Stories from our community
that reflect the heart and soul of our city

The Little Falls Historical Society has developed this special page on its website to serve as a repository for written work, artwork, photographs and other materials related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The goal of this project is to create a collective body of work that will serve as a historic record of how individuals, families, government, schools, businesses and other organizations are dealing with disruptions in their daily routines due to COVID-19. Future generations will be able to better understand how our community responded to this crisis.

You may submit any creative work electronically that reflects how you, your family, and friends have been forced to make changes in your everyday lives. Look inward for ideas.

You can submit written work such as short essays, journal-like entries, and poems. You can also submit artwork and photographs.

The submissions we publish will

  • Be polite.
  • Paint a real picture of daily life in Little Falls.
  • Be heartfelt expressions of what it means to live in Little Falls today.
  • Express personal feelings and experiences. Please do not write about what others are saying or doing. We want to hear your story. 
  • Not contain political statements. No finger pointing or assigning blame. Let history assign blame.
  • Please do not submit anything about yourself or others that is too personal for others to read or see.

What is your story?

Click on the + to expand and read through stories.

What did you do today or this week that is different than what you would do during a “normal” day or week?

  • How are people around you responding?
  • How has this crisis impacted you and your family?
  • What has been the most difficult thing for you personally about this crisis?
  • What are your biggest concerns right now?
  • What brings you joy or comfort right now?
  • What changes have you personally experienced (physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically) since this crisis began?
RESPECT by Joanne Morotti • Acrylic. 24"×24" | Little Falls Historical Society Museum

RESPECT

Frankly, I hate winter.   Autumn too, (it comes before winter).  But spring and summer, oh yes!  Every year, I have grand plans to make the most of the best days.  This year: plans not so grand.   Layoffs, furloughs, families scramble to make ends meet.  A cloud of disease blew in from nowhere, it seems.  Missing the usual fun.  No Diamond Dawgs.  No Cheese Festival.  No Canal Days, family at the new picnic table after the parade.  No parade here or anywhere for that matter, and I love parades.   City pool closed.   Tubing on West Canada Creek sounds like bliss, but shuttle bus on the way back, packed in with other people.  No way.  We’ll stick to the house and the yard.

We put in a square foot garden.  It’s easy to manage, even in a dry season like this one so far.  Weather forecasts change by the hour: thunder storms, we’re waiting.  I heard about water restrictions near Albany, but it’s only early July and what’s this Sahara dust cloud?

Signs on the highways urge us to be New York Tough.  I’m proud to do that.

That’s the down side.  We adapt.  Signs on the highways urge us to be New York Tough.  I’m proud to do that.  We learn phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”.  We navigate Zoom conferences and other no-contact ways of doing business.  We wave to neighbors across the yard but we keep our distance.  And Little Falls, being Little Falls, creates an instant drive-in movie theater near the empty baseball field, runs a peaceful Black Lives Matter educational event, launches a caravan of cars on Main Street honoring our High School seniors.   It’s summertime.  We make the most of the best days.

In these dark days it is difficult to step back and reflect, harder still to find joy and comfort and to muster a sense of gratitude.

The pandemic news can bring one to the depths of despair, taxing our ability to cope. Such facts make the necessity for “turning the channel” even more important.  Although the “joy of the ordinary” has been taken from everyone’s lives, we can renew our gratitude for small pleasures that can help us turn that channel and may become a new “joy of the ordinary.” 

For me, continuing to take daily walks, (accompanied by mask and social distancing, of course) either in town or in Little Falls’ surroundings is a hel
pful channel changer. 

We are fortunate that temporary relief can be found in our familiar local sites, many within walking distance.  We have several choices in our beautiful little town. Our city streets and many parks, the bike trail, Moss Island and many other settings can provide a measure of comfort.  Despite our ongoing collective sadness, fear and anxiety, temporarily immersing ourselves in some of our easily accessible local landscapes may offer some solace in these difficult days. This may renew our ability and resolve to face these times with confidence, hope, and faith that better days will follow.  

May 2020

The COVID-19-induced isolation has provided plenty of time for reflection.

I look to history for parallels and inspiration. My grandparents lived through the 1918 flu epidemic, they and my parents all lived through both the 1930’s Great Depression and WW II; my father fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Most of us lived through 9/11. By comparison, the changes that my wife and I have had to make in our lives at this time are almost insignificant.

Our sacrifices are dwarfed by those made everyday by front line health care workers and other essential employees.

