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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Milford news

Steam Engine Arrives At Milford Train Station

Steam Engine Arrives

At Milford Train Station

Paul Sternitzke, Milford, operates a bucket loader to guide a steam engine, owned by Scott Symans, right, off of a flatbed truck and onto the tracks at the Milford Train station earlier this afternoon. The steam engine will be a featured attraction in this weekend’s 150th anniversary celebration of the Cooperstown Charlotte Valley Railroad, including a ride from Milford to Cooperstown, Saturday July 13. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

C&CV’s 150th Party Recreating Hoopla Of Original Launch

SUMMER DREAMS COVER STORY

C&CV’s 150th Party

Recreating Hoopla

Of Original Launch

Carl Ayres drives the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad’s refurbished “Little Train,” which will make its debut this weekend at the Milford Depot on the 150th anniversary celebrations. (Ian Austin/Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

MILFORD – Call it The Little Engine That Can.

Donall Sullivan’s little train, out of commission for more than 15 years, will once again carry passengers – of all ages! – from Milford’s Wilber Park to the 150th anniversary celebration of the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad Saturday, July 13.

“Sullivan was a tool-and-die man and he built a little train on his property in Otego,” said Bruce Hodges, president, Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society. “When he died in the mid-’90s, Gene Bettiol bought it because he didn’t want it to leave the area.”

Later, Bettiol donated it to the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, which owns the C&CV, but after a few years, the engine stopped working.

Annual Woodbull Antique Fair Draws Vendors From Across NY

Annual Woodbull Antique Fair

Draws Vendors From Across NY

If you head over RIGHT NOW, you can catch the last half-hour of the annual Cooperstown Antiques Fair next to Woodbull Antiques, just north of Milford on Route 28.  Above, Karen Wheaton of Maria Lake, near Schenectady, discusses her wares with her co-vendors, Hetty Jo  and Bob Jarvenpa from East Bern, who specialize in Southwest jewelry.  Inside, David and Carli Kindernedl, who have been homesteading in the Milford area, examine wooden bowls Carli thought she could put to good use.  The annual event has drawn antique sellers and buffs alike on Fourth of July weekends for decades now. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

No One’s Snapped Up 3 Wheeler So Far

No One’s Snapped Up

3-Wheeled Car So Far

Shirley Bennett is selling her three-wheeled Snyder “mouse car” in Milford. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • www.AllOTSEGO.com

MILFORD – When Shirley and Douglas Bennett got back to their car after shopping one afternoon, they saw a little boy and his father waiting for them in the parking lot.

“The father told me that his son didn’t want to leave until he saw us wind up the car!” said Shirley.

Alas, the wind-up key on top of the Bennett’s three-wheeled Snyder is just for show, but now, the “mouse car,” as locals know it, is for sale.

“When my husband found it online in 2012, it only had three miles on it,” she said. “It the only one in New York state.”

A modified trike, the Snyder comes from China – their small size makes them very popular in Asia – and requires a motorcycle or trike license to operate it. Even with a three-gallon fuel tank, the Snyder can get up to 65 miles per gallon.

“When we registered it, they told us we had to wear helmets when we were in it,” she said. “Your head would rub against the ceiling! I said that ‘we’ll wear motorcycle helmets when motorcyclists wear seat belts’.”

The car gets 50-55 miles per hour, and in nice weather, Douglas drove it to his job at Amphenol, and also to car shows. “He won a prize for most unique vehicle,” she said.

The wooden butterfly key was something Douglas added, as well as a horn that played several tunes. “It really is the most fun,” she said. “People will whip out their cameras and take pictures when they see it.”

And it drew plenty of attention.  “One time we were stopped by police coming back from Binghamton,” she said. “They just wanted to look at it!”

Douglas died last September, and now, Shirley wants the car to have a new owner. It has less than 4,000 miles on it, has never been driven in winter and is selling for $5,000.

She has had several calls on it, but it has not yet sold. If interested, call (607) 286-4009.

“We had a lot of fun in it,” she said.

Three-Wheeled Car Up For Sale in Milford

Three-Wheeled Car

Up For Sale in Milford

Shirley Bennett is selling her three-wheeled Snyder “mouse car” in Milford. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

MILFORD – When Shirley and Douglas Bennett got back to their car after shopping one afternoon, they saw a little boy and his father waiting for them.

“The father told me that his son didn’t want to leave until he saw us wind up the car!” said Shirley.

Alas, the wind-up key on top of the Bennett’s three-wheeled Snyder is just for show, but now, the “mouse car,” as locals know it, is for sale.

