Albert Vedder – Citizen Hero of the Revolution

Daniel T. Weaver

Shortly before one in the afternoon on Sunday, April 11, 1779, Albert Harmanus Vedder, who after the American Revolution would become the founder of what is now the City of Amsterdam, New York headed east from Fort Johnson on the turnpike that paralleled the Mohawk River. He was on his way to see Justice William Harper and Colonel John Harper at Daniel Claus’s house. Claus’s manor, which he called Williamsburg, was about a mile away (near the current Amtrak station) from Old Fort Johnson which Vedder had been renting from The Tryon County Committee of Sequestration since the previous year. A little farther down the valley was Colonel Guy Johnson’s house, occupied by Fergus Kennedy. The Tryon County Committee of Safety had confiscated the three manors because their owners were Loyalists.

Continue reading “Albert Vedder – Citizen Hero of the Revolution”

Guy Park Manor Should Be Restored As Historic Site Not Hospitality Destination

By Daniel T. Weaver

I have mixed feelings about the newly revealed plans by Governor Cuomo for Guy Park Manor and Lock 11 in Amsterdam, NY. I am fine with illuminating the lock and dams at night. I also do not have a problem with the pedestrian bridge, which will be relatively inexpensive because it will make use of the infrastructure that already exists. It will not have to be built from scratch. Continue reading “Guy Park Manor Should Be Restored As Historic Site Not Hospitality Destination”

Be Happy When Stuck Behind A Modern Snow Plow – Your Ancestors Would Have Been

By Peter Betz

In an article surveying travel conditions when a heavy gale blanketed the Mohawk Valley on February 14th, 1923, the Gloversville Morning Herald described the storm’s aftermath. “In Gloversville, the Street Department got out its snow-fighting apparatus early and the streets were kept open. The new tractor helped mightily in clearing the streets.” Transportation beyond the city, however, was worse off. Continue reading “Be Happy When Stuck Behind A Modern Snow Plow – Your Ancestors Would Have Been”

Live Fast, Die Young. The Short Life of Mile-A-Minute Lewis Strang

By Daniel T. Weaver

Lewis Putnam Strang, born on August 7, 1884 in Amsterdam, New York, won the first auto race ever held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 21, 1909. He also won the G&J Trophy, which was the feature race of that first event. Strang set a new speed record of 64.67 mph, and the Indianapolis News wrote, “The performance of Strang was the most spectacular of the two days of racing.” Continue reading “Live Fast, Die Young. The Short Life of Mile-A-Minute Lewis Strang”

The Cop Who Dared Ticket A NYS Gov

By Daniel T. Weaver

Around 11:50 a.m. July 26, 1912 City of Amsterdam police officer, Charles A. Davis, spotted a touring car tearing down East Main Street at nearly 30 mph. He pursued the vehicle on his Indian motorcycle, overtook it on Guy Park Avenue and notified the driver he was under arrest for speeding. In 1912 speed limits were so low that driving in excess of 30 mph for more than a quarter mile was presumptive evidence of reckless driving. The speed limit within the city at the time was 15 mph. Continue reading “The Cop Who Dared Ticket A NYS Gov”

Death of Marcus Mendel and the Founding of Temple of Israel Cemetery

By Peter Betz

On May 31st 1887, referring to a major Little Falls fire, the Utica Weekly Herald noted, “There has been no similar excitement in that village since the death of Mark Mendel, the Amsterdam fireman, accidentally shot during a target practice on the flats at a fireman’s tournament.” My curiosity was naturally aroused by this casual observation. Continue reading “Death of Marcus Mendel and the Founding of Temple of Israel Cemetery”

British PM Boris Johnson & Donald Trump Have New York Roots

Both the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and the prime minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, have roots in New York State. Both men were born in New York City. Trump was born in Queens in 1946 while Johnson was born in Manhattan’s upper East Side in 1964. Johnson’s father, Stanley, was studying economics at Columbia University when Boris was born. Continue reading “British PM Boris Johnson & Donald Trump Have New York Roots”

Roaring 20s Gloversville Stolen Car Ring Helped People Turn Cars Into Cash (History)

By Peter Betz

During the summer and fall of 1924, more than a few automobiles began disappearing from the streets of Gloversville, NY. In all, before a local car theft ring was broken, fourteen cars went missing, some with the connivance and blessing of their owners. The Gloversville car thieves were wrong, however, in thinking neither the insurance companies nor the police would notice the increase of auto thefts and the insurance claims that rapidly followed. Continue reading “Roaring 20s Gloversville Stolen Car Ring Helped People Turn Cars Into Cash (History)”

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