Look 150 miles south to New York City and its huge death count. Look at the 40 million made unemployed by COVID-19. Look at the 70,000 families who have lost loved ones who cannot even be properly mourned. My heart bleeds for these families and for our country. Me, no restaurant meals, no haircuts, limited social contact, no big deal. I do miss Yankee baseball, but no whining here.

This pandemic is disempowering, how does one help?

Donate $$ to food banks, to food pantries, help the needy. Be grateful. Follow the rules on social distancing and face mask wearing. Thank the front line workers. Show a largeness of spirit.  Be productive. History will assign blame. Be kind to one another.

I think my time in college many, many years ago, especially graduate school, well prepared me to be self-sufficient to a degree. I love to cook and this eliminated one potential problem – lack of proper nourishment. But, I mostly loved to cook for others. Now gone! I haven’t been in a store in six weeks – my daughters in Clifton Park keep me well supplied with all my food and other needs. No more eating out – a favorite pastime of mine.

 For my entire life, I have been a “social” person, whether it be with my family and friends, at work, at play, or in my community activities.

Those that know me know I love to write and talk, to educate others.  Since I can’t do this person-to person, I have had to resort to technology. Thank God for the telephone, the internet, U Tube, texting, emails, FaceTime, etc. I connect with family, and new and old friends both in Little Falls and all over the country on a daily basis. But I do miss my friends at Holy Family Parish, and going to the Historical Society on a daily basis. I deeply miss our intense pitch games.

So what do I do?

I have revisited writing projects that have been “on the shelf” for several years.  On one, I have amassed over 65,000 words on eighty type written pages! I’ve done some yard work, and look forward to warmer weather. The best thing though, is my daily ride. Each day I drive (with my mask and gloves in hand) twenty to thirty miles around the surrounding countryside. I much more appreciate the astoundingly beautiful area in which we live. The pandemic – it too will pass.

covid 19 bad
120 nanometers
pure terror for all

covid 19 rules
cover nose and mouth with masks
let us stop the spread

pandemic advice
stand 6 feet away from me
see me with my mask

the collapse is near
health, food, education, votes
we must see it all

hai·ku /ˈhīˌko͞o/

noun: haiku; plural noun: haikus; plural noun: haiku
a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

a poem in English written in the form of a haiku.

We live in fear every day of one of us becoming sick. My husband has breathing issues, because of a lifetime with asthma. We are so fearful that if we did catch this virus, that he may not survive it. We start our day with this thought every morning. We struggle mentally to get past this thought and on to other thoughts of what we will do with our day. We have never woken up in fear before.

We are Retired, so how we spend our day is up to us.

Pre-pandemic, we spent most days volunteering somewhere. We would spend most of each day out doing something for someone else and return at supper time happy and tired.  This is our 7th week at home and we are loving it!  We have realized that we had our life out of balance. We have learned that we need to put doing for ourselves just as important as doing for others. Lesson learned.

Going to the market for us was a social, enjoyable outing that we looked forward to on a weekly basis.

We more often then not ran into a friend that we hadn’t spoken with in quite sometime.  We usually would chat for 5 to 10 minute and catch up with each other’s lives and then leisurely walk away feeling happy & connected, to continue on with our food shopping until we ran into someone else along the way. Now we get panicky just entering the market. By the time we get suited up to go into a shop, we are soaked in nervous sweat with a mask sucked into our mouths.  Without speaking to anyone we go with our food list in hand and shop as quickly as we can. Then head to get back into the car to wipe it, ourselves & our purchases down with disinfectant. Gone is the joy begotten from such a simple outing.

Student Stories

Visit our new Making History Today Student Edition featuring a new student gallery and student stories

Do you appreciate school more now than before the pandemic?

  • Why / why not?
  • When this health crisis is over, and it will be, what do you want to do first?
  • Do you miss sports – both live here in Little Falls or on TV?
  • What “social networks” do you use most (texting, telephone, email, zoom … etc.) and how often?
  • Who are your “heroes” during the pandemic?
  • Do you still meet with your friends outside of your home environment?
  • How do you think the pandemic will affect your future actions, activities, and life in general?
  • Do you practice “social distancing?”
  • Do you wear a mask when outside, away from your home? If not why, why not?
  • How well have you adjusted to remote learning? 
  • What will you remember most about the pandemic?
  • What do you think you will tell your children and grandchildren about the pandemic in say, 2060 or 2070? Remember you are living through a major event in history.

Life in this pandemic is not easy, My mom and aunt are not allowing me or any of my siblings to leave the house for anything other than to play outside.

