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

Mark Simonson

April 26, 2014

Oneonta businesses saw expansion in 1914

(Continued)

While business may have been good for the Building and Loan Association and the Oneonta Department Store, the Oneonta Theatre was apparently in quite a slump at the time.

The Star reported on Thursday, April 23, “At the close of the performance last evening of The Dingbat Family, one of the most successful of the new musical comedies, being greeted by a small house, the company losing $134 by visiting the city, Resident Manager Roberts stated that unless the house is better patronized it will be closed for the summer at least.

“Mr. Roberts says that it is up to the public to determine whether they desire the house open or closed and upon their action the final decision will rest.”

A bit farther east in the downtown business district, it was reported on Friday, April 24, that the work on the new government building would begin Monday. We know it today as City Hall at 258 Main St. This building had been in the works since the early 1890s.

By the end of the week, excavation had seen significant progress for the basement, made easy because the former Briggs Lumber Co. had been on this site prior to vacating for the new government building.

It was reported that “local men will be employed as far as possible,” and that the limestone from a company in Bedford, Ind., was ready to be shipped to Oneonta.

Interestingly, the Star reported about “one complication that is feared is Silver creek. Should this rise to any degree during the excavation, the work might be interfered with. The high water in the creek has been the reason that the beginning of the work has been deferred for so long.”

The new building opened on June 14, 1915, functioning as a post office until the mid-1960s.

On Monday: A 1970 student strike at Delhi Tech.

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 simmark@stny.rr.com. His website is www.oneontahistorian.com. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/marksimonson.

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