Fleischmanns Founders’ Day Eve | Cocktails & Conversation
Friday, June 7
6 PM: Cash Bar Cocktail Hour
7 PM Panel Discussion: The Fleischmann Family’s Influence on Industry, Culture and Baseball
Free Admission | Open to the Public
Try a cocktail made with a special limited run of Vly Creek Vodka made with Fleischmanns Yeast® by local award-winning craft distillery Union Grove Distillery (as well as a host of other local spirits, beers, and ciders) during the cocktail hour. And then settle in for a spirited panel conversation, The Fleischmann Family’s Influence on Industry, Culture and Baseball, about the Fleischmann family’s influence on the development of 19th and 20th century industry, their impacts on a growing and changing American culture, and their indelible marks on America’s favorite pastime.
Featured presenters include:
• John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball
• Rick Oleshak, Vice President of marketing for AB Mauri North America
• John Duda, Trustee of the Fleischmanns Museum of Memories
• Leigh Melander, PhD, Cultural Mythologist and Co-Founder of Spillian
Admission is free to the cocktail hour and panel. Cash bar. Registration, while it won’t cost you, is required, so we have a sense of how many guests to prepare for!Reserve Now!
About Fleischmanns Founders’ Day
Sponsored by AB Mauri and Fleischmanns First. The village of Fleischmanns will serve as Founders’ Day host for its namesake brand, celebrating a bygone era in American history with activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 8 that include:
• A parade featuring firetrucks, area Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and local marching bands starting at 11 AM
• An 1890s-period baseball game featuring the Mountain Athletic Club Vintage Base Ball squad
• A baking competition judged by celebrated baker Dan Leader from Bread Alone Bakery in nearby Lake Katrine, New York, and author of the forthcoming book titled Living Bread
• Live musical acts and nostalgic games and activities for the entire family
• Local craft beer and barbecue vendors
• Display of Fleischmann’s @ 150 Still The One – a book recently published for the 150th anniversary of Fleischmann’s Yeast
About the Panel Presenters
John is the Official Historian of Major League Baseball. Apart from his creation, with Pete Palmer, of Total Baseball, he is often visible on TV and the web as a sports authority and commentator. He was also a major on-screen presence in and chief consultant to Ken Burns’s PBS film,Baseball, and reprised that role with Florentine Films for Jackie Robinson (PBS, 2016). Thorn co-wrote The Hidden Game of Baseball, which established alternative statistics later recognized and adopted as official by Major League Baseball, notably OPS.
His many baseball books over the past four decades also include Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame, The Game for All America, and Our Game, a history of the game which also supplies the title for his twice-weekly blog (htpp://ourgamemlblogs.com). In 2011 Simon & Schuster published his major work, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: A Secret History of the Early Game. Thorn not only knows his baseball; he also knows Fleischmanns, having enjoyed his summers at a local bungalow colony in the mid-1950s.
Rick is currently vice president of marketing for AB Mauri North America, leading brand marketing strategy and development process for the company. Rick joined AB Mauri in January 2014 after spending more than 13 years with Anheuser-Busch InBev in both marketing and public relations. At Anheuser-Busch, Oleshak was the director of the Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe brand teams in the United States. He led and championed the brand creative development process, advertising, packaging and communications for the Belgian beer lineup and several other prominent brands including Michelob ULTRA, Landshark, Rolling Rock, Grolsch and O’Doul’s.
Previously, Oleshak served as manager of communications for NASCAR in Daytona Beach, Florida. There he was responsible for coordinating national and local communications efforts for more than 32 racing events annually, including the high-profile Daytona 500. Oleshak also spent more than three years with the NBA’s Orlando Magic during the team’s playoff runs with all-star players Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway as well as six-month internship with the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball organization. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunication (broadcast journalism) from the University of Florida and a Master of Sports Administration from Ohio University. Oleshak is active in Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation and YMCA athletics.
John has been a Trustee of the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories for many years, and is active in numerous historical groups in the Catskills. (And beyond.) He often presents history programs, and has written columns as well as book chapters on local history.
