The Historians

Bob Cudmore

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The Historians is a weekly audio interview podcast that features authors and other guests who discuss the rich heritage of the Mohawk Valley NY region and the nation.

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1357 episodes

Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 35 degrees with light rain in The City of Amsterdam at 6:30AM-Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, February 23, 2024-A chance of rain and snow before 9am, then a slight chance of rain between 9am and 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West wind 5 to 9 mph. Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind 8 to 14 mph. Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 39. West wind 5 to 8 mph. *   * The Bob conversation with Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. *   *  From award-winning photojournalist Richard Frishman comes a collection of photographs documenting America’s history of segregation, slavery, and institutional racism hidden in plain sight, accompanied by hard-hitting personal essays from University of Virginia professor of sociology and Black culture B. Brian Foster and with a foreword by National Book Award winner Imani Perry *  Read The Daily Gazette this weekend for the Bob Cudmore story about "The Rose Hill Folly Company" , by the way, it is The Sunday Story here on The Historians * Two Amsterdam clergymen had concerns and wanted Mayor John Dwyer to do something about it... * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Feb 23
it's hard to forget

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 31 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:55AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, February 22, 2024-A chance of showers, mainly after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Tonight Showers likely, mainly after 2am. Cloudy, with a low around 32. East wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Friday A chance of rain and snow showers before 8am, then a chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. *   *   *  Read The Daily Gazette this weekend for the Bob Cudmore story about "The Rose Hill Folly Company" , by the way, it is The Sunday Story here on The Historians * Two Amsterdam clergymen had concerns and wanted Mayor John Dwyer to do something about it... * Ready to post for tomorrow, Friday, February 23, 2024 Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. *  From award-winning photojournalist Richard Frishman comes a collection of photographs documenting America’s history of segregation, slavery, and institutional racism hidden in plain sight, accompanied by hard-hitting personal essays from University of Virginia professor of sociology and Black culture B. Brian Foster and with a foreword by National Book Award winner Imani Perry *   * Pacelli book has show biz memories By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History printed November 2008(that's history as well) * The ? you see is a computer thing...an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to. Just one page from local historian Tony Pacelli�s 1987 book �Past and Present� is full of memories. Pacelli wrote a nostalgia column for the Recorder. Pacelli recalled actress Lucille Bremer, an Amsterdam native who lived on Forbes Street and then in Rockton growing up. Bremer became a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and was a dancer at New York City�s Club Versailles. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer producer Arthur Freed spotted Bremer and signed her to a movie contract. She made her screen debut as Judy Garland�s sister in �Meet Me in St. Louis� in 1944. She also teamed with Fred Astaire in the MGM musical �Ziegfeld Follies.� Later she appeared with Astaire in �Yolanda and the Thief.� Her film career ended by 1950 and she died in 1996 in California. City native George J. Newkirk told Pacelli that when the circus came to Amsterdam, he and other local children used to sit on a wall at the foot of Vrooman Avenue and watch the parade go by. He remembered seeing Buffalo Bill driving mustangs pulling a wagon. Movie cowboy Tom Mix was behind Buffalo Bill on Mix�s famous horse Tony. Newkirk said he practically lived at the Orpheum Theatre on Market Street, especially enjoying serials starring Ruth Roland, Pearl White and the two-gun cowboy, William S. Hart. Another topic was a tribute to two Amsterdam polka bands of the 1930s and 1940s. Paul Kay�s band had John Rackowski on piano, plus musicians Dan Conti, Ed Klobukowski, Steve Bassel, Steve Adamowski, Joe Krupa and Sam Santo. Santo played banjo, not a common instrument in a polka band. Pacelli also mentioned Walt Krupa�s band with Krupa�s brothers Joe and Ralph. Pacelli remembered World War II Victory Gardens developed in Amsterdam by the Ciskanow brothers�John, Vincent, Charles and Joseph. The land was in the East End near the Mohawk River, north of the old city incinerator. A spring on the land was used to water the plants. USING VEGETABLES Paying customers in old Amsterdam did not hesitate to show their disapproval of substandard performances at the city�s Opera House. O�Neil�s Grocery was on the north side of Main Street in the late 19th century, opposite the Opera House. According to historian Hugh Donlon, Opera House patrons loaded up on discarded vegetables before show time and showed disapproval by hurling rotten tomatoes at the stage. In his book �Annals of a Mill Town,� Donlon wrote that the hard to please Amsterdam audiences made the city a prime spot to try out Broadway shows. The East Main Street facility was first called the Neff Opera House in 1882. �Uncle Tom�s Cabin� was seen there, featuring a street parade with real bloodhounds. John Philip Sousa�s band played the house, as did presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan and boxer John L. Sullivan. In 1887, George H. McClumpha took over management of the facility. Part of the Opera House was transformed into Lurie's Department Store in the 1900s. Donlon wrote that when Lurie's was torn down in the 1970s, a chandelier from the Opera House was found along with theatrical posters still glued to the stairways. MEAL TICKET Amsterdam native Richard Ellers of Ohio is on a mission to find an Amsterdam meal ticket. Orsini's Royal Restaurant, for example, offered a meal ticket for $4.50 that was worth $5 in food in the 1930s and 1940s. Ellers would borrow the ticket to make a copy or be happy with a photocopy. CORRECTION The artist who restored the murals in Amsterdam's Post Office in 1974 was misidentified in a recent column. The artist's name is Luci Suhr of Amsterdam. * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Feb 22
it's still called The South Side of Amsterdam

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 17 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:11AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Wednesday, February 21, 2024-Sunny, with a high near 42. Calm wind. Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. East wind 3 to 6 mph. Thursday A slight chance of showers after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 42. *   * *  Read The Daily Gazette this weekend for the Bob Cudmore story about "The Rose Hill Folly Company" * Lincoln and Amsterdam By Bob Cudmore From The Gazette 2012 A new movie is focusing attention on Abraham Lincoln and his political skills after being elected to a second term. Lincoln carried both the town of Amsterdam and Montgomery County in 1860. Lincoln trailed General George McClellan by 391 votes in Montgomery County in the 1864 election, although Lincoln did carry the town of Amsterdam by 131 votes that year. Lincoln's funeral train stopped in Amsterdam at 5:25 p.m. on April 26, 1865 on its way back to Illinois. The Lincoln funeral train was tremendous publicity for embalming. Embalming had become popular in the Civil War as the way to preserve fallen soldiers who had to be transported hundreds of miles home. Amsterdam woodworker Isaac S. Shuler started making coffins in 1862 and after the Civil War was the first to begin offering local undertaking services. When Shuler died, his undertaking business was taken over by W. Max Reid. Reid was a business booster who helped found the Board of Trade. Reid is also remembered as a historian for his 1901 book, The Mohawk Valley. Awards from the Historic Amsterdam League are called Maxies in Reid's honor. OUTHOUSE REPAIR Old Fort Johnson historic site is home to one of America's oldest outdoor toilets. The elegant privy was built in the 1700s and was restored to its former glory several years ago. Site manager Scott Haefner said the privy started to float during flooding from Hurricane Irene in 2011, and then tipped on its side. Santos Construction of Amsterdam donated its services to lift the privy upright. Haefner and Alessa Wylie of Old Fort Johnson said that in 2013 an effort will be made to clean the inside of the historic two hole outhouse, which is caked with mud from the flood. Many colonists and early American leaders used the privy, possibly including Aaron Burr who considered buying the residence and George Washington .who visited the Mohawk Valley at the close of the Revolutionary War. WHEEL OF LIFE A few years before World War II, Mohawk Carpet Mills showed a flair for the dramatic and displayed artistic skill in making The Wheel of Life, perhaps the most spectacular carpet ever produced in Amsterdam. It took 16 weavers eight months to create the Chenille carpet for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. Amsterdam memorabilia collector Tom Foster wonders whether the carpet was created primarily to show off the skills of the designers and factory hands in Amsterdam. The carpet depicts graphic and colorful scenes showing the progress of man from birth through death. The center design containing six picture groups was 18 feet in diameter. The carpet was installed in 1938 and covered a mosaic depicting the same scenes designed by French art deco artist Louis Rigal. The carpet weighed 850 pounds and was delivered to the hotel by a telephone pole trailer because of its size. It arrived in New York City in the early morning to avoid traffic. The carpet was removed several years later, uncovering the hotel's original Rigal mosaic. The mosaic is still there in the Waldorf Astoria's Park Avenue lobby. After it left the hotel, the carpet went on tour. A 1946 newspaper ad promoted that a Spokane, Washington store was displaying the Wheel of Life. The ad said the carpet covered 333 square feet and used 15 million wool tufts in 69 colors. Mohawk Mills displayed a large photo of the Wheel of Life at an industry convention in 1948 in Lake Placid. What happened to the carpet itself is not known. Today color prints of the Wheel of Life are offered for sale online. * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Feb 21
at the very end

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 13 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:10AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Tuesday, February 20, 2024-Sunny, with a high near 35. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon. Tonight Mostly clear, with a low around 15. East wind 3 to 6 mph. Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 42. Buy the way, look in The Daily Gazette this weekend for the story about "The Rose Hill Folly Company" *   *   * This Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-The Bob conversation with Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. A story for a cold Tuesday in February * Little Hollywood in Amsterdam By Bob Cudmore Paul Russo, who now lives in Johnstown, grew up in Hollywood, sometimes called Little Hollywood. That was the name for a residential neighborhood in Amsterdam apparently built primarily for middle managers employed at Bigelow Sanford Carpets. Little Hollywood is off Locust Avenue and connected to Forest Avenue by Second Avenue, which bridges the North Chuctanunda Creek. Russo wrote, Many of my neighbors were employees of Bigelow Sanford; however that was probably true of any neighborhood in Amsterdam. The streets are not named for movie stars but for American presidents: McKinley, Harrison, Garfield, Taft, Roosevelt and Hayes. Interestingly, there is a Hollywood Road in the vicinity but not in Little Hollywood. Hollywood Road is near Amsterdam High School off Miami Avenue in the town of Amsterdam. John C. Gilston, a descendant of the family that owned the John J. Turner & Sons construction company, said that the Turner firm built Hollywood. From 50 to 75 houses were constructed on land that once was part of the old Vedder farm. Gilston said the project is mentioned in journals kept by one of John J. Turner's sons, Richard E. Turner. John J. Turner died in 1924. Richard took over the construction business following the death of his older brother John P. Turner in 1927 and kept a detailed journal for many years. Richard E. Turner, who was deaf, headed the firm until his death in 1940 at age 56. He was owner of the Amsterdam Rugmakers baseball team and an accomplished photographer. Richard and his brother Thomas A. Turner are credited with building Wilbur H. Lynch school, the Century Club and other Amsterdam landmarks plus the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs. In earlier years, skilled workers from the Turner firm spent four years renovating the mansion owned by the carpet-making John Sanford family on Church Street, now Amsterdam City Hall. Turner construction crews also built Bigelow Sanford's Clock Building, the trolley car power station in Tribes Hill and a number of buildings for General Electric in Schenectady and Pittsfield, Massachusetts. STONE QUARRY Russo said, I'd also like to find out a bit of the history of the abandoned stone quarry (where I played as a kid) off of what is now Second Avenue Extension. That area was just a cinder path when I was young. I remember being quite upset with my mother when I found out that she had signed a petition requesting that the path be paved to provide access to Forest Avenue. CHRISTMAS EVE Christmas Eve is an important occasion for many of Amsterdam's ethnic groups. The grandchildren of community leader Michael J. Wytrwal remember Christmas Eves when the needy always found a seat at the family table. Wytrwal and his wife Josephine lived in a two-family home at 26 Cornell Street near St. Stanislaus Church. Wytrwal was a founder of the Polish National Alliance in Amsterdam and fostered creation of businesses on Reid Hill including a coal and oil company, a bank, drugstore and furniture store. One grandchild said Wytrwal, eloquent in both Polish and English, was a broker between the Polish-speaking community and the English-speaking power structure. He was a role model for granddaughter Mary Anne Krupsak, whose parents operated the family's pharmacy. Krupsak, who went on to be Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1974, ate lunch at her grandparent's home every day when she attended St. Stanislaus School. Krupsak saw a constant parade of people seeking assistance from her grandfather. Josephine Wytrwal died in 1956. When Michael Wytrwal died in 1970, the Recorder editorialized that he was likeable, friendly, considerate, a progressive in the finest sense of the word. Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Feb 20
No Sir. Just Bill Johnson

