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Newburgh Boys Get Together 1908

Written by Motorcyclepedia

Here’s an article from Nov 1, 1908 taken from Motorcycle Illustrated.  Attempted to copy the article letter for letter so any typo’s were present in the original article.  Enjoy!

Nov 1, 1908
Motorcycle Illustrated


On Sunday, October 18, a number of motorcyclists met at the home of William J. Caldwell in Newburgh, NY for a pleasure run across Orange County to Port Jervis and return.  The party consisted of Sanford Cole, Fred Ayers, Ed. Paffendorf, Ted. Thomis, Eugene Blake, Maillian Fowler, Herman Seeger and Will Callwell, the two latter on Callwell’s Twin cylinder tandem, and all on Indian machines, also Ed Wrsebe; from Cornwall, on a little M. M. Special.

The company was finally ready to start at nine o’clock for the “century,” and after leaving Newburgh motored along slowly over the old Cochecton Turnpike till the little village of Montgomery was reached.  Up to this point the road was found to be very dusty, and although the party had gone but twelve miles, appearances pointed to a much greater distance.

When the word was given to “Forward March” all proceeded to hit it up for the next eight miles to the county seat, over a very dusty but otherwise good road.  Here it was decided that it would be wise to fill up our gasoline tanks, as no one was sure where the “precious stuff” might again be obtained.  Inquiry was also made as to the best route from the village to Port Jervis. Fred Ayres, on a 3 1-2h. Indian racer, went in advance of the rest to the cross-roads in order that none would get off the right route.

Immediately after leaving Goshen a short stretch of bad road was encountered, then followed a mile or so of splendid going, followed by a long stretch of sand recently put on to repair the road.   A short way before the cross-roads Denton’s hill was met, and all looked to see Callwell and Seeger on the tandem get stuck; but not so, the little twin kept it right up to the top and never missed once.  A short way beyond this Fred was met and directed us as to the right road.  Here the course led down the splendid Minisink State road to the little town of Slate Hill.

Slate Hill Mountain proved an easy ascent, as the road was scientifically built.  Some wonderful curves were met on this mountain, leading the riders in a perfect half-circle, until the road commenced to bend back in the other direction, making S turns and leading ever up, till the summit was reached.  The scenery along this road was beautiful beyond description.  A turn now led the riders down the splendid Port Jervis Turnpike, through the hamlets of Centreville, Bushville and Greenville.  Just before Tri-States was reached a grade had to be ascended.  While not steep, it gave nearly all of the riders trouble, as it had recently been sprinkled with oil when in a very dusty condition.  This made the surface so sticky that it was almost impossible to ride.  From here into Port Jervis the road was in splendid condition and quick time was made.

All now assembled at Tri-States and rode together into Port Jervis proper, and stopped at a garage where the machines were filled up and left till the riders had satisfied the “inner man.”  The party went across the street to the Eerie Hotel, where an excellent dinner was secured.  Start was made from the town at two o’clock, the road taking the riders along the old and now unused Delaware and Hudson Canal, through the village of Huguenot and over a splendid road to Cuddebackville.  All along this road the scenery was grand, the mountains rising on all sides, and with their fall coats of brilliant colored leaves presented a beautiful sight.  The road was so fine here that nobody expected the mountain that the group was soon called upon to cross.  After leaving Cuddebackville the road led over a wooden bridge, through some crushed stone, and then over the mountain, which led up and up seemingly forever up, while the scenery gradually improved until the summit was reached.  At points along this mountain road the sides extended for hundreds of feet down, while in places the grade was so steep the engineers that built the road found it necessary to blast through solid rock that it could be sufficiently low to permit passage.  The climb was over the famous Shawangunk Mountain, and at the bottom was Otisville.  Here the great mile-long tunnel starts that leads under the Shawangunk.  The party all gathered here to compare notes, and it was considered quite remarkable that all had been able to get up and down again without having to walk.  From Otisville to Middletown the roads were splendid and many friendly races were indulged in.  Fred Ayres and Callwell and Seeger on the “twin” had it out more than once, and the speedometers often run up close to the fifty mark.  Ed. Paffendorf and Ted. Thomis, together with Ed Wersebe from Cornwall were forever “at it.”  Sanford Cole was not of the excitable disposition ; but kept pegging away at the twenty-mile pace that never failed to get him there.

At Middletown an attempt was made to secure gasoline, but strange as it may seem not a drop could be had in the city, the town having “gone dry.”  At last an obliging man drew a gallon and a half from his automobile, which supplied us with sufficient to carry us home.

A vile stretch of road was encountered between Middletown and Goshen, but all arrived in the latter town safely, however.  Here another motorcyclist from Washingtonville joined us, and we all rode in company to Campbellhall, where Maillen Fowler left the party for his own home, about six miles distant.  The party then proceeded to make the finishing run of twelve miles via Washington Lake and Little Britain to Newburgh and reached home just before dark.  All voted that the first united run of what will probably be the future Motorcycle Club of Newburgh was a grand success.

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