Jun 27th


At the request of the Fire & Police Board, Little Falls now has a fully paid fire department, and soon all evidence of a volunteer fire department will be obliterated. Within a few months the much-beset taxpayers were grumbling as the city charter had to be amended to increase the allowance from $10,000 to $12,000. The Board wants the allowance to be $15,000.


A 44 car Conrail freight train struck and killed two Crow Indian brothers just east of Little Falls. The boys – Bobby, 13 and Tyler Billings, 11 – had run away a day earlier from their adoptive parents and family who lived in the idyllic “Burrell’s Mansion” in Little Falls.

Jun 28th


On this date hostilities began between the United States and Great Britain in what became to be known as “The War of 1812.”  The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company canal at Little Falls, with its five locks, experienced high volumes of passage of stores, supplies, and military personnel destined to Lake Ontario to support the war effort.


Authorities are enforcing the law regarding cattle running in the village streets. It is hoped that property owners will take down cattle fences in front of their homes, put in beautiful lawns, and beautify our streets. These changes can be made without danger of four-footed intruders.


Watts T. Loomis has two fine banana trees on the lawn in front of his residence. Quite a new thing for this locality.


Bids will be received today for the construction of a new iron bridge across the Mohawk River at the foot of Ann Street. Bids will also be received for repair of the current stone structure. It is estimated that cost for repair will be one third the cost of a new bridge.


A skeleton was uncovered while workers were excavating for the new addition to the Elk’s home on North Ann Street. The bones were located five feet beneath the surface. Chief of Police Reardon indicated the State Police Laboratory analysis shows the bones were from three or more persons. A doctor’s office was, at one time, located next door to the site.


A fire broke out overnight in the mechanical/carpenter shop at Little Falls Lumber Company on Southern Avenue. Firemen fought the blaze for two hours and continued to fight hotspots for several hours.

Jun 29th


The Presbyterian congregation was organized on this date, and the first elders were chosen in 1813, and the assemblage entered into ecclesiastical connection with the Presbytery of Oneida.  The congregation originally worshiped at the old Octagon church until a brick church was erected in 1842 on the corner of Ann and Albany Streets.


Born in New Hampshire, studied under Daniel Webster, fought in the War of 1812, author of the first history of Herkimer County, longtime Little Falls resident and political activist, Nathaniel S. Benton passed away today at his 1825 home, built by him, on Garden Street. A lawyer, he served as Surrogate of Herkimer County, was a member of the New York State Senate, a U. S. Attorney, amd auditor of the canal department. Benton Hall Academy and Benton’s Landing were named in his honor.


The Board of Education contracted with William Dove for the erection of a new Grade and High School on the site of the Academy and Benton Hall. While work was progressing during the winter, classes were held in Quackenbush Hall.


In a solemn ceremony, Mayor Zoller paid tribute to twenty-three local men who died during service in World War I. Eleven had died from battle wounds and twelve from the flu pandemic.

Jun 30th


“Pirates” on the canal! The crew of the boat “Rising Sun” stole goods from a Canajoharie judge. They were followed up the canal to Little Falls by a constable. After a chase up the Rollway, the constable, with local assistance, arrested the rogues and returned them to Canajoharie. 


Rev. A.V. Dickson, of the A. M. E. Zion church of Little Falls, has made arrangements for a ten day grand old-fashioned colored camp meeting at Wilcox’s Grove. All ground privileges have been sold, and ministers from Washington, Jersey City, Elmira, Oneida, Gloversville, and Troy will be in attendance. A troupe of colored jubilee singers from New York City has been engaged. . Admission is 10 cents.


Two immense greenhouses, each 130 feet by 20 feet, are to be located up-the-hill from D. H. Burrell’s “Overlook Mansion.”  In addition to flowers for decorating the tables and grounds of the estate, rare orchards will be grown under controlled conditions.


The Lift Lock Celebration began for the opening of Lock 17, the highest single lift in the Western Hemisphere at 40 ½ feet. In conjunction with the opening, a mammoth Historical Pageant of the Mohawk Valley and a large parade were held in Little Falls.


The last trolley leaves Little Falls at 10:52 pm, unhonored and unsung, to make the final interurban run between the city and up-valley towns. At the same time, two bus companies inaugurated service between the various communities.


Superintendent of Schools, Joseph S. Horton, retired after over 30 years of service as a chief school administrator and eleven years in the local school system.


Mrs. Catherine Van Allen has purchased the Ford Trask home at 48 North Ann Street for use as a home for the aged. The “St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged” will be operated by Mrs. Van Allen’s son Bill and his wife Theresa. Note: In March 1974 this home and Mrs. Van Allen’s nursing home at 29 Jackson Street both moved to a new facility on upper East Monroe Street.

Jul 1st


There were two taverns in Little Falls, one was the “American House” at the northwest corner of John and Ann streets, and the other “Cranes” on Main Street.


Washington Hall was built at the northwest corner of Mill and Ann streets by S. W. Stimson, and was dedicated to free speech, anti-slavery, and temperance. Many famous people entertained here, including Jenny Lind. And for a time, Catholics and Universalists held services here. After the Skinner Opera house was built on Main Street its popularity declined, and in 1853 it was converted to tenements.


A female baseball club from Brooklyn played a game with a picked nine from Furnace Street. Two of the locals actually knew something about the game; the rest were about as handy with a bat and ball as a goat would be with a typewriter.


Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Davis, with their machinist, arrived by automobile from New York City, on their way to San Francisco. While driving through Main Street, the right rear wheel collapsed. After repair, the “team” continued on to Utica, a run of 22 miles, taking three hours and twenty minutes.


Miss Mabel Richards was appointed librarian. There was a joint public and school library from 1912 to 1930 at which time a separate library was established at the high school. The library moved to the Smith house in January 1912.


Around this date, Reardon and Shults made a home-talent movie for their “Family Theatre” featuring local residents. The leading lady was Jeanette Horton who was employed by the Herkimer County Trust Company. A short-time resident, Mr. Lamke was the leading man, while Chief of Police Long was the heroine’s father. Many other locals resident were in the film.


Anthony Carlisto, president of Little Falls Motel Associates, announced that the name of the Little Falls motel is being changed from “Best Western” to “The Knights Inn.”

Jul 2nd


The “Taylor Driving Park” is the name given the new sporting grounds on the south side on the river, west of the village, in honor of its first president, Oscar Taylor.


The Little Falls Fire Department received national exposure when they tested the new Eastman Nozzle System. The men were able to “throw” a solid two inch deluge stream nearly 100 feet above the MacKinnon factory, against a strong wind, all from one hydrant using only gravity pressure.


The Tri-County Firemen’s Convention was held in Little Falls, and crowds flocked to see the Auto parade.


Cheney Hammer Co., one of Little Falls’ oldest industries, closed its doors today for the last time and 40 people lost their jobs. Collins Company of Connecticut bought the stock. The company began in 1844.


A Rochester corporation, recognizing the unique and rare value of the 1833 old bank building, has expressed interest in purchasing the building, dismantling the structure, stone by stone, and rebuild it in the western part of the state in a historic village similar to the old Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown.


After 1,139 days of construction, construction delays, controversy, and legal issues, the Theodore S. Wind Bridge, connecting the East–West Arterial to the New York State Thruway exit is open. Built at a cost of $13, 665,209 the 2,083 foot bridge is the final link in the arterial system.

Jul 3rd


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.


Everybody is going to the Centennial after haying.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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!