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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary
His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him; and when they had opened their
treasures, they presented unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh."
As on the night when the Wise Men found the place where He was, may the 
story of the first Christmas bring to us wonder and joy ever new.
This nativity scene appeared on the lawn of the Montgomery County Home in December, 1959.


Looking Back - 12/26/2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - Updated: 1:43 AM


-- Twenty Years Ago

An academic and cultural renaissance is occurring in the Canajoharie Central School System, which High School Principal Don Bowden feels began with renovation of the high school's 1928 auditorium — but the story goes back much further than that. Sometime during the early 1940s — no one can say for sure — a Knabe Baby Grand piano came to the music department of the Canajoharie High School. It came at a time when music and cultural pursuits ranked very high on the list of individual priorities, according to research into microfilm records at the Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery. During the early 1940s, the Canajoharie Courier, before it combined with the Fort Plain Standard and, eventually, the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News, regularly ran front page stories of the accomplishments of Canajoharie Central School students in music, drama, art and other purely cultural escapades. So far, we haven't been able to locate the origin of this unique piece of musical history, other than High School Principal Don Bowden's notation that the Knabe was made in 1943.

Pastor David Bowley and the congregation of Faith, Hope and Love Christian Fellowship, 32 Church St., are hosting a New Year's Eve open house. All are welcome to join in for food, games, music and fellowship.

-- Thirty Years Ago

A building permit for a new convenience store was approved by the Palatine Bridge Village Board. The approval will allow Cumberland Farms to move ahead with plans for a new store at the northeast corner of Routes 5 and 10, on property currently occupied by Lott's Service and Appliances.

Michelle Garretson, daughter of William and Linda Garretson, Sprout Brook, was the winner of a bicycle following a Christmas raffle sponsored by McDonald's of Palatine Bridge.

Sharon Heyenck currently is teaching a one-year course in architectural design and drawing at the Canajoharie High School. Designed for students who have completed the foundation course in mechanical drawing, the architecture class gives pupils an opportunity to develop floor plans, pictorial drawings, elevation views and models as they approach different solutions to design problems.

-- Forty Years Ago

Ten members of the senior class at Canajoharie Central School were winners of 1974 Regents Scholarships, including: Amy Waner, Edward Lettis, Sara Keller, David Kaiser, Lisa Ferraro, Sandra Darrow, Carl Crane, James Warnick, Robert McFee and Andrea Waner.

Union College, Schenectady, received a $10,000 grant from Canajoharie's Arkell Hall Foundation, Inc., for construction of an addition to Union's Schaffer Library.

Fort Plain

-- Twenty Years Ago

This village has received word that it has obtained $387,200 in grant funding under the Department of Housing and Urban Development Small Cities Community Block grant program. After failing to obtain the funding last year, the village's application was resubmitted successfully this year with HUD's regional headquarters in Buffalo. The village placed 52nd out of 182 applications.

Fort Plain Central School's Student Council has, for the last four years, collected food, toys and clothing for the area's needy folks. The first year's proceeds allowed the students to help seven families. This Christmas, the energetic students, managed to gather enough money for food purchases, plus collections of other items in schools, that 18 families were given full holiday dinners, and many received clothing and toys.

Fort Plain Free Library recently presented ten reels of microfilm containing the Mohawk Valley Register, from March 16, 1854 to Dec. 29, 1893, to the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library at St. Johnsville. The microfilm will be on indefinite loan to the Reaney library, which has the microfilm reader-printer necessary to use the film. Bound copies of the Mohawk Valley Register, a local newspaper, housed at the Fort Plain library, were recently microfilmed along with other issues of the Register available in the area as part of the New York state Newspaper Project.

The staff of the Fort Plain branch of Fleet Bank of New York presented gifts to the Fulmont Outreach Center. Holiday stockings, filled with gifts from customers and employees were donated to the center to help brighten the holidays for the less fortunate. Fleet Bank branches across the state chose local non-profit organizations to which to share the Christmas spirit.

-- Thirty Years Ago

They did it again. Despite a late start and a dollar total that was only about half of last year's, the students at Fort Plain Central School again were the overall winners in the WGY Christmas Wish fund raising campaign.

Area residents who aren't in shape to drive home may be able to get rides through a program organized by local high school students. A New Year's Eve "taxi service" has been planned as part of the Students Against Drunk Drivers [SADD] program which is being spearheaded by the newly-organized Peer Leadership class at Fort Plain High School.

Karla Shiminski, a junior at Fort Plain Central School, is the second "Student of the Month" to be selected through a program sponsored by the local Elks Lodge.

Fourth grade students at the Harry Hoag Elementary School are now making and selling bookmarks to help support the Shriner's Hospital for young burn victims.

-- Forty Years Ago

A record $13,771,456 budget, calling for a tax rate hike of $7.36 to $22.41 per $1,000 of assesses valuation, was adopted by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.

Eight seniors at Fort Plain Central School were 1974 Regents Scholarship winners, including: Clare Kilpatrick, Sue Countryman, Emily Schrell, Caryn Douma, Douglas Smith, Elaine Skottke, Glen Hisert and David VanWie.

The weatherman provided a white Christmas for the Mohawk Valley. After a snowstorm that dumped between 14 and 16 inches of the white stuff swept through the valley, another storm bringing another eight inches brought traffic to a standstill.

St. Johnsville

-- Twenty Years Ago

A local institution that has touched the lives of literally thousands of people for generations now needs your help. Margaret Reaney Memorial Library in St. Johnsville is faced with dwindling interest rates earned on its endowment. Constantly rising costs also are threatening to close the library unless corrective measures are immediately taken. After many years of providing a unique service to its growing clientele, the Reaney Library is looking for a Christmas present -- people who care about this piece of Americana, a gift to the village of St. Johnsville from one of its earliest industrialists, Joseph H. Reaney. Reaney dedicated the library in memory of his mother, Margaret Julia Reaney in 1909, with a large addition constructed in 1936. Director Dawn Capece recently noted that because of the volunteers, hours at the library were expanded last March in order to remain open through the lunch hour. This library is much more than a place to borrow books from -- its museum chronicles local history from the pre-Revolutionary War period through to modern times in photographs, personal belongings, statues and the magnificent collections of Mr. Reaney and some of his closest friend, many of whom dedicated their entire lives to the preservation of the history of this small corner of the world and the places they visited.

The fourth and fifth grade students of St. Johnsville's D.H. Robbins Elementary School presented the presenter, Ensign Sammons of the Tryon County Militia, with some nice gifts following his description of an olde tyme Colonial Christmas.

Thirty Years Ago

Navy Aviation Fire Control Technician 3rd Class John D. Ressue, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Ressue, St. Johnsville RD 3, has completed a basic avionics technician course.

Air Force Capt. Gary D. Wrobel, son of Theresa Ripepi, St. Johnsville RD 3 and Donald Wrobel, Fort Lauderdale, FL, has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM.

Airman Barbara A. Parkinson, daughter of Robert H. and Ann M. Parkinson, Bridge Street, has been assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base, TX, after completion of Air Force basic training.

Forty Years Ago

The municipal sign designating the St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment facility near Bridge Street has only been in place about a week, and it already has been the target of an apparent attack of vandalism as a gun of relatively large caliber left several holes in it.


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