July 3rd

1866

A fire at 2 o’clock in the morning at the Hinchman House Barn on Albany street caused $54,000 in damages. Valuable furnishings, goods and property were removed from the hotel and adjoining stores by the firemen. The whole corner of Main and Second streets, as well as the Hinchman House itself, was wiped out. It was felt that the fire was an act of arson.

1876

Everybody is going to the Centennial after haying.

1886

The new sports venue, Riverside Park. opened with a game between the newly formed Little Falls professional base ball team and Canastota before seven hundred fans. Admission was 25 cents; ladies free. The locals lost their inaugural game.

1896

It is stated that the overhead railroad crossing at Second Street is to be built at once, and will be ready for use by the middle of the month.

1903

George A. Wyman, the first person to cross America by motorcycle, riding from San Francisco to New York City, stopped in Little Falls mid-day. Here he sought out a repair shop to make a new leather drive belt which had slipped off seven times the previous day.

1918

Mayor Zoller and the Common Council met for the first time at the new City Hall for an official session.

1919

The first airplane to land near Little Falls was a DeHaviland-four, piloted by Lt. Malcolm Allison. He flew here to participate in the “Welcome Home” celebration.

1964

Mrs. Frederika Conrad, president of the Board of Education, signed a three year lease, at $1,500 per year, for one kindergarten classroom at the Masonic Temple.

1970

Today is the official opening of the “City of Little Falls Diamond Jubilee” celebration which will continue until July 12th with a gigantic parade and a display of fireworks to climax the memorable week of festivities.

1976

Moss Island, in Little Falls, is the 22nd natural landmark in New York State to be designated to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks by the United States Secretary of the Interior.

July 4th

1825

At the fourth of July parade in the village, there were many veterans of the War of 1812 and a few from the Revolutionary War. Also in the line of march were Captain George Petrie’s Rifle Corps and the Newport Band.

1865

A solemn “Welcome Home Celebration” was held for all returning Civil War veterans, as survivors of the 121st Regiment arrived in town. It was bittersweet as only 445 out of 1076 who marched away had returned.

1869

Amusements in the village for the glorious 4th included an egg picking contest- a race in Eastern Square to retrieve a dozen hidden eggs – and a foot race from the corner of William and Main streets to the Benton House on Garden Street to gain a sack of flour. Mr. Blank won both races.

1880

A crowd of 15,000 gathered in Little Falls to watch the maiden flight of balloonist Mary Hawley. She had, for the occasion, chosen the professional name of “Carlotta, the Lady Aeronaut.” Her husband, Carl Meyers, the “Professor,” was the ingenious designer of balloons and the gas generators for filling them. Never again known as Mary, “Carlotta” made more than 60 flights over the next two years.

1887

Main and Second Streets were illuminated by four electric arc lamps loaned by Ilion, the current being furnished by Adam’s Box Shop.

1893

After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Little Norwegian ship, the Viking, passed through Little Falls on its way to the World’s Fair in Chicago. The ship’s captain and the college crew were entertained at the Metropolitan hotel by Mr. J.D. Fredericken.

1895

The ideal picnic ground – Camp Jolly – is now ready for business. Among the many features are a large covered dancing pavilion, a Base Ball Diamond, a quarter mile Bicycle track, Croquet, Tennis and Archery grounds, Steam Merry-go-Round, and Plenty of Swings & See Saws.  Also, Row Boats, Steam Launch, and Fishing Tackle. Round trip boat fare from Little Falls is 25 cents.

1897

Dynamite firecrackers were responsible for five bad accidents in Little Falls over the holiday. Two young boys lost their right hands, one boy had severe injuries to his fingers, another had injuries to his left eye when the contents exploded, and an older lady badly injured her hand while amusing her grandchildren.

1919

A large “Welcome Home and Peace Jubilee” was held in Little Falls. The program included band concerts, a mammoth parade & military review, community chorus of 200 voices, dancing at Western Park, a baseball games, gymnastic drills by the Polish Society, and a gorgeous display of fireworks at Burwell grounds.

1926

The Dresher Company, 39-41 West Main Street, offers specially priced, attractive, well-built rubber tired Scooters for $4.50. “A small down payment delivers a scooter to your home.”

1946

Governor Thomas E. Dewey, at his speech at Eastern Park highlighting the “Veterans’ Welcome Home” day observance, was cheered by thousands. The parade that followed, featuring hundreds of local veterans, was one of the largest and best ever seen in the city.

