Pavilion named for one of Feura Bush park founders

— Photo from Douglas LaGrange

The new pavilion at Charley Houghtaling Park in Feura Bush is named for the late James G. Daragon and was funded largely by his girlfriend, Michelle Wagner.

NEW SCOTLAND —  In the early 1980s, the former Feura Bush school was sold and six local boys were without a place to play.

The boys — Steven Akers, James Deragon, Scott Houghtaling, Darrin Kibbey, George Mattick, and Clifford Nooney — gathered signatures and, with the help of Mrs. Anna Houghtaling, went before the New Scotland Town Board to ask the board to consider purchasing land in Feura Bush for a park. 

Eventually, to be more precise, approximately seven years after the boys first asked, land in Feura Bush was purchased and a baseball field was installed as was a basketball court, a small playground was constructed, and a pavilion was built at the new park. 

On Sept. 5, a small socially-distanced group assembled at what is now known as Charley Houghtaling Park, named after Anna’s husband, to remember one of the six boys who made the park possible. 

Jimmy Deragon worked as a rigger and died on the job; he was 47. The park’s pavilion was named after him, Supervisor Douglas LaGrange told The Enterprise. 

Deragon’s girlfriend, Michelle Wagner, had asked if the town would “entertain having her put up something like a small gazebo or something” at Feura Bush town park, LaGrange said, because Deragon liked to go there when he was younger, played softball there as an adult, and was one of the six boys instrumental in getting the town to eventually make the land a park. 

The town tore down the original pavilion, LaGrange said, and Wagner “raised practically every cent of the cost” for materials, while labor was donated by the Carpenters’ Union as well as by Three-D Rigging, Jimmy’s former employer. 

“I would guess we’d have 500 people there, if it weren’t for COVID,” LaGrange concluded. 

 

Tags:

More New Scotland News

  • “It’s just a lot of chance to take ...,” said Wendall Thayer of holding the Voorheesville Memorial Day parade despite COVID-19 still in the community. “It would be awful  somebody caught something because we had the parade.”

  • Robert Baron filed his lawsuit in March 2018, alleging the Voorheesville Central School District fraudulently induced him to resign as the longtime head coach of the girls’ varsity basketball team.

  • The owner of Stonewell Plaza has acquired an attorney who in turn has reached out to New Scotland planning and zoning board attorney Crystal Peck and is now trying to come up with a compromise that might work instead of paying for a parking analysis that is only going to show what is already known by nearly everyone involved: The site has too few spots to accommodate plaza businesses or to meet what is called for in the code.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.