When they go to the store there is a limit on certain things you can buy like meats, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. Things changed so much for everybody during this pandemic like some people had to get fired because they didn’t need them due to changing times. Others hours were cut, And businesses that are not essential got shut down. So many small businesses went out of business. Some are not taking it as seriously as others are. I don’t think the children and teens know how serious this pandemic is because I see kids walking the streets with friends without masks on not 6 feet apart etc. There are grown adult’s in the stores without masks on and with them pulled down off their face defeating the whole purpose of wearing a mask in the first place. Right now things are slowing down and things are starting to re-open, but things were not like this there were about 500 deaths per day in New York State alone but now that is down to about 30. The nursing homes completely changed also. Residents can’t see their families in person; they have to see them through a glass window or and facetime. Just imagine if their loved one were to die, the family would be devastated because their loved one died and they didn’t even get to see them or say goodbye before they passed. Also nurses, aids, and nursing home staff are forced to get tested twice a week which was recently knocked down to once a week. Nurses and Aids are also forced to work mandated hours because other nurses and aids are scared of the pandemic. That can take a toll on the nurses and aids. If it happens time and time again they could become exhausted and not be able to carry out their duties correctly.

These changing times completely changed schooling for this year also, everything is online. To me it is no where close to the same and I didn’t learn as much as if I were to actually be in school. Online schooling was way easier for me. I can’t speak for others but I can speak for myself. These changing times have been tough but all we can do is power through it and wait for things to go back to normal.

Class of ’21

March 22, 2020

Journal #1:
How is the coronavirus affecting your life — physically, socially and emotionally? What changes have you, your friends, family, and community experienced? What has been the most difficult aspect for you?

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus has made a major impact in my life physically, socially, and emotionally. Physically, I am actually able to set aside time to eat healthier and workout more, which I personally do enjoy. Although I’d much rather be in school with my friends, I do like have some free time. Socially, I absolutely hate this. As much as I love seeing my family, I can only handle so much. I miss my friends so much, and talking on the phone with them is much different than talking in person. I miss being able to interact with my teachers and other peers. I feel like I’m isolated away from my friends and I really just want to see them. I am also not handling this very well emotionally. My emotions have been peaking, with me getting very upset and scared as I hear more and more about this outbreak. I am also a lot more sad recently. I feel like not being able to interact with people outside of my house is affecting my emotional being a lot. My mental state hasn’t been as good as it usually is, the main reason being the lack of social interaction I’m experiencing. I also feel like I’m going insane more and more each day. I feel claustrophobic 80 percent of the time and I’m sick of being stuck in my house. But, I know that this is all for a good reason and will be worth it once the virus dials down. For now, talking on the phone with my friends and going outside occasionally is the best I can do.  The main changes my friends and I are experiencing are not being able to physically interact and talk to one another in person. My friend group is very close and we hang out very frequently. The major change is our plans of hanging out being stripped away. My family is also going through major changes. My mom and dad are both working from home, my brother and I are also home from school. My older sister’s college classes are online for the rest of the semester, meaning she is also home. The main change is that my immediate family is spending 24/7 together, but trying to stay out of each other’s way for the most part. My community is on lockdown. Most people don’t leave their houses unless they absolutely need to. Our community doesn’t seem too fearful, though. We have had less than 5 confirmed cases so far, which I think is pretty good. Everyone in my community is handling this pretty well. Although I miss my normal life, I’m glad everyone is respecting other people’s safety. The most difficult aspect for me is the sudden change of my life. Before this all happened, I was excited for our school play, school trips and just being in school. But in what seemed less than a week that was all gone. I realized how much I took for granted the little things in life. I miss the freedom of just being able to go to school and see my friends. I hope the Corona Virus goes away just as quick as it came.

March 30th, 2020

Journal #2
“Last week we focused on the difficulties that the coronavirus has had on you and your family, friends, and community. This week, think about the positives. What are some things that you have been able to do while not at school? Have you accomplished anything new? If so, what was it? Most importantly, what are two things that you are grateful for today and why?”

