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hometown history

HOMETOWN History Aug. 16, 2019

HOMETOWN History

Aug. 16, 2019

150 Years Ago

The total eclipse of the sun which occurs this week Saturday, will not only be a most imposing spectacle, but also one of the most important of astronomical phenomena. Among barbarian tribes it ever excited apprehension, while among cultivated nations it is recognized from the exactness with which the time of occurrence and the various appearances answer to the prediction, as affording one of the proudest triumphs of astronomy. Although such an eclipse occurs nearly every year somewhere on the earth, yet the area within it can be observed is so smallish, it happens to few persons to witness one in the course of a lifetime. Two total eclipses only have been visible in the United States since the beginning of the present century, those of 1806 and 1834.

August 1869

125 Years Ago

The first annual convention of the Otsego County Fireman’s Association met in the Exchange Hall on Dietz Street, Oneonta Wednesday at 11 a.m. Some fifty delegates were present at the business meeting,
representing the fire companies and
departments of Morris, Schenevus, Cooperstown, Unadilla, Richfield Springs, Otego, Gilbertsville and Oneonta. In the evening a banquet in honor of the visiting delegates was given by the executive committee of the local fire department at the Windsor Hotel. The menu was very elaborate and the good things provided were partaken of with a gusto which was in itself the banquet’s best praise. Thursday occurred the first annual parade and tournament of the Otsego County Firemen’s Association. The parade started at about 11:40 a.m. from the foot of Broad Street.

August 1894

100 Years Ago

Otsego County is now represented in the American Legion. This is the first post to be organized in Otsego County despite the fact that many other counties with smaller population and considerably less number of service men have several posts in operation. At American Legion state headquarters it is believed that additional posts will be formed in Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Hartwick, Otego, Richfield Springs, Unadilla, Worcester, and many other towns as sufficient service men reside in those localities to start good posts. Only fifteen men are required to sign an application, which should be mailed to the County Chairman, George W. Augustin, of Oneonta.

August 1919

80 Years Ago

Three Oneontans will be among the ten musicians who will compete for cash prizes of $15 and $10, as well as merchandise awards, in the “Old-Time Fiddlers’ Contest”
on Wednesday evening in front of the Townsend Hardware Co. where the public can gather in the street to witness the competition. Contestants will be Charles Ellis, Floyd Wheeler, and Robert O’Brien
of Oneonta; Ferris Layman of Otego; Clifford Hess of Sydney; William Kellogg of Portlandville; L.H. Wheat of Mt. Vision; Charles Couse of Sidney Center; Omar Spooner of Richmondville; and Russell Alger of Masonville. The evening’s program will open with a half-hour concert by Keeton’s band.

August 1939

60 Years Ago

It was all through the assistance of Huntington Memorial Library. Chris Spingola, 15 Main Street, was one of 15 applicants who passed the examination to receive a Federal Communications license as second class radio telephone operator. Mr. Spingola pointed to literature from various schools offering courses leading up to such a license
at fees up to $1,000. He also showed courses offered leading to a high school diploma. Last year he was granted his High School Equivalency diploma after passing examinations at Oneonta High School. For both examinations, he emphasized, his sole source of study, was Huntington Library. “It’s a wonderful thing for a city this size to have such a library, and librarians who are so helpful,” he declared.

August 1959

40 Years Ago

The Main Street viaduct over the D&H tracks, connecting downtown Oneonta
with the Sixth Ward, will be opened with
a ceremony August 24 at 11 a.m. The ceremony is being coordinated by James T. Catella and the Oneonta Lions Club. Catella is the city’s former Parks and Streets Superintendent and also the father of the contractor’s chief engineer on the job. He is also the city’s official liaison person with the D&H Railroad. Family connections will loom large at the ceremony. Among other guests will be Duncan Briggs, whose grandfather was President of the Oneonta Village Board which authorized the viaduct about 1900. Also, William H. Lunn, whose grandfather was Mayor of Oneonta when the original bridge was completed will be present. Speakers will include Mayor James Lettis, Sixth Ward Alderman Jean Scarzafava, and a representative of the state’s Department of Transportation. D & H. Vice President Thomas O’Brien of Albany is expected to attend. The new $2.1 million bridge, begun in 1978, was finished two months ahead of schedule.

August 1979

20 Years Ago

The Pentagon updated its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military on Friday to require mandatory training on anti-harassment for all troops, beginning with boot camp. “There is no room for harassment or threats in the military,” Defense Secretary William Cohen said in issuing the guidelines. Michelle Benecke, co-director of the Service-members’ Legal Defense Network, the leading advocacy group on the issue of gays in the military, praised Cohen’s statement but with reservations. “The real issue is whether leaders will be committed at every level to stop anti-gay harassment,” she said.

August 1999

HOMETOWN History Aug. 8, 2019

HOMETOWN History

Aug. 8, 2019

150 Years Ago

Humorous – This world is full of music, even as an egg is full of meat, or as my neighbor Jones is full of beer. We see it everywhere – Where’er there’s harmony of sound. All harmony is music. Now, my next door neighbor Mr. Love-a-pet – he keeps only three dogs and just six cats. And they, sweet songsters of the night, do make the peaceful hours of sleep resound with melody harmonies to the deafened ear. Oft from my quiet slumbers do they rouse me up, and stir my tranquil soul, even to its very depths. Sometimes these feline warblers ‘neath my window “git” and “set,” and sing at midnight’s quiet hour. And then the canine songsters raise their notes of bass, which mingling, sounds like dying wails of demons in despair, and makes my inmost soul, and wakes the babies up, and makes my better half
to ask, in bitter terms inspired, “Oh, why do other folks keep dogs and cats?”

August 1869

125 Years Ago

News from Nearby Counties – The Baptist Church at Oneida will use individual communion cups at their next communion service. This is an innovation in church circles due to the liability of communicating disease by the use of the common chalice.

Miss Laura Gay, who died last Saturday left to Christ Church, Walton, the house that was her home and which had been that of her parents also, together with its furniture to “The Gay Memorial Parish House of Walton, N.Y.” She also left to the church a life insurance policy for $2,000 and $500 to be used for the erection in the church of a suitable memorial to her father, David Hyde Gay.

James A. Parshall of Delhi enumerates a list of 36 persons in that town over 80 years of age. Nearly one-fourth of that number were born in Scotland.

August 1894

100 Years Ago

Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, has found a way to cool a house and make it comfortable on the hottest day of the year. Recently, while other Washington people were sweltering, he worked in a room which had been cooled to 65 degrees. His plan which can be used by anybody,
is to store ice in the garret and conduct the cooler air to rooms below. Bell explained his discovery to the National Geographic Society. “You heat your house in winter. Why not cool it in summer? We get up to the Arctic regions and heat our houses and live. We go down to the tropics and die.”

August 1919

80 Years Ago

Miss Betty L. Bresee and John A. Bookhout were wed in an outdoor ceremony at Goodyear Lake. The nuptial rites of these two popular Oneonta young people were solemnized Saturday afternoon by Dr. Boyd McClary, First Presbyterian pastor before an arbor in the garden of the Bresee summer residence at Goodyear Lake. Mrs. Jerry Wilson of Oneonta was at the piano.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bert E. Bresee of 8 Taft Avenue. John Andrew Bookhout is the son of Mr. and Mrs. I.J. Bookhout of 357 Main Street. About 80 guests attended the wedding reception. Refreshments included a wedding cake made by the groom’s grandmother, Mrs. John Bell of Oneonta.

Mr. and Mrs. Bookhout graduated from Oneonta High School in 1934.

Mrs. Bookhout graduated from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts as a librarian in 1938. Mr. Bookhout received his degree from Amherst College and completed a course at the Renouard Training School for Embalmers, New York City. He is now associated with his father as a licensed embalmer and funeral director.

August 1939

60 Years Ago

A standard 30 miles per hour speed limit on all city streets with one exception was ratified last night by the Public Safety Board, subject to approval by the Common Council. The one exception would be Main Street from River to Pine Street where a 20 mph zone would remain. In effect, the board favors abolishing all 20 mph zones except the one on Main Street.

The official ambassadress for the 1959 New York State Fair will arrive in Oneonta by helicopter Wednesday night. The whirlybird will land in Wilber Park’s upper level at 7 p.m. with pretty Jane Snell, also known as the Princess of the Fair. The winner of last year’s Miss Syracuse title, Miss Snell will spend several hours in Oneonta as part of a nine-day air tour.  She will be welcomed at the park by Lucien Bowen. Oneonta’s acting mayor. All 23 candidates for the regional State Fair Queen title are invited to join Miss Snell to ask any questions they wish. As a surprise for children, Miss Snell will be carrying buttons designating them as junior State Fair ambassadors in their communities. The dark-haired Miss Snell, age 20, will give to the City of Oneonta a replica of the Vanguard I satellite. The gates of the big fair will be opened by radio signal from the Vanguard as it passes from Texas to the African coast some 2,000 miles away in outer space.

August 11, 1959

10 Years Ago

Oneonta native Don Sherwood, famed creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon strip, “Dan Flagg,” signed autographs during the opening of an exhibit of his work at the B. Sharp Gallery, Route 28, Franklin Mountain. The signing was a chance for Sherwood to get together such such Oneonta pals as David W. Brenner, the former mayor and county baord chairman, and Joe Campbell, the legendary voice of local radio.

