Freeman's Journal History

 BY TOM HEITZ 
Compiled by Tom Heitz with resources courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library


5-20-11
200 YEARS AGO
The following is copied from the London Courier: The sea is ours, and we must maintain the doctrine – that no nation, no fleet, no cockboat shall sail upon it without our permission. America declares that England must not presume to declare a port in a state of blockade, unless she can keep a force actually before that port. England must replay; we will not condescend to mince and carve out and dwindle down our system of blockade. We will not talk of this port and that port. There is but one Navy in the world, the British Navy. The whole continent we consider as one port, and so long as Bonaparte persists in his present system, we warn all powers that the Continent is in a state of blockade, and they must not presume to trade with it without our leave. This is the doctrine which we must enforce, and the sooner we do it the better!
May 18, 1811

150 YEARS AGO
The preparations for lighting our village with gas are progressing with commendable diligence. The company has had on hand an army of laborers, the past week, laying the foundations for their manufactory, and putting down their network of iron pipes through the streets. They hope to be able to light up about June 20, and then the people down Milford and Oneonta way, may look out for a new luster to the northern lights. When our shops and dwellings are aglow with gas, won’t we talk to the rural districts about the convenience of gas-light and other appendages of city life!
May 24, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Personal: Mrs. Alfred Corning Clark and son arrived here on Thursday last, stopping a few days at Carr’s Hotel while “Fernleigh” mansion and cottage are being put in order for occupancy.

A fair estimate by a manufacturer in New York of the number of base balls made for the present season is said to be 5,000,000, or one for every ten or eleven of the population of the entire country. That so many balls have been made for the present season is not surprising, when it is remembered that there are scores of private clubs – juvenile and otherwise – in almost every large town in the Union, and each member of these numerous clubs is the possessor of from one to ten base balls.
May 22, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Cooperstown is one of the most beautiful and most delightfully situated villages in the world. Its many advantages as a healthful and in every way desirable place of residence have been told so long in song and story that none can forget. It is a shimmering lake reflecting the foliage of the surrounding mountains; it is pure air, it’s pure water, it’s historic and literary environment, and it’s home-loving and enterprising citizens – all together form an asset of which any community would be proud. It is not, therefore, because Cooperstown is in dire need of improvement that the Village Improvement Society is formed. It is, rather, to preserve the spirit of the village loyalty and perpetuate the present good standard, always with the idea in mind of making things better.
May 17, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
The Leatherstocking Corporation of Cooperstown has purchased of the Otsego Lake Transit Company the latter’s Lakefront property at the foot of Pioneer Street, known as Otsego Lake Park. With this transaction the Otsego Lake Transit Co. will go out of existence. M.E. Lippitt, who was president of the Transit Company, will continue the boat business at the foot of Fair Street under the title of the Otsego Lake Boat Co. The Otsego Lake Transit Co. was organized in 1905 and until 1933 operated passenger service on Otsego Lake, in addition to conducting a boat livery. At one time as many as six regular trips around the lake daily were made by the company’s boats.
May 20, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
The regular meeting of the Woman’s Club of Cooperstown was held on May 10 at 3:30 p.m. at the club rooms with Mrs. Robert A. Streett, president, presiding. Miss Doris S. Bliss, program chairman, introduced guest speaker, Dr. James Bordley, III, of Cooperstown, whose topic was “Birds of the Cooperstown Area. Dr. Bordley stated that in a recent three-year period 234 species of birds were identified in this area. Following his talk, Dr. Bordley showed colored slides of birds that are permanent residents here, winter birds and transients. Five garments made by area high school 4-H girls were on display in the tea room, including Miss Joanne Winne’s ensemble, recent winner in the Bresee’s sewing contest.
May 17, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Several months ago at spirited rallies, Laurel Graham, a junior at Coopersrown Central School, stood among Filipino friends screaming Corazon Aquino’s campaign slogan “Laban (fight)” and wearing Aquino’s color, yellow. At one point, Graham, who was in the Philippines as a Rotary exchange student for 10 months, stood at a rally within a few feet of Aquino. Aquino later became the Philippine president after a peaceful people’s revolution boosted her into office after ousting Ferdinand Marcos. Graham is now at her home in Hartwick with her mother Gladys Graham. Before leaving for the Philippines, Graham said she was told by those in the Rotary exchange program to refrain from showing political preference. But, when she got to the Philippines, the nuns in the Catholic school she attended allowed students to leave classes for rallies and she became involved. Graham served as a poll watcher in the ensuing election between Marcos and Aquino.
May 21, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
The Brookwood School is hosting its first annual Big Rigs event this Sunday, to entertain and educate children of all ages about the workings of all kinds of different motorized vehicles. Among the 20 vehicles on display will be an ambulance, a cement truck, farm vehicles, a back hoe, a fire truck, and a ‘Humvee.’ The show has been spearheaded by Brookwood parent Mandy Robinson.
May 18, 2001

5-6-11
200 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – 100 dollars reward: Ran away from the subscriber, a Negro fellow by the name of Sam. He is a stout, thick-set black fellow, twenty-seven or twenty-eight years of age, and about five feet, eight or ten inches high. He had with him a yarn homespun jacket, and a pair of cotton homespun trowsers dyed black; a pair of blue striped homespun trowsers made with stripes round him; a cotton homespun and tow linen shirt, a pair of shoes with sharp toes; he has very large feet. I think it is probable that he is lurking about Newbern, and will endeavor to make his escape on board some vessel bound to the northward – he is legally outlawed. I will give the above reward to any person that will KILL him, or fifty dollars, if delivered to me or secured in any gaol, so that I may get him. Masters of vessels and all others are hereby forewarned from harboring, employing or carrying away said slave, under the penalty of the law. Robert Kornegay.
May 4, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Congress has been six months in session and the general appropriation bill is not yet passed. The consequence is that the salaries due on the first of April have not been paid, to the great inconvenience of those officers of the government who have no other dependence. In the meantime, the members of Congress take better care of   themselves and they draw their pay at their pleasure, even in advance. This is not very fair. To whom should the blame attach? If we look at the daily account of doings of Congress we find the proceedings filled with dilatory motions – speeches of some days duration made upon an amendment to defeat an ordinary appropriation and supported by only six votes after consuming 58 days in the discussion.
May 2, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Reserved Corps – A number of our citizens meet three or four times a week at Burgess Hall for military drill. They will be ready to respond to the call of the Government for troops, when needed. Home Guard – It has been proposed to organize a “Home Guard” for Cooperstown, with the understanding that it shall not be required to leave the village unless invaded! A Military Soiree will be given at the Eagle Hotel this Thursday evening, by citizens of this place, complimentary to the Officers of the Fifth Division, S.S. Burnside, General. Music by Crumwell’s full band.
May 10, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Excerpts from a letter to Samuel M. Shaw, editor of The Freeman’s Journal and compiler of The History of Cooperstown: “I have just finished reading your History of Cooperstown. Certainly you have made a most readable and interesting book, and one which ought to be especially prized by your town’s people. It seems to me that you have shown rare good taste in making a chronicle of local matters just the right length. You have neither spun it out to an undue length, to tickle the vanity of some of the neighbors, nor have you gratified personal spite by treading upon some disagreeable neighbor’s pet corn.”
May 8, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
On Saturday morning a committee of Cooperstown citizens went out by automobile to look up some places that had been mentioned as the possible site of the encampment of the Boy Scouts of America. The committee consisted of R.W. Ellsworth, W.M. Bronner, Rev. F.S. Squyer, James Willis and Geo. H. Carley. The auto was left on the road beside the lake, while the party scouted about on the Brooks’ property near Three-Mile Point. When they returned they found that a swarm of several hundred bees had camped out upon the car, covering the seats and railings; the steering wheel was a mass of the insects. Mr. Ellsworth, being somewhat of a diplomat, succeeded in persuading the King Bee that while his companions looked peaceable, they were really dangerous men, and that it would behoove the trespassers to depart quietly. The swarm then arose and the car was on its way without anyone being wounded.
May 3, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
“Play ball! Batter up! It won’t be long now until that old familiar cry will ring in the ears of all prospective baseball players as Cooperstown high school prepares for the season. This season, the second generation of boys will represent the Orange and Black and they are a well-trained group. Every boy on the squad has been under Coach Red Bursey’s observing eye since he enrolled in the Kindergarten and in the Cooperstown summer playgrounds. Guy McRorie and Joe Cortese, both moundsmen, are the only veterans on hand from last year’s championship team. The Orange and Black won the crown of the Schohanna Baseball League last season and dropped but one game.
May 6, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
A new dial communications system will begin serving 225 telephones at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown Wednesday morning. The heart of the dial set-up is the modern switching equipment that has been installed in a new room – formerly the boiler room – in the hospital’s basement. The equipment will handle calls from telephone to telephone in the hospital without the need for an operator.
May 3, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Fourth-grade honor roll students at CCS include Lisa Alicino, Abigail Clark, Mandy Green, Kirsten Harris, Matt Hoskins, John May, Patrick Murray, Betsy Roesch, Lucy Schaeffer, Aaron Stayman, Shelley Stocking, Scott Brush, Will Green, Ben Hayes, Matt Pernat, Melanie Strickland, Christine Vatovec, Daniel Ahrens, Keely Bunt, Janice Dean, Bruce Dunn, Lisa Folds, Ross Fox, Scott Hansen, Maggee Hobbie, Tim Hoffman, Jessica Jennings, Peter Kelly, Jennifer Lee, Tyler Lee, Matt Nelson, Jill Poulson, Seth Schaeffer, Stacey Smith, and Chrissy Wayman.
May 7, 1986
10 YEARS AGO
May 4, 2001
 4-29-11
200 YEARS AGO
Who was the first Democrat? A gentleman claiming the name of federal, requested to be informed whence the name of democrat came, and who was the first democrat? For the information of such gentleman, I would observe, that the word democrat came from Democritus, a Grecian philosopher, who flourished between three and four hundred years before the Christian era; this same Democritus was the first Democrat I can find by searching the ancient writings; I take it his political opinion was, that the supreme power ought to remain the people; and this is the opinion of his followers to this day.
April 27, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Congress has been between five and six months in session and the general appropriations bill is not yet passed. The consequence is that the salaries due on the first of April have not been paid, to the great inconvenience of those officers of the government who have no other dependence. In the meantime, the members of Congress take better care of themselves and draw their pay at their pleasure, even in advance. This is not very fair. 
May 2, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
The position of affairs in this country changes rapidly. The Administration, from the day of its inauguration, has suffered great provocation, and has witnessed its authority in several States of the union constantly set at naught. Rebellion against the government exists – an assault upon the capitol is threatened – men are in arms against the authorities of the country – the President, by authority of law, calls upon all loyal citizens for aid; and that call has been responded to with alacrity – more men and money than he needs are tendered – the people of the loyal States are united in sentiment that the Government shall be sustained at Washington. Party lines are obliterated.
May 3, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Editorial – In the House of Representatives, on a recent occasion, when a bill appropriating $150,000 for the relief of the sufferers by the recent floods in Alabama came up, Congressman Oates of that State said that he regretted that he could not agree with his colleagues on this question. This measure was confessedly outside of the Constitution, and he was one of those who believed that the oath of office he took to support that instrument was violated when he went outside of it and usurped authority to appropriate the people’s money. Bravo for Mr. Oates! He administered a well-merited rebuke to those Democrats in Congress, and out of it, who are drifting away from the distinct construction of the Constitution and who have permitted themselves to be beguiled by the “paternal” government notion, especially fostered by Republicans. The idea that the general Government should be called upon to provide means for the education of the people, or relief for communities visited by floods, fire or pestilence, is repugnant to those who hold to the good old-fashioned Democratic ideas. There is no more constitutional warrant for Government relief of collective than of individual distress.
May 1, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Cooperstown Postmaster George M. Wedderspoon was the host at a banquet given to the post office employees in Parshall’s restaurant on Thursday evening last. Since he assumed the office on April 1, Mr. Wedderspoon has spent most of his time getting acquainted with the place. He found among other agreeable conditions that the list of employees was made up of about as fine a lot of fellows as one could wish to be associated with, and he decided, as a mark of appreciation, to “blow them off.” The covers were laid for fifteen and an eight-course meal was served, to which all did ample justice. Those present were postmaster Wedderspoon, assistant postmaster Addison C. Boorn, Clerks Gerald D. Ellsworth, Homer L. Hunter and Charles A. Schneider, village carriers J. Clyde Ainslee, Ernest Reed and C. Frederick Peck, substitute carrier Harry Withey, rural carriers Hugh Lynch, Howard Van Patten, Wilburn Bliss, Hiram Reed and Clarence Drew, and Albin Johnson, special delivery boy.
April 26, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
At the regular meeting of the Junior Fenimore Girl Scout troop, Louise Bowen and Mary Betsy Parrette were invested as tenderfoot Scouts. The girls are planning a series of hikes to pass fire-making. The Japanese doll festival, which has twice been postponed because of illness, is to be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 5th, at the Girl Scout rooms. Miss Cecily McKim, from the St. Christina School, will speak on “Scouting in Japan.” The Japanese nation anthem will be taught to the girls by Miss Ruth Newton, a member of the high school faculty and Miss Adelaide Lippitt will tell of the doll festival tradition in Japan.
April 29, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
The Farmers’ Museum acquired two young oxen April 15 to replace Tom and Jerry who were retired last fall. The new Devon Red Calves were purchased from Irving Lamb of Belmont, Alleghany County, who brought them to Cooperstown on Saturday. They have been named Buck and Bright, two historic names for oxen. Both are about a year old, and stand about chest high. Mr. Lamb, who raises oxen as a hobby, has been giving them preliminary training during the winter months, but the two will get most of their training under the direction of Farmers’ Museum curator George P. Campbell and Seth Martindale of The Farmers’ Museum staff.
April 26, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
April 30, 1986
10 YEARS AGO
On Wednesday, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey stepped before the National Press Club to announce the beginning of a $50 million endowment campaign for the Hall of Fame and a traveling exhibition titled “Baseball in America.” Two weeks ago, Petroskey told the audience, the FBI returned four priceless baseballs signed by U.S. Presidents Taft, Wilson, Coolidge and Hoover that were donated to the museum in 1968 and stolen in 1972.
April 27, 2001
 4-22-11
200 YEARS AGO
Item – We understand that Mr. Smith has resigned the post of Secretary of State, and that James Monroe, Esq. of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has been appointed by the President of the United States to fill that station.
April 20, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – Edward M. Clifford, Portrait Painter – Would inform the inhabitants of this village that he has taken a room at Mr. Walker’s Hotel, where he intends to remain for a few days only, and would be pleased to have the Ladies and Gentlemen call and see a specimen of his portrait painting.
April 23, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Military Companies, we understand, are organizing in Cherry Valley and Oneonta, the services of which will be tendered to Governor Morgan. If the ranks are not filled up rapidly, it is suggested that the two companies might “join teams.” Otsego should certainly be represented by one or two companies, and more if needed.
April 26, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Personal – Among the attractions of Cooperstown to summer visitors have been the pleasant walks in the woods and ravines near the village. These are fast becoming destroyed, by being made – in spite of the protests of the owners of the properties – dumping places for all kinds of refuse, such as empty tin cans, broken crockery, bottles, paper, rags, etc. and even more offensive things, that should be buried in the earth, are sometimes added. And strange as it may seem, it is charged that this is mainly done by those most interested in promoting the summer business. Said one property owner: “Last night, a lot of refuse stuff, from some saloon or other place, including a quantity of old tin cans, was dumped on my lot, just in the rear of my home.” There is an increasing demand for the employment of a policeman on this corporation, on whom the authority of a Deputy Sheriff can be conferred. It is time a stop was put to it. The surrounding woods are of great beauty and value to Cooperstown, and they should not be thus desecrated. 
April 24, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Fred, a four-year-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Gruby, who reside in this village near the Glen, died at the hospital Monday night from eating rat biscuit, and another, a girl six years old, is in very serious condition. The mother had procured some rat biscuit, a deadly rat poison containing phosphorous, which she left temporarily on a shelf. The children on Thursday last got hold of it and the two ate some. They were taken ill, but a physician was not consulted until Friday night, when the facts were made known to Dr. Burton. The children seemed to be getting over the effects of the poison until Monday, when the younger one was taken with convulsions and died. There are about ten children in the family.
April 19, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
A number of former Cooperstown High School stars are participating actively in Spring athletic sports at various colleges. Cadet Conrad F. Necrason, West Point grid star, is playing on the varsity lacrosse team and participated in the game with Syracuse on Saturday. Howard Thompson is considered by the coach at Springfield College the best track and field performer in years. He is specializing in the discus, javelin and shot put events. Jack Nevil is out for spring football practice at Temple University under “Pop” Warner and had his picture in Sunday’s Philadelphia Record. Harold Fowler is on the varsity pitching staff at Hamilton College.
April 22, 1936

