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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.

Fooling the ragman


In his day, ragman Harry Demsky was better known in Amsterdam than his son Isadore.

Central Bridge barbershop fire claimed seven lives


An early-morning blaze in a building housing living quarters and a Central Bridge barbershop claimed the lives of seven members of the Teale family on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1926.

A night to remember

A New York City area woman who survived the April 15, 1912 sinking of the Titanic felt compelled to write to President William Howard Taft to set the record straight.

Evolution of library in Amsterdam


The first organized book collection in Amsterdam was the Union Library, founded in 1805 and operated one day a week from the librarian’s home. There are no records for the Union Library after 1832.

Businesses closed for Monsignor Browne’s funeral

William Arthur Browne, who became one of Amsterdam’s most important Roman Catholic leaders, was born in Watervliet on April 9, 1858.

Internet pioneer was a top student with perfect pitch

Internet pioneer was a top student with perfect pitch

When computer programmer Raymond Samuel Tomlinson, 74, died March 5 in Lincoln, Massachusetts, news stories around the world noted his roots in Amsterdam, Vail Mills and Broadalbin.

Michael Wytrwal, city’s unofficial Polish mayor


Long before Polish-American John Gomulka was elected mayor of Amsterdam in 1967, Michael J. Wytrwal, who never held elected office, was widely known as the city’s unofficial Polish mayor.

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