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News of Otsego County

Tom Heitz column

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 31, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 31, 2020

125 Years Ago

Congressman D.F. Wilber of Oneonta did not vote for the Dingley Tariff Bill. Neither did he vote against it. Mr. Wilber’s position on the bill was explained by him as follows: “I represent a district which is strongly protective in its tariff views and I myself am a radical protectionist. As such I could not bring myself around to support the Dingley measure. It is a bill for revenue rather than protection. I cannot endorse a 15 percent increase of Wilson-Gorman duties throughout all the schedules except those devoted to wool and wood and their manufactures. The basis of such action is wrong. I favored a Bill framed along McKinley lines. What I want is a thoroughly protective measure on the lines of the McKinley measure of 1890. Any Democrat who favors tariff duties for revenue only might have voted for the Dingley Bill without violating his principles. I cannot compromise my protective views with Mr. Cleveland to that extent.”

January 1896

80 Years Ago

An Oneonta boy died a hero Friday afternoon of last week in a futile attempt to save the life of a seven-year-old playmate who had plunged into icy Neahwa park pond. Victims of the first tragic accident to occur at the park pond in 12 years were Charles Wood, aged 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Wood, and Darwin Johnston, aged 7, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Johnston of West Harpersfield. Dr. Norman Getman, Otsego County coroner, pronounced both boys dead at 4:50 p.m.

January 1941

25 Years Ago

Citing economic reasons and low ridership, Pine Hill-Adirondack Trailways has decided to eliminate its weekday bus route traveling from Utica, through Cooperstown, to Oneonta on January 10. Weekend runs will continue, however. Paul Provost, vice-president for the Kingston-based company, commented, “It’s a lack of passengers. There are less than six passengers a day on that portion. The majority are between New York City and Oneonta, obviously. Somedays we are leaving Oneonta with two or three people. This is strictly an economic move. Trailways receives a state subsidy of $2.7 million and was asking for an additional $500,000 according to Michael Fleischer a NYSDOT spokesperson. “Adirondack wanted additional state subsidies because the ridership was fairly low,” said Diane Carlton, Director of the Planning Department for Otsego County. The ridership averages are based on total annual numbers which rise during the tourist season.
“I see a lot more people getting off the buses in the summer,” Carlton said.

January 1996

10 Years Ago

In ceremonies at the Otsego County Courthouse, State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, was sworn in for a 13th term, and Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. was sworn for his second term. In remarks, Seward noted a lack of “stable and responsible leadership” in Albany in recent years. “I love New York,” he said, “but our state is crumbling.” Drue Quackenbush, an Oneonta High School student, sang the National Anthem and led the audience in “America the beautiful” at the end. Also sworn in was Judge Brian Burns who warned of growing problems with heroin drug addiction.
“Stay-at-home moms are being arrested for selling it and for using it,” said the judge.

January 2011

BOUND VOLUMES: December 31, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

December 31, 2020

150 YEARS AGO

Quarantine – The experience of the past year has furnished additional evidence of the security afforded to the public health by the proper administration of quarantine laws.
Out of 365 vessels which arrived in the port of New York from ports infected with Yellow Fever, 107 had cases of this disease on board either in the port of departure, or on their passage, or were found on their arrival here to have some of their crew or passengers sick with it. The total number of cases was 170, out of which 112 died.
Twenty-six cases from vessels under quarantine were admitted to the West Bank Hospital, only six of which proved fatal. Thirty vessels have been detained at quarantine on account of small pox, having an aggregate of over 18,000 persons on board from among whom 66 patients, sick with this disease, were sent to the hospital on Blackwell’s Island.
These statistics of disease show the dangers to which we are exposed through our foreign commerce.

January 5, 1871

100 YEARS AGO

Cooperstown has acquired two institutions during the year 1920 which will be recognized by everyone as acquisitions of importance. The opening here in September of the Knox School was the event of the most importance. The purchase of Doubleday Field, the birthplace of baseball, was a Chamber of Commerce accomplishment. It was a Chamber of Commerce project and too much praise cannot be given the committee which had charge of the matter. This project is still a field for much work.