50 YEARS AGO

April 19, 1961
25 YEARS AGO
The Cooperstown Bicentennial coffee mug will be on sale for $6, tax included, at the Bicentennial Booth at 22 Main Street on Saturday, April 26. The coffee mug has a design similar to the limited edition Bicentennial tankard. The official Cooperstown Bicentennial logo appears on one side of the mug and on the back of the mug is found a quote from village founder William Cooper which reads in part: “We shall have no mushroom city, but there is little doubt that in the course of time, as the population of the country fills up, this spot will contain a provincial town of importance. The beauty of its situation, the lake, the purity of the air, and the other advantages… seemed destined to make it more peculiarly a place of resort.”
April 23, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
The April general meeting of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will feature a presentation on “Butterfly Gardening Plus” by noted naturalist David W. Bouton. The group will gather at the Cooperstown Presbyterian Church on April 20 at 7 p.m. The program is free and the public is invited. Increasing interest in butterflies has led many gardeners to plant and manage their yards to better attract them. Bouton has raised, studied, and photographed butterflies and moths locally and worldwide for more than 50 years. Bouton is a naturalist at Mountain Meadow, a nature preserve in the Catskill Mountains and is considered to be one of the most experienced naturalists in the field of Lepidoptera in the world.
April 20, 2001

4-15-11
200 YEARS AGO
Members of the Commission reporting on the feasibility of constructing a canal, or system of navigation, from the Hudson River and Schenectady to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are identified as Gouverneuer Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer, William North, De Witt Clinton, Thomas Eddy, Peter B. Porter, and Simeon Dewitt.
April 13, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Editorial Convention – Our brother Chip of the Lockport Balance, who originated the proposition, and seems to have it under his special charge by general consent of the fraternity, has fixed upon the 10th of May, for holding the Convention at Albany. We should have preferred the 10th of June at Utica, but shall interpose no objections to the proposed arrangement, believing that if good faith shall be practiced among the brotherhood, a much depressed interest may be benefitted by the measure, and character given to a profession which ought to take rank with the most elevated pursuits of men. Health permitting, we shall give our personal attendance at the time and place designated for holding the Convention, and hope on the occasion to meet a representative from every newspaper office in the State, to consider the condition of the Press, and adopt measures to elevate its character for usefulness; at the same time that a proper regard shall be had to the rewards of a profession, the duties of which are physically and mentally as arduous as those of any other.
April 18, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Proclamation of the President, Washington, April 14 – Whereas, the laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or the powers vested in the Marshals by law; now therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the constitution and law, have thought to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the Militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000 in order to suppress combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed.
April 19, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Personal – There is a strong demand that a stop shall be put to the desecration of the Sabbath by parties who gather near the southern borders of the village for ball playing. It is about time for the Village Trustees to put a policeman on duty there.

Gambling – The result of gambling, especially to outsiders, is the same everywhere –ruin. It effects for evil are so fully recognized, that laws have been passed for its suppression. These laws do not deter professional gamblers from secretly pursuing their vocation. For a year or more past, it has been the practice of a class of young men of this village to meet for the purpose of gambling. No matter how small the stakes are played for, the danger and the demoralization are none the less. Late hours, unhealthy excitement, more or less drinking, are attendant evils – all combining to unsettle, and if persisted in, to ruin most of the participants.
April 17, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
No play of recent times has achieved the fame of “The Thief,” that stirring drama of love and jealousy, of a wife’s caprice and a husband’s condemnation which comes to the Village Hall for one night on Friday, April 21. A married woman, on a small income, endeavors to dress on a par with the leaders of society, for the one purpose of holding the love of her husband, who often expresses his admiration of the appearance of her more wealthy friends. She does so by stealing a large sum of money and is found out. Her confession to her husband and his criticism of her sin comprises a scene never before been presented in the theatre. “The Thief” created a furor in Paris.
April 12, 1911 



75 YEARS AGO
April 15, 1936

 

50 YEARS AGO
Where Nature Smiles: Dr. and Mrs. L.A. Curtis and family returned Tuesday from a week at Cumberland, Wisconsin, having visited relatives and attending a two-day post-graduate review for the Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic Research at the Toftness Chiropractic Clinic. Miss Dorothy Barck, librarian of the New York State Historical Association, will leave on Saturday for a motor trip to Ohio and Indiana. She will visit Spring Mill State Park in Indiana and then take a two-week trip aboard the Delta Queen stern-wheeler down the Ohio River and up the Tennessee River to Chattanooga.
April 12, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Bill Sharick, a senior wildlife biologist with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says he isn’t sure why the 15-foot-high beaver dam broke last week. However, he did notice that there wasn’t an abundance of beaver food where the pond used to be. And, when he checked the 8-10-acre pond site off Johnston road last Tuesday, a day after the dam broke – the beavers hadn’t started to rebuild, leading Sharick to believe “they aren’t coming back.” When the dam broke, it unleashed a roaring wall of water that wiped out a section of the West Lake Road along with a bridge on a road connecting Cooperstown and Springfield Center.
April 16, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Charles Christman, commissioner of the Otsego County Department of Social Services, was honored as the 2001 recipient of the Robert S. Sioussat Appreciation Award by the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions on Friday, April 6 at a day-long workshop at the Holiday Inn. The Sioussat Award is bestowed on individuals whose contributions and service in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse prevention echoes the work of Dr. Robert S. Sioussat, a founder of the LEAF Council.
April 13, 2001


