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

Mark Simonson

February 2, 2013

Area residents sought gold in Alaska in 1897


W.C. Fonda, from the family that was the namesake of the Montgomery County village, said he had worked hard after spending $1,000, finding gold worth $1.60, and then having to pay $5 for a ticket home.

“Going back? Don’t you think of it. I’m only too glad to get out of that God forsaken country alive,” Fonda said. “I said I was sick, but it was not disease that troubled me. I’ve discovered that it was purely homesickness, and let me tell you a good many poor fellows are dying of it up there.”

On Monday:  Justice turned plastic in Chenango County.

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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