News of Otsego County

Fly Creek

In Memoriam Geoffrey H. Goodwin, 50 December 30, 1971 – June 15, 2022

In Memoriam

Geoffrey H. Goodwin, 50

December 30, 1971 – June 15, 2022

Geoffrey H. Goodwin

FLY CREEK – Geoffrey Harrison Goodwin, 50, passed away on June 15, 2022, at home in Fly Creek. He was born December 30, 1971, at New York Hospital to Gary and Sally Goodwin. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1972 and then to Fly Creek in 1988.

After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1990, Geoff attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree. He worked as a Laboratory Technician at Bassett Medical Center for four years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University.

Geoff was a writer. His freelance publications were wide ranging but he took the greatest pleasure in his poetry and short stories. He loved and collected books and also ran an independent bookstore where people delighted in stopping by to visit and joke with him. He was fascinated by words and their meanings and got into trouble in high school for reading the dictionary instead of whatever he should have been doing. Based in Natick and Framingham Massachusetts, Geoff really enjoyed living in the Boston area. He had a lifelong passion for the Boston Celtics.

This Week – 04-28-22
Historic Fly Creek Hotel might see the wrecking ball soon

Historic Fly Creek Hotel might
see the wrecking ball soon

The Fly Creek Hotel, foreground, stands before a barn that is also on the application for demolition. (Tara Barnwell/

An application filed on behalf of the Leatherstocking Corporation to demolish the historic Fly Creek Hotel at the corner of Route 28 and Schoolhouse Road has triggered a 2017 local law allowing the public to comment on the plans, and Town of Otsego officials anticipate an “interesting” session on May 3.

“I’m sure there have been demolitions in the past in the Town of Otsego, but none of them have triggered this process that is happening now,” said Cindy Falk, chair of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission for the Town of Otsego. She and commission members Tom Heitz, Shirley Rathbone, Mitchell Owen, and David Olsen are preparing for the hearing, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Town building on Route 31 in Fly Creek.

“This ordinance was put into place in order to slow the process down and to make sure all the alternatives to demolition are presented to the applicant,” she said. “This makes it more deliberate and gives people time to weigh in.”

Ms. Falk said neither the law nor the hearing process oblige the applicant to abide by comments offered.

In Memoriam Robert T. Davenport, 55 October 15, 1966 – March 24, 2022

In Memoriam

Robert T. Davenport, 55

October 15, 1966 – March 24, 2022

Robert T. Davenport

FLY CREEK – Robert Thomas Davenport, 55, of Fly Creek and Medford, New Jersey, passed away unexpectedly Thursday afternoon, March 24, 2022, at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey.

He was born October 15, 1966, at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the firstborn son of Robert Duane and Geni (Alves) Davenport. Robert lived in South Philadelphia and Brooklyn before settling in Medford Lakes, New Jersey, where he attended both Lenape and Shawnee High Schools and graduated with the Class of 1984. From 1991-1995 he attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he majored in political science and history. Although he was an avid student of history both ancient and modern, his hands-on work was primarily in computer science, first in research and then as founding partner in one of the earliest internet service providers in southern Burlington County. After moving Upstate in 2000, he devoted himself to family.

In Memoriam Caroline M. S. Harter, 96 May 24, 1925 – March 14, 2022

In Memoriam

Caroline M. S. Harter, 96

May 24, 1925 – March 14, 2022

Caroline M. S. Harter

FLY CREEK – Caroline “Carol” Mary Swanston Harter died of natural causes at her home in Fly Creek, NY, on Monday, March 14, 2022. She was 96. Carol was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and grandmother. She was an inspiration, a caring friend and a special confidant to many people, both young and old. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Bruce H. Harter, who died December 15, 2014, parents John K. and Janet Gray Swanston, brother Stewart, and brother-in-law Ernest Gero. Carol is survived by three daughters, Lucinda Henson of Fly Creek, Melissa (Charles Tangemann) of Hastings, NE, Janet (Les Saucier) of Brevard, NC, and son, Jason (Jeanine Dykstra) of Fly Creek. She is also survived by three grand children, Janelle Harter (Jason) and Brent and Jonathon Henson (Lucinda), and siblings Jack Swanston (Shirley) of Chateaugay, NY, and Genevieve Gero (Ernest) of Burke, NY, as well as three great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and a great grand niece and two great grand nephews.

Carol was born in Burke, NY, on May 24, 1925. Her parents owned a family farm near the Canadian border. Carol attended District 14 Country School through eighth grade, then entered Chateaugay High School. Upon graduation, Carol enrolled at Plattsburgh State Teachers College (now SUNY Plattsburgh), where she graduated in 1946 with a degree in home economics. Carol then taught at Richfield Springs Central School, Richfield Springs, NY, until 1951.