4-8-11
200 YEARS AGO
Excerpts from a report of Commissioners appointed by resolutions of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York to explore the route of an inland navigation from Hudson’s River to Ontario and Lake Erie: “…they have examined the country as critically as time and circumstances would permit, and caused surveys to be made for their better information. By aid of canals a good navigation (for boats) can unquestionably be made from Schenectady to the falls in the Oswego River, twelve miles south of Lake Ontario. From Schenectady to the Hudson River and from the falls just mentioned to Lake Ontario a boat navigation is also practicable.” (Ed. Note: This report provided a rationale for the construction of the Erie Canal)
April 6, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – The “Otsego House,” No. 31 Cortland Street, New York, has been taken by the subscriber and will be continued as a hotel for the accommodation of visitors. Extensive and thorough repairs of the Establishment are about being made, and upon such a state as will materially conduce to the comfort of those who honor it with their patronage. The subscriber solicits the custom of the Merchants and others from the county of Otsego who visit New York, and pledges himself that no exertion on his part shall be wanting to please the appetites and secure the accommodation of his patrons. Jacob Vanpelt.
April 11, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Cooperstown Cricket Club – The annual meeting of the Cooperstown Cricket Club will be held on Saturday evening, April 13, at 7 o’clock, at the office of Mr. John F. Scott, for the purpose of electing officers and making arrangements for the ensuing year. A general attendance is requested. G. Pomeroy Keese, President, F.G. Lee, Secretary.
April 12, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
J.A.M. Johnston, employed for a number of years in the office of the late Edward Clark here, has been appointed as agent of Mr. Alfred Corning Clark, to look after his business and property interests in this vicinity, a position so long and so faithfully filled by Mr. James Bunyan, who retires from its duties. Mr. Johnston’s experience under Mr. Bunyan will be of great service to him in his present responsible trust. Mr. Bunyan was the trusted agent of Edward Clark for over twenty years and up to the time of his death, since which time he has performed the duties of executor of the estate.
April 10, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
April 5, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
Although the streams had resumed their normal flow and the water had cleared following the floods, the weather turned sour and cold so that Saturday morning only the most inveterate disciples of Isaac Walton made bold to start out for the trout on the morning the season opened. Game protector Anton Semrov of Cherry Valley stated that while there were not as many fishermen to be seen as in the past, he noted a number of good catches, and gained the impression that the fish were biting well. One man had 18 speckled beauties in his creel, within two of the limit. Semrov said he saw only one woman fishing during the entire day. Semrov predicts good fishing for the coming weekend provided the weather does nothing to spoil it. Streams in the northern part of the county have been liberally stocked with trout and Semrov believes the fish planted last year have wintered well. New York has the earliest opening date and generally the longest brook trout season of any state in the northeast despite the fact that New York also has the lowest license fee.
April 8, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
Things have changed in the White House. We do not refer to politics when we say this. With the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency of the United States, the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue has changed from a place of business to a home. And all this is brought about by the presence of one small girl, Caroline Kennedy. It will be like it was during the terms of Theodore Roosevelt when there was life in the place. How long has it been since there was a zoo in the White House? There is now and, of course, it includes a donkey. And there is a goat, kittens, a salamander and other animals. Things are humming in the White House and we think that is a good sign. A nation can get stagnant and too staid. But, with a small girl who is full of pep around the place, there will be a lot of protocol that will either be forgotten or slightly bent. It bodes well for the future of the United States.
April 5, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Traffic on north-bound State Highway 80, known locally as the West Lake Road, was disrupted Monday morning at about 9:15 a.m. when a wall of water and broken trees opened a 15 to 20 foot wide hole in the pavement. The sudden deluge was created by the collapsing of a Beaver dam above Glimmerglen Road. The large 10-acre Beaver Pond, which was located partly on the property of Rochelle and Robert Dewell and partly on Waldo Johnston’s property, was said to be as deep as 13 feet. Repairs to the road may require four to six weeks.
April 9, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
On April 3, the Friends of the Village Library hosted a panel to discuss the book “Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America,” by Tom Diaz and to discuss general questions about firearms safety. Tom Heitz, communications director at LEAF Inc., moderated the panel. Members of the panel were Dr. Ann Gadomski, Dr. Charles Hudson, Otsego County Sheriff Donald Mundy and Tom O’Brien of the Oneonta Sportsmen’s Club. Heitz traced the evolution of weapons from sticks and stones to the modern day firearm and noted that they have become a major public health issue in the 20th century. “Responsible gun owners are in the majority, but concern is focused on irresponsible parties,” he added.
April 13, 2001


4-1--11
200 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – To The Public: A young man, aged about 25 years, deaf and dumb, left the abode of Benjamin Rowland, his father, in Burlington, Otsego County, State of New York the latter part of December last and has not been heard of since. He had on when he went away, a dark brown Surtout (Ed. Note: a fitted coat), and pantaloons of the same, a striped Swansdown vest, and an old pair of boots. He is of large size and dark complexion. Whoever should be so fortunate as to meet with the said young man, is requested to write a line directing him where to go, as by showing that to strangers, they can inform him what course to pursue to return him to his family.
March 30, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Accidental Death – Morgan D. Young, aged 30 years, in the employ of the Oaksville Manufacturing Company as a teamster, was instantly killed on Sunday about three miles north of Oaksville by the overturning of a heavy load of iron castings, which he had in charge.

There are in the House of Assembly in the State of New York 52 farmers, 30 lawyers, 16 merchants, 11 physicians, 7 gentlemen at large, 6 mechanics, 2 innkeepers, 1 farmer and merchant, 1 farmer and miller, 1 judge and 1 civil engineer.
April 4, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
On Friday night last the Clothing Store of Johnston & Field, of this village, was broken into, and goods to the amount of about $45 were stolen there from. On the following morning a young man named Porter Waterhouse was arrested, who acknowledged the theft and was handed over to Sheriff Mather for safe keeping. For a village of its size, Cooperstown is noted for the number of its youthful idlers, who are without steady employ – the parents of many of whom are not able to support them – and the natural influence is that they must either “sponge” a living, or obtain it by disreputable or dishonest means. The fate of this young lad should be a warning to others. It also furnishes one more case illustrating the need of a Police Justice and Constable.
April 5, 1861

 125 YEARS AGO
April 3, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
J. Aspinall McCuaig of New York, vice president of the National Christian League for the Promotion of Purity, who lectured at Fireman’s Hall last Sunday afternoon and evening, started a movement that may become nationwide in its sweep. It is no less a plan than to make Cooperstown the center of the scout movement in the United States and Canada. As the speaker suggested, this is the country made famous by James Fenimore Cooper and his Leatherstocking Tales. With adequate hotel accommodations, a lake surrounded with historic lore dear to a boy’s heart, and a fine country for scouting, this is logically the best place in the United States for an encampment next summer of the Boy Scouts of America, and it could well be made an annual affair. While in New York this week Dr. McCuaig will take up the matter with the national leaders of the Boy Scouts and get their cooperation, together with the financial backing of some wealthy men in the big city. A village committee on arrangements has been appointed consisting of village president Linus M. Barnum, the local clergy, cashiers of local banks, editors of village newspapers, Stephen C. Clark, M.J. Multer, high school principal, and W.H. Martin. Scout master F.S. Squyer and his scout boys are enthusiastic over the idea and they hope that every Cooperstown citizen will do all he can to help boost the project.
March 29, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
Where Nature Smiles: Otsego Lake was cleared of ice on Monday, March 30. The lake was closed only 61 days, having been frozen over completely since January 27. Last year, the lake was completely frozen over January 12 and remained so for 104 days. The disappearance of the ice at a considerably earlier date than usual is probably due to the heavy deluge of two weeks ago when the surface was raised four feet in a period of about three days, dislodging the grip of the ice on the shore and causing a vast upheaval which started the breakup.
April 1, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
A reorientation plan for re-routing vehicle traffic into and through a part of Cooperstown highlighted a presentation by members of the staff of Blair Associates to a gathering of more than 100 persons at the Cooperstown Elementary School. Blair Associates suggested that a proposal be made to the NYS Department of Transportation to redevelop Grove Street from its southern end at Chestnut near the rail crossing to its northern end at Glen Avenue (State Highway 28-80) and continuing with an extension through to Lake Street (State Highway 80) in the area of West Ridge at the southern end of the golf course. Blair Associates believe this re-routing would relieve a heavy volume of through traffic which is unimportant to the village as an economic factor. (Ed. Note: This plan was never seriously pursued by the village)
March 29, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
On one of the most glorious Easter Sundays ever experienced in the Cooperstown area, temperatures soared to levels never seen here so early in the spring season during the 133-year period for which weather statistics are available. Records fell as the mercury shot to 83 degrees in mid-afternoon Sunday. Harold H. Hollis, weather observer for the National Weather Service, said the reading made it the warmest March day on record, eclipsing the old mark of 82 set on March 28, 1945.
April 2, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Thanksgiving Home Notes by Ellamae Hanson: We had snow again, but that did not dampen the spirits of five residents – Margaret Moore, Margaret Rees, Fannie Navarra, Roxy Carnes and Doris Bliss – as they left for Nicoletta’s Italian CafĂ© for lunch. They enjoyed the lunch as well as the camaraderie. It was a good day to do something different.
April 6, 2001 
3-25-11
200 YEARS AGO
Mrs. Martha P. Graham’s recipe for a crimson dye – To two gallons of poke berries, when they are quite ripe, add half a gallon of strong vinegar, made of the wild crab apple, to dye one pound of wool, which must be first washed very clean with hard soap. The wool, when wrung dry, is to be put into the vinegar and poke berry juice, and simmered in a copper vessel for one hour; then take out the wool and let it drip awhile, and spread it in the sun. The vessel must be free from grease of any kind.
March 23, 1811


150 YEARS AGO
March 1861


175 YEARS AGO
The speech of Col. Benton, Senator from Missouri, which occupies a large portion of this sheet, deserves an attentive perusal at the hands of every citizen. It embodies matter of momentous interest in the whole country, and most perspicuously and effectively  enforces the sentiment of the Father of his Country, that, “if we desire to avoid assault, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, it must be known that we are at all times prepared for war.”
March 28, 1836

