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reater GUtica December 2017 Vol IV Issue 1




theBoston Stores Postal Customer

of Utica & Rome

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December 2017 This month’s cover picture is a shot of the Boston Store in Downtown Utica. Here, we see the building’s side entrance on Bleecker Street decorated for the Christmas season. The photo is courtesy of the Oneida County History Center and was colorized by Dominick Velardi.

theBoston Stores

of Utica & Rome Page 4

In My Travels Around Greater Utica

Taps Composer Honored with Historical Marker Page 18

GU Coupon Pages 24 & 25 Featured Businesses

Carbone Automotive Group 22 Krizia Martin Page 27 The Treehouse Reading & Arts Center Page 28 DDS Motor Sports Page 30

Center Stage at the Stanley Page 29 There Was a Time When.... Page 31 Utica had an NBA Champion

Stanwix Hall 39

Web: email: Phone: 315-316-7277 Facebook: December 2017 GREATER UTICA MAGAZINE


theBoston Stores


of Utica & Rome By Dominick Velardi

It would be here in 1918, at 125 Genesee Street in Utica, that the Boston Store we have grown to know, would begin their history in our area. Although the Boston Store was a member of a chain of stores, it was accepted in this area as if it were locally owned. Maybe the store’s success was attributed to management who had a love for our area. Perhaps it was the company model; one that gave managers the authority to run each store as if it were their own. Maybe it was the owners; individuals who encouraged involvement in the local community. The store grew in our area from this little three story building to almost two city blocks. Whatever combination of reasons led to the success of the Boston Store, it had quality products, a classy atmosphere and most of all, it had the hearts of everyone in Greater Utica.

4 GREATER UTICA MAGAZINE - December Picture Courtesy2017 of the Oneida County History Center

When I decided to take on the project of writing about the Boston Store, I couldn’t decide what approach I should take. Should I write about its history through personal interviews with the people who worked there? Maybe I should tell the story from the perspective of the shoppers, or perhaps one of my own personal experiences. Since it is the Christmas season and different readers have different wants, I decided to try and give you a little bit of everything about the Boston Store. Included with this story’s pictures will be blue captions of the memories of past Boston Store employees and shoppers; the people that wrote these comments are also our valued Facebook followers. When we announced we were doing a cover story on the Boston Store, the response on our Facebook page was amazing! The people from our area really stepped up when we made a second post, this time requesting them to share some of their best memories from the store. Their comments were pleasantly overwhelming. At the time of this writing, we received more than 295 comments (memories) that these people wanted to share with our readers; some were so heartwarming, they brought tears to my eyes. The one thing that is unfortunate, is we do not have the room to print all the comments we received. We invite you to join us on our Facebook page ( ) to read those we were unable to print. To our friends on Facebook that took the time to share their memories with us, we thank each and every one of you.



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The Boston Store has been around this area as far back as I can recall. In fact, the name “Boston Store” in both Utica and Rome goes further back in time than anyone existing today could possibly remember. With that said, not every store bearing the Boston Store name was affiliated with the same business we knew growing up. There was a time when Utica and Rome had Boston Stores that existed in the same time period but did not share a business relationship with one another. If I have confused you, please do not worry, by the end of this article, you will understand the situation perfectly. When we hear the name Boston Store, our first thought may be Downtown Utica on a Monday night, rice pudding from the luncheonette, or of course, Midtowne Shopping Plaza in Rome. For me, it will be my first memory of using an escalator. There were a few variations of Boston Stores in this area before the one we know of in our recent history. From what I have discovered, Utica’s first Boston Store was around before the Civil War. In 1849, Utica had “The New Boston Store”, or sometimes referred to as the “The Boston Clothing Store” which was operated by a person named S. Kaliski. Kaliski operated his store between 1849 and 1850 at 27 Genesee Street, an address in the Bagg’s Square area that no longer exists. I again found Kaliski’s name after those dates in another store of a


