Faces of Dryden: UT Austin documentary producer to discuss latest project


Eating establishments often have a non-culinary claim to fame. On seeking out Ithaca’s best cheesecake back in my college days, the place to go was Rulloff’s in Collegetown. Venturing over with cash strapped, dessert sharing buddies, we discovered a local history treasure trove in addition to that illustrious ‘best cheesecake.’ With menu items like “Executioner’s Pie,” “First Degree Burger,” and “Silence of the Lambs,” Rulloffs had a story to tell and that story is still being told today.

Boasting several claims to fame, including being a brilliant philologist (someone who studies literary texts and written records) and being the subject of the last public hanging in New York, John Rulloff was also a lifelong criminal, according to murderpedia.org. Rulloff purportedly killed his wife, Harriet Schutt and their infant daughter in 1844. As Schutt’s relatives still live in Dryden, Kate Winkler Dawson, Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, came to town to interview them for an upcoming documentary. Prof. Dawson is a seasoned documentary producer and narrative true crime author, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, WCBS News, ABC News Radio, Fox News Channel, United Press International, PBS NewsHour, and Nightline.

Dawson will present her work at a meeting of the Dryden Town Historical Society at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the Dryden Village Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Mary Hornbuckle says, “This promises to be a well-attended program, so come early and enjoy refreshments before the lecture. There is ample parking, elevator access, and the event is free and open. For more information, contact Mary at 898-3461.

The Addams Family at Dryden High School
The Dryden High School Drama Club has been hard at work for weeks singing, dancing, and building an out-of-the ordinary world for you to experience the iconic Addams Family with a whole new story, according to senior Alyssa Salerno. The Addams family has been known to TV viewers for years, but the next generation provides unthinkable plot twists that could alter the family image. Salerno is one of five seniors in the cast, which includes a flush of 15 freshmen joining in. Despite the obstacle of seven snow days interfering with the rehearsal schedules, she’s excited to present her last show along with fellow seniors Logan Bobnick, Dalton Cornell, Ellie Freeman and Macy Short. Come watch the commotion at one of three performances: 7 p.m. on Friday March 8; 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. Tickets are available at the door for $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Village Residents, Cast Your Vote
In New York State, elections for Village officials do not happen at the same time as other governing bodies. Instead of a crisp fall day in November, village residents tango between the lion and the lamb of March weather to cast their ballots. This year, polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.
Dryden Mayor Mike Murphy summed up the duties of Village Election Day, “Residents will determine who is going to represent them and how things will get done for the village for the next two years.” He quickly added, “Anyone can do it if they want to. They just have to do the work to check out the issues, check out possible solutions, and work with different people and government agencies to get the job done.”

A strong slate of candidates will be on the ballot for Dryden, including Tim Arnold and Mike Murphy for the two-year term as Mayor. For the two two-year terms as Village Trustee, Clay Converse, Jason Dickinson, Christine Nash, and Fred Stock are all hoping for your vote.

For a sense of what voters have to look forward to, Mike took some time to explain some of the projects the board is currently working on. Lights in the Village Hall and Department of Public Works buildings were recently converted to LED bulbs for their energy efficiency and cost savings. The board is now considering options for converting street lights as well. The board is also considering installing an electrical vehicle (EV) charging station at the Village Hall. “Electrical vehicles are the thing of the future. The time to get in on grant money is now when we can get a charging station basically for free. It will be a convenience for people to charge their cars when they are in the village.”
The board is still working on a solar law that has been under review for a while now. Mike says of the law, “The new board will be involved in passing that, presuming they think it’s a good idea. The goal is to promote responsible use of solar energy, to let people know what they need know to [have solar] successfully in the Village while also protecting our neighbors.” They are also finalizing the Dryden Lake Well water project, resolving final issues with the contractor to bring that project from 98 percent complete to 100 percent.
Whether it’s sidewalks, housing rehabilitation grants, updating crosswalks, or flood mitigation, the board is actively working to improve the Village. Be sure to cast your vote to see that the good work continues.

While the polling place will be open, residents of the Village of Freeville can be fairly certain of the outcome of their uncontested election for two seats on the Village Board. Both Lotte Carpenter and Jason Cuykendall have offered to serve the Village for the next two-year term.

The Chicks are Here
In a unique collaboration between the Dryden Town Historical Society, Dryden Agway, and Tompkins County 4-H, more young people will be learning about the joys of raising chickens. Calea Klemperer of Trumansburg is the winner of six buckeye chicks, a trough feeder, water jug and fifty pounds of feed donated by Dryden Agway. Dryden Historical Society will provide resources and help Calea build connections to the history of the Buckeye breed, and Tompkins County 4-H will provide resources and support in raising and preparing the birds for exhibition.

In her application, Calea explained that she learned about the heritage Buckeye breed while doing research for a Girl Scout project. She also wanted to learn more about showing chickens, which made this program perfect for her. One of the responsibilities of the winner is to show the birds at the 4-H Youth Fair in July and at Historical Society’s Heritage Days in the fall. As membership in a 4-H poultry club is also an expectation, Calea will be well prepared to take on these challenges.

Gina Prentiss, President of DTHS, said she’s “thrilled to see the knowledge of this heritage breed, and the unique, supportive Dryden community spreading beyond our borders.“


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