125 YEARS AGO
Among the young ladies of Cooperstown of this generation, few were greater favorites in all circles knowing her, than May Hooker, with her gentle manners and pleasant ways, her amiable disposition and consistent cheerfulness. When, only about nineteen years of age and looking even younger, she was led to the marriage altar by Mr. Delos M. Wood. That was early in the summer of 1884, and friends hoped that before them lay a long and happy wedded life. A few days before her death on Friday last, a lovely babe was born to them, and the frail young mother drooped and faded away. It is very sad; and among that large congregation in Christ Church last Monday, when the beautiful service for the dead was pronounced over her remains, many hearts were deeply sorrowed, many eyes were dimmed with tears.
March 27, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Manager Higby of the Bell Telephone wishes to let the people know that the two telephone systems in Cooperstown will be consolidated next Saturday night, and after that date there will be but one central office and one system. It will probably be a few days before the service will be working smoothly, but a little patience upon the part of patrons will help matters along wonderfully. A new directory will be issued March 25th. Mr. Higby particularly requests subscribers to call by number in order that the service may be as prompt as possible. There are seven operators in the local exchange and it cannot be reasonably expected that each one of them will know the number of the 1,100 subscribers. Those patrons who fail to consult the directory and who call by the name of the person wanted in the old-fashioned way will have to be connected with the information operator, who will look up the number. The numbers and letters represent certain plugs and buttons that have to be pushed in making the connection and the operator is not supposed to know the names of the persons who may be talking. The Akoun of Swat may be a very important individual and yet to the girl operators in the telephone office he is known only by his telephone number, which may be 123-PDQ.
March 22, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
This year’s Pageant of the American Indian will be the most colorful demonstration ever presented by the Department of Physical Education at Cooperstown high school under the personal direction of Mr. Lester G. Bursey. Thirty pounds of Indian powder and 2,500 feathers in all colors are required for the make-up which will give the scene a professional aspect. The entire cast will attend the opening Council Ring and you will have an opportunity to witness over 400 Indian braves and maidens on the gymnasium floor at one time. This tribal affair will present the lighting of the Sacred Fire, the Peace Pipe Ceremony, and the solo Devil Dance around the camp fire, as an introduction to the demonstrations that will follow.
March 25, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
Research in the field of organ transplantation is being supported by the American Cancer Society through a grant of $7,269 made to Dr. David A. Blumenstock of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. Methods of transplanting a vital organ, as heart, lung, or kidney, from one individual to another have stimulated the imagination and interest of doctors for many years. Several members of the hospital’s staff are now engaged in an intensive study of the problems involved in such transplantations. “For several years my special interest has been directed toward developing technical methods of transplanting the lung in animals,” Dr. Blumenstock said. “It is now possible to remove a lung, completely detach it from the animal, then replace it by sewing the blood vessels and bronchial tubes together again and have the lung live and resume its normal function.” However, because of reasons not completely understood, the tissues of one animal even of the same species will not survive in the body of another for any extended period of time.
March 22, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Leo Lincourt, a CCS senior, has found a way to reduce interference on such transmissions as public address systems and intercom units to almost zero. At the same time, Lincourt’s “Fiber Optic Audio System” has made him one of 100 national finalists in the Fourth Annual Duracell Scholarship Competition. The winner of the $10,000 first prize scholarship will be announced on April 22 at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria.
March 26, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
The Cooperstown Graduate Program will present a lecture featuring acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns on March 23 at the Fenimore Art Museum auditorium. Burns will discuss the recently completed fall episodes of his PBS series, “New York: A Documentary Film,” and the process of creating history documentaries.
March 23, 2001

3-18-11
200 YEARS AGO
Observations on the Culture of Hemp – The soil peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of Hemp should be rich, strong and mellow – low lands, and even cleared swamps, well ditched and drained, exhibiting a deep black, loamy soil, and a sandy bottom, are extremely prolific in the production of Hemp. When the soil is judiciously selected, and properly prepared by repeatedly ploughing and harrowing, the seed must be entered early in the month of May and sowed very thick to prevent its great height, which ought never to exceed five feet. Hemp sown thin on strong ground runs up 7, 8 and 9 feet high is coarse in its texture, and never so good in its quality, nor so great in its quantity, as when sown thick. No further attention is necessary until the blossom appears and begins to decay. The Hemp is then pulled by hand in the same manner as flax is pulled, and never to be cut. After pulling the crop it is to remain on the ground 10 or 12 hours; then bound in small, portable bundles and placed under the surface of running or still water to remain 6, 8 or 10 days; when taken from the water, spread to dry as soon as possible on poles, or sticks laid on crotches to admit free circulation or air. The article will command from 300 to 500 dollars per ton. (Ed. Note: Hemp from which rope was made, was at the time a scarce commodity in the United States)
March 16, 1811


175 YEARS AGO
March 18, 1836



150 YEARS AGO
Gas works are to be erected in this village the present season. Mr. Fred T. Story, of Watertown, who has had considerable experience in such matters, has received sufficient encouragement from our citizens to determine him – associated with four or five gentlemen of this village – to proceed immediately to the erection of the necessary works for generating rosin gas. This is a desideratum long “devoutly wished for” by our citizens, and it is to be presumed that they have only to be convinced of the economy of the thing to determine them upon its immediate adoption. Of the convenience and utility of gas over every other kind of light, there can be no question.
March 22, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
We shall this week complete 170 pages of The History of Cooperstown – equal to 250 pages of the history published in 1862. A portion of it has been slow and rather tedious work. The first 20 pages under the head of “Village Interests” enumerate the churches, schools past and present, newspapers, fire department, banks, different public works, streets and number of structures thereon, professional and business men, the different trades and occupations, etc., many dates and figures, and the names of about 600 persons. More than a thousand in all will be mentioned in the book. We hope to get it out before the first of May – if we do not go to Florida.
March 20, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
John Weeks, who died of stomach cancer at his home at Hartwick Seminary on Friday, was one of the best known survivors of the Civil War residing in this locality. He possessed a medal and certificate for valor, presented to him by the War Department. While his Regiment, the 152nd New York infantry was advancing upon the enemy and the Confederates were hustling for cover, Mr. Weeks, a private in the ranks, rushed ahead and captured a stand of colors and a squad of five men, whom he took as prisoners. The strange part of it was that Mr. Weeks’ musket was empty when he rushed upon and held up the squad. For this act, the medal and certificate were presented.
March 15, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
Every American boy and girl, some time or other in his or her childhood, has played “Indians.” If they have not, Lester G. Bursey, director of physical education at the local school is seeing to it that they have this rare opportunity not only to play Indians, but to make honest-to-goodness war bonnets and headbands. Miss Elizabeth A. Prine, art instructor, is instructing all grades in Indian designs and every child will be wearing a headband they have made themselves. A cast of 400 students will take part in this year’s exhibition pageant on April 3 and 4 in the school’s gym. This is the seventh annual event conducted by Mr. Bursey.
  March 18, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
The finding of dangerous war souvenirs on the village dump on the Fly Creek road Sunday has prompted local police to issue a warning to families against disposing of this type of material at the dump, and also against “junk picking” which is forbidden at the dump. Police officer Gerald Smith reported that a group of young boys found the souvenirs on the dump. They were spotted by an unidentified adult who took them from the youngsters and turned them over to Officer Smith. The find included a loaded practice hand grenade, a Garand rifle clip loaded with nine blank cartridges, two morphine hypo sets, and various other drugs usually contained in armed forces emergency kits.
March 15, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Democrat Harold Hollis reclaimed the village mayor’s office in last week’s election, defeating Republican Bill Purcell 344 to 212. In the mayoral race of 1984, Purcell defeated Hollis 342 to 289. The new administration faces a projected deficit of $4,719. An amendment to the village charter allowing the mayor to appoint replacements for trustee vacancies carried 237 to 84.
March 19, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Glenn Hubbell and Stuart Taugher were chosen as village trustees for three-year terms in the annual charter election held on March 13. A total of 415 votes were cast in the village which has a population hovering around 2,000. Hubbell received the most votes with 167, followed by Taugher with 133. Steve Mahlum, who has served as trustee the past three and a half years, received 115 votes. He will not return.
March 16, 2001

3-11-11
200 YEARS AGO
March 9, 1811
175 YEARS AGO
In our notice last week, of the result of town elections in this county, we did injustice to the Town of Decatur, by stating that she had elected an opposition man for supervisor, and now make amends by correcting the error and asserting the fact, that Col. Robert C. Lansing, a firm democrat is elected – thus, of the 22 towns, placing Richfield alone in the opposition ranks, and in her case we learn that the majority was only 5! Another year will redeem Richfield from her political fatuity.
March 14, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
A Large Boy for his Age – There is a boy born and residing in the town of Springfield, Otsego County, by the name of James L. Gilchrist, son of A.F. Gilchrist, who on the first of March, 1861, was 17 years and 35 days of age, whose weight is 305 pounds; his height is five feet seven inches; he girts around his body 4 feet, 9 inches; around his thigh, 2 feet, 9 inches; his arm 1 foot, 7 inches. His health is good, looks fine, feels well. He keeps up with the men in the harvest field, and on the farm generally; stands the heat as well as the rest of the men. And, at the dance, he is not surpassed by many. Now if the County of Otsego, or even the State, can beat him, we should like to hear from it. S.B., Springfield.
March 15, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Regents’ Examinations – Following is the result of last week’s examinations in the Cooperstown Union School: 24 passed in Geography; 15 in Civil Government; 14 in Arithmetic; 14 in Physical Geography; 14 in Physiology; 12 in Grammar; 12 in Rhetoric; 10 in Spelling; 10 in American History; 10 in Plane Geometry; 8 in Astronomy; 7 in Caesar; 6 in Geology; 6 in Political Economy; 5 in Moral Philosophy; 5 in Bookkeeping; 5 in Algebra; 3 in Elementary Physics; 2 in English History; 2 in Botany; 1 in Higher Algebra; 1 in German; 1 in English Literature; 1 in Mental Philosophy; and 1 in Greek Composition. A claim is made for 12 preliminary certificates, 6 academic diplomas and 4 intermediate certificates.
March 13, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Out of the banquet at Carr’s Hotel last Wednesday night there sprouted a permanent organization of the former members of the old Phinney Hose Co. with the following officers: C.W. Davidson, president; E.D. Stocker, vice-president; Peter Hotaling, second vice-president; Frank Hale, secretary; and N.P. Willis, treasurer. Louis Frankewich, M.E. Lippitt, Frank Mulkins, M.F. Augur and E.D. Stocker were appointed to act as an entertainment committee. It is planned to have a reunion next summer, when many of the old members who reside at a distance can be gotten together. The Phinney Hose Company was very popular in its day and its natty uniforms of blue and white, with glistening helmets, made an imposing appearance. The company was organized in 1871. There are believed to be more than a hundred former members who can be located. Louis Frankewich, an old Phinney boy who returned to town a few months ago, is the prime mover in stirring up the old members for a permanent organization. 
March 8, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
Discussing the campaign of enforcement of traffic regulations which has been in progress in this village for several weeks, Mayor Lester J. Clark on Saturday called special attention to the excellent work performed by the traffic patrols of Boy Scout Troop No. 12 in protecting the approaches to the high school before and after school. “Although the new police provisions have made these patrols no longer necessary, the scouts did a fine service for which the village authorities as well as the entire community are deeply grateful,” the mayor said.
March 11, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
Members of the Cooperstown Central School boys’ basketball team were honored at the awards assembly at the high school on Thursday. The team won the Center State League championship this year. The CCS band, under the direction of Pershing R. Dickinson, played a rousing march as everyone marched into the gym. Lester G. Bursey, director of athletics, was master of ceremonies. Mr. Bursey first introduced the starting five members of the squad – John and Jim Schaeffer, Don Rogers, Tim Feury and Joe Booan. The supporting players were then called up – Vernon Frey, Jim Moyer, Ken Wertheim, Don Wertheim, Doug Dickinson, Ron Smith and Tom Weeks. Jacob H. Schaeffer, the school’s vice-principal, was then introduced and honored as the Number One Basketball Fan of the Year. Mr. Schaeffer told in historic fashion of bygone days when he rode on the bus with Mr. Bursey and his teams, congratulating him when they won and consoling him when they were defeated.
March 8, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Coach Dick White’s CCS boys’ basketball team defeated Adirondack 77-63 in a come-from-behind victory to capture the Section III, Class C championship. The Redskins then advanced in inter-sectional competition, defeating Potsdam 74-69 with a five-point surge with seconds remaining. The Redskins’ season then ended with a school record 24 season wins after they lost to Odessa-Montour 66-60.
March 12, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Stuart Taugher is running on the Democratic ticket for one of two three-year village trustee positions in the election set for March 13. When asked why he is running for a trustee position, Taugher admitted, “I had to do an awful lot of thinking.” Taugher added that a desire to have a voice in ongoing sewer upgrades and changes proposed for Doubleday Field were a factor in his decision. Taugher said that pressure coming from the state level to track village effluent and an increasing amount of regular sewage from the influx of tourists and bed and breakfast properties make security for the water system a priority. He also supports good guidelines for zoning. Challenged to disclose what he likes about Cooperstown, Taugher declared: “It would take me a long time to explain that.”  
March 9, 2001