August 7, 2019

HOMETOWN History Aug. 2, 2019

HOMETOWN History

Aug. 2, 2019

150 Years Ago

Excerpts from a letter submitted Mrs. Dr. Bassett, mother of Mary Imogene Bassett, then practicing medicine with her husband in Mt. Vision – “We maintain there is nothing in the study or practice of medicine to unsex the sexes; nothing unwomanly, or un-Christian in responding to the calls of suffering humanity; that it is truly woman’s nature and province to practice the healing art; that it is a necessity of the age to have well-qualified female medical practitioners; that gentlemen physicians themselves have complimented us by requesting our assistance in treating the wives, daughters and patients, in cases where their innate modesty and refinement of character have prevented and excluded knowledge essential for the proper treatment of disease.”

August 1869

125 Years Ago

Brakeman Killed – Peter Tigue, head brakeman on Conductor Flannigan’s train on the D. & H., met with a horrible death last Thursday morning at Cobleskill. He was unmarried and boarded in Oneonta. The crew had been taking on cars, and owing no doubt to the darkness he stepped from the end of the car to the ground, thinking that another car was attached. He probably died almost instantly as his body was completely severed just above the hips, he having fallen across one rail.
Portlandville – Last week Mr. Aaron Wilber met with what might have been a very serious accident. His hay fork failed to dump, and in trying to loosen it, the hay, about 500 pounds, dropped upon him, crushing him to the load. He is doing well.

August 1894

100 Years Ago

A woman’s brain reaches its greatest weight about the age of 25, while in the case of a man, this does not occur until ten years later. This explains the assertion that a woman at the age of 21 is in a better position to give a mature judgment than a man at the same age.
Dogs of War – On July 28, 1838, General Zachary Taylor, afterward President of the United States, requested the government to furnish him bloodhounds to be used in hunting the Seminole Indians of Florida. He was furnished with the dogs.
Education always helps. The success of the unlettered man is often argued to show that men do not need education. In special cases the truth may seem to be conclusive. But did you ever stop to inquire what the fellow might have become had he added education to his natural talents? He has succeeded in spite of a handicap and not because of it.

August 1919

80 Years Ago

Mrs. Willard E. Moxley of 16 Fifth Street, Oneonta, has a hobby of collecting pictures of twins. Mrs. Moxley started July 12, 1938 compiling a scrapbook of pictures of twins, and she now has snapshots or photographs of 91 pairs. In some cases she has more than one picture of the same twins, showing them at different ages. In another part of her scrapbook she has newspaper pictures of 128 pairs of twins, many of them accompanied by descriptive clippings. Among these views are pictures showing from five to ten pairs of twins enrolled at the same school. Her next door neighbor, Mrs. George W, Wright of 18 Fifth Street, was credited by Mrs. Mrs. Moxley with having given her much encouragement and assistance in this hobby. In the collection are pictures of 18 sets of twins who live in Oneonta, or who formerly resided here.

August 1939

60 Years Ago

Haloka, a three-month-old woodchuck listens like a puppy dog to the commands of its master, 11-year-old Faith Deering, of 38 Ford Avenue. “Hokie” as Faith calls the animal came to her when just a few weeks old. Hokie was found by some classmates of Faith, and with Faith, Hokie has received the best of attention – bottle fed, washed and kept warm. Soon Hokie became a real household pet. Faith began to take the animal for walks, came back when she called, and according to Faith “just loves candy and other sweet things.” She plans on keeping the animal a few more weeks and then hopes to find Hokie a permanent home in the Bronx Zoo. “Daddy (William Deering) is in New York City now, and I think he might be able to get Hokie into the Bronx Zoo for display.

August 1959

20 Years Ago

Less than 17 months after it opened the Sav-A-Lot grocery store in Oneonta is closing. Store manager Jeff Allen said executives from Houchens Industries, Inc. the Kentucky-based firm that owns the store informed him and his fourteen employees last week of plans to shut down. The Oneonta Sav-A-Lot is located in the Ames Plaza at the corner of Chestnut Street and Winney Hill Road. It opened in April 1998 in the building formerly home to a Grand Union grocery store. Houchens Industries Inc. owns or operates more than 200 grocery and convenience stores in 11 states and is ranked among the top 500 private businesses in the U.S., according to Forbes.

August 1999

10 Years Ago

The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted former U.S. National Team standout defenders Joy Fawcett and Jeff Agoos on Sunday. Alex Yannis was honored also as the Colin Jose Media Award winner. Yannis spent 35 years with the New York Times covering Soccer in the United States. The event drew a crowd estimated at 500 including eleven returning Hall of Famers. Shannon MacMillan introduced former teammate Fawcett who played a key role as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the first FIFA World Cup in 1991. Fawcett became the eighth players from the “91ers” inducted into the Hall. Agoos acknowledged his father Andy Agoos and several coaches who contributed to a career highlighted by 134 international soccer matches, World Cup appearances in 1998 and 2002, plus a 10-year stint in Major League Soccer that produced three titles for D.C. United and two for the San José Earthquake.

August 2009

HOMETOWN History July 19, 2019

HOMETOWN History

July 19, 2019

By TOM HEITZ & SHARON STEWART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

150 Years Ago

Jacob C. Dietz, of Anamosa, Iowa, is spending a few weeks here among the homes and haunts of his early life, and is greeted most cordially on all hands. In childhood, youth and early manhood, “Jake” had the way that always wins and keeps many friends. Now that he comes back to us broadened-out by the whole-souled progressive manhood of glorious Iowa, it does one good to grasp his warm hand and feel the throbbing of his liberal soul. He finds his native village doubled in size since he left, and much of the old farm covered with busy streets. We are glad that young Iowa gets so many Otsegoes and puts them into the front rank of its thinking, working conquering hosts.

July 1869

125 Years Ago

The Local News – Sewer and water pipes are being laid on the Walnut Street extension, thus avoiding a necessity for expensive excavation after the grading is completed.
A new mineral spring has been found at Wilber Park, Oneonta. It is very pleasant and cool, and has an abundant flow and tastes very similar to Waukeshau water which was sold everywhere on the World’s Fair grounds for a cent a glass. Many take the health-giving waters to their homes. The water is free to all.
Lady passengers traveling on trains 6 and 7 will hereafter during the summer months be presented with a handsome bouquet when the train reaches Oneonta. This graceful little custom was inaugurated Monday, when bouquets of sweet peas were given out. Tuesday and Wednesday sweet peas and pansies were used. Each day hereafter the flowers will be varied.
D.F. Wilber has just stocked Crumhorn Lake with 500 adult black bass.

July 1894

100 Years Ago

Five physicians and two druggists were held today in heavy bail for trial when they were arraigned before United States Commissioner Hitchcock – the first result of the crusade started by the federal authorities against alleged traffickers in habit-forming drugs. Bail was fixed at $7,500 for Dr. Jacob Kornblum, Dr. M.A. Levy, Dr. H. Stern, Dr. Jacob Katz, Dr. Edward E. Gardner and Aaron Goldberg, druggist. Dr. F. Phillips, the second druggist was held on $5,000 bail. According to one of the federal agents who conducted the raid, several doctors against whom evidence had been collected were warned in time and disappeared. The federal campaign was reinforced by New York State officials who prepared to enforce the new state law under which doctors are forbidden to prescribe narcotics for any person who has not obtained a registration card with his photograph attached. The city health department estimates that there are 200,000 drug addicts in Greater New York City and out of that total, 11,500 are registered.

July 1919

60 Years Ago

Nee and Waa, baby swans of Oney and Onta, ventured into the water for the first time yesterday. Protected by their hovering parents, the little birds made a dash for shore. After greeting several youngsters lined along the edge of Neahwa Pond, the small swans were escorted back to their island home and nestled under the wings of their mother. The mother bird did most of the nesting yesterday and treated a third egg with much more care than the two little swans that have been hatched during the past two days. While the little swans were herded under the mother swan’s wings somewhat roughly, the egg was rolled onto the nesting with the same care a human being would offer a newborn baby. The little birds amused several hundred youngsters yesterday. Cars came and went, stopping for a few minutes to see how the little swans were doing.

July 1959

40 Years Ago

The Fourth Annual Oneonta Farmers’ Market in the city parking structure will open Saturday at 9:30 a.m. At least 15 businesses or individuals will sell produce, handcrafted items, and baked goods in the market, organizer Su Yates said. The market in the Water Street level of the parking structure will continue to 2 p.m. each week and will operate each Saturday until the end of October. In addition to the sales booths, there will be music, demonstrations, and such events as watermelon-eating contests on Saturdays. At least 15,000 people came to the market last year, she estimated. Among the current list of farmers and craftsmen are Roger Wilms, produce; Arvilla Juhl, handicrafts; Otsdawa Gardens, plants; Ellen Myiri, home-baked goods; Reynolds Greenhouse, plants and flowers; Judy Douglas of Meadowland, Herbs; Alice Siegfried, Pottery; the Wider Oneonta Rights Coalition; Joe Hendricks, produce.