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 21 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:30AM-Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Sunday, February 18, 2024-Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. West wind 7 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Tonight A chance of snow showers, mainly before 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind 13 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Washington's Birthday Sunny, with a high near 28. * New this Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. * How William Johnson Made His Bones By Bob Cudmore    What made William Johnson important in Colonial America especially with his British overlords?     You might borrow a phrase made popular by Godfather movies and Sopranos TV shows that Johnson “made his bones” by defeating the French who attacked him in the Battle of Lake George in 1755.    Johnson was already doing well financially and culturally.  The Irish born immigrant had prospered in the fur trade and built a substantial stone home called Fort Johnson in 1749, today a significant and locally operated museum, Old Fort Johnson.    By 1755 the British and their native allies were fighting the French and their native allies for dominance in North America.    Johnson commanded a force of three thousand fighters from four colonies, 250 Mohawk Indian warriors and one British officer, according to historian Mark Silo.    The objective of Johnson’s expedition was to attack the French Fort St. Frederic at Crown Point on Lake Champlain.  Fort St. Frederic was France’s southernmost base.  From it they launched raids against towns in New York and New England.     Johnson’s army cleared a road and made camp at the southern end of what the British called Lake George and the French called Lac du Saint Sacrement.    Johnson sent a thousand of his soldiers to relieve Fort Edward.    The French attacked this smaller group of Johnson’s forces about three miles from Lake George in an ambush called the Bloody Morning Scout.  Colonel Ephraim Williams from New England and Mohawk King Hendrick were among those killed.    Silo said the survivors reeled back to Lake George while the men camped at the lake threw up a small defensive breastwork.   “They grabbed logs, they grabbed wagons, they grabbed boats,” Silo said.  The breastworks gave soldiers something to hide behind to shield themselves from enemy fire.   Silo spent the summer mapping out Johnson’s battle lines for the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance.    One source for finding locations in the Battle of Lake George was a painting that Silo said was drawn by an artist who observed the fighting.    This October Silo plans to speak at the Fort Plain Museum’s conference on the American Revolution.  He doubts he will do a book since so much is already in print about the Lake George battle.    He got a lot of strange looks from people who were camping when he “poked through” taking notes on his iPad for his research on the Lake George battle lines.    Silo said Johnson had little military experience before this battle.  The limited victory made Johnson the first British hero of the war with France.    British King George II was pleased and made Johnson a baronet in recognition of his victory, which made him “Sir” William Johnson.  Parliament awarded Johnson 5,000 pounds, a substantial sum.    Britain had its losses but won the war.  The 1763 – Treaty of Paris awarded all French possessions east of the Mississippi, except New Orleans, to the British.  By then Sir William Johnson had built a larger home which is now a state historic site in Johnstown.    Mark Silo is a native of Yonkers who relocated to Albany as a civil engineer with the state Department of Transportation. He is a volunteer for the Lake George Battlefield Park Visitor Interpretive Center.   Silo is also author of “The 115th New York in the Civil War,” the history of a local volunteer Civil War regiment.    He was attracted to the topic because his mother-in-law had ancestors who fought with the 115th regiment.    Silo and his wife Kathy split their time between their home in Loudonville, a log cabin on the Schroon River near Lake George and other bucket list locations. Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Feb 19
How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 31 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:05AM-Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, February 16, 2024-WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON...WHAT...West winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. WHERE...The southern Adirondacks, Mohawk Valley, Helderbergs, Schoharie Valley and the eastern Catskills. WHEN...Until 1 PM EST this afternoon. IMPACTS...Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects. *   * * Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that relate to people today. * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * Tomorrow in Print  * The Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder  * * * * * * * * * * How William Johnson Made His Bones By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History  What made William Johnson important in Colonial America especially with his British overlords? ...and A Friday Story from Bob Postcard gives a view of Lion's Head in Amsterdam By Bob Cudmore "2004" It may not be as famous as New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain, but Amsterdam has its own unusual rock formation, Lion's Head. Town of Amsterdam postcard collector Jerry Snyder provided the image of the rock that accompanies today's column. This is the only full view I have ever seen of the Lion's Head, Snyder wrote. Every other one is just an oval of the center portion and is called Lion Rock. Based on the topography of the area, I would believe it either could be somewhere on the South Chuctanunda out toward Mudge Hollow, or possibly on the Chuctanunda between Harrowers and Hagaman. If it still exists, I'd like to know the location so I can photograph it as it appears today. Two separate creeks named Chuctanunda go through Amsterdam on their way to opposite shores of the Mohawk River. In his local history book, Hugh Donlon said Chuctanunda is an Indian word meaning. Twin Streams. However, a publication issued by the Noteworthy Company in 1979 stated that Chuctanunda means shelter or stone house. On the north side of the Mohawk is the Chuctanunda Creek, the fast-flowing body of water that powered the city's early mills. The South Chuctanunda Creek is an overflow of Mariaville Lake and enters the Mohawk from the South Side of Amsterdam. Mudge Hollow is about a mile from the mouth of the South Chuctanunda and was named for a family who were early settlers in the Town of Florida. Jean Amy Swenson of Amsterdam located the Lion's Head rock formation last winter for a friend who also had procured a postcard of the unusual outcropping. Swenson said Lion's Head is visible to the left of a bridge over the South Chuctanunda near the end of Florida Avenue on the South Side. Swenson said the rock formation is barely visible looking to the left of the bridge at this time of year. In winter, the view is better. She said it appears the Lion's Head has deteriorated from the time the postcards were issued. Her family used to picnic in the area at a place called Lembke's Grove. Yankee Hill Another reader would like more information on the history of Yankee Hill on the South Side of Amsterdam, in the vicinity of the South Chuctanunda Creek. The correspondent lives near the intersection of Florida and Hover avenues. When I was a kid, we found flint arrow heads down by the creek, which was a playground, nature study and swimming hole for us kids, she wrote. My son found an old army lock and we pulled a lead ball out of an old tree. Not knowing if there value to any of this stuff, it was lost through the years. Once Niagara Mohawk dug to put in a line on Hover Avenue and they dug up a perfect clay jug. They gave it to my mom but I don't know what happened to that either. I'm sure there's much history on Yankee Hill and South Chuctanunda Creek. From 1891 to 1915, there were five drownings reported in the Erie Canal lock at Yankee Hill, according to newspaper headlines from The Recorder on Frank Yunker's www.mohawkvalleyweb.com history database. In 1911, the canal boat Marion Murray sank in the lock with a load of lumber and hay. Three train-pedestrian fatalities were reported at the Yankee Hill rock cut on the West Shore Railroad during the same time period. There was a freight train wreck on Yankee Hill in 1918 and landslides that blocked the railroad there in 1903 and 1920.

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Feb 16
A story from "The Hill"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 18 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:10AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, February 15, 2024-A chance of snow, mainly after 4pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 34. West wind 5 to 8 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Tonight Snow, mainly before 2am. Low around 26. Windy, with a southeast wind 8 to 13 mph becoming west 19 to 29 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Friday A chance of snow showers, mainly before 7am. Partly sunny, with a high near 34. Breezy, with a west wind 16 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. NWS * Wind Advisory in effect from February 15, 10:00 PM EST until February 16, 01:00 PM EST https://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=NYZ040&warncounty=NYC057&firewxzone=NYZ208&local_place1=Amsterdam%20NY&product1=Wind+Advisory&lat=42.9387&lon=-74.1882 Winter Weather Advisory in effect from February 15, 01:00 PM EST until February 16, 01:00 PM EST https://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=NYZ040&warncounty=NYC057&firewxzone=NYZ208&local_place1=Amsterdam%20NY&product1=Winter+Weather+Advisory&lat=42.9387&lon=-74.1882 Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/ * * * * * * * * * * Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder this Weekend How William Johnson Made His Bones By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History  What made William Johnson important in Colonial America especially with his British overlords? A Thursday Story-Focus on History from March 2004 Preserving Fort Johnson The Montgomery County Historical Society Bob Cudmore More than a century after the pro-British Johnson family fled the Mohawk Valley because of the American Revolution, a local organization took the lead in preserving Old Fort Johnson, a fortified home built by Sir William Johnson in 1749. The Montgomery County Historical Society formed in 1904. The private, non profit group met regularly at the new Amsterdam Free Library, which charged the historical association five dollars a month. The original goal was to establish a museum in Amsterdam but Old Fort Johnson, a mile west of the city, soon became the focus. In 1904, carpet maker Stephen Sanford purchased a collection of arrowheads, tools and other Native American artifacts from A.S. Richmond and Samuel Frey of Canajoharie. This collection is still on display at the fort. At the time, farmer and lawyer Ethan Akin owned the historic building. Ethan's son Theron, a dentist, led the drive to name the surrounding community the Village of Akin. Theron Akin was elected to Congress, moved to Amsterdam and spent four tumultuous years as mayor of the Carpet City. Later, the community around the fort was renamed Fort Johnson. In 1905, the Society contracted to buy the fort from the Akin family for $5900. Amsterdam merchant W. Max Reid found a benefactor to put up the money, Major General John Watts DePeyster of Tivoli, New York. DePeyster was the grand nephew of Lady Mary Watts Johnson, wife of Sir John Johnson, Sir William's son. Stephen Sanford came up with a $15,000 endowment in 1906 and a committee of women furnished the fort. A 1770s era carriage house became the home of the first caretakers, Alpha and Helen Child. In 1915, Mrs. Fred Greene was elected the Society's first woman president, one of the first women in the state to head an historical society. In 1919, $100 was spent on a pageant depicting the life of Sir William Johnson. The New York State Historical Association described it as the most elaborate historical pageant ever seen in the Mohawk Valley. In 1937, the Society decided to charge a 25-cent adult admission; children got in for a dime. The fee was discontinued during World War Two and today a two-dollar donation is encouraged. Charles E. French was a charter trustee of the Society in 1904, serving until his death in 1964 at the age of 93. French, president of Amsterdam Savings Bank, was the son of Samuel French, a Civil War Army surgeon from the Binghamton area who settled in Amsterdam. Samuel French was instrumental in securing $25,000 from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to build the city library in 1903. In 1965, Rebecca Morris Evans became Society president and, in the 1970s, restored the fort to reflect the period when Sir William Johnson lived there. Evans secured National Historic Landmark status for the building in 1974. Samuel and Lily Canavan became caretakers in 1959. A native of Northern Ireland, Sam Canavan also worked as custodian at the savings bank, where his energy and style impressed bank president and Historical Society board member Charles French. Canavan's daughter, Joan Canavan Los, said her father would sometimes break into poetry when leading tours of the fort. Lily Canavan died in 1980 and Sam Canavan moved back to Ireland in 1983 where he died in 1994. The Old Fort opens for the season on May 15. Events are planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the Historical Society. On May 16th, Cecilia Brauer will present a program on a sweet sounding 18th century glass instrument that was invented and named by Benjamin Franklin, the armonica. Information for this story was provided by Alessa Wylie and Scott Haefner of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