3-4-11
200 YEARS AGO
The revenues of the state school fund may for the present be estimated at $36,427.64, arising from the following sources: $20,160.64 interest on bonds and mortgages; $10,665.00 dividends on bank stock; $1,600.00 collections from quarters used for dormitories; $4,000.00 net proceeds of the clerk’s offices of the Supreme Court. (Ed. Note: A portion of clerk’s fees for legal proceedings retained in excess of expenses was diverted to education)
March 2, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
(Ed. Note: Prior to the advent of the present-day Republican Party in the 1860s, the Democratic Party frequently referred to its members as “republicans.”) The town elections in this county have all been had, and the result shows twenty republican supervisors to two of the opposition. Richfield and Decatur are the only towns estranged from the great democratic family. In the Town of Westford, where the opposition have carried the election for years, the struggle was severe, but the entire republican ticket succeeded by an average majority of over 30. William Kirby, a capable, sound democrat, is chosen Supervisor, and we congratulate him in the good cause, upon the revolution effected in the political character of their town, so long under the dominion of federal anti-Masonic whiggery.
March 7, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Col. Dorrance’s Lecture on Saturday evening last, was listened to by a highly respectable audience. The lecture consisted of a “brief mention” of many of the most eminent women of past generations as well as the present, and a hasty review of the more prominent characteristics of his heroines. It was evident to all that Col. D. has an exalted opinion of Woman, and is an ardent admirer of the Sex.
March 8, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
A Disgusting Fashion – The adornment of ladies’ hats with dead birds has gained but small foothold in country communities. How any person of culture and refinement could be brought to adopt such a fashion is one of the things not easily understood. Nothing is more sickening than a dead bird on a hat. It contributes nothing to the good taste of the wearer. I have seen a woman in the horse cars recently with a whole front of a prairie chicken on her hat; with shriveled beak and glass beads for eyes, projecting in the same direction as the woman’s nose. The expression on her face seemed to say, “What a nice ornament I wear on my hat.” In Massachusetts, many thousands of sea swallows are killed every season, and their skins sent to France to be dyed for millinery purposes. It is in the direction of fashion that the destruction of our many birds is most to be feared.
March 6, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
James A. Davidson has been engaged to have charge of the Y.M.C.A. building. Mr. Davidson will be here about the 15th of March. The building will be closed for a short interval and will re-open the first of April as a club for men and boys. While the plans are yet immature, it may be stated that the change of policy will divorce the institution entirely from the Young Men’s Christian Association. The wholesome amusement and instruction of boys will go on, however. But there will be provided reading rooms and game rooms for men, where cigars will not be prohibited. In discussing the matter with the Journal, Mr. Johnston, the agent of the Clark Estates, expressed the idea that were a sufficient number of churches in the village to look after the religious welfare of the community, and that a club for men and boys could do considerable good.
March 1, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
James Fenimore Cooper, an attorney in Albany and a grandson of the novelist, is president of the Otsego County Historical Society, one of several groups planning the centennial commemoration of the invention of baseball in 1839 by Gen. Abner Doubleday when he was a schoolboy at Cooperstown.  Others active in the project are Lester J. Clark, mayor of the village of Cooperstown; O.L. Van Horne, president of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce; Stephen C. Clark, vice-president of the Otsego County Historical Society; Dr. Marguerite S. Cockett, artist and historian, and Alexander Cleland, secretary of the Cooperstown Baseball Centennial. Mr. Cleland, an old country Scot out of Glasgow, who lives in Jersey City and does social settlement work in New York City, says that more than 10 percent of Cooperstown’s 3,000 residents pay membership dues in the Doubleday Field Association, organized last year to promote baseball and cooperate in the arrangements for the centennial.
March 4, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
Cross the country in seconds? This magical feat and other wonders of dial telephone service which began last week in Cooperstown will be explained Friday, March 3, when the New York Telephone Co. holds an open house at its new building at 60 Pioneer Street. Special invitations have been sent to all Cooperstown telephone customers. Visitors will see telephone switching equipment that connects Cooperstown to a nationwide dialing system. Known as direct distance dialing, this system enables telephone customers here to dial station-to-station calls to any of 62 million telephones from coast to coast in seconds. The switching equipment also provides toll-free calling from Cooperstown to Cherry Valley, Hartwick and Milford.
March 1, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Harold Hollis, Democratic candidate for mayor told a candidates’ night gathering sponsored by the local League of Women Voters that he had recently learned the village might run its first deficit in about 40 years, a sum estimated at $4,200. “I don’t know what happened,” Hollis said, alluding to the fact that financial matters were “pushed off” by the current administration on first-year trustee Pam Washburn. “It was sort of a crummy thing to do to such a nice person,” Hollis added. Village trustee Bill Burnett, a member of the finance committee, said the budget tracking system is still in place, and that Washburn has always alerted the committee if a monetary figure seemed out of line. “And, we act on it,” Burnett said.
March 5, 1986

10 Years Ago
March 2001


2-25-11
200 YEARS AGO
Excerpts from an address on suffrage (voting rights) to Republican voters by Nathan Betts – “Just and equal rights is the object of every honest citizen. The subject fellow citizens, to which we call your attention is the elective franchise – the unalienable right of every free citizen to be represented in his own state legislature. By the seventh section of the Constitution of this state, one fourth or one fifth at least, of the free citizens of it, who have arrived at the age of 21 years, are now excluded from any voice (either directly or indirectly) in those laws which control their services, their property and their liberty. Shall we who have obtained this advantage, withhold the elective franchise from so respectable a portion of our citizens, in point of numbers, merely under the plea that a poor man may be bribed? Cannot a rich man be corrupted too?
February 23, 1811

175 YEARS AGO 
Latest From Florida – The intelligence from the theatre of the Indian War is by no means of so forbidding a character as was apprehended. Tallahassee had not been sacked, nor was Columbus or St. Augustine in immediate danger. There had been several skirmishes between corps of volunteers and the Indians, in which the latter were always worsted. Troops were gathering rapidly, and the Creek Chiefs had agreed to abstain from aiding the Seminoles. There was a report at St. Augustine that Powell, the leader of the Seminoles, had died of wounds received in battle, but it was not credited. The loss of the Seminoles in that battle was 104. The whole force of the enemy, Negroes and all, is said to be 2,500, to subdue whom, General Scott will soon be able to muster five or six thousand regulars and volunteers.
February 22, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
The scramble for office under the Lincoln Administration bids fair to exceed anything of the kind ever witnessed in this country. In the county of Otsego alone, it is estimated there are about three hundred applicants for office under the incoming Administration, including those who desire to be post masters.

Col. John L. Dorrance has consented to deliver his Lecture on Eminent Women at Burgess Hall in this village on Saturday evening next commencing at 7:30 o’clock. This lecture was well received in New York and elsewhere, where it has been delivered, and we have no doubt will call out a full house in this place where the gallant Colonel’s correct appreciation of the Sex will find a hearty response.
March 1, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
When in Washington for a short time several years ago, we heard a U.S. Senator remark to a gentleman who was seeking his influence to obtain a place in one of the government offices for his son: “Sir, from my experience here, I would as soon have a son of mine sent to state prison, as given a place in one of the departments here. When he came out of prison, he would know some trade. When a young man, after a few years in the service here, gets turned out – as he certainly will be – he will not know how to obtain an honest living, and he will probably have to borrow money to get back to his friends.”
February 27, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
The stage setting for the first part of the Iroquois Minstrels, to be given Thursday and Friday evenings of this week, is pronounced to be one of the prettiest yet seen in Cooperstown. The scenery represents a field of daisies corresponding to the first part opening which is entitled “Among the Daisies.” The opening chorus is “Daisies Won’t Tell,” followed by “Are You Looking for a Nice Young Fellow?” “Can’t You See I Love You?” “The Time and The Place,” and “Molly Lee.” The ballad soloists of the first part are Carl Johnson who will sing “You Are The Ideal of My Dreams,” Earl D. Russell “I Wonder How The Old Folks Are at Home,” and Ben Reisman “All That I Ask is Love. The end songs will be “The Old Man’s Getting Younger Every Day,” by Geo. H. Carley and “This is No Place for a Minister’s Son” by Senator Brainard, and “Bye, Bye, My Honey” by Lou Sherwood. Mr. Russell will be interlocutor.
February 22, 1911


