Click on the ad above to reach the Glenora website.


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

To reach the website of the Seneca Harbor Station and Captain Bill's, click here.


Senka Agency

Are you receiving the great customer service you deserve? If not, give us a call or stop in. We provide great customer service and are happy to help you with all your insurance needs.

Let us provide a fast and friendly no obligation quote. You'll see why so many people have made the SENKA AGENCY their agency of choice in Schuyler County.

Always "Working to Serve YOU Better"

Main Steet, Odessa, NY Telephone 607-594-3335


Click on the ad above to visit the Visions Credit Union web site -- you deserve a financial partner that has your best interest in mind!


Click on the ad below
to learn more.


Pavilion, Picnic Area, BBQ Pit available with reservation.

Memorial Day Service
every Memorial Day 11 a.m.

Check out this beautiful park.

Forms for engraved bricks or benches are available at
visitors center or at

Questions? Call Clayton Snow


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 

Odessa Wine
and Spirits

We are located on Main Street in Odessa, next to the Tompkins Trust Company branch.

Send us an email to to let us know what you would like us to have in stock.

Free wine tasting every Friday.


SCT Computers

Apple Certified Technicians
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers
A+ Certified Technicians

Visit us at 306 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, 607-535-2495

Main St., Penn Yan
(315) 694-7399



Your authorized FedEx ship center
M-F 7:30-5:30 (Cut off time 3 pm)
Sat. 10-2 (no pickups)
306 N. Franklin Street
Watkins Glen NY 14891

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

Click on the ad below to go to the United Way of Schuyler County website.


For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Curly's Restaurant is a page sponsor -- of our People Page. People.

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

Sports -- Cayuga Medical Ctr.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- The Colonial Pottery & Creamery


To reach the FOWL website, click on the logo above.


To go to Jim Guild's Famous Brands website, click on the drawing above or here.


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Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The IBEW Local 241 is a sponsor of this website


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Click below to go to the
Rotary Club website.


To reach the website of the Five Rivers Council, Boys Scouts of America, click here or on the logo above.


Click below to see
Lottery Numbers


To reach the Watkins Glen School District website, click here


Check this out:


Contact this website at:



4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler Hospital website.


TV racing personality Post to talk at IMRRC

Veteran TV and radio racing reporter Steve Post will share his stories of racing in a talk at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen. The title of his talk: "Speaking of Life in the Fast Lane." The event is open to all, with a $5 admission donation requested to help defray costs. Features.

Left: Steve Post

Bowling: Watkins boys top Notre Dame

Five members of the Watkins Glen boys varsity bowling team top 500 in a 4-0 sweep of Elmira Notre Dame. Sports.

Barbara Halpin at her last regular monthly Legislature session.

  Halpin lauded as she nears end of final term

Retiring Schuyler County Legislator Barbara Halpin was lauded at Monday night's Legislature meeting, the final regular session of 2017. Halpin has only a year-end morning meeting Dec. 28 before she completes her 15th and final year on the governing body, a career split into two segments -- from 1991 through 1997 and from 2010 through this year. She chose not to seek re-election. Phil Cherry (right), executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, presented Halpin with a certificate of thanks from Extension for all the help she has provided that organization over the years. And Legislature Clerk Stacy Husted presented a Certificate of Recognition for Halpin's many years of service and her fiscal acuity. Various members of the Legislature also praised Halpin's tenure and her attention to detail at budget time.


A column by Odessa Mayor Keith PIerce

Mayor Keith Pierce returns with another in a series of columns about life and issues in the Village of Odessa. This time the title is "Year-end wrap-up." Column.



Left: Mayor Keith Pierce

Athletes of the Week

Two members of the Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team are The Odessa File Athletes of the Week. Sports.


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column from Albany. This week: "In a word, new project signals economic optimism." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Seeking lifeguards

The Watkins Glen School District is looking for certified lifeguards to work during the school day in PE classes from now until the end of April.
Applicants can call Mr. Weeden at 607-535-3220.

Click on the ad below for more information.

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.




And inside

--Friday on Franklin, an engaging way to connect with downtown businesses, is back in Watkins Glen. Business.

--Rotary Club and The Hepcats Big Band are presenting "Swingin' on Seneca's Shores" Nov. 11 at the Community Center in Watkins Glen. Features.

