Back in Time: Ominous events were forecast for Nott Terrace home in 1908

Something terrible was going to happen in Schenectady during the early morning hours of Tuesday, Jul
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Something terrible was going to happen in Schenectady during the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 14, 1908.

Attorney R.J. Cooper was convinced. So was the young Italian man who rented a Cooper-owned house at 1401⁄2 Nott Terrace.

The anxious feelings began at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, July 13. The tenant, who was not identified, was relaxing at home when a man came to his door. “Are these homes owned by attorney Cooper?” the man asked.

The Italian knew that his home, and the adjoining house at 140 Nott Terrace, were his landlord’s properties. He told his visitor the facts. The man quickly walked away.

A few minutes later, two other men came calling. They asked who owned the joints, and wanted to know if 140 Nott was for rent.

The Italian once again told visitors what he knew. He added that the other house was not occupied.

Questions answered, the men walked away. The tenant called after them, but they refused to stop.

At 7 p.m., another stranger appeared at the front door. He looked at the now-worried Italian for a few minutes and suddenly exclaimed: “Beware! Keep watch on the corner house between 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning. Something is going to happen.”

The creep said only that he was from Chicago. Then he walked away.

Police called

The spooked tenant called on the landlord, and both called on the police. Cops weren’t worried to much about the Italian man’s apparent fear, according to newspaper reports, but decided to give two patrolmen overnight duty by the houses — situated on the corner of Terrace Place.

King and Flannigan drew the assignment, and yawned all morning.

“It got so tedious and lonesome after a while that anything in the shape of excitement would have been a relief,” the Schenectady Gazette reported.

Nothing was blown up and nobody was murdered in the still of the night. Near dawn, police finally had a person of interest approach the house.

But this person was only interested in delivering a few milk bottles.

The sleepy lawmen went home shortly afterward.

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