Cudmore: 1946 was a time for rejoicing in Amsterdam


With World War II over for five months, the Mohican Market at 117 East Main St. in Amsterdam proudly advertised in January 1946, “Yes! We have plenty of meat.”

Lean hamburger cost 28 cents a pound.  Bologna was 21 cents a pound.  Corned beef went for 32 cents a pound and cabbage, 3 cents a pound.

The Mohican placed wooden barrels of fresh fish on the sidewalk, near the entrance.  Once past the fish, the fragrance of the bakery was next with store-baked cakes, pies and other pastries displayed in glass cases. The floor was sprinkled with green sawdust.

In January 1946, the Mohican advertised two lobsters for $1.25.  A chocolate or coconut layer cake could be yours for 50 cents.  Mince pies were 35 cents each.

W. Sweet Ice Company supplied ice to keep the fish fresh and other purposes at the Mohican.  In summer, Sweet stopped three times a day to keep the homemade ricotta cheese from melting.

There once were Mohican Markets in many of the then bustling downtowns of the Northeast.  The company had stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut and in Troy, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, Binghamton and elsewhere in New York state.

Also in 1946, Holzheimer & Shaul at Church and East Main streets was selling nylon sweaters for $3.98, “It’s a sweater sensation, this nylon classic.  Just feel its butter-soft, cashmere-like texture!  Washes and dries in a jiffy, won’t shrink, won’t shed.”

The Gloversville-based Schine theater chain was advertising movies at its downtown Amsterdam facilities.   Lon Chaney starred in “House of Dracula” plus “Shady Lady” with Charles Coburn was on the double bill at the Regent on Market Street.  Gene Tierney was in “Leave Her to Heaven” at the Rialto on Market Street and the Strand on East Main featured a double bill —“Hubba! Hubba!” with Eddie Cantor and “Ragged Angels” starring Joel McRea, the story of “dirty-faced kids with music in their souls.”

South of Amsterdam in the hamlet of Scotch Church in the town of Florida in January 1946, Harley Bohlke led devotions at the young people’s group and study of the four Gospels was scheduled the next week. 

Rev. John Wright and his wife, Bessie, served lunch at church that day, according to a newspaper report.  Rev. Wright was my great uncle, previously pastor of Scotia Baptist Church. 

Carl Hunkle had returned home to Scotch Church in early 1946 after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.  The 27 guests at Harold Beyer’s birthday party took part in square dancing before having dinner.

Ada Kruger had a cataract removed at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. “Her friends rejoice with her that the bandages have been removed and her sight restored.”

Saturday, Nov. 16, 1946 was a day for rejoicing on Amsterdam’s South Side as a testimonial dinner was held to honor some 400 returning servicemen and women.

“It’s remarkable to think that there were that many who served from the South Side alone,” said John Bianchi of Amsterdam, one of the honorees.  Bianchi said that other parts of the city also sent hundreds to serve in World War II.

The South Side event to “pay homage to great accomplishments” and to welcome the troops home was held at the State National Guard Armory, which today is a boutique hotel called Amsterdam Castle.  There was a turkey dinner and dancing to the music of Butch Robertshaw’s orchestra.

The celebration was made possible by numerous South Side merchants of the day, including Martuscello’s Food Market, Morini Brothers Coal, Baldine’s Confectionery, A.L. Collyer Hardware, Romano Wholesale Fruit Produce and the Armory Grill.

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