July 1979

20 Years Ago

A powerful, sweeping thunderstorm ripped through parts of Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties Sunday night, knocking down trees and cutting power to many areas. Oneonta was one of the hardest hit areas according to officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton. Other parts of Otsego and Delaware counties were affected as well. However, no injuries had been reported to law enforcement officials as of 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Bob Hudgins, a spokesman for the NWS, said the thunderstorm blew through the area starting in Chenango County at about 7 p.m. with wind gusts ranging from 50 mph to 60 mph. The storm, which lasted about 30 minutes, ravaged the River Street area in Oneonta, where residents lined the streets afterward. Mary MeHegan was sitting outside her home at 16 Ann Street around 7:30 p.m. as the storm began to rumble toward Oneonta. She began to see lawn chairs, buckets and other outdoor paraphernalia being blown around and swept up into the wind. “Everything was being blown all over the place.”

July 1999

HOMETOWN History July 12, 2019

HOMETOWN History

July 12, 2019

150 Years Ago

The second annual commencement of Oneonta Union School occurred on Monday, July 12 and closed with the Tuesday evening following. The address before the Pioneer Society by Dr. Jewell was attended by a fair concourse of our citizens, but not nearly as large as it ought to have been. The address was excellent. The suggestions advanced ought to be made practical by our young people, tending as it did to the promotion of morality, virtue and purity. At the conclusion of the meeting they repaired to the residence of David Yager, where the Calliopa and Pioneer Societies were to hold their first annual reunion. The evening passed off pleasantly and profitably. The members of the Calliopa Society merit much commendation for their untiring efforts to prove their first attempt a success. Oneontans should be proud of the rough Pioneers and the more fair members of the Calliopa. Mr. and Mrs. Yager did much to conduce to the advantage and pleasure of the occasion. The exercises at the Presbyterian Church on Tuesday evening were flattering
to the school, and indicated that its students are being thoroughly and properly instructed in whatever pertains to education. The orations, compositions, declamations and music were of the highest character, evincing the finest discrimination, style and beauty.

July 1869

125 Years Ago

The announcement of the death of Charles E. Bunn on Saturday afternoon of last week came as a shock to his
numerous friends in Oneonta, few of whom knew of his
serious illness. Mr. Bunn was born in Hartwick 47 years ago. He was the son of William Bunn, a life-long resident of that town, and a brother of Mr. Henry C. Bunn of Mt. Vision. In 1861, being then only fifteen years of age, he enlisted in the 152nd New York volunteers and served his country well until the close of the war. In 1866 he came to Oneonta and engaged in business, and the following year was married, his wife being a daughter of M.H. Bissell, who with three children survives him. Kind, unselfish and generous in the days of prosperity, his death removes from our town one who will long be remembered with affectionate
regret alike by his comrades on battle’s bloody field and by those who knew him in more peaceful walks of life.

July 1894

80 Years Ago

First of the three tourist information booths sponsored by the Youth Frontier Movement opened Saturday on South Side and will be operated 12 hours daily from 9 until 9. Plans are underway to open another at West End today but the East End booth will not be ready for several days. The South Side booth is manned at present by Boris Panko and Edward Byard. Money for its operation has been secured partly through N.Y.A. funds and partly through contributions
from local merchants. The boys work in shifts of six
hours each, six days a week with one boy who will rotate, relieving the other two at each of the booths. Each booth
is equipped with a telephone which tourists may use for
local calls and information about hotels, restaurants,
tourist homes, churches, church services, historical sites, recreation and entertainment.

July 1939

60 Years Ago

Fox Hospital – Today’s Census: 85. Births – Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kellner, 3 Tilton Ave. a son, 8 lbs. 3 ozs., 10:47 p.m., July 7; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Condon, 30 Pine Street, a son 8 lbs. 11.5 ozs., 6:52 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Benjamin, Oneonta, R.D. 3, a son, 10 libs. 1 oz., 7:40 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Lyon, Milford Road, a son, 6 lbs., 12.5 ozs., 9:35 p.m., July 7. Admissions: Mrs. Emma Cronin, 50 River Street, Mrs. Margaret Platts, Worcester; Mrs. Ruth Sprague, Morris; Mrs. Beverly Sanford, 6 Shepherd Avenue. Discharges: Mrs. Mary Ann Spoor and baby daughter, Laurens; Mrs. Elizabeth Waterhouse and baby daughter, Emmons Farms; Mrs. Suzanne Mykytyn and baby daughter, West Oneonta.

July 1959

40 Years Ago

Pat St. John, the self-proclaimed psychic who predicts
a catastrophe at Niagara Falls this Sunday has taken a tour of the famous attraction and come away convinced of impending doom. “I can turn away and look toward Buffalo and feel absolutely fine,” said the housewife from Bridgewater, Connecticut. “But, when I turn toward Niagara Falls, I get a tremendous feeling right in my solar plexus.”
Mrs. St. John’s July 4 prediction of a disaster at Niagara Falls picked up considerably more public attention when a seismic alarm at the falls indicated that a huge mass of rock had shifted by a quarter inch. It could not be determined if the rocks had shifted at once or gradually since the sensors were installed in 1971. The U,S, Army Corps of Engineers who were brought to the falls after the alarm said that three days of monitoring sensor devices had shown no further evidence of any movement.

July 1979

20 Years Ago

Local artists Bonnie Gale and Bertha Rogers were awarded
a total of $1,000 in the third round of the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend Program. Gale, a traditional willow basket maker residing in Norwich received a stipend to study with a
mentor. She will work with Stanley Kraus, a Polish
immigrant basket maker who lives in Rochester. Rogers,
a Delhi poet, will use her stipend to help pay her expenses for a residency fellowship at the Hawthornden Castle
International Retreat for Writers in Scotland for a month this fall. She will work to complete a poetry manuscript.

July 1999

10 Years Ago

A self-described entrepreneur recently bought the historic Oneonta Theatre and seeks ideas to restore entertainment to the stage and screens at 47 Chestnut Street. “This building has some great potential,” its new owner Thomas Cormier said. The purchase is a “fine resolution” to questions about the theatre’s fate, said Patrice Macaluso, president of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre. The group formed last
year to preserve the historic site and had launched plans
to buy the complex in downtown Oneonta. The purchase price paid by Cormier was not revealed. The Oneonta Theatre name would be maintained because of its history, Cormier said.

July 2009

HOMETOWN HISTORY: July 5, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY

July 5, 2019

150 YEARS AGO

The second annual commencement of Oneonta Union School occurred on Monday, July 12 and closed with the Tuesday evening following. The address before the Pioneer Society by Dr. Jewell was attended by a fair concourse of our citizens, but not nearly as large as it ought to have been. The address was excellent. The suggestions advanced ought to be made practical by our young people, tending as it did to the promotion of morality, virtue and purity. At the conclusion of the meeting they repaired to the residence of David Yager, where the Calliopa and Pioneer Societies were to hold their first annual reunion. The evening passed off pleasantly and profitably. The members of the Calliopa Society merit much commendation for their untiring efforts to prove their first attempt a success. Oneontans should be proud of the rough Pioneers and the more fair members of the Calliopa. Mr. and Mrs. Yager did much to conduce to the advantage and pleasure of the occasion. The exercises at the Presbyterian Church on Tuesday evening were flattering to the school, and indicated that its students are being thoroughly and properly instructed in whatever pertains to education. The orations, compositions, declamations and music were of the highest character, evincing the finest discrimination, style and beauty.

July 1869

125 YEARS AGO

The announcement of the death of Charles E. Bunn on Saturday afternoon of last week came as a shock to his numerous friends in Oneonta, few of whom knew of his serious illness. Mr, Bunn was born in Hartwick 47 years ago. He was the son of William Bunn, a life-long resident of that town, and a brother of Mr. Henry C. Bunn of Mt. Vision. In 1861, being then only fifteen years of age, he enlisted in the 152nd New York volunteers and served his country well until the close of the war. In 1866 he came to Oneonta and engaged in business, and the following year was married, his wife being a daughter of M.H. Bissell, who with three children survives him. Kind, unselfish and generous in the days of prosperity, his death removes from our town one who will long be remembered with affectionate regret alike by his comrades on battle’s bloody field and by those who knew him in more peaceful walks of life.

July 1894

80 YEARS AGO

First of the three tourist information booths sponsored by the Youth Frontier Movement opened Saturday on South Side and will be operated 12 hours daily from 9 until 9. Plans are underway to open another at West End today but the East End booth will not be ready for several days. The South Side booth is manned at present by Boris Panko and Edward Byard. Money for its operation has been secured partly through N.Y.A. funds and partly through contributions from local merchants. The boys work in shifts of six hours each, six days a week with one boy who will rotate, relieving the other two at each of the booths. Each booth is equipped with a telephone which tourists may use for local calls and information about hotels, restaurants, tourist homes, churches, church services, historical sites, recreation and entertainment.