1999

The former Slovenian Home on Danube Street was damaged by a mudslide when thousands of pounds of mud, rocks, and water from the Rollway hit the building after a torrential rainstorm.

July 5th

1832

The undisputed Asiatic Cholera is extending over our country, one case is reported in Little Falls. An ordinance for the protection of our village was passed. It ordained that no boatman or other person shall land or set ashore from the Erie Canal. No inhabitant shall let a sick person in the house, Inn, etc. without a certificate from the village president and physician stating the person is not afflicted with cholera.

1893

Charles Dee, proprietor of the West Shore Hotel, was arrested, charged with keeping a disorderly house, the evidence being furnished by one Mattie Hill who was present when raided by the police. E. G. Van Allen, who runs a saloon on the towpath, was arrested on the same offense- bail for both was $500 each.

July 6th

1843

The woolen factory is booming, the village has more than 40 houses and more are being erected. Twenty new merchants have started within the past year. The new road to Fall Hill (Flint Avenue) has plenty of room for houses.

1906

An imposter, garbed as a Franciscan monk, has been soliciting contributions throughout the city, allegedly for the assistance of the order. His attire was a novelty, and he attracted a great deal of attention and considerable coin. Nabbed by Chief Long, and taken before Father White, he was quickly found to be a faker.

July 7th

1882

Two cannon balls, one 20# and the other 10#, were found on West Shore Road near the brick school (Jefferson Street School.) Others had been found in the area by construction workers, and they were thought to date back to the Revolutionary War.

1891

The great candle in Anderson & Houghton’s jewelry store at 550 East Main Street is to be lighted. A contest is being held to guess the length of time it will burn. General W. F. Lansing was the winner of a gold watch with a guess of 4 days, 4 hours, 3 minutes and 3 seconds. The actual time was 4 days, 4 hours and 17 minutes.

July 8th

1869

Madame Fernanto, the wonderful clairvoyant and healing medium, has taken rooms in the Hinchman House for one week. She has a marvelous and wonderful skill in revealing the present and future, and can cure all kinds of female diseases. Her stay was extended a few days.

1876

The “Daily Graphic” has a ten-page insert of maps of the country in which the Indian war is in progress, showing the location of two recent battles, an excellent portrait of General George A. Custer and Sioux chiefs, and reports and illustrations on the Centennial Exposition.

1932

As a result of provisions of the federal economy bill, employees of the post office will have a reduction of 8 1/3%.

Post Office employees, nationally as well as at the local post office, will have their pay cut about 8 % and receive reduced mileage allowance as a result of the Federal Economy bill passed by Congress.

July 9th

1722

Governor William Burnet purchased of the Mohawks the lands lying westward along the river from Little Falls to Utica. This action was known as the “Indian Deed.”

1853

Henry P. Alexander, one of the largest land owners in Little Falls, sold parts of lots No. 99 and No. 100 on North Ann Street and No. 1 and 2 on Garden Street to the trustees of the First Presbyterian Society. The current Presbyterian Church stands at the corner of Ann and Albany Streets.

1886

A new law gives women the right to vote at school meetings providing they reside in the school district, has a child who has attended school for eight weeks within one year preceding, the child resides with him or her permanently, and owns personal property exceeding $55.

1985

Nine-year old John DuPont drowned today in the city’s municipal swimming pool.  The finding of his body was delayed for a day before it was found, because of murky water due to an improperly functioning diatomaceous earth filter system.

1996

Two Chevrolet Caprice patrol cars, formerly used by the Little Falls Police Department, are on their way to Cairo, Egypt via the Bronx. A dealer bought the cars at a public auction,, and ships them to Africa where they have a higher resale value.

July 10th

1921

A new form of entertainment, a pavement dance, was held on East Gansevoort Street adjacent to Western Park.

1996

More than 50 people were evacuated from their homes on West Main Street when a contractor hit an eight-inch natural gas main causing a major gas burst. Factory workers at nearby Burrows Paper Company were also evacuated.

July 11th

1761

A letter from a British official, John Bradstreet, to the Petries: “I am directed by his Excellency General Amherst to acquaint you both of his being informed of your obstructing his Majesty’s Service at the Little Falls. If you do immediately desist from such insolent behavior, he will treat you both with the severity your Crimes deserve.”