January 5, 1921

75 Years Ago

In Cooperstown – Patrons at Smalley’s Theatre were thrilled with pictures of the National Museum of Baseball and Hall of Fame, which appeared on the regular Paramount Pictures News Reel.
Attorney Theodore P. Feury has purchased of Mrs. Nola G. Warren, her house and lot on Susquehanna Ave. and takes immediate possession.
David J. McGown, a student at Yale University, is at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. Hamilton McGown at their home on Pine Blvd. for the holiday vacation.

January 2, 1946

50 YEARS AGO

Donald Scott Tabor, 20, of Cooperstown was killed and Mary Jean Hopkins, his fiancée, was injured early New Year’s morning at 3:45 a.m. when their car rammed a concrete and steel bridge abutment over Red Creek in Bowerstown. Mr. Tabor, an employee of the Victory Supermarket for the last five years, was planning to enter the armed forces on January 14.

January 6, 1971

25 YEARS AGO

A total of 165 students from this area are included in the annual edition of “Who’s Who — Among American High School Students – 1994-1995.” From Cooperstown High School: Garrett Ellsworth, Lauren Groff, Melissa P. Hazzard, Cassandra A. Linn, Reid Nagelschmidt, Lisa N. Senchyshyn, Meghan L. Gallery, Timothy W. Hayes, Erica Hollister, Karen A. Muehl, Alexis Olson, and Laurie Warner.

January 7, 1996

10 YEARS AGO

Three Otsego County people died of heroin overdoses in 2010. “There are hundreds of thousands of dollars of heroin here in Otsego County,” Judge Brian R. Burns told a full house in the Otsego County Courthouse on New Year’s Day, shortly after he was sworn in for a second ten-year term. “I can’t emphasize enough how much that’s changed,” he continued. “Heroin was simply not a problem. It’s going to be the biggest problem in the next ten years.”

January 6, 2011

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 24, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 24, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – The walks in some parts of our village have been made very slippery by boys sliding and skating on them. A bad practice!
Now is a good time to provide yourself a nice scarf or warm overcoat. Anything of this kind can be bought cheaper in Oneonta than any other place short of Albany.
All ye who are troubled with mice should call at the store of Moody and Vosburgh, and purchase a “Novelty Mouse-Trap.” The construction of this trap is such that it would be fun to sit up nights and watch the little pantry robbers as they slide in under the gate.
Miss Mary Burton lost a valuable gold watch from her chain last Thursday evening. The loss was first discovered while in attendance at Washburne’s show. Search was made that night in the street from Mr. Burton’s residence to the Hall with lanterns, but without success.

December 1870

BOUND VOLUMES: December 24, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

December 24, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

A New Kind of Bed: These beds are made of the husks of Indian Corn in the following manner – So soon as they are ripe, the husks should be gathered when they are dry and in a clear air. The outer hard husks are to be rejected and the softer inner ones to be fully dried out in the shade. Cut off the hard end formerly attached to the cob and draw the husk through a hatchel, or suitably divide it with a coarse comb. The article is now fit for use. It can be put in an entire sack as straw is, or to be formed into a mattress, as prepared hair is, of any size and thickness you please. This material is sweet, pleasant and durable, lasting from five to ten years. Two invalids, who have used them for eight years past in this
neighborhood, unite in saying that those who have once tried a bed of this kind, will wish no other winter or summer.

December 25, 1820

BOUND VOLUMES: December 17, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

December 17, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

Congressional Investigation of the Slave Trade: “Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to lay before this House (of Representatives) any correspondence that he does not deem it inexpedient to disclose, which may have existed between the Executive of the United States and the governments of any of the maritime powers of Europe, in relation to the African slave trade.”
Military Academy: That the Secretary of War be directed to lay before the House, as soon as is practicable, a statement shewing the aggregate amount that has been expended on the Military Academy at West Point, in the State of New York, from the establishment of the same to the present time, in the erection of buildings, barracks, repairs and materials for the same; also the aggregate amount that has been expended in pay, substance and clothing, of the teachers, officers and cadets, that are or have been at the Academy, up to the present time.