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Feb 15
This time 2011

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 26 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 5:53AM-Wednesday, February 14, 2024-Mostly sunny, with a high near 30. Tonight  Mostly clear, with a low around 17. ThursdayA slight chance of snow before 3pm, then a slight chance of rain and snow between 3pm and 4pm, then a chance of snow after 4pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 35.  Mohawk Valley News   * * * * * * * * * * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * * Read Bob Cudmore’s Focus on History column Saturdays in Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder. How William Johnson Made His Bones By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History this Saturday, February 17, 2024  What made William Johnson important in Colonial America especially with his British overlords? A Wednesday Story from 2004 *   * Judge F. Walter Bliss---champion of the Upstate New York taxpayer By Bob Cudmore This month marks the 75th anniversary of a landmark decision in a lawsuit brought by the Board of Assessors of the town of Gilboa against the Board of Water Supply of New York City * . Two Schoharie County lawyers, F. Walter Bliss of Middleburgh and Wallace H. Sidney of Central Bridge, argued Gilboa's case. Their legal victory has provided millions of dollars in tax revenue to Upstate New York communities. * The Gilboa dam and reservoir had been constructed by impounding the Schoharie Creek in the 1920s with the assumption that New York City would pay local property taxes on the facility. After all, according to Bliss, his native village of Gilboa itself had been torn down and thus taken off the tax rolls for the reservoir. * New York City argued that the State Legislature had passed a law saying the aqueducts bringing Upstate water to the metropolis were tax-free. Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County was not paying taxes, why should Gilboa be different? * As the case dragged on for almost six years, Bliss and Sidney took a drastic step. They advertised Gilboa Dam was for sale for back taxes! * Years later Bliss, who had been a pilot in World War I, said he was relieved when the city won a court order stopping the sale, What we would have done with a dam built across the valley and river, impounding 22 billion gallons of water I do not know. * In 1929, Supreme Court Justice Ellis J. Staley ruled in favor of Gilboa, saying the dam and reservoir were more than an aqueduct and thus subject to local taxes. Since 1929, New York City has paid an estimated $88 million in taxes to Schoharie County and Gilboa. The ruling also served as a precedent, financially benefiting Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties where New York City reservoirs are also located. * Back in 1929, though, there was concern on the part of the town for the bill submitted by Bliss and Sidney. Bliss asked for $21,500 and Sidney, an older and more established attorney, asked for a somewhat larger amount. We were ultimately paid in full, Bliss said, after noting that the town clerk who had objected to his bill had been the midwife at his birth. Sidney had served in the Assembly. Bliss became a judge and was once considered for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He died at the age of 90 in 1982. * In 1930, Bliss was appointed to the state Supreme Court by then Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. At 38, he was the youngest Supreme Court Justice. * He was then elected to a full 14-year term, presiding over the second indictment and second trial of the notorious Jack Legs Diamond in 1930 and 1931. In 1933, Governor Herbert Lehman appointed Bliss to the Appellate Division bench, where he served until 1945. A Democrat in a solidly Republican district, Judge Bliss was not reelected. His defeat was a loss to the people, according to Irving Lehman, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. In 1950, Judge Bliss was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination at the state convention in Rochester. *   * He was supported by Upstate delegates and nominated by Cobleskill Assemblyman Sharon J. Mauhs, who served as Conservation Commissioner in the administration of Averill Harriman. Mauhs son Peter, today a Cobleskill attorney, described Judge Bliss as the most prominent judge from our area. * Judge Bliss continued to practice law in Schoharie County to the day of his death. The library at the county courthouse is named in his honor. Most of the books in the library are from his personal collection.

1s
Feb 14
October 31, 2015

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 32 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:06AM-Tuesday, February 13, 2024-Cloudy, with a high near 40. Tonight A chance of snow showers, mainly between midnight and 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. West wind 8 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Blustery, with a northwest wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. *   * *   * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * AMSTERDAM — St. Mary’s Healthcare will provide free cancer screenings to eligible area residents for the next five years through a $1.1 million grant from the state Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program (CSP). *   * The Tuesday Story *   * The winter of 1958 By Bob Cudmore Snow disrupted life in the Mohawk Valley in February 1958. For four days a U.S. Army helicopter evacuated isolated families and brought in food, fuel and medicine to Charleston. There were about 100 rescues in rural Montgomery County. Grateful families provided plow operators with coffee and food. Some farmers had to dump spoiled milk. Amsterdam city schools closed for a week. According to the Recorder a mid-February snowstorm deposited 27 inches of the white stuff on top of a nine inch snowfall the week before. High winds tossed the snow into drifts as high as ten feet and "blocked most roads in Montgomery County." In Scotch Church on the border between Princetown and the town of Florida a returning family member was briefly mistaken for a bear. On a more optimistic note, the snow didn't stop a birthday party in Amsterdam. Ralph Bohlke was thirteen in 1958. Snowed in by the first storm for seven days, relief arrived in the form of a Schenectady County plow that got to Bohlke's home on Route 160. That evening produced the second snowfall and the Bohlkes were snowed in another seven days. Relief finally came from a town of Florida plow. Bohlke wrote, "I remember there was so much blowing snow that it was the only time in my life that I could not get out the front or back door. There was even a porch on the front door, but the snow was still blown up against the door so we couldn't get outdoors. We had a wood shed attached to the back of the house with a dog door. I climbed out of the dog door to get outside." Bohlke and his mother Genevieve stayed home in Scotch Church to make sure the furnace kept working. The snow was almost even with the telephone lines. Bohlke's father, Harley Bohlke, stayed in Amsterdam with an aunt, Elizabeth Folmsbee on Guy Park Avenue, as he had to operate his business, Mohawk Cleaners & Dyers, on Cedar Street. Bohlke wrote, "I remember digging a tunnel out to the road in the driveway. When my father came home after the two weeks, he had a black bear hat on and when I first saw it I wasn't sure who or what was coming through that tunnel. Fortunately it was my father with groceries in both arms." Bohlke said, "As kids, we loved the two weeks off. We played basketball in Aucompaugh's barn and did a lot of tobogganing. We would go right over apple trees, going airborne, and crash into the snow. Since there was so much snow, we would just go right into the snow and get buried. You could not sleigh ride as the snow was too powdery and too deep. Those were the days." Meanwhile an Amsterdam couple trudged uphill through deep snow to a birthday party for four-year old Gerald R. Snyder during the snowstorm. Snyder and his parents lived at the top of the hill at the corner of Columbia Street and The Mall. The Mall is one of the steepest streets in a very hilly city. Snyder's aunt and uncle lived in an apartment down the hill on Stewart Street and often came to Snyder's house to watch television. Snyder and his mother Eileen saw two figures in the distance trudging through waist deep snow. When the walkers got closer, they were recognized as Snyder's aunt and uncle, Anita and Haverly Hewitt. The spring brought flooding along the Mohawk River. After that, the Army Corps of Engineers built retaining walls along the south side of the river in Amsterdam. *   * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * AMSTERDAM — St. Mary’s Healthcare will provide free cancer screenings to eligible area residents for the next five years through a $1.1 million grant from the state Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program (CSP).

1s
Feb 13
The Monday Story about The Port Jackson Basin

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 35 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:04AM-Monday, February 12, 2024 * ...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING... * WHAT...Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 9 inches possible. * WHERE...Northern Berkshire County in western Massachusetts, the Capital District, central and eastern Mohawk Valley, Schoharie Valley and northern Taconics of eastern New York, and all of southern Vermont. * WHEN...From late Monday night into Tuesday evening. * IMPACTS...Travel could be difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...A southern shift in the storm track has reduced snowfall potential, though uncertainty still exists whether any heavier snowbands reach these areas. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation. *   * * Great picture in the middle of summer, add 4 to 9 inches of snow * Ice skating on the Erie Canal By Bob Cudmore   Our ancestors used to skate on the Erie Canal in winter.    In 1887 John Burns was granted permission to have a skating rink at the Port Jackson basin on the canal. The next year the city of Amsterdam annexed the Erie Canal village.     The basin gave boats the ability to maneuver and dock in warm weather months and provided a good expanse for skating in winter.    In 1893 the Amsterdam newspapers reported that “the annual fight for possession of the canal basin is already on.”  P. Donovan and W.L. Hammond were contending for the skating contract.    In 1897 the firm of Noonan & Currie flooded the basin for skating and would do so the next twenty years.    Noonan & Currie was a livery stable, a combination rent-a-car and taxi service of the horse drawn era.     William J. Currie was born in Little Falls. He came to Amsterdam with his family as a child and lived on High Street.  He was active in Republican politics.    In 1902 Fred Hoffman, the “boy wonder” of Cohoes, and Rensselaer County champion Peter Connors took part in a two mile race in Amsterdam before a big crowd. The “boy wonder” prevailed.    Carbonelli’s Band entertained and a carnival was held after the race.    The newspapers printed rules that year for Currie’s canal basin skating rink. Long skates and shinny sticks, used as hockey sticks, were not allowed.    During skating sessions, no racing or speeding was permitted.  Also “positively” banned were “boisterous actions and profane language.”  Currie held a skating carnival Christmas afternoon and evening.   Currie used an old house boat as a warming hut.  It was towed to the skating rink each year from its summer resting place near Fort Hunter.    “Currie, the skating rink man, has had a hard time of it this winter,” wrote the Recorder in 1907.  Changeable weather kept him from opening the rink until the end of January.    By 1909 he had installed a phone at the rink and was open Christmas day with music by the Colonial Band.    A 1944 Recorder article recalled the Erie Canal basin skating rink when prizes were awarded to the “most graceful skaters.”    The rink was still in use in 1916.  But its days were numbered.    The old Erie Canal and canal basin in Amsterdam were closed by 1918 as the new Barge Canal was put into the banks of the Mohawk River, not a good recipe for skating.  Currie died in 1923.     The site of the old skating rink was filled in and is now the Fifth Ward Memorial Park.   This story was researched by Amsterdam historian and post card collector Jerry Snyder. DOWNTOWN CONNECTIONS    Film historian and critic Audrey Kupferberg of Amsterdam remembers business man George Phillips who lived in Cranesville on Route 5.    A 1960 reconstruction, called the Cranesville Arterial, brought Route 5 next to the Phillips home and the adjacent Temple of Israel Cemetery.     Fearing for the safety of motorists, Phillips illuminated his home with 45 lights in the windows and porches.     Phillips worked for a knit goods business and was president of a railroad short line.    Kupferberg said Phillips sported a flower in his lapel every day, “He was a dapper gentleman. He used to walk around downtown. My mother (Rae Kupferberg) enjoyed seeing him at People’s (fabric) Store.  I also remember the lights in the Cranesville house windows… a nice touch so near to the Jewish cemeteries.”     Audrey said Phillips “simply would stop in or walk by, wave, and say hello.”    Downtown in the old days was not only a place to shop but also a place to socialize. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 12
The count is 11 or so

