HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 13, 2013
125 Years Ago
Most of the stores owned by our Hebrew merchants were closed last Thursday night and they and their families observed the inception of the Jewish New Year. Thursday was the first day of Fishri, the first day of the year 5649, according to the reckoning of the Jewish calendar, and from then until after the tenth day of Fishri ensues the most solemn period of the year. Rosh Hashohah, day of remembrance, is celebrated with imposing ceremonies in the various synagogues. The penitential season which this day opens culminates on the 15th of September, which is the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur – a day of a resolute fast and the holiest of the year. Stores will close on Friday night at sundown and remain closed for 24 hours.
100 Years Ago
Record gross earnings from rail operations may be predicted for the Delaware & Hudson Company this calendar year says the Wall Street Journal. Present prospects and the earnings of the first half of the calendar year indicate also the largest net in the company’s history. For the six months ended June 30, 1913, railroad operating revenue was $11,716,339. This compares with $10,135,354 in 1912; $10,210,804 in 1911, and $9,628,645 in 1910. In each of the three preceding calendar years gross was larger in the second than in the first half. Should this prove the case in the current year, railroad operating revenue for 12 months will run between $23,500,000 and $24,000,000. In no previous calendar year has it exceeded $22,500,000. The company’s net after taxes for six months in 1913 was within $162 of $4,000,000, comparing with $3,078,106 in 1912 and $3,476,970 in 1911. The 1912 earnings were low on account of the strike, but the gain over 1911 exceeds 15 percent.
80 Years Ago
Frank D. Briggs of Jamaica Estates, Jamaica, Long Island, who is visiting at the home of his niece, Mrs. W. Clinton Noble of 274 Chestnut Street, was a former stagecoach driver on mail and passenger lines some 58 years ago around Oneonta, Cooperstown and Morris. His driving time with a two-horse team was four hours between Oneonta and Hartwick. A few days ago, a friend drove him between the two points in 20 minutes by automobile. At the age of 16 in 1875 Mr. Briggs entered the employ of L.P. Richmond of Morris, who had the mail contract between Cooperstown and Oneonta. He worked for Mr. Richmond three years until the contract expired. Leaving Cooperstown at 5 o’clock in the morning, Mr. Briggs’ schedule required that he reach Hartwick at 7 o’clock, Mt. Vision at 8:30 and Laurens at 9 o’clock. The mail was due in Oneonta between 10 and 10:30. About the same time was made on the return trip, the stage leaving here at 1 o’clock and reaching Cooperstown at 6 o’clock.
60 Years Ago
Oneonta will be following the trend already established in Utica and other northern regions of the state when many local grocery stores will raise the price of bread from 19 cents a loaf to 20 cents. The Spaulding Bakery Co., the sole bread manufacturer in Oneonta, will hike the wholesale price on its nine varieties of bread one penny, according to Herbert G. Price, Manager. Ward’s, distributor of Tip-Top Bread, raised the price one cent on Tuesday in the Oneonta area. No price announcement has been made by two other wholesale bread distributors in the Oneonta area, Curly Top Bakeries, Inc. and the United Baking Co. The manager of the Spaulding Bakeries explained the increase of the wholesale bread price by stating that the cost of materials and ingredients in making bread has mounted over the past year.
30 Years Ago
The city’s new Wilber Park pool created a big splash in its first season of use and made it through the summer with just a few minor problems, Assistant City Engineer Bruno Bruni said. “The main pool held up fine,” Bruni said, adding, “The wading pool was the one that gave us the most problems.” The wading pool was closed twice because of a broken part in the filtration system and on another occasion when there was a problem with chlorination. The cost of constructing the pool was $433,200. Attendance over the past summer reached nearly 45,000. More than 1,000 people turned out on several extremely hot days and holidays. The Common Council voted to keep the main Wilber Park pool open on weekends past Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to dusk as long as weather permits. The wading pool was closed after Labor Day.
20 Years Ago
Someday, people from all over the world will come to Oneonta to play soccer. They’ll play in a 10,000 seat stadium, or a larger indoor arena. They’ll stay in dormitories just a short walk from seven state-of-the-art playing fields and a huge museum honoring the world’s soccer legends. For 15 years, Oneonta’s Wright National Soccer Hall of Fame Campus was mostly talk, blueprints and the dream of a handful of local soccer enthusiasts. A promise of $4.5 million to build a stadium is an indication that other people believe in that dream. The state is also promising $250,000 to promote the Hall when World Cup games come to the U.S. next fall.
10 Years Ago
The annual southbound migration of birds through the upper Susquehanna region and the Catskills has begun signaling the local Audubon Society’s hawk watch at the group’s sanctuary on Franklin Mountain near Oneonta. This season marks the 15th consecutive year of counting raptors at the site. “We get excellent numbers of red-tailed hawks and golden eagles,” said Andy Mason, conservation chair of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Franklin Mountain is considered one of the prime observation spots in the eastern United States for raptor species. The first wave of hawks is expected between September 10 and 21. Last year’s total count was 4,764 raptors of 15 different species, well above the 3,000 bird average.” Just the sight of one soaring eagle makes it all worthwhile,” Mason said.