Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
June 8, 1988
The Oneonta Common Council received two proposals Tuesday night for rehabilitating the 181-year-old Swart-Wilcox House near the Riverside School.
A steering committee including Oneonta Assistant Superintendent Dr. John Lutz and involving elementary school teachers has proposed turning the building into an educational/recreational center for students of Riverside and the city’s other schools.
Lutz said he and committee members Helen Beckwith, Debby Clough, Dawn Minette and Tom Morris would be seeking funds from government, foundations and local contributors to possibly turn the house into a museum with living exhibits involving the participation of students. Archeology, American crafts and artistry would be featured, Lutz said.
Also, Otsego-Northern Catskill BOCES has proposed turning the historic saltbox-style house into a location for its alternative education program, according to William J. Nagel, assistant superintendent for instruction at BOCES and overall supervisor of the alternative education program.
Nagel said BOCES is now renting space for its alternative education program from the city at the East Street Youth Center. Use of the Swart-Wilcox House would give the alternative education students the opportunity to learn career skills by refurbishing the house, Nagel said, and would then provide a location for BOCES to deal with the students who are in danger of dropping out of school.
The city bought the property in 1975 with plans for a museum and recreation center. But, unused, the house has decayed in the 13 years since then.
Mayor David Brenner said the city will review the applications, adding that the two requests are not necessarily competing and could be integrated.
50 years ago
June 8, 1963
MARGARETVILLE (Special) — An epidemic has struck Margaretville and its environs, which it is doubtful will be brought under control before the very last week of August.
It’s a fever which gets into the bloodstream. It is attacking all ages. It is Bi-Centennial fever. It strikes a community but once every 200 years. It is highly contagious.
Aug. 19-24, the Town of Middletown will celebrate its 200th birthday. Margaretville is the focal point of the festivities which will last for a week.
Saturday, Aug. 24 is the date set for the bi-centennial’s celebration parade, and interest in this feature is mounting weekly. The parade, without question, will be the greatest ever held in the area.
Townsmen, a month ago, began the raising of beards, sideburns, and mustaches, and the wearing of derbys, top hats, and other species of head gear, thus putting themselves in the role of celebration promoters.
The Middletown bi-centennial committee met Tuesday evening to plan an open family picnic to be held Sunday, June 16 at the Arkville Fire Department’s park.
Sunday, June 23 there will be a chicken barbecue at the park to raise money for use by the committee.
A band concert and an auction will feature the program. People are asked to notify Charles Yaekel or the Margaretville Department Store if they have articles to contribute to the auction, and they will be picked up.