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 41 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:04AM-Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, February 9, 2024 Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Saturday Showers likely, mainly after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 55. Light and variable wind. Sunday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41 * Ice skating on the Erie Canal By Bob Cudmore Focus on History artical this Weekend in The Gazette   Our ancestors used to skate on the Erie Canal in winter. In 1887 John Burns was granted permission......  * Restaurant Week in The City of Amsterdam *   * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * Restaurant Week is underway through this Sunday, February 11th, with various eateries offering specials for $18.85, a way to honor the incorporation of the city in 1885. * Controversy raged when Akin was mayor By Bob Cudmore Personal attacks and viciousness dominated the four years that Theron Doc Akin was Amsterdam mayor in the 1920s. Historian Hugh Donlon wrote that political pamphlets were full of innuendos so gross and vicious that some of the campaign literature was later prized as collectors items. Akin was born in Johnstown in 1855. His father Ethan was a prosperous farmer, attorney and landowner who lived near Amsterdam in Old Fort Johnson, which had been the home of the British colonial Indian agent Sir William Johnson. In 1905, the Montgomery County Historical Society bought the old fort from the Akin family and continues to operate it as an historic site. The younger Akin was a farmer and a dentist. In 1909, he led the campaign to incorporate the area around the fort as the village of Akin and became the first village president. Akin was elected to Congress in 1910, narrowly defeating popular Republican Cyrus Durey from Fulton County. A Progressjve, Akin's campaign slogan was The Full Dinner Pail. His posters showed a dinner pail empty except for a lemon. He campaigned, some said, by trying to expose the errors of his opponents. In Washington, Akin angered the poor and powerful. He berated a messenger on Capitol Hill who did not know who Akin was. He had harsh words for President William Taft and called New York Senator Elihu Root that refrigerated vulture of the dead. While he was in Washington, the people of Akin, concerned with his antics in Congress, voted to change the name of their village to Fort Johnson. Akin tried but failed to get elected to Congress in 1912 and 1914. At one rally in Gloversville he said, You have more hypocrites in this city than any other place I know of. Akin then set his sights on becoming mayor of Amsterdam, much to the chagrin of city leaders. Running as both a Democrat and Republican, Akin was elected mayor in 1919. Shortly after taking office, Akin suspended a longtime opponent, Police Chief Fred Packwood. Akin appointed new members to the city health board after the existing board threatened to stop garbage and ash collection to embarrass the mayor. Akin began an investigation of illegal gambling. He disguised himself as a hoodlum and was arrested to probe conditions in the city jail. Leon Hall ran for mayor in 1921 with the slogan Hall Akin Out. Akin trounced Hall by over three thousand votes. Akin's personal life raised some eyebrows. He was married four times. His first wife was Carrie Wallace Bell. They had two children. After the divorce, Bell founded an Amsterdam elementary school. Akin's second wife was Mary Sanford, the daughter of David Sanford. She and Akin had one child. Mary hauled Akin into court shortly after his term in Congress for non-payment of alimony. Akin said he had not been able to save any money while he was a Congressman. Akin s third wife was Jenny Shelp Roberts, who left him in 1912. Mayor Akin and a woman named Jennie Bornt mysteriously left Amsterdam for three days early in his second term. The Recorder learned the mayor had traveled to Bennington, Vermont, where a Methodist pastor married the couple in the church parsonage. Republican Carl S. Salmon was elected Amsterdam mayor in 1923 and served for three terms of relative calm. City employees did give Akin a watch and chain when he left office. In 1927, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor. When Akin died of a stroke in 1933 he was 78 and living with his daughter. He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Tribes Hill. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 09
From the Gazette "A field of Dreams"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 28 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 5:51AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, February 8, 2024 Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 45. Calm wind. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Friday Partly sunny, with a high near 49. *   * Restaurant Week in The City of Amsterdam *   * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. https://www.dailygazette.com/ *   * Restaurant Week is underway through this Sunday, February 11th, with various eateries offering specials for $18.85, a way to honor the incorporation of the city in 1885. *   * A westbound city bus owned by Vollmer Bus Lines and driven by Ian G. Bullock stopped on the north side of the street. Three female students exited through the front door. *   * Guy Park Avenue tragedy * By Bob Cudmore *   * * A cold drizzling rain was falling on Amsterdam's Guy Park Avenue shortly after eight a.m. on November 29, 1949. The busy street was slippery as students arrived for class at the former Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School. A westbound city bus owned by Vollmer Bus Lines and driven by Ian G. Bullock stopped on the north side of the street. Three female students exited through the front door. Bullock, who lived at 485 Guy Park Avenue, later told a coroner's inquest he saw two of the girls run in front of the bus toward the school on the south side of the street. He assumed the third student had walked to the rear to cross the street behind the bus. What happened next was covered extensively by the Amsterdam Recorder. As Bullock stopped his bus, Frank A. Swan of 311 Guy Park Avenue stopped his car on the opposite side of the street to allow his two children to go into the school. Swan saw three girls leave the front of the bus and start running across the street. One of the girls stumbled, fell to one knee and her school books scattered. She tried to regain her feet but fell face down about five feet in front of the large vehicle. Swan said, The prostrate child had no time to arise before the bus started as she lay with her hands curled over her head. Swan saw the wheel of the bus rise as it struck the girl. Swan's windows were rolled up and he didn't hear the scream. Two of the girls had made it across the street: Mary Jane Natale of 51 James Street and Jean Cincotta of 42 Reid Street. Natale screamed when she saw their friend Nancy Booth slip, regain her balance, then slip and fall again as the bus moved forward. Bus driver Bullock felt or heard a thud and heard the scream. He stopped the bus and found Nancy lying in the street behind the vehicle. Bullock hurried to a nearby business, called police for an ambulance and called the bus company. The 14-year old child was taken to Amsterdam City Hospital where she died an hour and a half later. NANCY BOOTH Nancy Joan Booth lived with her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. George Tetradis at 62 Edward Street. Her mother had died seven years earlier. Her father lived in Miami Beach, Florida. She had a sister, Louise, who was one year older. Her grandmother, also named Nancy Booth, lived in Amsterdam. A grandfather named Leo Nasuto lived in Pennsylvania. She also was survived by aunts, uncles and cousins. A graduate of Vrooman Avenue grammar school, she was in ninth grade. The Recorder wrote, Her death cast a gloom over the entire (junior high) school. A large crowd attended services at Perillo Funeral Home and St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. Burial was at St. Michael s Cemetery. Coroner F.F. Pipito initially issued a ruling of accidental death. However, District Attorney Charles Tracy insisted on an inquest. After the inquest testimony, Dr. Pipito issued another ruling of accidental death and exonerated bus driver Bullock. The Recorder editorialized that Bullock's conduct both before and following the accident was faultless, and it is well that he is absolved of any misdirected blame. The editorial also stated there was no reason to believe that the unfortunate victim was any more careless than thousands of other youngsters who travel to and from local schools daily. Norma Jean Qualls from the high school class of 1954 suggested this column, saying, One never reads about the heartache the accident caused. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 08
It was November 21, 2015

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 23 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:18AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Wednesday, February 7, 2024 Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. *   * A Republican, Hartley was Florida town supervisor from 1892 through 1898 and justice of the peace from 1923 to 1930. * Robert Hartley: A serious collector By Bob Cudmore When he died in 1940, Robert M. Hartley, a prominent town of Florida farmer of ancient English ancestry, left a treasure trove of powder horn sketches, Native American artifacts and military buttons. The collections of the widely known historian were donated to the museum of the Margaret Reaney Library in St. Johnsville by Hartley s widow, Fanny. Dawn Lamphear, library director, said Hartley was a friend of St. Johnsville textile mill owner Joseph Reaney, who provided the funds to build the Kingsbury Avenue library, named in honor of Reaney s mother, in 1909. The library's basement museum was renovated three years ago. When asked if people are still interested in Hartley s collections, Lamphear responded, Gosh yes. People are interested in archeology and military buttons and a group came by who catalogued Hartley s powder horn drawings. The group is called the Honorable Company of Horners. The powder horn enthusiasts seek to promote the art of making powder horns and preserve the history of the craft. Inspired by an earlier artist, Rufus Grider of Canajoharie, Hartley made more than fifty drawings of powder horns, which were used by fighters in colonial wars and the American Revolution to keep gunpowder dry. The horns were generally made from cow, ox or buffalo horns. They were often decorated with images and text, a practice similar to how airmen drew pictures on fighter planes in World War II. INDIAN ARTIFACTS AND MILITARY BUTTONS Hartley collected projectile points and other artifacts from the Mohawk Nation at their camp and village sites along the Mohawk River. He purchased some artifacts and exchanged items with other collectors. He made a trip for Indian artifacts in 1911 going through Tennessee and Georgia. In 1925 he toured New Jersey Indian sites. Hartley's collections also include minerals, fossils, Civil War items and other historic or scientific relics. One of his unique quests was to find military buttons from the American Revolution and the War of 1812. He found these buttons on numerous trips to old camp sites and battlefields. The original catalog for his collection says Hartley found buttons for nearly every British and Provincial regiment serving in America during the two wars. Hartley belonged to the Button Club of the United States and exhibited his collection at historical meetings throughout New York. In 1911, Hartley composed a poem called Old Buttons which concludes, Oh! But could these old buttons tell more than we know of them now; could they tell us who wore them? And could we see them who saw them in the days of Cornwallis and Howe. Charles Cornwallis was a British general and Richard Howe was a British naval commander during the American Revolution. HARTLEY S LIFE Born on the family farm on Hartley Road in the town of Florida in 1862, Robert Hartley s parents were Reuben and Jane Van Derveer Hartley. The young man attended Amsterdam Academy for three years. He took over the farm and under his ownership it was described as a beautiful garden spot. He married Fanny Pierce from the town of Mohawk in 1897. They never had children. A Republican, Hartley was Florida town supervisor from 1892 through 1898 and justice of the peace from 1923 to 1930. In 1889 he joined his mentor Rufus Grider and others in founding the Canajoharie Historical Society. Hartley was a charter member of the Montgomery County Historical Society. He and Percy Van Epps founded the Van Epps-Hartley chapter of the New York State Archeological Association of Schenectady. Hartley died at his home in the town of Florida in 1940. He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Tribes Hill. * In production at The Historians and on the schedule in March * A story about Sir William Johnson, Indian agent for the British Empire in what we call Upstate New York.  The story is told by historian Mark Silo. In 1755 the French and their native allies were fighting the British and their native allies.  * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 07
Off to Carpet School

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 23 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 5:55AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Tuesday, February 6, 2024 Sunny, with a high near 38. Northeast wind around 6 mph. Tonight Mostly clear, with a low around 20. East wind. Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. *   * In production at The Historians * A story about Sir William Johnson, Indian agent for the British Empire in what we call Upstate New York.  The story is told by historian Mark Silo. In 1755 the French and their native allies were fighting the British and their native allies. Hope to have this conversation on-line in early March. The end of this Week (a quick listen to 11 stories, all at once or in a row, let's say) Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024 with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. * A Tuesday story to read while you wait for the Coffee Maker * Selling Amsterdam carpets By Bob Cudmore Amsterdam rugs made it at least twice to the White House. The Liberty Rug was one of 20 Axminster carpets woven in Amsterdam by the Shuttleworth mills to mark the initial floodlighting ceremony at the Statue of Liberty in New York in 1916. The rug was then presented to President Woodrow Wilson for his bedroom at the White House. In 1947 a Chenille rug from Mohawk Carpet showing the Presidential seal was produced for President Harry Truman's Oval Office. Following the recent column on Mohawk s Wheel of Life carpet, woven for the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, retired Amsterdam educator Gavin Murdoch has provided Mohawk Carpet publications from his family's collection. A 1930 in house publication called the Mohawk Courier contained praise from a New York City theater for a Mohawk rug and described how the Amsterdam firm s sales force was expanding around the country to fight the Great Depression. A Chenille carpet from Amsterdam had been installed in 1927 at the Roxy Theatre in New York. Manager C.W. Griswold was lavish in his praise, The writer is positively amazed at the life and durability of this rug, subjected to daily traffic for over three years. It is really remarkable when you consider that we have entertained 25 million persons during this period. On a more somber note, Mohawk s sales director Z.L. Potter wrote that the local mills were suffering from hard times, But I pledge you personally and for all members of the sales organization that we will leave no stone unturned that will bring in business, start all Mohawk looms up again and give you the security of employment you desire. The opposite page described a going away dinner at Saltsman's Hotel in Ephratah for regional sales managers who were being dispatched to San Francisco, Philadelphia and St. Louis to promote the company's line. Colonel G.H. Durston was assigned to San Francisco, and J. Ralph Blocher drew the Philadelphia assignment. Invited but not present at the dinner because he was already enroute for his new home in St. Louis was John Smeallie, wrote the Courier. A picture showed Smeallie, his wife and daughters standing in front of an automobile pulling an impressive trailer. Smeallie reported the car and trailer made the 1100 trip without a mar or trouble. Smeallie said, I snaked the trailer along at 45 and 50 miles per hour on straight concrete stretches and had absolutely no trouble in traffic, even in Cleveland, Indianapolis or St. Louis. We stopped for some meals and prepared others in transit, Mrs. Smeallie walking about the car and kitchen just as if she were at home. She claimed it rode much more comfortably than any sedan she was ever in and read a book enroute as well as drinking in the scenery. COMPUTER PREDECESSOR Amsterdam's former carpet mills produced several kinds of floor coverings Axminster, Chenille and Wilton. Wilton carpet has interested me the most, partly because that was what my father, Clarence Cudmore, wove for Mohawk and partly because of its connection to modern days. Wilton is a wool carpet that can have as many as five colors per pattern. The name derives from Wilton, England. Wilton was woven on Jacquard looms, invented by Joseph Jacquard in France in 1801 The pattern was determined by hundreds if not thousands of paper punch cards that controlled what color yarn the consumer saw on top of the carpet. The Jacquard looms punch card system is frequently described as an industrial prototype of early computer hardware. Since the punch cards could be used multiple times, Jacquard looms even predicted the concept of computer programming. February on The Historians with Bob Cudmore Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024` with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that relate to people today. Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 06
The story starts about 1900