John has done research on the Fleischmann family and their time here, and created several displays for the Museum on this topic. He’s one of the organizers of Headwaters History Days, a multi-venue event highlighting the rich history of our region.
Leigh Melander, PhD
Leigh has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology and a background in the arts, marketing and strategic planning, and strengthening communities. She and her husband founded Spillian: A Place to Revel, a regenerative center for imagination and creativity on the historic Fleischmann family estate in Fleischmanns, NY. She is a presenter and coach in innovation, and her first book, Just This Side of Crazy: Dreaming Your Wild Idea to Life is due out in 2019.
She has published in a number of juried academic publications, including The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies, and Spring Journal and Books; and hosted Myth America, a two year weekly public radio program on how myth and metaphor shape contemporary culture. She was featured on the History Channel as a mythologist and served for five years as the Vice President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. She has done extensive research on the innovative work and community building of the Fleischmann family and their connections as she has been preparing a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the property.
About Spillian and the Fleischmann Family
Spillian is a center dedicated to imagination and possibility on the site of the original Fleischmann family summer estate in the mountains, and is proud to host the Fleischmanns Founders’ Day opening celebrations. In addition to Friday’s events, we’re offering an weekend of programming to compliment the festivities this weekend, including lodging for the weekend and a special Saturday night feast: The Leavening | A Mythic Catskills Weekend.
Spillian’s mansion is the sole remaining house built by the Fleischmanns during their thirty-plus years here. We love this description of this amazing property from 1895:
“Some years ago several members of the Fleischmann family, in search of rural quiet and picturesque scenery, visited this retired neighborhood, and, charmed with its pure air, high altitudes, and care-banishing influences, resolved that their first visit should by no means be their last. Accordingly, about 1882, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Fleischmann and Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Bleier came to the locality, and purchased a part of the old farm then owned by John M. Blish, building pleasant summer cottages, well adapted to the requirements of health and pleasure seekers. They were soon joined by others, among them Charles Fleischmann, Carl Edelheim, Mrs. Max Fleischmann, Anton Seidl, Louis Josephthal, and Carl Hermann. Bernard Ullman and Henry Mierlander added to the architectural beauties of the place by establishing spacious and picturesque homes on the mountain side, Mr. Charles Fleischmann building three more large and tasteful dwellings.
The grounds surrounding these attractive residences are exquisitely laid out, teeming with flowers and shrubbery, and broken here and there with convenient walks and well-graded carriage drives. A large deer park, in which ramble at will some choice specimens of their kind, adds greatly to the interest of the landscape. Swimming Pond, supplied with pure mountain spring water, is a convenience that has not been forgotten; neither have commodious stables and carriage houses. Another most interesting and luxurious feature of this realm of pleasance is a fine riding-school in a magnificently equipped hall, with a commodious gallery, in which the friends of the riders can sit and watch their graceful evolutions. There are costly paintings on the walls, which are elsewhere tastefully draped with rich bunting; and four large chandeliers provide brilliant illumination for evening pleasures. A portable floor has also been provided for dancing, and an orchestra of skilled musicians from New York is kept in good practice throughout the season. The railroad station, a tasteful structure, erected by the liberality of the Fleischmanns, invites the attention of the passing traveller. The surrounding grounds attest the work of an artist in landscape gardening.
This charming spot, whose natural beauties have been so enhanced by a boundless liberality, directed by cultivated taste, is yet but in embryo. The plans for the future are well calculated to dwarf the achievements of the past; and in the choice and secluded settlement of “Fleischmanns,” nestling in the shadow of the romantic Catskills, redolent of health, innocent gaiety, and cultured ease, we may view a place where sordid cares are excluded and the rude turmoil of life’s battle stilled, its faint echoes only touching the chord of remembrance, as the reverberations of the swift express, with its varied freight of human interests, hopes, and passions, break softly on the air and lose themselves in the rural solitudes.”
The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY
Biographical Review Publishing Company 1895