HOMETOWN HISTORY: March 25, 2021


March 18, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

135 Years Ago

M. & L. Westcott, who are about to begin the construction of a four-story brick block to contain four stores on Main Street near the fire building, have arranged to open a new street between the proposed block and the residence of Dr. Hamilton, to be called Hamilton Avenue. The street will run from Main to Front Street and will be paved. As an easy grade can be obtained from the freight depot, it will doubtless prove a popular thoroughfare for teamsters and others. (Ed. Note: The area once occupied by Hamilton Street is today a parking lot)

March 1886

110 Years Ago

Local News – Oneonta, according to a table compiled by the state excise commissioner, has fewer drinking places in proportion to population, than any other city in the state. Its ratio is one licensed place to each 558 of population. Cortland’s ratio is 1 to 426 and Binghamton 1 to 397.
The junior class of Oneonta High School gave a reception last Friday evening to the faculty, sophomore and senior classes. As the date was St. Patrick’s Day, the color scheme was green and white, with shamrocks and other decorations. College and school banners were also used. The junior class committee consisted of Montiori Paige, Marcia Saxton, Lila Hall, and Herbert Getman. There was dancing to 11 o’clock to the music of Deusler’s orchestra.

March 1911

90 Years Ago

What police alleged was a “wild disorderly dance” conducted by Mrs. Sarah McMullen, 50 years old, of 14 Baker Street, ended in Oneonta City Court Saturday morning before Judge Frank C. Huntington who collected nearly $100 in fines for the city coffers. The raid was the largest ever staged in this city. Acting on a complaint registered by a neighbor, members of the city police night force, led by acting sergeant Revera Still, swooped down upon the dance home shortly after 2:15 o’clock Saturday morning. Taken in the police net, beside Mrs. McMullen, were about 30 men of various ages and 10 young girls. Police said 14 trips were required to transport the prisoners to headquarters. After questioning at police headquarters by Chief of Police Frank Horton, the dancers were handed summons to appear in court on charges of violating city ordinance three. Mrs. McMullen was held on charges of violating Section 1146 of the penal law. At a court session lasting five hours, Mrs. McMullen was fined $10 and paroled for a period of two years. Twenty-five men were fined $3 each. Samuel Bennett, 39 years old, of Baker Street, who was found prone at the McMullen home in an intoxicated condition, was fined $10 and given a suspended sentence of six months. The 10 young girls were placed on probation for a year. Victor Moore, 30 years old, who sold liquor at the dance, was arrested on charges of violating the Oneonta liquor ordinance.

March 1931

50 Years Ago

A glass bottle recycling drive is being planned for April or early May in Oneonta according to Earl Fesler, manager of the local Coca-Cola beverage operation. The drive will be carried out by Coca-Cola independently, with or without support from the community. “We are making plans to make this a permanent thing,” Fesler said. The Oneonta drive will be based on model drives carried out by Coca-Cola in Rochester and New York City. In Rochester, Coca-Cola, joined with several other companies, community organizations and individuals, to set up collection points throughout the city. Over a ten-day period, 110 tons of glass was collected and recycled. In New York City, Coca-Cola worked unilaterally, paying a penny for each glass bottle
returned. Fesler favors the Rochester plan for Oneonta. “However, we’ll go it alone, if we have to.”

March 1971

40 Years Ago

The Otsego County Industrial Development Agency reported Tuesday that it will advertise bids to construct the proposed $1.2 million Pony Farm Road Industrial Park in Oneonta. Two months ago, the IDA acquired the 81.4 acre site, including land donated by the city, for $230,000. Construction is slated to begin in April. The park will include space for 11 industries such as firms that provide paper products, food processing services, or electronics manufacture. IDA officials estimate that the industrial park will employ 500 to 750 area residents when it is in full operation.

March 1981

30 Years Ago

Chaitanya Samudrala, Miss Tri-County Teen-Ager 1990, announces that the 1991 Miss Tri-County Teen-Ager Pageant will be staged at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m. Contestants should arrive at 12 noon for orientation, interview, photo sessions and rehearsal. Contestants from the counties of Delaware, Greene and Otsego are eligible. The competition includes interviews with a panel of judges, and a swim suit and evening gown competition. Prizes include a four-day trip to Norwich, New York for the winner who will be eligible to compete in the statewide contest. Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality trophies will also be awarded. There is no talent competition.

March 1991

20 Years Ago

State Senator James L. Seward has been awarded the highest ranking of any state legislator for keeping health care costs affordable in a report distributed by The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care. The Alliance includes 50 chambers of commerce statewide and 140 businesses within Seward’s district. “I will continue to work for state policies that provide more health insurance for more people at an affordable cost with limits on the mandates imposed by the state that drive up costs,” Seward said.

March 2001

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