Part 1 of "Schuyler County and Me," reprised, Click here.
For Part 2, click here.
For Part 3, click here .
For Part 4, click here.
For Part 5, click here.

The Editor's


Death Notices on the Obituary Page.

Mary Lou Webster, 66, of Odessa.
LaRae J. Barney, 81, formerly of Beaver Dams.
David B. Comfort, Jr., 52, of Watkins Glen.
Nona Schimizzi, 77, of Burdett.
Bonnie White, 67, of Montour Falls.
Elizabeth Jean Koch, 90, of Enfield.
Thomas E. Peoples, Sr., 69, of Montour Falls.
Steven A. Kelley, 73, formerly of Montour Falls.
Marie C. Bennett, 93, of Watkins Glen.
Marie F. Bubb, 98, of Hector.

(For earlier Vedder & Scott obituaries, click here.)

The annual Seneca Santa fundraiser had a festive atmosphere, full of music, conversation (maybe even with a State Senator) and colorful headwear.


Food, drink, music aid Seneca Santa funding

The annual Seneca Santa fundraiser at the Grist Iron Brewing Co. outside Burdett Saturday raised money for the long-established program that provides Christmas gifts for disavantaged kids 2 to 12 in Schuyler County. Live music, cash donations, and silent and live raffles added to the effort, held for years at Hazlitt's 1852 winery, which still co-sponosrs the event.

Photo above: Brett Beardslee of the group Portajohn Blackout was among Saturday's musical enertainment.

  2 set Watkins Glen school track records

Watkins Glen High School students Isobel Scheffey (pictured) and Allison Gibson set new school records Saturday in the 300 Meter Run and 55 Meter Dash, respectively, at the Ithaca College Bomber High School Invitational. Sports.

Photo: WGHS senior Isobel Scheffey (File photo)

WGHS students line a hallway of the First Presbyterian Church in Watkins Glen, moving -- assembly-line style -- packages toward a storage room on the second floor. The packages, for Seneca Santa, were delivered by Hesselson's.

  Students help Seneca Santa offload packages

Forty students from Watkins Glen High School ventured to the First Presbyterian Church at Decatur and Sixth Streets in the village Dec. 7 after school to help offload a truck from Hesselson's store in Elmira Heights that delivered toys and games at cost for the Seneca Santa program. Seneca Santa delivers presents each year to youngsters aged 2-12 from families in need in Schuyler County. The most recent numbers are 282 children from 122 families. The presents are stored, organized and prepared for delivery at the Presbyterian Church. Seneca Santa was formed in the 1940s, started by fire men and women and postal employees who saw the need in the county.

Photo in text: WGHS seniors Makenna Fraboni, left, and Clara Chedzoy were among the student helpers.

Left: The Hesselson's truck is offloaded. Right: Student volunteer Kelsey Kernan carries a box from truck to church.


Rotary honors Dunham as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Jackson Dunham (left) was honored Dec. 7 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for December. Teacher Kelsey Wood described Dunham -- a standout lacrosse player -- as "mature" and "a dedicated, hard working student." He has recently completed his Eagle Scout project -- a flagpole in Burdett -- and said he plans to attend college (first choice: the University of Maryland) to pursue a business degree in marketing or management, and "I'll see where that takes me."


The latest column from the Valicenti firm

The Elmira firm offers a look at one of its newsletter features -- a monthly column titled 'Bull and Bear Bulletin' -- along with a list of its services. Valicenti.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.


O-M inducts 10 into National Honor Society

The National Honor Society chapter at Odessa-Montour High School has 10 new members -- eight sophomores and two juniors -- following an induction ceremony at the school Wednesday night, Dec. 6. Schools.

Photo: Inductee Tori Reese, an Odessa-Montour junior. (Photo provided)

From left: Diver Maria Brubaker and swimmers Allie Gibson and Amanda Wilbur were honored with their Section IV, Class C championship teammates at the School Board meeting.


Section IV titleists, State competitors honored

The Watkins Glen girls varsity swim team and boys varsity cross country team, both Section IV champions this past fall (the cross country team also finished second at States), were honored with certificates during the Dec. 4 Watkins Glen School Board meeting -- at a ceremony in the school library. Honored too was another States competitor, cross country runner Kai Sutterby (right), who has made a habit of qualifying annually for the tournament.

