While Wilber saw the Normal School’s early success, he just missed the start of construction of the new Hartwick College. On Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1928, the Star reported that Williamson & Son of Elmira started excavating for the cellar and leveling surrounding ground for the first building on campus. We know it today as Bresee Hall.
With only weeks to go until Hartwick began instruction, 50 students had been enrolled, with several more to come in the weeks ahead. The school was set to open on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at temporary headquarters of the old Walling mansion, at the corner of Walling Avenue and Main Street. The United Presbyterian “Red Door” Church is found there today.
If they were wealthy enough, future students could have the opportunity to fly into Oneonta and land at the growing West End Airport, in the area where NYSEG and several businesses on Browne Avenue are located today.
“Good progress was being made,” it was reported on Thursday, Aug. 23, “by Owen P. Williams, contractor, in the grading, leveling and rolling of two runways at the city’s West End airport at the direction of the Chamber of Commerce Aviation committee and it is expected that before the end of the week the airport will afford two very satisfactory runways. There are now six planes permanently located at the field and visitors are frequently entertained there.”
While airplanes and flying were entertaining, so were an automobile and its driver on a mission.
“Charley Young, the ‘Iron Man,’ who on Tuesday morning (Aug. 21) started out on an effort to drive a Pontiac about Oneonta and in its vicinity for 101 hours without leaving the front seat of the car, without stopping the motor, without sleep, and with only milk as a food collapsed Saturday evening at 5:03 .. on Main Street near Broad, having driven 100 hours and 33 minutes and lacking only 27 minutes of reaching his self-set mark.”