The Daily Gazette
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Kirk Douglas at the century mark

Kirk Douglas at the century mark

If Wilfred “Wolfie” Churchett had not run as quickly as he did, famous actor and producer Kirk Douglas would not be about to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Snapshots from the Great Depression

An estimated ten thousand people turned out in Amsterdam on a raw November day in 1933 to parade for economic revival.

Montgomery County in World War I

A wartime atmosphere existed in the Mohawk Valley starting in 1916, according to historian Hugh Donlon, when Amsterdam’s Company H of the National Guard left for service along the southern border during the Mexican revolution.

The ghost of Widow Susan

The reputed haunting of Widow Susan Road in the town of Amsterdam still gets attention in print and online. The road runs from Chapman Drive (formerly Route 5) up a steep hill to Route 67.

Wealthy Cranesville recluse murdered among clocks and guns

Two women from Glenville went to pick up a clock being repaired by former town of Amsterdam Justice of the Peace William Eugene McLachlan late in the afternoon of July 23, 1907. McLachlan fixed clocks and guns even though he was later described in a newspaper story as the “richest recluse in this section of the state.”

The weather prophet George Casabonne

In a newspaper story about his weather forecasts, Cousin George Henry Casabonne was described as “cocky as a blue jay and scrappy as a bantam rooster.”

Gloversville club has an Eccentric history

Eccentrics have banded together at a Gloversville social club for 134 years. In 1882, the Gloversville Intelligencer reported that 15 men frequented the club on the third floor of the Cohen Building on North Main Street.

Author says man was wrongly executed

Tara Hime Norman believes that hired hand Lewis M. Roach was wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit over a century ago.

Riding on the top of the caboose

A 1950 excursion for railroad enthusiasts in the Mohawk Valley was enjoyed by all, even though some of the goings on would be frowned upon today.

Amsterdam's industry thriving in ’40s, much of it aiding war effort

Industries ran at full tilt during World War II, according to a Chamber of Commerce booklet called “Little Journeys into Industrial Establishments of Amsterdam,” written by Earl O. Stowitts.

Gaslights dimmed when payment was due

Before electricity, homes were lighted by gas and residents had to put a quarter in a meter in the basement for continued light. The gaslights would dim and ultimately go out without another quarter.

Feeding the soldiers who guarded Lock 13

Margaret Cook fed soldiers who guarded Lock 13 on the Mohawk River/Barge Canal against sabotage in World War I. Margaret, my grandmother, lived south of the waterway in Randall along what is today’s Route 5S.

Picture book recalls wartime memories

Two years after the end of World War II, Mohawk Carpet Mills in Amsterdam published a small picture book called “Smoke: The Story of a Fight.”

Amsterdam was home to many men’s clubs

Years ago in Amsterdam, young men formed three clubs for fellowship and athletic competition. According to historian Tony Pacelli in his book “Past and Present,” the clubs were the Lightnings, the Avengers and the Sagamores, which competed in basketball and baseball starting in the 1930s

Textile teacher a war hero and a standout in baseball

William P. “Bill” Fennhahn taught Amsterdam junior high school boys the skills used in carpet-making and other textile trades. He was also was a war hero who took part in the D-Day invasion and devoted baseball player.

Amsterdam sparkled in 1925 expo

America was prospering in 1925 and local businesses staged Amsterdam’s Progress Exposition and Auto Show that year to show off that prosperity.

Sacandaga Park packed them in a century ago

Everyone from church groups to grocery store workers to local socialists visited Sacandaga Park near Northville a century ago.

Aviation pioneer Edward Heath conducted plane tests in Amsterdam area

Aviation pioneer Edward Heath conducted plane tests in Amsterdam area

Aviator Edward B. Heath tried to fly his first airplane at the Antlers golf course in Fort Johnson in 1910. The golf course is now called Rolling Hills.

The legacy of Molly Brant

Molly Brant played an important role in Mohawk, American and Canadian history. Brant was born about 1736 and raised by Christian Mohawk parents who lived near Little Falls. Her life of influence began when she became the consort of British Indian agent Sir William Johnson.

Amsterdam held a raucous 150th birthday bash in 1954

Amsterdam observed its 150th birthday with a 10-division parade and other celebrations in July 1954. The sesquicentennial was a joyous and raucous event that took place at the beginning of the end of the city’s years as a carpet-manufacturing center.

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