Swim team honorees: Madeline Williams, Sarah Swinnerton, Jena Slater, Faye Mooney, Jillian Kilcoyne, Allie Gibson, Gabi Decker, Liza Carnes, Maria Brubaker, Amanda Wilbur, Annika Wickham, Maddie Suddaby, Madeline Parker, Madeleine Kilcoyne, Elizabeth Kilcoyne, Isabella Fazzary, Kathleen Clifford, Peighton Cervoni, Jill Cantieni and Lexi Castellaneta.

Cross Country honorees: Steven Gublo, Clint Craven, Conlin Wysocki, Ben Swinnerton, Tanner Ryan, Sam Thorsland, Max Evans, Sean Holland, Aaron Planty, Gabe Planty and Kai Sutterby (pictured above).

For a summary of the School Board meeting, click here.
Kelahan offers data food for thought. Schools.

The Cargill check presentation. (Photo provided)


Cargill donates $7,500 to SWCD for project

Cargill, Inc. has awarded the Schuyler and Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation Districts $7,500 to assist with a unique, state-of-the-art education project that will be utilized throughout the two-county area. Cargill.


Now available on Kindle: The Maiden of Mackinac

This story -- which spans 700 years and ranges from our region to Northern Michigan -- tells of a quest for the truth behind a legend ... the legend of a Native American maiden reputed to be centuries old. It was written by Charlie Haeffner, and is available now on Kindle at To see the ad, click here.

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner

Editor's Note

Debbie Stayer Kelly of Burdett -- a lifelong Schuyler resident, a single parent of two sons and a highly praised Cornell employee -- has Stage 4 cancer as well as a rare genetic mutation called Lynch Syndrome. She says she just found out she will likely have to seek care in New York City, creating an even bigger financial burden.

Her Cornell colleagues have created a GoFundMe page for her that you can find right here. I hope we all can help out.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.


This week's deals at Famous Brands

We are carrying the weekly ad showcasing the latest deals available at Jim Guild's Famous Brands store on Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. For a look, click here.

To reach the Famous Brands website, click here
or on the drawing above

115 East Fourth Street, PO Box 30, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.
To visit the Erie and Niagara website, click here.


Watkins Glen's 1st quarter Honor Rolls

Watkins Glen High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll, Honor Roll and Merit Roll for the first marking period of the 2017-18 school year. Honors.


Village Christmas float winners announced

The Watkins Glen Village Christmas Committee has announced winners of the Visions of Santa's Workshop parade held during the festival on Dec. 1. The winners included:

--Most Christmas Spirit: Watkins Glen Post Office;
--Best Decorated: Elmira Savings Bank;
--Best Decorated Fire Truck: Beaver Dams Fire Department;
--Judges' Choice: Montour Falls Fire Department.

"This year's parade was a huge success, with our increased number of participants," said Susanne Vedder, committee chair, "and we would like even more next year, when the theme will be Visions of Dr. Seuss."

Photo: Santa and Mrs. Claus in Village Christmas parade.

Frank Steber signs a book for Bonnie Schweizer while Mike Steber, one of Frank's sons, watches.

  Museum open house features Steber signings

The Schuyler County Historical Society held its annual holiday open house Sunday, Dec. 3 at its Brick Tavern Museum in Montour Falls, with its featured attraction a visit by local author Frank Steber. A retired (in 1984) Watkins Glen High School English teacher, Steber, now 96, was selling and signing his three historical novels, Seneca Sunrise, Seneca Dawn and Seneca Hope. He said he is contemplating a fourth, called Seneca Steam, about the steamboat trade on Seneca Lake in the 19th century. There was a steady stream of well-wishers and buyers Sunday, with Steber's first novel, Seneca Sunrise, nearly sold out.

Photo: Frank Steber signing one of his books.


Sunday, Dec. 3 was a calm, reflective day along the canal between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. The photo above was snapped from the Catharine Valley Trail. (Liz Fraboni photo).

  It was a bright, sunny day in Schuyler County

Sunday, Dec. 3rd was a day made for hiking along the Catharine Valley Trail south of Watkins Glen. lt was sunny and bright, with a hint of warmth in the air, fighting off a light chill wafting down from the north. The photo at right and the one above were snapped on such a hike by Watkins Glen photographer Liz Fraboni.

Casey Max belts out a tune at the Dec. 2 concert.