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different name in Little Falls. My unanswered question for this Boston Store was, “Why was it named ‘The New Boston Store’?” Was it named after the possible hometown of the owner; New Boston, New Hampshire - New Boston, Michigan, or New Boston, Texas? Truthfully, I had no idea a New Boston, anything existed anywhere in our country. Could it be that there was another Boston Store before this one, making this one the ‘New Boston Store’? After many hours, I had to face the fact, I may never know why the New Boston Store was “new” or why “Boston” was in the name altogether. The next Boston Store in Utica’s history lasted a little longer and operated for 6 years from 1874 until sometime in 1880. This store was owned and operated by Frank H. Shepard, and in some of the store’s advertisements at different times, they included a person by the name of G. W. Shepard. A few ads also included a person mentioned only by their last name: Wilson. In most cases, the store was advertised as “Shepard’s Boston Store”. Shepard’s business grew by leaps and bounds in its short history and advertised in publications as far as Rome, Little Falls, Richfield Springs and Boonville. Shepard’s Boston Store was first located at 77 Genesee Street (which no longer exists) and would have been across the street and a few doors north of the Commercial Travelers building. His business grew to the point that it was necessary for Shepard to move into a larger store. Shepard’s Boston Store moved to 177-179 Genesee Street, a location where Utica retailer, Robert Fraser (July 2017 Greater Utica Magazine), would one day open his store. The building was later destroyed by fire on May 10th, 1905; the building occupying that address today, which was rebuilt by Fraser, would also become a Woolworth’s and today is The Clark City Center. For one reason or another, Shepard’s Boston Store closed in 1880. After the store’s closing, a nephew, John Shepard Jr., took the remaining inventory to Providence, Rhode Island where he was to open another store of his own (Shepard’s Department Store). So why did this store carry the name Boston Store? At this point, I can only give my best guess. Frank Shepard’s brother, John Sr., owned his home in Boston, Massachusetts and had been in the dry goods business in that city since 1865. It is possible that Frank himself was from the Boston area. Rome’s Other Boston Stores Rome had a couple of Boston Stores of their own which were not related to any with the same name in Utica. In 1910, store owners David and Nora Burke of Utica and Frank Shanley of Rome opened a Boston Store. This establishment operated at 139 West Dominick Street for 30 years, until it closed in 1940. In their advertisements, the establishment was promoted by using the name “Boston Store” with the “Burke & Shanley Company” name attached below. There was


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This was the second location for Shepard’s Boston Store at 177-179 Genesee Street, which was later occupied by Fraser’s Department Store. This building was eventually destroyed by fire. You can read more about it in our July 2017 issue- available to read for free on our web site yet another Boston Store in Rome before Burke and Shanley as well; this Boston Store operated between the years of 1901 and 1904 at 123 – 125 North James Street. Again, I could find no reasoning behind why this store carried the Boston name.


The Boston Store we all Know

On January 23, 1918, J. W. Thomkins announced he was retiring and had sold his business of nearly 9 years, Thomkins – Coopernail. J. W.’s store was located at 125 Genesee Street throughout its existence. At the same time of this announcement, it was stated that all the merchandise within the store was sold to M. J. Federman. Marcus J. Federman was already on his way to building an empire of retail establishments, including a series of Boston Stores. During this time, a limited number of retailers became owners of a couple of stores, less had become owners of a small chain of stores and an even smaller number, like M. J. Federman & Sons, went on to be retail giants. The opening of Federman’s Boston Store would mark the beginning of the stores that operated in Down-

I remember dollar days. Sheets and towels for a dollar. So crowded with woman looking to match sheets to pillowcases. We still have some of those towels. When I use one, I always think about The Boston Store and dollar days. -Kate Perlock

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Loved shopping the Boston Store. My favorite department was hats. I would get off the elevator and there before me, were what seemed to be endless tables of hats. I would go from table to table trying on hats. That was the best. -Arlene Napoli Scianna

Above: Rome’s first Boston Store located at 123 -125 North James Street. The Boston Store (second closest and next door to Geo. H. Smith) name on the sign is barely legible in this picture. Picture is courtesy of the Rome Historical Society). Right: Burke & Shanley Company’s Boston Store. This was the second store with that name located at 139 West Dominick Street. Picture is courtesy of the Rome Historical Society).

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I worked there in the fall of 1950 & summer of 1951 while in college. It was great to work there, I felt like I was part of a family. The store was always kept neat and beautiful- Kate Christensen

town Utica and in Midtowne Shopping Plaza in Rome until 1976. The Boston Store would operate from the same location as Thomkins - Coopernail at 125 Genesee Street (pictured on page 4) which sat between the Canal and Catherine Street (a location that no longer exists). Aside from the basement, the store included 4 floors of merchandise. On the same day it was announced that Thomkins was

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retiring and sold out, advertisements were placed stating all remaining goods would be sold off. The Boston Store’s slogan in their advertisements during this time was “Utica’s Busiest Store”. This was their slogan in all the area’s they did business. Meaning, in Schenectady The Boston Store’s slogan was the “The Busiest Store in Schenectady”. In some of their ads, the Federman chain made the claim they were 73 stores strong. The advertised number of stores included all their store brand names – The Boston Store, Federman Department Stores, Aurora Dry Goods, etc.

the name of Sam Abend would start his career with the company and who’s name would become well known and respected in our area. The Burke & Shanley’s Boston Store held the first day of its goingout-of-business sale on July 24, 1940 and soon after closed its doors permanently. Meanwhile, Utica’s Boston Store continued to operate on Franklin Square and in October, 1940 they made their next big announcement.

