This Week in History – Week of Mar. 20
John Porteus passed away, and his son-in-law, William Alexander, took over management of the Ellice Estate, and replaced Porteus as Postmaster.
The Baptist church in this village, a fine stone edifice, was solemnly dedicated today. The Rev. E. Galusha delivered an appropriate discourse to the extensive congregation present.
Henry Cheney and Silas W. LeRow moved their hammer manufacturing operation from Fly Creek to the former fulling and carding mill of William Ingham in Little Falls.
Although open for four months, the Little Falls hospital, at 14 North Ann Street, became a legal entity, after two years of hard work on the part of a group of spirited women intent on improving the health of the community’s people. Two years later the facility moved to larger quarters at 610 Monroe Street.
From all indications Little Falls will witness a building boom in 1897. Robert MacKinnon will build a new five story factory for knit goods. Other new construction projects planned are at the Stacy Company on John Street, Irving Snell a factory on Albany Street, improvements at the electric works, and an addition to the Barnett tannery for the manufacture of russet leather.
According to a state study, Little Falls had one restaurant liquor license for every 218 inhabitants. Albany’s ratio was one to 422, Syracuse’s one to 462, and Buffalo’s one to 465.
Gordie Douglas, 19, signed a contract with the New York Yankees to play with the Class D Olean team. He was the first Little Falls player to sign with organized baseball since Ray Shepardson in 1924.
One of Little Falls’ oldest established industries, the Gilbert Knitting Company, has been sold. Arthur Van der Gracht, retiring president, and Mr. Maxwell Schultz made the joint announcement. Mr. Schultz and Mr. Charles Frost, both of New York City represent the new owners. Mr. Schultz will conduct the affairs of the company as president.
Three businesswomen from Canal Place, Gail Hammond, Jayne Ritz, and Linda Vincent, joined forces to create a “Community Heritage Garden” along the western boundary of Sterzinar Park in Canal Place. Perennial plants were collected or donated by gardeners and organizations in the city for the project.
A strong hope was indulged that after petitioning for a bank at this place for the last ten years, and after frequent favorable reports that our wants would be gratified, but when it came to a showdown it was killed, the reason of a result so unexpected and injurious to our interest, is supposed to be the ungenerous opposition from the Village of Herkimer.
“The man who was seen walking off with the Thermometer in front of No. 5 Keller Block, will please return it to its nail, and no questions asked.” – Newspaper advertisement by George Keller
After being a thorn in the city’s side for the last ten years, the Allegro Shoe Company’s six story, 140,000 square foot building on South Ann Street is coming down. One of the largest shoe manufacturers in the nation, and a major employer in the city for many years, the company fell victim to cheap foreign imports. In 1974 the company moved to a smaller facility in the Little Falls Industrial Park.
Almost half of the City of Little Falls is tax exempt. The state Board of Equalization and Assessment reported a 42.8% exempt ratio for the city, with 110 properties totally exempt; and 506 partially exempt, out of a total of 2,189 properties. Statewide the exempt ratio is 33%, and for Herkimer County 27.1%.
The Slovenian Home, first formed in 1905 as a cultural, social, and beneficial society, became incorporated under New York State law on this date. The members had immigrated to Little Falls from the Slovenia area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Leon Dussault, born in Little Falls in 1895, and co-owner of the “Journal & Courier” printing company, died on this date. Mr. Dussault founded the Little Falls Symphony Orchestra in 1927, and conducted the exceptional ensemble of local and area musicians through its final concert in 1971. National and international acclaimed performers frequently appeared with the orchestra.
The former Andy’s Grill on Loomis Street, a long-time bar and meeting place in the Manheim section of Little Falls, is no more. As a part of Urban Renewal, the property has been turned into a residence for which applications are being made from first-time home owners.
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!
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