News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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GOHS

River Street House Where Fictional Det. ‘Philo Vance’ Was Born Is Endangered

River Street House Where

Fictional Det. ‘Philo Vance’

Was Created Is Endangered

Salvation Army Plans To Raze It,

But GOHS May Object To Plans

S.S. Van Dine’s detective novels – aka Willard Huntington Wright – were frequently made into movies in the first half of the 20th Century starring such famous actors at William Powell and Mary Astor.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Hidden behind a row of overgrown trees on River Street is a literary legacy.

GOHS Executive Director Bob Brzozowski strolls past 31 Railroad St., where famous “Philo Vance” mysteries were being written a century ago. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

As S.S. Van Dine, Willard Huntington Wright (1888-1939), wrote 12 novels starring dandy detective Philo Vance – and Bob Brzozowski, Greater Oneonta Historical Society executive director, believes that they were written here.

“We know his novel ‘The Man of Promise’ (196) was partially written in the cupola of 31 River Street,” said Brzozowski. “It’s set in Greenwood, which is based on Oneonta. H.L. Mencken called it ‘the Great American Novel’. We believe he wrote some of the Vance novels here as well.”

The heritage will remain, but the house, neglected for year, is about to succumb to the ravages of time.

The Salvation Army, whose local operation is growing, bought the property in March, first to build a parking lot, then expanding its building.

“We need more room,” said Maj. Sharon Harford, the veteran commander who is retiring at the end of May. “We want to expand our food pantry, and the city is looking to us to create a warming station for the homeless when the temperature drops.”

Historian To City: Repair Scatchard Monument

ONEONTAN DIED CENTURY AGO

Historian: Repair Statue

Honoring WWI Heroine

Historian Robert Calendresa points to a slide of the Ethel Scatchard Memorial in Neahwa Park this afternoon during a lecture on her life, sponsored by the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Scatchard, an Oneonta native, died of pneumonia on Feb. 11, 1919, at age 32 in Paris, where she was working at a Red Cross Canteen. As part of the talk, he urged the city to put aside funds to fix the monument, which has fallen into disrepair. “We owe this to Ethel,” he said. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
I’d Buy That For a Dollar!

‘I’d Buy That 

For A Dollar!’

Historical Advertising Focus

Of Newest GOHS Exhibit

Tom Heitz, local historian and volunteer at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society shows off some of the scores of historical advertisements on display at GOHS’s newest exhibit Oneonta Commercial Advertising: From the 1850’s to the New Millennium. The exhibit pulled from a collection of nearly 700 ads from the archives of the Oneonta Herald and other local papers from The Fenimore Art Museum microfilm collection. “We all sat down and went through them to pick out what we thought were the best ones.” said Heitz. The exhibit is presented in chronological order so trends in advertising can be seen through the decades. A reception will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at GOHS. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Oneonta Photographers Exhibit On Display At City Hall

Oneonta Photography Exhibit

Now On Display At City Hall

Wayne Wright, the Greater Oneonta Historical Society’s, shows off a two-lens stereoscopic camera that is featured in three panels from the “Oneonta Photographers, 1850-1900” he staged for GOHS during the fall now being installed in the City Hall lobby. The show features work from William Mereness, Perry Young and Howard N. Smith, who took some of the earliest images of Oneonta. At right, Wright shows Mayor Gary Herzig a stereoscope of the D&H rail yards. Stereoscopes, photographs, cameras and other ephemera will be on display through the end of March. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

GOHS Honors Liz Morley With The Hofbauer Award

GOHS Honors Liz Morley

With The Hofbauer Award

Bob Brzozowski and Corinne Smith, President of GOHS, presenting the Eduard Hofbauer Outstanding Service Award to Liz Morley at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society Annual Meeting earlier this evening. Morley, a board member since 2015, and Chair of the Programming Committee, received the award in recognition of her hard work and dedication to the GOHS, which she has displayed many areas including setting up exhibits, planning and hosting events, soliciting donations and more. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3

Performance Of Sophocles ‘Antigone’

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SHAKESPEARE – 7 p.m. Hartwick Theater Arts Department presents production of “Antigone” by American Shakespeare Center. Reservations required. Slade Theater, Yager Hall, Hartwick College, Oneonta. 607-431-4227 or visit www.hartwick.edu/news/hartwick-presents-american-shakespeare-centers-antigone/