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 22 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:24AM-Mohawk Valley Weather, Monday, February 5, 2024 Sunny, with a high near 38. North wind 3 to 8 mph. Tonight Mostly clear, with a low around 18. Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 36. *   * *   * Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 6, 2024 * Episode 337-Retired network executive George Schweitzer on the history of the CBS Eye icon and his career promoting CBS television.  Schweitzer was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning. *   * The Cranesville lighthouse By Bob Cudmore    George Washington Phillips, a leading citizen of the Montgomery County hamlet of Cranesville, made his home a lighthouse to guide motorists on busy Route 5.    Phillips was born in the town of Florida in 1890.  His father, Myron, bought property at the start of Crane’s Hollow Road in Cranesville and had a house built there in 1900.    Young George Phillips attended Amsterdam schools and studied stenography.  He worked for S.H. Swift for thirty-five years in the knit goods business.    Phillips became president of Amsterdam, Chuctanunda & Northern Railroad, a short spur built to connect the main line with Amsterdam factories.    Phillips joined the Cranesville Reformed Church next door to the family home in 1915.  That year he married Ethel Ann DeForest from Cranesville.  Their one child, Roy DeForest Phillips, was born two years later.     Route 5 became busier.  A 1960 reconstruction, called the Cranesville Arterial brought the road next to the Phillips home and the adjacent Temple of Israel Cemetery.     Phillips told a reporter, “They can’t get much closer.”  Fearing for the safety of motorists, he began illuminating his home by putting lights in the windows and on the front and back porches.  At its peak there were forty-five lights.    Hugh Donlon of the Recorder wrote, “The beacon (was) visible as far east as Swart Hill, adding an atmosphere of friendliness that well reflects sentiments of both home owner and community.”    Phillips shut off his lights before midnight saying, “If they’re not in by eleven, they can find their own way home.”    Phillips’s trademark was a flower in his lapel.  In summer he grew his own and in winter made a daily trip to an Amsterdam florist.       Phillips’s wife Ethel died in 1964.  Phillips died at age 98 in 1989.     The church next door bought his home and used it for Sunday school and other purposes.  Eventually church activities that had been held in the former lighthouse were transferred to a smaller residence across the road.    There was some damage to church properties in the 2011 Cranesville tornado.  The former lighthouse of Cranesville was torn down in 2014. PBR at the Ivy Leaf?    “Nice to hear about the old place,” wrote reader Paul Miknavich about the column describing a 1947 brawl at the Ivy Leaf Tavern in Amsterdam.    Miknavich delivered large boxes of groceries there on Saturday mornings with his Dad.  Paul’s uncle Ray ran Forbes Street Market.   Paul said, “One thing that stood out about (Ivy Leaf) was that there were cuspidors on the floor at the bar - old school!”    As Paul was a young teenager he never drank there.  During his tenure the Saturday night special meal cost fifty cents.     Paul said, “I imagine how it could have been turned into a real hipster destination, dripping with authenticity.  Cans of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon beer) for $8. Atmosphere.”    East Ender and retired teacher John Naple wrote, “After your column about the fight at the bar on Schuyler and Forbes Streets, my brothers and I tried to list the bars we passed walking to St. Mary's School from Eagle Street. Thanks for the memories. FIX IT    East End resident Emil Suda said his family had a supposedly portable Philco television in 1962.  Suda’s father was able to wrestle the rather large device up the stairs to Bill Hojohn’s repair shop on Grove Street.    “Today one would not consider such a TV as being portable,” Suda said.    Hojohn also repaired scale model trains.  After retiring to a Wall Street flat, he regaled Suda with stories about visits to model train stores and manufacturers’ show rooms in New York City. February on The Historians with Bob Cudmore Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024` with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that relate to people today. Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 05
Jerry Madden/Steel Valley

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 35 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:54AM Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, February 2, 2024 A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 11am, then a slight chance of rain showers between 11am and 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. Sunday Sunny, with a high near 38. *   * This weekend in The Gazette * The Cranesville lighthouse By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History  George Washington Phillips, a leading citizen of the Montgomery County hamlet of Cranesville, made his home a lighthouse to guide motorists on busy Route 5. *   * * Jerry Madden Friday, February 2, 2024-Episode 508-Jerry Madden discusses his historical novel Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s.  Madden sets his story in the Rust Belt in cities like Steubenville, Ohio, where the steel mills have moved out. Saturday, February 3, 2024 Episode 486-Bob Cudmore has Focus on History columns on soda bottlers, walking for sport, a submarine rescue, Amsterdam’s clock tower building and more.  A Friday story to read while you wait for the microwave  to "go off" * * If you knew Susie By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History Angelo Sardonia was born in 1911 in Poultney, Vermont and moved to Amsterdam as a young boy. His nickname was "Susie." Unlike Johnny Cash, he apparently enjoyed the name. Perhaps Sardonia had a crush on a girl named Susie. Sardonia's daughter Maryann Salm said the nickname could have come after her father formed a band in the 1930s, Susie's Washboard Band also known as Susie's Swingsters. Other band members were Joe Iannotti, Dennis "Junior" Hasenfuss and Jim "Dale" Dallesandro. In his book "Past and Present," Tony Pacelli said the Swingsters dressed as hillbillies and made sweet music the hard way, "The instruments consisted of a guitar, a stovepipe with a kazoo on the end and a washboard with attached novelties such as whistles, horns and a toy trombone with a kazoo attached to it. The group was similar to the Spike Jones Band." The Swingsters were a hit at the 1930 Sportsmen's Show in Amsterdam and at Leggiero's gas station on the South Side where the band drummed up business Wednesday nights in the Depression. They played out-of-town gigs, including the Schine Theatre in Ilion. Pacelli said Schine, based in Gloversville, wanted the band to perform at all its upstate theaters but the deal never finalized. The group disbanded in the 1940s. Sardonia worked at Chalmers Knitting Mill and its successor Montco, heading the knitting room, the dye house and maintenance. He also owned a tavern named Susie's on Bridge Street across from the mill. He was married to Helen Reichel and they had a son and two daughters. In World War II Sardonia edited the South Side Servicemen's News to keep soldiers far away up to date on local happenings. Salm said, "Dad was never drafted. I think The Servicemen's News was a way he could help. That little newspaper was quite an undertaking. It took contributions, and social functions to raise money. The Recorder was also a great help to my Dad." Salm said the newsletters were funny and sad, "It was as though you met someone on the street you knew and stopped to talk." The war literally came to Sardonia's home on October 13, 1943. That night a twin-engine Army transport plane crashed in a rural section of Amsterdam's South Side as the plane's four-man crew parachuted to safety. Remarkably, there were no injuries. The plane was on a flight between Rome and Schenectady when its engines went out. Captain John F. Pope, the last to exit the plane, was found wandering on Dewitt Street. He apparently had landed on the roof of Sardonia's house or on the nearby porch of Charles Frohlich. After the war, Sardonia was instrumental in building the Fifth Ward Memorial Park on Bridge Street. Sardonia served almost 20 years as Fifth Ward Alderman, from 1944 to 1948 then from 1958 to 1973, when he lost an election to Lawrence Morini. Sardonia's nephew Michael Chiara was impressed that his uncle always stood when he spoke at the Common Council, while most members stayed seated during their speeches. Longtime friend Bert DeRose recalled that in one campaign, Sardonia organized a Kettle Band, young people banging on tin cans and buckets drumming up votes for Sardonia. After 36 years of marriage, Helen Reichel Sardonia died in 1968. In 1972, Sardonia married Margaret Schultz. Angelo Sardonia died at age 76 on July 3, 1987. Sardonia's great granddaughter Theresa Day said, "I can remember the day he died. I was only four or so, hearing on the radio someone talking about it, me unknowing at the time, big news in Amsterdam. I really miss that man." * *   * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 02
How Port Jackson became The South Side

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 34 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 7:07AM Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, February 1, 2024 * * A slight chance of showers after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 41. Light south wind. Tonight A slight chance of rain showers before 9pm, then a slight chance of rain and snow showers between 9pm and 3am, then a slight chance of snow showers after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Friday A slight chance of snow showers, mixing with rain after 10am, then gradually ending. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Today on The Bob Site the story of why Port Jackson is on the other side of the river and Bob's conversation with Janny Venema from (at the time) Albany about her work with Charles Gerhing. Tomorrow we post the latest Historians podcast with Jerry Madden. Friday, February 2, 2024-Episode 508-Jerry Madden discusses his historical novel Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s.  Madden sets his story in the Rust Belt in cities like Steubenville, Ohio, where the steel mills have moved out.    Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024` with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that sound familiar to people today. Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through the buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. Triumph after three years as a Japanese POW By Bob Cudmore Michael Swann's mother told him, "Don't ever talk to your father about the war." Many years later after their father had passed Michael and his brothers learned some of the reasons. Michael's father, Alton R. Swann, was born in Schenectady in 1916, son of Ora and Helen Swann. At eight years old he moved to Gloversville with his mother and four siblings after Ora Swann died. Alton was on the debate team, edited the school newspaper and excelled in track at Gloversville High. After high school he graduated from Gloversville Business School in 1937. He was hired as an accountant at Schenectady General Electric. He was drafted by the Army in May 1941. He was assigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines with the 803rd Engineer Battalion. Within hours of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese bombing attack on December 8 resulted in destruction of Clark Field. Swann was reassigned to the battle for Bataan which the Americans lost to the Japanese. He fought at Aglaloma where his 803rd battalion was decimated. Swann was put on board a transport ship which took survivors to the American island fortress of Corregidor. Swann told his eldest son that his superiors were impressed he was able to maintain his composure when Japanese planes strafed their ship. Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese in May 1942. Taken prisoner, Swann survived a death march on Bataan where hundreds were killed or died while marching to internment camps. He was held at Camp 10C in the Philippines until September 1944 when transported to Japan aboard a "hell" ship, the Noto Maru. Hundreds of prisoners were forced to stand upright in the hold in tropical heat. U.S. submarines mistakenly sank many such overcrowded ships carrying American prisoners. In Japan he was imprisoned at a POW camp and used as slave labor, shoveling manganese ore into furnaces. Tooth decay and gum diseases developed. Other prisoners developed malaria, beriberi, and dysentery. Treatment by prison guards was brutal. Liberated in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender, he was put aboard a hospital ship, the Monitor, where he wrote his fiancé, Glendean Brooks in Gloversville, asking if she was still waiting for him. She was. He spent time in Manila before returning to San Francisco aboard the transport Bolivar. All his teeth were pulled, and he was fitted with dentures. For his part in the Philippines campaign, Sergeant Swann received the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal and various campaign ribbons. In his first letter home he said memories of loved ones "brought him through experiences better left undescribed." Alton's mother received a telegram saying her son was on his way home. He arrived in November. Alton married Glendean at the parsonage of Gloversville's Methodist Church Thanksgiving afternoon, 1945. Their son Michael Swann was born nine months later. As a child he never was really aware of it but his mother told him his father suffered from what we would call PTSD. He had a lifelong issue with sleeplessness and nightmares of the war. Alton went back to work at Schenectady GE. The couple had two more sons, David and Thomas. In 1953 Alton was transferred to a GE plant in Connecticut and lived many years in Monroe, Connecticut. Alton's son Michael made frequent business trips to Japan. He was "humbled by a visit to the site of the Nomachi POW camp near Toyama." The factory where his father slaved still stands. Glendean Swann died in 1992. Alton Swann died in 2002 at age 86. Burial with full military honors took place at Pine Hill Cemetery in Southbury, Connecticut. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Feb 01
back to 1957 and 1938 and a Go Fund Me Pitch from 2019

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley Weather, Wednesday, Janaury 31, 2024-32 degrees in The City of Amsterdam on the last day of January. Scattered flurries before 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 38. Light and variable wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Southwest wind 3 to 5 mph. Thursday A slight chance of rain and snow showers between 9am and noon, then a chance of rain showers. Cloudy, with a high near 39. West wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. Scroll down for The Story of The Secret Cord Holiday IMDB https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030241/?ref_=nm_flmg_t_45_act The Historians Podcast with Bob Cudmore - February 2024 Here’s the schedule (subject to change): Friday, February 2, 2024-Episode 508-Jerry Madden discusses his historical novel Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s.  Madden sets his story in the Rust Belt in cities like Steubenville, Ohio, where the steel mills have moved out.    Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024` with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that sound familiar to people today. Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through the buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. Amsterdam's "Hallelujah" Connection By Bob Cudmore There is a connection between Amsterdam and singer Jeff Buckley, who recorded the most popular version of Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen's anthem "Hallelujah." Cohen, who died in 2016, recorded "Hallelujah" himself in 1984. The song took a long time to gain popularity. After hearing a cover version by John Cale, Jeff Buckley recorded his own "Hallelujah" cover at Bearsville Recording Studio in Ulster County, releasing the song in "Grace," a 1994 album. Jeff Buckley's father was musician Tim Buckley III who spent his early years in Amsterdam and Fort Johnson. Tim Buckley III died in 1975 of a heroin and morphine overdose at age 28 in Santa Monica, California. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Music critic David Browne wrote, "Jeff Buckley, who grew up barely knowing his father and being resentful of it, himself died in 1997 from drowning in Memphis, in the Mississippi River. A sad story, almost a Greek tragedy." Jeff Buckley's death was ruled accidental. Browne is author of the book "Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley." Jeff Buckley's recording of "Hallelujah" did not become popular until after his death. Buckley's version has been featured in film and television dramas. His "Hallelujah" was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2014. AMSTERDAM BUCKLEYS The first member of the Buckley family to settle in Amsterdam was Tim Buckley, Tim III's grandfather and Jeff's great-grandfather, Tim Buckley had come from Ireland in the early 1900s. He and Frank Graff briefly operated an auto repair shop on Mechanic Street called Buckley and Graff. Buckley and his wife Charlotte lived on Mechanic Street and Buckley, a World War I veteran, was house steward at an American Legion post. Son Tim II, whose nickname was Buck, was born in 1916. Buck worked at the Strand movie theater and later at Bigelow Sanford Carpet. Browne wrote, "In 1942, Tim II was drafted and served in the Screaming Eagles (a paratroopers division) in Europe, receiving a Purple Heart but also a head injury that resulted in a head plate, and many psychological problems, like thinking he was still in the war decades later. "Tim Buckley III--the singer, also known as Timothy Charles Buckley III--was born (on Valentine's Day 1947) in the District of Columbia, where his father stayed after World War II." Tim II, his wife Elaine Scalia Buckley and their son moved back to Amsterdam and lived on Garden Street. Tim II worked for General Electric. Tim III's mother was a Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra fan who introduced her son to jazz recordings. Browne wrote, "In 1955, the family moved to Fort Johnson. When Tim III was in second grade, the family moved again--this time to Southern California, where Tim Buckley's music career began to take root, resulting in a string of albums and tours between 1966 and his death in 1975." Buckley did not find commercial success, but is admired for musical innovation and vocal ability. Buckley's first album in 1966 was mainly folk music. Later he incorporated jazz, psychedelia, funk, soul and a sound in which his voice was used as an instrument. Tim Buckley fan Charles Frank of Niskayuna said, "He seems to have had a five octave range to his voice and liked to show it." Jeff Buckley's relationship with his father figures in a movie called "Greetings from Tim Buckley" produced in 2012. Penn Badgley played Jeff Buckley and Ben Rosenfeld portrayed his father Tim. "Variety" reported that the film included a train trip to Amsterdam where Jeff's father once lived. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 31
Bill and Dusty