The new store

In October 1940, it was decided that the Boston Store would build a new store from the ground up in Downtown Utica. In the years that followed, this would be the building, management and atmosphere that would steal the hearts of people in Greater Utica forever. This new store was to be built on the site of the old Arcade Building. An announcement was made stating the 74 year-old Arcade Building would be demolished sometime in January of the next year with construction of the new building taking place soon after. The cost of the building was estimated at approximately $500,000 (8.6 million today). The new building would double the floor space as well as the workforce necessary to operate it. The new structure would have an entrance both on Genesee street as well as Bleecker Street; leaving the corner locations untouched for the existing Oneida National Bank and Dawe’s Drugs. The new store would also offer the comfort of air conditioning and all the latest equipment. All the counters, tables and other equipment would be new with nothing being used from the old store on Franklin Square. The new store offered a Luncheonette that accommodated 60 people at its counter on the first floor. The opening of this Boston Store took a new approach to merchandising that had not been practiced in their store in the past. In addition to presenting their trademark of great customer service,

After operating for 9 years at 125 Genesee Street, it was time for the Boston Store to move on to bigger and better ways of serving the people of Greater Utica. It was on May 27, 1927, that the Boston Store opened its new location at Franklin Square. The company invested $80,000 (more than $1,000,000 in today’s money) in the former AS & T Hunter building in both exterior and interior updates. The new store would comprise of more departments in addition to ones already existing. Also, present in the new store, would be the first ever Boston Store eatery with a soda fountain and lunch counter. In the future, dedicated Boston Store shoppers could not imagine going to the store without visiting the lunch counter. By 1928, the company became The Federman and Stillman Group (the Federman Stores merged with the Stillman Stores) before the business incorporated and became Interstate Department Stores Incorporated. Once incorporated, M. J. Federman became a stock holder and his son, Leo, was named the company’s first president. By 1933, Interstate Department Stores, had more than 25 Boston Store locations in multiple states that ranged from Kentucky going south, to Wisconsin going west. It was also in this year that a new employee by

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Above Left: The last building on the right is the AS &T Hunter building at 58-59 Franklin Square before the Boston Store purchase (Building still exists today). Above Right: Same building as the Boston Store. They also occupied a building at 54-55 Franklin Square at the same time with Wicks and Greenman in between at 56-57. the new Boston Store had the floor space to attract a wider range of customers including those that were interested in higher-end products. The customer’s shopping experience was enhanced by wide aisles that could handle the traffic of hundreds of shoppers without the feeling of being crowded. The Grand Opening October 9, 1941 There were hundreds of people crowded outside the building, waiting to get their first look inside the new Boston Store they watched being constructed throughout the year. As people entered the store at 10AM, they were greeted by attendants handing out souvenir books of matches. Large bouquets of flowers were visible throughout, offering department managers and workers congratulations. People were everywhere examining the new merchandise. Power’s models (Power’s Modeling Agency from New York) were also on site in the Women’s Department, parading in the latest fashions. Also at the grand opening was Carmel Fitzgerald, cover girl for Ladies Home Journal and Women’s Home Companion. The people who visited were surprised with the big city atmosphere that the new Boston Store had to offer and it was now available to them in their own backyard. At the opening was store leader, Sam Abend, Utica Mayor Vincent R. Corrou, along with other area politicians and organizational heads.

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some new ones. These new departments included an In 1951, Sam Abend stated that the store was originally built all-new complete men’s apto handle four elevators and that the two presently in operation were parel shop, a sporting goods always filled to capacity. At this time, Abend made a decision to redepartment and camera inforce the floors of the store in order to add escalators to the second department. Another added and third floors. This choice not only made it easier for shoppers to feature would be a 165-seat commute throughout the different floors of the store, the escalators auditorium used for fashion would become a Boston Store trademark for its shoppers to remember shows and public gatherand admire about the store for decades. ings. By 1955, there were 47 stores in 16 states using the same On March 15th, recipe for success. The people who were entrusted to manage the 1963, Greater Utica got stores would do so as if they owned the business themselves. In other its first look at the newly The Boston Store annex building was words, Sam Abend was given the complete authority to operate the expanded Boston Store. at one time the Colonial Theater and Boston Store independently and was encouraged by the company to Perhaps the most apprecialso Sam S. Shubert Theater at an participate in community affairs. This would allow the operators of ated and remembered new earlier time in our history. the stores to accommodate customer needs and interests at their own discretion. The Boston Store in Downtown Utica along with its parent company, Interstate Department Stores, would continue to grow throughout the 50s and 60s. On top of opening other Boston Stores, Interstate purchased a chain of Topp’s Department Stores, a number of White Front Stores located in California and two toy store chains. In July 1961, a year after the plans were presented, the Boston Store finally got approval to enlarge their store in Downtown Utica. The addition would increase their total retail space from 105,000 to 175,000 square feet (this included their annex store that was once occupied by the Colonial Theater). This addition required the taking over of the Foster Building which would be located today on the corner of Oriskany and Genesee Streets. This addition made Utica, New York’s Boston Store the largest store in the Interstate Department Store chain. Sam Abend, (at the 2016...2017...2018 time was the General Manager of the Recipient Boston store and Vice President and Director of Interstate Department Stores), said the Boston Store would need 200 more employees in addition to the already 270 employed. Included in this upgrade to the Boston Store were renovations to the annex building which was presently used for the furniture department. If negotiations for the property were favorable, the plan included an eight-story, 248 car parking garage that would be built behind the annex. Once the addition was completed, the 5827 Rome Taberg Rd, Rome, NY Boston Store would enlarge some of its existing departments while adding 337-0512

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Going to the Boston Store was like visiting the Queen in her castle. -Gretta Geragi Left: The new, better-than-ever Boston Store opened on October 9, 1941. Above and top of the opposite page: A bigger luncheonette to serve hungry shoppers was also included in the brand new store. Bottom of the Opposite page: the Women’s Department. All pictures courtesy of the Oneida County History Center.

