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July 7, 2014

Local closures, communism, bike parade highlighted July 1949

Saying farewell to two longstanding institutions, a local scare by the “Red Menace,” and a Bicycle Mardi Gras were all part of our local life and times in July 1949.

DEPARTURES

With a dateline of South Worcester, The Oneonta Star reported on Friday, July 1, “New York State’s smallest postoffice was closed yesterday after serving rural families in the Lutheranville section for more than half a century.

“Lutheranville is southeast of East Worcester, just across the county line in Schoharie County. Its postoffice, numbered 2322, was in a one-story shed about 8 by 20 feet.”

About a dozen families were served by this office, at a cost of $10,676 per year. This tiny building was a replacement for what had burned down an unspecified number of years earlier, and although plans had been made to construct a post office, they never got beyond the shed. The original post office had opened “prior to 1900.” Those 12 families began getting their mail by rural delivery routes.

At the very end of July came parting news of another longtime Oneonta organization.

“The Oneonta Club, Inc., once a venerable social register, certainly the most respectable and exclusive club in this section, died in obscurity this week with but a few to faithfully mourn its lowly passing. The younger generation hardly knew what it was,” The Star reported on July 30, 1949.

The club for many years was at 51 Dietz St., now the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home. It was built by the club in the 1890s, and had a membership limit of 180 and always a waiting list until it began to slip in the late 1920s and early ‘30s. It claimed that character, not money, was the eligibility factor, as dues were $25 a year.

It was believed that better cars and roads, movies, radio and rival fraternal organizations were factors in the Oneonta Club’s demise.

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