The Bradstreet letter was important because, outside the Water Powers, these and adjoining lots east were valuable as they controlled the carrying place around the Falls of the river, and the leases of lands for taverns, stores, and the license of passing the lands went with the title. 

1876

Over two thousand tickets to Herkimer were sold at the railroad depot today.

1892

The members of the New York Liederkranz society lay claim to being the first gentleman to ride over a part of the Little Falls & Dolgeville railroad.  However, the credit really belongs to about 400 public spirited citizens and youths who walked out to the work area and returned to the village in eleven work cars.

1913

The Little Falls Building, Savings And Loan Association was  organized with the objective of the encouragement of industry, frugality, home owning and saving of money by its members.

1921

Letter from Homer P. Snyder to employees: We closed our factory on December 1, 1920, when the sale of bicycles suddenly ceased because of the general business depression and the increasing cost of material and high labor costs. We can now purchase material at a reduced price, and can reopen July 17th, on a limited basis, with a plan for a reduced scale of wages.

1964

One of the city’s oldest houses is the victim of Urban Renewal. A pile of rubble is all that is left of the brick home at the corner of Albany and Mary streets which was built in 1830 by Dr. Milton Gray.

1968

Eleven months after the voters gave approval, Rupert Palmer, President of the Board of Education, signed a contract for $2,395,457 for the construction of the new Little Falls Junior-Senior High School at the Top Notch Road site. Work was to begin immediately.

July 12th

1812

Colonel Morgan, proprietor of the “Stags Head Tavern” (formerly Cranes Tavern) entertained General Stephen Van Rensselaer and his officers on their way to the Canadian frontier. A sumptuous banquet was served followed by the usual toasts.

1831

Edward Ellice sold his father’s property at Little Falls, consisting of lots from the Burnetsfield and Fall Hill Patents and other parcels, to Albany and New York City interests. A new Little Falls lawyer, Arphaxed Loomis, had aroused the local citizens against Ellice because of his unfair leasing practices. Commercial development at Little Falls had been hindered by lawsuits around Ellice’s sale of properties involving water rights.

1855

A ball was held by The African M. E. Zion Church at the Temperance Hall in Little Falls to commemorate the 27th anniversary of their freedom in the North. Large crowds watched the festivities from the balconies of the hall.

1901

He’s located; he’s not. Hadley Jones has been “located” by the newspapers but not yet by the officials and detectives looking for him. A gentleman who knew both Mr. and Mrs. Jones claim they were fellow passengers on a vessel sailing from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. From there, they took a steamer to a port further south. Most doubt these reports.

1969

The Aldermen were unanimous in their approval of the plans for the East-West Arterial through Little Falls. The project will run from Glen Avenue to east of Ward Street, and will entail tearing down the homes on the south side of Hancock Street and many on John Street. Affected residents are asking that the route be changed.

July 13th

1855

James Conover, having business on the Roll Way, took his nine-year old son along with him to the foot of the hill. Although he was told to “stay put,” the boy ascended the steep hill to a considerable height following his father, became dizzy, lost his balance and fell to the bottom of the hill. He was seriously injured and is under the care of Dr. Ingham.

1932

Chief of Police James Long had a caller this morning – Mike Masco whom the chief had arrested in November 1916 for Little Falls’ celebrated trunk murder. Recently released from prison, Masco came to this city and wanted the chief to secure a job for him so he and his wife could start life anew.

July 14th

1864

The prolongation of the Civil War necessitated replenishing the Union ranks, and volunteers weren’t numerous or enthusiastic. Major Zenas Priest, county supervisor from Little Falls village, proposed that the county offer a “bounty” of $300 to each man joining the colors.

1896

The Bicycle Club, Rifle Corps, and the Union Guards joined together and incorporated as the Athletic Association of Little Falls. Dues will be used to equip the gymnasium and drill hall.

1905

The Sheard’s Park bandstand on Furnace Street is now open.

1911

A boulder weighing two tons has been drawn to the site of the old Octagon church, on Church Street, and will be fitted up as a marker. The D. A. R. will dedicate the marker during centennial week in September.

1914

The aldermen have started the proceedings to condemn the property at the corner of Main and William streets, owned by Dr. D.H. Rowe, as a site for its $100,000 city hall. Dr. Rowe uses the property for a barn and a hospital for the care of animals.

