In the beginning there was Louise and in 1923, one year later, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Straus acquired the White House on the hill surrounded by sixteen acres of orchards and farm land.
Mr. Straus enjoyed retelling the conversations which led to the acquisition of the Camp Airy site. One noon time he was lunching at Bickford’s in Baltimore with his longtime friend and realtor, Julius Mintz. In a jocular vein, Mr. Mintz asked, “Well Aaron, Aunt Lillie has created a vacation spot for girls. When are you going to do something for boys?” Uncle Aaron Straus’ reply was, “Find a suitable place and I’ll do something for boys.”
It did not take Mr. Mintz very long to locate this property which was vacant after having served as a retreat for members of a Catholic order. Over a few years, Mr. Straus made additional purchases, including the farm downhill, a number of homes adjoining the farm (many of which are still in use today), the right of way for the back road, and some of the adjacent mountain land.
At one time, Mr. Straus owned almost 700 acres, but in the 1930s provided land for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Shangri-La (which became Camp David under President Eisenhower). Camp Airy currently has a total of 440 acres and is named for Aaron Straus, or “Uncle Airy.”
Mrs. Ethel “Mom” Smith, whose family gave loyal service to Airy for many years, was probably the best authority on the transfer of ownership of the camp property. Mrs. Smith lived on the farm as a young girl, was married here, and moved away only to return again with her husband Mack and family.
She clearly recalled Father McCarthy, who was in charge of the retreat center. She remembered his brothers, James and Charles, who occupied homes on the far side of the railroad tracks. These houses have long since been razed. She knew Mr. John Roddy of Emmitsburg who built the “White House.” The entire hillside surrounding the White House was covered with peach, apple and cherry trees.
The “Social Hall” downhill was a dairy barn and the first plank floor placed over the concrete was made from the lumber of silos and equipment barns which were torn down to make room for outdoor volleyball and basketball courts. What is now the Earth Lodge was converted from a pigpen to a shower house.
July 4, 1924 – Opening Day
So, when the first contingent of twelve campers kicked up the dust on the dirt road that led to camp, they were greeted by two counselors — William Pargman, a University of Maryland dental student from New Jersey and Tracey Sonneborn, a student from Johns Hopkins University. “Doc” Pargman interrupted his continuous service to camp only once until his death in 1969. His influence on campers and counselors deserves a volume of its own.
The first dozen campers and two counselors were housed in a red house situated below the site of the former rifle range. The house now has light colored siding and was occupied by Dolly and Paul Alexander. The house across the road was occupied by “Mom” Smith and is now occupied by Tim and Lois Olsen. It was used as a kitchen and dining room with the cook occupying the second floor.
The White House had not yet been converted to camp use. Part of the second floor of the White House had been used by the retreat as a chapel for daily mass. The frosted curved glass still remains in one of the second floor windows, and can be seen from the parking lot.
What the staff and campers lacked in numbers they more than made up in energy as they cleared stones for play fields and hiked the three miles to Owens Creek each afternoon for a cool swim in the town swimming hole. This spot near the second railroad trestle is now a roadside picnic area. Linens were dispensed from the building at the bottom of the hill (the old photo lab) and the first arts and crafts shop was in one of the chicken coops near Tim Olsens’s house. Really!
The campers in the early years ranged in age from 13 to 22, which meant that some of the working age campers who typically came at the end of the season could actually be older than some counselors. The first season in 1924 found 39 different boys taking advantage of the one- and two-week sessions.
Summer and Winter and then the Second Season
The second season, 108 different campers used all the rooms in the White House and the porch for sleeping and living quarters. Heavy tan canvas curtains dropped from the porch ceiling to the floor to keep rain, wind and insects at bay. The staff included Lou Schoolman, Sam Goldberg, Sydney Gelfand, Mack Goldstone and “Doc” Pargman. Mr. Lee, the first Airy cook, and his wife Charlotte, took up residence in what is now Tim Olsen’s house and relieved “Doc” Pargman of his duties as breakfast cook.
The staff concentrated its efforts on the expansion of new activities such as dramatics, hiking and nature study. Since “Doc” had studied forestry at Syracuse University, he led the way in fostering a love for the outdoors and the variety of trees and flowers that were abundant in the area.