July 1939

60 YEARS AGO

Fox Hospital – Today’s Census: 85. Births – Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kellner, 3 Tilton Ave. a son, 8 lbs. 3 ozs., 10:47 p.m., July 7; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Condon, 30 Pine Street, a son 8 lbs. 11.5 ozs., 6:52 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Benjamin, Oneonta, R.D. 3, a son, 10 libs. 1 oz., 7:40 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Lyon, Milford Road, a son, 6 lbs., 12.5 ozs., 9:35 p.m., July 7. Admissions: Mrs. Emma Cronin, 50 River Street, Mrs. Margaret Platts, Worcester; Mrs. Ruth Sprague, Morris; Mrs. Beverly Sanford, 6 Shepherd Avenue. Discharges: Mrs. Mary Ann Spoor and baby daughter, Laurens; Mrs. Elizabeth Waterhouse and baby daughter, Emmons Farms; Mrs. Suzanne Mykytyn and baby daughter, West Oneonta.

July 1959

40 YEARS AGO

Pat St. John, the self-proclaimed psychic who predicts a catastrophe at Niagara Falls this Sunday has taken a tour of the famous attraction and come away convinced of impending doom. “I can turn away and look toward Buffalo and feel absolutely fine,” said the housewife from Bridgewater, Connecticut. “But, when I turn toward Niagara Falls, I get a tremendous feeling right in my solar plexus. Mrs. St. John’s July 4 prediction of a disaster at Niagara Falls picked up considerably more public attention when a seismic alarm at the falls indicated that a huge mass of rock had shifted by a quarter inch. It could not be determined if the rocks had shifted at once or gradually since the sensors were installed in 1971. The U,S, Army Corps of Engineers who were brought to the falls after the alarm said that three days of monitoring sensor devices had shown no further evidence of any movement.

July 1979

20 YEARS AGO

Local artists Bonnie Gale and Bertha Rogers were awarded a total of $1,000 in the third round of the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend Program. Gale, a traditional willow basket maker residing in Norwich received a stipend to study with a mentor. She will work with Stanley Kraus, a Polish immigrant basket maker who lives in Rochester. Rogers, a Delhi poet, will use her stipend to help pay her expenses for a residency fellowship at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland for a month this fall. She will work to complete a poetry manuscript.

July 1999

10 YEARS AGO

A self-described entrepreneur recently bought the historic Oneonta Theatre and seeks ideas to restore entertainment to the stage and screens at 47 Chestnut Street. “This building has some great potential,” its new owner Thomas Cormier said. The purchase is a “fine resolution” to questions about the theatre’s fate, said Patrice Macaluso, president of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre. The group formed last year to preserve the historic site and had launched plans to buy the complex in downtown Oneonta. The purchase price paid by Cormier was not revealed. The Oneonta Theatre name would be maintained because of its history, Cormier said.

July 2009

HOMETOWN HISTORY: June 28, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY 

June 28, 2019

150 YEARS AGO

Oneonta Local: The subterranean grog holes of this village are damaging humanity pretty badly nowadays. What law we have to preserve public order ought to be thoroughly enforced.
The ladies of the Presbyterian Church will hold an ice cream and strawberry festival at Blend’s Hall, on Tuesday evening. Admission, including strawberries or ice cream, twenty-five cents.
The first nine of the Lightfoot Base Ball Club of this village, will play a match game of ball with the first nine of the Laurens Fearless Base Ball Club, on July 3. Also, on June 26, the second nine of both clubs will play a friendly game at Laurens.
A festival for the benefit of Samuel Carr, who lost an arm and both eyes by the premature discharge of a cannon at the railroad celebration in Hamden on May 4, will be held at the village on the afternoon of July 3 under the auspices of Hamden Union Lodge, No. 473, L O. of G.T.

June 1869

125 YEARS AGO

The Local News: Monday of this week, 900,000 out of the 1,700,000 bricks required for the new Normal building had been laid. With favorable weather there will be no trouble in getting the west wing ready for occupancy next September.
A combination of bicycle and street car frightened a pair of blooded horses belonging to O. Fleming so badly on Main Street last Saturday afternoon that they ran away, throwing Mr. Fleming and Miss Jean Russell out on the pavement in front of the fire department building. Mr. Fleming was not much injured, but Miss Russell had one foot badly bruised and it is possible she will be confined to her room for several weeks. Bad as the accident was, it is really remarkable how both got off so well.
The last Normal ball game of the season was played Saturday with the Schenevus club. It was an exciting game and was won by the visitors by a score of 4 to 2. Inability to hit Mills, who pitched an excellent game, was the principal cause of defeat.

June 1894

100 YEARS AGO

Nearly 200 members of the Alumni of the Oneonta High School and friends of the institution were in attendance at the annual banquet held in the Paul Revere corridor of the school building. Not the least interesting feature of the evening was the decision reached during the business meeting to purchase a bronze tablet to be placed in the walls of the building in honor of the 170 men from the alumni who have served with the colors of whom seven are known to have made the supreme sacrifice. Louis B. Capron, Class of 1910, was the first speaker and responded with “The Present Victory.” Mr. Capron told of his experiences at the front in an interesting way and declared that the victory can be made permanent only by untiring activity in the future. “In Flanders Field” was the topic assigned to Miss Brennan, the faculty member on the toast list. She delivered a well-worded fitting tribute to the seven members of the alumni who fell or died while with the colors.

June 1919

80 YEARS AGO

Four threats to peace dogged Europe on the anniversary of the event that plunged the world into war and another which started the current series of crises. Exactly 25 years ago (June 28, 1914) at Sarajevo, Bosnia, then Austrian territory, the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife were assassinated by a Serbian student, Gavrillo Princip. That started the chain of events which ended in a four-year World War. Twenty years ago today (June 28, 1919) a solemn gathering of statesmen at Versailles signed a “peace treaty” between 27 nations and Germany. That furnished the basis for Adolph Hitler’s Nazi campaign which is now gathering momentum toward scrapping the few parts of the Versailles document that remain in effect. Throughout the world, governments are frantically rebuilding their war machines.

June 1939

60 YEARS AGO

Kurt Franz Rossmeisl learned Thursday he must leave the United States – the country he adopted illegally. He agreed to go of his own accord. But the onetime German Army officer who escaped from a prisoner of war camp said he doesn’t want to get far from America. “I hope to go to Mexico,” he said, “and go to the nearest American Consulate and apply for an American visa. Milton V. Milich, hearing officer for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, ruled Rossmeisl is in this country illegally because he has no valid visa. Rossmeisal also lacks a passport, his biggest worry right now. Rossmeisl is a master of nine languages and served the German Army as a linguist with Rommel’s Afrika Corps when he was captured in 1943.

June 1959

40 YEARS AGO

Four years from now, all New York State motorists will have their pictures on their driver’s licenses under a bill given final legislative approval. The measure, which is expected to be signed by Governor Hugh L. Carey, would replace the current drivers’ licenses with a credit card type bearing a photograph of the motorist embossed into the material. The new licenses will cost a dollar more than the current ones. The changeover will take place over the next four years as new licenses are issued and old ones expire and are renewed. The bill was supported by many groups as a means of providing more accurate identification.

June 1979

20 YEARS AGO

It was something Joan Stanley did not want to do, but she had no choice. Battling health problems and running a business have become too much for one person to do. As a result, Stanley has put up “For Sale” signs in Nick’s Diner, her Chestnut Street restaurant. Out of love for customers though she will keep the business open until she finds a new owner. “I’m trying to find somebody who will carry it on because this place shouldn’t close down,” she said. “It’s a landmark. Everybody that’s ever lived in Oneonta knows Nick’s Diner. Stanley has owned the diner about three years, but its history goes back many years when the Oneonta rail yards were thriving.

June 1999

HOMETOWN HISTORY: June 21, 2019

HOMETOWN History

June 21, 2019

150 Years Ago

Definitions: Sisters of Charity? Faith and Hope. A Cow Belle? A beautiful milkmaid. Dearer than life? A fashionable funeral. High words? Conversation on Mount Blanc. What is everybody doing at the same time? Growing old. How to cure a “Girl of the Period?” Put a stop to her. What love’s young dream often turns out to be? A nightmare. Men who “take things easily as they come along? Thieves. How does time turn into money? A pawned watch. Who are the most interested followers of our fortunes? Our creditors.

June 1869

125 Years Ago

The Local News: One of the features of the Fourth of July celebration here will be a ten-mile road race starting from the foot of Dietz Street at 10 a.m. The trophy will be an elegant vase which must be won three times in succession before it becomes individual property. The race is open only to members of the wheel club.
The Merry-Go-Round now on Dietz Street will be moved to Wilber Park this week, where for a season it will be an added attraction for the young people.
T.E. Wainwright of West Oneonta has a mammoth seedling strawberry, discovered in the meadows two years ago and since carefully cultivated. A basket of the berries brought to the Herald office shows them to be uniformly of large size, oval in shape and of a delicious flavor commonly supposed to be found only in the smaller berries of the meadows.

June 1894

100 Years Ago

Among sixteen featured speakers and musicians appearing in Oneonta with the Redpath Cahatauqua (Admission $2) are the following: “Williams’ Jubilee Singers” Eight Colored Artists. Organized in 1904. Toured around the world. One hundred and thirty concerts in London. Educated and cultured, representing Fisk University, Knox College, Oberlin College and Rush University. Repertoire comprises the Jubilee of the Dixies and the grand old melodies of the years gone by. “Bhaskar P. Hivale” A native of India; graduate of Bombay University; post graduate course at Harvard. Mr. Hivale’s subject will be “What About India and the World Events?” A message of absorbing interest with flashes of wit to illuminate the seriousness of his discourse. Speaks in a simple, direct language, with a slight Oriental accent. “Princess Watahwaso” An Indian soprano of the Penobscot Tribe. Has had training under masters in musical art and besides is a born entertainer. Her program is a lecture recital, consisting of Indian songs, legends and descriptive dances. Her names means “Bright Star,” which is truly characteristic of her personality.

