Little Falls Historical Society Update

To help support NYS and US efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of our visitors and staff, the Little Falls Historical Society Museum is temporarily closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and look forward to resuming operation whenever possible. We will continue to follow guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Governor’s Office, and federal government.  Check back here for updates.

We encourage you to stay connected with us online.

Our 2020 Writing Series began in April and will continue to be published in the Times Telegram and on our website. Please continue to stay safe and well. Inquiries can still be sent here.

Times Telegram publishes article featuring Little Falls Historical Society Museum and SUNY Oneonta collaboration

On Saturday, March 7, 2020, the Herkimer Times Telegram published an article, “Studying pieces of history” featuring the collaborative project between Little Falls Historical Society Museum and SUNY Oneonta second-year graduate students as they study Little Falls’ historic industrial period from 1790-1960. Use this link to view the article in its entirety or

The Little Falls Historical Society recently began a collaborative partnership with SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program of museum studies for the 2020 spring semester.


The Little Falls Historical Society recently began a collaborative partnership with SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program of museum studies for the 2020 spring semester. 

Dr. Erik Stengler’s second year graduate students will study Little Falls’ industrial history from 1790 – 1960 to fulfill requirements for the program’s Science of Cabinet Curiosities course. Upon successful completion of the spring semester, these Cooperstown students will have earned their graduate degrees in museum studies from SUNY Oneonta.

 This is a hands-on course requiring students to deploy skills and learning from past coursework and apply them to a specific research project. The partnership’s primary purpose is to provide students with a real-world museum experience. 

 Students are required to select one object from the collections of the Historical Society’s Old Bank Museum and carry out in-depth research about how that object relates to a theme set at the beginning of the course. 

The final course outcome will be an exhibition that brings all the student objects together into a book that collectively communicates their significance. Each student will contribute about ten pages to this book.

A core group of Historical Society volunteers has worked closely with Dr. Stengler in establishing both the working partnership itself and specific course requirements. Program students have worked on-site at the Old Bank Museum on a number of occasions. 

For more information, go to:  OR

November 26 Little Falls Historical Society Meeting

The Little Falls Historical Society’s Tuesday, November 26, 7:00 pm meeting at the WCA will include a short business meeting, organization elections, and a digitized slide presentation on historic images of Little Falls.

The Historical Society’s nominating committee has submitted a slate of candidates for all four officer positions and for the two board seats with expiring terms. Society members can also nominate additional candidates from the floor prior to elections.

Following the completion of elections, Historical Society member Mike Potter will display and narrate a number of historic pictures from a bygone era in Little Falls.

Light refreshments will follow Potter’s presentation. All Historical Society meetings and presentations are free and open to the public.


Longtime Little Falls resident Maynard Blask will be the guest presenter at the Tuesday, October 22, meeting of the Little Falls Historical Society. The 7:00 PM meeting is free and open to the public. 

Blask’s presentation will focus on the 1970’s era renovation of Veterans Memorial Park and the Little Falls Mets. Maynard wants his presentation to be interactive in nature and questions and audience involvement will be welcomed. Additionally, St. Johnsville resident Bob Failing’s extensive collection of New York Mets memorabilia will be on display and available for viewing.

Blask’s presentation will be preceded by a short business meeting of the Historical Society. Light refreshments will be served afterwards.


The Little Falls Historical Society will hold a 2019 season-ending reception at their Old Bank Museum from 5:00 – 7:00 PM as part of Third Thursday activities on October 17. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Bus tour to Boston fundraiser • Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

A fundraiser for the Little Falls Historical Society Wednesday, September 25, 2019
$120.00 per person
Reservation on or before September 11, 2019

Make Checks Payable: Little Falls Historical Society Mail payment to: 319 S. Ann St., Little Falls, NY 13365

Arrangements by Tours By Design

Based on the beloved television show, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is an interactive experience which transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.

Tour includes deluxe motorcoach transportation, admission to the Downton Abbey Exhibition, and lunch on own at Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall.  Contact Barb Mielcarski for reservations 315-866-0481

Opening Reception | Little Falls Historical Society Museum -2

Little Falls exhibit opening draws athletes, others

By Donna Thompson / Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:21 PM Updated May 29, 2019 at 5:21 PM

LITTLE FALLS — Tuesday’s opening reception for three new exhibits at the Little Falls Historical Society’s Old Bank Museum drew a crowd that included local athletes and their families, historical society members and people from the community.

