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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.

Veterans sought affordable housing in Amsterdam


World War II had ended 11 months earlier and many Amsterdam war veterans were outraged over the lack of affordable housing.

Bowler’s Brewery, an Amsterdam institution


Harry Fitch Bowler was born in Ipswich, England, in 1854 and at age 4 relocated with his family to Troy, where his father, Henry, operated a brewery. Harry grew up in Troy, then worked for a brewer in Virginia.

Tragedy on the Mountain Lake Electric Railroad on July 4, 1902

A steep grade, human error and a wet night contributed to what one newspaper headline described as an appalling accident on the Mountain Lake Electric Railroad near Gloversville on July 4, 1902.
Fourteen people died and 60 were injured.

African-Americans in the Mohawk Valley

British Indian agent Sir William Johnson owned at least 40 slaves at his Johnstown plantation in the 1700s. Dutch plantation owners in our area also enslaved African-Americans to work their lands.

Local connection to Boston Tea Party

Jelles Fonda was in a tough spot in 1774. A prominent trader and landowner who had served in the French and Indian War under the recently deceased British Indian agent Sir William Johnson, Fonda was being chastised by attorney Walter Butler and members of Johnson’s family, presumably including Johnson’s son John.

A Disney link to Mohawk Carpets

A Disney link to Mohawk Carpets

A cartoon character called Mohawk Tommy was used by Mohawk Carpets of Amsterdam in advertising and promotional items starting in the 1950s.

Amsterdam artist John Harvey had a sign-painting business


An accomplished artist, John Frasier Harvey’s life was marred by the death of one of his sons in a collision between a milk train and an automobile.

Saloon keeper killed by paramour in 1895

Florence Haun rushed into the Amsterdam police station on Wednesday morning, Nov. 6, 1895 and blurted, “My God, I have killed Charley.”

Rabbi Bloom served Amsterdam congregation for 39 years

His son and grandson want to hear the voice of Rabbi Samuel A. Bloom once again.

Cranesville ‘lighthouse’ was guide for motorists


George Washington Phillips, a leading citizen of the Montgomery County hamlet of Cranesville, made his home a lighthouse to guide motorists on busy Route 5.

Lost highway, speed skater remembered

East-west highway, speed s

Christmas memories in the Mohawk Valley

Fulton County children wrote letters to Santa addressed to the local newspaper over a hundred years ago. Historian Peter Betz has made a study of these letters and found that ice skates and sleds were the most desired gifts.

Daly family of Amsterdam just kept on truckin'

Trucking already was in their blood when John A. Daly and his wife, Gertrude, founded Amsterdam Despatch in 1932 with offices at 23 Schuyler St.

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