2 Years, 2 Months, 28 Days After Inferno, A New Church

Joy & Relief

2 Years, 2 Months, 28 Days

After Inferno, A New Church

An standing-room-only crowd filled the “starkly beautiful” new Milford Methodist Church Sunday, June 9, replacing one razed by an arsonist on March 12, 2017. (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA & The Freeman’s Journal)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Annabel Wu, Erica Eggleston and Savyn Mazzarella were confirmed at the church dedication by Pastor Sylvia
Barrett and
District Superintendent Everett Bassett

MILFORD

Where once stood a towering, Romanesque-in-miniature brick sanctuary, now resides a little white country church, its interior “starkly beautiful,” as John Wesley would want it.

“When I met with the committees, they were insistent that they wanted a little country church,” said Jim Hundt, the architect who designed the new Milford United Methodist Building. “They wanted it to have an Adirondack style, very comfortable, very open.”

The first service, which was standing-room only, was Sunday, June 9 – Pentecost.

“On the night of March 12, 2017, who would have predicted that we would be sitting here in this beautiful, starkly beautiful space, ready to begin a brand new chapter in this community,” said Pastor Sylvia Barrett in her sermon, “Emboldened and Empowered.” “On the night of Pentecost, the disciples came to an end of one chapter in their lives, and started a brand new chapter for themselves,”

Following the fire, the trustees formed several different committees to task with rebuilding. “It was never an option not to rebuild,” said Bob Moore, chairman of the church’s Board of Trustees and former Milford town justice.

The big thing in the design, all committees agreed, was to incorporate the three stained-glass windows that miraculously survived the fire.

It was a day of dedications, and not just the church itself.

The organ was dedicated to Dot Weir, who played music for the church for 67 years. “May every piece we play find its way up to you,” said Pastor Sylvia.

The main stained-glass window was dedicated to David Thorn’s parents; the two side ones to the Eggleston and Martin families.

“Those were a big feature and they were expensive,” said Hundt. “So we had to make compromises.”

Compromises included delaying on air conditioning, but no matter: though the temperatures were in the mid-70s by noon, a cool breeze blew through ranks of windows open on both sides of the sanctuary.

“We put in a lot of cottage-style windows that create a good cross-breeze,” said Hundt. “With so many modern buildings, you can’t open the windows, but these provide good lighting and great ventilation.”

Even the candelabras have a country touch, with bulbs styled to look like wide white candles set in simple, round metal frames.

And just because it’s old-fashioned doesn’t mean it doesn’t have modern touches, including two 83-inch TV screens, where lyrics and Biblical quotes are displayed so people can read and sing along. The church does not have pews, but chairs – brought over from the former Milford Manor Farms building that served as the church for the last year; attached, it will now be the social hall, where punch and cake were served after the service.

The new church was built entirely from donations and insurance, with no debt to the church itself. “Before we even started fundraising, we had $50,000,” said Barrett. “So many people stepped forward to help. We prayed a way forward and here we are.”

The first service included remarks from the Methodist Church’s district superintendent, Rev. Everett Bassett of Oneonta. “No other church has quite as marvelous a story as this one,” he said. “It’s been an amazing journey, and the level of leadership, vision and determination has been inspiring. That’s what shows up today. As a congregation, we will never forget the help we received.”

Longtime congregant state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, gave the closing prayer.

“We are back, stronger than ever and looking forward to a new chapter of faith in this community,” said Barrett.

REJOICE! Milford United Methodist Celebrates Pentecost Service In New Church

REJOICE!

As Milford United Methodist Opens

‘All The People’ – SRO – ‘Say Amen’

Sounds of song, inspiration and prayer filled the brand new sanctuary to standing-room-only at the rebuilt Milford Methodist Church during this morning’s service, “two years, two months and twenty-eight days” after the March 12, 2017, arson that destroyed the original building. Above, Pastor Sylvia Barrett on guitar, leads the  congregation in “And All The People Said Amen,” with help from Music Director Ron Johnson on organ and choir members Jerriann Garrillo, Mark Andrews, Anthony Welsh, Ralph Eggleston, Patsy Lyons, Sandy Andrews, Emily Mattison-Welsh, Maureen Johnson and Cindy Campbell. At left, state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, a member of the church and its Building Committee,  reads the closing prayer for the morning. Following the service, worshippers enjoyed a celebration fellowship.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Milford 3rd Graders Release Trout They Raised Into Schenevus Creek