  Casey Max & the Dixie Kats perform at The W

Casey Max and the Dixie Kats played Dixieland and Christmas music Saturday night, Dec. 2 before an appreciative concert audience in The W -- the auditorium of the former Watkins Glen Middle School. Famous Bands -- a trio of rock musicians featuring brothers Joe and Charlie Silhan and Watkins businessman Jim Guild -- presented several songs as a warmup for the Dixie Cats. The concert was presented by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club.

Photo: From left, Charlie Silhan, Jim Guild and Joe Silhan perform as group called Famous Bands.

  Some scenic photos from Watkins' Liz Fraboni

Watkins Glen resident and photographer Liz Fraboni -- who in past years has contributed hundreds of photos to this website -- returns with some more, this time of Schuyler County and of Maine, where she recently vacationed. Photos.

Seasonal and other crafts were available at the Street of Shops.

  Church hosts annual Street of Shops sale

The Watkins Glen Presbyterian Church held its annual Street of Shops gathering Saturday, Dec. 2 in the church fellowship hall, offering crafts of various kinds for sale, raffle items from area businesses, baked goods and a lunch featuring soup, sandwich, beverage and dessert.

Photo: Baked goods and jams were available at the sale.

The Montour Falls Fire Department featured an antique engine on a float in the Watkins Glen Village Christmas parade.

  Watkins Village Christmas draws a crowd

The 25th annual Watkins Glen Village Christmas held Friday, Dec. 1, featured a large crowd, food vendors, music, craft vendors, fireworks, and a parade sponsored by Visions Federal Credit Union and featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus (right). Features.

2 sentenced in Beaver Dams meth case

Two men convicted in connection with a Beaver Dams methamphetamine ring that operated in three counties were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Rochester. People.

  Committee extends DRI proposal deadline

The deadline for submitting applications seeking funding under the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to Watkins Glen by New York State has been extended to Dec. 8. The decision came at a meeting of the Local Planning Committee considering project proposals. Government.

Photo: Committee member Ken Wilson in front of a chart listing some of the 30 project proposals received so far.


Some Thanksgiving kudos ...

The editor weighs in on the holiday, and on achievements by several folks, both here and originally from here. Column.


Anyone caring to advertise may contact the publisher, Charlie Haeffner, at for information and rates.


Visit Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Three locations: in Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Montour Falls

Click here or on the photo at left to go to the Jerlando's website. There you will find information about all three locations, plus menus.

Left: The front of the recently renovated Jerlando's at Franklin and 4th Streets, Watkins Glen

To reach the Harbor Hotel website, click on the photo below

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

16 N. Franklin St.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1221
(607) 535-6116

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.


Holiday focus turns to Small Businesses

The Small Business Saturday in Schuyler County on Nov. 25 saw a number of holiday-related events, including special sales, wagon rides, face painting, and Santa Claus. Business.

Photo: Remi Frasier, 3, gets a hug from Santa at the 401 Espresso shop in Montour Falls.


Campbell: I won't challenge election result

Joseph Campbell (right), Democratic challenger for the District 2 seat on the Schuyler County Legislature won by incumbent Republican Van Harp by a single vote, 313-312, says he will not challenge the result, although "there was one ballot that could conceivably have been argued in court." His concesson letter appears on the Forum Page.

  Chief to Board: No gas detected at ceremony

Watkins Glen Fire Chief Charlie Smith told the Watkins Glen Village Board Nov. 20 that detectors showed no gas during or after the Veterans Day ceremony at the fire department where three people collapsed. Government.

Dogs and children accompanied runners and walkers along the route. Here are some participants crossing Franklin Street.


Annual Turkey Trot held in Watkins Glen

About 125 people -- and a dozen dogs -- took part Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, in the 4th annual Turkey Trot Run/Walk in Watkins Glen. The route ran from 4th and Franklin Streets out to Clute Park, back to Lafayette Park, south on Decatur Street to Fairgrounds Lane, over to Franklin and back to Landon's Pizza and Pub, where everyone had gathered to stay warm before the event. The registration fee: non-perishable food donated for the local food pantry. The sponsor: Exercise Enterprise. Coffee, donuts and prizes were donated by local businesses.

Photo: A crossover at Clute Park; donated food.