75 YEARS AGO
The second birthday party of the Cooperstown Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) was held at the Universalist parsonage Friday evening, February 21. There were 24 members present and seven guests. As February 17th marked the 38th anniversary of Frances Willard’s heavenly birthday, Mrs. W.H. Murdock read several of her favorite passages of scripture and offered prayer. Mrs. Charles Kramer and Mrs. H.M. Pease sang a duet, “We’ll Turn Our Glasses Upside Down.” Mrs. James Hall said one has to know what to do with drunken women as saloon keepers could not kick them out into the street as they did the men. She said they are considering opening up rooms where women can sober up until they are able to walk.
 February 26, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
The Cooperstown office of the New York Telephone Company cut over to dial operation shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and by 9 a.m. Monday, an estimated 19,500 local calls had been completed through the new facilities to break all records for service here. On a normal Sunday, the load runs between 4,000 and 5,000 according to D.F. Parce, Oneonta District Manager.
February 22, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
February 26, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Thanksgiving Home Notes by Ellamae Hanson: Monday, February 12 – Cooperstown Head Start youngsters visited us, accompanied by quite a few adults. The children were cute, but hesitant. Some were quite bashful, but they all seemed to “open up” when Trish Blatz let them speak into the microphone. Thursday, February 15 – The CCS Kindergarten came to sing songs and to present Valentines to us which they had made. We enjoyed their cute songs of winter and Valentine’s Day and thanked them for coming.
February 23, 2001
2-18-11
200 YEARS AGO
The Voice of the People – The legislatures of the following states, by sweeping majorities, having instructed their representatives in Congress to vote against renewing the charter of the U.S. Bank, we wish to know whether its advocates, in speaking of “the voice of the people,” consider the resolutions of these legislatures as coming within their meaning on that head: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. To which may be added half a dozen other states who would adopt the measure. In our humble opinion, “the voice of the people,” even when expressed by their representatives in this way, is entitled to weight and respect.
February 16, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
A remarkable escape in New York – The most miraculous escape we ever witnessed occurred yesterday afternoon in Broadway near Spring Street. At a time when several sleighs were passing, one drawn by two gray horses, without a driver, was seen coming down the street without a driver at full gallop. Those who were driving up succeeded in keeping clear; but unfortunately a sleigh going in an opposite direction, containing two ladies and a gentleman, who were not aware of their peril, came directly in the track of the furious animals. The shouts of the spectators at length excited the attention of the gentleman, but too late to avoid the coming danger. The vehicles came into contact and the shock was so great as to overturn both. The gentleman and one of the ladies succeeded in freeing themselves unhurt from the wreck; the other lade lay under the broken sleigh and horses nearly ten minutes. The general belief was that she had been killed, but to the surprise and gratification of the anxious beholders, when the crowd succeeded in extricating her, she was found to be perfectly uninjured.
February 15, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Church Improvements – The improvements and repairs commenced last summer on the Presbyterian Church have been much more extensive than at first contemplated, and are now almost completed. The building looks “as good as new – indeed is much improved in style and general appearance, inside and out. To the energetic and persevering efforts of the Ladies of the congregation, in carrying forward this work, great credit is due. The Universalist Society have completely remodeled their church edifice – and we understand will finish their improvements by painting the structure a stone color, which will comport with its present handsome style of architecture. The interior has been remodeled and much improved, and a furnace placed in the basement. Another “church-going bell” has been added to the village.
February 22, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Cheap Gas – Let the good people of Cooperstown rejoice – they may have gas at less than $7 a thousand. Mr. A.S. Johnson of Columbiana, Pennsylvania, has a model in Pittsburgh of a machine for making gas by charging air with petroleum. A company with $400,000 capital is being formed there. Mr. Johnson claims that the gas he manufactures is exactly the same as natural gas. It consists in forcing hot air through several chambers filled with crude petroleum. This produces a gas which he claims is fixed and may be held in a gasometer for any length of time without losing any of its properties. For illuminating gas, it is passed through a cylinder charged with carbon, and produces a bright, white flame at a cost of two cents a thousand feet.
February 20, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
In the Town of Otsego, the entire Democratic ticket was elected with few exceptions. The Republicans elected a superintendent of the poor, a justice of the peace, an assessor and one constable. All other offices went to Democrats. Clem Allison led the Democratic ticket winning election as Supervisor by a margin of 68. The Freeman’s Journal salutes Allison’s victory with this political Valentine: “Clem Allison, long life to you; we knew full well that you’d pull through; the people vote you when they’re wise, their town affairs to supervise. The G.O.P. and Wedderspoon will learn the lesson mighty soon, that when we’re out to frazzle them, we nominate our neighbor Clem.”
February 15, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
News releases by the Associated Press have been spreading the fame of Doubleday Field, the National Base Ball Museum and the coming centennial celebration. But the stories not only direct attention to Doubleday Field and the museum, but to Cooperstown itself. One of the papers is the New York Sun which has published a series of stories, all inspired by Doubleday Field. Sun columnist Will Wedge writes: “The story of baseball has its beginning at Cooperstown, N.Y. There too, in that little village of 3,500, in Otsego County, is another story that, in its brief finale, is eloquent and touching. It is the story of a people – a tragic story – the story of the red men. Chiseled on a granite boulder near Cooperstown are these almost obliterated words: ‘White Man greetings. We, near whose bones you now stand, were Iroquois. The wide land which now is yours was ours. Friendly hands have given back to us enough for a tomb.’”
February 19, 1936




50 YEARS AGO

February 15, 1961

 

25 YEARS AGO
Bassett Hospital closed its fourth floor surgical unit of 50 beds the weekend of February 8-9 because there weren’t enough patients to warrant keeping it open. Staff schedules were adjusted and approximately 20 patients on the floor were moved to other floors as maintenance crews moved in to work on the rooms. Monday morning, the floor was reopened.
February 19, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Milford Central School Superintendent Peter Livshin and social studies teacher Jim Renckens plan to attend the U.S. Supreme Court hearing for the case “Good News Club vs. Milford Central School District,” to be held on February 28 at 10 a.m. The four-year-old case stems from a request by the Rev. Stephen Fournier and his wife Darleen of the Milford Center Community Bible Church to use school facilities for religious meetings. Their request was denied in 1992 based on school policy.
February 16, 2001


2-11-11
200 YEARS AGO
On Thursday last, the Rev. John Smith was ordained to the gospel ministry in this town, as Pastor of the Presbyterian society. The introductory prayer and sermon were delivered by the Rev. Henry Snowden, of New Hartford; Mr. Oliver of Springfield, gave the charge; Mr. Whitmore of the Holland Patent, made the consecrating prayer; Mr. Cooley of Cherry Valley, gave the right hand of fellowship, and the Rev. Conkey of Milford made the concluding prayer. The Presbyterian Church was very full on the occasion, and all classes appeared to participate in the happy prospect of union and religious harmony.
February 9, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
Perils of the Stage Coach – The passengers in the stage from Montreal to Kingston came very near losing their lives on the evening of January 20 at the Coteau du Lac rapid. The driver having stopped and left his seat to deliver the mail bag, the horses started at full speed and ran nearly a mile, when some check being given to the reins, they turned abruptly from the road and dashed upon the river, which, as well may be supposed, was one sheet of ice. They broke through, however, and the passengers, who up to this moment, had no suspicion that anything was wrong, were startled to find themselves immersed in cold water. Fortunately, one of the curtains was unfastened and after much difficulty, they succeeded in extricating themselves, and reached a house at some distance, though all were considerably injured. The horses were all drowned, and the stage, mails and baggage disappeared.
February 8, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Local: Mr. Schmittroth’s Concert came off at the Seminary as advertised, on Friday evening last, and was repeated the evening following. They were, in some respects, the best concerts we ever attended in this village. Mr. S. was ably assisted by Miss Pier – who has a fine voice – Miss C. Metcalfe, and Messrs. Scott, Goffe and Grant. They were frequently and earnestly applauded for their fine performances.
February 15, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
The farmers of this county have in general as much land devoted to forestry as they can spare; and if they do not have sufficient timber to fence their farms and cover their buildings, they can buy barbed wire for fences, and sheet iron to cover their roofs cheaper than they can raise timber. Farmers must have land to pasture their dairies, and fields to raise corn, oats and hay, to feed them through the cold and stormy winters. The farmers are now compelled to use the strictest economy to raise money to pay the expenses of their families, to clothe and school their children. There is no class of people in this county that is worse cramped for money than the farmers. They must have something to sell to raise money to pay their county, town and school taxes, and furnish money to pay their share of the canal tax for the benefit of the western states, the cities along the line of the canal, and the city of New York and then pay more for getting produce to market. I say for one, remove your timber before its value is lost. We need the money. Our country is in debt and always will be, unless we can elect officers opposed to the present spendthrift system of high salaries to our public officers, whose numbers have increased to a large army since the war. 
February 13, 1886
   
100 YEARS AGO
The rededication of the Church of Christ Universalist at Fly Creek will be held on Wednesday, February 15. The church has been undergoing repairs since last Easter, which have only recently been completed. A dinner will be served by the ladies of the church in the dining room at the Grange Hall, following a church service at 10:45 a.m. The dedication service will take place at 2 p.m. The Fly Creek Church of Christ is the oldest organization of Universalists west of the Hudson River, being organized in 1803 in a school house in the Town of Hartwick. The church edifice is the second oldest Universalist church structure in the state.
February 8, 1911

75 YEARS AGO

50 YEARS AGO
The Cooperstown Central School Cafeteria Menu – February 14-17.  Tuesday: Ravioli, Potato Chips, Bread and Butter, Fruit Cup, Milk. Wednesday: Fruit Juice, Creamed Salmon on Toast, Pineapple Salad, Chocolate Cake, Milk. Thursday: Spanish Rice, Bread and Butter, Lettuce with Russian Dressing, Applesauce, Milk. Friday: Fish Fillets with Tartar Sauce, Potato Chips, Bread & Butter, Fruited Jello with Whipped Cream, Milk.
February 8, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
The first meeting of Project Prom 1986 – the alternative to individual graduation parties with alcohol – will be held Thursday, February 27 at 8 p.m. at the Cooperstown high school cafeteria. All members of the CCS class of 1986 and their parents are asked to attend this organizational meeting. Sue Fink, who originated the program two years ago, will be the guest speaker.
February 12, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
If Mark Takefman’s vision becomes a reality, tourists coming to Cooperstown this summer may get from place to place in pedicabs, pedal-powered modified bicycles. Takefman plans to employ college students to power the vehicles and estimates that pedicab drivers could earn $10 to $11 per hour based on 45 percent daily occupancy. Operators would lease a total of four pedicabs from Takefman by the hour. He would provide training, historical tours and safety for the students.
February 9, 2001


2-4-11
To the Editor:
The first decision by our candidates may seem trivial to some, but it is symbolic of the way they will govern. 
At the most recent village public hearing, Democrat Joan Clark raised the question of whether candidates for village trustee would consider NOT posting political signs in yards throughout the village.
As chairman of the Republican Committee, I agreed to bring Ms. Clark’s suggestion to the Republican caucus the following evening.  I did so and the response at the caucus was unanimous in favor of NOT putting up political signs. 
Ms. Clark’s comments, along with subsequent comments from many village residents, clearly suggested to us that most people believe political signs degrade the atmosphere of our community, pit neighbor against neighbor, fly in the face of environmental advocacy and waste money.  
Specific comments included ex-mayor Wendell Tripp saying he thought Joan Clark’s idea was “wonderful.” He also pointed out that “signs are a recent political phenomenon in Cooperstown, which only started about six years ago.”  
John Irvin, The Otesaga’s general manager, said he thought signs just “junk up the village.”  Bill Weldon commented that going without signs “makes a strong statement” to our community. 
Each candidate endorsed for trustee that evening, Schuermann, Potts, Lewis and White, agreed it was best for our community to not see signs litter our village. 
I could not be more proud of the decision our candidates made and it is exemplary of how they would govern – listening to the public and putting their community ahead of their own interests.  Their decision shows a deep understanding of what     Cooperstown is all about.
MICHAEL E. TROSSET
Republican Chairman,
Village of Cooperstown
 
