10 Years Ago – February 1999
A generous contribution of $6,000 from H. William Smith, Jr. to the Richfield Springs Public Library represents half the funds needed to preserve and reproduce the library’s collection of historic photographs of local families, activities and buildings from 1865 to 1930. “We are confident that all community organizations, businesses and individuals will join us to help meet the challenge,” noted Ruth Redjives, president of the library board in acknowledging the Smith contribution, which must be matched locally. The 650 fragile photographs, showing Richfield Springs in its heyday, will be professionally treated and then duplicated for public enjoyment, research, school and educational projects.
20 Years Ago – February 1989
A three-color traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Routes 20, 28 and 25A in Richfield Springs, according to N.Y. State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) officials. A flashing warning light will caution eastbound drivers of the new traffic signal, according to Gary Winans, a civil traffic engineer from the Traffic and Safety Office of NYSDOT. The warning light will probably be located east of the railroad crossing. In the period between February 1, 1985 and January 1, 1988, 13 accidents occurred at that intersection with eight resulting in injuries. However, there were no fatalities at the intersection during that period. The traffic signal will replace the current flashing amber lights controlling traffic on Route 20 and the flashing red signals stopping cars on Routes 28 and 25A.
50 Years Ago – February 1959
A birthday party marking the 84th anniversary of Frank A. Palmer, a twin surviving veteran of the Spanish-American War, honored him Sunday evening at the Veterans Club on East Main Street. The Palmer twins, Frank and Floyd, for many years the only surviving twin veterans of the Spanish-American War, annually observed their birthday with a large gathering of relatives and friends up to the time of Floyd’s death in August 1956. Since then the VFW has continued the tradition with a party for Frank, the surviving twin brother. The twin Palmers observed their 23rd birthday on February 15, 1898, the day that the U.S.S. Maine was sunk in Havana harbor, the event that brought on the war. Both Palmer boys enlisted and each received injuries of a similar nature in battle.
60 Years Ago – February 1949
Advertisement – Tool Box Check List – Be Ready For Spring Repairs – Quarter-inch electric drill, from $11.80; half-inch electric drill, $55.00; Hand drills, from $2.00; Electric Portable Saws, $49.50 and $137.00; Hand saws, from $1.00; Keyhole saws, from 35 cents; Hack saws, from $1.20; Planes, from $1.50; Hammers, from $1.00; Screw Drivers, from 10 cents; wrenches, from 30 cents; Pliers from 35 cents; Bit braces, from $3.40; Augur bits, all sizes, 75 cents; Tap and die sets, from $8.00; Vises, from $4.00; Tool boxes, from $2.50. Buchanan Hardware Company, Phone 68, Richfield Springs, New York. Shop in Richfield Springs.
75 Years Ago – February 1934
Girls in Miss Ruth Laible’s home economics class at Richfield Springs high school presented a fashion show for those attending a meeting of the Parent-Teacher Association. Miss Laible explained how both mother and daughter may appear dressed in style at very little expense. The first style shown was how serviceable a black woolen skirt can be. Worn by one of the girls with several different sweaters and blouses, it appeared as several different costumes. The use of collars on dresses was demonstrated. About 15 different collars were put on one black dress and the different types were noted. A soft, frilly collar made the person very girlish and dressy, while a stiff pique collar made a boyish type and appropriate for office wear.
100 Years Ago – February 1909
Van Deveer & Son, who are the oldest business house in the Town of Springfield, are closing out their business and have begun to sell off the stock of hardware. They have disposed of their plumbing and heating business to J.M. Roney, a former employee, who will remove it to the Whipple Mill. Forty-three years ago, Mr. Van Deveer founded the business and it has grown steadily until last year when it required four men to handle it. It is said that during its 43 years of life the doors have never been closed on a business day. It has always enjoyed a reputation for selling the best of everything.
Resources for this column have been provided courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library.