News of Otsego County

Fly Creek

Fly Creek Fire District Elects New Commissioners

Fly Creek Fire District Elects New Commissioners


Keith Dickinson, Sam Hoskins and Edward Kuken-berger emerged as winners in a hotly contested election on Tuesday, December 13 for three seats on the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fly Creek Fire District.

Dickinson defeated Joan Kegelman, the sitting appointed chairman, for a full five-year term. Hoskins, who ran unopposed, will fill a vacant seat for a three-year term, and Kukenberger will rejoin the board for a one-year term, having defeated challenger Kevin Green.

The three winning candidates will join Christine Voulo and Betty Staffin, who are currently serving five-year terms.

Structure Fire

Structure Fire in Fly Creek

A raging fire broke out in Fly Creek off of county highway 26 at the intersection with Stone House Road on the morning of Friday, November 25. Though local emergency responders arrived early to the scene, it had already consumed much of the structure. We’ve been told the entire family was evacuated successfully.

STRAUB: Last Week’s Letter Clarified
Letter from Sue Straub

Last Week’s Letter Clarified

Hello again. I am so sorry that my original comment implied that people over 70 cannot do as much. What I meant is that our local American Legion/VFW needs more retired veterans of all ages to get involved, take on leadership roles and plan projects.

Please forgive any negativity that may have resulted from previous comments.

Sue Straub
Fly Creek

In Memoriam Terry W. Onyan, 65 July 5, 1957 – October 15, 2022
In Memoriam

Terry W. Onyan, 65

July 5, 1957 – October 15, 2022

COOPERSTOWN – Terry W. Onyan, a long-time Cooperstown and Fly Creek resident, passed away due to recent health issues late Saturday afternoon, October 15, 2022, at his home in Fly Creek with his loving wife, Wendy at his side.
Born July 5, 1957, in Norwich, Terry was the son of Hobart and Norma (Rothwell) Onyan. As a young boy, Terry and his family moved to Cooperstown where he graduated from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1976.
During his high school years Terry started working at Smith Ford, where he continued as a dedicated employee until his retirement on February 25, 2022. He was truly a fixture at the dealership.

He enjoyed racing and working on his race car, riding motorcycles, and especially loved driving his vintage red 1969 Ford Mustang.

Terry will be greatly missed by his family and all those whose lives he touched.

In Memoriam Bruce D. Andrews, 65 December 1, 1956 – October 1, 2022
In Memoriam

Bruce D. Andrews, 65

December 1, 1956 – October 1, 2022

Bruce D. Andrews

SCHUYLER LAKE – Bruce D. Andrews, born in Cooperstown on December 1,1956, died unexpectedly on October 1, 2022.

He was the son of Margaret (Marge) and Arthur Andrews, of Fly Creek. In his youth and throughout his high school years, Bruce was a proud member of the Boy Scouts of America in the Cooperstown and Fly Creek areas and earned all 21 of the Merit Badges required for his Eagle Scout Award.

He graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1974, SUNY Cobleskill in 1976, attended Michigan Tech in 1977 and graduated with a BS degree in Wildlife Services from The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point in 1978. After college Bruce worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Madison, Wisconsin, and Benson, Minnesota. In 1981, he returned home and began work at Herkimer County BOCES.  During the summer months, he worked at Baseball Nostalgia (BBN), a memorabilia shop in Cooperstown.  In 1990, he left BOCES and began working as the full-time manager at BBN. 

That same year he married Sue Clapperton on May 11.  They lived in Schuyler Lake, where they enjoyed a wonderful life together.

This Week: 09-29-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

September 29, 2022


Police were called Monday, September 26, to restrain a customer. The customer, who will not be identified, had requested a free packet of cigarettes and then started throwing themselves against the glass of the store front, breaking windows and injuring themselves. Read more about this incident HERE.


Cornell Cooperative Extension Embarking on Huge Project

Weekly Medical Briefs: 09-29-22

Inside The Paper

Fly Creek General Store Vandalized

Bassett Healthcare Network Is Among State’s 2022 Best Employers

Springbrook Closes Purchase of Historic Ford Block on Oneonta’s Main Street

Sign Celebrates Historic Role of Route 20



The Great Turkey Hunt



News from the Noteworthy: Battle Plans

Life Sketches: Puffball hunting

The Dog Charmer: No Bad dog


SCALICI: Value of School Staff

MASKIN: Domestic Violence

PUCCI: Miller Support


BOUND VOLUMES: September 29, 2022

Fall Photo

Photo of the Birch Pond at Wilber State Park, Oneonta. (Photo: Nicholas Durwin)


John Poole Briggs

Autumn Dreams

Hyde Hall Ghost Tours Relive History in Spooky Setting

TedxOneonta Speakers Talk of Transformation

Fly Creek Fire Company Introduces Holiday Card

Historical Association Fetes Autumn with Festival


Happenin’ Otsego

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.

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