Swimming into the Third Season
Mr. Lee, the first cook (not to be confused with J. Jacob Lee who came later), designed the first Airy pool and selected the site. Mr. Lee reasoned that the pool should be located as close to the water source as possible. So he suggested to Mr. Frank Pose the contractor that the pool be built where a stream could feed it as a “run through” pool. In its time, the swimming pool was one of the largest in the country, built of concrete, 65 by 125 feet, and filled with constantly-changing fresh water from the adjacent stream. At the same time, rocks were cleared from pastureland and ball fields came into being.
After planning the program, supervising the campers and taking care of all the details for two seasons, “Doc” Pargman requested that a capable woman be employed to plan the food service and manage the household. Miss Ida Sharogrodsky promptly agreed and volunteered “Aunt” Lena Cohen, who had been assisting her at Louise. So, the red house near the bridge acquired a new family, Lena Cohen and her two children, Ruth and Jerome. The Cohen family washed in the stream and drank water from the nearby spring. Ruth Cohen remained actively involved at Airy until her death.
When the White House was used for campers, the porch served as a bedroom with mattresses on the floor and brown canvas curtains to keep the weather out. The dining room began at the stairway and went to the end of the platform. The telephone booth was then the linen room. Mrs. Cohen and Ruth had a front corner room with the beautiful view over the valley. On days when new campers arrived, they would sit on the porch and watch the campers get off the train at our crossing and carry their luggage to the Social Hall where they lined up to register and received their bunk assignments. “Doc” Pargman lived in one of the second floor rooms of the White House.
When campers arrived by the Western Maryland trains in Thurmont, they were transported by taxi, by Frank Stall’s Lizzie and later by school bus from the railroad station to camp grounds. One or two counselors went to town each day for fresh milk and ice. Mrs. Cohen would don her hat and white gloves and accompany the driver of the second-hand camp truck from farm to farm seeking fresh vegetables. Although some items such as potatoes, corn and tomatoes were raised on the camp farm, these were insufficient to meet the appetites of campers and counselors. It was not uncommon to see food personnel preparing fresh peas, beans, and corn or even ice cream. Frozen foods were still a novelty. Milk delivery was later made by truck in five gallon cans and then in aluminum pitchers.
Mr. Smith and his family also raised chickens and turkeys for the use of both camps. The chickens were processed at Pryon’s, a poultry dealer in Cascade. The kitchen staff, during and after the camp season, prepared jams and jellies for the next season. They were stored in the “cave” behind what is now “Bill’s Place” and in “Mom” Smith’s basement. The campteen was run by Mrs. Rosenberg from a small room on the Stone House porch. Candy, pencils, and toothpaste were sold here.
Plays and Musicals and Socials and Newspapers
Twice each week, plays and musicals were produced — one act plays on Wednesday and musicals or serious dramatic productions on Saturday evening. An orchestra made up of counselors, musicians and waiters gave the musicals a rich quality.
Of course, the girls from Camp Louise were always present at these performances which were followed by a dance to “live” music. The band members doubled as waiters and lived in what later became the Chernak cottage. At that time, there was only a corner sink and showers were in the White House and Stone House.
The Camp truck, a one and one half ton model, was used to haul food and other supplies from Baltimore to Airy and Louise. On Friday and Saturday nights, the truck became a bus by adding some social hall benches. Campers and counselors swayed as the vehicle negotiated the curves between the two camps.
Some former campers and counselors tell us that they still have some of the old camp newspapers. In the 1930s the paper was published every Saturday. Although the name changed, the content remained constant. Except for occasional literary efforts in the area of philosophy or world problems, the short stories centered on camper and counselor activities.
Bunks — Downhill and Uphill
In 1927 there were 10 bunks downhill. By 1928 there were 17 bunks downhill and some of them for the first time had separate counselor cubbies either built in or attached. In those bunks that did not have this private space, the counselor occupied a bed and used an open closet on the “floor” or the bunk. There was only one counselor per bunk. Counselors shared the cleanup duties. Rest periods were really for resting. Each camper was required to be on his bed. If he could not sleep he had to remain quiet for the hour between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Of course, the counselor who had a quiet bunk enjoyed the midday siesta. Campers read or wrote letters. Radios were luxury items except for those who were electronics bugs and made their own crystal sets.
From an early Camp brochure of the late 1920s, we have this apt description: “The Camp reminds one of an early settlement, for it consists of a colony of log shacks. These are extremely well built, equipped with running water and electricity, and screened throughout. Each shack accommodates 12 boys.”
