Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
April 25, 1988
ONEONTA — Irene Engelman and 15 members of the original Fox Hospital Auxiliary looked at each other across 30 years on Thursday. Mrs. Engelman, who now lives in Johnstown, was the first volunteer coordinator at Fox Hospital, starting there in 1959.
They shared memories as Mrs. Engelman spoke at the 30th anniversary and volunteer recognition luncheon in the Holiday Inn. Among her memories was the combination snack bar and gift shop just inside the Norton Street entrance.
“We called members who made the casseroles, salads and baked goods for the snack bar,” she said. “The doctors had their favorite casseroles and when they came in for morning coffee, they would ask who was making the casseroles that day. I can still see Dr. Dietz, Dr. Flanders, Dr. Carson, Dr. Sisson as they had coffee there.”
“Financially we did very well, but I often wonder what the State Health Department would say about the way we operated the snack bar,” she said.
Lorraine Kabot, president and chief executive officer of Fox Hospital, traced the history of the volunteers of the hospital, starting in 1901 when the hospital was opened.
The first organization was called a Ladies Board of Managers, she said. Fifty women paid $5 to belong. Ten were elected to do weekly sanitary and domestic inspections.
The Ladies Board set up the first kitchen, purchasing dishes and cooking utensils. They also bought the bedding for 22 beds, and auxiliary members and their husbands bought the food for the hospital.
50 years ago
April 25, 1963
COOPERSTOWN — An old country store patterned on country stores of the late 1800’s will open at 9 a.m. Friday on Main Street.
It will be a family enterprise. Mrs. Wayne E. Willis and her son, Robert, are partners in the new venture.
Mrs. Willis said that for the past 10 years she had been considering this kind of enterprise. “We waited only for the right opportunity, time of the year and the right place — one that would fit the Cooperstown atmosphere.”
The store, appropriately named “Leatherstocking Country Store,” will be “a functional museum,” explained Mrs. Willis, “in the respect that almost all the fixtures were acquired from throughout Central New York.”
These fixtures were at one time or another used in old country stores in the late nineteenth century, according to Mrs. Willis.
“We have the oldest dust in the county,” said the Willises with a smile, “because we spent countless hours dusting off the old fixtures here.
“We should like in time to provide a market for locally produced items.”
Mrs. Willis said that the store will feature home baked goods, country cheese, old time crackers, jams, jellies and other preserves.