SAVE THE 100 YEAR OLD BASH BISH FLAG
Don’t you/didn’t you love Bash Bish? Will you help conserve a .piece of its history?
The Bash Bish area has long been a tri-state treasure. The falls, located in Massachusetts, close to the New York state line, have attracted folks from Lakeville, Boston, NY City, Albany etc. Herman Melville and Babe Ruth came there (but not together).
The first and possibly the second of three incarnations of the inn were in Massachusetts. But crowds of folks from New York and Connecticut – and elsewhere– have flocked to Bash Bish for more than a century and a half – and the Bash Bish Inn’s third incarnation was in New York State.
Area residents restored the Copake Falls Ironworks and some other local historic treasures. They lost a chance to preserve some others. But now, a wonderful hundred-year-old, 48 star, US flag which once flew over the Bash Bish Inn is likely to join the clock, and the Iron Works as symbols of the community’s love and respect for its past.
The flag’s story: In 1918, Jean Pierre Dalmas, an immigrant from Italy, was headwaiter of the elegant Bash Bish Inn which stood three quarters of a mile down from the falls. Suddenly one September day, a severe fire broke out. Dalmas rushed to the inn’s roof and rescued its forty-eight star, 8.4’ x 11.75,’ flag. The inn was totaled.
Dalmas then brought the flag to his family in North Carolina. His father, in Italy, who had heard about the incident, later wrote, “How could you have risked your life for a flag, you are a father and a husband.” Now, after 99 (!) years, the flag which represents an important era in New York and Massachusetts history, is coming back to the Bash Bish/Roe Jan area.
Columbia County (NY) Historical Society curator, Anna Thompson, has reported that the inn had the ability to house over 150 guests. And she calls the flag an important symbol depicting a varied and vital part of Copake’s history.
First, the fragile flag needs much-needed conservation work. Then, too big to be shown fully, it will be rolled & placed in a 4’ x 5’ frame and displayed in Copake Town Hall. It will also be lent out to institutions and businesses in New York and in Massachusetts.
Please support the BASH BISH INN FLAG CONSERVATION DRIVE.
We need your tax deductible donation to raise $13,000 for the flag’s conservation & creation of professional signage. We’re using the same non-profit bank account used to finance repair some years ago of a beloved town clock in Copake.
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Suggested (tax-deductible) contributions donations:
Sponsors: $1000 – ; Patrons: $500-$1000; Donors: $200-$500; Friends: $21-$199; Contributors: $5-$20
PLEASE WRITE “FOR FLAG” on the “memo” space on your check, make it out to “Community Service Inc. and send it to:
Copake Community Service Inc.
c/o Howard Blue
55 Lake Shore Dr.
Copake, NY 12516
Photo: The Bash Bish flag as it will look framed.
The Bash Bish Inn which was destroyed by fire in 1918.