In 1929, the Junior Division was created and several bunks were built up the hill. Since the first 4 bunks were built just off the bank where trees had to be uprooted and rocks bulldozed out of the way, considerable unrest was stirred up among small animals and reptiles that resented the intrusions.
So, copperheads, garter snakes and occasional rattlers reared their heads. Their presence caused “Doc” to take up shooting as a sport. Every once in a while he received a hurry call to bring his trusty weapon and shoot a snake (nowadays, the snakes are allowed to just go on their way, or are assisted on their way). As was true with all his hobbies and skills, Doc persisted until he became highly proficient with anything he undertook, such as magic, athletics, archery, riflery, fishing, photography and swimming. A frequent theatergoer and avid reader he had an intense interest in literature and music. In addition he delighted in solving mathematical problems, sophisticated anagrams and puzzles of various kinds. Doc was introduced to magic by Aaron Straus who was member of the Baltimore Demons Club.
Doc’s interests are still visible today and greatly influenced the character of the program of Airy. Many former campers and counselors readily admit that he inspired and motivated them to develop similar hobbies and interests.
Mrs. Lena Cohen, who began at Camp Louise in 1924, came to Airy in 1925. Through her experience, high standards and love for children, she bought a very important quality to Airy. She desired all campers and counselors to get out of camp what she desired for her own two children. So it was that sparkling linens, warm blankets and fluffy towels found their way to all living quarters.
The best food in liberal quantities was tastily prepared under her supervision. She brought such outstanding cooks as Jimmy Reynolds, Bill Clark, Lewis Jefferson and J. Jacob Lee to Airy. J. Jacob Lee was the camp cook for over thirty years. Mrs. Cohen taught these fine cooks how to cater to the camp tastes. She gave much of herself as a devoted member of the Bill Pargman-Lena Cohen team.
By 1932, there were 23 bunks in all and a total of 250 campers.
As the reputation of the Camps spread, families from Washington, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Roanoke and other surrounding cities found their way to Thurmont and Cascade (Camp Louise). To assist “Doc,” David Lovett took on the Head Counselor responsibilities and Hy Lichenstein managed the business activities. As the camper population grew, so did the staff, prompting the need in 1940 for Sam Woal to prepare the first staff Handbook.
Camp Moves Up the Hill
In the mid-1950s it became apparent that the maintenance on old bunks downhill was becoming too costly, the plumbing was outmoded even for a camp and that some long-range planning was needed. As a result, Bunk Row was created uphill in the early 1960s. Of course, the “old timers” thought that the wooden bunks downhill were best, and indeed, during the transition many campers insisted on being housed in the old bunks rather than the new ones.
Other physical changes and additions came in rapid succession as the Straus Foundation made funds available for various projects. None of the camper fees were used to pay for capital improvements. The wise guidance and enthusiastic support of the Strauses and Board members gave impetus to all projects at both camps. This tradition is being continued under the leadership the current Camp Airy and Camp Louise Foundation Board.
So we saw a new swimming pool built and dedicated to Lillie Straus in 1956. This was a very dramatic addition to the facilities. Soon after, the old kitchen was torn down and replaced by the present facility. A portion of the dining room was remodeled and a new area added to house the Junior Division. An Archery range was added downhill.
The Junior athletic facilities were expanded. The library was moved from the Uphill Social Hall and refurbished (it’s now back in the Uphill Social Hall and re-refurbished), and a tennis court became a part of the scene uphill. Over the years the old Junior bunks were removed and in 1972, this unit of the camp boasted bunks with a new design which earned numerous favorable comments from parents, campers and visitors.
The Junior Division, under Ed Cohen’s direction, with Bill MacLeod’s assistance, was enriched and gave fun and learning to campers and counselors alike. Ed’s lineup spoofs and new features such as Backwards Day, balloon ascensions, and Western Days gave the program sparkle. For many young campers this was their first exposure as participants on the stage. Ed, too, made it possible for us to enter into a cooperative program with Towson State College.
Under Harry Dubick’s guidance in the Senior Camp the athletic program for the older campers expanded into soccer, lacrosse and even some baseball. In 1974, Harry brought the clinic idea into being in both the athletic and non-athletic areas.