On August 7, 1949, Carol married Bruce H. Harter of Jordanville, NY. They were married at the North Burke Presbyterian Church, afterwards living in Jordanville, where they owned and operated Lime Top Farm until 1967. Carol and Bruce remained in Jordanville, where they were devoted members of the Jordanville Federated Church, until 1995 when they moved to Burlington Flats, NY. Ten years later, the couple relocated to Fly Creek, where they built a home in the Fly Creek Valley and lived the remainder of their lives.

Albert John Zigon Jr., 71 March 6, 1950 – October 28, 2021

In Memoriam

Albert John Zigon Jr., 71

March 6, 1950 – October 28, 2021

Albert J. Zigon, Jr.

FLY CREEK – Albert John Zigon Jr., 71, of Fly Creek, New York, passed away peacefully on October 28, 2021.

Al was born in Cooperstown, New York, on March 6, 1950. At the age of 19, Al left Cooperstown, and lived in Idaho, Alaska, and California, only to return to Fly Creek, his favorite place on earth, to spend his remaining three years.

Al, with his “full of life”, vivacious personality, was known by many nicknames: Albee, Ziggy, Alboo, Dad, Grandpa, Papa, and Honey.  They all blend together into a perfect mosaic of an amazingly happy life. Al will most certainly be remembered by his enormous generosity, selflessness, and desire to help others.

Byron O. Crowson, 68 July 4, 1953 – October 12, 2021

In Memoriam

Byron O. Crowson, 68

July 4, 1953 – October 12, 2021

FLY CREEK – In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Byron O’Neal Crowson passed away unexpectedly.  He bravely and optimistically confronted failing health during the past six months.  He was a devoted husband and father.

Byron was born on July 4, 1953, in Dayton, Ohio.  He was a son of the late Joseph and Beatrice (Hendrickson) Crowson. Byron graduated from Tecumseh High School in New Carlisle, Ohio, received his associate degree in nursing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and his bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Byron was a dedicated Registered Nurse for more than 40 years and was employed at Ohio State University and at the Dayton VA Hospital, prior to relocating to Fly Creek.  It was while he was working as a nursing supervisor that he met his future wife, Joanne Weidel.  They were wed on May 5, 2002, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.

Inge Otten Roemer, 100  February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

In Memoriam

Inge Otten Roemer, 100

 February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

Inge Otten Roemer

Inge Otten Roemer, 100, a resident of Sand Hill, Otego, Fly Creek and Oneonta in Otsego County for 75 years, passed away Saturday night, October 16, 2021, at her home in Otego.

A native of Germany, Inge was born February 1, 1921, in Hamburg, a daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth (Bartels) Bondiek. When she was 2 ½ she and her parents moved from Germany to Fairview, New Jersey, to live with an uncle who paid their way to the States. One of her earliest memories was witnessing the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. As a teenager she worked in the summer as kitchen help for a wealthy family, and also on a farm that had summer boarders. After graduation from Cliffside High School in 1938, she traveled to Germany to live with relatives still in the old country, as well as to begin her training as a school teacher, studying the methods of kindergarten founder Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel at the Froebel School in Hamburg.

Her training was interrupted in August 1939, when the American Consulate sent a message to “leave immediately” because the German borders were closing at midnight. With the help of friends and strangers, Inge was able to take a ferry to Sweden, then drive through the night to Oslo, Norway. As her German Reichsmarks were suddenly worthless, it was only through the kindness of an American – who happened to live near where her parents were living in New Jersey – that she was able to book passage on the Norwegian  SS Bergensfjord.

5K in honor of 9/11 first responders takes place at Fly Creek Fire Department

Frank Wilsey, left, Corlissa Card, middle, and Megan Rodriguez, right, lead the runners Saturday, Sept. 4, at the start of the 5K at the Fly Creek Fire Department. (Kevin Limiti/

5K in honor of
9/11 first responders
takes place at
Fly Creek Fire Department

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

FLY CREEK — With American flags flying all around, runners took off at the Fly Creek Fire Department for the annual run in honor of 9/11 first responders, Saturday, Sept. 4.

There was about 100 people in Fly Creek to see the memorial event, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, who greeted the runners and their families prior to the start of the race.

Also on hand was Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who said it was an honor to be there in support of 9/11 first responders.

Fly Creek Cider Mill announces Aug. 14, reopening date

Fly Creek Cider Mill volunteers Charlie Michaels and Jim Brophy, both of Fly Creek, work early 1900s apple parers for visitors in this 2014 file photo. (Ian Austin /

Fly Creek Cider Mill
announces Aug. 14,
reopening date

Staff Report • Special to

The Fly Creek Cider Mill announced it will reopen Saturday, Aug. 14.

The mill, which dates back to 1856, and has been owned by the Michaels family for two generations, closed at the beginning of the year because of the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mill made the announcement on its website this week. The post read:

“We are delighted to announce the reopening of the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard on August 14, 2021.  During the winter closure, we have re-structured so that the Michaels Family will retain ownership. We thank our visitors, fans, neighbors and Flavorful Rewards members for their patience and understanding during this difficult time. Most importantly our long-standing partnership with Farm Credit East enables this re-opening – the mill’s 165th year!

