Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Jan. 25, 1988
WESTVILLE — It was a gray January Wednesday. But Mary Dresser’s kitchen was full of women — exchanging family news, talking about their plants and their plans as they feasted on “non-fattening” desserts.
It was the regular meeting of the Wednesday Club.
The club grew out of a Cooperstown Extension craft club, one of many which met in the villages of the area in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Just when the club started has not been pinpointed. It is more than 25 years old.
Originally members learned a particular craft at the meetings. But as they went through one craft after another, they ran out of crafts, and members began bringing their own handiwork projects.
As they put away their dishes and folding chairs and reassembled in the living room, each woman picked up her current project — crocheted collars, crewel work, afghans, sweaters and embroidery.
“This really relaxes us,” said Ella Shaw. “It’s so nice just to get together and talk.”
The oldest member of the group is Frances Martin of Milford, 94, who is still very active.
Meetings are held in the homes of the members, not all of whom live in Westville. Many of them are members of the Westville Grange.
50 years ago
Jan. 25, 1963
The bells tolled in Albany Thursday for passenger service on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad’s Binghamton-Albany runs.
Bells were literally tolled when a group of railroad buffs from Binghamton marched solemnly into Albany’s Union Station carrying a coffin marked “1889-1963 D&H Passanger Service.” (The misspelling was theirs.)
As the white-gloved pallbearers marched up the ramp and into the station one of the group tolled a bell mounted atop the miniature coffin. The notes echoed and re-echoed through the vast cavern of Union Station.
It was a day of nostalgia and sadness. Most railroaders failed to hide their feelings of sadness at the end of an era which dates back to 1869.
Conductor E.M. Baker of train 208 closed out 47 years with the D&H when he swung off his train in Binghamton. For him it was a long day which started early in Albany when friends presented him gifts including a dozen American Beauty roses for his wife.
It was also a long day for two Oneonta railroaders, Francis Simonds, 2 Sand St., and Roy Bennett, of 67 East St. Simonds was conductor on northbound 205 and Bennett a trainman.
“Back to freight work,” said both men, who “dead-headed” back to Oneonta on Baker’s 208 Thursday night. First plan for Bennett last night was a hot bath “to see if I can get warm.”