200 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – Notice: The Trustees of School District No. 1, will open a school, in the public school house in this village, on Wednesday, the 21st inst. under the direction of Mr. L. Squires. Terms of Tuition $2 to be applied on the first quarter. N.B. Any one sending in after the school commences, will not have any more to pay than their proportion of time from the time of commencing. Eseck Bradford, Buckingham Fitch, Trustees. Cooperstown, April 17, 1819.
April 19, 1819
175 YEARS AGO
Judge Gridley held his Circuit Court here during the past week. A slander suit was tried, which from the standing of the parties Secor vs. Gilbert, both residents of Middlefield, excited much interest. Mr. Gilbert had lost from the money-drawer of his store in May last $568 in bank notes, and some circumstances had fixed suspicion upon Dr. Emenzo Secor as the aggressor, which led to the remark by Mr. G., pointing towards him in a room “there’s the rascal that stole my money,” or words of similar import. The suit was founded upon this charge, and a plea of justification put in. The words were proved, and the defense entered upon, being confined exclusively to circumstantial evidence, the detail of which would occupy more space than we have to spare. The case was summed up with ability by Mr. J.A. Spencer and Mr. Bowne and committed to the Jury by a luminous charge from Judge Gridley. The Jury were out about five hours, when they returned a verdict of $30 for the plaintiff.
April 15, 1844
150 YEARS AGO
The Seminary as a Hotel. It may be remembered that several weeks since Mr. H.F. Phinney offered to take one-fourth of the stock necessary to reorganize the Seminary as a first-class institution, provided our citizens would take the rest. This offer has met with no response. Believing that the building, which is too large for a school, except of mammoth proportions, is eminently fitted by its location, grounds, prospects, internal arrangements, and convenient distance from the railroad station, for a summer boarding house, Mr. Phinney has decided to offer it for sale or lease for this purpose, holding that the best interests of our village will be consulted by this disposition of the property. (Ed. Note: The structure referred to was built in the mid-1850s to serve as a Seminary for the education of men and women. Cooper Lane Apartments are the current structures on the site.)
April 16, 1869
125 YEARS AGO
A few shad occasionally appear in the Cooperstown markets. They used to make their way up here at the time of the settlement of this village, via the Susquehanna River, on which there were no dams. There is a tree still standing in the village of Unadilla from one of the upper branches of which a shad was brought down by a rifle ball! The shad in question was held captive by a large fish hawk – fact! In 1887, it is stated, 1,568,637 shad were captured in the Hudson River. That was the banner year for shad.
April 19, 1894
100 YEARS AGO
(Excerpt from “Tail Spins” the newspaper of the Officers at the Aviators’ Hospital) “The periodic hike was pulled off last Friday (April 11) when some 65 or 70 pilots, observers, engineers, two sympathizers of the fair sex, and Mac the dog with Rags the little dogette headed out on the excellent state road south to the village of Milford. The vanguard was led by Captain Wharton who has charge of physical training of the Army flyers, and Lieutenant Cartmell, physical director, was in one of the scattered groups. The genial Mr. Smith who is a leading spirit of hikes and outdoor sports, was along to point out things of interest to the boys.”
April 16, 1919
75 YEARS AGO
From an Eighth A.A.F. Bomber Station in England comes the thrilling account of a flying fortress the crew of which missed death by inches when the propeller from one of its engines flew off, but which, though riddled with enemy fire, was able to return to base. One of the members of this crew was John A. Sill, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Reed Sill of Cooperstown, the tail gunner. The pilot who brought the plane in from an attack on war plants in Berlin, with two of its engines knocked out and its oxygen system damaged, is Lieutenant James L. Abernathy of Roselle, Illinois. The Flying Fort had dropped its bombs when a flak burst clipped its number three engine.
April 19, 1944
25 YEARS AGO
Cooperstonian Stan Hall withdrew his application for a permit to open a brew pub in an old barn at the end of Cooper Lane at a meeting of the village planning board, held Tuesday, April 12. Hall stopped the application after the board informed him that there was insufficient access to the property for the use he had in mind. The withdrawal was apparently welcome news to about 20 area residents in attendance, many of whom had written letters of protest to the board and signed a petition against the project. “I’m glad that it went the way it went,” said Madeline Sansevere, who had organized the petition campaign, which collected 83 signatures. Sansevere added that she was not opposed to the idea of a pub, but rather to the location which raised concerns about traffic and customers at the pub disrupting the residential area.
April 19, 1994