The Camp’s Facilities and Program Expand
The year 1975 was a turning point for Camp Airy. The Junior and Intermediate-Senior camps were merged to become one camp under the leadership of Ed Cohen. And later, in 1990, Mike Schneider became the Camp Director.
Four Units of approximately seven bunks each were organized as mini-camps with Unit Leaders in charge. Those four Unit Leaders would soon expand to six with approximately 390 campers in each of the sessions. Units were organized according to camper age groupings. The concept of the clinic for the oldest campers expanded to include new interests as styles, fads, and interests changed.
A constant stream of international counselors (particularly from the United Kingdom and Israel), averaging about 30 a summer, brought new ideas and new cultures to camp life.
Since 1975, a very long list of impressive camp additions – both physical and programmatic, have graced the mountainside. In 1976, there were five new tennis courts downhill. Uphill behind the new athletic field, the shrubs and trees were removed in to give a magnificent view of Piney Mountain across the way.
The Camp Airy Philharmonic Orchestra (CAPO) was begun in 1977. It’s an assemblage of campers and counselors. The campers continue music instruction under the tutelage of the music staff and put it all together in the perennial Musical Happenings that showcase the abundant Airy talent, and in accompanying many other musical productions.
An outdoor amphitheater was opened uphill in 1977, with seating for 750 people, open to the sun and the stars. The theater was later named the Edwin and Phyllis Cohen Theatre for the Performing Arts in honor of Ed and Phyllis’s 21st year at Airy (1989). In 1979, a new pavilion went up behind the dining hall and a technical booth was added to the theater. In 1982, the Myer H. Stolar (later to include Ira N. Tublin) Health Center was dedicated and replaced the second floor White House infirmary, which served the camp for so many years. In 1983, a new wing was added to the dining hall, which was dedicated as the “Lena Joffe Cohen” Dining Hall.
In 1984, an instruction center along with a ladies dressing room, office and first aid room was dedicated as the Ben Lewis Swim Instruction Center. Ben had run the pool and its swim program for many, many years. The pool had been built in 1956 and the instruction center was added in 1978. In 1985, the pantry was remodeled and dedicated to “Mom” Smith and the kitchen was remodeled and dedicated to J. Jacob Lee, who was head of food service for 33 years. The year 1986 saw groundbreaking for the new gym, 1987 saw it brought almost to completion, and in July 1988 the Sidney N. and Helen P. Chernak Gymnasium and Recreation Center was dedicated. Thanks to Everett Olsen and his accomplished crew, it became a reality.
The very popular Camp Airy wrestling program has been a mainstay of the camp program since the early years. During the 1930s Julius “Poachie” Halpern introduced wrestling. Then came Larry Cantor in 1967 and his strong desire to redevelop the program. First, wrestling instruction was in the horseshoe pits which were located behind the Downhill Social Hall, then moved to mattresses in the Downhill Social Hall where tournaments began in 1968. A professional mat was purchased in 1969 with funds allotted from the Pargman Activity Fund. In 1970, the Aaron Fish Wrestling Room (which was across from downhill Arts and Crafts) was dedicated, fully equipped by the Fund with wall padding, headgear and kneepads. In 1989 a new wrestling room was built as part of the new gymnasium, including a college size mat. In 1995, the room was further enlarged and renamed Larry’s Wrestling Emporium. Since 1967, Camp Airy has started the wrestling careers of many campers, and has produced a number of high school and college champions.
During these years, the trainee program for counselors-in-training (CITs) and counselor assistants (CAs) blossomed and continues to provide the camp with future counselors and department staff. Visible evidence of their extra contributions are the pavilion near the theater and the pavilion near the swimming pool, both with freestanding barbeque pits.
In July 1989, the Leaf Lodge for the rest and relaxation of off-duty counselors was dedicated less than one year after the groundbreaking. The Great Room of the Lodge was named the MacLeod Hall in honor of Bill MacLeod’s father by a generous contribution from the MacLeod family. The Order of the Leaf, Campus Chapter, undertook a number of projects to raise money for camperships and to create a building fund for the Lodge. Two major fundraisers were the annual Hike-A-Thon from 1982 to 1996, a rigorous hike through the nearby Catoctin Mountains, and summer-long sales of snowballs at the old campteen.
