CHERRY VALLEY —
We ended our 1986 oral history of Cooperstown with the following:
“We have a modern village history trivia question to pose. Who remembers the children’s museum and where was it located? Does anyone recall the lovely doll house which was on display there a well as the three exciting dioramas of Cooperstown’s past, present and future? Who was responsible for creating the dioramas and the doll house and whatever happened to them once the museum ceased to exist? If anyone can help, please let us know.”
We suspect we referred to this particular topic as being modern, even though it hails from 1953, as it was something the he-we remembered. There was no doubt those in 1986 who might have thought something from 1953 could be considered ancient history. And we are positive there are those currently who know 1953 was ancient history. Nonetheless, the response to our question follows:
“The Children’s Museum was jointly sponsored by the Women’s Club and the Cooperstown Art Association and was located on the first floor of the Village Library Building on Main Street. According to the February,1953 edition of “Children’s Museum Spotlight,” kindly loaned to us by Kitty Sanford whose late husband John was most active in the program, ‘the purpose of the Children’s Museum is not to teach vocations, but to encourage hobbies. Each member of the teaching staff is seeking to share his or her knowledge of a particular art or craft with children interested in the field...A great variety of subjects is offered and the curriculum varies from term to term, depending on the availibility of teachers the the students demands.’ We (the he-we) do remember going to Saturday morning painting classes and to the Story Hour held after school on Thursdays.
“Carlotta Harrison of Beaver Street called to tell us that the dollhouse came from Mrs. Joseph Campbell and to remind us of the “Chinese Funeral” which was housed in a case near the stairway. The ‘Chinese Funeral’ was comprised of many figures two inches high and depicted exactly what the title indicated. Mrs. Harrison does not know what happened to the Funeral, the dollhouse or the murals. Incidently, speaking of murals, it is interesting to note that the children in painting classes must have done a Christmas mural each year. We also thank Betsy Hawn who called to discuss the Children’s Museum with us.”
The discussion of the Children’s Museum continued with:
“Miss Anna Cunningham of Elm Street writes that the Children’s Museum was ‘something a hard-pressed, war-weary small community once did for its children...Miss Mary Cunningham, an imaginative and creative person, initiated the Children’s Museum program during World War II (and) it caught on instantly and received great support and co-operation. The War Years were a time of shortages, of make do, of tight budgets. It was a time when small town America, with clinched teeth, was toughing it out. Materials for the Museum were donated by townsfolk---lumber, paint and their labor. Cooperstown in those days, even as it does today, seemed to have a deep reserve of talent to draw upon in time of need...Mrs. Folger (Dorothy Savage) Oudin, a trained and talented artist, joined early on. Support also came from a corps of conscientious objectors to war who were then stationed in the area by the Federal government on a work program...many were artists...It was they who painted the wall murals depicting scenes of local history. The Children’s Museum remained in the Village Library Building after the War.’”
And thus we end our sharing of local history as originally presented back in 1986. We greatly enjoy revisiting all these columns and many of our readers have also told us how much they enjoy reading what we consider to be oral history. We do hasten to point out that we are never certain if what we learned was exactly correct and thus we have presented it for what it is, namely the fond memories of many people who dearly loved our fair community.
And having finished with 1986, we can now turn to 2012 where we find ourselves facing the unbelievable reality that our son, Christopher, turns 38 today. We are not exactly certain how this came to be. It does not seem it was 38 years ago that we were rushing to Cottage Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Mich., to welcome our new arrival into our world. And we suspect that at the time he had no idea as to just what he had gotten himself into. However, and we may be prejudiced about this, we were, and still are, very happy to have him, as well as his delightful wife Annie and his precious daughter Abby, as part of our world. And although there were no doubt times when he would cheerfully have disowned us, we can but hope he too is happy to be a part of our world.
Happy Birthday Christopher...and remember, you are now nine years older than we are!
PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer St., Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326, by telephone at 547-8124 or by email at email@example.com
CHERRY VALLEY —
We ended our 1986 oral history of Cooperstown with the following:
Taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone
I never thought that I would be trapped in so many whirlwinds of stressful thoughts about where I'm taking my life. There are so many different options to choose from, and so many decisions that have to be made. I feel like I am falling into an endless pit, awaiting my final decision that will inevitably lead me into the unknown that is my future.Continued ...
Denmark meeting expectations
Hej! My name is Max Ofer, and I am in Denmark through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. I live in a small town called Hjallerup, consisting of 3000 people, in the northern part of Jutland, the main peninsula of Denmark.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around The Globe: Settling in and having a smooth transition
Oi! I'm spending my junior year as a Rotary Exchange student in Brazil.Continued ...
Teen Talk: Getting working experience has had its bumps in the road
Stepping into the working world has proven to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.Continued ...
Getting to attend a journalism and media conference
What has social media got to do with journalism? Why does the media focus on the topics it does, and how does that shape public opinion?Continued ...
Local Voice From Around the Globe:Thinking, 'How can this be?' all over again
I have at last bid farewell to India, and come home. However, the thread of my story did not stop at the departure gate, but continues on uninhibited, having only changed course.Continued ...
There is good, there is bad and then there is high school
Looking back at all my endeavors since freshmen year in high school, I realize that life moves on in a blink of an eye.Continued ...
Getting to know a man called 'Ee-yah'
Hughie Jennings died in 1928, but I feel like I know him well.Continued ...
Local Voice From Around the Globe: Keeping Thai while re-entering America
As I've begun my American life again, spending time with friends, holding up a job, etc, I've been able to stay above the tide of reverse culture shock and the sort of post-exchange despair that is common at this time for exchange students by meditating on some Thai-inspired thoughts.Continued ...
A new kind of racing is turning a dream into reality
There are really no words to describe getting on a race horse, getting behind the starting gate and taking off full speed at a trot. All I can say is it is a bumpy ride that gets the cheeks bouncing and your helmet pushing back in the wind.Continued ...
Fight to keep chicken alive has taken several attempts
I agree with the narrator of Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" that good fences make good neighbors - most of the time.Continued ...
'Read My Lips' may not be a memoir for everyone
Sometimes an actor or actress can be defined by a singular performance. Everyone remembers Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind," but most people would be hard pressed to name any of her other films (I can name one, "Caesar & Cleopatra," only because I saw it for a class in college).Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: It's been a year of inexplicable joy, struggle, hilarity and triumph
Recently I went with my host mother to travel through a central province of Thailand called Kanchanaburi. Here, I was able to sit among and pet sleeping tigers at a temple that serves as a tiger reserve/zoo.Continued ...
Attack on Sacket's Harbor
Sacket's Harbor, near the beginning of the St. Lawrence River from Lake Ontario, was the principal American naval base on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.Continued ...
Once again, hope springs eternal ...
We are happy to report that although Mother Nature did her best to thwart the annual Upper Pioneer Street Block Party, she was not successful.Continued ...
Local performs costumed recitations of Casey at the Bat
Since 1996, I have had the privilege of doing costumed recitations of Casey at the Bat as part of my job at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Iâ€™ve performed the poem an estimated 2,000 times in 22 states, at ballparks, conferences, classrooms, Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, weddings and other events.Continued ...
E-readers come in handy when traveling
I recently took a trip to California and it was the perfect time to make use of my e-reader. While I'm still devoted to actual books, I must admit that traveling with a thin, lightweight computerized device beats dragging along one or two bulky hard copy titles. The only issue is finding the right e-books to take on the airplaneContinued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Arriving at the last bend in the River
The month of May is the height of the summer in India, a time best spent indoors with a good book and a sliced mango for company.Continued ...
Cooperstown election and law
On Tuesday the 18th inst. [May], the following persons were elected officers for this village for the ensuing year: --Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Exchange has taught me to love my flaws
Hello from Germany! I'm currently on my second Euro Tour visiting and exploring most of Europe.Continued ...
- Taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone