Little Falls Historical Society Museum Events

  • This day in history: July 28

    1892

    A public spirited citizen, Mr. P. W. Casler, having watched hundreds of boys swimming in the river from the point of Hansen Island, has generously donated some bath houses to be located there. In the name of decency and cleanliness, a small fee might be charged for the use of bathing suits and towels.

    1895

    It is said that Little Falls has more pneumatic tired carriages than any other place of even double its size in this section of the state.

    1921

    A grateful community turned out at St. Mary’s church for the funeral of Deloir A. Marco, the first of its boys to make the supreme sacrifice on the battlefields of France, and the first whose body was brought home to its final resting place.

  • This day in history: July 29

    1913

    Stones, undoubtedly the walls of the 1796 Octagon Church, were unearthed by workmen employed on a drainage and heating system project for the Church Street School.

    1923

    The Italian Roman Catholics in Little Falls now have their own parish. The wood-framed church at the northeast corner of East John and South Mary streets was opened today under the leadership of Rev. Anthony Spina.

  • This day in history: July 30

    1783

    George Washington toured the upper Hudson Valley, the Saratoga and Lake George areas, and the Mohawk Valley to thank the citizens for their steadfast support and efforts during the Revolutionary War. At the little falls, he allegedly spoke about the need to build a canal to facilitate the movement of men and materials around the rapids. A decade later, the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company canal was built.

    1825

    Joseph Bonaparte, brother of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived in Little Falls accompanied by his daughter and her cousin, the young Prince Murat, and the usual train of attendants. They stayed at the Little Falls Hotel. Murat and one of the attendants attended church.

    1835

    The bridge across the Mohawk River at Mr. Finks, which has been under construction, is now ready for use.

    1867

    Ceremonies were held with the laying of the cornerstone for the new Universalist Church with the Rev. L. Holmes of Orange, Massachusetts installed as the new pastor. A glass jar containing various articles was deposited in a niche prepared for it.

    1901

    Whether it was the increase in the price paid for cheese, great weather, a bumper hay crop, or something else, the farmers had big night in town. The stores as well as the saloons did a large business. There were many fights and nineteen arrests were made, thirteen by policeman James “Dusty” Long.

    1915

    The city still has a night watchman, a man who goes around and sees that all the doors are locked:  In fact he is the one who “closes up the town.” Sylvanus “Pop” Holmes, a retired Little Falls policeman, is paid by the store owners, and has been on the job for many years.

    1916

    In a letter to Little Falls Mayor Abram Zoller, Chief of Police James Long listed 23 individuals (including two women) who had entered three Main Street saloons on this Sunday date. Information included time entering and leaving the saloon, and the individual’s addresses.

    1968

    In a joyous reunion, Mrs. Anthony Lamanna of Little Falls was reunited here with her brother, Vincent Perna of Monteleone, Italy after 53 years. Perna came to Little Falls at age 11, attended Jefferson Street school, but he returned to Italy when he was 18 years old. He has many friends in our city.

    2002

    Speeders beware – the Little Falls Police Department is testing a new laser radar gun that can track a speeding car 3,000 feet away. According to a police spokesman, “A ton of tickets have been issued in the past three days.”

  • This day in history: July 31

    1856

    The boiler exploded at the Little Falls Cotton Factory. Mr. Thomas Stevenson who lived nearby and was having dinner, heard the explosion, went to his door and was crushed to death by the falling boiler. Several women and children were also hurt by falling debris. A Grand Jury determined the cause to be a faulty boiler operated by an inexperienced boiler man.

    1885

    The water in the Eastern Park reservoir is so impure that the fish in it have all died. This stagnant pool is liable, during the existing hot weather, to breed disease among those who live in the neighborhood.

    1908

    Frank Gregorka has invented a water bicycle without any plans or drawings, and is testing his odd craft on the canal in Little Falls. The power is supplied by a bicycle frame connected to a 13” propeller by means of bevel gears. The body has two 6 ½ foot floats fastened 3 feet apart.

    1929

    A count showed 633 out-of-state automobiles went through the city in six hours – a rate of nearly two per minute. The survey was taken for one hour each day for six consecutive days. The states which led the totals were Michigan (92), Ohio (91), Massachusetts (88), and New Jersey (56.) Cars were also from many other states and California, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, D.C., and the Panama Canal Zone.

    1942

    WW II Era – Two Little Falls garages, Whitcomb on West Lansing Street and R.G. Smith on West Main and Third Streets, went out of business because of restrictions on the sale of autos and the rationing of tires and gasoline.

    1963

    No One was injured in an accident on the New York Central this afternoon, at milepost 216.30, in which eighteen cars were derailed just east of Second Street in this city. The engine and the first six cars remained upright on the track.

News and Updates

The Little Falls Historical Society has added a Making History Today repository page to our website This new page is for the purpose of collecting residents’ input and creating a body of work that will help future generations better understand how the greater Little Falls community has been impacted by the pandemic.  Society members, local […]

The Little Falls Historical Society Museum kicked off the new 2020 writing series with our first article published in the Times Telegram on April 16, 2020. All of the published articles can be read on both the Times Telegram and our website. We hope you enjoy the series!

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. […]

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 https://herkimertelegram-ny.newsmemory.com/?publink=158cc708e_1343597.

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 […]