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HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 28, 2012

125 Years Ago
On Monday afternoon, with appropriate ceremonies, the corner stone was laid of the new Presbyterian Church of Oneonta. There was a goodly attendance at the services, many of those having been present having been identified with the Presbyterian Church of Oneonta for a great many years. The services were opened by words of welcome from I.S. Osborn, the senior elder of the church, after which letters were read by G.W. Reynolds, from Rev. Wm. Baldwin and Rev. Geo. O. Phelps, former pastors of the church. Scriptural reading followed by the Rev. A.B. Richardson of the Methodist Episcopal Church and then came prayer by Rev. H.H. Allen, for 17 years, the pastor of the church. The Rev. Leonard ED. Richards, moderator of the Otsego Presbytery then addressed the assembly. Articles placed in the cornerstone include names of the members of the building committee, the Sunday School teacher and class, first contributing for a new church along with other items including a photograph of the church erected in 1816, now being demolished to make way for the new.
September 1887

100 Years Ago
At the Central New York Fair, aviator Walter Johnson gave what must be conceded to be the most satisfactory exhibition ever seen here. He kept close to the grounds and was within sight of the crowds in the grandstand constantly. Back and forth across the valley he sped, now pointing upward and the next moment descending with a graceful sweep close to earth and so close to the grounds that some became fearful and up again and off across the valley and up the hillsides and over the clumps of trees he sped, his machine apparently under perfect control. Back over the grounds in an instant it seemed he came and then would make a short circle directly overhead and then off again for a longer circle. Perhaps never have so many experienced a desire to make a flight as while watching his Thomas machine flying with such apparent ease and grace.
September 1912

60 Years Ago
City Attorney Anthony DeAngelo and Mayor Roger C. Hughes will go to Albany Tuesday for a state-wide seminar on enforcement of the new multiple residence law. The law, which became effective on July 1, is to have a far-reaching effect on housing units where three or more families reside. Oneonta, as well as every city under 500,000, every town and village, must adhere to the law and must set up means of enforcement, DeAngelo reported. The law also takes in dwellings of two or more stories which have five or more boarders, roomers or lodgers in one household; also dormitories, fraternity houses, hotels, clubs, and convalescent homes. Mr. DeAngelo and Mayor Hughes said they are planning as of now to combine the office of multiple residence inspector with a new office of building inspector to be created when the Common Council adopts a building code. Such a building code is now under consideration.
September 1952

40 Years Ago
Mayor James F. Lettis announced yesterday that the city has received an $85,320 federal grant for its “open spaces” program. That money will be used primarily to develop a new section of Neahwa Park – 11 acres of land just inside the Gas Avenue entrance to the park. Announcement of the grant came yesterday in a telegram from New York’s two senators, Jacob Javits and James Buckley, to Mayor Lettis. The grant is from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The new section is expected to include golf putting greens, a hockey rink, basketball courts, a children’s play area and toilet facilities. The grant represents 50 percent of the estimated total cost of the project. The grant also provides for the re-laying of flagstone sidewalks, removal of diseased elm trees, the already completed lighting project at Damaschke Field, and other projects.
September 1972

30 Years Ago
Twenty-eight men and women were graduated from the Otsego Area School of Practical Nursing in ceremonies September 23 at the Oneonta High School. Anne Marie LeoGrande of Oneonta was named the outstanding student of the class. Receiving diplomas were: Julie Bartlett, Rhonda D. Barton, Leon Beach, Beverly A. Bott, Betty Burr, Carolyn Collins, Mary H. Colone, Donna E. Cook, Angela M. Della Torre, Susan Gay, Maureen Harrington, Maureen Haviland, Karen Higgins, Sue Kiser, Anne Marie LeoGrande, Jacqueline Murphy Shea, Michael Murphy, Maietta O’Keefe, Anne Oliver, Patricia Rodemas, Jane Simmons, Bonnie J. Sorbera, Cece Stevens, Betty D. Thompson, Don Tripp, Mari J. Tubbs Allen, Paula D. Ulmer, and Marilyn Zaengle. The graduation address was given by Barbara Chamberlain, assistant director, Pathfinder Village, Edmeston.
September 1982

20 Years Ago
Ninety area students sat spellbound as they listened to sobering stories of the devastating results of substance abuse during the Seventh Annual Delaware County Students Against Driving Drunk Conference at the Phoenix House on Friday. Lisa Schaffer, 28, a Phoenix House counselor, took the floor and described her high school years growing up in Delhi and how she succumbed to peer pressure. She admitted to sneaking out of her house at night to party, after her parents thought she was in bed asleep. Her substance abuse began with alcohol but soon encompassed marijuana, cocaine and speed. “My sobering experience occurred on December 24, 1984,” said Schaffer. “I was sober and on my way home from work when I was hit head on by a drunk driver.”
September 1992

10 Years Ago
Visitors to Huntington Library in Oneonta this week will be able to view displays of books that either have been banned or challenged over the years by people who question their content. Among the books that have been suppressed or censored by school and legal authorities are James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “MacBeth,” “King Lear” and “Merchant of Venice,” J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” American Library Association officials say Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to express one’s opinion, even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.” The message of Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox viewpoints to all who wish to read them.
September 2002



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