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From the C-S-E files - Down Memory Lane - Santa Claus came calling to Fort Plain last Friday, November 25, 1960, when 500 small fry jammed in the American Legion hall to greet Santa and chat with him. His visit was made possible by the Fort Plain-Nelliston Merchants Association, which also arranged to have Santa tour the downtown business section on Saturday afternoons, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, from 1-5 p.m.  On Friday, Santa’s mailbox was again placed in front of the A&P store at the corner of Canal and Main streets for the convenience of children desiring to write to him at the North Pole. A brisk business has been reported, with many of the kids losing little time in depositing their lists there after “talking it over with Mr. Claus” at Legion Hall. In addition to meeting Santa, children received candy distributed by his “helpers”.


Looking back

Thursday, November 22, 2012 - Updated: 8:06 AM


Twenty Years Ago

Christmas came a little early for 63 people who were called back to work at Beech-Nut Nutrition Co. following a lengthy layoff. But company officials would not make a statement concerning the length of their employment. The company has begun to process baby food on a Saturday shift, something that has not been done in a long time. The move necessitated the rehiring of 63 employees from among the 100 who were laid off last February and gradually phased back into the manufacturing operation between July and October as full time employees.

Andrew Rose received the Principal’s Leadership Award from High School Principal Donald Bowden. The award is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Herff Jones Company. It serves to recognize young people who have demonstrated leadership skills. Rose is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rose, of Canajoharie.

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree — for the last 14 years, the residents of the Canajoharie area have met on the evening of the first Sunday in December in Wagner Square to sing together their favorite, traditional songs of the season, and to welcome Santa Claus on his first official visit to this small Montgomery County hamlet.

Postal carriers from the Canajoharie Post Office are once again collecting food items. All food items will be donated to the Fulmont Neighborhood Center’s food pantry, which serves the needs of those in our area. Last year’s donations from the Canajoharie area’s postal customers exceeded 2,500 pounds. This year’s donations are expected to surpass that mark.

Thirty Years Ago

Mrs. Margharite Girard, a resident of Arkell Hall, who served for 40 years as librarian of the Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery prior to her retirement in 1969, was honored at a luncheon at the Moose Lodge by the Canajoharie-Palatine Chamber of Commerce as its “Citizen of the Year.”

The Canajoharie Central School Vocational Agriculture Department participated in the annual Cobleskill High School Day this fall. Fifty-seven schools took part in the Division of Agriculture and Resources competition at the Cobleskill Agricultural and Technical College. The team of Robert Rocas and Michael Gallagher placed first in the Weed Identification contest. The Canajoharie FFA Chapter received a purple third place rosette. Rocas placed first individually, Gallagher, third, and Cornell Van Muiswinkle, fourth in the contest.

Charles Memrick, Grand Street, Palatine Bridge, has been honored by Life Savers, Inc., on reaching his 35th anniversary with the firm at their Canajoharie plants. Memrick, a machinist in the maintenance department received a beautiful mantle clock from Ronald Thompson, superintendent of the firm’s maintenance department.

The Canajoharie Central School Redskins basketball team will be starting their second season under Coach John G. Metallo, at Fonda-Fultonville Central School’s Tip-Off tourney.

Forty Years Ago

Construction crews are racing against the weather to complete the placement of crushed stone behind the Rock Street (Route 10) retaining wall in Canajoharie. The work is being done to expedite the routing of traffic over the state highway.

An old, established Canajoharie business changed hands when Virginia Raym turned the keys of Gerald K. Nellis Hardware, Inc., at the corner of Main and Church streets, to Lawrence Olmstead, of Palatine Bridge.

Fort Plain

Twenty Years Ago

Area residents got a little taste of what it may be like next year, beginning April 1, to have the use of the Route 80, Fort Plain-Nelliston Mohawk River bridge closed. When the Nelliston Post Office building was involved in a recent fire, officials closed the bridge for about two hours as the entire roadway in front of the two-story brick structure was filled with firefighters and firefighting equipment. The situation, although somewhat less confusing when the bridge is closed next year, will still cause school buses, fire and ambulance crews, delivery trucks and members of the area’s Amish population some grief as detours will have to be made, either to the Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge, Route 10 river crossing, at seven miles or to the Route 61 St. Johnsville-Minden river bridge at about 12 miles in order to cross the Mohawk River.