I grew up in the country and along with my sister and my mother we came to “the city” every August for school clothes. The best store of all was The Boston Store with the newest of everything and there was the escalator. The first time using that moving stairway, I went up OK but coming down was horrifying. I just couldn’t take that first step. My mother and sister were at the bottom and I was still at the top. I think my mother punished herself forever for not taking my hand. But the salesgirl stayed with me until my mother got back up and we ended up using the elevator! The Boston Store was huge and it was awesome. I miss it. -Susan Borkowski Kovacs

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In the 1960’s, my sister and I would ride the bus from West Utica downtown. A big thrill was having rice pudding in their basement diner. I would save my allowance to buy make-up and Bluegrass perfume. Thought we were “all it” shopping at the Boston Store -Millicent Mish feature were the down escalators that were added from the third and second floors. After many proposals and offers to a host of principle decision makers, the Boston Store made history yet again in Utica. On June 3, 1968, a new double decker Parking Garage and Home Center in the location of the former Hotel Hamilton and annex building, was now open for business. The 40,000-square foot Home Center carried appliances and a wide assortment of different style home furnishings. The new parking garage had the room to park 280 cars on both floors with a covered walkway leading to the main floor of the Boston Store. Sam Abend was quoted, saying “Today is a very happy day, one we had waited years for. I feel sure the residents of Greater Utica will be pleased.” Between the parking garage, the Home Center and the store itself, the Boston Store now occupied the entire block except the corner area of Oneida National Bank and Dawe’s Drugs. After 62 years of growth in the area, Sam Abend, The Boston Store and Interstate Stores (name change from Interstate Department Stores) decided it was time for Rome to have a store of their own. The company was to build a 60,000 square foot store in Midtowne Plaza. Sam Abend said that the Rome store would be very similar to I can’t remember what year it was, but I remember my mother and I shopping there and I was very little and I took off from her and got a little lost, but I had the best time playing in the section of fur coats. I must have been like 4 or 5. Every time I drive by there I relive that day. -Kimberly Ettinger Smith




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the Boston Store location in Mohawk Mall near Schenectady. Once built, the new Boston Store would be located between Carl’s Drugs and Grand Way in the plaza and employ approximately 150 to 175 employees. After all commitments were made for the new Boston Store, a ground-breaking ceremony took place on August 7, 1972 with an expected completion date of October 1, 1973.

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When UFA went to split sessions in 1967, I got a part-time job at the Boston Store. I worked part-time during school and full-time in the summer. Most of the time I worked in the receiving dept. Everyone was like family in the store. Everyone knew everyone! As you might guess the receiving dept. was a very busy place. I stayed until the day it closed. That was the 24th of December. Our regular Santa was sick that day and I was coerced to take his place. Luckily it all worked out. I still have fond memories of the store and it’s wonderful, hard working employees!-Kenneth Perlock The Boston Store addition extends to Oriskany Street after taking over the Foster Building. The Rome Boston Store opened its doors to the public on October 11, 1973. Sam Abend, his son Richard (Vice President), store manager Rocco Garramone and Mayor Valentine were among the many dignitaries present at the ribbon cutting ceremony. The people of the area came by the hundreds to welcome their new store.

In 1974, both the Utica and Rome stores were seeing a decline in business. The downfall in sales were attributed to a mixture of factors from: Riverside Mall, the Mohawk Airlines takeover, a major portion of General Electric leaving the area and people shopping for bargains. For whatever reason, Interstate Stores eventually filed for bankruptcy. On July 6, 1976 it was announced that the Rome store was closing and soon afterward, advertisements for a going-out-ofbusiness sale commenced. The Utica store was not far behind closing

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its doors for good on Christmas Eve 1976. There were great attempts to purchase the Boston Stores in both Utica and Rome but Interstate did little to nothing in response to the offers being made. One-Thirty-One Boston Place

being only 14 miles apart. Like many of the other people in the photo captions, my first experience was with someone very dear to me, my grandmother who I called Nana. She was the first person to give me my experience in Downtown Utica and the Boston Store. I was only about five years-old at the time and can’t recall everything; however, I can promise you, what I do remember are all the best parts. I remember my trip to the Boston Store; it was my first time on a bus. Nana and I boarded it together and she held my hand during the whole ride, never letting go. I remember her taking me to this store that was the biggest I had ever seen with people everywhere. I was wishing she would let go of my hand so I could touch everything. I remember getting on an escalator for the first time, thinking it would eat me from the feet up and thanking god that

Above: Rome Boston Store in Midtowne Plaza. Picture Courtesy of the Rome Historical Society.

