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

Mark Simonson

January 26, 2013

Oneonta's Arabian Knights tumbled across the U.S. in the 1930s


In it was a wealth of regional newspaper clippings I’d missed, along with memorabilia from the western trip and much more. As it turned out, this wasn’t the troupe’s first long trip, as at one time they had also performed in Washington, D.C., and six other Atlantic states, along with a local Hawaiian music trio, made up of Kenneth Watkins, Ian Davidson and Ralph Ford.

Also in September 2012, Cindy Eckert of Asheville, N.C. wrote, inquiring about the Arabian Knights. Lester Eckert was her father. In the scrapbook, a newspaper clipping told of Lester sending a variety of cactus plants home during the western trip to the Eckert home on Oneida Street in Oneonta.

Mystery solved.

On Monday: A proposed use of a then-vacant Academy Street school lot in early 1978.

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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