  Harp certified as winner in District 2 by 1 vote

Incumbent Republican Legislator Van Harp was certified Nov. 20 by the Schuyler County Board of Elections as the winner of the District 2 race for the Schuyler County Legislature. The margin over Democratic challenger Joseph Campbell was one vote, 313-312. Election Commissioner Joseph Fazzary said that the outcome, while official, could conceivably be challenged through a court-ordered recount. But he doubted one could be obtained, since Campbell sat in on the vote count and the counting of absentee and affidavit ballots without raising an objection to the process. (Addendum the next day: Campbell concedes in letter on the Forum Page.)

Photos in text: Van Harp (left) and Joseph Campbell.

Superintendent Greg Kelahan and School Board President Gloria Brubaker at the Nov. 20 meeting.

  Kelahan cautions: reduced revenue ahead

Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan told the School Board Nov. 20 that "the financial picture is not terribly reassuring" as the federal government moves toward a tax reform package that could negatively affect education financing in New York State. That, with other local tax issues, "indicates less revenue than anticipated ... a bitter pill to swallow" as the board moves into its budget considerations. For a summary of the board's meeting, click here.


Kennedy gets 235 months in meth-ring case

Scott Kennedy, 40, of Beaver Dams, who was convicted of federal drug charges in connection with a methamphetamine ring operating across Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben Counties, was sentenced in federal court Monday to 235 months in prison. People.


The 11th installment of The Answers

Travis Durfee, President of the Watkins Glen Faculty Association, weighs in with The Answers, a monthly column dealing with education in the Watkins Glen School District. This is the 11th installment: "Thanksgiving from the WGFA to our School-Related Professionals." Column.


Left: Travis Durfee


Lexi places 10th at NY Diving Championships

Watkins Glen High School senior Lexi Castellaneta finished in 10th place on Nov. 17 at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Diving Championships at Ithaca College. Castellaneta completed her 11 dives with 459.40 points, just 5.70 points from 7th place. She earned a spot on the podium, along with medals. Sports.

Photo: Lexi with her medals.


Bazaars offer crafts, food, holiday cheer

Holiday Bazaars were held Nov. 18 at the Odessa-Catharine United Methodist Church, St. Mary's of the Lake Parish Center and St. James' Episcopal Church's Friendship Hall -- marking the start of the holiday season in Schuyler County. People.

Photo: Santa was available for photos in Odessa.


Rotary honors Kleist as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Erin Kleist (right) was honored Nov. 16 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for November. Kleist was introduced by O-M counselor Holly McNelis, who described the honoree -- president of the school's National Honor Society and a member of the Interact Club and Student Council -- as "determined to succeed" and "tireless." Among Erin's outside interests: a job at Burger King in Watkins Glen, where she was recently promoted to Team Leader, a management position. She plans to attend college to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Erin, said McNelis, "is a true treasure within the Odessa-Montour family."


Lt. Governor tours Chicone cabinet firm

Kathy Hochul visits Chicone Cabinetmakers' workshop in Montour Falls and views the firm's expansion site, which is being partially funded by a state grant. Business.

Left: New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul during her visit.


Legislature OKs budget with no levy increase

Schuyler County's Legislature on Nov. 13 approved a 2018 county budget following a public hearing at the Human Services Complex. The $49.4 million spending plan calls for a reduced tax rate -- from $7.75 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2017 to $7.46 in 2018 -- and for a tax levy identical to that in 2017: $11,058,944. All members present voted for it; Legislator Jim Howell was absent. The vote followed a 40-minute presentation by County Administrator Tim O'Hearn (pictured) regarding the budget.


Lions honor vets from Vietnam Era at dinner

Vietnam Era veterans were feted Nov. 13 by the Watkins-Montour Lions Club at the second annual such dinner at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Features.


Photo at left: Children from Watkins Glen Elementary School played a musical role in the ceremony.


Watkins boys finish 2nd at XC State Meet

The Watkins Glen boys varsity cross-country team finished second Nov. 11 behind Mount Academy in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C State Championship held at Wayne Central School east of Rochester. Mount Academy won with 50 points, while the Senecas -- the state champion last year -- totaled 67 points. Aaron Planty led Watkins Glen, placing 11th. Sports.


Vets honored; event jarred as 3 collapse

Veterans were the focus of speeches at a Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11 at the Watkins Glen Fire Department, but the event was interrupted when three people there -- two youngsters and a senior citizen -- collapsed and were taken by ambulances to the hospital. People.