While I am not at school, I have been focusing more on myself. I take a few hours everyday to work on school work, but I don’t have much left. I like to make sure I eat enough food and that for the most part, it’s healthy. I make sure I drink enough water, too. I also make sure my house and room are clean. With the cancellation of school I now have time to workout too, and everyday I have free time. Although I’d probably rather be in school, I am getting a lot done and I feel very productive. I have accomplished a new workout routine, and I also started reorganizing my room. I’m also able to see my family a lot, which at some times annoys me, but usually they’re fine. I think the biggest thing I am able to do is practice driving. Recently, I got my drivers permit, and my parents have been taking me on long drives to get practice. On sunday I drove for four hours, and I felt really accomplished. One of the things I’m grateful for today is that my family and friends are healthy and safe. New York State makes up almost half of the CoronaVirus cases in the US. That is insanely scary and crazy. I’m so thankful that my family and friends are healthy. I miss my friends a lot, but staying inside is the right thing to do, to ensure the safety of my friends and family. The other day, I was sick with a cough, sore throat, and not a fever, but I felt hot with occasional cold chills. I got it from my sister who came home from college after being in an apartment where her roommates traveled out of the country. We don’t think it was CoronaVirus (thankfully) but we were definitely sick. So, I’m thankful that we are both healthy now. I still cough, but I feel a lot better. My sister is almost completely rid of the symptoms, so I’m very thankful for that. I’m glad that my family and friends seem to be doing fine and handling this whole experience really well. This is the first time in my life and my friends’ life that a pandemic has ever gone this far. We’ve had epidemics in our lifetimes, but a lot of them didn’t even affect our country. The second thing that I’m grateful for is the way our community is handling this. I genuinely expected people to be mean and sour about this, but when I’m grocery shopping, people are generally nice and not grabbing everything off the shelves. At first, it was the opposite. People were hoarding essentials, and took more than they needed. I’ve seen a lot of social media posts that show people taking more than they need, leading to other people having nothing to take. Fortunately, in Little Falls, our workers are doing a really good job at keeping our stores in stock. Overall, I’m really hoping this whole experience is almost over, so we can return to our normal lives.

Class of ’22

It was the middle of March when the LFHS closed down because of the COVID 19 pandemic. I didn’t think it would really ever happen, but it did. Everyone was afraid they were going to catch the virus and everything was closing up. At first I thought we would miss just a week or two, but here we are 3 months after and we are still out of school.

All students were forced to work from home because we couldn’t be near each other in case someone caught the virus. I thought of it as a little vacation at first, but as time went by, I realized it was more than that. It is hard to learn from home on the chromebooks because there are too many other things to do at home. It isn’t like sitting in a classroom where you have nothing else to do but your work. Students had to try to focus in their home surroundings and be responsible enough to get the work done without sitting in a classroom. It is much harder at home. I like being able to ask the teacher when I have a question and getting the answer right then and there. When you have to wait, you aren’t focused on getting the work done anymore and find other things to do. I have a feeling that this is really going to affect students’ grades because I don’t think I am the only one having trouble focusing at home.

Life became really boring after school was let out. Everyone has to stay home and away from everyone else. It was really scary at first because everyone was scared and it is constantly on the news. It seems like nobody trusts anybody because they think they might give them the virus. Hanging out with friends wasn’t a thing anymore. Everyone quarantined themselves so they didn’t have to be around anyone else but their family in the house. It isn’t as bad anymore, and I hang out with my friends sometimes, but not as often as I used to. When I do, I can only be around a couple at a time so we don’t have a big group.

My mom is an essential worker and I used to be afraid that she would catch the virus at work. I never really wanted her to go to work and expose herself because I was afraid she was going to catch it. I’m not really worried anymore. The numbers are getting lower and I’m used to it and she hasn’t been exposed yet so it’s not as bad as it seemed at the beginning.

When this just started spreading, people were going crazy in the stores. They were buying everything off the shelves. They bought all the disinfectant, toilet paper, canned goods, and dry goods out of the stores so they would be ready to spend a long time in their homes. We ended up with a ton of food in the house too. It isn’t so bad anymore, but the shelves aren’t stocked like they used to be because people are still buying them out. Also, the stores changed the way they do things. You have to wear a mask to go in and disinfect the cart on the way in. They now have plexiglass at the cash register so the germs can’t spread from the customers to the workers. Some people even wear gloves so they can’t get germs on their hands.

A lot of people lost their jobs because places had to shut down to stop the spread of the virus. Some food places are able to stay open but nobody can go in and sit down to eat. They all have to get take out. A lot of food places turned into carside pick up so people don’t even enter the buildings.

I am hoping that things turn back to normal soon.

I miss going to the places we always went to to get out of the house and have fun. I can’t wait to eat in a restaurant and walk the mall. I never thought I would see the day that we can’t do any of that anymore. I hope when I am older and have kids, they will be able to see what life was like before the pandemic. I realize now how fast a virus can spread now, but I hope things can get back to normal so people aren’t always afraid to be around each other.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, people are isolated in their homes with little connection to the outside world. Daily life, plans, and activities have been changed as people strive to find a new normal. Usually, in the spring I would be playing softball and studying for my finals. But, I cannot keep track of what day it is because there is no schedule and virtually nothing to do. Today has been the same as any other day for the past month or so. I do my homework each day and spend quality time with my parents.

