By Trustee William B. Morton
The Village of Middleburgh has announced that it is establishing a waterfront park across the Schoharie Creek from the Village at the intersection of NYS Routes 145 and 30. The park will be designated as the Timothy Murphy Park. Route 30 from Esperance to the Delaware County line has been designated by the NYS Senate as the Timothy Murphy Trail. Later this year, the park will have a 20’ x 40’ pavilion which will be funded through fundraising activities being conducted by the Middleburgh Rotary in partnership with the Knights of Columbus. The new pavilion will replace the pavilion that was lost during the 2011 flood. The new pavilion will be higher in elevation than the earlier pavilion and will feature picnic tables and charcoal grills.
The park also will include a 5’ high x 2.5’ wide x 8 inch deep polished black granite monument with a bust of Timothy Murphy etched onto the stone. Timothy Murphy’s name will appear below the bust along with his date of birth and death. Underneath the dates will be the following inscriptions in descending order: “patriot, soldier, and farmer."
A portrait of Timothy Murphy will be used to create the bust. The portrait was recently completed by Jonathan Stasko, a local artist who specializes in historic renderings. As no portrait of Timothy Murphy existed, Mr. Stasko had to research the literature describing Murphy. Among other things, his rendering was influenced by a portrait of Peter Murphy who, according to the literature, bore a striking resemblance to Timothy, his father. Stasko’s work provides the most accurate rendering of Timothy Murphy to date. Mr. Stasko donated his time and expertise to the monument project.
A fundraising initiative is underway to fund the monument project. The goal of the project is to raise $6,000. The stone with etchings will cost $2,400. Installation costs will be upwards of $1,000. The balance, $2,600 will be used to construct a kiosk near the monument describing Timothy Murphy, his life in Schoharie Valley and his achievements as a Revolutionary War hero. The balance of the funds will be used for landscaping. The Landscape Architecture Department at SUNY Cobleskill is participating in the landscape design. To date, $2,800 has been raised according to Bill Morton, Village Trustee and Commissioner of Parks for the village.
According to Morton, there are four categories of tax deductible giving: The categories include “Patriot” $1,000 and over; “Soldier” $500 to $999; “Farmer” $100 to $499 and “Pioneer” $99 or less. Of the $2,800 raised to date, Morton says that donations have been received in all but the pioneer category. The names of individuals and organizations donating to the monument project will be placed permanently in the kiosk.
Another form of giving will be to purchase brick pavers. Individuals and organizations can have their names engraved on the pavers which will surround the monument. Both 4” x 8” and 8” x 8” granite and “fired” clay pavers will be available at a modest cost. Individuals and organizations making a donation in any of the top three categories of tax deductible giving can have an engraved paver at no expense. For further information, contact Bill Morton at 827-4343.