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If the Boston Store were a person and we were able to trace its lineage in the area back to its true beginning, it would have not begun with the purchase of Thompkins – Coopernail. Its grandparent would have been The Leader Store which was purchased by Thompkins – Coopernail. The Leader Store operated in the same location as Thompkins- Coopernail and the Boston Store at 125 Genesee Street. An unanswered question for me again, is, “Why ‘The Boston Store’ (1918-1976) and not the ‘New York City Store’? Or ‘The Philadelphia Store?’” I could not in all my research find an answer. Even M. J. Federman was from New York. The only surviving part of Interstate after bankruptcy was its toy store division; it was sold off in 1978 and became the Toy’s R Us Corporation. I wondered how it would have been handled if Shephard’s Boston Store was a major success in Utica. Would the Boston Store we know have entered the market with a different name or would they have had the retail battle of the Boston Stores? Another interesting fact: the Boston Store that was part of the Federman chain in Utica was operating at the same time as Burke & Shanley’s Boston Store in Rome. The two stores existed simultaneously for 22 years

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An attempt to revive the Boston Store was made with the opening of One Thirty One Boston Place on August 29, 1984. Many of the former Boston Store employees returned as did the shoppers of the area. It was debated by many why the store did not succeed but for whatever reason, it did not survive long. Eight years to the day of the original Boston Store and after only four months in business, One Thirty One Boston Place closed on December 24, 1984. Points of Interest

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Nana didn’t let go of my hand. She brought me to the kids clothing department and bought me my first cardigan sweater. The sweater had blue, black and red vertical stripes and I remember her letting me go just long enough to try it on. She took me to the toy department where she bought me a helicopter and I played with my new toy, using the only free hand I had. I was saying to myself “When is she going to let go of my other hand?” I looked up to Nana on the elevator and caught her smiling at me when a woman said “What a cute grandson you have!” On the way home, I told Nana I liked that store and I wanted to go back there with her. Although, I made many more trips to the Boston Store, there was never another time with Nana but that is

Above: Fashion show at the Boston Store - Pictures Courtesy of the Oneida County History Center. okay; I was rewarded in another way. Nana didn’t let go of my hand many times that day, but looking back, I would do it all over again. When I think of the Boston Store, that’s what I remember. Every one of my three boys wore that sweater Nana bought me until it eventually disintegrated.


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Thank you to our Facebook friend, Judith Neary for sharing a picture of her son, Scott, visiting with Santa at the Boston Store. one of the Santas from the Boston Store (pictured far right with his nephew, Rob Hughes). Bruce told us that the Boston Store spared no expense when it came to a Santa costume. In this picture, his own nephew had no idea it was him. He explained how the Boston Store built a facade at the far end of the toy department and the wall was beautifully decorated. There was also red velvet rope that would lead you up to Santa’s throne. Bruce said “I thinks it is hard for the younger generation to imagine how vibrant and exciting ‘The Busy Corner’ and The Boston Store really were and especially during the holiday season. The Boston Store was THE center of activity for our local holiday festivities much as Macy’s has been for New York City”. I hope you enjoyed my article; I guess I will never know the inspiration behind the “Boston” name, nor will I get the countless hours of my life back that I spent trying to find the answer - Happy Holidays and we wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year - from our family to yours.

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Above: Bruce Williams as the Boston Store night time Santa, a position he held from 1971 to 1973.

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General Daniel Butterfield

In My Travels Around

Taps Composer Honored with Historical Marker by Joseph P. Bottini

Oneida County Historian

Greater Utica

General Daniel Butterfield, a native son of Utica, was honored by the installation of an historic marker in an emotional dedication ceremony recently. This event brings honor to a Civil War Hero and a presence of respect to the city of Utica. It has been said, “Man does not live by bread alone.” Each community must have employment, housing, places of worship, a good local newspaper, a productive government, entertainment opportunities, a cultural identity and “its own history.” General Butterfield was born in Utica in 1831 and lived on Fayette Street (today Lafayette Street) a short distance from the corner of Columbia and Genesee Streets at the head of Seneca Street. It was at this juncture, in a small shrub/flower garden (the Ellen E. Hanna Mini Park) just outside the Landmarc Building, that a dignified historic marker was installed on Tuesday October 21st, his 176th birthday. Butterfield was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where he is buried. A visit to West Point Cemetery provided an opportunity to view his gravesite with an impressive monument, said to be the most elaborate in that cemetery. General Butterfield, an officer in the Union Army participated in many Civil War battles including: Peninsula Campaign (site of Harrison’s Landing, Virginia and the writing of Taps), Battle of Gaines’ Mill, Second Battle of Bull


