This Week in History – Week of February 8th
The commissioners have accepted the new street running through the property of P.W. Casler, on the south side of the river. It will be called Southern Avenue. The work of opening it will be begun as soon as possible in the Spring.
The “Vitascope” was exhibited at the Star Academy, the site of the present Little Falls City Hall. However, the stage show remained in favor for many years.
Police report that the law banning sales of alcoholic beverages on Sundays was observed by all saloons in Little Falls. Chief Halling stated he would not hesitate to arrest the first offender and punish him to the full extent of the law.
One of Little Falls’ natural treasurers is the “cold spring” which rushes from the hillside beside the road to Lovers’ Leap. In the driest times the stream does not fail, to the hottest days its waters come refreshingly cold. Pleasure walkers do not fail to carry a cup and pause amidst the foliage where the clear current splashes musically from rock to rock.
Little Falls has its own Flatiron building. The new plant for the S. F. Jones Coal Company between West John Street and the railroad tracks was built in the unique shape of a flat iron so as to use every square inch of available land.
The Central New York Power Corporation announced plans to bring natural gas to the city and assure an abundant supply of gas for at least the next twenty years.
Master Sergeant Frank Martinovic, seriously wounded in World War II resulting in the amputation of a portion of his right leg, was given a 1947 Pontiac by “Uncle Sam” through the local sponsorship of the James Whitcomb agency.
Little Falls native, Tracey Roberts (Blanche Goldstone) passed away in California. During her long career she had 75 credits as an actress on television, film, and stage. Later she established herself as a respected acting coach and director and producer.
Roger Stock, Mayor of the City of Little Falls from 1992 to 1996, passed away unexpectedly. He was well known in the area for his many civic duties and contributions. He was proud of his efforts in obtaining funds for the Firemen’s Memorial Monument in Burke Park, and for his 25 years as Chairman of the Little Falls Canal Days Celebration Parade and Car Show.
The firm of Snyder & Fisher, manufacturers of knitting machines and bicycles, has been dissolved. Homer P. Snyder will conduct the business alone. This is one of the most complete bicycle plants in the country, and their “Swell Newport” has given excellent satisfaction. They will continue to turn out the best bicycles in the country.
Jack Frost pushed forward relentlessly to new records of frigidity for the season with temperatures ranging from 30 to 35 below zero. The official temperature at the city reservoir shows 28 below. Owl’s Head, in the Adirondacks, registered -50F.
After years of study and often heated and contentious public debate, the Board of Education of the Little Falls City School District unanimously came to an historic decision – to reconstruct the Benton Hall Academy rather than build a new grade school on the outskirts of the city.
The warm rains caused the ice on the Mohawk River and West Canada Creek to break up and come down the river in large masses causing significant damage to the Railroad, Canal, and buildings in Little Falls. The water was estimated to be 25 feet above low water level. One house was swept away nearly to the Fink ferry bridge.
Four of the eight aldermen purposely “went on strike” and did not attend the Common Council meeting. Since business could not be conducted and bills audited, police officers were sent out by the mayor, with search warrants, to look for the absentees. They were not found. Five members are needed for a quorum.
Changes continue in the Cherry- Burrell Company and its ties with Little Falls grow fewer and fewer. David H. Burrell 3rd, Edwin Fisher, and Anthony Wening resigned as directors, and representatives of the investor group which recently bought into the company were elected to succeed them.
Numerous area residents had an opportunity to meet and talk with first lady and U. S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at her campaign stop at the Ann Street Deli in Little Falls.
James Tappan, better known as “Hunkey” Tappan, was arrested by Officer Holmes at the polling place in Skinner Hall for being drunk, and disorderly, and for trying to vote twice. He was discharged with a reprimand.
For a week or more, the water in the city reservoir was lowering six or eight inches a day. A resident noticed that Furnace Creek was unusually high, and a big break was found nearby in the dead line in Skinner Woods which was repaired.
Opposition has arisen to the Academy project of building a new $65,000 schoolhouse at the site of the current academy at the corner of East Main and Alexander streets. A movement has started to build the school on West Main Street with the claim that this would be more convenient for the 141 students who live in that general area, but many of them attend St. Mary’s.
Weber and Fields appeared at a stage show at the City Theatre in Little Falls.
Thirty year-old Zaida Zoller was appalled by the condition of the horses in a circus travelling through the area in 1912, and had the owners arrested and the horses confiscated. On this date, through her work and strong public reaction, the Herkimer County Humane Society was incorporated.
Born in Little Falls, of Italian immigrant parents, John J. Riccardo, former President of Chrysler Corporation (1970-1975) and Chairman & CEO (1975-1979) died in Birmingham, Michigan. Active at LFHS, John was a World War II veteran, and graduated with degrees in economics at the University of Michigan. He quickly rose through the ranks at Chrysler.
The first house and store in Little Falls, was the home of Mr. John Porteous, commonly known as the “Yellow House” situated on lots 12 and 13 of the Burnetsfield Patent. It also became the first hotel in Little Falls. Past its doors on Sixth Street, near Furnace Creek, went the stages on their way to and from Albany and Utica, and at its table the hungry traveler’s appetite was satisfied.
A mass meeting was held at Temperance Hall regarding the canal enlargement project at which J. N. Lake gave a rousing speech in favor of the project indicating what it could do for the growth of the village. The next day the Little Falls vote was 504 for and 75 against. State-wide the vote was 185,000 for and 60,000 against.
The affairs of the old Herkimer County National Bank were closed up after an existence of over fifty years. The dissolution was due to the desire of the stockholders to increase its capital stock, and in order to do so a new bank, National Herkimer County Bank, had to be organized. The 1833 building is now the home of the Little Falls Historical Society.
A St. Valentine’s day storm dropped a blanket of snow, and together with 32 below zero weather, all but paralyzed transportation and business in Little Falls. Firemen fought three blazes during the storm. Trains were stalled for four hours.
Bronner’s Garage at 7 West Lansing Street advertised for sale the following automobiles: Model 90 Touring – $985, Model 90 Country Club – $1145, Model 89 Touring, 6 cylinder, 7 passenger – $1625, and Model 88 Willys Knight Touring, 8 cylinder – $2750. They are also distributors of Republic trucks and Case tractors.
The Mohawk Valley Flying Service was formed in Little Falls by Wells Davy and Maynard Seymour. Seymour Field was just west of the city on the flats across from the Mohawk Valley Country Club.
A natural gas explosion and subsequent fire, felt as far away as Ilion and St. Johnsville, leveled two homes and badly damaged several others on the south side of West Main Street in Little Falls. Three people received minor injuries and were treated at area hospitals, and seven families were affected by the fire. Windows were shattered throughout the city.
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