June 1919

80 Years Ago

The Manlius School will present two major awards to Charles Swart of Oneonta at its commencement exercises in Knox Hall at Noon today. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Loughgran Swart of 384 Main Street. The Stark Trophy, awarded annually to the most valuable member of the basketball team, will be presented to Swart, who was a high-scoring guard on the crack Manlius quintet last winter. He was named on the All-Star team following the Eastern Tournament at Glens Falls. Before matriculating at Manlius last fall, Swart was an outstanding athlete at Oneonta High School, earning letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. His ability as an athlete was recognized by leading coaches in the Southern Tier. Swart was captain of the 1938 Yellow and White basketball team, which swept to the championship of the Southern Tier Conference. He led the league in scoring, averaging 15 points per game during the season. Swart plans to enroll at Syracuse University next fall and may be playing with two former teammates on the Orange basketball team during the season of 1941-1942. Bill Ouimette and Sam Pondolfino were members of the freshman quintet at Syracuse last winter.

June 1939

60 Years Ago

One hundred and sixty-seven Oneonta High School students graduated in the 90th annual commencement exercises at the Oneonta Theatre. Twenty-five students received prizes, among which were Patricia Sweet, Mrs. D.F. Wilber Prize for the highest standing; Elizabeth Downie for the second highest standing; Patricia Seward for the Lynn, Clyde and Fred Bresee Award for highest average among senior girls for the senior year and the Mrs. D.F. Wilber prize for the highest standing in English and a certificate of acceptance from the National High School Poetry Association. Donald Plants was awarded the Lynn, Clyde and Fred Bresee prize for the highest average among senior boys. Donald Plants and Sandra Lare were given awards as the senior boy and girl who “have shown the greatest personal advancement during the years in high school.”

June 1959

40 Years Ago

Dr. Frank A. Burdick, associate professor of history with State University College at Cortland has been awarded a year-long research fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a detailed study on the American Military establishment’s evaluation of the Vietnam War. According to Dr. Burdick, the purpose of his study is to examine the way military thinkers have assessed the Vietnam experience and to consider if the pessimism and bitterness that exist represent “a threat to the historic concept of civilian control over the military” in American life.”

June 1979

10 Years Ago

Two former Oneonta Yankees did most of the damage at the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic. Mike Pagliarulo, who played for Oneonta in 1981, hit an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning as Team Wagner rallied for four runs to earn a 5-4 victory over Team Collins in front of 7,069 fans at Doubleday Field on a warm, but overcast Sunday afternoon. Another former O-Yank, Kevin Maas – hit a two-run homer during the third inning to give team Collins the 4-0 lead. Maas played for Oneonta in 1986. The team names were selected for Hall of Famers Eddie Collins and Honus Wagner.

June 2009

HOMETOWN HISTORY: June 14, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY

June 14, 2019

150 YEARS AGO

Fatal Accident – William Beach, a man about 70 years of age, was instantly killed by the locomotive of the evening train west, on Saturday last, at a creek crossing near Wells Bridge. He was discovered in the act of crawling across the bridge, and it is supposed was intoxicated. He was seen too late to stop the train, and so terrible was the blow that he fell dead between the timbers of the bridge. Mr. Beach was a native of Franklin where he lived for many years, a man of good native powers and of respectable connections. But, becoming very intemperate, he abandoned his family many years ago and has led a forlorn, wandering and homeless life which has come to a tragic ending. An inquest was held at Unadilla to investigate the facts of the accident.

June 1869

125 YEARS AGO

Local – The next game of ball in Oneonta will be played at the fairgrounds Friday of this week by the Normals and the Geises, one of the strongest amateur teams of Albany. Friday’s game will doubtless be the best contest seen in Oneonta this season, and no lover of the national game should fail to be present.
The Oneonta Wheel Club proposes to celebrate the Fourth in fitting manner at the Pine Grove riding park. In the morning there will be a fantastic parade on the streets, bicycle, potato sack and other races in the afternoon and fireworks in the evening. It is proposed to bring Jenny and Helfert of Utica into a bicycle contest with Hall of Oneonta, who has this week gone into training.

June 1894

100 YEARS AGO

Within the past week Mrs. L.J. Aldrich, who resides at 4 Potter Avenue, has received three letters from her son, Marshall S. Aldrich, who is a first-class heavy gunner aboard the United States battleship Arizona. The Arizona, which had been in French waters for some time, was dispatched to the Turkish coast in May. On May 10, the Arizona was about ten miles off Smyrna, waiting to lend a hand in straightening out matters between Turks and Armenians. In a second letter five days later, he writes: “Well, we didn’t land the day we expected, but they sent the Marines to guard the American Consul. The French and Greeks took over the forts of Smyrna this afternoon and I don’t believe it was much of a job. The Turkish warship in here is giving much trouble. The other night they had their searchlights trained on the Greeks and were going to fire when our Admiral told them to turn off their lights or we would sink them” The last letter mentions the landing of the Marines and the fight between Turks and Greeks, in which the latter were victorious, but lost 100 men, while the Turks lost 300. The Arizona was about 300 yards from the beach and had a fine view of the battle.

June 1919

80 YEARS AGO

Wedding Make-Up Requires Special Care – If there’s one time a woman doesn’t want to look “painted,” it’s on her wedding day. And, that’s the one day she’s likely to look just that way if she’s not careful. In the first place, white is a difficult color to wear. Ivory is somewhat easier. In her desire to look her best, the bride is likely to listen to well-wishers whose advice may be good for others, but may be just the wrong thing for her. These pointers may help a bride steer clear of bad advice. Don’t try any hair tints or tricky hair arrangements. When you get your hair fixed get a good thorough brushing and a shampoo you have tested by experience. If you have worn your hair up, and it flatters you that way, better use some hair lacquer to keep the strands from straying. Don’t wear too much rouge. A tiny bit of paste rouge is all right. Powder rouge is likely to rub off when people start kissing the bride. Don’t wear powder that is too light. You don’t want to look like a ghost. Don’t use mascara or eye shadow too much. Don’t wear bright nail polishes.

June 1939

60 YEARS AGO

A fuller understanding of the problems and importance of the dairy industry in Otsego County was gained by 27 local business men who toured four area farms. The tour took Chamber of Commerce members on farms operated by Lowell S. Huntington and Sons, Westford; Lawrence D. Hansen, South Valley; Owen Fassett and Sons, East Springfield, and Mrs. Gertrude Low and Son, Milford. The four farms toured were labeled “model farms” by Otsego County Agriculture Agent Dale Brown and displayed the most modern in farm equipment. Sizes of herds ranged from 32 milking cows on the Lawrence D. Hansen farm to 66 on the farm operated by Mr. Huntington and his sons.

June 1959

20 YEARS AGO

Minor league baseball returns to Oneonta’s Damaschke Field tonight with a new team, a new manager and a new mascot. The area’s much-loved Yankees farm team of years past will be visitors from Staten Island, facing Oneonta’s new team in the New York Penn League – the Oneonta Tigers in their first game. Sam Nader, president of the Oneonta Athletic Club, hopes that 1,500 to 2,000 fans will be on hand tonight to welcome the Tigers. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for children age 15 or younger. Nader said there will be fourteen sponsored games this season as in years past.

June 1999

10 YEARS AGO

Oneonta resident Del Anthony is the new owner of an adult football team formerly known as the Oneonta Stallions. Don Stanton, Sr. was extradited from the Otsego County jail on May 26 to face felony theft charges in Harrison, Arkansas. Despite Stanton’s arrest and his failure to secure a home field for the 2009 Regional American Football League season, the Stallions continued to meet at Fortin Park in the Town of Oneonta for regularly scheduled practices. “We all had a dream,” said Anthony who joined the Stallions in their infancy last summer as a coach. “I had a dream to coach. It’s a dream come true.”

June 2009

HOMETOWN History: June 7, 2019

HOMETOWN History

June 7, 2019

150 Years Ago

The new Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated on Thursday last. The day being fine, large numbers of people were present from the adjacent towns, including many of the clergy. The financial statement showed an expenditure of over $14,000 for building and parsonage house and grounds, with a balance of $5,500 to be provided for. This amount, after an able sermon, and a very convincing talk after the sermon, both by Rev. B.L. Ives of Auburn, was subscribed on the spot. Many liberal souls were made fat while shelling out the cash and feasting on the eloquence, wit and pathos of the matchless Ives. After the money matters were provided for, the church was dedicated in due form as prescribed in the book of discipline. The evening services were fully attended and the second sermon of Mr. Ives was a fit supplement to that of the afternoon. He left our village with many new friends, who will long remember this noble day’s work of his for Christianity in the Susquehanna Valley. The workers of this church, true as steel to the cause, and untiring and zealous against all obstacles, deserve the thanks of everybody among us for what they have done and still propose to do.