Run, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Gettysburg and others. He is a Medal of Honor recipient and was Commander of the V Corps among other Commands. More widely known as the composer of Taps with the help of his bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton. Taps is that haunting refrain played at the end of military funerals and other solemn memorial services and occasions of patriotism. It is the only piece of music that is required to be performed at a United States military funeral. It is well known to have been composed as a “lights out” signal at the end of day; or “to tell soldiers when to go to sleep.” It is comprised of just 24 notes without official lyrics, yet it is one of the military’s most profound traditions. Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield commanded the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division in the V Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac. At the end of a day of fighting at Harrison’s Landing in July 1862 - General Butterfield heard the common (borrowed from the French) “lights out” bugle call. He felt an improved “end of day” signal should to be written. With crisp instructions to his bugler Norton, to “hold some notes and shorten others,” our present day version was composed. Officially it is to be played by a single bugle or trumpet, although other versions employ two trumpets in an echo cadence. This is known as “Echo Taps” that only adds to the emotion-evoking one-minute melody. Oliver Wilcox Norton


There are many legends as to the origin of Taps being played at funerals. One has the added sadness by implying it was a piece of paper with the notes written upon them found in the pocket of a fallen soldier during the Civil War. A Union army officer, Captain Robert Ellicombe who found the Especially from paper recognized the body as that of his own son. The officer then had Taps played for his son’s burial. Of course this would make a very compelling story of the Taps saga, but no record has been found of any officer by that name being at the place and time indicated. It is widely believed the first instance of sounding Taps at a military funeral was in 1862 ordered by Captain 3-Month Layaway, Financing- 90 Days Deferred Interest John C. Tidball. At the time of burying a dead soldier, the 4662 Commercial Drive, New Hartford • 736-0662 battery was in a concealed position and the usual three volleys over the grave would have given their position to the enemy that was located in close proximity. GOLD1411-3.75x2.375 -DEc2016.indd 1 11/18/16 11:42 AM Taps is not an acronym, but is taken from the word Tattoo or Dutch word taptoe meaning “to close.” Some hold to the view that Taps was taken from three single, slow drumbeats struck after “Extinguish Lights” was rendered. This was known as Drum Taps, shortened to “The Taps” or “Taps” as Many Thanks to our referenced in soldiers’ vernacular. Valued Customers! Field Manual 12-50, U.S. Army Bands, dated October Open Christmas Eve 6AM - 5PM 1999, Appendix A Official And Ceremonial Music, AppenChristmas Day 6AM - Noon dix A, Section 1 – Ceremonial Music, Paragraph A-35. “A-35 Mon - Fri 5:30 AM - 6:00 PM signals that unauthorized lights are to be extinguished for the Sat- 6:00 AM - 8 PM last call of the day. The call is also sounded at the completion Sun - 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM of a military funeral ceremony. Taps is to be performed by a single bugler only. Performance of ‘Silver Taps’ or ‘Echo Taps’ is not consistent with Army traditions, and is an improper use of bugler assets.” Army Regulations 220-90, Army Bands dated December 2007, Paragraph 2-5h(1) states the following: “’Echo Maria Christina’s School of Dance Taps’ or ’Silver Taps’, the practice of performing ‘Taps’ with multiple buglers, is not authorized. ‘Echo Taps’ is not part of Where strength is found Army tradition and improperly uses bugler assets.” Taps is within yourself not a song, but a bugle call or signal, thus it has no words. It is written that a Horace Lorenzo Trim wrote a body of words to “explain” the meaning of the notes. The first of five stanzas of Contact the studio for more info... 441 Trenton Rd. North Utica Trim’s words is: 315.335.3787 • •

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Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

The last stanza is indicative of the use it has acquired in the bringing an end to the funeral of a fallen warrior. It reads: While the light fades from sight, And the stars gleaming rays softly send, To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.

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or “Day Is Done” seems only to denigrate the serious purpose to which Taps has now been assigned and most often interpreted by many who hear it. To be at Arlington National Cemetery during the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and hear off in the distance that familiar indication of another fallen defender of our liberty being buried is often more than the tear ducts can control. Those in attendance at the dedication felt this level of emotion during the rendition of Taps played by Al Galime. Without a community’s acknowlPicture by Joseph Bottini. edgment of its glorious history, the present is not as bright and preparing for the future more difficult. Councilman at Large Mark Williamson, (Command Master Chief Retired) used his drive and skill of years as a warrior in the United States Navy to fight through the apathy toward local history (by too many) to accomplish a long-overdue recognition of Utica’s own Civil War Hero, Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The support of Mayor Robert Palmieri and Common Council President Michael P. Galime added to his tenacity to get things done. Williamson’s accomplishment would give direction for installing other historic markers for the many honorable people and events of our important local history. When asked why he celebrated this dedication Williamson said: ”I am a history buff as well as a veteran, and




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this is one piece of military-history recognition that is long overdue. We must honor the warriors who gave us the liberty we enjoy.” After a delayed period of over 100 years, this historic marker and dedication could be the first step toward future efforts. There are many locations within Oneida County, too often neglected, where past history took place. History recognition in our county would develop pride in its citizens - and if taught to our young students become a reason for them to be motivated to help promote our region, as they become the leaders of tomorrow. The Greater Utica Magazine thanks General Butterfield for his service and is humbled to offer this written tribute for an event that heralds his sacrifice. We also extend an expression of gratitude to Command Master Chief-Common Councilman Mark Williamson for his 23 years of service in our U.S. Navy, and as a local government official in the city of Utica. This writer holds Mark Williamson in high regard for his knowledgeable interest in local history - and willingness to work on behalf of the whole community. He might be one of my later-in-life heroes for being able to break through the past years of apathy toward celebrating, promoting and marketing the glorious history of Utica and all of Oneida County. May this event be a Genesis for future history endeavors in our county.

