Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
210 YEARS AGO
Celebration of Independence at Hartwick – An assemblage of 1,200 republicans, at 10 a.m. took place, at the house of Philo West, in the Town of Hartwick, and a procession formed by Capt. Calvin Comstock, officer of the day, which marched to the meeting house, escorted by Captain Baker’s and Captain Bowen’s companies of militia in the following order: Officer of the Day, Clergy, Orator, Civil Authority, Militia Officers. The Declaration of Independence was first read, and a sermon appropriate to the occasion was delivered by elder Bostwick, and an oration by Dr. Comstock. The procession then returned in the same order to Mr. West’s, where they set down to an excellent dinner prepared for the occasion. After dinner the young people performed a number of dialogues, &c. to the great satisfaction of all present, after which they retired to their respective homes. Not a jarring sound was heard during the day, nor was anyone known to be intoxicated.
July 6, 1811
185 YEARS AGO
The account of a speech in the U.S. Senate by a Mr. Wright regarding a bill to authorize deposits of federal funds in state-chartered banks–“It was his judgment (Mr. Wright) the wisest protection of the public interests to offer the deposit banks such terms as would make it their interest to discharge promptly, honestly and faithfully, their duties to the treasury, and to keep carefully and safely the public moneys entrusted to them; and he could not consent to adopt any parsimonious policy which would so tie down these banks as to compel them to make an unsafe and hazardous use of the moneys in deposit to indemnify themselves against our exactions. Such a course would be to draw the most unsafe banks only into our service, and to excite them to a use of the public moneys dangerous to the institutions and insecure to the public.”
July 4, 1836
160 YEARS AGO
Gas was first “let on,” in this village, last Friday evening. Everything worked to a charm; and if the Company continues to furnish gas of the same quality, there can be no reasonable cause of complaint, and the number of consumers will undoubtedly increase.
Otsego County Bible Society–The forty-eighth annual meeting of this Society was held at Milford, June 5, 1861. The venerable President, George Pomeroy, who has been connected with this Society ever since its organization in 1813, called the meeting to order, expressing his gratification at being privileged again to meet his brethren, and giving it as his impression that this might be the last meeting he would have the privilege to attend.
July 5, 1861
135 YEARS AGO
According to the census report of 1880 there were 33 counties in the United States whose farm products exceeded four millions of dollars each–and all but seven of those counties are in eastern states. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, heads the list with farm products amounting to $9,320,202. Otsego County stands No. 10 in this list with farm products amounting to $5,284,929. Hops in 1880 sold at 16 to 24 cents, according to quality. New York had 14 counties on the list. Let Otsego County farmers take courage!
July 3, 1886
110 YEARS AGO
The Vitagraph Company, the largest manufacturers of motion pictures in the world, have decided to spread the fame of Cooperstown by producing a series of pictures of the Cooper Tales taken upon the shores of Otsego Lake. Mr. L. Trimble of the Vitagraph and Mrs. Trimble arrived in Cooperstown Sunday to look the ground over, and were registered at Otsego Hall.
Mr. and Mrs. Trimble took an auto to ride around the lake Sunday afternoon, stopping to visit points of interest. They have given assurance that they will be here with a strong company of moving picture actors including Miss Florence E. Turner, the
well-known Vitagraph girl; the family collie dog Jean; and probably Kenneth Casey,
the renowned boy actor, all of whom are frequently seen in moving pictures here. The Vitagraph Company will probably be here during the Boy Scout Encampment
in order to get a scout picture.
July 5, 1911
85 YEARS AGO
As the new building of the Cooperstown post office nears completion, a unique part of the structure has been brought to light–a “spy tower” or post office inspectors’
observation gallery on the east side of the building. This tower is not noticeable
unless one looks carefully and sees the slits high on the east wall. The tower has two entrances, one in the basement through a door from the “swing room,” or post office employees’ service room, and one through a door off the postmaster’s office. A government inspector is the only person who has a key to these doors. When the inspector makes his unannounced tour of inspection he will most likely use the basement entrance, going up an iron ladder to the observation tower. Through the six slits in the wall every nook and cranny of the post office is visible. The inside walls of the tower are painted black so he will not be noticed by anyone from the floor who may happen to look up. The floor is covered with linoleum to deaden the sound of footsteps. There are no lights in the tower.
July 1, 1936
60 YEARS AGO
The Village Board of Trustees has secured an option to purchase the Otsego lakefront property of Mrs. Louise M. Fish of this village for $27,000. Also included in the option is the Fish residence at 16 Lake Street, the docks extending from the lakefront site into Otsego Lake, four rowboats and a canoe.
July 5, 1961
20 YEARS AGO
The Women’s Club of Cooperstown has selected Susan Drake as president for 2001-2002. Co vice-presidents are Grace Kull and Bert Chapin. Joyce Degelmann is treasurer. Marjorie Schellhammer is recording secretary and Ruth Livermore is recording secretary. Board members are Lois Warrell, Elizabeth Dunbar, Maggie Risdon and Helen Davis.
June 29, 2001