Mayor Details Advance Of Cooperstown’s Parks

JANE CLARK NAMED CITIZEN OF YEAR

Mayor Details Advance

Of Cooperstown’s Parks

The feud between James Fenimore Cooper and Cooperstown over citizens’ unauthorized use of what today is the Three Mile Point village park went on four decades after the writer’s death in 1851, until Samuel Shaw, half-century editor/proprietor of The Freeman’s Journal, bought it from a Cooper heir in the 1890s and turn it over to the village.  Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch recounted that controversy in discussing the history of the village’s four lakeside parks – Three Mile, plus Lakefront,  Council Rock and Fairy Spring (no “s”) – at yesterday’s annual meeting of the Otsego Lake Association at Fairy Spring.  The Lake Association named Jane Forbes Clark, inset, as its Lake Citizen of the Year, an honor accepted on her behalf by Bob Sutherland, Mohican Farm manager.  In her lecture, Tillapaugh recounted how a feud between Clark’s grandfather, Stephen C. Clark, and his brother, Robert Sterling Clark, caused the latter to sell all his local holding in the 1930s and leave town; the Lakefront Park property went to Otsego County, and the village then bought it from the county for $15,000 with a gift from Robert Clark for that purpose.  She also detailed more recent history, and how a park master plan in the 1990s open the door for grants to create today’s Three Mile Point; Rotary Club donations were also key to the effort.  Jim Howarth and David Sanford continue as OLA co-presidents. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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