December 18, 1820

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 17, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 17, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – A singular worm was found in an apple by Sable Hudson which we have seen and examined. It measures 7 inches in length, is nearly white and when taken from the apple its body was about the size of a small knitting needle. How did it get there? The worm will be sent to the State Entomologist at Albany for an examination.
J.W. Carpenter is now pleasantly situated in the fine rooms over the bookstore, opposite the Susquehanna House. He has received a thorough instruction in the
business, and is competent to attend the most difficult cases, in extracting teeth and making of plates.

December 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 10, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 10, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – Next year will witness the erection of more buildings in Oneonta than in any previous year. It has surpassed the expectations of the most sanguine, but we look for greater improvement next year. Many only await the opening of spring to begin the erection of business houses and residences.
Mr. Peter W. Swart, so long and well known in this town and vicinity, died quite suddenly at his residence on Monday night. Mr. Swart, though in quite feeble health was able to be about and was at the village only a few days ago. He was a man of much kindness of heart and very highly esteemed as a friend and citizen.
About 1 o’clock Monday morning a fire was discovered in the back part of Mendel’s stone building on Main Street. It was next the walls of the house, near the chimney, and directly opposite a partition, and probably caught in some manner from the chimney. When discovered the fire had made but small progress and with the help of a few citizens was quickly extinguished. If the people of Oneonta and especially those on Main Street value their lives and property, they should see that something is done in the matter of a fire engine.

December 1870

BOUND VOLUMES: December 10, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

December 10, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

Village Ordinance: “That the owner of every dwelling-house, office, shop or store, shall provide on or before the first Day of October next, under the penalty of one dollar for neglect or refusal so to do, one Leather Fire Bucket for every two fire places in each and every dwelling house, office, shop, or store; and that each dwelling house, shop or store, that may have but one fire place, shall nevertheless furnish and provide one fire bucket, and that the said fire buckets may be easily obtained at all fire alarms, it shall be the duty of such owners to place or suspend the said fire buckets in the most convenient place therefor. And further, it shall be the duty at every fire alarm, to place or cause to be placed, such bucket without the door for use.” The Trustees expect every citizen will be prepared to exhibit his fire bucket as required by the above ordinance, on the fifteenth of December inst., at which time they will inspect each house, store, office, etc. and in case of non-compliance the penalty may be expected to be enforced.

December 11, 1820

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 3, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 3, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – L. Goldsmith is enlarging his store by adding on several feet in the rear. Remember S. Brownson’s Singing School at Music Hall, next Saturday evening. As we go to press, track laying is in progress at the crossing below the village. Wm. McCrum has the frame up and nearly enclosed for a new house on the new street east of Broad Street. Bronson has the frame up and nearly enclosed for the new house of J.P. Van Woert, on Dietz Street. The frame for W. Mickle’s new house on Center Street has been raised and will be rapidly enclosed. H. Houghton has commenced a new house nearly opposite the residence of W.H. Shellman on West Street. The new stone walk laid on Main Street shows enterprise and good judgment on the parties who have energy enough to put them down. The new book store is open for public inspection and patronage. Call and see its neat arrangement and carry home a few choice books.

December 1870

BOUND VOLUMES: November 26, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

November 26, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

Land for Sale Low: One Farm of 44 and three-quarter acres of excellent land lying in Richfield, Otsego County, on the Hamilton and Skaneateles Turnpike road leading from Richfield to Skaneateles, on which is a good framed house and barn, a fine young orchard which bears fruit sufficient for a family’s use. The fences are in good repair and 30 acres of which are under good improvement; and lies near the center of the Town. Also, one other Farm of 83 and five eighth acres of as good soil of land as any in the same section of the County, situated on the Third Great Western Turnpike from Albany to Buffalo, by way of Cherry Valley and Cazenovia, on which is a good house and barn, wood-house, cow-house, and other out buildings, to make it a delightful home for a good farmer.

