Developer Eyes Columbia County Hamlet As Site for “Dumb” Museum

By Kermit Mustafa

Published April 2nd, 2017

Clockwise from top left: Christopher Buckley, Jeff Buckley, William
F. Buckley and Patricia Buckley.

GHENT — A Colonie real estate mogul has big plans for the tiny Columbia County hamlet of Buckleyville.

Developer Earl Balsac on Thursday unveiled before the county Board of Supervisors his plan for a museum featuring “all the famous people throughout history who had the last name ‘Buckley.’”

“There ain’t nothing like it in the world. It’s going to be huge,” said Balsac. “And where better to honor famous Buckleys than Buckleyville?”

To many in the Capital Region — including those who live in Columbia County —Buckleyville and its whereabouts are a total mystery. Named after Thomas Schofield Buckley — a businessman who in the late 1800s ran a sawmill and made cider — the hamlet runs along Route 66 between Ghent and Chatham. 

(According to the Register Star newspaper of Hudson, mayhem erupted in the hamlet at the end of last year when two green road signs — both of which said "Buckleyville" — were posted along the highway seemingly out of the blue. Townspeople were abuzz. But the signs were ultimately taken down after state officials determined they were illegally posted, since they were erected on poles that already belonged to existing speed limit signs. This is actually true.)

Balsac said “it is without question” that Thomas Schofield Buckley will be one of the famous people featured in the museum — which, he added, will be called “The Buckleyville Museum of Famous People Named Buckley.”

Other Buckleys to be enshrined include: the late conservative writer and intellectual William F. Buckley; his son, author, Christopher Buckley; the late singer-songwriter, Jeff Buckley; his father, singer-songwriter, Tim Buckley, who is also dead; Floyd Buckley, a Chatham native who was the radio voice of Popeye the Sailor in the 1930s; Betty Buckley, the critically acclaimed actress of film and stage, who sadly is better known for playing ‘Abby’ on television’s Eight is Enough; Canadian socialite, Patricia Buckley; and George Buckley, who led Great Britain to the gold medal in cricket in 1900.

“I’m also going to put in the museum Wanda ‘Babs’ Buckley from Kinderhook,” said Balsac. “She ain’t famous, but she’s kind of hot in a ‘I think I can get her’ sort of way, if you know what I’m sayin.”

The county’s Planning Board is now reviewing Balsac’s proposal. Meanwhile, County Board of Supervisors Chairman Leon Spinks said he has “little faith” in the project.

“This is a dumb idea. In fact, it might be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard,” said Spinks. “And even if it gets built, who’s going to come? Nobody has any fucking clue where Buckleyville is.”


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