Little Falls athletes who competed in New York state level competition and their families were special guests for the event and the athletes lined up in front of the new Little Falls Athletics exhibit for photos.

Little Falls athletes and teams have won five championship banners, including a boys’ basketball championship for the 1929-30 season, a 1982 championship in boys’ baseball, Tess Malone’s 1997 Class C-D 200-meter championship, Bret Wehrum’s and Florian Andreas’ 2000 all-class tennis doubles championship and Brian Mosher’s Class C-D 200 and 400 meter championships.

Jeff Gressler, of the Little Falls Historical Society, was happy with the turnout.

“We’re glad so many of the athletes who competed at the state level took the time to come see the exhibit,” he said. “It’s a real family affair.”

Opening Reception | Little Falls Historical Society Museum -1

Asked about the challenge of collecting the memorabilia displayed in the exhibit, he said, “It took us all winter. We didn’t finish until last week.”

Visitors also checked out three other new exhibits for 2019 — Little Falls During Prohibition, Camp Jolly about a picnic and recreation area that opened in 1894 and When Little Falls Was Rockton. The name of Little Falls was changed to Rockton in 1850 by the New York State Legislature as part of a revision of the city charter. It didn’t last long though. In 1851, residents petitioned to change the name back to Little Falls and that happened the following year.

Other exhibits, including last year’s Vietnam and urban renewal exhibits remain on display.

Opening Reception | Little Falls Historical Society Museum

View the article on the Times Telegram.



The general public is cordially invited to attend the Little Falls Historical Society’s 2019 opening reception at their 319 South Ann Street Old Bank Museum on Tuesday May 28 beginning at 7:00 PM.

The museum opens for the season on Wednesday May 29 and will be open on Tuesdays thru Fridays from 1:00 – 4:00 PM and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM – noon.

Those Little Falls athletes and teams that both won and competed in New York State level competition are part of a new 2019 museum exhibit on “Little Falls Athletics.” The exhibit also includes archival photographs of St. Mary’s Academy teams and various town and independent athletic teams from the 1890’s through the 1950’s.

Five championship banners have been won by Little Falls athletes and teams. This honored list includes the Wilbur Crisp coached 1929-30 boys basketball team all class championship, the Ted Schoff coached 1982 class C boys baseball team championship, Tess Malone’s 1997 class C-D 200 meter championship, Bret Wehrum’s and Florian Andreas’ 2000 all class tennis doubles championship and Brian Mosher’s class C-D 2001 200 and 400 meter championships.

A number of other Little Falls athletes and teams have competed in New York State level competition, the most recent being the 2018 girls soccer team which lost in the final four championship game.

These athletes and their families will be the special guests at the museum opening reception.

Other new exhibits for 2019 include “Little Falls During Prohibition,” “Camp Jolly” and “Rockton.”

The 2018 museum exhibits honoring the 133 Little Falls men who served in the Vietnam War and on pre-urban renewal Little Falls remain on display. The museum also contains a number of other permanent exhibits.

Light refreshments will be served at the opening reception.


In cooperation with the board of directors of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the Little Falls Historical Society will host a 2019 Patriots Day program at the church on Saturday May 18 beginning at 11:00 AM.

The church is located on Albany Street in Little Falls. The event is free and open to the public. 2019 marks the tenth Patriots Day observance that the Historical Society has hosted. 

The one hour program will be highlighted by a series of short oral presentations by different speakers from both Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Historical Society members related to local history during the Revolutionary War and after. Topics will include “The Little Falls Grist Mill Attack,”

“From Herkimer to Franklin,” and “The Patriots Buried in Yellow Church Cemetery.”

The Astenrogen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will place a commemorative wreath following the speaking portion of the program. Dr. Oscar Stivala and Robert Schmelcher will provide musical accompaniment as part of the event.

The local Historical Society has been hosting Patriots Day observances since 2009 at significant local historic sites; past events have been held at Yellow Church Cemetery, Herkimer Home, Fort Herkimer Church, Indian Castle Church, Snell’s Bush Church, the former Masonic Temple, Herkimer Reformed Church, Historic Trinity in Fairfield and in 2018 at Paines Hollow Church. Their goal is to raise awareness of both the unique role that our ancestors played in our nation’s quest for independence and the many well preserved historic buildings in our area.