Photo above: American Leigon Post 676 Commander Rick Lewis was among the speakers at the Veterans Day ceremony.


Fire destroys home outside village of Burdett

A fire starting at about 4:30 p.m. Nov. 11 destroyed a log-style home on Carpenter Road near the village of Burdett. A black plume could be seen in the distance rising from the structure, which was a total loss. The cause was still under investigation, although one early report attributed the fire to a woodstove. Nobody was home at the time.

The Hepcats are shown performing Saturday night at the Watkins Glen Community Center. An auxiliary generator was on hand for the band's use if the power outage had continued, but the rest of the Community Center would have been lit by candles.


Power outage strikes Glen for over 2 hours

The power was out in Watkins Glen from about 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Nov. 11, adding some stress to a couple of scheduled events: the Hepcats dance at the Watkins Glen Community Center at 7 p.m., and the second night of the Lake Country Players' performance of "Sister Act" at the Watkins Glen High School at 7:30. But power was restored in time for both -- although the turnout at the dance was only about half of what it was last year, according to organizer John King.

Sara Caldwell, left, played Deloris Van Cartier and Lisa McKnight portrayed Mother Superior in "Sister Act."

  'Sister Act' ends its 3-day run at Watkins High

The Lake Country Players' "Sister Act, The Musical"-- which opened Friday night, Nov. 10 -- was presented again Saturday night, Nov. 11 in the Watkins Glen High School Auditorium, and concluded with a third performance Sunday afternoon, Nov. 12. Sara Caldwell portrayed showgirl Deloris Van Cartier, who becomes a protected witness in a convent after seeing a murder, and while there develops the convent choir into a dynamic singing group. Joel Wilbur was the play's director, with choreography by Heather Evans.

Photo in text: Steve Hovis & Stephen Cole in an early scene.

Among the event's record 290 diners were Phil and Judy Cherry.

  November Splendor raises funds for hospital

The annual November Splendor dinner Nov. 10 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel drew an event record 290 diners who spent thousands of dollars on silent and live auction items. Funds raised were for Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. The event was presented by the Schuyler Health Foundation and the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary. Among the silent auction items were trips to San Francisco Wine Country, Alaska, Costa Rica, France, Greek islands, Spain, Tuscany and Ireland.

Photo in text: Josh and Lisa Navone were among the diners.

L to R: Michelle & Tim Benjamin; Wayne & and Heidi Pike.

Left: Matt Hayden served as auctioneer. Right: A one-of-a-kind handcrafted table by Matthew Taylor sold at auction for $500.


BOE gives blessing for scoreboard fund-drive

The Odessa-Montour Board of Education on Nov. 9 gave its approval for a fund drive planned by district resident Jeff Confer (pictured at right at the meeting) to finance the purchase and installation of a $5,000 scoreboard for the school's baseball field. Confer said the recent resurgence of baseball at O-M (which has teamed with Watkins Glen to create the Seneca Indians) merits such a step. Funds will be channeled through the O-M Sports Boosters, who will use the donations to pay for the board when enough money has been collected. Any excess will be applied to the purchase of team equipment.


Our Schuyler Fall MVP, and All-Star teams

Watkins Glen High School soccer standout Hannah Morse is The Odessa File's Schuyler Fall MVP after a remarkable season that saw her team, despite an 0-7 start, reach the postseason Section IV tournament and earn a win in the opening round there. We also unveil our All-Schuyler All-Star teams. Sports.

Right: Hannah Morse

  Rotary honors Hayes as WG Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Meghan Hayes (pictured at right) was honored Nov. 9 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for November. Hayes was introduced by teacher and coach Chris Clark, who described the honoree as "an extremely organized person" who ranks third in her class academically. She has been a member of the school's varsity golf team since 7th grade, a member of the varsity soccer team since 10th grade, and is a member of National Honor Society, the Rotary Interact Club, Music Club, the Yearbook, and Youth Court. She is also involved in her church youth group and officiates CVSA Soccer. She plans to attend college and undertake Physician Assistant studies.

Mariah Gonzalez signs a Letter of Intent and a Financial Aid Agreement providing a full scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. Her mother Michelle Simiele is at right.