In 1991, the outdoor living program opened the magnificent new Timber Lodge, designed and constructed by Everett Olsen. The Outdoor Living program, which started with Irv Dent and Steve Cormack in the 1970s, has grown substantially. The program now encompasses such activities as overnights, backpacking, two- and three-day hikes, challenge hikes, survival training, rock climbing, rappelling, caving and whitewater rafting. Refurbishment of the ropes course was undertaken in 1996, and a new kitchen and food storage area was added. The scissors tower, a one of a kind climbing element was added around 10 years later.
Buried in 1991, at the top of the hill is the Camp Airy time capsule. Filled with memorabilia from both campers and staff, the capsule is due to be opened at the end of Airy’s 100th summer in 2023. And, in 1992, a new bank opened across from the stone steps of the dining room. In 1993, the pool was redone by literally putting a new one inside the old one.
The Olsens and the Smiths
Two families, the Olsens and the Smiths, have been an enduring presence since Camp Airy’s inception even up to this day. Their contributions are outlined below and their loyal and long-lived service is extraordinary.
Uncle Thomas Eyler was the original contractor that built both camps. Walter (Slim) Olsen worked for Mr. Eyler as a carpenter until his death in 1954, and almost all his work was for the two camps. Slim had three sons, Walter Richard, Clifton Everett and Thomas Earl and two daughters, Doris and Undine. Both Richard and Thomas worked for the camps starting in the 1940s.
Everett Olsen worked at Camp Louise as a boy. When he returned from the service in 1946, he returned to work at the camps and mastered the carpentry and masonry trades. When Uncle Thomas Eyler retired in 1957, Everett became the head of maintenance and construction. During this period the camps were almost completely rebuilt.
Tim Olsen is Thomas’ son and has been working for Camp Airy since 1977, first as a member of the maintenance team and then as its leader since Everett’s retirement. He now occupies the house at the bottom of the hill with his wife Lois, who has worked in the Airy office since 1993.
Martin and Minnie Kelly (Ethel “Mom” Smith’s parents) farmed the land downhill for the Catholic order that originally owned the property.
Ethel, her three sisters and three brothers grew up on the farm, and told of milking the cows by hand in what is now the Downhill Social Hall. She married Walter (Mack) Vernon Smith in 1916, lived in a farmhouse along the back road (now gone), and then moved away for a while. In 1932, when Ross Smith asked Mack to help farm the land for the camp, Ethel and Mack moved back with the family (Charles, Madeline, Luther, Dolly and Honey) and remained and worked at Camp the rest of their lives.
Dolly (Dorothy) worked at camp for over 40 years. She provided food services in the pantry since 1963. Her husband Paul provided services as a cook in the kitchen for many years. Her sister Honey (Betty) started working at camp at 14. She spoke of playing as a child with the snow coming through the wood cabin logs of “Mom’s” house onto the bed when it blew through the cracks. She tended to the laundry services and ran the Cabana for decades — famous with counselors for her delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.
Rick Frankle returned to Airy for the summer of 2002 as Director, with Steve Goldklang as Assistant Director and later Associate Director, and after that with Scott Black as Assistant Director. During this time, IT Coordinator, Eric Bloom and Scheduling & Operations Directors, Gene Makely and later Ethan Matz continued to refine and improve the computerized scheduling program and process that Eric had first developed in the 1980’s. This permitted campers to create their own individualized daily schedules and multi-Departmental daily schedules for the staff, all of which provided greater variety and flexibility in scheduling.
Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, the Airy facilities were continually being expanded upon and improved. Most significant was the transformation between the end of summer 2008 and the start of summer 2009 by Melville Thomas Architects of the old Senior Camp “Bunk Row” (two rows of 10 cinderblock barracks-like bunks that faced one another) into a beautifully landscaped and designed series of clustered “villages” consisting of a total of twenty bunks and six new shower-houses. Most importantly, each bunk now had its own toilet and sink facilities and convenient outdoor play areas. Downhill, as a result of a generous contribution from the Camp Airy Order of the Leaf, a Fun Park with automated batting cages was created in what had been an old tennis court area opposite the Social Hall.
A further significant facility improvement was the result of an initiative that was funded by the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (a fraternal organization that had been using the Airy ponds and campus to promote all aspects of fishing and fly-casting during off-season retreats since the 1940s). The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock funded the construction of a large two-story multi-purpose building next to the Director’s Cabin that Camp Airy has transformed into its central office space upstairs, and fitness center downstairs for each summer season. In addition, the Uphill Social Hall indoor Game Room became a quiet Library and Chapel with comfortable seating areas and a section for small prayer services. And, starting in 2009, the previous Library building across the road from the White House began to take shape as a Welcome Center containing photos and artifacts relating to the multi-generational history of Camp Airy.
