This Week in History – Week of June 13th
It was a big day in Little Falls when veterans of the 34th returned from the War. All the buildings were decorated and people came into town on horseback and in wagons for the big parade. At 11:00 a.m. the trained puffed into the station to happy shouting and cheering – but only about 400 of the 786 returned.
A merry-go-round is now being erected on the vacant lot opposite the north-east corner of Eastern Park, run by the Star Amusement Association. It furnishes a harmless and fascinating entertainment and will be well patronized. Take a ride!
There is sentiment growing for the reunion of those now surviving who first attended school in the old academy building in Little Falls after its completion in 1844. The “Old Guard” wants to gather within the old walls before they are torn down by the hands of improvement which is soon to happen.
Dr. Stephen Ambler Ingham, a practicing physician in Little Falls for over 56 years, has passed away. Many in the city had come to rely on him as their family physician. A life member of the Masonic Lodge, he once served as Health Officer and Coroner. He was a devoted member and officer of the Presbyterian church.
The Safety Bureau of the ICC and the New York State Public Service Commission released their joint, 27 page report deeming that the cause of the April 19th train wreck at Little Falls’ Gulf Curve, resulting in the loss of 31 lives, was “excessive speed on a sharp curve.” Blame was placed squarely on the Engineer, Jesse Earl.
The Elks float won the grand prize in the huge six division Flag Day parade in Little Falls as a part of the local celebration of our nation’s bicentennial. Second place went to the City of Little Falls, and third place was a tie between the Moreland Park Mountain Men and the Polish Community Home.
A grand concert given at the Cronkhite Opera House was undoubtedly the musical event of the season. Appearing were Mr. E. A. Stoddaerd, baritone of New York City, Miss Nellie Bianyelt, mezzo soprano of Brooklyn, Miss Blanche Houghton, Miss Adeline H. Green and Miss Annie Snell.
The Allerton Hotel, a landmark in Little Falls, is being razed to make room for a new up-to-date hotel (Hotel Snyder.) The nucleus of the structure was an old stone dwelling built over one hundred years ago. Always the site of a hotel – the first being the Benton House built by Nathaniel Benton in 1845 and later the Girvan House in 1872.
Seventy-nine motorcycles lined up at the Little Falls Motorcycle Club on South Second Street for the run to Spruce Creek. Messrs. O’Neil and Deyo of Little Falls, hosted a dinner at Hall’s for the motorists and riders in the party.
Around this time, a band of nearly 300 Royalists and Iroquois Indians attacked and destroyed the Petrie grist mill at Little Falls killing several occupants and forcing others into captivity in Canada. The event occurred one year after the Revolutionary War had “unofficially” ended.
Edward Evans purchased the old American House hotel and the Evans House became the headquarters of the Cheese Market.
Improvements have been completed at the Cronkhite Opera House under the direction of a firm from Chicago. The stage has been enlarged, beautiful new scenery and appointments put in place, and the easiest of orchestra chairs installed. The opening performance next week will be “Mikado.”
One of Little Falls’ most recent industries is the plant of Hoffman Paper Company, on West Main Street. High grade tissues are the product of this manufacturer, the outcome of local enterprise and capital. Later known as Burrow’s Paper Co.
The first fatal automobile accident to occur in Little Falls took place near the corner of East Main Street and Waverly Place. A young lad, playing in Ward Square, darted in front of the chauffeur driven auto, was struck and thrown to the ground. He was taken to the hospital and died shortly afterwards.
The end of an era. The last train on the ten mile branch of the Little Falls – Dolgeville Railroad travelled the rails today when the efforts of Herkimer businessman Don Reile came to naught. The spur has been losing money for years and the New York Central finally called it quits.
The first fire company was organized and this was one of the greatest social events in the village.
The grand excursion, by the Gen. Z. C. Priest Steamer Co., to Saratoga Springs from Little Falls, was enjoyed by people from all over the Mohawk Valley. Demand for palace cars exceeded expectations, and extra cars had to be added. General Priest’s private car led the way.
Opposition on the part of property owners to the installation of distribution poles by Bell Telephone linemen has escalated. Mrs. Catherine Fleming confronted the workers with an ax and a crowbar (she was disarmed), a water hose (which was cut), and buckets of water from an upper window. The wet linemen got warrants, Fleming got a lawyer – the pole was installed.
The doors of the new, modern Little Falls National Bank building were opened to the public, and large numbers of people visited the new structure at the corner of West Main and South Ann streets.
The Evening Times proclaimed Barnett’s Tannery in Little Falls as the second largest leather producing plant in the United States. Shortly afterwards, the plant moved to Woburn, Massachusetts. Views differ as to the reason for the move – some say high local taxes, others say the death of the plant manager, Edward White.
Under the name “Talaquega Tribe,” a branch of the Improved Order of Red Men was organized in this village with 39 charter members. Its name is taken from an old Indian name in this locality.
The Interstate Telephone Co. reported that there were 340 telephones in use in Little Falls with the number growing.
“The City Theatre” is the name which Reardon & Shults have decided that Skinner Opera House will be hereafter known.
A ratification meeting was held at Washington Hall on South Ann Street for James K. Polk and George Dallas. Polk was to be elected as the eleventh president of the United States, and during his term of office the territory of the country expanded significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas, the Oregon Territory, and the Mexican Cession.
A blast on Moss Island threw a rock weighing 9 ½ lbs. across the river and through the roof of the E. B. Waite’s paper mill. The rock struck with such force as to break a 3 x 6 rafter in the roof.
Between fifteen hundred and two thousand people gathered at Eastern Park to enjoy the first band concert of the season. The band played a number of selections in first-class style.
A private driveway has been made through the Lansing property, which connects Church and Lansing streets.
The steamboat Titus Sheard, with sixteen aboard, left Little Falls at 1:20 PM for the short voyage to Taylor Driving Park with Van Buren Young at the helm. As it neared the park, the steam engine exploded killing Young and ten others. Heroic efforts by park patrons saved five others including Miss Rhonda Warren, who graduated from the local high school later that week.
Photographs of Little Falls were taken from the air by the Fairchild Aerial Corporation if New York as the machine circled twice around the city. The photos will be used for marketing purposes.
Mrs. Emily E. Jones has been granted an absolute divorce from her husband, Hadley Jones, whose whereabouts are not known. Mrs. Jones, by virtue of the decree, will resume her maiden name, Mrs. Emily E. Neff.
The newly completed Little Falls Country Club is located on ample lands midway between Little Falls and Herkimer. It is an attractive place easily reached at any time by highway or electric road. A great number of the city’s most prominent residents are members.
Distinguished Masons from throughout the state gathered in Little Falls to dedicate the majestic, new Masonic Temple at the corner of Prospect and School streets The building was designed, after the French Medieval Period, by William Neil Smith, Masonic Grand Lodge Master Architect.
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.”
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!
- Little Falls Historical Society
- Times Telegram
- Little Falls, NY
- Little Falls City School District
- Little Falls Hospital
- City of Little Falls
- Little Falls Youth & Family Center
- Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts
- Upstate Venture Connect
- Shop Little Falls, NY
- Preserve Our Past
- The Mohawk Valley Through the Lens
- My Little Falls
- Think Local Little Falls
- Little Falls Public Library