I love spending time with my parents and I hope to continue to have a great bond with them throughout my life. I am extremely grateful that my parents and my extended family do not have the coronavirus. I think that social distancing and proper hygiene are preventing the rapid spread of this virus. I hope that people continue to practice social distancing so this virus stops quicker and infects fewer people. My parents and I have been following health guidelines for the community. For instance, I have not seen my cousins in months, and I miss them dearly.

The most difficult aspect of self-isolation is loneliness as I cannot see my friends or my extended family. I am used to seeing my friends six or seven days a week between school and extracurricular activities. My friends and I have stayed in touch daily through social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. I have talked to new people and reconnected with some old ones through this difficult time. Although I have more free time on my hands to do new things, I want this virus to be contained.

The coronavirus has opened my eyes and made me realize not to take anything for granted.

My parents have gone to work each day thus far. I go on periodic walks for exercise and the streets are bare. I have been trying to stay active and positive, but it is hard. I am extremely bored, although I am trying to make the most of it. My goal is to be useful by cleaning my room and going through my clothes to give away. I have also played certain board games that I have not played in years, and spent quality time with my family. I am trying to make every moment worthwhile. I miss school and realized that I may have taken it for granted prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Online learning is an adjustment for students as well as teachers. It can be difficult, and often stressful. Personally, I think that there are advantages as well as drawbacks to online learning. As of right now, I think that staying out of school until the coronavirus settles down will be the best idea. In the long run, separation and online learning will be helpful to our community.

The coronavirus has made me realize how valuable healthcare workers are. The healthcare workers on the front lines are the true heroes during this unpredictable time. I have a lot of respect for the workers who put their lives on the line every day. Some people take their health for granted, but I encourage people to view good health as a privilege instead of a right. There are many people in the United States who have passed away due to underlying health conditions. I hope that healthcare workers will be able to obtain a greater understanding of the virus so they can cure more patients. This pandemic has taught me to live day by day and sometimes, hour by hour. Every moment blends together, and before you realize it, months have gone by. It is hard and stressful to do the same thing each day and I am looking forward to having a normal life again. I realized that by making a gratitude list, it shows that I should be grateful for what I have, instead of being upset with the current circumstances in the world. There is nothing more that can be done other than staying inside. I firmly believe that everyone will be a lot happier when we return to some form of normalcy. This will be a long process, but there is light at the end of the darkness.

We can’t go to school so school has been moved to online.

but it’s hard mostly because our teacher is not here to teach us.  So of course we can’t physically interact with each other but we can interact between phones! mostly i have been focusing on my schoolwork but when I’m done with that I usally call my friends to see what’s been happening with them. at this time right now I would be at school doing classwork but I can’t do that. I don’t like that I can’t go to stores [if I have to] without a mask I miss just the regular way of everything.the thing bringing me joy right now is social media like FaceTime etc. and my dogs. when this crisis is over I will most likely spend a night with one of my friends! I miss my sports very much I won’t be able to play softball this year which makes me very sad. I will meet with my friends outside but only certain ones like my neighbors!!  I think I practice social distancing in stores more then I would any where else!

Class of ’28

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STORY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

You may submit any creative work electronically that reflects how you, your family, and friends have been forced to make changes in your everyday lives. Look inward for ideas.

You can submit written work such as short essays, journal-like entries, and poems. You can also submit artwork and photographs.

The submissions we publish will

  • Be polite.
  • Paint a real picture of daily life in Little Falls.
  • Be heartfelt expressions of what it means to live in Little Falls today.
  • Express personal feelings and experiences. Please do not write about what others are saying or doing. We want to hear your story. 
  • Not contain political statements. No finger pointing or assigning blame. Let history assign blame.
  • Please do not submit anything about yourself or others that is too personal for others to read or see.

Little Falls Historical Society Museum Exhibits

Contact Us

Little Falls Historical Society Museum
319 South Ann Street
Little Falls, NY  (Get directions)

(315) 823-0643

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.

Additionally, 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.

Little Falls Historical Society Museum
319 South Ann Street
Little Falls, NY

In case of emergency please call:
Jeffrey Gressler at (315) 823-2799
Louis Baum at (315) 823-0620 or (315) 867-3527

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