- Mark Simonson
- Monday, April 21, 2014
A historian's mailbag reflects, corrects recent columns
It seems like an eternity since I last reached into the historian's "mailbag" to share some correspondence. The "bag" of today can include electronic mail, or just someone stopping to chat with me in the supermarket or places I may be speaking to groups. But I'll reiterate what my fellow columnist Big Chuck said recently, "Keep those cards and letters coming."
- Saturday, April 19, 2014
Signs of springtime in Oneonta arrived in April 1889
Spring was in the air as Oneontans turned over their calendars to April in 1889. Muddy streets, the start of construction projects, clothing styles and other visible signs made it clear that warmer weather was more the norm than a novelty in Oneonta 125 years ago.
- Monday, April 14, 2014
Student housing stirred unrest in 1970s
Oneonta has certainly been no stranger to controversial college student housing projects in recent years. The proposed dormitory just south of the State University College at Oneonta campus on Clinton Street in 2011, and the more recent Hillside Commons project, which is under construction at the top of Blodgett Drive, both ruffled feathers.
- Saturday, April 12, 2014
Oneonta reveled in spring 'Dress Up Week' in 1919
Here is a downtown Oneonta promotion that hasn't been tried recently -- Dress Up Week. I'm not suggesting it be resurrected, as I'm doubtful the response would be the same as it was in April 1919. If in doubt of my doubtfulness, just do some "people watching" and their attire downtown or at the mall in the next week or so.
- Monday, April 7, 2014
Proposed change to Delaware County Community College rejected in 1959
The State University Agricultural and Technical Institute at Delhi, as it was called in 1959, could have had a new name in the early months of that year --Delaware County Community College. The idea was studied during the winter months, but by spring, local lawmakers had given the idea a thumbs-down.
- Saturday, April 5, 2014
Area heartily welcomed home troops from WWI
World War I had ended in November 1918. While a few local men who served had already arrived home, there was a large group who were probably chomping at the bit to get home after a lengthy delay. Oneonta was ready for them with a festive arrival at the D&H Railroad station on Thursday, April 3, 1919.
- Monday, March 31, 2014
Local residents coped with lines for gasoline in 1974
Had I been a licensed driver at the time, I probably would have been surfing the songs playing on the car's AM radio in early March 1974. It could have been a bit of therapy for many local drivers, faced with long lines, waiting for gasoline.
- Saturday, March 29, 2014
Delhi bank saw many ups, downs in 175 years
They're a dying breed -- local banks with nearly original names. However, the oldest bank in Delaware County, The Delaware National Bank of Delhi, is approaching its 175th anniversary of doing business.
- Monday, March 24, 2014
Railroad declined, other industries surged locally in 1954
Oneonta was enduring several ups and downs in its employment picture. New fashion and music were also making news as diversions to these "big stories." It was a part of our local life and times during March 1954.
- Monday, March 17, 2014
Two fatal airplane crashes stunned area in March 1984
March 1984 will probably always be remembered by investigators of Oneonta airplane crashes, and the community in general, as tragically unforgettable. In less than one week that month, there were two crashes that claimed the lives of seven people, five of them local residents.
- Saturday, March 15, 2014
Teacher developed Oneonta's science fairs in the late 1930s
Enthusiasm toward science, engineering and technology abounds these days among our area's youth, as teams such as Sidney Project Lead the Way and Otsego 4-H FIRST Robotics, also known as "RoboKronos," have been busy preparing and competing in meets in Binghamton and Troy, with robots they created.
- Monday, March 10, 2014
Local pipeline construction stirred controversy in 1964
Unlike the proposed Constitution Pipeline project, planned to bring natural gas from northeast Pennsylvania through our region to a terminal in Schoharie County, another pipeline project built from Watkins Glen to Selkirk generated considerably less local controversy 50 years ago.
- Saturday, March 8, 2014
Natural gas drilling efforts of the 1880s found little locally
There was no such process as hydraulic fracturing. New York didn't have a Department of Environmental Conservation. Lawn signs for or against it weren't seen anywhere. Yet natural gas drilling efforts were going on in our region more 125 years ago. It was an industry still in its infancy. Numerous reports were published in local newspapers during the late 1880s and beyond.
- Monday, March 3, 2014
Beauty, grooming took center stage in Oneonta in March 1964
Good grooming, beauty and style seemed to be a recurring theme in the news around Oneonta during the month of March 1964.
- Saturday, March 1, 2014
Local news, opinion often mixed in 1889 newspapers
Modern-day newspapers make it very clear where local news is found, as well as opinion, separated by their own pages in weekly or daily editions, including The Daily Star.
- Monday, February 24, 2014
Gasoline, demons and baseball were 'trending' locally in 1974
"Trending" has become a popular word in our present everyday language. This word wasn't used in February 1974, but for what I write twice weekly, it could just as well have applied to local history.
- Saturday, February 22, 2014
Early efforts to halt Silver Creek were slow going
Incidents of Silver Creek overflowing into the streets of Oneonta aren't making news as often as they once did.
- Monday, February 17, 2014
Effort to establish Oneonta historic district began in 1970s
- Saturday, February 15, 2014
Experiment to treat inebriates began 150 years ago
Dr. J. Edward Turner came up with a unique idea in the 1840s on how to treat and restrain inebriates in the United States. Turne
- Monday, February 10, 2014
Milford fought over new school 30 years ago
At times nearly 30 years ago, the future of the Milford Central School District could have been portrayed as a weathervane, spinning in directions of either a new school, consolidation, or closing. The â€œwindsâ€� changed considerably between 1984 and 1988, but the end result was a new school in the village before the end of the decade.