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.
The summer of 1882 was a bad time to be an inhabitant of Little Falls as sickness and death raged throughout the village. In those few months, an estimated sixty people died, with hundreds more sickened – over half of the deaths were of infants and adolescents. Cholera, typhoid fever and “brain congestion”, at the time often lumped together as “malarial disease”, were the culprits. Victims of cholera suffered severe cases of diarrhea and subsequent dehydration, with death sometimes occurring within hours or a few days from the onset of symptoms.
St. Mary’s Parish (now Holy Family Parish) had a new priest, and this was his first assignment out of the seminary. He was young, he was friendly, he had an easy smile, most of the girls liked him because he was good looking, and the boys liked him because if there was a basketball game going on, he liked to take off his collar and join the game.
I love Halloween. Always have. My earliest remembrance is dressing up in a cowboy outfit complete with flannel shirt, neckerchief, vest, chaps and the piece de resistance, a pearl-handled, silver Lone Ranger cap pistol.
“Around the back and up the stairs…” That’s how our mornings began.
The first time I heard that instruction, from my Uncle Morgan Carrig, it was about 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, circa mid-June 1964. My older brother Kevin, who had previously enjoyed all the benefits and privileges of employment as a milk delivery boy for Morgan’s Dairy, was “unavailable” – no doubt due to a Friday night dance at Filipski’s bowling alley on the South Side.
I never thought about turning 80. Because I hadn’t. But now that I’m about to, I was asked by a friend if there was one word that could describe how I felt about becoming an octogenarian.
After the American Revolution, many New Englanders moved to New York State – specifically to the Royal Grant that had belonged to Sir William Johnson.