200 YEARS AGO
Distressing calamity – Between three and four o’clock on Tuesday morning last, the family of Mr. Oliver Bentley of Plainfield in this County, were awakened from their sleep, by being nearly suffocated with smoke, and found their dwelling, a two-story house, in flames. The fire had progressed so far, that every effort to arrest its progress was useless. They therefore strove only to save themselves, and succeeded except for Mr. Bentley, aged about 50, who fell a victim to the devouring flames. It is supposed that the fire took from a candle which had early in the evening been used in the pantry where the fire originated. The family did not even save their necessary wearing apparel.
September 25, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
The following statistics show the growth of New York City since 1696 when first counted at 4,302. 1731: 8,622; 1756: 10,381; 1773: 21,876; 1786: 23,614; 1790: 33,131; 1800: 60,469; 1810: 96,372; 1820: 123,706; 1825: 166,086; 1830: 202,589; 1840: 313,790. Total increase: 309,488.
Two Resolutions Adopted at the Recent Convention of the Otsego County Democratic Party: Resolved: That we are opposed to all legislation which would have a tendency to give to incorporated companies and concentrated wealth, the strength and ability to overthrow the rights of the people and control the business relations of the country. Resolved: That the history of the past clearly demonstrates that the Whig Party in their present pretensions are in favor of a convention to revise the Constitution of this State, which are deceptive and hypocritical, and designed to divide and distract the Democratic Party, and with a sole view to adopt a constitution which shall be congenial to their views and notions of government, and ultimately prostrate the rights of the many to sub-serve and advance the interests of the few.
September 22, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
Our District School opens with 225 scholars in attendance, which number will probably be increased to nearly 300 before the month is out. Professor Wight, the Principal, is rapidly recovering from his severe illness and will be here this week. Meantime, everything goes on well at the school under the direction of his able assistants.
At the County Fair: The particular attraction of the occasion, outside the show of stock and articles, was the walking of Mr. Weston. The feat of walking ten miles within two hours – with a half-mile walking backwards within 8 minutes – was performed within the specified time, and apparently without severely taxing the strength of Mr. W. The next day he gave another short specimen of “tall walking.”
September 22, 1870
125 YEARS AGO
Ode To A Bicycle – “Oh my bicycle, my bicycle; ‘twould be my heart’s delight, but alas I cannot conquer it, though I strive with all my might. It turns and twists so easily that I go wobbling all around, and sometimes ‘tis so wicked as to throw me on the ground. We read of evil spirits in the olden time so far away, but they seem to hover near us down to the present day. For though I pedal vigorously, the handle bar grasp tight, an evil influence seems to hold me, and I cannot guide it right. But I will not be discouraged; day after day I’ll try – To conquer is my motto, and I raise my banner high. I’ll mount the hills, though difficult, the golden prize to win, and celebrate my victory by many a glorious spin.” E.Y.A.
September 26, 1895
100 YEARS AGO
Street Fair Rained Out for the Third Time – “Jupiter Pluvius” got his work in again Saturday night when the Baseball Memorial Committee attempted to hold the Street Fair, twice postponed on account of rain, and yet a third time as the Street Fair zone was the only spot to receive a “ducking.” It is evident that the “Gods of Rain” have designs on the proposition. Treasurer E.L. Pitcher reports that the funds now in hand and subscribed for Doubleday Field aggregate about $4,100. Despite the fact that Cooperstown was strengthened by the engagement of three players from the Mohawk Valley for the benefit game with Oneonta on Doubleday Field last Saturday, Oneonta took the game by a score of 11 to 5. The net result from the ball game was about $50. The Oneonta players gave their services and no allowance was made save for gasoline to get the team to Cooperstown.
September 22, 1920
75 YEARS AGO
Lieutenant Basinger Wins Bronze Star and Purple Heart – “I’m lucky to be able to tell this story in person, said Lieutenant, (J.G.) Ronald A. Basinger, U.S.N.R. at Manos, Admiralty Islands, “because only a miracle saved me from death at the hands of a sword-wielding Japanese officer.” Basinger was attached to a mobile communications unit of the 7th Fleet fighting with an invasion force of Australians. On June 21, the Japanese infiltrated behind the Australian lines and attacked Unit 15. A Japanese officer attacked Lieutenant Basinger with a Samurai Saber, inflicting a wound on his shoulder, a slash across his stomach, a slicing of skin from three fingers. The blow intended for Basinger’s neck severed the stock of his tommy gun. “I finally managed to raise the gun and emptied it into him,” Basinger recalled, adding “then another son of heaven joined his honorable ancestors.”
September 26, 1945
50 YEARS AGO
Nearly 1,200 persons attended the Open House at the Cooper Lane Apartments in Cooperstown Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The new 24-unit complex located at the site of the old Cooperstown Central High School at Chestnut Street and Glen Avenue was viewed by people from Oneonta, Unadilla, Sidney, Binghamton, Cooperstown, and area villages. Two apartments were shown, one where Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Larsen, resident managers are now residing, and one unoccupied.
September 23, 1970
10 YEARS AGO
A total of 48 pumpkins were floating in the Cooperstown Pumpkin Regatta. The event attracted lots of visitors. “The weekend was great for us,” said Alice Gaveria, co-proprietor with husband Sergio, of Danny’s Market. “We sold out an anticipated weekend’s worth of pumpkin soup, all 10 gallons, at our stand in the Doubleday Field lot by Saturday evening.”
September 30, 2010