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County History

Boy Scouts to Leave Cohocton Today On Trek to Elm Valley

Wellsville and Scio Men Helped Get Boys Off For Covered Wagon Trip to Elm Valley

            “Elm Valley Or Bust” is the slogan of Allegany County Boy Scouts who left today for Cohocton where they will start their trek back to Elm Valley and the scene of Nathaniel Dike’s first settlement in this county 150 years ago.

            The Scouts were kept on the jump all this week with last minute preparations and were scheduled to leave Cohocton School grounds at 10 o’clock this morning.

02 Ready to leave

            One of their most difficult problems had been location of a wagon which could be converted into a covered wagon replica of Dike’s equipment.  This was solved when Chiavetta & Hawkins loaned them a new one.  This was taken to the Harder & Mitchell warehouse where it was covered under the expert supervision of Merle Fanton.

            Then came the question of what to use for horsepower.  Right at this season of the year horses are scare but Manley Graves of Scio loaned the Scouts a beautiful pair of pure bred Belgians.  He is also providing a pack pony.   Olin Stoneham will be the driver and has been dubbed the wagon boss.

            Ray Dare, general chairman, has had to slash his way through the red tape of permits, insurance, wartime food problems and many other details in connection with the trip.

            “If Dike had the same headaches in getting ready for his trip from Cohocton to Elm Valle, Allegany county would never have been settled and would still belong to the Indians.”

03 Formal instructions

            After checking in, organizing into patrols and lunch, there was an appropriate send off program under the direction of Peter Shoemaker, Steuben Council Scout Commissioner and citizen of Cohocton.  At about 2:00 P. M. the Dike Scouts took to the highway.  Some distance ahead of the procession were two Scouts carrying a sign:  “Slow! Scouts On Highway for ¼ Mile.”  Then came a Scout leading pack pony, covered wagon, which will be followed by Scouts hiking single file in their patrols.  Some distance to the rear were two Scouts carrying another warning sign to vehicular traffic.  The covered wagon displays on each side a 12 by 3 foot sign explaining to people along the way what the expedition is all about.  The signs were generously donated by Stephen Sobeck, well known Wellsville sign painter.

            Tonight’s camp will be on the old ball park at Loon Lake, with swimming, roller skating and a campfire on the program.

            Tomorrow the Dike Scouts will trek to Miller’s Grove, just north of Hornell.  Steuben County Sheriff Benjamin H. Balcolm, will detail an escort of uniformed deputies to protect the Scouts from the Fourth of July lake traffic on the highway.

            Thursday, the Dike Scouts will be escorted by Hornell Police on a parade through that city.  At Almond they will be met by the local Scouts and parade into the Village and will eat lunch in the park.  After lunch they will ramble on to Alfred where Scoutmaster John McMahon and his ___ scouts have planned a reception and special program for the Dike trekers.

            Friday will the “Elm Valley or Bust.”  It is planned to “bust” into Elm Valley about 3 P. M., where a brief flag raising ceremony will be held at Dike’s grave.

            After the ceremony, the Dike boys will be joined by younger scouts and settle down for the big Camporee which will last until Sunday afternoon.

            Saturday has been proclaimed as Dike Day and the public is invited to join in a special program scheduled to begin at 2:30 P. M.  The program will be announced later.

 

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