June 1869

125 Years Ago

The Normal ball nine defeated the Schenevus team on the grounds in this village by a score of 4-2. Only eight innings were played as the Schenevus team wanted to return home on the flyer. The Normals, as was demonstrated by their victory over this strong team, are getting on their batting clothes and are putting up the game which in other years has made them general favorites.
The gamblers and shell men who accompanied Barnum and Bailey’s circus, and who, despite the efforts of the circus detectives and local officers, managed to fleece the unwary in other towns, had no success in Oneonta. One of the gang arrested at Cooperstown Junction, from whose satchel was taken a very complete and expensive collection of crooked cards and dice, and gambling instruments, stated that, so well was Oneonta officered, they had no chance to work their little games. The satchel is still in the possession of the Oneonta police.

June 1894

100 Years Ago

A Rear-End Collision. A little after 6 o’clock last evening the rig of S.B. Gardner, in which were himself and two small boys had stopped for a moment on Main Street just above Tilton Avenue. While standing at that point, an auto driven by Lewis Croft of Cooperstown Junction came up behind, and either because Mr. Croft had miscalculated the distance, or because the car skidded on the rails at the Tilton Avenue trolley switch, bumped forcibly into the rear of the Gardner wagon. The wagon was tilted up and Mr. Gardner was thrown out on the pavement, sustaining injuries to hip, knee, wrist and fingers. Mr. Gardner’s well-known steed, although she has passed her twenty-ninth birthday, demonstrated the mettle of her pasture by promptly running away. But, before reaching Gardner Place, reflection had convinced her of the error of her ways, and she settled down to a walk. She was caught by Charles Walling and driven back to the scene of the accident. The two boys, whose names were unknown to Mr. Gardner, disappeared. Mr. Croft promptly and fairly assumed responsibility for the accident and offered to pay all damages.

June 1919

80 Years Ago

A desperate boatload of 907 German Jewish refugees sailed out of Havana harbor today heartened somewhat by a shipboard rumor they might yet find new homes in the western world after being denied entry into Cuba. Hambug Germany, their starting point, was the destination of the German liner St. Louis whose departure marked another unsuccessful attempt by German Jews to settle in this hemisphere. But, to avoid collective suicide attempts, word was spread on board the United States government had authorized their landing in New York if continuing effort for their entry into Cuba failed. Kept from them was the news from Washington that government officials there said no arrangements had been made for them to land in New York or any other U.S. port. Smiles spread over tear-stained faces among refugees who took the report at face value. Wailing, which had grown louder during five days of vain efforts to enter Cuba turned to happy laughter.

June 1939

40 Years Ago

A drive to round up reports that have not been returned from farm households in the 1978 Census of Agriculture has been launched by the Bureau of the Census. “The completeness and accuracy of this important agricultural census depend on each individual filling out the report form,” said Orvin Wilhite, Chief of the Bureau’s Agricultural Division. “I am sure farmers and agricultural leaders want their county and state totals to be as accurate and useful as possible.” The farm census is the only government or private method for gathering and reporting agricultural information on a county by county basis for the entire nation.

June 1979

10 Years Ago

Marty Patton is making lemon into lemonade at Cooperstown All-Star Village.
Or, rather, in recent days he was turning a lightning-struck 115-foot pine tree into what he hopes will be the largest wooden baseball bat on record.
Patton intends to get the behemoth bat listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

June 10, 2009

HOMETOWN History: May 31, 2019

HOMETOWN History

May 31, 2019

150 Years Ago

On Sunday afternoon last, Mark Hemstreet, a small boy, went into the barn of Harvey Baker with matches, and soon after the barn was discovered to be on fire. The flames spread with such rapidity among the hay and other combustible material as soon to place it beyond rescue and it was totally consumed with the corn house adjoining.
A barn belonging to D. Rose, another to Abner A. Walling and a small building of Horace McCall’s were also destroyed. The loss of Mr. Baker, in buildings, hay, grain, tools, is fully $1,000; that of Mr. Rose $250; and Mr. Walling’s about $100. A valuable horse of Mr. Baker’s was rescued by engineer LaFountain of the A. & S. R.R. G.W. Ingalls was struck on the head by a piece of falling timber and severely hurt. The pulling down of one or two small buildings prevented the spread of the fire toward the river, and there being no wind it was easily kept from the houses on Main Street by the care and vigilance of the pail brigade wherein both women and men did good service. The old fogy engine reached the ground too late to put out the fire, a sad comment on our stingy village. We need a Fire Department and public liberality to keep it up.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

A few only of the forty-five oil paintings exhibited last week by Professor and Mrs. J.B. Morse of Utica were sold in Oneonta, and none at all at the auction. The pictures were really fine examples of landscape and still life, and should Mr. Morse come again to this town he will doubtless be more liberally patronized.
Some sixty trout, large, speckled, and tempting alike to sight and palate, attracted every eye to the show window of Moore’s drug store last Thursday. The fish were a part only of the catch of Mssrs. D.F. Wilber and George E. Moore, who returned that day from a week’s outing in the Adirondacks with Albany friends.

May 1894

100 Years Ago

National Suffrage for women was endorsed by the House of Representatives for the second time today when the Susan B. Anthony amendment resolution was adopted by a vote of 304 o 89. Supporters of the measure immediately arranged to carry their fight to the Senate, where, although twice defeated the last session, they are confident of obtaining the necessary two-thirds vote. The victory for the suffrage forces today was 42 votes more than the required two-thirds. House leaders of both parties in the brief debate preceding today’s vote, urged favorable action, but many Southern Democrats opposed the measure, as did several New England Republicans. The political division of the vote showed that 200 Republicans, 102 Democrats, one Independent, and one Prohibitionist voted for adoption while the negative poll showed 70 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Speaker Gillett did not vote.

May 1919

60 Years Ago

Presbyterians, always prone to tangle with social issues, received recommendations for action at the denomination’s General Assembly in Indianapolis. The recommendations for action included: 1. Approval of birth control. 2. Condemnation of laws restricting groups seeking racial desegregation such as the NAACP which has been outlawed or penalized in some “deep” South states. 3. Opposition to federal spending which props up local and state patterns of racial segregation. 4. Support for passage of state fair housing legislation, barring racial discrimination in sale or rental of dwellings and greater efforts by the church to rid itself of racial barriers. 5. Disapproval of so-called “Right to Work” laws, now prevailing in 18 states as detrimental to labor-management cooperation, and 6. An appeal for abolition of capital punishment described as useless in reducing crime and contrary to the Christian duty to seek redemption of evil doers and not their death.

May 1959

40 Years Ago

For the second time in two weeks firemen from Garrattsville and Hartwick were turned out to fight a barn fire. A blaze of suspicious origin according to officials completely destroyed a two-story barn on the Clyde Telfer property on Harrington Road in the Town of New Lisbon. Hartwick fireman Mike Basile discovered the fire about 11:30 p.m. and immediately notified his department. They responded with all apparatus and about 30 men. They also summoned Garrattsville firemen who responded with all of their apparatus and about 20 men. A tractor and old wagon were lost. This was the second barn fire the two departments have responded to within the past 14 days. About a quarter mile down the road, a barn on the property of New York City resident Sidney Friedman was destroyed.

May 1979

20 Years Ago

Gun control advocates afraid of losing momentum after successes last week in the Senate asked House GOP leaders Tuesday for votes this week on the measures. Republican replied that they won’t be rushed to vote until mid-June. House speaker Dennis Hastert and Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde expressed support in broad terms for the new restrictions on gun sales voted by the Senate. “We support common sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of unsupervised children,” Hastert said in a floor speech.

May 1999

10 Years Ago

A national trend of patients deferring health care is reflected in hospitals and medical offices in Otsego County according to local hospital administrators. The recession has
meant patients think twice about elective care or making
trips to an emergency room. Delaying treatment has a negative impact on revenues for hospitals and health care networks, which rely on income and reimbursements for providing services. “Our revenue is all driven off some sort of patient encounter,” said Mark Wright, vice president for finance at Fox Hospital. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen in the last 25 years.” “We’re okay at the moment,” said Dr. William Streck, chief executive officer at Bassett Healthcare. “But, there are no guarantees.” The two institutions announced in March that talks started last year about sharing services.

May 2009

HOMETOWN History May 24, 2019

HOMETOWN History

May 24, 2019

150 Years Ago

The Oneonta Union School numbers over 200 pupils the present term – about 70 in each department. The academic department is equal to many of our academies now in scholarship and perhaps somewhat ahead of those of our neighboring villages, whose educational halls once echoed to the classic tongue of Virgil and Sallust, or the abstruse propositions of Euclid, but now they echo no longer. Peace to their shades! May they never be less! The Intermediate Department is a hive of busy workers, from the teacher to the youngest pupil, while the Primary is a jewel set with bright eyes and rosy faces – the pride of the school. To parents we would say, see that your children are regular and punctual in attendance. You know not the annoyance you may cause the teacher even by the detention of your child one day necessarily from school. Do not do it unless absolutely essential. Your children are young but once. The day is coming when they must meet those who are enjoying the advantages of our noble school in the great school of life. See to it that they are able to cope with those whose minds are strengthened by study and application.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

The sale of pictures advertised last week by Artist Morse of Utica was, we are sorry to say, not a success. Mr. Morse exhibited some very fine paintings, and the more they were seen the better they were liked. When he comes to Oneonta again with his pictures, which we trust he will do sometime he will doubtless have better success.
Four hard-looking tramps who made their quarters for a day or two in a box car on the switch near the ice house, were arrested Tuesday and hailed to the village “donjon.” Wednesday, they were arraigned before Justice Hoye, who gave one of the offenders 60 days at Albany and another 30 days at Cooperstown. The others were released and given twenty minutes to get out of town. They were a hard crowd and had on one or two instances attempted to “hold up” citizens at late hours of the night.

