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”

Analysis of Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project. Part Two – Why Workforce Housing?

“My first thought was to put a hotel at Chalmers,” Mayor Michael Villa told me in a sit down interview on July 17, 2018. I had interviewed Bill Teator of DEW Ventures, a partner with KCG Development in the Chalmers Mill Lofts project, the day before. On July 18, I sat down with Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort and Ken Rose, CEO of the Montgomery County Business Development Center to discuss the Chalmers project. The purpose in conducting these interviews and in reaching out to other people by phone and email was to try to determine how decisions were made and who made them in the process that took a six story eyesore on Bridge Street on Amsterdam’s South Side to an empty lot with a plan for a multiple story workforce housing development with a separate restaurant and banquet facility. Continue reading “Analysis of Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project. Part Two – Why Workforce Housing?”

Analysis of Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project. Part One – Why Not Luxury Housing?

by Daniel T. Weaver

In 2008 the City of Amsterdam made its first serious attempt to redevelop the Chalmers Mill site on the city’s south side. Since then, two city administrations have made at least four major attempts to develop the site during an eight year period. Two guiding principles emerge from interviews, numerous published studies and other documents concerning attempts to redevelop this site. The first principle is—is the proposed project viable or can it succeed. The second principle is—will the proposed project stimulate additional economic growth. Continue reading “Analysis of Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project. Part One – Why Not Luxury Housing?”

If You Oppose Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project, You Might Be An Elitist (Opinion)

Sometimes we say things and don’t realize what we have really said. Such is the case with those in the City of Amsterdam who oppose the Chalmer’s Mill Lofts workforce housing project because they say the plot of land the housing project will be built on, the site of the former Chalmer’s Knitting Mill near the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge, is prime real estate better suited to luxury housing. What these opponents are really saying is working people don’t deserve to live on prime real estate or on waterfront property and that property should be reserved for people with money. Continue reading “If You Oppose Amsterdam’s Chalmers Mill Lofts Project, You Might Be An Elitist (Opinion)”

Thanksgiving Day 1822, 1893 & 2014 in Amsterdam, NY (History)

by Daniel T. Weaver

Thanksgiving Day 1893 was not a happy time for many people in Amsterdam. The Panic of 1893 was a financial crisis which lasted four years and had a negative impact on the city. Many newspapers blamed the crisis on free trade or the removal of tariffs on American goods. The city of Amsterdam was used as an object lesson for the “blighting effects” of “the tariff wreckers.” In an account in the Amsterdam Daily Democrat published the day after Thanksgiving, Amsterdam was described as a city where “Nearly every mill is shut down. Thousands of men and women, who a year ago were employed, are on the the brink of want. A recent Amsterdam dispatch declares that the Aid and Benevolent society is attempting to care for several thousand destitute families. People daily go from house to house begging for food. Local trade is at a standstill. Various charitable organizations are making constant appeals for help. Numbers are deserting the town.” Continue reading “Thanksgiving Day 1822, 1893 & 2014 in Amsterdam, NY (History)”

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