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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.

Sir John Johnson made a narrow escape in 1776

The man for whom Johnstown may have been named narrowly escaped capture there by rebel forces who were coming to arrest him in May of 1776.

Jacob Snell: Political force in Montgomery County

Jacob Snell was a large man. Snell also loomed large in politics in Montgomery County and New York state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When he died, newspapers called him “one of the best known Republicans in the state.”

Raymond Overbaugh, from loom repairman to artistic gunsmith


A man who repaired looms for an Amsterdam carpet mill set up shop as a gunsmith in 1948 and thereafter made his living crafting custom rifles and repairing firearms.

Washington Frothingham’s useful life

The Frothingham Free Library at 28 West Main St. in Fonda is named for a local man who was a writer and a minister.

Turner family's construction company left imprint on Amsterdam

The family construction company founded by John J. Turner built Amsterdam’s Clock Building and schools including today’s Lynch Literacy Academy.

1931 World Series trip turns tragic for Amsterdam men

Two Amsterdam men died and a third was badly injured after their car was struck by a bus in Pennsylvania as the friends drove to a World Series game in 1931.

Benjamin Paul Blood: Amsterdam’s psychedelic philosopher


Poet and philosopher Benjamin Paul Blood of Amsterdam was known for both his physical and mental strength.

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