Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
200 YEARS AGO
The following is copied from the London Courier: The sea is ours, and we must maintain the doctrine – that no nation, no fleet, no cockboat shall sail upon it without our permission. America declares that England must not presume to declare a port in a state of blockade, unless she can keep a force actually before that port. England must replay; we will not condescend to mince and carve out and dwindle down our system of blockade. We will not talk of this port and that port. There is but one Navy in the world, the British Navy. The whole continent we consider as one port, and so long as Bonaparte persists in his present system, we warn all powers that the Continent is in a state of blockade, and they must not presume to trade with it without our leave. This is the doctrine which we must enforce, and the sooner we do it the better!
May 18, 1811
150 Years Ago
The preparations for lighting our village with gas are progressing with commendable diligence. The company has had on hand an army of laborers, the past week, laying the foundations for their manufactory, and putting down their network of iron pipes through the streets. They hope to be able to light up about June 20, and then the people down Milford and Oneonta way, may look out for a new luster to the northern lights. When our shops and dwellings are aglow with gas, won’t we talk to the rural districts about the convenience of gas-light and other appendages of city life!
May 24, 1861
125 Years Ago
Personal: Mrs. Alfred Corning Clark and son arrived here on Thursday last, stopping a few days at Carr’s Hotel while “Fernleigh” mansion and cottage are being put in order for occupancy.
A fair estimate by a manufacturer in New York of the number of baseballs made for the present season is said to be 5,000,000, or one for every ten or eleven of the population of the entire country. That so many balls have been made for the present season is not surprising, when it is remembered that there are scores of private clubs – juvenile and otherwise – in almost every large town in the Union, and each member of these numerous clubs is the possessor of from one to ten base balls.
May 22, 1886
100 Years Ago
Cooperstown is one of the most beautiful and most delightfully situated villages in the world. Its many advantages as a healthful and in every way desirable place of residence have been told so long in song and story that none can forget. It is a shimmering lake reflecting the foliage of the surrounding mountains—its pure air, its pure water, its historic and literary environment, and
its home-loving and enterprising citizens—all together form an asset of which any community would be proud. It is not, therefore, because Cooperstown is in dire need of improvement that the Village Improvement Society is formed. It is, rather, to preserve the spirit of the village loyalty and perpetuate the present good standard, always with the idea in mind of making things better.
May 17, 1911
75 YEARS AGO
The Leatherstocking Corporation of Cooperstown has purchased of the Otsego Lake Transit Company the latter’s Lakefront property at the foot of Pioneer Street, known as Otsego Lake Park. With this transaction the Otsego Lake Transit Co. will go out of existence. M.E. Lippitt, who was president of the Transit Company, will continue the boat business at the foot of Fair Street under the title of the Otsego Lake Boat Co. The Otsego Lake Transit Co. was organized in 1905 and until 1933 operated passenger service on Otsego Lake, in addition to conducting a boat livery. At one time as many as six regular trips around the lake daily were made by the company’s boats.
May 20, 1936
50 YEARS AGO
The regular meeting of the Woman’s Club of Cooperstown was held on May 10 at 3:30 p.m. with Mrs. Robert A. Streett, president, presiding. Miss Doris S. Bliss, program chairman, introduced guest speaker, Dr. James Bordley, III, of Cooperstown, whose topic was “Birds of the Cooperstown Area”. Dr. Bordley stated that in a recent three-year period 234 species of birds were identified in this area. Following his talk, Dr. Bordley showed slides of birds that are permanent residents here, winter birds and transients. Five garments made by area high school 4-H girls were on display in the tea room.
May 17, 1961
25 YEARS AGO
Several months ago at spirited rallies, Laurel Graham, a junior at Coopersrown Central School, stood among some friends screaming Corazon Aquino’s campaign slogan “Laban (fight)” and wearing Aquino’s color, yellow. At one point, Graham, who was in the Philippines as a Rotary exchange student for 10 months, stood at a rally within a few feet of Aquino. Aquino later became the Philippine president after a people’s revolution boosted her into office. Graham is now at her home in Hartwick with her mother Gladys Graham. Before leaving for the Philippines, she said she was told by those in the Rotary exchange program to refrain from showing political preference. But, when she got to the Philippines, the nuns in the Catholic school she attended allowed students to leave classes for rallies and she became involved. Graham served as a poll watcher in the ensuing election between Marcos and Aquino.
May 21, 1986
10 YEARS AGO
The Brookwood School is hosting its first annual Big Rigs event this Sunday, to entertain and educate children of all ages about the workings of all kinds of different motorized vehicles. Among the 20 vehicles on display will be an ambulance, a cement truck, farm vehicles, a back hoe, a fire truck, and a ‘Humvee.’ The show has been spearheaded by Brookwood parent Mandy Robinson.
May 18, 2001