200 YEARS AGO
Shocking Accident – The Norwich Agriculturalist states that two men, by the names of Wood and Edwards, were burnt to death on Thursday last in the Town of Pittsfield, Otsego County. They had been engaged in firing some fallow land and retired much-fatigued to a small shingle house, where it is supposed they fell asleep. The wind, blowing fresh, communicated fire to the shavings about the shingle house, and before it was discovered by the neighboring citizens, the house was nearly consumed. Wood was almost literally burnt to cinders, and the arms and legs of Edwards burnt off. The remains of the unfortunate men were conveyed to New Berlin on Friday where an appropriate sermon was preached by Elder Sweet. Wood has left a wife, and Edwards a wife and several children.
May 22, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
Fires – There appears to be no end to the fires. From every quarter the newspapers bring us accounts of this calamitous element destroying all, or nearly all, of individual industry. As a general thing, there is but little insurance on the properties destroyed, which must cause much actual suffering. A large fire occurred at Damariscotta Bridge Village, Maine, which consumed nearly all the business part of the place on the east side of the river. About 32 buildings were burnt, and the loss is estimated at $60,000 on which there is $10,000 insurance.
May 19, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
Died: In this village, May 15, Maria L., eldest daughter of Mr. J.J. Short, aged 24 years. Her death was sudden and unexpected. She had been confined to the house a few days by what was supposed to be a slight indisposition. Not until within a few hours of her decease was she supposed to be in any danger. Miss S. made an early profession of religion and united with the Baptist Church of which she remained an esteemed member.
In Toddsville, May 9, 1870, Martha Botsford, widow of the late Martin Botsford, in the ninety-first year of her age.
May 19, 1870
100 YEARS AGO
Another important transaction in Main Street real estate was recorded in Cooperstown on Saturday of last week when M.F. Augur became the owner of the valuable property at Main and Pioneer Streets, which he purchased from James J. Byard, Jr. For the past 11 years this building has been known as the Byard Block. It is understood that as soon as leases on other ground floor portions of the building expire, Mr. Augur will enlarge his book and stationery store to include the entire first floor. The consideration was not made public.
The new bungalow lunchroom of George W. Jones on the site of the old lunch wagon, was opened to the public on Monday night, enjoying a good patronage from the start. This will be operated as an auxiliary to the Jones Lunch Room on the opposite side of the street, and will be open day and night.
The Cooperstown high school baseball team swamped a team from Cobleskill high school on Saturday last week at Doubleday Field by the ponderous score of 33-14. The game was a swat-fest throughout, as the score may indicate. Brilliant playing in the field was not frequently seen.
May 19, 1920
75 YEARS AGO
A Susquehanna Baseball League of which Cooperstown is a member has recently been formed. The circuit consists of ten teams. Those which have already made arrangements for competing are Worcester, Laurens, Morris, Otego, Franklin, Unadilla, Richmondville, Stamford and Cooperstown. It is expected that the tenth team will be either Roxbury or Downsville. The league season will officially open on Sunday, June 3. However, by special arrangement, Cooperstown and Worcester will meet for a pre-season game on Sunday, May 27 at Doubleday Field. The local team has been organized by Arthur Hall as manager. Several practice sessions have already been held. Those working out for Cooperstown include George Harrison, Frank Ott, Duffy Mohar, Fred Parshall, Kenneth Aney, Glynn Gregory, Dean Windsor, Arthur Hall, Lionel Pratt, Don Parslow, Carmel Pugliese and Homer Pier. All league games will be played on Sundays and holidays with game time at 2:30 o’clock.
May 23, 1945
50 YEARS AGO
The Cooperstown Lions Club will honor Cooperstown Police Officer William E. Ross at its meeting at the Tunnicliff Inn Wednesday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Ross will retire July 3 after 21 years on the
village police force. Among the guests who will be present at the dinner will be Mayor Emery C. Herman, Jr., and members of the Board of Trustees; Police Justice Edward B. Trosset; Village Clerk, Douglas K. Walrath; Police Officers Walter Gutman and Walter Bushby; Sheriff Harold F. Knapp; and
H. Gregory Lippitt, who was Mayor when Mr. Ross was appointed to the police force in July 1949.
May 20, 1970
25 YEARS AGO
On Saturday, May 13, the Sleeping Lion Chamber Players performed at the Fly Creek Community Church. The group was formed as a flexible music ensemble. Founder Paula Schaeffe envisioned the group as a showcase for local talent and an opportunity to bring musicians together in new and varied combinations. Saturday’s concert featured four members on flute: Diane Graf, Rebecca Gretton, Lorna Wilhelm and Paula Schaeffer, all seasoned musicians. Rebecca Gretton and Diane Graf are area music educators. Graf is also the conductor of the Cooperstown Community Band. Schaeffer and Wilhelm recently performed in the Fly Creek Philharmonic. Well-known guitarists Richard Saba and Catherine Mason compliment and add variety to the group.
May 21, 1995
10 YEARS AGO
Twenty years ago, a proposed bed tax was a hot-button issue. Route 80 motel owners banded together against a surcharge on hotel and motel bills, saying it was unfair to single them out. Today, with the bed tax generating $1.2 million, equivalent to ten percent of the Otsego County government’s $14 million local-tax levy, the idea of eliminating it is out of the question. What remains the same, however, is the $200,000 a year fraction that goes to promote tourism. Otsego County is losing out on the popular “I Love New York” promotion by failing to seek matching grants.
May 20, 2010