150 Years Ago
Aurora Borealis – Our citizens on Thursday evening were out en-masse, gazing into the heavens. The aurora borealis presented a wonderful sight. It was of a whitish color, and appeared like clouds rent by the wind. A beautiful bow was formed in the south. At nine o’clock, the sky again lighted, first in the northwest, then verging around to the east, darting out huge sheets of light, which turned red and then faded away, when they would again burst forth. It lasted about one hour and a half.
Campbell of the Tweddle Hall Music Store, has drawn a large trade in musical merchandise by liberal outlays in advertising, and keeping all the goods he offers to the public.
He opens his spring trade with an increased stock, and a rapidly growing demand for his pianos and other goods.
125 Years Ago
Local – Though many Oneonta devotees of rod and reel went trout fishing last Saturday, no really large catches were reported. A few sportsmen returned with from ten to fifteen fish each, but the majority had a much smaller number or none at all. The best fishing appears to have been on the Ouleout and Butternut Creeks, no large catches being reported on the Otego.
The Normal ball team, which is now practicing every fair day on the diamond, is developing unexpected strength in the field and at the bat. Indications are that it will be able to play winning ball with all school teams of its class. The first game of the season will be one week from Saturday with Colgate University. On May 5, the Binghamton High School team will be their competitors; on May 11, the Colgate Academy nine; on May 18, the second nine from Cornell University.
100 Years Ago
In the show window of C.C. Miller on Chestnut Street is displayed some interesting war relics all secured by Oneonta boys in the service in France. John J. Pearson, formerly in the employ of Mr. Miller and with the army of occupation in Germany, contributes a German match box bearing on its front a picture of one of the German war lords, a German soldier’s belt with one of the historic buckles upon it bearing the inscription “Gott mit Uns” (God with Us), a decorative German pipe and a combination fork and spoon from a German soldier’s mess kit. Stanley Stiles, who is also a former employee of Mr. Miller, has in the window two vases made from French “75” shell cases, which are of neat pattern and fittingly marked. He also secured two French one-pound shells, a German bayonet and a specimen of the hard tack or black bread which the Germans fed to prisoners.
April 17, 1919
40 Years Ago
Health Care – Maybe supermarket health care is the answer to the running argument about the cost of hospital care, Fox Hospital administrators muse. It might solve some problems, administrator Frank Isbell suggested, if a doctor could tell a patient he was ordering something like respiratory therapy to give the price. “It’s too expensive. Do I have to have it?” the patient might say. The physician would explain the benefits of the process – preventing pneumonia, a sometimes fatal complication of some surgery. “The odds are good,” Isbell thinks, that the patient would buy it. Business manager Daniel Dornbal complained the cost of hospital care isn’t calculated fairly. Government officials release figures based on “cost per day,” without saying the number of days for treatment is getting shorter. The average cost per day at Fox rose from $120 per day in 1975 to $209 currently, he said.
20 Years Ago
Smoke detector alarms, backed by city code enforcement, saved lives and property from recent blazes at rental properties, fire and city officials said Monday. “In both cases, all detectors were working,” said Oneonta Fire Chief Robert Barnes. “In both cases, because of the early warning, people were able to get out quickly.” Working smoke detectors also enabled firefighters to get to the scenes quickly after the fires were reported by telephone, Barnes said. Occupants had been in the room or an adjacent room where the fire started, Barnes he said. Neither occupants, including some college students, nor firefighters were hurt. An unattended lighted candle caused a fire at 16 West Street causing estimated damages between $20,000 and $25,000. A blaze at 16-18 Myrtle Ave. caused $3,000 damage and cleanup costs.
10 Years Ago
Dick Miller, the retired Hartwick College president who operates a consulting firm, 55 Maple St. LLC with his wife, Andi, is making common cause with Carolyn Lewis, Otsego County’s economic developer, and Nancy Scanlon of Main Street Oneonta, the downtown group, in a new chapter on downtown revitalization.
Short-term, Miller’s plan is to visit a dozen or two Upstate New York college towns with downtowns similar to Oneonta to see what’s working elsewhere that might work here.