  Gonzalez signs Letter of Intent to play at UNH

Mariah Gonzalez, a member of the 2016-17 New York State Class C champion basketball team from Watkins Glen High School -- and now, in her senior year, a student-athlete at Elmira High School -- signed a National Letter of Intent Nov. 8 to attend and play basketball at the Division 1 University of New Hampshire. Gonzalez will receive a full scholarship to play for the Wildcats. She thanked the coaches in her life, her family, and in particular her mother -- seated next to her at the ceremony -- who she called "my biggest critic and my Number One fan." The estimated 70 people on hand for the ceremony at the Seneca Harbor Station Restaurant in Watkins Glen were then treated to a free buffet meal.

Photos: Three of Mariah's teammates (from left: Hannah Morse, Emmie Bond and Taylor Kelly) from the WGHS state championship basketball team were among those on hand for the ceremony; at right, the celebratory cake.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Want to e-mail this website? Just click below.

Check out our Wine and Tourism page

We've updated our Wine and Tourism Page, with links to recent Chamber of Commerce blogs. Check it out here.

Want to contact us?

You can write to: P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869

You can call: (607) 594-3594

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

Area historical photos can be found on History.

For full coverage of the 2013 Alice Trappler murder trial, you can click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.







Click here or on the ad above to reach the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development website


To reach the Seneca Physical Therapy website, click on the ad above.


The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Wine & Tourism Page. To reach the page, click here. To reach the Chamber's Small Business Saturday website, click on the ad above. To reach the Chamber's recent blog, click here.


Would you like to help reduce underage alcohol use and drugs in Schuyler County? Then the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs is for you! We are looking for parents, students, concerned community members and professionals to join our cause in making Schuyler County a drug- free, safe environment for families and youth. We need you to help make this social change. Please visit our website here to find out how.

Still available: Tony Vickio's book, titled "Shifting Gears." You can order it on his website here.


Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

229 S. Catherine St., Montour Falls
(607) 210-6600

We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Read The Stoneware of Havana, N.Y. and Its Makers
by Allen F. Sweet.

A history of the manufacturing of Stoneware in that village (Montour Falls) from 1850-1888. More than 100 color photos.

Available at O'Shaughnessy Antiques in Watkins Glen and at the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum.


My Wild Ride: The Untamed Life of a Girl with No Self-esteem, an autobiography by ex-Throughbred trainer Susan Bump -- who grew up in Montour Falls -- is now available in e-book formats at major retailers including


Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler County Transit schedule.


The Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund
Live Like Liz, Inc.
P.O. Box 434
Watkins Glen NY 14891


Contact us about our ad rates




A novel by Steve Piacente about a military cover-up, and about the ethical boundaries of journalism. For a closer look, click here.


The author, J.N. Brown, is a 2005 graduate of Odessa-Montour High School. He works at Corning Inc. To visit his website, click here.


An account of a daughter's eating disorder and her mother's seeming helplessness and desperation in the face of it -- and yet a story of hope, love and survival, and a lifeline to other parents dealing with obsessive behavior. $17.95 from


A self-help guide to understanding the role of emotions, this book offers a four-step path to emotional mastery and freedom. $15.95 from


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Yes, we're still seeking donations

Click here

Sponsors' Page

Check out our list of readers who have contributed to keeping this site going. Sponsors.

The number of visits to this site has been steadily growing -- about 20,000 a week -- as readers in all 50 states and dozens of countries check out what's happening in Schuyler County.

Statistics are from an online tracking service, DeepMetrix Live Stats.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

The week following Susan Haeffner's passing was fraught with signs -- most of them light-based, and one in the form of a vision. Here the editor relives those days in an effort to pass along a message of hope and faith. Message.

Above: The Aurora Borealis (From the Internet--as seen in Scandinavia)


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

The editor has been thinking about fame (a commodity foreign to him personally), and about the famous people he has encountered. Some thoughts on the subject. Famous.


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

Some things in life can mean a great deal -- can embody hope and dreams ... and memories. The sailboat is one such thing for the author. Silence.



Some sports stories and essays inside

Check out our sports related stories and essays, located at the bottom of the Sports Page.


Some special feature packages

From stories of life years ago along Steam Mill Road, to stories by the editor -- you can find them at the bottom of Features.



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

When he was a child, the editor let fear get the better of him while he was watching a pair of beloved TV heroes in peril. The scar from that experience lingered for decades. For a journey through what the editor's son calls "a weird obsession," click here.

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

The editor travels, figuratively, back in time to an old haunt, familiar faces and warm memories. Cabin.




© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594