May 1894

80 Years Ago

City councils, state legislatures, and even Congress spend much time and energy on laws proposed to curb the activities of aliens thought to be enemies, real or potential, of our government. Some of the suggested legislation would go so far in its regulation of speech and behavior as to threaten the very democracy it seeks to defend. In this connection, the recent address of U.S. Attorney General Murphy before the Conference of Mayors, contains both reassurance and counsel. “We have criminal laws that protect us against violence and incitement to violence,” he said. “We should be ready and able to use them. We have legitimate methods of bringing propaganda groups into the open and exposing their nature to the light of day. We ought to know not only what they preach but who their sponsors are and where they get their funds. But, as devotees of democracy we cannot crush them and deny them a place in the market. We need not do this. We have no reason to fear their competition. We have a better article, and we can do a better job of salesmanship. Propagandists can be taken care of by competent enforcement of the controls already possessed.

May 23, 1939

60 Years Ago

Bresee Boy and Girl Gone – The Boy in Blue Overalls and the Girl in the Green Dress are gone from their pedestal in the front yard of 8 Maple Street. The entire Bresee family plus a lot of their friends are upset. The lad and lass, cast in iron had adorned an ornamental fountain for 76 years. Huddling under an umbrella as the water sprayed around them, the symbols of constant youth had become a refreshing spectacle for many thousands of admirers, year after year. They were installed in 1883 by a woman physician, Dr. E. Pope Westcott, who lived in the brick mansion that faces Walnut Street. In 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Bresee bought the property, a year after they moved to Oneonta from Sidney to establish Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store. They willed the house along with its fascinating “Fountain of Youth” to their oldest son, Lynn H. Bresee, who resides there. Yesterday morning Mr. Bresee noted that the famous young pair was missing.

May 1959

40 Years Ago

Tragedy marred the 17th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta on Monday. The rain-swollen waters of the Susquehanna River claimed the life of 22-year-old Bruce G. Merritt, Jr. of R.D. Clymer, when his canoe capsized on the river opposite the Holiday Inn. Mr. Merritt and teammate Randy Singer, 23, of Houghton, had just passed through the second trestle in Oneonta about 11:15 a.m. when they collided with another canoe. The canoe capsized and Mr. Singer was able to cling to the craft. According to police, Mr. Merritt got caught in the fast moving water. Laurens resident Ray Halstead who was watching the progress of the race from the trestle saw the accident happen. He dove into the water and attempted to rescue Mr. Merritt. However, the fast-moving water defeated his efforts and pulled Mr. Merritt under.

May 1979

20 Years Ago

A report that a 15-year-old Oneonta youth fooling around with what appeared to be a handgun as a car passed a local day care center was investigated by police who said the gun was a plastic toy. The Oneonta Police Department’s juvenile officer is expected to speak with the teenager and his parents. No charges will be filed in the incident. The SUCO Children’s Center staff reported the sighting.

May 1999

10 Years Ago

The Oneonta Job Corp Academy will have new management starting next month. Kentucky-based Education and Training Resources was selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to begin the takeover of the academy on June 1 from Chugach Industries, the primary operator for the previous three years. In September, Chugach Industries failed to pick up a second optional year of its contract to manage the OJCA. OJCA enrolls about 370 students and employs about 150 people.

May 2009

HOMETOWN HISTORY, May 17, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY,

May 17, 2019

150 YEARS AGO

West Oneonta – Measures were instituted some time ago, looking towards the erection of a new school house at West Oneonta. Progress was so far made that proposals for building were received with the prospects of the early completion of the building. But, owing to the fear of some close-fisted taxpayers who have no children to educate, the good work is indefinitely postponed. These parties and others interested should understand that an attractive and commodious school house adds to the value of property in the neighborhood, and bespeaks the intelligence and good sense of the inhabitants. The school building now occupied at West Oneonta is a standing shame to the community at large. It is far wiser to pay a tax for the support of schools, than for the maintenance of jails and alms-houses. Reconsider your action, ye penny-wise and pound foolish. Go to work at once.

May, 1869

125 YEARS AGO

Two well-known Utica artists, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Morse, have on exhibition this week in the Blend building, about thirty of their latest and best works in oil and water colors. In the collection there are a number of Otsego views, including a “Sketch at Gilbertsville,” “On Butterrnut Creek” and “Study of a Barn near Gilbertsville.” Saturday afternoon all the pictures will be offered at auction. No one should fail to inspect these fine paintings.
Saturday of this week the Laureates of Troy, believed to be the strongest amateur ball team in the state, will cross bats with the Normals at the Fair Grounds in this village. A first class game may be looked for, as the Normals express a determination, despite the reputation of their competitors, to retrieve past losses.

May 1894

100 YEARS AGO

Manager Stanford, who is evidently disposed to make the Oneonta Hotel famed throughout the state and a center for tourists as well as the traveling public, has decided to dispense with the services of the five piece orchestra and has purchased of the G. Shearer company one of the most elaborate and costly of the celebrated Wurlitzer orchestras secured through the Pittsburgh agency of which H.P. Shearer, formerly of this city, is manager. This instrument has arrived in the city and is being installed in the dining room of the hotel. It will be equipped with a motor-driven blower and be ready for use. It is expected that a talented organist will give a recital upon this marvelous instrument at the annual dinner of the Chamber of Commerce. The instrument has all the features of a pipe organ, but with it comes a full orchestra, a brass band, violins, flutes, piano, cornets, cellos, choir or quartet singing, chimes, bells, xylophones, fifes, brass drums, snare drums, and kettle drums, and many other effects from an Indian Tom-Tom to the roar of the ocean and from a fire alarm to the notes of a canary.

May 1919

80 YEARS AGO

Property damage unofficially estimated at over $75,000 was caused by a fire which destroyed two homes, three large barns, several smaller structures and a garage in the hamlet of Emmons yesterday afternoon. Over 100 firemen and volunteers battled the flames for three hours. The blaze swept farm buildings on the estate of Mrs. Kendall Morgan of Emmons and Chicago, Illinois before enveloping homes owned by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Murphy of Emmons and Mrs. Francis Atwood of Cooperstown. Sparks added to the peril threatening to ignite other residences. Employees at the Morgan estate estimated the value of the buildings at over $35,000. The losses also included valuable antiques, farm machinery, 200 chickens, quantities of hay and grain, tools and equipment. Ten cows and six calves were rescued.

May 1939

60 YEARS AGO

The first Armed Forces Day celebration in Walton was a success. It will be continued with yearly anticipation. The main event of the day was a beauty contest, won by Miss Donna Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stilson Miller of 144 North Street. Other events included a big parade and a buffet supper in the State Armory. The beauty contest was held in the Armory with from 1,200 to 1,500 spectators present. The 21 contestants passed before the judges singly and then in a group from which three finalists were chosen. Miss Miller, the winner, said “It’s wonderful. At first I couldn’t believe it. I’m happy to be the winner.” She was crowned Miss Walton National Guard. Judges were Miss Shirley Jones, Oneonta, Raymond Secord, Delhi and Mrs. James Casucci, Walton.

May 1959

40 YEARS AGO

Otsego County Republicans, 350 strong, gathered at the Hotel Otesaga Tuesday evening to hear guest speaker Richard B. Cheney, Congressman from Wyoming and former Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff during the Ford Administration. During his speech, Congressman Cheney focused on the energy crisis and told his audience that the United States has no choice but to rely on the Middle East for its oil. “Oil imports have been increasing every four years and within the last month we have hit an all-time record high. The last major oil finds in the U.S. were made during 1967 and 1968.”

May 1979

20 YEARS AGO

Since the beginning of the month, Carl Puylara, Sr. has seen a steady stream of customers come through the doors of his jewelry store in downtown Oneonta. While all of the customers are there to buy merchandise, many have a second reason to pay the owner of Galinn’s Jewelers’ a visit. They are there to thank him for more than five decades of services. For the past two weeks, Galinn’s Jewelers has been holding a business-closing sale. After 37 years as owner of the store and more than 50 years in the retail jewelry business, Puylara has decided to retire. “I think it’s just the right time to do the things retired people do,” said Puylara, 75, of Oneonta. “I’m going to fish and I’m going to hunt, and I’m going to garden.” Puylara’s departure is a blow to downtown Oneonta,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Sean Farrell. Puylara has worked in Oneonta’s downtown business district since he returned from the South Pacific in the 1940s, when served in the Marines during World War II.