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Growth has become a popular buzzword around Greater Utica. And it is inspiring to see so many positive steps being taken both downtown and in the surrounding areas. As new structures are built or rehabilitated, jobs are created, and newfound opportunities become reality. While our community welcomes these new businesses with open arms, it is equally as encouraging to see those companies that have called Utica home for generations expand and reinvest in our city. Over the last year, Carbone Auto Group has been strategically planning to play their part in the evolution of Utica’s future. Since going public in October of 2016, the Carbone family has laid the groundwork for several large projects that will take shape over the coming months. And the area is primed for the positive impacts these projects will bring. The most notable change many residents will see is the expansion of some familiar names. Many Carbone stores have housed multiple makes throughout the years and it will soon be time for several of these stores to get their own locations in Utica and in Yorkville. In April, Subaru will leave the Don’s Ford nest for their own building on Commercial Drive. BMW will also get a new home in June right next door to Don’s on Route 12. With all the extra space, Don’s Ford will be getting a fresh face by the end of the year. The GMC-Buick-Cadillac store will be making the move to Route 12 and a brandnew facility. Carbone Chevy will take over the Commercial Drive location and expand to provide more service and more inventory. Carbone Hyundai will be moving in to an updated facility as well. Even the beautiful Carbone Honda store will get a refresh. By the end of 2018, Carbone Auto Group will have completed eight facilities projects in less than two years. That kind of investment illustrates a tremendous commitment to the area and certainly highlights the potential growth for Greater Utica. At the forefront of all the new Carbone projects is the construction of their new, state-of-the-art collision center. Opening soon on Route 12, just past Don’s Ford, the 20,000 square-foot collision center will have 20-foot ceilings, 2 paint booths and the space and technology necessary to service everything from buses to tractor trailers to regular-sized vehicles. The front of the building will house Carbone’s fleet and commercial sales staff, who will sell from a complete on-site inventory. The fleet team serves almost all of New York State, including the area from Albany to Buffalo and from Watertown to the Pennsylvania border. Don Carbone, who has spent his entire life with the company, credits the auto group’s decision to go public as the main driver behind their current expansion. Don smiled, saying his father, Joe, who founded the company in 1929, would be very proud to see how far they have come. “We’re very proud of where we are. We were all born here, lived here and have only left the area for college or military service. I can’t think of a community anywhere in the world that I would rather be in.” So what should customers expect to see from this flurry of expansion? Customers will enjoy everything modern facilities have to offer, such as improved waiting areas, more lot space, and wider selection. But most importantly, customers will benefit from service, parts and sales staff dedicated completely to one brand under one roof. Customers won’t be the only ones reaping the benefits from these expansion projects. Our local economy will receive a healthy boost in the form of new employment opportunities for individuals in the Greater Utica area. Not only will there be a number of new hires at each facility, but there will be more than 200 construction workers, all from local contracting companies, working on these structures. With an estimated budget of $20 million for their new buildings, Carbone is betting big on Utica. What makes Don most proud, though, is giving something back to an area that has given his family so much over the years. “We feel very strongly to be a part of [this community]. These are the people who have assisted in getting us where we are, and we don’t want to forget that. I’m happy to think we can help grow this community the same way they have helped us grow.”



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!" 2$# While vacationing in Nantucket with her family, Clinton native Christin Gachowski Martin would visit the small local shops throughout the island. She imagined a day when she would be able to bring the excitement and uniqueness of those New England stores to her hometown. It was her hope to introduce the area to clothing brands and gift concepts it had not yet seen during that time. As a certified hydrogeologist, Chris had very little leisure time, but in 2006, she chose to make her dream come true while maintaining her demanding career. That year, Chris opened Krizia Martin Fine Apparel & Giftware at 20 West Park Row in Clinton, offering clothing for men, women, children and infants and distinctive giftware. From the beginning, Chris had an exact vision for her store from its appearance to every type of product on the shelves. She spent her days at Krizia Martin; tending to customers while performing her geological duties simultaneously at her computer. Just one year after the store opened its doors, Chris’ life had taken a sudden turn. While the store was a success in its early stages, Chris was diagnosed with leukemia and her family and friends immediately jumped in to help. One of the things that kept her spirits up was staying involved in the store, from ordering next season’s clothing lines to hearing from her customers. Many people who loved and cared for Chris would watch over the shop when she was undergoing treatment. After going into remission, the cancer returned in 2008 and Chris passed away at the age of 48. Chris’ family was determined to keep her dream alive long after her passing. Her daughters in particular loved spending time with her at the store. To this day, the store remains not just a business, but a place for family and friends to gather. In 2011, Chris’ husband, Kevin, transferred the business to Chris’ sisters, Corrine and Gail who still run Krizia Martin today while working full-time jobs aside from the business. That strong work ethic runs in their family as Chris was not only a business owner, full-time worker, mother and wife, but she was also the first woman president of the New York State Geological Society. To this very day, when in doubt, the Krizia Martin team still asks themselves on a constant basis, “What would Chrissy do?” At Krizia Martin, customers still enjoy some of the original brands that Chris selected for the store, as well as new lines that compliment her taste. Her vision of introducing the village to new brands is executed