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley Weather, Tuesday, January 30, 2024-29 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:12AM-Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. East wind around 6 mph. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Wednesday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Tomorrow Amsterdam’s wealthy Sanford family inspired a 1938 motion picture starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant Holiday IMDB https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030241/?ref_=nm_flmg_t_45_act The Historians Podcast with Bob Cudmore - February 2024 Here’s the schedule (subject to change): Friday, February 2, 2024-Episode 508-Jerry Madden discusses his historical novel Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s.  Madden sets his story in the Rust Belt in cities like Steubenville, Ohio, where the steel mills have moved out.    Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024` with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga,  the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. Friday, February 16, 2024-Episode 510-Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters.  Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that sound familiar to people today. Friday, February 23, 2024-Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through the buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark. People, pigeons and a coin collection were all at risk on Friday, November 23, 1962 in a major fire at 29-31 Market Street in Amsterdam. by Bob Cudmore Information was provided by Joseph Inglese of the town of Florida. Piccolo's Candy Store, badly damaged in the blaze, was owned by Frank and Sophie Piccolo, relatives of Inglese's wife, Lucille. Fire Chief Samuel A. Palombo, who commanded operations that night, was Inglese's great uncle. The story reminded Inglese of the Gazette retrospective on Amsterdam fires that followed the recent factory building arson on Brookside Avenue. "I'm not leaving here until you get my pigeon," was what one female apartment resident told a firefighter trying to lead her out of the building, according to a Recorder account. "So the gallant smoke-eater located the pet bird, resting comfortably in a cardboard box, and carried it down the stairs," wrote reporter Richard C. Healy. "The woman followed." However, another pet pigeon perished. An onlooker cradled the victim in her arms and left the fire scene. A man who had been led to safety told firefighters he had forgotten his coin collection. Firemen went back inside but gave up the effort because of heavy smoke. No apartment dwellers were injured but two firefighters"Edward Lampkin and Stanley Lomnicki--were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries. About 60 men battled the flames. Chief Palombo said, "When I saw what a beating the men were taking from the smoke, I ordered all apparatus to the scene." One person was heard to stick up for the firemen, "Where are all these people who squawked about these guys getting a raise?" The fire apparently started at the rear of Piccolo's Candy Store in an area rented by John Picco, proprietor of the adjacent Vallee curtain and drapery store. Smoke also made its way into Britell insurance agency, Ottavio's luggage shop and Sochin's men's store. The apartment dwellers who were led to safety were M.C. McLouth, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kowalski, Louis Gatto and Raymond Moore. The Salvation Army and Nicholas Meola of the nearby Rialto Restaurant provided hot coffee to the firefighters and victims. The flames broke out at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and firefighters finally left the scene about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. LIFE GOES ON Advertisements that November day 48 years ago touted an active social scene in the Amsterdam area that weekend. The Oasis Café at 50-52 Market Street featured music by the Casuals and vocalist Lenny Rocco. The New Yorkers "a band "that speaks for itself" were playing at the Wil-Ton bowling alley lounge at 31 West Main Street. Ferris Tavern out at Mariaville Lake featured round. square and polka dancing to the music of the De-Lo-Ters. If you were into entertainment for the whole family, Auction City on the Amsterdam-Schenectady Road urged you to bring the kiddies to see the largest Christmas stocking in the world, over six feet tall. An auction was scheduled that Saturday night and Kiss'n Dolls were the weekend special at five dollars each. If you wanted to stay at home, you could pay a visit to Eugene W. Brach at his "electronic hospital" on Broadway Avenue Extension on Amsterdam's South Side. He would fix your TVs and radios and also offered rock bottom prices, such as a $289 console TV for just $169.95. A transistor radio with a leather case, listing at $22.95, could be had for $13.95 at Brach's. And for the health conscious, apples were still on sale at T.J. Murphy's Appleland Farm on Swart Hill or at Raymond Rector's on Scotch Bush-Scotch Church Road. In each case, you were advised to bring your own containers. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 30
Bob with more on The Sunday Story

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley Weather, Monday, January 29, 2024-32 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:52AM A chance of snow showers, mainly before 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. North wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Tuesday Partly sunny, with a high near 32. East wind 5 to 7 mph. Into a new Week on The Historians Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s. Jerry Madden Love is never easy...even in easier times, like the 1950s and 1960s in the Ohio Valley with the steel industry booming. Second-generation immigrant families were reaching for the American middle class. And Catholic schools-made feasible by selfless Catholic nuns-promised bigger lives for everyone, including Jack Clark and Laurie Carmine. As they spent years searching for their separate futures, though, they were also stumbling toward love just as their world came crashing down. Steel Valley depicts a story of love longed for, lost, and perhaps still within reach, just as our nation's mythic yesterday became our troubled today, our last summer of innocence. Families are friends for four generations By Bob Cudmore    Salvatore Morrella, Joseph Sapia and John Russo told police they were fruit merchants on their way back to Amsterdam from New York City with what they said was a load of grapes when they were stopped by authorities in Hudson, New York, according to the Daily Gazette on September 3, 1921.    The police, being curious. looked under the grapes and found the men also had 100 gallons of distilled alcohol.     The alcohol was covered on all sides by crates of Malaga grapes.  Malaga grapes are grown in Spain and can be used used to make a sweet fortified wine.   After the alcohol was discovered the trio of Amsterdam men admitted their guilt and were charged with felonies.    Pasquale DiMezza, a friend of Russo and Sapia and a prominent Amsterdam banker, went to Hudson and furnished cash bail of 500 dollars for each after the men were held for the grand jury on the charge of violating the Volstead Act.  Five hundred dollars in 1921 would be worth $8400 today because of inflation.    Those charged under the Volstead Act faced expensive bail but usually were able to make bail and then were released.    The Volstead Act was an act of Congress that enforced the 18th amendment which established the prohibition of alcoholic drinks starting in 1921.  Andrew Volstead was a Minnesota Congressman who championed prohibition.    Amsterdam Town Supervisor, and retired Amsterdam city detective chief Thomas DiMezza said, “Russo’s Grill (on West Main Street) has been in business for 103 years now.  The Russo and DiMezza families go back four generations.”     DiMezza explained, “The four generations comes in being that our grandparents were friends, our parents were good friends,  I played golf regularly with Jim Russo. I continue to be friends with the children, and our children are friends. In fact Dan Russo’s daughter works with my son Michael (in education).  What a small world.”    Banker Pasquale DiMezza, a native of Melizanno in Benevento province, also published an Italian newspaper and sold real estate and products ranging from steamship tickets to macaroni.    In 1916, the DiMezza Bank, originally on the South Side, relocated across the river to 75 West Main Street at the corner of Mohawk Place. When Pasquale DiMezza closed the bank in 1930, state examiners said his adherence to state banking laws had been perfect.  He was known for serving customers at any hour of the day or night.    DiMezza even wanted to erect a merry-go-round in 1908 on Railroad Street, a project humorously deplored by the Recorder newspaper whose offices were nearby, “It is sincerely hoped that some natural phenomenon destroys the aforesaid music before the first shrill blast of the whistle stuns the fish in the river.”    As pressure mounted to repeal Prohibition in 1932, local Methodists continued to advocate for continuation of the ban.  Meeting in Saratoga Springs, ministers from throughout the area argued that the anti-alcohol law had not been given a fair chance of success.    When Prohibition was repealed jn 1933, the bank became a liquor store operated by Pasquale DiMezza’s son Alphonse starting in 1945.  Hundreds paid their respects when Pasquale DiMezza, at age 75, died in1947. The DiMezza Bank was torn down for urban renewal highway work in 1966.    Once Prohibition ended, the government issued beer and wine licenses to some establishments and full liquor license to others.     Amsterdam Mayor Arthur Carter was reported to flip flop on enforcing that law.     At first, Carter told local police to leave enforcement to federal undercover agents.  But after pressure from the state, Carter changed his mind and told local uniformed police to enforce the law. Friday, February 9, 2024-Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024`with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga, African Americans who settled in the Adirondacks, the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 29
Chris Leonard and John Gearing

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Tomorrow in The Gazette and Recorder and on-line here on The Historians Families are friends for four generations By Bob Cudmore    Salvatore Morrella, Joseph Sapia and John Russo told police they were fruit merchants on their way back to Amsterdam from New York City with what they said was a load of grapes when they were stopped by authorities in Hudson, New York, according to the Daily Gazette on September 3, 1921. The Historians schedule for early February, Bob spoke with Terry Golway Terry Golway's I Never Did Like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters (St. Martin’s Press) tells the story of his life through colorful, dramatic and amusing episodes that often speak to issues that will sound familiar to twenty-first century readers. Terry Golway was POLITICO's Albany editor and the author of several works of history, including Frank and Al and Machine Made. He worked as a reporter on Staten Island. He has been a columnist and city editor at the New York Observer, a member of the editorial board of the New York Times, and a columnist for the Irish Echo. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Rutgers University and has taught at the New School, New York University, and the College of Staten Island. A Bob Cudmore story to read while you make up your mind, about who knows what? Junior High-And serve it with loyal devotion By Bob Cudmore Theodore Roosevelt Junior High, which educated grades seven through nine, was built in 1924 on Guy Park Avenue east of Wall Street. The old high school behind it, constructed in 1904, was attached to the junior high when the new Wilbur H. Lynch High School was built in 1930 on Brandt Place. Roosevelt Junior High even had a school song. Yvonne Nadler Bean posted on social media, "Every time I hear (John Philip Sousa's) 'Stars and Stripes Forever', I break into 'So let us remember this day when we leave Junior High School forever.'" Here are the words of the school song: "Other students may think their school's the best and serve it with loyal devotion. But the school that is dear to you and me is this school of ours with colors blue and silver. "Then cheer for our school, Junior High, may it live as our standard forever. The school that we'll love 'til we die. The guardian of our youth. "So let us remember this day when we leave Junior High school forever. And sing as we go on our way. Oh, Junior High, we pledge to thee our best endeavor!" Some say the song is a generic ode to junior high. A former faculty member said the words were written by longtime principal Fritz Heil. One alumna said a student named Barbara Casey wrote the words as part of a school contest. One of the most popular and effective educators at Roosevelt was art teacher Alfonzo Henderson. Henderson was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel. An African American, he passed away in 2019 at age 89. Many tributes to him were posted on his online obituary including this from Amsterdam natives Jennifer and Bill Ziskin calling Henderson "a true icon and everyone's favorite teacher!" Bill Ziskin has also passed away. He was founder of the acclaimed theater program at Schenectady High School. I once drew a floor plan for Al Henderson's class, going overboard with the size of the garage. His only comment was, "The garage is the biggest room in the house." New York City public television personality Tom Stewart noted, "My Guy Park Avenue Elementary School sixth grade class was held in a room in the old high school, part of the junior high building. We had to report directly to that room, and were not allowed to mix with the older kids. Finally making it to seventh grade with a homeroom and passing classes - now that was cool!" Some still remember the bullies. One man posted on social media. "I remember the bullies beating up on kids in the locker rooms and the teachers slapping students in study hall for talking to their neighbor. Ironic that Roosevelt used to say 'bully, bully'"! There were little eateries near junior high such as Doyle's Confectionery. Orsini's on Wall Street was where students bought French fries in little paper bags. There was also Bigler's Tavern, where some teachers may have relaxed with liquid refreshment after their students left for home. Moving up day ceremonies were held when each class went on to high school. The programs featured music, student speeches, pomp and circumstance. The last class to attend Roosevelt Junior High moved up to Lynch High School in 1977. The junior high was demolished for the Theodore Roosevelt Apartments. Lynch is today a middle school, Lynch Literacy Academy, named for a longtime school superintendent who served for a time as Amsterdam mayor. Amsterdam High School today is on Saratoga Avenue in the town of Amsterdam. This Weekend what is not on the Radio WCSS Radio Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM will preempt The Historians Podcast on two weekends.  Our podcast will not be heard this Saturday, January 27 or Saturday, February 3 as WCSS broadcasts college basketball.  The historians podcasts for those dates can be heard online hear on BobCudmore dot com and on our other podcast Websites.  Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, January 26, 2024-40 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:45AM  * * * * Rain, mainly before noon. High near 40. East wind 7 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. * * Tonight * Patchy fog before 7pm. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 33. Light and variable wind becoming west around 6 mph after midnight. * * Saturday * Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. West wind around 6 mph. * * Sunday * A chance of snow before 10am, then rain and snow likely between 10am and 4pm, then snow likely after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 35. Northeast wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. *   * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 26
Day three about Only a Day

