The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Mark Simonson

March 24, 2014

Railroad declined, other industries surged locally in 1954


The Star reported about Crain, on March 13, “By a fluke of the vocal chord, the 27-year-old tenor robusto made an unexpected debut the other night at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City — on only three hours’ notice.”

Jon and his wife, Joan, lived in Oneonta at the time, and they suddenly got an urgent call from New York, asking if Jon could sing the lead role of Alfred in the comic opera, “Die Fledermaus” — that night — to fill in for the tenor who was “out of sorts.”

Somehow, Crain got to New York, rehearsed and got into costume in time for the evening show. The New York Times gave Crain a review, saying, “A useful Metropolitan career may be expected.”

This weekend: a bank in Delaware County has kept its original name for 175 years.

Oneonta City Historian Mark Simonson’s column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or email him at His website is His columns can be found at

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