November 27, 1820

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 26, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 26, 2020

150 Years Ago

Highway Robbery – Early last Wednesday morning Mr. Moak, driver of the Schenevus Stage, was accosted by a suspicious looking individual near the Russel Bridge who asked for a tobacco chew. Mr. Moak said he did not use the weed, whereat the robber demanded of Mr. M. his money and the mail bags. His request was not acceded to by our modern John, who dismounted from his coach and struck the would-be highwayman with a stick of wood from an adjacent woodpile. The scoundrel dropped and the faithful guardian of the mail bags went his way rejoicing. Work is progressing slowly at the round house during the present cold weather.Lester and Theodore Emmons and Wm. H. Strait have purchased a lot containing 40 feet front and 100 feet back on Broad Street of E.H. Ford, on which they will erect a machine shop for the manufacture of the celebrated Firkin Head Cutter, and a general repair shop.

November 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 19, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 19, 2020

150 Years Ago

Oneonta Local: J.P. Van Woert is preparing to erect his house on Dietz Street. H.M. Brownson is the builder.
A.G. Shaw has sold his home to J.M. Watkins for $4,000. Mr. Wells, 0n Centre Street, intends to build a very superior house. S.M. Ballard has bought the house of Dr. Reynolds on Chestnut Street. J. Alger has purchased a lot of Isaac Peters, and intends erecting a house soon. McDonald & Brewer have the frame up for A. Morris’s new house on Walnut Street. John Dewar has bought a house of N.I. Ford, and moved it on a lot in the rear of T.J. Gildersleeve’s.
J.H. Ostrander’s new house, which is nearly completed, improved the corner above the creek on Dietz Street.
Stephen Bull’s fine house presents a very picturesque appearance. A portion of it can be seen so far up the road as J.W. Jenks’s. The Brewer Block is nearly completed. Six nice homes are thus offered for sale or to rent. Rents will not be less than $250 per year and at that price the owners will not realize more than ten percent on cost. If a few more houses could be built so as to rent for about $150 it would be a good thing. In a few years Oneonta will be the largest town in the county, and houses will be needed.

November 1870

BOUND VOLUMES: November 19, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

November 19, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

Academy: The inhabitants of Cooperstown and its vicinity are respectively informed, that the second quarter of A. Parmele’s Academy, will commence on the Twenty-first of November, inst. The strictest attention will be paid to the accommodation of Young Ladies and Gentlemen who are desirous of instruction in the following branches of Science, viz: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English Grammar; Geography; with the use of the Globe and Atlas; History; Rhetorick; Composition; the Elements of Chemistry; Astronomy; and Geometry; and the Latin and Greek languages.
Tuition: Reading, Writing and Orthography $2.50; the higher branches of English study $3; the Languages $4, per quarter. Abiel Parmele, Cooperstown, New York.

November 20 1820

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 12, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 12, 2020

150 Years Ago

Oneonta Local: The first snow of the season fell here on Sunday, October 29. There was a heavy thunder shower on Thursday morning last – the sign of a hard winter.
Conductor R. V. Humphrey is preparing to build a new house on his lot opposite James Cope’s on Elm Street. The cellar is already completed for a new house.
The person who borrowed or took a copy of French’s Gazetteer of New York City from this office will confer a special favor by returning it at once. We want to use it.
D. Morrell has bought 13 acres of land of Brewer & McDonald south of the creek road adjoining James Walling’s farm, at $100 per acre. It is well worth the money.
A new street has been opened from Main Street to the railroad near Mickel & Moore’s Foundry, and W. McCrum is erecting a new house thereon. He expects to erect another on the same street next spring.
H. Houghton has bought Perry Bennett’s lots on West Street – 11 acres at $850. The raspberry plantation on it will more than pay the interest and taxes on the place, but it will soon be wanted for building lots.

November 1870

BOUND VOLUMES: November 12, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

November 12, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

We are indebted to the politeness of Mr. Luca, the Deputy Marshal authorized to take the Census of this County, for the following statement of the population of this Village (Cooperstown): 371 Free White Males; 387 Free White Females; 1 Male Slave; 2 Female Slaves; 6 Free Colored Males; 16 Free Colored Females; Total population 783.
Female Fashion: The Weatherfield Grass Bonnet, which obtained a premium at the Hartford Fair, has been sent to New York, where it was examined by a great number of merchants and others who are well acquainted with and engaged in the sale of Leghorn Bonnets, who pronounced it equal if not superior to the finest imported Leghorns. It is said that the sale of Leghorn Bonnets in the City of New York alone amounts to not less than half a million of dollars.

November 13, 1820

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