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November 19, 2012

Step Back in Time: Nov. 19, 2012

The Daily Star

---- — Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Nov. 19, 1987

The creation of 100 original painted wooden plaques to festoon Oneonta’s Main Street for the holiday season drew 50 artists and merchants together in a community project they said was just plain fun.

“It was one of the best art experiences of my life,” said local artist Alberta Hutchinson, who designed the stencil used on the plaques. “People came in and really worked hard. There was so much caring, sharing and fun.”

The project was the idea of Betsy Cunningham, president of the Downtown Retail Merchants Association. Instead of factory-made, plastic reindeer and multicolored lights, Mrs. Cunningham wanted to see Main Street decorated with something personal and unique to the community.

The ornaments finally took shape as wooden plaques 36-by-24 inches, stenciled on one side with Ms. Hutchinson’s design of holly leaves and berries, and painted on the other with original works by area artists. The plaques will be hung from lampposts on Main Street sometime around Thanksgiving.

Artists and merchants weren’t the only ones who volunteered their time. Greenleaf Steel Rule Die Corp. in Schenevus produced the plaques free, courtesy of company president, Dean Roberts Sr. The Association for Retarded Children donated space for the artists and others to work.

50 years ago

Nov. 19, 1962

RICHFIELD SPRINGS — By Christmas the village clock, “the landmark identifying the village far and wide,” should be in its new location.

The final decision was reached at the regular meeting of the Village Board, held at the library.

The village will not, however, lose its unique identification entirely, as the present plans call for its removal from the main intersection to the southwest corner of Spring Park, which may necessitate the removal of a large tree or two.

The clock, the gift of Thomas R. Proctor of Utica, was designed by Gorham and was given to the village in honor of a prominent citizen. It was first put into operation on Sept. 11, 1918.

In April of 1953, during the administration of Harold W. Congdon a newspaper account stated:

“The State Traffic Department’s opinion is that the clock now presents four problems: Road block, obstructing view of new traffic light, does not afford island of safety for pedestrians; and presents a traffic hazard when large trucks have to pass on left-hand side of clock.”

At that time the removal of the clock was under discussion to further a state paving project to include the village.