2-4-11
200 YEARS AGO
The census for Otsego County – We have been favored by the Deputy Marshall of this county with the following returns of the census of the several towns: Richfield, 2,083; Plainfield, 2,123; Exeter, 1,420; Edmeston, 1,618; Butternuts, 3,195; New Lisbon, 1,996; Bullington, 2,404; Unadilla, 1,430; Otego, 2,715; Milford, 2,031; Hartwick, 2,109; Pittsfield, 745; Otsego, 3,962; Springfield, 1,839; Cherry Valley, 2,911; Middlefield, Westford, Decatur, Maryland, and Worcester combined, 6,466. Total: 38,667.
February 2, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
News from Texas – On Saturday, the fifth of December last, 300 of the colonial troops entered the Town of San Antonio. They could not at first get possession of the public square, owing to the walls and ditches across the mouths of the public streets, each of which was likewise defended by two pieces of artillery, and in consequence of this they occupied some buildings and tops of houses adjacent. Here they remained battling incessantly night and day, until Wednesday the 9th when they forced their way into the square and drove the enemy across the river into the fort called the Alamo. In these relative situations they continued until the enemy capitulated. By the capitulation upwards of 1,000 yielded to less than 300. The town itself was surrendered with 24 pieces of brass artillery, 1,900 pounds of powder, ball, grape and canister, with the public stores of every description. (Ed. Note: The Mexicans later counterattacked leading to the epic Battle of the Alamo and then to an independent Texas which later joined the union in 1845)
February 1, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Assassination of Joseph L. White – While conducting business in Nicaragua, Mr. White was shot to death by a business competitor, Jonathan Gavitt of Boston, who remains in jail at Port Icaco. Mr. White was a native of Cherry Valley, being a son of the late Dr. Delos White. He read law with James Brackett, Esq., removed to Madison, Indiana, where for several years he practiced his profession with great success, and was finally elected to Congress where he made the acquaintance of Henry Clay. Mr. Clay said of him that he was one of the greatest and most effective speakers of the West. Soon after the termination of his Congressional career he removed to the city of New York, where he practiced his profession for a few years, and eventually became conspicuously connected with the affairs of Nicaragua. He had, for several years, owned a summer residence at Cooperstown. He leaves a wife and three children.
February 8, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
Sylvester M. Hamilton, New York speculator and “curbstone broker,” has been confined in the jail in Cooperstown for a few weeks past. He has had a very remarkable career. He came to New York City from Colorado, a poor man; became a remarkably successful curbstone broker, got the confidence of the president of the Old Dominion Copper Mining Company; became its president, married a beautiful Kentucky girl with some property; lived in the best style in New York, Saratoga and Richfield Springs, kept fast horses, bought an elegant Fifth Avenue mansion; swapped it for other property worth half a million; was accused of defrauding the man he traded with; was arrested and was found to have mortgaged his property for all it was worth when he was practically not worth a dollar. In Richfield last year he cut a great splurge. When arrested, Hamilton claimed to be a resident of Otsego County hence the warrant was directed to the sheriff here.
February 6, 1886

100 YEARS AGO

75 YEARS AGO
Associated Press newspapers the past few days have been featuring the result of the national poll now in progress to select the immortals of the national game for the Hall of Fame in connection with the Doubleday Field project in Cooperstown. Tyrus Raymond Cobb, fiery genius of the diamond for 24 triumphant years, will be the number one immortal in baseball’s permanent Hall of Fame. Only Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson and Walter Johnson received the required majority to win places in the Hall of Fame, but Cobb was given a margin of seven votes over his closest rivals, Ruth and Wagner. Out of 226 ballots cast by players and writers, the Georgia Peach received 222 or four less than a unanimous vote. Ruth and Wagner received 215 each. Mathewson was fourth with 205 and Johnson fifth with 189. Seventy-five percent of the total votes or 169 were needed.
February 5, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
More than 200 persons attended a “Cap Smith Night” at Fenimore House Thursday night to relive Sunday afternoons they spent 25 to 40 years ago. Many of those who attended hiked to the Fenimore House. A beef steak dinner served from the back lawn during a heavy snow storm opened the proceedings. Murry Lucia, a former Cap Smith aide on his Sunday hikes, and his helpers set up 431 pieces of steak which the hikers quickly surrounded after it had been broiled on a huge outdoor grill. The program which followed was highlighted by pictures taken on the hikes as long ago as 40 years. The pictures were assembled by Mrs. Florence P. Ward and Miss Dorothy C. Barck.
February 1, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Snow is piling up on Cooperstown sidewalks following a winter storm that dumped 20 inches in the area. A hole in the village plow’s radiator made it impossible for the crew to clear the walkways according to street superintendent Fred Marr. Even so, the snow is too deep for the plow’s 20-inch blade. So, Cooperstown trustees are urging citizens to remove the snow in front of their homes and businesses as required by village law.
February 5, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
More than 300 guests attended the seventh annual Bassett Gala at the Otesaga Hotel raising over $102,000 in support of the Louis Busch Hager Cancer Center. Honorary chairs for the black tie event were Dr. John S. Davis, director of medical education emeritus and Jean S. Davis.
February 2, 2001


 1-28-11
200 YEARS AGO
Good Lands For Sale – in or near the centre of the flourishing town of Milford, consisting of two hundred acres, from the south part of the subscriber’s home lot. It is covered with excellent timber, and is a fertile soil – it is surrounded by thrifty settlements, and as the subscriber is in want of money, he will dispose of it on terms which will be enticing to the purchasers, who by advancing about one-fifth of the value, may have four or five years credit for the remainder.
January 26, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
The Abolition Convention – Pursuant to notice, about sixty persons assembled at the Presbyterian meeting house in Hartwick at 10 o’clock a.m. of Wednesday last and organized their meeting by the appointment of Mr. Albert North as Chairman and Dr. Peake and Chas. Walker as secretaries. A constitution of government for the intended society was in the progress of reading when a large number of citizens of Hartwick and the neighboring towns amounting to over 300 persons led by curiosity to see what was going on, and claiming to be the friends of “free discussion” appeared and took their seats at the meeting. The reading of the constitution, having been gone through with, a motion for its adoption was made by an Abolitionist, when Mr. G.A. Starkweather rose, interposed objections, and claimed the right to discuss its principles. Other gentlemen also participated in the discussion, and finally the question was put upon the adoption of the constitution, and it was rejected on a count of 350 to 60. Thus, the agitators for abolition found but little favor with the good citizens of Hartwick.
January 25, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
Advertisement – Cooperstown Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute – Students of both sexes received at any time. The success of this institution during the past terms encourages us to make still greater efforts to increase its claims on the public patronage. We feel confident that Ladies and Gentlemen wishing to pursue a thorough course, either in Classics, Sciences, Mathematics, or Modern Languages, will find here unsurpassed advantages.
 February 1, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
January 30,  1886


100 YEARS AGO
Through the efforts of Alex. Phinney, Dr. Tarleton W. Bean, the state fish culturalist, who attempted to put the famous Otsego bass out of existence by classing them as whitefish, has received his quietus in an opinion rendered by Hon. Thomas Carmody, the Attorney General of the State of New York. Mr. Carmody gives it as his opinion that the law introduced by Assemblyman Clark and passed last year recognizes a distinction between Otsego bass and whitefish. It means that Otsego bass of any weight may be captured within the restrictions of the law prohibiting the season and manner of angling.
January 28, 1911

50 YEARS AGO
Winter settled an icy blanket over the village during the past week with temperatures here setting new records as they fell far below seasonal averages. The mercury dropped to sixteen- below Saturday and Sunday mornings, to establish new marks for both days. The village thermometer logged a three-below reading Thursday, one-below Friday and seven-below Monday.
January 25, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Cub scouts honored at a recent meeting of Cooperstown’s Pack 12 were Chad Monroe, who received his Bobcat Badge, Matthew Bedworth and Steven Cannistra, who advanced to the rank of Wolf Cub, Jeff Harrington, Kevin Winne, Dan Allison, Tim DeRosa and Seth Schaeffer, who all earned their Bear Badge.
January 29, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Coach Mike Cring’s Redskins avenged an early season loss to the Mustangs of Mt. Markham with a 64-47 victory at Bursey Gymnasium on Friday, January 19, their fifth consecutive win in Center State Conference action. Billy Hribar and Blair Budine dominated the backboards at both ends of the court, each pulling down 15 rebounds. Hribar finished with 18 points after hitting six baskets from close range to take CCS to a 27-20 lead at halftime. Budine finished with 10 points.
January 26, 2001



1-21-11
200 YEARS AGO
Died in this town on Tuesday, January 15, of the typhus fever, in the 23rd year of her age – Mrs. Nancy Stevens, consort of Mr. Henry Stevens (to whom she had been married but a few weeks) & daughter of Abner Pier, late deceased. This is the fifth member of that unfortunate family who, within eight weeks, died of the same disease; and it is understood there is yet another who is thought to be in a very dangerous situation.
January 19, 1811

150 YEARS AGO
January 25, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
An item from the Albany Argus – Judge William Cooper, father of the great novelist, settled at what is now the beautiful village of Cooperstown 100 years ago this month. The genial and able editor (Samuel M. Shaw) of the old and excellent Cooperstown Journal in token of the event proposes to edit a “History of Cooperstown,” which will be issued in the early spring. An item from the Cooperstown Republican – The editor of The Freeman’s Journal announces that he has decided to write a history of Cooperstown.
January 16, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Mr. Higbie, local manager of the telephone system, assures us that within the next sixty days there will be but one telephone system in Cooperstown. The independent telephones will be taken out wherever there is both, an independent and a Bell, and all independent phones that remain will be replaced by the Bell. The work of installing the new switchboard will begin within a week, and it has been determined to rebuild the entire telephone line in Cooperstown during the next few months. When the consolidation is completed the Cooperstown exchange will have over a thousand telephones.
January 21, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
A joint stag dinner will be held by the Cooperstown Rotary and Village clubs on Monday, January 27, at the Village Club at 6:30 o’clock. Joseph L. Andrews of Corning, a humorist with a national reputation, will be present to give one of his inimitable talks. Andrews, who goes by the sobriquet of “Joe Himself,” gives an evening of clean humor and timely philosophy that always makes a hit.
January 22, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
The 160th annual meeting of the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown, was held Wednesday evening, January 11, in the chapel following a Family Night Supper. Over 100 people attended the supper and meeting in the oldest church in this community. New officers elected to serve were George H. Harrison, James M. Brayden, and Jacob H. Schaeffer, Elders. Newly elected Deacons included Robert Squires, George L. Connell, Sumner M. Shumway and Jean P. Ross. Trustees elected are Mrs. Harold Baldinger, Robert W. Wood, and V. Earle Nicklas.
January 18, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Elaine Harvey was officially appointed Postmaster of Fly Creek on January 18, succeeding Ron Bouton who retired last November 30, after 31 years of service. Mrs. Harvey began her postal career 23 years ago as a clerk in Fly Creek. She has also served as Postmaster Replacement in Hartwick Seminary and as Officer-in-Charge at Schuyler Lake in 1978. In 1979, she was appointed Postmaster at Schuyler Lake.
January 22, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Six jurors in Richfield Town Court found Carmine and Lisa DiPippo not guilty of violating the state Conservation Law. The DiPippos were charged with violating a regulation that restricts the creation of air pollution. The DiPippos operate burn barrels, a common practice in Otsego County to dispose of trash.
January 19, 2001

1-14-11
200 YEARS AGO
Died in this town (Otsego), of a typhus fever on December 31, Polly Pier, daughter of Abner Pier, late deceased. In the town of Hartwick, on January 10, of the typhus fever, Mrs. Betsy Aplin, consort of Mr. William Aplin, and daughter of Abner Pier, late deceased. It is remarkable that within the period of seven weeks, four members of this family have fallen victims to the typhus fever.
January 12, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
150 YEARS AGO
A correspondent wants to know if some plan cannot be adopted to prevent boys from Riding down hill” on the side walks of this village? The thing is easy enough – clean off your side walks, as you should do.

There is a sad record to go forth to our readers this week – one that must pain the heart of every Union-loving and patriotic man. Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have joined South Carolina in secession. Georgia, Louisiana and Texas are likely to follow. Even in Virginia the secession feeling is gaining ground rapidly. Civil war exists by the act of South Carolina. By direction of her state authorities a United States vessel was fired into, and the national flag dishonored. Government forts and arsenals have been seized in several of the Southern States.
January 18, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
A fine team – Mr. E.W. Bliss, a former resident of Fly Creek, and an employee in the Metcalf Foundry, and now an extensive manufacturer of dies in Brooklyn, has purchased of S.J. Burton of Westville, a well-matched team of dark bay horses. They are of the Hambletonian Prince strain, so well and favorably known, and were foaled in this town, stand 15 hands and 2 inches high, and are five and six years old. Consideration $2,000.