1915

New York State Comptroller Travis, after a review of the 1914 fiscal year for Little Falls, has deemed the city government to be confused and in a “chaotic condition.” Three incidents that have occurred are permitting friendship to intervene in the matter of enforcing the law, significant friction between city departments, and motives of personal revenge.

1931

Birger Lundstrom is branching out in the business world. What started out as a joke, selling hotdogs and ice cream from a floating dispensary on Ingham Lake (Keyser Lake), has turned into a profitable business. His enterprise has been well received by the flocks of bathers and campers who congregate there.

1952

Employees of industrial plants in Little Falls were being asked to volunteer to be observers for the local aircraft warning post atop Hotel Snyder. Forty observers were needed.

July 15th

1918

Hugh Fitzgibbons, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Fitzgibbons of 68 West Monroe Street, the local aviator flying with the English Royal Flying Corps, previously reported missing after combat with a German flyer, is safe and will shortly return home.

July 16th

1957

Dr. Elveleth dies, practiced medicine here for 60 years.  Dr. George S. Elveleth succumbed to infirmaries at his house in Newport, NH.

1880

The Little Falls  Fire Department’s annual convention of the Firemen’s Association State of New York will be held in Auburn and continue in session for three days.  All of the fire companies have received an invitation to a picnic and dance at St. Johnsville, Thursday of next week.

July 17th

1777

Finding that Barry St, Ledger had massed troops and loyalists at Oswego in preparation to invade the Mohawk Valley, General Nichols Herkimer issued a proclamation calling for all men from sixteen to sixty  to arm themselves and prepare to march to Fort Stanwix in defense of the valley. Men over sixty were to defend the homes.

1874

Judge Loomis is having the swamp lot, on the corner north of the Catholic church, filled in with gravel from the hills above. This will make a good building site, and be an improvement over the duck pond that has existed there for years.

1883

A contract was made by the village with McDermott & Ashenhurst to build a sewerage system for a city of 10,200 people.

1945

WW II Era – Another accident at the Gorge View highway entrance to Little Falls as four tons of fish spilled when a  freighter upsets on East Main Street. It wasn’t Friday, but  dozens, if not hundreds, of local families had fish as their main course for dinner.

July 18th

1908

20,000 people came from all over to visit the camp of U. S. Army cavalrymen located on the outskirts of Little Falls. The group from Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont, on their way to Pine Camp near Watertown, consisted of 450 men, with more than that number of horses and many mules to draw supply wagons.

1964

The former Arkay Hall is being torn down as a part of the Urban Renewal program. The building, at the rear of the McCauley block on Main Street, was built after the big fire in 1893. Used for a variety of purposes, it was the meeting place for the “Independent Order of Red Men,” home of basketball games, boxing and wrestling matches, a rifle range, and a bowling alley.

July 19th

1812

General Christopher Bellinger, a native of Little Falls, was one of the American commanders in the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor on Lake Ontario, the first land battle of the War of 1812. Bellinger was the son of Colonel Peter Bellinger and Delia Herkimer Bellinger, sister of General Nicholas Herkimer.

1895

The old veterans of Little Falls will hold a basket picnic this evening at Camp Jolly. An invitation has been extended to the Women’s Relief Corps to join in the festivities. The boat will leave Little Falls at 9:30 am and at 1:00 pm.

1921

An evening fire drove guests out of the Metropolitan Hotel, and destroyed the stock of the Modern Cloak and Suit Shop, an establishment specially for ladies. The early discovery of the fire and prompt action of the firemen prevented further damage.

1986

The City of Little Falls was fined $1,000 by the New York State Department of Health for swimming pool violations after an investigation into the drowning of nine- year old John DuPont in July 1985. The city was charged with “failure to maintain diatomaceous earth filters and proper operating condition,” and “failure to maintain the pool sidewall and bottom free from visible residue.”

2009

After 22 years at 572 East Monroe Street, Kelly’s Meat Market will open today at it new location at 520 Albany Street in the Kinney Plaza.

July 20th

1945

WW II Era – B.P.O.E. #42 has secured the Whitman property, one of the city’s finest private homes, at the corner of Ann and Gansevoort Streets for their new fraternal home. The purchase price of $6,000 was easily raised by the Elks who are enthusiastically working on readying their new permanent home for occupation.

This Week in History” is brought to you by the Little Falls Historical Society. Please Visit the Little Falls Historical Society Website and please consider supporting the Museum by becoming a Member. Download the membership form here!