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

25 years ago

july 11, 1994

Bargain hunters, the curious and well-wishers went to Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store Saturday, the closing day for the Main Street retail anchor.

“I just wanted to see it one more time,” said Margot Orezzoli of Oneonta. “I’ve been coming in here for 20 years.”

Bresee’s has been selling its remaining merchandise at a discount. The store opened in 1899 and established a shopping tradition that spanned generations.

The department store closed because of a declining net worth in a floundering economy, said store President Marc Bresee, and he was sad when the going-out-of-business sale started in April. But Saturday his mood was lighter, and he walked around the store talking with employees and customers and checking on merchandise.

50 years ago

july 11, 1969

In a rare example of disagreement, the Town of Oneonta Town Board split last night to defeat, for lack of a majority, a proposal to zone the town’s Oneida Street area for residential-commercial use.

The proposal, offered on the recommendation of the town’s Planning Board, was the subject of a public hearing preceding the board session at which five Oneida Street residents appeared to voice objections to the plan.

Major spokesman for the group were Oren “Doc” Knapp, 77 Oneida Street, and Carl Irons, 138 Oneida Street, both of whom voiced objections as well as asking searching questions concerning the proposal. Several others spoke at less length.

The hearing was followed by about an hour of informal discussion which ventured rather far afield from the subject before being put back on the track by Supervisor J. Gordon Downie.

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