The mercury took a lower range in Cooperstown last Monday night than has been recorded for a number of years past – all the way from 23 to 30 degrees below zero. Children are making frequent complaints of the uncomfortably cold atmosphere often experienced in Union School.
January 16, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
Dr. W.B. Guy, the well-known optician, had a narrow escape from death on his way to Cooperstown last Friday, while changing cars at Sidney. As he alighted from his train, he slipped on the icy track and fell on the adjoining rails in front of an engine just entering the yard. Fortunately the engine was proceeding very slowly, and although it was upon him when he fell, and one arm, shoulder and a part of his head were drawn in by the pilot, the engine stopped before Dr. Guy had suffered more than rather severe bruises. Had the train proceeded a foot farther, Dr. Guy would have sustained serious, if not fatal, injuries.
January 14, 1911

75 YEARS AGO
Reverberations are still rolling in from the latest nationwide news release in connection with the Doubleday Field project. The story was directly concerned with the selection of the immortals of the national game for the Hall of Fame in the National Baseball Museum established last spring in Cooperstown as a feature of the development of a shrine to the founder of the game. The story had the largest coverage of any yet released in connection with the project. Altogether, the publicity featuring Cooperstown appeared in over 400 daily newspapers. Publicity of such a character and of such value has never before been accorded this village.
January 15, 1936
50 YEARS AGO
The large frame rooming house at 170 Main Street, owned by Walter Buell, was ordered closed over the weekend by Fire Chief Stuart P. Taugher. Chief Taugher characterized the dwelling as a fire trap after he and village building inspector Wallace M. Bradley inspected the premises on December 30. After a conference with village attorney Edward Gozigian, Chief Taugher ordered the house vacated immediately. The last of 14 individuals who made their homes there found other places to live by Tuesday. The breakdown of the coal-fired hot water heating boiler in the building on December 28 caused residents to bring in oil space heaters and electrical heating appliances, creating an unsafe condition.
January 11, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
Each year the Cooperstown School Community Association (CSCA) offers a “Purchase Prize” for a work at the CCS art show. The works purchased are put on permanent display at the elementary school building. This past year Amy Brunner, a senior at the time, won an award for her painting titled “Apple Blossom Childhood.” In addition to Miss Brunner’s artwork, CSCA has also selected a photograph to be added to the collection. The winning photo was titled “Make Way For Ducklings” by senior Kelly Heitz.
January 15, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Star Field is an ancient and honorable haunt – a heavenly hiding place, a spot to think, to sit, to picnic and to frolic. Known by all Cooperstonians, it sits atop the Middlefield Hills, a great, green spread, shaped like a star if you happen to look up at it from the village, overlooking Otsego Lake. It used to be a scrumptious rolling pasture in which a big herd of Black Angus summered over; now, it’s a great rolling field that exists, it seems, for the pure pleasure of all of us. Mostly, you get there by way of a trail that began life in 1926 as a bridle path, built as part of a larger path that follows the ridgeline to the head of the lake.
January 12, 2001
1-7-11
200 YEARS AGO
January 5, 1811

175 YEARS AGO
A dispatch from a commercial house in Antigua in the West Indies: “We have been visited here with a fever, which has taken off a number of the inhabitants and newcomers. Troubles and anxieties have been experienced this year in abundance; first the hurricane, then the fever. This year only about three-fourths of the usual quantity of cane has been cultivated, and this not kept in order, on account of the laziness of the Negroes, who are getting every way worthless. Till the 13th of February, our port is open for corn, cornmeal, flour, beans, peas, pork &c., tonnage and duty free.”
January 4, 1836

150 YEARS AGO
The weather for 1860 – Our record of the weather commences its twelfth year with the present month. The year 1860 has differed somewhat from its predecessors in the various seasons, yet a comparison of the average temperature with former years will show them to be almost identical. Thus, commencing with the year 1850, the average of the thermometer at 2 p.m. has been as follows: 1850 – 51 and one-half degrees Fahrenheit; 1851 – 51; 1852 – 50 and one-half; 1853 – 50 and two-thirds; 1854 – 51 and two-thirds; 1855 – 50; 1856 – 50; 1857 – 50 and one-quarter; 1858 – 51; 1859 – 51; 1860 – 51. 
January 11, 1861

125 YEARS AGO
The annual reunion of the Tillapaugh family was held at the residence of the Edwin Tillapaugh, Town of Roseboom, January 1 – quite a large number of friends and relatives were in attendance. Geo. R. Tillapaugh, aged 85, and wife were the oldest people present. They reside with their son, E. Tillapaugh. The youngest in attendance was Edwin Ray Tillapaugh, aged four months, son of E. Tillapaugh. Four generations were represented.
January 9, 1886

100 YEARS AGO
D. Clyde Rose has resigned as Deputy Postmaster in the Cooperstown office to accept a very attractive position with the Clark Estates in New York City. The resignation took effect at the end of the old year and Mr. Rose has gone to New York to take up the new position. He will have something to do with the real estate interests of the Clarks and his office will be on the 25th floor of the Singer building.
January 7, 1911 

75 YEARS AGO
The Otschodela Boy Scout Council’s objectives for the year along with the 1936 budget were approved Friday at meetings of the council and the executive committee at the Hotel Windsor. Eighteen new troops will be formed and a survey of farm boys throughout the territory will be made by the rural scouting committee. A First Aid rally is scheduled for April with training to begin in February. During the summer months, a first aid station, manned by scouts, will be set up on some highway and operated for three months.
January 8, 1936

50 YEARS AGO
Tele-Weather, Cooperstown’s telephone weather forecast service, received 100,736 calls during 1960, according to Harold H. Hollis, who operates the service. Since its inception in May 1958, the service has recorded 308,440 calls. Forecasts are placed on automatic telephone answering sets and persons interested in getting a current forecast can do so by calling 1530 any time of day or night, seven days a week. In connection with the weather service, a $10 cash prize is offered each day to holders of lucky numbers. During 1960, cash prizes totaling $780 were given out.
January 4, 1961

25 YEARS AGO
On January 14, 1786 William Cooper, of Burlington, New Jersey, took possession of a tract of land situated on the south and east sides of a lake known as Otsego in upstate New York. Now, 200 years later, plans are underway to celebrate the founding in 1786 of the Village of Cooperstown. Sunday, January 19, 1986 will mark the official opening of Cooperstown’s year-long bicentennial celebration with a Founder’s Fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cooperstown Junior-Senior High School.
January 8, 1986

10 YEARS AGO
Rich Devlin, Otsego County’s STOP DWI program coordinator is the recipient of an award that recognizes his personal efforts and the work of his organization to promote highway safety and eradicate drunk driving. Devlin was recently honored by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for his innovative program in Otsego County .
January 5, 2001


12-31-10 
 125 Years Ago
Home & Vicinity – Pickert, Mayon & Vincent’s Comedy and Specialty company, Thursday and Friday night, was about the worst specimen of a skin show that ever struck Oneonta. But for the kindness of their creditors the troupe would have had to walk out of town. A pane of glass in the front of Leopold Goldsmith’s store, lower Main Street, was broken out Saturday night and goods to the value of $50 removed from the window. Detective Seeger traced the theft to two residents of the village, who paid for the goods and who probably will not be prosecuted. Belva Lockwood wrote in the autograph album of an Oneonta young man, “The road to success is paved with defeats.” As the young man question lost several dollars through Belva’s lecture, he thinks her quotation is very apt.
December 1885

100 Years Ago
Among the achievements of Oneonta for the year 1910 has been the erection of the largest, most costly and most imposing building block which thus far has received habitation and name in this city – that is the handsome structure erected by the Main & Dietz Company upon the site of the Central Hotel, which on the morning of January 16 of the present year was totally consumed by fire. The building occupies the whole of the old Central Hotel site, having a frontage of 150 feet on Main Street and 80 feet on Dietz. Its greatest depth, however, which is on the east side of the building, is over 100 feet. The structure is five stories in height and has a deep basement under all in which are located a barber shop and immense storage spaces.
December 1910

80 Years Ago
Education’s big job is to help each boy or girl “tune in with the world,” Dr. George M. Wiley, assistant state commissioner for secondary education, told graduates of the State College for Teachers at Albany at their annual dinner. “Wipe out the whole curriculum if necessary to find the right “wave-length” to accomplish this “Tuning in,” Dr. Wiley advised the school administrators. “Rules, regulations, subjects, courses and curriculums are means to an end, not ends in themselves. The permanency of democracy depends on the success of such educational agencies as the school, the church and the home. High school principals will soon need a master’s degree or its equivalent to fit themselves properly for their increasingly complex jobs,” he said. “The trend toward requiring principals to have studies farther than the teachers under them is entirely sound.”
       December 1930

60 Years Ago




















40 Years Ago
A walking inspection of 494 structures in Oneonta’s Sixth Ward shows that the area to be in relatively good shape, at least externally. City of Oneonta building inspector J. Gerald Gunthrup states in part: A check of 255 structures on River Street showed four or five in need of major repair work. A high percentage of the buildings were neat and attractive. A few needed paint jobs and elimination of weeds and junk in back yards. Two of 38 buildings on Gilbert Street were noticed with junk in the rear yards. Another Gilbert street dwelling needs fence repairs. Three of 39 residences on Miller Street need paint; another requires repairs to its front steps and a cracked cellar wall. Another home on Miller Street was cited for junk in the rear yard. One on nine homes on Baker Street requires extensive renovation. Another Baker Street residence needs front repairs and removal of junk. Unsightly conditions, plus any electrical problems, would have to be corrected if the city decides to seek federal aid for the Sixth Ward storm sewer project.
December 1970

30 Years Ago
An Oneonta school board committee decided Monday to recommend closing Center Street School next year as part of a district effort to cope with steadily declining enrollments. If Center Street School is closed, its 160 to 170 students will be bused to the district’s three remaining elementary schools. The fate of Center Street School has been a subject of district controversy for several years. In 1977 and 1978, a parents’ group circulated petitions and won the support of the Mayor’s Committee on Community Improvement in a fight to keep the school open. Joseph Picolla, principal at Riverside School, said the committee’s recommendation reflected a desire to keep students in the same building for the duration of their elementary schooling.
December 1980

20 Years Ago
Oneonta’s Peace Links group will meet on January 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. The discussion will be led by Alice Siegfried with special emphasis on the role played by women in the Nicaraguan revolution that overthrew the dictator Somoza in 1979. She will share slides taken during a trip that she and her husband to Esteli, Nicaragua, during the elections there in February. Siegfried is a potter and a member of the Oneonta Peace Network and Amnesty International as well as the Social Responsibility Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Society.
December 1990

10 Years Ago
If you are tired of excessive waste at Christmas, here are some recycling ideas. To recycle those stacks of Christmas greeting cards, cut out your favorite scenes and shapes and create new Christmas cards on construction paper, while adding your own personalized message. There are many ways to reuse your Christmas tree. To attract animals to your yard, lay your discarded tree on its side, creating a shelter to give animals protection from predators. Hang stringers of dried fruit and popcorn on the branches.
December 2000