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83 September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

In Memoriam

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83

September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jenö Seléndy and Irén Kosma on September 5, 1937, passed away peacefully in his home on July 5, 2021, after an intense and devoted life of public service and study in three countries. He spent his last years in the pursuit of lifelong passions, including for reflection, writing, reading, karate, and photography, living quietly with his beloved Patricia Gambitta in Fly Creek, New York.

Balázs grew up in war-torn Hungary, spending his childhood in the midst of the deprivations of World War II. With Calvinist and Catholic parents but a Jewish paternal grandfather, his family stayed beyond reach of the Nazis due in part to his father’s military service to the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI.

In October and November 1956, as a young medical student, Balázs fought in the spontaneous, student-led revolution against the Soviet-backed Hungarian People’s Republic. After a large Soviet force invaded Hungary and destroyed the uprising, rounding up revolutionaries, Balázs was forced to leave his family, including younger brother Szabolcs, and to emigrate with other Hungarian refugees under cover of darkness across the border to Austria. His father gave him a treasured Leica camera to pay for his crossing, but, after Balázs helped a fellow refugee escape, she paid for him, and he photographed with the Leica for decades.

Fly Creek Cider Mill announces reopening, date TBA

MSNBC anchor Kate Snow broadcasts her show from the Fly Creek Cider Mill in 2016. (Ian Austin/

Fly Creek Cider Mill
announces reopening,
date TBA

STAFF REPORT • Special to

FLY CREEK  –  The historic Fly Creek Cider Mill announced via social media that it will reopen later this year.

In a message from owner Bill Michaels, which was shared on the Facebook page Celebrate Cooperstown, the mill announced it will reopen after a business reorganization and with help from Farm Credit East.

The Michaels family has owned the mill for two generations of its 164 year history, but closed in January, after the coronavirus pandemic slowed sales to a halt in early 2021.

William L. Ross, Sr., 80 Veteran, Tinkerer, Owned B&S Inn

In Memoriam

William L. Ross, Sr., 80
Veteran, Tinkerer, Owned B&S Inn

William L. Ross, Sr.

FLY CREEK –  William L. Ross, Sr., (80) of Willow Avenue in Fly Creek died Saturday June 5, 2021 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

Born March 30, 1941 in Ilion, NY  Bill was the only child of William E. and Elizabeth (Houck) Ross. He graduated from Cooperstown High School in the Class of 1959 and following graduation enlisted in the US Air Force serving his country until 1963 as an aircraft mechanic. In 1966 Bill married Sheila Skubitz of Fly Creek.

Following his military service Bill worked  driving trucks for Frank Trinkas of Fly Creek, then worked in manufacturing at Chicago Pneumatics in Utica, thereafter for a number of years, he was employed at Suburban Propane as a service technician and finally, he and his wife Sheila, owned and operated the B&S Inn in Oaksville  for nearly 15 years.

Fenimore Exhibit Brings Mary Nolan’s Art Indoors

Fenimore Exhibit Brings
Mary Nolan’s Art Indoors

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Artist Mary Nolan at the Railroad Avenue studio she shares with May-Britt Joyce and Maria Tripp. The dominant painting is “River Bend, Low Tide.” (Jim Kevlin/

Some 25 years ago, when she was Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director, Polly Renckens held a meeting of people with space to spare in their homes.

“We have tourists,” Polly told the gathering. “We need some place to put them. If you have space for a B&B, consider it.”

Mary Nolan, who had been doing art as long as she can remember, received a call from a friend whose mother had a farm in the countryside around Fly Creek. “Would you like to manage a B&B?”

Nolan, who had vacationed in Cooperstown and liked it here, said yes.

In B&Bs, there are busy times and less busy times, and in the less busy times Mary took her paints and easel behind the house and began to paint the nature she saw – plein air, out of doors.

“Around here, it’s beautiful,” she said in an interview after The Fenimore Art Museum announced that “Water As Muse: Paintings by Mary Nolan,” will be this summer’s local exhibition.

Nolan’s works will appear among that of such notables as photographer Ansel Adams and the featured show, “Keith Haring: Radiant Vision,” containing more than 100 works of the celebrated
pop artist.

Max E. Lewis, 68; Fell In Love With Area, Never Left

IN MEMORIAM: Max E. Lewis, 68;

Fell In Love With Area, Never Left

Max E. Lewis

FLY CREEK VALLEY – Max Emory Lewis, 68, who originally came to Cooperstown in 1986 to install the Clark Gym’s bowling alley and never left, passed away at his home Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, with his son and longtime friend at his side.

Max was born on Jan. 29, 1952, at his childhood home in East Hopewell Township, Pa. Max was one of five children of Geraldine Elizabeth McWilliams and Richard Millard Lewis. He graduated with the Class of 1970 from Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Grove, Pa.

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