May 1999

HOMETOWN HISTORY: May 10, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY

May 10, 2019

150 Years Ago

Oneonta – Chief Engineer Wentz and a Committee of Directors were here this week to locate a roundhouse and other needed railroad conveniences. The extension of railroad operations brings quite a number of new citizens and families to the place. The railroad makes the town. Let the town welcome its people.
Cope & Company’s new goods have come, a real old-fashioned stock as to variety, but entirely new fashioned as to style. It is really comfortable to look at things in a general country store where everything is to be had from tea to silks and from crowbars to the most delicate textures worn for beauty and grace. “Jeems” insists that the new barrel of tar is of very extra quality. Call at Cope’s and see the cords of new goods.
The only fresh roasted coffee that is hot from the roaster is to be had at L.S. Osborn & Co. For the Chief Engineer makes good time and certainly gives the public good coffee.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

Again Defeated – Saturday of last week the Normal baseball nine played its second regular game of the season and met with its second defeat, again by the narrow margin of one run missing victory. Their opponents were the Binghamton High school team, re-enforced by other good players from the parlor city, and with Burke, well-known hereabouts as an excellent pitcher, in the box. The Colgate Academy ball team plays the Normals at the fairgrounds in this village tomorrow afternoon. Two defeats by narrow margins have wrought the Normals up to a determination to do or die.

May 1894

100 Years Ago

Boy Runs Off With Motor Car – Oneonta Chief of Police Blizard has sent out a warning to be on the lookout for an automobile which it is alleged that Earl Barriger ran off with the previous night. The car belongs to the young man’s father and it is a five passenger Buick, newly painted black with a yellow running gear and a new leather top. The license number on the car is 678-005M. Young Barriger is 18 years of age, weighs 130 pounds and has light brown hair and blue eyes.
There was a notable display of Northern Lights Friday night, extending from the west to the northeast and covering perhaps one-third of the visible heavens. The light was diffused more than usual, although there were visible numerous streamers which at times were quite bright. The display was observed by many.

May 1919

80 Years Ago

Upon pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge, Morris A. Joslin, 34, of Binghamton, was fined $50 by Judge Sterling P. Harrington in Oneonta City Court yesterday. Joslin’s operator’s and registration licenses were revoked. Police said Joslin was the operator of a machine which “cruised” in various sections of the city Saturday afternoon. Patrolman Robert Simmons said Harold Crumb, Binghamton youth, was operating the car when he stopped it in Chestnut Street. Crumb admitted Joslin had been driving. Charles L. Brefle, 73, of 15 Cedar Street, was arrested Sunday afternoon on a drunk driving charge.
He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving. He drew a suspended sentence of 30 days in the county jail. His licenses were revoked. Brefle alarmed residents of River Street with the manner in which he operated his car when his vehicle mounted a curb and came close to striking pedestrians and a fire hydrant.

May 1939

60 Years Ago

Archibald MacLeish won the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for drama with his first play “J.B.” a modern rendition of the Biblical story of Job. Twice previously, he had won the poetry award. The Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded for Robert Lewis Taylor’s “The Travels of Jamie McPheeters,” the story of a wagon train journey to California during the 1849 gold rush. The gold medal for meritorious public service went to the Utica N.Y. Observer-Dispatch and Utica Daily Press for “their successful campaign against corruption, gambling and vice in their home city and the achievement of sweeping community reforms in the face of political pressure and threats of violence.”

May 1959

40 Years Ago

Dr. Peter Macris, professor of foreign languages at the State University College at Oneonta, will present “Opera Today in the U.S.A.” this coming Monday May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alden Room, Milne Library on the college campus. The talk will feature slides, recordings and opera memorabilia. Mr. Macris, founder of the Glimmerglass Opera Theatre in Cooperstown, has combined an interest in music and drama with an academic career for many years. His background in singing and acting, along with graduate studies in German language and literature, has enabled him to merge the several disciplines required for the presentation of opera.

May 1979

10 Years Ago

With a plan in place to handle the first-time sale of beer at Damaschke Field, everyone in the new Oneonta Tigers’ organization is “chomping at the bit,” declares General Manager Andrew Weber.
Opening day is six weeks from Friday, May 8.
“We’re excited,” he said in an interview. “We want to show off the great product we think we have.”

May 7, 2009

HOMETOWN HISTORY – May 3, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY

May 3, 2019

150 Years Ago

Newspaper Change: L.P. Carpenter, late editor of the Oneonta Herald, has bought out the Chronicle at Morris, and commenced his labors there last Monday. As Mr. Carpenter has been foreman in our office most of the time since
it came into our hands we can speak of his thorough integrity and industry from the daily intercourse of business.
But, while we regret to lose so true a friend and counsellor our whole heart goes out in good wishes for success of our
friend in his new field. Morris is a rich, prosperous and growing town, and its intelligent people can give to a home
newspaper a prompt and generous support. Such a support Mr. Carpenter will work hard to deserve, and we believe he
will receive it. We look for the new Chronicle as one of the best papers of the county.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

Barnum & Bailey’s advertising car No. 2, arrived in town Saturday night and on Monday proceeded to fill every
available window and to cover every square foot of obtainable wall space with announcements of the great show
which exhibits in Oneonta three weeks from next Saturday. This car, which carried 18 men, will be followed at intervals
by two others before the circus comes. The Oneonta Post Office disposed of the last of its 100,000 Columbian two-cent stamps on Monday, and customers hereafter can obtain only the regular issue, containing the familiar features of Washington in red. A few of the one, five and ten cent Columbian stamps are still in Oneonta, as they are elsewhere, and some of them already command a premium.

May 1894

100 Years Ago

From Oneonta’s WWI honor roll: “Sergeant John W. Stiles (1,210,971). Killed in action in the Dickebusch sector
of the English lines, just outside the Village of LaClyte, Belgium, near Mt. Kimmel, August 18, 1918. Emergency
address: James E. Stiles (father), Middlefield, Otsego County, New York. Eye witness: First Class Private Leon
E. O’Dell, Lexington, N.Y. Buried in cemetery at Abele, Belgium, grave 3-C-3. The explosion of a shell from the
enemy’s artillery, evidently directed at a party of English sappers who were working nearby, which fell in the trench
where Sergeant Stiles was on duty, killing him instantly. A few hours later the company was relieved by English troops and left the sector for a reserve position.”

May 1919

80 Years Ago

Rotary Hears Entertaining Story of Life in Patagonia – A recital of many of his experiences during a number of years
spent in Patagonia where he was known as “The Yankee Gaucho” was given by Joe Hector at the meeting of the
Rotary Club at Hotel Oneonta yesterday. He was introduced by E.E. Scatchard, who made his acquaintance while they
were both members of an Adirondack fishing party for two weeks some years ago. Mr. Hector emphasized the value of
the products of Patagonia, and the potential market which that section and all of South America offers to American
industry. Patagonia has an area about nine times that of New York State, but a population of only 385,000 people.
Because of a lack of vegetation, nine square miles of good land is required to support 1,000 sheep or an even smaller number of beef cattle.

May 1939

60 Years Ago

Democratic leader Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas has listed Senate passage of a Civil Rights Bill as one of the objectives
of this session of Congress. Johnson’s decision to push ahead with what he regards as a moderate bill has dashed
the hopes of Southern Democrats that they could avoid a showdown on the issue this year. Southerners had felt that
if they could sidetrack the question now, they would be in a position to delay the legislation still further in 1960 with
threats of a party split over the issue in a presidential election year. However, the unsolved kidnapping of a Negro
rape suspect in Poplarville, Mississippi, has heightened demand for congressional action in the civil rights field.

May 1959

20 Years Ago

The U.S. Department of Defense considers the School of the Americas (SOA) located at Fort Benning, Georgia as
a “military training center for Latin America. First established in 1946 in Panama in 1946 and moved to Georgia in
1984, the School of the Americas has trained about 60,000 Central and South American officers, cadets, non-commissioned officers and civilians. Courses at the school cover military and combat skills. Representative Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said its detractors are “misinformed or uninformed,” and do not understand that the school has played an important role if fostering democracy in Latin America. That view does not sit well with Alice Siegfried, an Oneonta potter
who countered that democracy is spreading despite the SOA. One of the school’s graduates, and perhaps the most
notorious is Panama’s General Manuel Noriega along with the nineteen Salvadorans accused of murdering six Jesuit
priests in 1989. Alice Siegfried and two other area women will board a bus in Binghamton that will take them to a protest
in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. near the White House. For Alice Siegfried, who has traveled throughout
Central America and heard tales of atrocities taking a visible stand against the SOA is vital. “It’s the least I could do
to take a bus down there and be a body,” she said. She is prepared to be arrested.

May 1999

10 Years Ago

When a patient steps into the emergency department at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, a nurse not only assesses injuries,
but also starts a computer record designed to streamline treatment. As Fox continues upgrading its information
technology, the latest step is a computer beside a patient’s bed, accessible to doctors, nurses and physician assistants
in the emergency department. Staff members no longer have to keep track of a bulky three-ring binder, or decipher
hand-written orders or notes. And, the information is accessible to health providers in other areas of the hospital. The
system is part of a $7 million investment in information technology and electronic medical records. The emergency
department is the first at Fox to go “live” on the system.

May 2009

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