet day. Wednesday the 8th, Dr. Hamner, our father time, arrived and things began to happen as they always do when he is around. On Thursday, we were surprised by a visit from two of Paul’s college chums known as Cherry and Bennis. They found them when stuck on stumps in Yankee Lake as Bennis nearly put a hole in his head. While in bathing on Friday, we received a visit from Roger Hammond, the Hoop Snake, who came up in his auto accompanied by Miss Katherine Worley and Miss B. Madden. Of course we saw but little of Paul the rest of that day. On Saturday, Mr. John Ketchum and Mr. Frank Harding came up and things began to turn. They stayed until Monday pm, and during that time there was no rest for either the wicked or the righteous. Dr. Hamner accompanied them home much to our regret, promising to return as soon as possible but has failed to do so. On Tuesday the 14th, we made a trip to Wolf Pond, caught a few Pike, and also a thorough soaking. On Wednesday the 15th, we enjoyed a visit from John Moore of Coldwell, N. J. who was accompanied by his son. Although it has rained every day but two since we have been here, we have had a very enjoyable time and hope to do so some more.

News & Events 5/8/2019

Water Quality Summer of 2018

The New York State report on Yankee Lake Water Quality over the course of the 2018 summer season is available  by clicking this link.


The opening date will be July 4. A signup form for the July 6 Basketball Clinic can be accessed here. We encourage interested families to register by June 21 to help with our number of volunteer coaches.

Doug Spranger made and edited a 5 minute video taken from his drone copter flying over Yankee Lake. This beautiful sequence was shot in high definition (1080 p), and can be viewed on YouTube at this link.

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