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Picture of Downtown Amsterdam taken on October 15, 1941 It was a Wednesday On The Historians schedule in early February Terry Golway's I Never Did Like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters (St. Martin’s Press) tells the story of his life through colorful, dramatic and amusing episodes that often speak to issues that will sound familiar to twenty-first century readers. Terry Golway was POLITICO's Albany editor and the author of several works of history, including Frank and Al and Machine Made. He worked as a reporter on Staten Island. He has been a columnist and city editor at the New York Observer, a member of the editorial board of the New York Times, and a columnist for the Irish Echo. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Rutgers University and has taught at the New School, New York University, and the College of Staten Island. A Bob story to read while you wait for The Gazette to show up on your doorstep The good old days? By Bob Cudmore The Chamber of Commerce published a booklet of essays submitted by local people for a city improvement contest in 1946 called "What I Don't Like About Amsterdam." Few of us today actually remember 1946, but many who grew up in Amsterdam after World War II would probably regard that postwar year of 1946 as part of the good old days. The carpet mills, other Amsterdam factories and businesses were still thriving. Downtown was busy. People enjoyed bowling, softball and other amateur sports. The war had ended. Nonetheless Charles H. Schenck, Chamber Executive Secretary, said the essays submitted in the contest cited multiple complaints. Lack of recreational facilities was mentioned in 230 essays. The poor condition of streets was cited in 177 entries. There were 139 ash and garbage collection complaints. Seventy nine people wrote Amsterdam had too many bars and deplored the sale of alcohol to minors. Some essays called for more hotel accommodations, transportation and theatrical facilities. A numbering system enabled the Chamber judges to anonymously award cash prizes to individuals whose essays were deemed the best among the 850 entries. The judges were also anonymous. "We are quick to criticize those who make an honest effort to do something," wrote the first prize winner, who was awarded $40. Forty dollars in 1946 would translate into over $500 today because of inflation, making it a rather substantial prize. The winning writer continued, "Misguided leadership has done a lot to put nationalism above civic responsibility and has tended to build up group interest with selfish motives. We are all Americans and we should work together." The second place essay was awarded $20 and called for Sunday evening services in the churches and an end to competition among local veterans groups. The writer suggested city employees only get 10 days in sick leave each year, that the city buy sidewalk snow plows and that the proposed athletic field near the Lynch School be designated a World War II memorial. The Recorder announced the conclusion of the contest on March 26, "The project to secure a self-portrait of Amsterdam by her own residents was started about one month ago when blanks were distributed through the public schools and mercantile establishments of the city. "In expression of approximately 100 words, men, women and children were invited to say what they think about the city and its weak points." The third place finisher, who was awarded $10, suggested a waste disposal system so that sewage would no longer be dumped into the Mohawk River. The writer also called for beautification of the riverfront. Here are more critiques from 1946: "I don't like the taste of city water. It has too much chlorine in it. They admit the water looks bad and tastes bad but say it's harmless. It should be "the way it's been drugged." "Amsterdam should have a curfew law for children up to 16 years, and it should be enforced, even if it means bringing parents into court." "The streets are a hodge-podge of houses, dinky little stores (often empty), gas stations, vacant lots (used as dumping grounds) and unoccupied buildings with broken windows." "The characters that clutter up the streets in front of some of the downtown cigar stores are no ad for the police department." "Amsterdam needs a sort of night club just for us kids, with special attractions by kids who can sing, dance, play an instrument or perform." This Weekend what is not on the Radio WCSS Radio Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM will preempt The Historians Podcast on two weekends.  Our podcast will not be heard this Saturday, January 27 or Saturday, February 3 as WCSS broadcasts college basketball.  The historians podcasts for those dates can be heard online hear on BobCudmore dot com and on our other podcast Websites.  Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, January 25, 2024-39 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 7:05AM  * * A chance of showers or drizzle, mainly before 8am. Patchy fog. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 44. West wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. * * Tonight * Rain, mainly after 2am. Patchy fog. Low around 35. East wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. * * Friday * Rain, mainly before 3pm. Patchy fog before 2pm. High near 39. East wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. *   * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 25
Only a Day "Part Two" Lock 11

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * All in One Day, spent part of that day at Lock 11-October 15, 1941 It was raining that Day, a guess as to the time, how about One till 3 in the afternoon A story to read while you wait for dinner Fort Plain native keeps Dutch heritage alive By Bob Cudmore In 1994 Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands conferred a Dutch knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau on Fort Plain native Charles Gehring. Part German and part Italian, Gehring was born in his grandmother's house in Fort Plain. His family moved to Nelliston after World War II. His doctoral dissertation at Indiana University was a linguistic investigation of the survival of the Dutch language in colonial New York. His career has been spent translating Old Dutch documents from the New Netherland Colony which included cities now called Albany and New York City. Old Dutch is hard to understand even for people fluent in modern Dutch. Many surviving hand written documents are barely legible. Gehring works in Albany as director of the New Netherland Research Center housed at the New York State Library. He said, "I've been translating Dutch records for 40 some years. These are the original records of the Dutch colony here in the 17th century. I'm also busy promoting people's knowledge of Dutch heritage in the area. So it's not just a translation project but a dissemination project as well, and an education project. We try to make people aware of the unique area that they live in in the Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley." For 35 years Gehring had help with the translations from Janny Venema, a Dutch school teacher who moved to the Capital District and began working with Gehring in Albany in the mid 1980s. In a 2020 interview Venema said she and Gehring for example translated New Netherland council minutes, "The council would be Peter Stuyvesant and a few other men. They were the government of the entire colony of New Netherland." Venema retired in 2020 and moved back to Holland. Gehring said he will continue translating, "Well I'll take it as long as I can. As long as my eyes hold out." Many scholars and popular authors have used Gehring's translations. The Albany translations, for example, made possible Russell Shorto's acclaimed 2004 bestseller, "The Island at the Center of the World." Shorto's book is a history of Manhattan's founding by the Dutch which Shorto argues led to New York and America's immigrant culture. In the 1990s Gehring and William Starna, a longtime friend originally from St. Johnsville, translated their own book, Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert's journal, "A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634-1635." Van den Bogaert was a Dutch barber-surgeon who lived in what we call Albany and what was then called Fort Orange. He was the first European to document a journey through the Mohawk Valley. His journal also makes the first printed reference to the Iroquois confederacy of nations. Van den Bogaert and two other men set out in December 1634 to learn why the Fort Orange fur trade had dropped off with Iroquois tribes to the west. The travelers returned to Fort Orange with gifts. Van den Bogaert became commander of Fort Orange. In 1648 he became embroiled in a sexual controversy, accused of having a sexual relationship with a male slave named Tobias. Van den Bogaert was charged with sodomy, a capital offense. He fled to Indian country. A bounty hunter caught up with him at an Oneida longhouse and in an exchange of gunfire, the longhouse was set ablaze and destroyed. Van den Bogaert was taken back to Fort Orange. He escaped again when a sheet of floating ice badly damaged the fort. However, he then drowned in the Hudson River. Ironically, the penalty for sodomy was drowning. Gehring said, "If you were to write all this in a novel it would seem too absurd." Friday, January 26, 2024-Author John Gearing and editor Chris Leonard discuss their book Schenectady Genesis, Volume II: The Creation of an American City from an Anglo-Dutch Town, ca. 1760-1800. A Radio Note about this Weekend WCSS Radio Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM will preempt The Historians Podcast on two weekends.  Our podcast will not be heard this Saturday, January 27 or Saturday, February 3 as WCSS broadcasts college basketball.  The historians podcasts for those dates can be heard online hear on BobCudmore dot com and on our other podcast Websites.  Mohawk Valley Weather, Wednesday, January 24, 2024-35 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:56AM  * ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON... * WHAT...Mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations of up   to one inch and ice accumulations of a light glaze to one tenth   of an inch. * WHERE...The Mohawk Valley, portions of the Lake George   Saratoga region and northern Washington County in eastern New   York. * WHEN...Until 4 PM EST this afternoon. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous   conditions could impact the morning commute. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Mixed precipitation, including freezing   rain, will change over to plain rain by this afternoon as   temperatures rise above freezing. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 24
he was in town for only a day "Part One"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * All in One Day October 15, 1941 Friday, January 26, 2024-Author John Gearing and editor Chris Leonard discuss their book Schenectady Genesis, Volume II: The Creation of an American City from an Anglo-Dutch Town, ca. 1760-1800. A Bob story to read while waiting for the Doctor The undertaker and the telephone By Bob Cudmore Historian and undertaker W. Maxwell Reid was one of the first to install a telephone in the Amsterdam area. Reid visited the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and was impressed by a demonstration of Alexander Graham Bell's telephone. When Reid returned home, he had wires strung between a casket plant in Amsterdam and a store in Broadalbin. How this early telephone worked was described in a Chamber of Commerce publication, "Twice a day at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the persons at each end of the line, by a process of shouting into the telephones, and then moving the same instruments to their ears to hear what was shouted back, were able to carry on a conversation over the intervening ten miles." William Maxwell Reid was born in 1839 on his father's farm, land which later became the Reid Hill neighborhood. Reid's father was from Scotland. He was also a school teacher, librarian and justice of the peace. W. Max Reid married Laura MacDonald in 1859. Her father was a partner in the Shuler casket making company, started by woodworker Isaac Shuler. Reid, who had been a clerk in a dry goods store, worked as a bookkeeper for the casket firm. Ultimately Reid took over the company after his father-in-law died. Reid also operated his own undertaking business. Reid was a founder of the business-boosting Board of Trade in 1884 and president of the organization for seventeen years. Reid is known as an historian for his 1901 book, "The Mohawk Valley: Its Legends and Its History." Reid also wrote a history column for the Recorder newspaper using the byline "The Hollander Letters." Reid died in 1911 at age 72. He and his wife lived on Spring Street, what is now Guy Park Avenue and had three children. Other 1870s phone lines connected Amsterdam's New York Central Railroad freight office with the Sanford carpet mill and Kelloggs & Miller's linseed oil plant. The homes of linseed oil magnates John, George and Lauren Kellogg had early telephones. Another local telephone pioneer was William Charles, who operated a cotton and wool brokerage business. In 1940, Charles was still living in Amsterdam and had telephone number "1." Historian Hugh Donlon wrote, "By 1881, the Amsterdam Telegraph and Telephone Company, locally organized, was operating a switchboard of 50 lines from a central office at East Main and Church streets." Several companies competed for telephone customers in Amsterdam but after a time, competition cut the number of companies to two "the locally based Automatic Telephone Company and Hudson River Telephone, part of the growing Bell system's national network. Hudson River opened a new central exchange at 40 Division Street and Automatic created a new facility at 19 Pearl Street. By 1910, though, the battle was over and New York Telephone "successor to Hudson River "took over phone service to some 1,500 Amsterdam customers. To promote long distance calling a few years later the phone company invited 200 people to a public phone conversation at the Elks Lodge between Amsterdam Mayor James R. Cline and Mayor James Rolph of San Francisco. George Scott, exalted ruler of the Amsterdam Elks, conversed with the exalted ruler of a San Francisco lodge. Donlon wrote, "Despite the ballyhoo, cross-country talk failed to gain immediate popularity with frugal townspeople. Rates were comparatively high and it was more economical to write a letter when speed was not particularly important." A picture which accompanied a 1942 article about telephones showed a row of 15 seated female operators and two supervisors at the Amsterdam office of New York Telephone, then at 40 Division Street. A Radio Note about this Weekend WCSS Radio Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM will preempt The Historians Podcast on two weekends.  Our podcast will not be heard this Saturday, January 27 or Saturday, February 3 as WCSS broadcasts college basketball.  The historians podcasts for those dates can be heard online hear on BobCudmore dot com and on our other podcast Websites.  Mohawk Valley Weather, Tuesday, Janaury 23, 2024-35 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:30AM  * ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 4 PM EST WEDNESDAY... * WHAT...Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations   of up to two inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth   of an inch. * WHERE...The Mohawk Valley, portions of the Lake George Saratoga   region and northern Washington County in eastern New York. * WHEN...From 4 PM this afternoon to 4 PM EST Wednesday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous   conditions could impact the Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning   commute. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Light snow will begin later this afternoon   and will continue through tonight before transitioning to a   wintry mix, including freezing rain, on Wednesday. Precipitation   will change over to plain rain Wednesday afternoon as   temperatures rise above freezing. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 23
A free-for-All in 1947

