This Week in History – Week of July 25th
Governor Alfred E. Smith made a brief stop in Little Falls, and strolled into the City Hall to renew his friendship with the mayor and other city officials who were at the time attending a meeting of the Grade Crossing Commission. “Hello fellows,” said the state executive, who had his wife and children in tow, as he stepped into the room.
Little Falls threw a street dance for 300 men in the 18th Quartermaster Battalion of the 4th Armored Division who camped overnight on the Middleville Road. The Rhythm Dukes provided music, and about 2,000 Little Falls residents watched or joined in.
Restante’s Dairy Bar at 87 Flint Avenue advertised “a new taste thrill,” their own spumoni ice cream.
Village Trustees contracted with J. Clark Company of Cazenovia for a town clock for $250. It was to be placed in a church designated by the trustees. The clock was to run without winding for eight days, and strike loud enough to be heard two miles away.
The Alumni Association of the Little Falls Academy raised money for the library. The subscription netted over $1,000 and the Regents Department added $500 for the fund.
From the diary of Rev. John Taylor of Deerfield Massachusetts: “… a small village, called Little Falls, by which the canals built in 1795 containing six locks pass. The village is built upon a ledge of rock and promises to be a place of business as to trade. They have a new and beautiful meeting-house, standing 40 rods back on the hill, built in the form of an octagon. The appearance of the falls is sublime.”
Sanford’s Minstrels were at the Temperance Hall. Admission 25 cents.
Farmers who were selling their cheese on Albany Street were ordered off the street by Sheriff Abbott after a couple of residents claimed their teams were a nuisance. After the sellers threatened to go to Utica, better accommodations were found for them on Bridge Street.
Six bicyclists making a 3,741, seven week trip across the country from San Francisco, California to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, stopped today in Little Falls – the 3,445 mile marker. The group is making the ride in support of Habitat for Humanity.
A public spirited citizen, Mr. P. W. Casler, having watched hundreds of boys swimming in the river from the point of Hansen Island, has generously donated some bath houses to be located there. In the name of decency and cleanliness, a small fee might be charged for the use of bathing suits and towels.
It is said that Little Falls has more pneumatic tired carriages than any other place of even double its size in this section of the state.
A grateful community turned out at St. Mary’s church for the funeral of Deloir A. Marco, the first of its boys to make the supreme sacrifice on the battlefields of France, and the first whose body was brought home to its final resting place.
Stones, undoubtedly the walls of the 1796 Octagon Church, were unearthed by workmen employed on a drainage and heating system project for the Church Street School.
The Italian Roman Catholics in Little Falls now have their own parish. The wood-framed church at the northeast corner of East John and South Mary streets was opened today under the leadership of Rev. Anthony Spina.
George Washington toured the upper Hudson Valley, the Saratoga and Lake George areas, and the Mohawk Valley to thank the citizens for their steadfast support and efforts during the Revolutionary War. At the little falls, he allegedly spoke about the need to build a canal to facilitate the movement of men and materials around the rapids. A decade later, the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company canal was built.
Joseph Bonaparte, brother of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived in Little Falls accompanied by his daughter and her cousin, the young Prince Murat, and the usual train of attendants. They stayed at the Little Falls Hotel. Murat and one of the attendants attended church.
The bridge across the Mohawk River at Mr. Finks, which has been under construction, is now ready for use.
Ceremonies were held with the laying of the cornerstone for the new Universalist Church with the Rev. L. Holmes of Orange, Massachusetts installed as the new pastor. A glass jar containing various articles was deposited in a niche prepared for it.
Whether it was the increase in the price paid for cheese, great weather, a bumper hay crop, or something else, the farmers had big night in town. The stores as well as the saloons did a large business. There were many fights and nineteen arrests were made, thirteen by policeman James “Dusty” Long.
The city still has a night watchman, a man who goes around and sees that all the doors are locked: In fact he is the one who “closes up the town.” Sylvanus “Pop” Holmes, a retired Little Falls policeman, is paid by the store owners, and has been on the job for many years.
In a letter to Little Falls Mayor Abram Zoller, Chief of Police James Long listed 23 individuals (including two women) who had entered three Main Street saloons on this Sunday date. Information included time entering and leaving the saloon, and the individual’s addresses.
In a joyous reunion, Mrs. Anthony Lamanna of Little Falls was reunited here with her brother, Vincent Perna of Monteleone, Italy after 53 years. Perna came to Little Falls at age 11, attended Jefferson Street school, but he returned to Italy when he was 18 years old. He has many friends in our city.
Speeders beware – the Little Falls Police Department is testing a new laser radar gun that can track a speeding car 3,000 feet away. According to a police spokesman, “A ton of tickets have been issued in the past three days.”
The boiler exploded at the Little Falls Cotton Factory. Mr. Thomas Stevenson who lived nearby and was having dinner, heard the explosion, went to his door and was crushed to death by the falling boiler. Several women and children were also hurt by falling debris. A Grand Jury determined the cause to be a faulty boiler operated by an inexperienced boiler man.
The water in the Eastern Park reservoir is so impure that the fish in it have all died. This stagnant pool is liable, during the existing hot weather, to breed disease among those who live in the neighborhood.
Frank Gregorka has invented a water bicycle without any plans or drawings, and is testing his odd craft on the canal in Little Falls. The power is supplied by a bicycle frame connected to a 13” propeller by means of bevel gears. The body has two 6 ½ foot floats fastened 3 feet apart.
A count showed 633 out-of-state automobiles went through the city in six hours – a rate of nearly two per minute. The survey was taken for one hour each day for six consecutive days. The states which led the totals were Michigan (92), Ohio (91), Massachusetts (88), and New Jersey (56.) Cars were also from many other states and California, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, D.C., and the Panama Canal Zone.
WW II Era – Two Little Falls garages, Whitcomb on West Lansing Street and R.G. Smith on West Main and Third Streets, went out of business because of restrictions on the sale of autos and the rationing of tires and gasoline.
No One was injured in an accident on the New York Central this afternoon, at milepost 216.30, in which eighteen cars were derailed just east of Second Street in this city. The engine and the first six cars remained upright on the track.
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!