During a time of family togetherness, holiday cheer, food on the table and soon, gifts under the tree, many people tend to take some of the simpler things for granted. Things like warm winter clothing. Jackets, coats, hats and gloves fall into this category. A locally owned and operated Fort Plain business, the Wrap and Ship Shop, on Hancock St. in Fort Plain, has been accepting donations of good, used winter outerwear and giving them to the Fulmont Neighborhood Center for distribution to the needy. It’s part of a national effort called Coats For Kids, and has been advertised on numerous radio and television stations and newspapers.

When the children of Fort Plain’s Happy Clown Nursery School had their annual Thanksgiving Day dinner, along with members of their families, they learned that this special day is a day set aside for sharing and a day to give thanks for the many blessings in their lives. When each child came to the Thanksgiving Day dinner at their school they were asked to bring in certain food items to be taken to the Fort Plain Senior Citizen Center to be used for the Center’s annual Thanksgiving Feast.

Thirty Years Ago

SKathy Mang, a student at Fort Plain Central School, is representing her school at the New York State Chorus convention being held at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake. Approximately 2,000 students were auditioned and Mang, also a pianist, was selected for the 250 member chorus. Miss Mang received an A6 rating at the NYSSMA competition in Utica, the highest possible rating. She has been a member of the All-County Chorus since the fifth grade and is a soloist at the Valley Alliance Church. Mang is the first participant to be chosen from Fort Plain in 15 years.

Thirty-three persons enjoyed a complete Thanksgiving dinner, with all the trimmings, at the Fort Plain Senior Citizen Center on Thanksgiving Day. Also enjoyed were a sing along and travelogue film. Twenty-two more people received their meals at home.

Madeline Cook, director of the Fulmont Neighborhood Center, reported a tremendous response to the emergency food pantry drive during October. Local churches, clubs and civic organizations contributed 782 cans of food and $104 in cash to be used to buy perishable items. Surplus baked goods also have been distributed with 209 persons receiving bread, cookies, cake or pies on two dates during October.

Forty Years Ago

The usually placid creek that runs from Fisk Hill, down along Honey Hill Road, under Reid Street and into the Otsquago Creek in southwest Fort Plain overflowed its banks due to heavy rains and burst loose from both ends of the culvert on Reid Street. Cellars became flooded with as much as five feet of water as it traversed to the intersection of Beck Street.

The Fort Plain High School Alumni Association held its annual dinner-dance at the VFW Post No. 3275 and paid special tribute to members of the graduating class of 1922 in attendance.

St. Johnsville

Twenty Years Ago

The holiday celebration of Saint Nicholas Day will be held at Fort Klock. St. Nicholas Day was traditionally set aside as a children’s holiday by the Dutch and Palatine Germans of the Mohawk Valley area. At Fort Klock, the St. Nicholas Day celebration is held annually on the first Sunday in December.

Members of the St. Johnsville FFA recently participated in the 1992 High School Day competition held at Cobleskill. This was an opportunity for students to test their skills in many areas against other students from all over the state. Students who participate in various contests spend about two weeks studying for their contests.

Thirty Years Ago

Alvin Van Slyke was named “Fireman of the Year” at the annual Christmas party given by the fire department recently. The function, attended by approximately 200 firemen, auxiliary members and guests, was held at the H.C. Smith Benefit Club. Van Slyke joined the fire department in August of 1951 and has been an active member ever since, serving for the past three years as captain of the fire police. In making the presentation, Fire Chief Gary Swartz said that Van Slyke had been a hard worker, serving on many committees and had, at all times, gives assistance where it was needed. Swartz also recognized department members Richard Warn, Ronald Seeley and Leonard Swartz for their 25 years of service. The three received 25-year membership badges.

The senior class at the Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School will present “A Pair of Country Kids” in two performances at the school.

Forty Years Ago

Ground breaking ceremonies were held to inaugurate the low income housing development at Old Meadow Gardens. Plaques were presented to members of the Housing Authority and other village dignitaries.


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