Sign-up for Letters from a Tug Hill Logger web series


WATERTOWN — The Tug Hill Commission will offer a historical and entertaining series of webinars called “Letters from a Tug Hill Logger” starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

It will be a three-part series narrated by Leona and Peter Chereshnoski, the granddaughter and great-grandson of John Clemens and keepers of his treasured scrapbooks of memories. They will read letters, share stories, show off artifacts and photos and “spin yarns” of Tug Hill logging in its hey-day.

A cache of letters exchanged between John “Old Lard” Clemens and Robert “Deacon” Doubleday, a popular early morning Syracuse radio announcer in the middle 1900s, provide the backdrop for the historical and entertaining series.

Each page-long letter, written by Clemens and read over the air by the Deacon, tells some tale of the Tug Hill woods or some character who could be found there.

In the slang of the woods, using comical nicknames, and with a flavor all his own, Clemens “spun the yarns” for about 10 years. These letters and radio exchanges, along with artifacts kept by the Clemens family, provide a peek into Tug Hill’s history

Find the registration link at, or as follows:

Letters from a Tug Hill Logger — Part 1: Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. Register in advance at:

Letters from a Tug Hill Logger — Part 2: Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. Register in advance at:

Letters from a Tug Hill Logger — Part 3: Wednesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. Register in advance at:

Leona Clemens was born and raised on a small farm in Osceola, where she attended the one room schoolhouse in the hamlet and later attended grades 7-12 in Camden. After working in Syracuse for two years helping local governments and citizens shape the future of the Tug Hill region.

She later married Ray Chereshnoski and moved back to the Tug Hill Town of Lorraine. After raising three children and working as a library clerk, Clemens attended Empire State College and Syracuse University where she earned her master’s degree in Library Science.

She is an active volunteer for a few non-profit groups and in full disclosure, is a 36-year veteran commissioner of the Tug Hill Commission.

Peter Chereshnoski made his early trips around the sun on the northwestern slope of Tug Hill in the Town of Lorraine on the weekdays and on the southwestern slope of Tug Hill in the town of Osceola on most weekends. A good share of the rest of his days have been spent driving back and forth between the two.

After high school there was some time spent in college, followed by four years on the U.S.S. Atlanta SSN-712, a fast attack submarine stationed in Norfolk, Va. In 1992, he was back on Tug Hill to take a position at the Regional Landfill, 28 years later he continues to work for the Development Authority of the North Country as the Safety and Environmental Coordinator.

His interests and hobbies revolve around nature and the outdoors, he and his wife Mary enjoy walks in the gulfs near their home in Rodman, kayaking and learning about the world around them.


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