This Week in History – Week of May 2nd
A freight train of the Central composed of 135 cars passed through Little Falls. It was probably the longest train ever drawn by one engine, being over a mile in length.
A council of the Knights of Columbus was organized in the old Gymnasium Hall in the McCaley Building in Little Falls. The society has grown greatly in favor among the Catholic people of the area and has a very large membership. 61 candidates were initiated the Major Degree of the Order by Judge John J. Delaney of New York City.
Health Officer Dr. A.B. Santry reported that the small-pox epidemic in Little Falls has ended. Sixty cases were placed under strict quarantine, and guards were on a vigorous watch at each house so others might not be exposed. The epidemic has cost Little Falls more than the textile strike.
Alan N. Vincent of Little Falls was confirmed as a member of the recently established Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The commission’s charter is designed to enhance tourism, education, recreation, and economic development along the more than 500 mile waterway corridor.
A collection of animals were exhibited at the Eagle Tavern, consisting of an elephant, African lions, tiger, serval, cougar, panther, camel, apes, etc. A pretentious menagerie was viewed with keen interest by people from all around the neighborhood.
The Angenvine Natural History Museum was on exhibition in the Public Square (Western Park) in tents set up for the occasion. The show travelled by boat. This was believed to be the first “circus” to visit Little Falls.
A chance is now given Little Falls people to stop paying the heavy royalties on Bell telephones that they have kicking about for years. All they need to do is to stick by the new Interstate Company, and this will be possible.
Chief of Police James Long has returned from Colorado, bringing with him John N. Blair of the town of Little Falls, who is wanted for deserting his wife. He located Blair on a sheep ranch, and arrested him with a warrant charging him for non-support.
Felix Frederiksen , Little Falls native and son of the famous cheese expert Johan Frederiksen, died at age 81. Encouraged by his father, he started a cheese-making business in the city on East Monroe Street, and eventually moved to Minnesota where he became the first to commercially produce bleu cheese.
Demolition continued on a large part of Shopper’s Square to make room for a new 30,500 square foot Price Chopper supermarket. The grocery store will be built on the western end of the site, while the eastern end will undergo renovations. The total cost of the project is $6,459,149.
Nate Bradford reports that 3,091 people took their meals at his hotel. They consumed six hundred pounds of meat, a barrel of coffee, two chests of tea, eight tubs of butter, six barrels of flour, one thousand pounds of sugar, five hundred cans of fruit and vegetables, ten hundred pounds of cheese, besides other provisions such as potatoes, & turnips.
The grand opening of the new Price Chopper supermarket in downtown Little Falls began today and will extend for the next two weeks.
The Herkimer Telephone Company is fitting up an office in the Petrie Block, at the northeast corner of Main and Second Streets. Connections will be had with Utica and there are 25 subscribers. Rates are $40 a year for business places, and $36 for residences.
By a law lately enacted it is made a misdemeanor to throw tacks or broken glass in the way of bicycles. The offense has been committed in Little Falls, and if repeated it will not be well for the person who may be found guilty.
On this day, John Splan was born in Little Falls, and by the age of seven “had a fair notion of a horse.” He hung around local stables and race tracks and ran away from home at a young age. Splan became a very early pioneer in the sport of trotters and became famous throughout the country in racing circles. Many of the training techniques he developed are still in use today.
Men who were engaged in work on the new Grace block on William Street came upon 500 pennies which had been stowed away in the ancient structure for many long years. Some of the pennies dated back as far as 1811 and were of the large sized variety.
An ordinance was passed to change the name Telegraph Street to Mohawk Street and President Street to Jefferson Street.
Mr. and Mrs. George Sanborn, of Utica, visited Little Falls today in the locomobile, a very neat horseless carriage, of the gasoline variety. Its adaptability for climbing our steep streets was shown by a run up Church and Prospect streets.
Pickpockets, operating at the Hippodrome, Gem Theatre, and other public gathering places, have met with much success in the city. Wallets, purses, and watches all have been lifted.
The Little Falls Citizens’ Advisory Committee proposes that the mayor appoint the library trustees.
Mr. Bethune Dodd was appointed by the Presbytery to preach at the Octagon Church. The previous evening, he stayed at the home of John Porteous.
The cannon boomed and the headlines declared “LITTLE FALLS IS A CITY AT LAST” as the New York state legislature approved the charter for the village to become a city. Objections had been made for decades by the three towns from which the city was carved, Manheim, Danube, and Little Falls, because of the loss of tax revenue.
The newly formed Birgir Inc. on West Mill planned to manufacture high-grade caskets and sectional bookcases. Birgir Lundstrom heads the company.
WW II Era – 9,825 sugar ration books were issued, on 10,298 applications, at the four registration centers in the elementary schools of the city.
Because of declining membership, Masonic Lodge No. 181 F&AM of Little Falls will meet no more. It has merged with Lodge No. 796 of Dolgeville. At one time the local lodge had over 350 members and another 173 ladies who belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star. In existence in Little Falls for over 150 years, its last meeting was in December 2003.
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!