News of Otsego County

Janet Rigby

Can You Help? To Complete 29-Year Renovation, Rigbys Need Help On Final Piece

Can You Help?

To Complete 29-Year Renovation,

Rigbys Need Help On Final Piece

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

A baluster, just like this one, may be somewhere in the Coop- erstown area, and Bill Rigby needs it to complete renovating his antique staircase. Can you help?

In 1992, Bill and Janet Rigby were walking through 73 Elm St., deciding whether to buy that imposing Victorian home that, broken up into eight apartments, had fallen on hard times.

Hard times, yes. But there were hints of its former glory as home to Judge Walter H. Bunn’s clan, none moreso than the 30-step staircase that wound up from the ground floor to the third-floor attic.

All 67 balusters – the supports that connect the railing and the staircase foundation – were in place.

Bill Rigby, who had worked on restoration projects on Staten Island – he also operates American Historic Hardware here, replacing original hinges and fixtures – and Janet, who
had collaborated with him, couldn’t wait to get started.

But on buying the home and taking possession, they discovered: One of the balusters was gone.

“It was obvious: One was missing,” said Bill. “It was there when we walked through the house. It wasn’t there on the day of the closing.”

Warmer Temps Don’t Deter Ice Harvest

Warmer Temp Don’t

Stop Ice Harvest Event

It may not have been cold enough to haul ice from the lake, but the volunteers kept crowds happy with warm soup and demonstrations around the grounds at the annual Ice Harvest Event at the Hanford Mills Museum this afternoon. Above, Janet Rigby, right, Cooperstown, serves a bowl of turkey chili from the Oneonta Bagel Co. to Nancy Tarr and Liane Hirabayashi. Members from the Cooperstown Graduate Program were also helping volunteer with demonstrations on ice insulation while students from the SUNY Delhi culinary program demonstrating ice sculpture carving. (Ian Austin/
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103