Our New York State Room has so many different items, and this week we feature our photographs and postcards. If a picture can say a thousand words, then our collection of photographs and postcards say plenty. While our collection is searchable by keyword, you may enjoy taking a trip into our area’s history by browsing our albums at your leisure.
If you are researching old buildings and businesses, we probably have a photograph for you. You’ll enjoy looking at the Oneonta Light and Power Company of the early 1900s, the old East End School of Oneonta, and the Franklin Turnpike. We also have many historical photographs depicting community events such as parades and fairs, along with school class photos and sports teams of old.
We make an effort to add descriptive information to our photographs when we can. For instance, when the Franklin Turnpike operated, the fees ranged from 12.5 cents for every carriage drawn by two horses or other beasts, 6.5 cents for carriages drawn by one horse or other beast and a horse and rider was 4 cents. The funds collected went to the upkeep of the road. The road became a public highway in 1916.
One photograph of Walling’s Grove describes its history over time. The site of the large pavilion in Wilber Park today used to be land known as Walling’s Grove and belonged to the Walling family. At one time, a grandstand was built near this site and the public could watch bicycle races on a quarter-mile track between it and Center Street. This area was considered as the site for the Normal school, but the cost was too expensive. Eventually, after much legal maneuvering by George Wilber with local government officials, Wilber gained control of the land from the Walling family and it became Wilber Park.
Often, people come in to research their home; part of that research includes trying to find historic photographs of their homes. Many of Oneonta’s historic homes have had different purposes over time. Oneonta’s first mayor, Albert Morris, lived in what is now Robynwood at the corner of Walnut and Maple Streets. It was considered one of the most elegant residences in Oneonta when it was built in 1885 and 1886 and still retains much of its original look today.
You never know what you’ll see in our many photographs and we invite you to spend time browsing through our collections.
Cameron Flaherty is new to farming and she hopes to get a corner of the market with her organic produce. When she discovers her one employee not following organic practices, she fires him. A short time later she discovers him with a pitchfork in his neck in “A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die.” Author Edith Maxwell starts a series with this title, and you’ll root for Cameron when she is accused of the murder and sets about clearing her name.
“Pandora’s Lunchbox” by Melanie Warner reveals what really goes into the processed foods we eat. According to the author, processed foods account for nearly 70 percent of the calories in our nation’s foods. Food science has resulted in nutritionally inferior foods with many chemical additives that harm our health and you’ll want to learn more about this to change your eating habits.
Children will enjoy “How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?” by Buffy Silverman. Learn how they fly, how people control them, where they go, and then how they come back down to earth again. Color photographs show beautiful balloons as they fill the sky.
Children’s summer programs start this week. Full details are available at the library and include programs and activities children of all ages. Registration is required, so visit the library today to sign up, or call us at 432-1980 for more information.
The library will be closed on July 4. Regular hours resume Friday.
Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.