The past two decades also saw the development of several new activities and programs that rapidly proved to be hugely popular with campers and staff alike. These included Digital Video Production, DJ’ing, Go Karts, Mountain and Skate Boarding, and Paintball. Also during this time, a unique Behavioral Specialist staff position was created to provide greater support for Counselors, Unit Leaders, and Division Heads and collaborate with a Social Worker from the Jewish Community Services agency in improving the camp experience for campers with special needs.
And the Camp Airy story continues under the leadership of Marty Rochlin, as he returns as Camp Director at the end of the summer of 2014.
Camp Airy is fortunate to have had caring leaders over its history, who each brought a unique personality to camp life and created memorable times for campers, counselors and staff. The chronology of Executive Directors and Camp Airy Directors and their summers of service below is a parade of outstanding advocates for youth who have provided able leadership over the years.
(Camps Airy & Louise)
“Be it known to all that on this 29th day of August, in the year 1934, the brotherhood of the Order of the Leaf has been duly organized by the senior members of the counselor staff of Camp Airy for the purpose of promoting the spirit of friendship among each other and of loyalty to the institution of which they are a part!” … From the Order of the Leaf Charter
This organization was founded officially in 1934 and met a need which counselors felt existed as they sought some way to ensure the continuation of friendships which had their beginnings at Airy.
Prior to the organization of the Order of the Leaf, there was a self-selected group of counselors who designated themselves as the High Council. Counselors had to be invited to join this “in” group, and those who were not invited felt left out.
Thus, the Order of the Leaf came into being with the approval of Doc Pargman and Aaron Straus. All counselors were invited to attend if they met certain basic requirements. The Order adopted a creed, which emphasized loyalty, friendship and service. The maple leaf became a symbol that was incorporated in its literature and pin.
Currently, any member of the Airy staff who has served for three camp seasons is eligible for induction into the Order of the Leaf at the end of their third summer.
The Campus Chapter, in coordination with the Camp administration, participates in the closing banquets at the end each summer season, where new members are inducted and donations from fundraising activities are made for Camp Airy camperships. Over the years, the banquets have been held at Sobol's in Taneytown, Peter Pan Restaurant in Urbana, the Airy Dining Room, Cozy Restaurant in Thurmont, and most recently at Dutch’s Daughter in Frederick. The banquets also include end of the season awards, honors, and messages.
As a result of the dedicated leadership of Arthur Drager, the Order of the Leaf Alumni Reunions were instituted. The first one was held in 1971 and attracted a number of members, along with some of their wives. Since then, these reunion weekends have been held every summer after camp ended, and the 44th reunion weekend will take place in 2014. Over these many years, the alumni have made generous contributions to the Pargman-Cohen-Chernak Fund and other camp fundraising activities.
In 1998, the Alumni and the Campus Chapters of the Order of the Leaf joined forces for the weekend and thus members that span from the earliest days up until the most recent years are in attendance. In 2004, the Lifetime “Passion” Achievement Award was instituted to honor individuals who demonstrate their Airy passion by embracing the guiding principles of the Order of the Leaf – friendship, loyalty and service – during and following their active participation on the Camp Airy staff.
This history of Camp Airy, compiled by Marvin Rosenstein, Artie Besner, and Steve Goldklang, is a continuation of the heartfelt history prepared by Sid Chernak for the 50th anniversary in 1974. Mr. Chernak, in turn, acknowledged a number of authoritative sources for his edition, namely:
- S. Meyer Barnett’s speeches and oral accounts
- Ruth Cohen’s written accounts of numerous personal encounters over her many years
- Leon Lerner’s notes from taped conversations with Doc, Miss Ida, Lena Cohen and others
- “Mom” Smith’s recollections of the earliest names, dates and events
- Sam Woal’s history in verse
- Grete Mannheim’s photographs that helped recall people and events
- Bill MacLeod’s additions in 1991 and 1996 to Sid Chernak’s original 1974 history
- The Olsen and Smith families’ enlightening notes on the contributions and memories of the individual family members
- Larry Cantor’s History of the Airy Wrestling program
Updated August 19, 2014, by Marvin Rosenstein and Eric Tublin