This Week in History – Week of March 8th
The first Little Falls library was incorporated at a meeting at Crane’s Tavern with 30 citizens in attendance. Thomas Smith was elected as chairman.
$250,000 in bonds were voted to begin construction of a municipal waterworks located at Beaver Creek, Klondike, King Springs, and Spruce Creek extending by pipeline 16 miles to Little Falls. Many residents preferred to keep the old pump log system or a private roof-top gravity setup. Total conversion to the new water system is expected by 1889.
Cooney Brothers, harness makers have moved into new quarters, the old Methodist church parsonage.
Mr.William Peck of rural Little Falls, known as the “great American traveler,” has passed away. Noted in many respects, his greatest fad was in making European trips. He made 48 trips across the Atlantic and traveled extensively in Europe. Oftentimes he crossed the ocean and, returned home on the next steamer. Peck was the largest landowner in the county.
A raid at 97 Flint Avenue, by the Dry Enforcement Bureau of Utica, found one of the largest and most complex stills in this section of the state. The still, valued at $30,000, occupied the entire house and was equipped so there were no telltale signs of its operation. Two boilers in the cellar, pipes, condensers, pumps, copper tubing, cookers, and several large vats of mash were dismantled and the debris sold to a junk dealer.
A proposal has been set forth by the New York Central Railroad to solve the grade level problems in the city. Over the years, dozens of people save been killed and scores of others have been injured by passing trains. The proposal calls for two subways, one overhead pedestrian crossing, and a motorcar overhead crossing at Third Street.
Loomis, David, and Elizabeth Burrell gave the Nathaniel Benton house on Garden Street, and $12,000, for its renovation, to the people of Little Falls, for a W.C.A.
The members of the Little Falls Farmers’ Club met at the office of William I. Skinner for their annual meeting. The subject mainly discussed was, “Roots for feeding dairy cows, their cultivations, preservation etc.”
Twenty-three year old Ensign Charles M. Tozer, a graduate of the Little Falls Academy and the Annapolis Naval Academy, is now a member of the United States Navy. Tozer had served on several naval vessels during the Spanish-American War, also served both in Cuba and Alaska and is now on his way to Manila to be a part of Admiral Dewey’s squadron.
A massive fire, of mysterious origin, enveloped the Dasey block and caused extensive water and smoke damage to the big Luries department store, Dasey dry goods store, and Miss Burns’ millinery shop. Losses were estimated at $45,000. Later in the month, Luries had a “Big Fire Sale” selling its entire stock.
The Victor Adams Hose Company, No. 1 of Little Falls was the Champion Drill Squad of New York State.
The Ellice Estate sold the lot at the southwest corner of Albany and Mary streets to the Baptist Association for a new church.
A cattle yard has been established by the railroad company near the Fifth Street crossing for the accommodation of loading and unloading sheep, swine, cows, etc.
The bell of St. Mary’s church was badly cracked by the recent frost, which will necessitate its being recast. In consequence the sexton rings it but a little.
A new game called “basket ball” was played in the Little Falls gymnasium.
The Little Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Little Falls Auto Club are going to try the experiment of an auto show. The event is attracting considerable interest, and all of the space at the Y.M.C.A. has been taken for the autos and accessories.
The first Post Office truck, an army surplus G.M.C., arrived in Little Falls today. The truck had no starter so the driver would back up a hill, and use gravity to start the truck when next used. An alternative was to never turn the truck off during business hours.
Razing of the old New York Central repair shop west of the Ann Street crossing brought to an end in what is believed to have been the oldest building in the city. The structure was built about 1792 as a terminal on the initial canal for the Western Inland Navigation Company.
P.W. Casler & Co. announced that their new sawmill, planing mill, and dry kilns on the south side of the river are in operation, and the company is prepared to furnish building material of all kinds promptly and at the lowest prices. Saw dust is also for sale.
Thinking that her ten year-old daughter had been insulted and threatened, Mrs. Tony LaVista shot Carmelo Thamberro in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver. District Attorney Ward is busy trying to see if there is not something under the surface.
A 1928 Essex sedan could be bought at the P.E. Whitcomb Ford dealership for $25. A 1930 Willys roadster was $50.
A letter from the Chairman of the Little Falls Citizens’ Advisory Committee to Mayor Wind suggests that the city discontinue funding the Little Falls Public Library.
To attract skilled craftsmen to settle in Little Falls, it was determined that an improved road was needed. On this date, Porteous received a letter from Albany informing him that the Senate, led by Southern members, had defeated a bill for road work at the little falls. They claimed the treasury was too low for such projects.
By an act of the New York State legislature, commissioners were appointed and the Herkimer County National Bank was organized and located in the village of Little Falls. Commissioners included Nathaniel Benton, Dudley Burwell, Arphaxed Loomis, and David Petrie. It was opened in the Beattie House at the corner of Main and William streets on August 24th , and moved in December to the new bank building.
At Taylor’s Jewelry Store, Ladies’ gold watches are on sale at $30 to $50, and Gents’ gold watches from $50 to $100. Also offered are gold chains, necklaces, lockets, wedding rings, and diamond rings. The advertisement screams, “the fact is, tjmes are hard and money scarce” – “we offer our entire stock at a great reduction in price.”
WW II Era – LIFE magazine has decided to make Little Falls the locale for a feature on “A Small City at War.” Former resident Ann Marcus (Dorothy Ann Goldstone) and famed photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt plan to devote several pages to photos and narrative from this city. (The war ended before the article could be published.)
Another famous Little Falls landmark is soon to vanish from the Main Street scene. The venerable clock provided by the Herkimer County Trust Company on the corner of the Burrell Building is being taken down today. The old clock was erected in 1918.
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!