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – 12:30 p.m. Lecture “Seen and Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham” with Kevin Gray, Manager of Arts Education & photographer. Cost, $30/non-member. Study Center, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JUNE 29
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JUNE 29

Small Town, Big Band

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CONCERT – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Return to swing music with the Small Town Big Band. Bring lawn chairs, blankets & a picnic and enjoy. Free, open to the public. South Lawn, Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Rd., Cooperstown, NY. Call 607-547-5098 or visit hydehall.org/event/small-town-big-band-in-concert/

BENEFIT DINNER – 5 – 7 p.m. Enjoy fish fry dinner with coleslaw, french fries, cake, refreshments for $10. Proceeds benefit the Greater Oneonta Historical Society’s Building Fund Challenge. Oneonta Vets Club, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.OneontaHistory.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JUNE 24
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JUNE 24

Tour The World In Music

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CONCERT – 3 p.m. Oneonta Community Concert Band presents a World Tour in Music featuring the “Star Spangled Banner,” “King Cotton March,” “Marche des Parachutists Belges,” “Amparito Roca,” more. Wilber Park, Oneonta. Call 607-437-0152.

GRADUATION – 1:30 p.m. CCS Seniors receive their diplomas. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 7

Walk Through Oneonta Armory

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WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Bob Brzozowski & Jim Hawver lead tour of former Armory, built in 1905, on the State & National Registers of Historic Places. Asa Allison Jr Municipal Building, 4 Academy St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

TEA TASTING – 4 – 7 p.m. Nini Ordoubadi, founder of Tay Tea, presents her hand-blended artisanal teas. Enjoy a variety of iced teas and tea cocktails perfect for summer enjoyment. The Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 14
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 14

Find Unique Items

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AUCTION – 5:30 p.m. Annual event with live & wall auction featuring Phish tickets, art, jewelry, vacation, antiques, more. Free child care available. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 607-432-3491 or visit www.facebook.com/UUSOneonta/

HISTORY SHOW – 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Visit the Postcard and Ephemera Show featuring a display of vintage postcards, sheet music, posters, documents, trading cards, more. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

Past, Present & Future Of Urban Renewal Focus of GOHS Panel

Urban Renewal, City Planning

Focus of GOHS Panel Talk

Keynote speakers SUNY President Nancy Kleniewski and Mayor Gary Herzig listen as Hartwick College Prof. Carly Ficano her remarks during a panel discussion on trends in urban renewal policies past and present held this afternoon at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. “Oneonta needs to consider how it looks to the outside world.” said Ficano, “We need to consider what we have to offer in order to bring new people and businesses to the area.” The panel discussed various trends that arose in the the 60’s and 70’s and how their effects are still felt and seen today in current and future urban planning for the City of Oneonta. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
SEWARD BRINGS $250M TO REDO HISTORY CENTER

SEWARD BRINGS

$250K TO REDO

HISTORY CENTER

GOHS Board Member Bill Pietraface presents Senator Seward with a commemorative statuette reflecting Oneonta’s love of baseball and proximity to Cooperstown, and praises him for “hitting a 250-grand slam.” (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Grant Will Largely Complete

15 Years OF GOHS Strivings

Applauding Senator Seward’s announcement are, from left, GOHS member Wayne Wright, the retired NYSHA library director, GOHS President Corinne Bresee Smith, past president John Carney, and Carney’s daughter Caralee.

ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, this afternoon joined Greater Oneonta Historical Society officers in announcing a $250,000 state grant to largely complete the renovations of the second and third floors of the Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St.

The history center, Seward said, “is a showcase for the city’s past and a key component of the downtown revitalization taking place in Oneonta.”

In thanking the senator, GOHS President Corinne Bresee Smith expressed her organization’s gratitude, calling him “a native son of Oneonta (who) knows the value of our past and is invested in the vitality of our future.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JUNE 2
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JUNE 2

The Avett Brothers Return

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OMMEGANG CONCERT – 5 p.m. The Avett Brothers return for the summer concert series. Advance tickets, $50. Brewery Ommegang, 656 Cty. Hwy. 33, Cooperstown. Info, www.ommegang.com

MANSION SHOW RECEPTION – 5-8 p.m. Theme: RESIST!. Artists use their own interpretation be it political, personal, formal, or otherwise. Juried Art show open to all artist in all mediums. Community Arts Network of Oneonta. Info, www.canoneonta.org/event/exhibition-2017-mansion-show/?instance_id=777

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103