This day in history: July 2
The “Taylor Driving Park” is the name given the new sporting grounds on the south side on the river, west of the village, in honor of its first president, Oscar Taylor.
The Little Falls Fire Department received national exposure when they tested the new Eastman Nozzle System. The men were able to “throw” a solid two inch deluge stream nearly 100 feet above the MacKinnon factory, against a strong wind, all from one hydrant using only gravity pressure.
The Tri County Firemen’s Convention was held in Little Falls, and crowds flocked to see the Auto parade.
Cheney Hammer Co., one of Little Falls’ oldest industries, closed its doors today for the last time and 40 people lost their jobs. Collins Company of Connecticut bought the stock. The company began in 1844.
A Rochester corporation, recognizing the unique and rare value of the 1833 old bank building, has expressed interest in purchasing the building, dismantling the structure, stone by stone, and rebuild it in the western part of the state in a historic village similar to the old Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown.
After 1,139 days of construction, construction delays, controversy, and legal issues, the Theodore S. Wind Bridge, connecting the East–West Arterial to the New York State Thruway exit is open. Built at a cost of $13, 665,209 the 2,083 foot bridge is the final link in the arterial system.
This day in history: July 3
A fire at 2 o’clock in the morning at the Hinchman House Barn on Albany street caused $54,000 in damages. Valuable furnishings, goods and property were removed from the hotel and adjoining stores by the firemen. The whole corner of Main and Second streets, as well as the Hinchman House itself, was wiped out. It was felt that the fire was an act of arson.
Everybody is going to the Centennial after haying.
The new sports venue, Riverside Park. opened with a game between the newly formed Little Falls professional base ball team and Canastota before seven hundred fans. Admission was 25 cents; ladies free. The locals lost their inaugural game.
It is stated that the overhead railroad crossing at Second Street is to be built at once, and will be ready for use by the middle of the month.
George A. Wyman, the first person to cross America by motorcycle, riding from San Francisco to New York City, stopped in Little Falls mid-day. Here he sought out a repair shop to make a new leather drive belt which had slipped off seven times the previous day.
Mayor Zoller and the Common Council met for the first time at the new City Hall for an official session.
The first airplane to land near Little Falls was a DeHaviland-four, piloted by Lt. Malcolm Allison. He flew here to participate in the “Welcome Home” celebration.
Mrs. Frederika Conrad, president of the Board of Education, signed a three year lease, at $1,500 per year, for one kindergarten classroom at the Masonic Temple.
Today is the official opening of the “City of Little Falls Diamond Jubilee” celebration which will continue until July 12th with a gigantic parade and a display of fireworks to climax the memorable week of festivities.
Moss Island, in Little Falls, is the 22nd natural landmark in New York State to be designated to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks by the United States Secretary of the Interior.
This day in history: July 4
At the fourth of July parade in the village, there were many veterans of the War of 1812 and a few from the Revolutionary War. Also in the line of march were Captain George Petrie’s Rifle Corps and the Newport Band.
A solemn “Welcome Home Celebration” was held for all returning Civil War veterans, as survivors of the 121st Regiment arrived in town. It was bittersweet as only 445 out of 1076 who marched away had returned.
Amusements in the village for the glorious 4th included an egg picking contest- a race in Eastern Square to retrieve a dozen hidden eggs – and a foot race from the corner of William and Main streets to the Benton House on Garden Street to gain a sack of flour. Mr. Blank won both races.
A crowd of 15,000 gathered in Little Falls to watch the maiden flight of balloonist Mary Hawley. She had, for the occasion, chosen the professional name of “Carlotta, the Lady Aeronaut.” Her husband, Carl Meyers, the “Professor,” was the ingenious designer of balloons and the gas generators for filling them. Never again known as Mary, “Carlotta” made more than 60 flights over the next two years.
Main and Second Streets were illuminated by four electric arc lamps loaned by Ilion, the current being furnished by Adam’s Box Shop.
After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Little Norwegian ship, the Viking, passed through Little Falls on its way to the World’s Fair in Chicago. The ship’s captain and the college crew were entertained at the Metropolitan hotel by Mr. J.D. Fredericken.
The ideal picnic ground – Camp Jolly – is now ready for business. Among the many features are a large covered dancing pavilion, a Base Ball Diamond, a quarter mile Bicycle track, Croquet, Tennis and Archery grounds, Steam Merry-go-Round, and Plenty of Swings & See Saws. Also, Row Boats, Steam Launch, and Fishing Tackle. Round trip boat fare from Little Falls is 25 cents.
Dynamite firecrackers were responsible for five bad accidents in Little Falls over the holiday. Two young boys lost their right hands, one boy had severe injuries to his fingers, another had injuries to his left eye when the contents exploded, and an older lady badly injured her hand while amusing her grandchildren.
A large “Welcome Home and Peace Jubilee” was held in Little Falls. The program included band concerts, a mammoth parade & military review, community chorus of 200 voices, dancing at Western Park, a baseball games, gymnastic drills by the Polish Society, and a gorgeous display of fireworks at Burwell grounds.
The Dresher Company, 39-41 West Main Street, offers specially priced, attractive, well-built rubber tired Scooters for $4.50. “A small down payment delivers a scooter to your home.”
Governor Thomas E. Dewey, at his speech at Eastern Park highlighting the “Veterans’ Welcome Home” day observance, was cheered by thousands. The parade that followed, featuring hundreds of local veterans, was one of the largest and best ever seen in the city.
The former Slovenian Home on Danube Street was damaged by a mudslide when thousands of pounds of mud, rocks, and water from the Rollway hit the building after a torrential rainstorm.
This day in history: July 5
The undisputed Asiatic Cholera is extending over our country, one case is reported in Little Falls. An ordinance for the protection of our village was passed. It ordained that no boatman or other person shall land or set ashore from the Erie Canal. No inhabitant shall let a sick person in the house, Inn, etc. without a certificate from the village president and physician stating the person is not afflicted with cholera.
Charles Dee, proprietor of the West Shore Hotel, was arrested, charged with keeping a disorderly house, the evidence being furnished by one Mattie Hill who was present when raided by the police. E. G. Van Allen, who runs a saloon on the towpath, was arrested on the same offense- bail for both was $500 each.
Gypsies arrived in the city at 11:00 a.m. expecting to park their five cars and stay awhile. They were promptly escorted out of the city by Police Chief “Dusty” Long.
Using a treasure trove at the Little Falls Historical Society Museum, Louie Baum toiled for months creating an over 200-page document to chronicle the historic past of Little Falls.
Photo submitted – National Herkimer County Bank and Presbyterian Church in the background – (Kinney Plaza) circa 1860. by Pat Frezza-Gressler, member of the Little Falls Historical Society Constructed of native stone in 1833 as the first bank in Herkimer County and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1970, the Little Falls […]
This article is more about the future than the past. Although 2020 will be remembered for the succession of crises that changed our lives in many ways, for the members of the Little Falls Historical Society, a group of six students from SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program of Museum Studies and their professor, this year […]
Little Falls native Blaise Carrig (LFHS class of 1969) and his wife Leslie donated $50,000 earlier this year to six Little Falls non-profit organizations. The Carrigs responded to a series of questions for this article from their home in Longmont, Colorado. “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by […]
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 […]