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.