Step Back in Time features community news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Aug. 27, 1984
COOPERSTOWN _ Several hundred people turned out Sunday to enjoy lemonade and ice cream on the lawn of the restored Otsego County courthouse and to tour the 104-year-old building during a three-hour open house hosted by the county Board of Representatives.
A formal dedication ceremony, organized by the Otsego County Bar Association, will be held Monday at 5 p.m. on the courthouse steps, following by a cocktail reception and dinner at the Otesaga Hotel.
In a brief ceremony Sunday, board Chairman David Brenner of Oneonta told those gathered on the lawn that "we have tried as much as possible to go back to the original construction and appearance of the courthouse, as it was 100 years ago."
Architect John Mesick of Albany said that "you can be proud what the board of representatives had done in the last 14 months." According to Mesick, this is actually the fifth courthouse dedication for Cooperstown. This building was dedicated first in 1880 and that was the fourth. The architect was Archimedes Russell of Syracuse. The original courthouse was built in Main Street in 1791 and it lasted 15 years. Another one, built in 1840, was torn down in 1879.
Rep. Charles Bateman of Cooperstown, chairman of the county board's buildings committee, said it had been an "uphill fight to convince the board and the public that the best thing to do was preserve this building."
Brenner praised Robert Sammis, clerk of the works for the project for "doing an excellent job" "It took someone with real expertise and Bob has been shepherding it for us right from the beginning."
Also present was Reps. Carl Higgins of Edmeston, Joseph Franzese of Cherry Valley, Alexander Shields of Richfield Springs, Ralph Griffiths of Oneonta and Hugh Henderson of Oneonta.
Former board members included Robert White of Oneonta, Lester Olmstead of Richfield Springs and Leon Kalmus of Oneonta.
50 years ago
Aug. 27, 1959
JEFFERSON _ The village of Jefferson had itself a recording-breaking Old Home Day celebration, the 50th anniversary of the series, with an estimated 2,000 people attending.
Streets, parking lots and private yards and drives were overflowing with cars, a parade had an even 50 units, a chicken barbecue was served to 400 people, refreshment stands were cleaned out, band concerts and other musical features, children's games, a baby parade, pony rides and a tug-of-war between the Summit and Jefferson firemen were held.
Featured in the parade were two lovely queens, Carol Cross of Sharon Springs, chosen by the Schoharie County Holstein Club, and Helen Murphy of Oneonta, Regional State Fair Queen.
Prize winning antique cars were a 1928 Lincoln driven by Donald Frazee, a 1928 Moon by Howard Smith of Cobleskill, a Model T Beach Wagon by William VanBuren of Hobart and a 1914 Model T with brass trim by George Storie of Bovina Center.
Among the animal drawn vehicles, prizes went to Art Weber of Jefferson for a surrey with fringe on top, Kenneth Chichester of Stamford for a palomino and buggy, the Jochem boys of Jefferson for horse and buggy and Roger Payne of Jefferson for a goat cart.
The Stamford Fire Department Drum Corps with baton twirler Doreen Miller placed first in its class, followed by the South Gilboa Fife and Drum Corps and Charlie Smith, accordionist.