Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
210 YEARS AGO
Excerpts from a report of Commissioners appointed by resolutions of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York to explore the route of an inland navigation from Hudson’s River to Ontario and Lake Erie: “…they have examined the country as critically as time and circumstances would permit, and caused surveys to be made for their better information. By aid of canals a good navigation (for boats) can unquestionably be made from Schenectady to the falls in the Oswego River, twelve miles south of Lake Ontario. From Schenectady to the Hudson River and from the falls just mentioned to Lake Ontario a boat navigation is also practicable.” (Ed. Note: This report provided a rationale for the construction of the Erie Canal)
April 6, 1811
185 Years Ago
Advertisement – The “Otsego House,” No. 31 Cortland Street, New York, has been taken by the subscriber and will be continued as a hotel for the accommodation of visitors. Extensive and thorough repairs of the Establishment are about being made, and upon such a state as will materially conduce to the comfort of those who honor it with their patronage. The subscriber solicits the custom of the Merchants and others from the county of Otsego who visit New York, and pledges himself that no exertion on his part shall be wanting to please the appetites and secure the accommodation of his patrons. Jacob Vanpelt.
April 11, 1836
160 Years Ago
Cooperstown Cricket Club – The annual meeting of the Cooperstown Cricket Club will be held on Saturday evening, April 13, at 7 o’clock, at the office of Mr. John F. Scott, for the purpose of electing officers and making arrangements for the ensuing year.
A general attendance is requested. G. Pomeroy Keese, President, F.G. Lee, Secretary.
April 12, 1861
135 Years Ago
J.A.M. Johnston, employed for a number of years in the office of the late Edward Clark here, has been appointed as agent of Mr. Alfred Corning Clark, to look after his business and property interests in this vicinity, a position so long and so faithfully filled by Mr. James Bunyan, who retires from its duties. Mr. Johnston’s experience under Mr. Bunyan will be of great service to him in his present responsible trust. Mr. Bunyan was the trusted agent of Edward Clark for over twenty years and up to the time of his death, since which time he has performed the duties of executor of the estate.
April 10, 1886
85 Years Ago
Although the streams had resumed their normal flow and the water had cleared following the floods, the weather turned sour and cold so that Saturday morning only the most inveterate disciples of Isaac Walton made bold to start out for the trout on the morning the season opened. Game protector Anton Semrov of Cherry Valley stated that while there were not as many fishermen to be seen as in the past, he noted a number of good catches, and gained the impression that the fish were biting well.
One man had 18 speckled beauties in his creel, within two of the limit. Semrov said he saw only one woman fishing during the entire day. Semrov predicts good fishing for the coming weekend provided the weather does nothing to spoil it. Streams in the northern part of the county have been liberally stocked with trout and Semrov believes the fish planted last year have wintered well. New York has the earliest opening date and generally the longest brook trout season of any state in the northeast despite the fact that New York also has the lowest license fee.
April 8, 1936
50 YEARS AGO
Things have changed in the White House. We do not refer to politics when we say this. With the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency of the United States, the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue has changed from a place of business to a home. And all this is brought about by the presence of one small girl, Caroline Kennedy. It will be like it was during the terms of Theodore Roosevelt when there was life in the place. How long has it been since there was a zoo in the White House? There is now and, of course, it includes a donkey. And there are a goat, kittens, a salamander and other animals.
Things are humming in the White House and we think that is a good sign. A nation can get stagnant and too staid. But, with a small girl who is full of pep around the place, there will be
a lot of protocol that will either be forgotten or slightly bent. It bodes well for the future of the United States.
April 5, 1961
35 YEARS AGO
Traffic on north-bound State Highway 80, known locally as the West Lake Road, was disrupted Monday morning at about 9:15 a.m. when a wall of water and broken trees opened a 15- to 20-foot-wide hole in the pavement. The sudden deluge was created by the collapsing of a beaver dam above Glimmerglen Road. The large 10-acre beaver pond, which was located partly on the property of Rochelle and Robert Dewell and partly on Waldo Johnston’s property, was said to be as deep as 13 feet.
Repairs to the road may require four to six weeks.
April 9, 1986