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This Friday, January 26, 2024-Author John Gearing and editor Chris Leonard discuss their book Schenectady Genesis, Volume II: The Creation of an American City from an Anglo-Dutch Town, ca. 1760-1800. Mohawk Valley Weather, Monday, Janaury 22, 2024-11 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 6:52AM Increasing clouds, with a high near 33. Wind chill values as low as -1. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. West wind 6 to 9 mph. Tuesday A chance of snow, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 23, 2024-A story about a man who was in The City of Amsterdam for only "One Day" Free for all at the Ivy Leaf By Bob Cudmore    There was trouble at the Ivy Leaf the night of Friday, April 11, 1947.    The Ivy Leaf was a tavern at Forbes and 42 Schuyler Streets in Amsterdam's East End operated by a woman named Smith.    It was an after work stop in those days for my aunts, Vera Cudmore and Gladys Morrell. They lived together (with my grandfather Harry Cudmore) east of the Ivy Leaf on Forbes Street and worked west of the bar at the Fownes glove mill shipping room on Grove Street.    Patrons called the Ivy Leaf the Kneepad Inn. It was in the basement of a building on a steep hill. Winter tipplers sometimes resorted to crawling out on their knees so they wouldn't tumble down the hill when they hit the icy sidewalk.    Aunt Gladys and Aunt Vera frequently pointed out that they visited the Ivy Leaf for food and conviviality more than drink. In the 1940s, the tavern advertised a roast beef dinner with cabbage, mushrooms and all the trimmings for 25 cents.    The Recorder account of the “grill rumpus” of 1947 was as follows, "The fracas was in full swing when law arrived and the participants who claimed to be separatists could not be distinguished from the belligerent group.    “After affairs has been brought under control, information gathered showed that efforts of one of the brass rail habitués to demonstrate a trick of some kind had brought on the disturbance, the hocus pocus having failed to meet with approval of the spectators.    "With more effective magic, the officers were made to disappear without arrests after a checkup showed there was no bloodshed."    Three police officers in two squad cars responded. One was Sergeant Andrew Celmer, who went on to become police chief, another was Officer Adamski and the third was Officer Anthony J. Liberis.    Liberis's son John said his father in later years would sometimes meet a man who had been involved in the 1947 brawl who would remark, "You threw me against a wall."    Officer Liberis was an Amsterdam native of Lithuanian heritage, born on John Street in 1918. His parents were Joseph and Ursula Liberis.    A strong man, Anthony Liberis lost out on a chance to take part in a major weightlifting championship when drafted in early 1941.    He volunteered for the paratroops and served with the 82nd Airborne in the Aleutian Islands, Anzio in Italy and elsewhere. His feet were almost lost to frostbite, a problem that came back to trouble him at the end of his life.    Right after the war, he joined the police department.  He married Helen Pawloski, who had grown up on Forbes Street, at St. Stanislaus Church on April 28, 1946.    He played football for the Amsterdam Zephyrs, injuring his knee and causing the police chief to warn Liberis that he might have to choose between football and police work.    By the 1950s, Liberis had switched to the Fire Department where he retired as a battalion chief in 1980.    John, born in 1947, was Albert and Helen Liberis’s only child. The family lived on Glen Avenue.  John said his father sometimes would be tempted to leave the fire department to make more money at Amsterdam's carpet mills. But his wife convinced Liberis to stay in the fire service, as he was building a pension.    John married an Amsterdam woman, Susan Senko, and moved to Schenectady.  Helen Liberis died in 2001. She had worked at General Electric in Schenectady and three Amsterdam businesses: Peoples Silk Store, Lurie's department store and Empire Devices. Anthony Liberis died in 2002. They were buried at Saratoga National Cemetery. A Radio Note WCSS Radio Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM will preempt The Historians Podcast on two weekends.  Our podcast will not be heard this Saturday, January 27 or Saturday, February 3 as WCSS broadcasts college basketball.  The historians podcasts for those dates can be heard online hear on BobCudmore dot com and on our other podcast Websites.  * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 22
The War on Cancer

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Free for all at the Ivy Leaf By Bob Cudmore    There was trouble at the Ivy Leaf the night of Friday, April 11, 1947.    The Ivy Leaf was a tavern at Forbes and 42 Schuyler Streets in Amsterdam's East End operated by a woman named Smith.    It was an after work stop in those days for my aunts, Vera Cudmore and Gladys Morrell. They lived together (with my grandfather Harry Cudmore) east of the Ivy Leaf on Forbes Street and worked west of the bar at the Fownes glove mill shipping room on Grove Street.    Patrons called the Ivy Leaf the Kneepad Inn. It was in the basement of a building on a steep hill. Winter tipplers sometimes resorted to crawling out on their knees so they wouldn't tumble down the hill when they hit the icy sidewalk.    Aunt Gladys and Aunt Vera frequently pointed out that they visited the Ivy Leaf for food and conviviality more than drink. In the 1940s, the tavern advertised a roast beef dinner with cabbage, mushrooms and all the trimmings for 25 cents.    The Recorder account of the “grill rumpus” of 1947 was as follows, "The fracas was in full swing when law arrived and the participants who claimed to be separatists could not be distinguished from the belligerent group.    “After affairs has been brought under control, information gathered showed that efforts of one of the brass rail habitués to demonstrate a trick of some kind had brought on the disturbance, the hocus pocus having failed to meet with approval of the spectators.    "With more effective magic, the officers were made to disappear without arrests after a checkup showed there was no bloodshed."    Three police officers in two squad cars responded. One was Sergeant Andrew Celmer, who went on to become police chief, another was Officer Adamski and the third was Officer Anthony J. Liberis.    Liberis's son John said his father in later years would sometimes meet a man who had been involved in the 1947 brawl who would remark, "You threw me against a wall."    Officer Liberis was an Amsterdam native of Lithuanian heritage, born on John Street in 1918. His parents were Joseph and Ursula Liberis.    A strong man, Anthony Liberis lost out on a chance to take part in a major weightlifting championship when drafted in early 1941.    He volunteered for the paratroops and served with the 82nd Airborne in the Aleutian Islands, Anzio in Italy and elsewhere. His feet were almost lost to frostbite, a problem that came back to trouble him at the end of his life.    Right after the war, he joined the police department.  He married Helen Pawloski, who had grown up on Forbes Street, at St. Stanislaus Church on April 28, 1946.    He played football for the Amsterdam Zephyrs, injuring his knee and causing the police chief to warn Liberis that he might have to choose between football and police work.    By the 1950s, Liberis had switched to the Fire Department where he retired as a battalion chief in 1980.    John, born in 1947, was Albert and Helen Liberis’s only child. The family lived on Glen Avenue.  John said his father sometimes would be tempted to leave the fire department to make more money at Amsterdam's carpet mills. But his wife convinced Liberis to stay in the fire service, as he was building a pension.    John married an Amsterdam woman, Susan Senko, and moved to Schenectady.  Helen Liberis died in 2001. She had worked at General Electric in Schenectady and three Amsterdam businesses: Peoples Silk Store, Lurie's department store and Empire Devices. Anthony Liberis died in 2002. They were buried at Saratoga National Cemetery. also in The Recorder- Loopie’s Irish Pub, located at 410 Mohawk Drive in Tribes Hill, is hosting its 17th annual soup and chili cook-off today, Sunday, January 21, 2024 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Sunday, January 21, 2024-10 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 5:19AM-Sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as -10. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -2. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. West wind 5 to 7 mph * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

1s
Jan 21
What is the Connection?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * More Amsterdam Bar room History tomorrow in The Paper-Paper and on-line The Daily Gazette Amsterdam Recorder The Historians "Free-for-All at The Ivy Leaf by Bob Cudmore" Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Friday, January 19, 2024, 16 degrees in The City of Amsterdam at 5:43AM A chance of snow showers, mainly after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 23. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight Cloudy, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -6. SaturdayA slight chance of flurries before 1pm, then a chance of snow showers, mainly after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 15. Wind chill values as low as -6. Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 21. * * * * * * Amsterdam man survived bloody battles on Guadalcanal By Bob Cudmore Joseph A. Bucci was an Amsterdam man who fought heroically with the U.S. Marines in World War II. Bucci was the son of Charles and Mary Bucci who lived at 12 Lark Street in the East End. Charles Bucci was a veteran of World War I. Joseph Bucci's brother Anthony served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Born in 1913, Joseph Bucci graduated from St. Mary's Institute and earned a degree in journalism at Notre Dame in 1933. He worked for John Hancock insurance and later was in sales for the Curtiss Candy Company. Just over a month after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Bucci enlisted as a private in the Marines. By October 1942 he was fighting the Japanese on Guadalcanal Island in the Pacific and found himself and six others pinned down by Japanese artillery fire in the Battle of Matanikau River. The small band had missed orders to move from their foxholes to another position. Through one long night and the next day the seven endured an artillery barrage and attack. The seven Marines were credited with killing 175 to 200 Japanese soldiers. Then Bucci and his comrades came under American artillery fire in a Marine counter attack. Ultimately the seven Marines were reunited with their unit. Intense fighting on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands lasted six months, from August 1942 to February 1943. In November 1942 Bucci was wounded by three pieces of shrapnel. He contracted malaria and was shipped to a military hospital in San Diego, California. It was there that he learned he was to receive the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his actions on Guadalcanal. He was promoted to Sergeant. Bucci was home on leave in July 1943 when the Recorder printed an account of his actions on Guadalcanal written by Marine private Eddie Lyon, who had interviewed Bucci at the San Diego hospital. Bucci and his parents went to the Recorder offices to get their first look at the news story and to have their picture taken. In December 1943, Bucci was still at home, assigned to the Scotia Naval Depot on Route 5, today an industrial park. He had applied for Officer Candidate School. That month Knights of Columbus Council 209 in Amsterdam honored Bucci at a dinner at the then Amsterdam Hotel on East Main Street and presented him with a special ring. "When I was in the South Pacific, I dreamed of getting home," Bucci told the Knights of Columbus. "Just at the present I wish I were down there again." He also said, "It is my fond wish and hope that this international mess will soon be over and that all of us can come back to the good old American way of life. However, I expect to be shoving off again soon and in whatever part of the world I am I will have this ring with me, a reminder of your thoughtfulness and I will be thoughtful for you." Bucci went to Officer Candidates School and became a second lieutenant. He was promoted to captain in the Marine Corps reserve. He attended Albany Law School after the war and in 1948 became head of the new Montgomery County Probation Department. He and Louanne Wilkes of Albany married in 1953 and moved to California where Bucci worked in the Ventura County Probation Department. In their later years Bucci and his wife moved to Virginia to be near one of their two sons. Bucci died in 2010 at age 96 at Lovingston Health Care Center in Arrington, Virginia. Inurnment was at Arlington National Cemetery. *   * * * * * * * * * * Mohawk Valley News   * The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown. * * https://www.dailygazette.com/

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Jan 19