“Uncle Archie, can you make me disappear?” I asked. “Yes,” he said, “Go in the other room.” I was expecting something like levitation.
In 1944 I took my first train ride – all the way to Utica, NY. Having lived in Little Falls all my life, some of it on West Main Street at the foot of Glen Avenue, I knew about the railroad.
The primary purpose of this piece of writing is to chronicle a history of African American presence in Little Falls from the time of slavery up to the 2015 dedication of a monument in Little Falls Church Street Cemetery recognizing what was once known as the “Colored Burial Ground.”
The Underground Railroad (URR) was a loosely organized network of people, (men and women, African American and white,) dedicated to helping people escape from bondage in the slave-holding states of the South to freedom in the antislavery states of the North and ultimately to Canada in the period before the Civil War.
My father told the story, many times, of how when he was a little boy, his mother had to hold his hand tightly when they made their way downtown to do their shopping on Main Street in Little Falls.
The Little Falls Historical Society will partner with the Yellow Church Cemetery Association to host a Patriots Day observance at their historic site beginning at 11:00 AM on Saturday May 20. The rain date is Sunday May 21 at the same time. The event is free and open to the public.
Edward Cooney was City Historian for over forty years, president of the Herkimer County Historical Society, and one of the founding members of the Little Falls Historical Society.
Donnie Coffin was somewhat of an enigma. Those who remember him recall him as an easygoing guy, but not many people have vivid memories of him.
What did wealthy people do with their money? Some spent lavishly on themselves and their families caring little for their fellow man; others were philanthropic. Over the years, the citizens of Little Falls have greatly benefited in many different ways from the philanthropy of several of its leading residents who lived here in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Decades before there was a Pine Ridge ski center in Salisbury or a Shu-maker Mountain ski area outside Little Falls, generations of Little Falls winter sports enthusiasts skied and sledded down the vertical drops that typify our steep, narrow Mohawk Valley topography.