10 Years Ago – March 1999
Garbage politics have become contentious in Richfield as the town board has threatened to close the transfer station in the village. Residents would be forced to opt for haulers or take their garbage and recyclables to another MOSA site. Town supervisor John Donnelly said he knows “it’s a bombshell and I may lose re-election because of it, but I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do for the good of the town.”
20 Years Ago – March 1989
“Homespun Country Days,” March 18-19, will welcome the spring season at Butternut Barn, located on Allen’s Lake Road. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides on the grounds surrounding the 150-year-old post and beam carriage barn, as well as gift certificate drawings, new spring and country items, and “treat sampling.” Now a country gift shop, Butternut Barn is located on property once known as St. John’s Manor, dating back to 1845. Overlooking Canadarago Lake, it was a stopping place for overnight guests in the early 1900s when sulfur baths were popular in Richfield Springs. Owned by Judie Stone, Butternut Barn is a family affair. Judie’s daughter Kelly does folk art and woodworking.
50 Years Ago – March 1959
Richfield Springs School Lunch Menu – Monday, March 9: Frankfurt on bun, sauerkraut, baked beans, relish, cheese wedges, peaches, milk. Tuesday, March 10: Ham and escalloped potatoes, cabbage and raisin and nut salad, bread and butter, apple sauce, milk. Wednesday, March 11: Cream of potato soup, ham or egg salad sandwiches, chips, buttered wax beans, plums, milk. Thursday, March 12: Meat loaf, tomato sauce, bread and butter, asparagus, cherry and pineapple, milk. Friday, March 13: Cream of tomato soup, tuna fish salad sandwich, peas and carrots, potato sticks, apple sauce cake and milk.
60 Years Ago – March 1949
Leo Kierzinski of Richfield Springs has filed for trial in Otsego County Supreme Court a suit asking $25,000 damages against the village of Richfield Springs and the Town of Richfield. According to Kierzinski’s complaint the damages occurred on December 31, 1947 when his sedan on an icy approach to a bridge over the Ocquionis Creek in the village of Richfield, crashed into the bridge and landed in the creek. The plaintiff claims that both the village and the town were negligent for failure to take any precautions to prevent an automobile from skidding and that the town was additionally negligent because it knew, or should have known, that the guard rails on the side of the bridge were inadequate to restrain an automobile from plunging into the creek. Kierzinski alleges property losses totaling $1,500 and the balance for permanent personal injuries and medical expenses.
75 Years Ago – March 1934
Editorial – In a letter to the Richfield Mercury, a writer suggests that the name Cherry Vally Turnpike be put into the discard and the designation “Great Western Turnpike” be used. Neither one of these names are at all new as applied to U.S. Route 20 for the highway has been frequently called Great Western Turnpike. But long-standing custom has referred to this straight line as the Cherry Valley Turnpike and our idea is that it will require more than a set of resolutions or a letter to the editor to bring about a change from this. The claim is made by the writer that “Cherry Valley Turnpike” is a purely local designation. In fact, the name Cherry Valley can be seriously regarded as of national importance from a historical standpoint. The story of the Cherry Valley massacre in 1778 is firmly imprinted in the mind of every school child in America. So, when it comes to abandoning this historical name for Route 20, we say nothing doing.
100 Years Ago – March 1909
It is indeed pleasing news for the Mercury to publish that Principal Erie L. Ackley has consented, at the unanimous wish of the school board and the entire town in fact, to remain at the head of the Richfield Springs High School another year. The school is now the largest in its history and is running so smoothly that not a word of fault is heard about it in any respect. This is a high compliment to the good work being done by Principal Ackley and his efficient force of teachers. Contracts have also been tendered to about all of the faculty to remain another year.
Resources for this column have been provided courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library.