Back To Nature

Milford 3rd Graders Release Trout

They Raised Into Schenevus Creek

Students from Mrs. Polomcean’s third grade class at Milford Central School bid farewell to a school of 50 brown trout that they have been raising in their classroom by releasing them into Schenevus Creek earlier this morning. Above, as fellow students sing “Bye Bye Trout,” Topanga Miller releases of of the fish under the watchful eye of Mike Zurn, Franklin, from Trout Unlimited.  At right, Katelyn Smith prepares to release a fish alongside Keven Kelley, Oneonta, left, and Bob Wikoff, Oneonta. The trout-raising project, in its first year at Milford, was the idea of third-grade teacher Kim Burkhart, who had done it with another class in Sherburne, and the  tank in her classroom was donated by Trout Unlimited. She plans to continue the project next year. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

It Was Day Of Resolve, Ending With Romance

It Was Day Of Resolve,

Ending With Romance

The Otsego County Relay for Life – a day of resolve – ended with romance, as Christopher “Justin” Haynes – the Oneonta DJ Justino, who emceed at the Relay and handled the audio needs – proposed to his girlfriend, Deanie Lord, from the main stage at Milford’s Wilber Park, as the evening came to an end. The two are no strangers to weddings – Justin operates his own business, DJ Justino Wedding Expert & Photo Booth Specialist, and Deanie has modeled bridal gowns at the annual Bridal Expo at Foothills. (Mark Spaziano photos for AllOTSEGO.com)
Hartwick Hails Class of ’19

Hartwick Class of 2019

Departs Oyaron Hill

Nursing major Mataiah Waters, Milford, above, walks with 214 fellow graduates during the recessional at Hartwick College,’s 88th annual Commencement on Oyaran Hill in Oneonta earlier this afternoon. At right, Hartwick President Margaret Drugovich, rear, joins the crowd in recognizing Eric Cooper, associate professor of biology, who was the recipient of this year’s esteemed Margaret B. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Joseph R. Konchar, 91; Retired Farmer Owned Elm Inn In Heyday

IN MEMORIAM: Joseph R. Konchar, 91;

Retired Farmer Owned Elm Inn In Heyday

MILFORD – Joseph R. Konchar, 91, a retired farmer who owned the Elm Inn in its heyday, died Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Cooperstown Center.

Born March 19, 1928, Joe was the youngest and last surviving of the 13 children of August and Antoinette (Ocaker) Konchar.

At an early age, his family moved from the family’s Christian Hill farm in the Town of Otsego where he was born, to Milford where his parents had purchased another farm where they would continue the family tradition of dairy farming.
Joe attended Milford Central School.

Environmental Stewards Enjoy Earth Fest Fun

Environmental Stewards

Enjoy Earth Fest Fun

Maureen Murray, Cooperstown, and Barbara Deemer, Oneonta help separate Styrofoam and plastics for Eva Davey, Westford, to put on the truck for recycling during the annual Earth Fest event at Milford Central School this afternoon. At right, Bill Hardy, Oneonta, of the ARC’s Oneonta ReUse Center, holds before photos of their re-purpose contest winner; an industrial fan that was made into an unique coffee table by Joanne Mkytyn of Oneonta. Guests could browse the clothing swap, shred old papers, enjoy dog herding demonstrations, taste local food and enjoys a wide selection of informational tables from local organizations.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Howard ‘Howdy’ Cornish, 92; WWII Veteran, Last Of Original Milford Macs

IN MEMORIAM: Howard ‘Howdy’ Cornish, 92;

WWII Veteran, Last Of Original Milford Macs

Howard Cornish

MILFORD – Howard “Howdy” I. Cornish, 92, a World War II veteran and last of the original Milford Macs, passed away peacefully on Tuesday April 2, 2019, at Fox Nursing Home, Oneonta.

Born Nov. 2, 1926, at the Thanksgiving Hospital in Cooperstown, Howard was the son of Horace P. and Leta (Persons) Cornish.

He graduated from Milford High School, Class of 1945. Immediately after graduation, Howard enlisted in the Army and, following basic training, was assigned to the 778th Tank Battalion. Howard was dedicated to his country and proud of his service and that of his fellow comrades in arms.

David T. Evans, 76;Milford Man Retired From Springbrook

IN MEMORIAM: David T. Evans, 76;

Milford Man Retired From Springbrook

David T. Evans

MILFORD – David T. Evans, 76, of Milford, who retired from Springbrook (Upstate Home for Children) after 25 years, passed away Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at his home.

He was born Sept. 22, 1942, in Oneonta, the son of the late Glenn H. and Ruth (Martindale) Evans.

David worked at Gladding Del-Rey, the travel trailer maker in Oneonta, and then as a carpenter and roofer,  and finally at Upstate Homes for Children (Springbrook) for 25 years until his retirement.

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