This Week in History – Week of Sept. 20th
The new expansion of the Little Falls Public Library has opened. The addition was beautifully designed to match the architecture of the original building. The opened space allows for the library to display their extensive collections of Little Falls diamonds and other rare collectibles.
With a solemn final toast, “The Last Man’s Club” of Little Falls played out its final chapter and was dissolved. Formed in 1919 by twelve members of the glee club at St. Mary’s Academy, the group met at an annual dinner at Kane’s Tavern to toast deceased members. Phil Wlll uncorked a vintage bottle of 1939 white Bordeaux for the final toast.
The new industrial building erected by D. H. Burrell & Co., facing on Ann Street, is nearly ready for use. It is the company’s intention to improve the adjacent Albany Street property so all company business will be located in one area.
After much discussion and arguing, the Common Council passed a proposition increasing the speed limit of trollies running through Little Falls from five to ten miles per hour.
An old human skeleton was found under a King Street house while workers were excavating for a sewer line. Five coins found in the soil give an approximate date which coincides with the disappearance of a man who had been thought to have left the area according to Chief James Long.
Many hundreds of autos participated in the cavalcade celebrating the opening of the Gorge View highway. State and local officials gave felicitous talks on why it was necessary to carve out the new road, and eliminate the need of passing under the notorious Gulf Bridge.
WW II Era – The first fatal accident occurred on the George View Highway when a milk tanker tipped over in the small park at East Main and Hancock Streets killing an Ogdensburg man.
Richard Ray Ward gave the property for the Church Street Cemetery to the village.
The Farmer’s Club of Little Falls will hold their Sixth Annual Fair one mile west of Little Falls on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. All animals on exhibition will be shown to the proper judges who will award ribbons and monetary prizes to the winners.
The title of “Union School and Academy” will be changed to “Little Falls High School” by the Board of Regents who passed an ordinance changing the names of all public secondary schools to High School. A large delegation of local students will be attending college or normal schools including Williams, Yale, Columbia, Vassar, Oberlin, and Albany, Oswego, Brockport & Geneseo Normal Schools.
The new schoolhouse on Church Street was put into use today. For the past few days the building has received scores of visitors every day, many of whom were little girls who expect to attend school in the new structure.
With the snip of a ribbon and a ride on a bicycle, Senator James Donovan and local resident, James Miller dedicated the new bicycle trail that runs from Railroad Street in the city to Fink’s Basin. Christened the “James Miller Miracle Mile and a Half,” the trail stretches for 1.3 miles along the bed of the abandoned West Shore Railroad tracks. Miller had lobbied for nine years to have the trail built.
There have been three shootings on the south side in the past five days including two murders. The latest was the slaying of John Fuda, who was lured to a lonely spot on German Street (Flint Avenue) and shot in the back of the head. He was last seen walking with two strangers, reportedly from Utica.
Rev. Anthony Spina, organizer and beloved first pastor of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic parish in Little Falls, has been transferred to Schenectady. Father Spina has been in the city for nearly eleven years and founded the Italian congregation here as well as being active in civic affairs.
Approximately 400 of St. Mary’s parishioners and friends assembled for the dedication of the new multi-purpose auditorium-gymnasium that had been erected at the rear of St. Mary’s Academy. Most Rev. Edwin B. Broderick, bishop of Albany was present to bless the building. Rev. Joseph F. Barker was present as pastor. John B. McGuire was toastmaster.
During the evening, Anson Brown, a clerk at the Herkimer County bank, borrowed the key to the bank from Albert Story, cashier, allegedly to draw some money on two small checks. Brown, and two accomplices, removed $72,857 in bank notes, gold, and silver and fled to the Albany area. Caught within 30 hours, all but $810 was recovered.
The 34th Regiment, the pride of Little Falls and Herkimer County, has been literally cut to pieces in a recent battle, and could muster only 32 men. It is hoped to presume, after all stragglers return, they would scarcely number a few hundred men.
Little Falls’ Civil War veterans are looking forward to their twenty year reunion. It promises to be one of the “biggest days” the village has seen in a long, long time. General Priest is furnishing special trains to bring in various musical and marching groups as far away as Sackett’s Harbor.
The Hancock Street syndicate has presented the village with a small triangular piece of ground at the junction of East Main and Handcock streets for a public park.
A meeting was held and eighty- eight subscribers agreed to furnish funds to build an eight sided union church to be known as the Octagon Church. John Porteus donated the land and burial ground for the church as well as twenty pounds. The eight sides of the church denoted that it was intended for all denominations.
In a letter entitled “Dear Posterity,” 33 year old Hon. Arphaxed Loomis wrote a letter which was put in the cornerstone of the Presbyterian Church at the corner of Albany and Ann streets. In it he recounts what was happening in the community, then a small village of 1,300 inhabitants when he was village president.
“The MacKinnon mills have closed, but there is nothing to worry about” said the Evening Times. Soon later, owner Robert MacKinnon, who was earning $90,000 to $120,000 per year filed for bankruptcy, and then lost $110,000 in Mexican Bonds. He went to work in Livingston’s shirt waist company in Little Falls for $25 a week. He died here at the home of his sister.
Former local south side merchant, Louis Malkoon, and his son, Rocco, were found shot to death, at close range, alongside a road in the Town of Frankfort. State Police believe the slayings were a result of a bootleg war. Some local men were quizzed regarding the crime.
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!