The Myers Mill Dam on the Butternut Creek Printed 1949
Things Ain't the Same Since
Poverty Hollow Dam Went Out
In Poverty Hollow along Butternut Creek, above the pleasant community know variously as New Lisbon, Noblesville and Puckerville, things aren't the same since the old dam went out.
Things are both better and worse, according to Postmaster Chester A. Miller, a native of Stetsonville who owns land in what was once a closely knit folksy community around the dam and lake.
Mr. Miller, speaking on Oneonta area folklore, told about it yesterday during the five-minute historical period at Kiwanis Club luncheon in the Windsor Hotel.
The Myers Mill dam was built, probably late in the 70's, Andrew Myers operating a grist mill, his brother George running a sawmill on the opposite bank of the creek. The two mills and the lake, where fishing was excellent, became sort of a community center, but the eroding force of elements undermined the dam and drained the lake.
The lake once backed up perhaps three-fourths of a mile to encircle land that was a race track. Mr. Miller said he had seen as many as 40 men fishing at once and had seen “bushels of fish” taken from the lake.
When the two mills ceased to operate, ---that was years ago, ---they lost much of their charming appeal to folks thereabouts, although they continued to be revered as landmarks. People started moving away and at least a dozen residents of Poverty Hollow moved to Oneonta.
The brighter side is provided by a newcomer, John Durant, a writer well known for his Saturday Evening Post stories. Mr. and Mrs. Durant realized the artistic possibilities of Myers Mill, bought the place and now lives there.
They made over the house, which faces the dam, put up pretty rustic fences along the road, did an artistic job of painting the grist mill, and reconditioned the mill as Mr. Durant's study.
As for the three names of the nearby community, Mr. Miller said Noblesville, taken after a family named Noble, is still preferred in “polite circles.” The postoffice and maps call it New Lisbon but he and “a lot of other little fellows like myself” still call it Puckersville. He said he never learned the origins of Puckerville, but was scolded by his father for calling it that.