through the wide selection of apparel and gifts by: Barbour, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Patagonia, Southern Tide, Joules, Kate Spade, Kiel James Patrick, Smathers and Branson and many more. These exclusive brands add to the uniqueness and charm of the Krizia Martin boutique. The selection at Krizia Martin represents timeless elegance and classic clothing with styles that endure. Whether it is a Patagonia jacket, a dress by Lilly Pulitzer or one of Vineyard Vines signature hats, Krizia Martin has something to please everyone. In addition, Krizia Martin also offers handmade, high quality giftware that is perfect for bridal and baby showers or holiday get-togethers. offers an extensive array of products so customers can shop anytime from the comfort of their home. Aside from the great products, Krizia Martin is known for a personalized shopping experience. Corrine and Gail know their customers well and will often make selections for the next season with them in mind. Being in business for over 10 years, the Krizia Martin team prides themselves on understanding and accommodating customer needs. Krizia Martin offers Gift Certificates, gift registry and complimentary gift-wrapping to match any occasion. The team at Krizia Martin is still made up mostly of Chris’ closest family and friends; her daughters enjoy working in the shop when they are home from school for the holidays. It is the warmth of family, friends , and customers, that give Krizia Martin the atmosphere that Chris dreamed of during her visits to Nantucket. Chris’ passion for life, family and friends, her generosity, elegance and grace are what create and define that special shopping experience at Krizia Martin. For more information on Krizia Martin, log on to, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, call 315-853-3650 or visit the shop at 20 West Park Row in the charming and historic village of Clinton.







When it comes to the growth of a child, there are very few factors as significant as their education. While our local teachers and schools do an excellent job of educating our youth, they are under strict guidelines in terms of what they can offer in the classroom. With a large number of students and so much material to get through, it is difficult to give individual children the help they may need. In the same breath, teachers are not allotted the time or resources necessary to emphasize subjects that promote creativity; such as art and music. Joanna Robertson of Treehouse Reading and Arts Center is someone who is willing and qualified to fill in those gaps for children. She feels as though she was born for the job. From the time she was a little girl, Joanna loved reading books and writing stories. When she was a student in middle school, her principal recommended she spend her summer taking a first-grade student to the library to help him improve his literacy skills. Joanna immediately fell in love with teaching children and felt a great sense of accomplishment when seeing his gradual improvement. Throughout her childhood, Joanna also had a strong love for music; her instrument of choice being the cello. Her passion was so strong that she went on to receive her bachelor’s in music and music education. After college, Joanna became a substitute teacher and was exposed to multiple elementary classrooms. During her few years as a substitute, Joanna learned a great deal from observing children and some of the struggles they endured in terms of reading and writing. She had always loved literature and felt as though she could make a true difference in the lives of these types of students. It was at this point that Joanna decided to go back to college, where she earned her doctorate in literacy and became a college instructor. As her family was often relocated due to her husband’s career in the Navy, she taught courses as an


adjunct instructor, teaching at multiple Universities, including online courses. Just a few years ago, she and her young family settled down in the Greater Utica area. While she enjoyed teaching online courses, Joanna felt a bit unfulfilled as she could not physically see the impact she was making on her students. She missed the feeling she received from teaching young children and decided it was time to pursue something more in line with her true purpose. She had always loved children’s literature and wanted to own a bookstore when she retired, but she figured, “Why wait?” When she opened Treehouse Reading and Arts Center in early 2017, she was able to chase her dream of both teaching kids and introducing them to books and music. To Joanna, there is no greater feeling. At Treehouse Reading and Arts Center, it is Joanna’s goal to put that book into a child’s hands that helps them learn about themselves and the outside world. She believes there is real value in children’s literature as it encourages them to express their own creativity and personal thoughts. At the Treehouse, there is a huge selection of books for children from babies and toddlers all the way through high school. In conjunction with the book store, Joanna offers literacy tutoring, literacy and arts enrichment activities, small group literacy activities and summer and school break camps. Recently, Joanna started the Bee Keepers Spelling Club where she uses innovative tactics to help students learn and retain their words. These literacy classes are perfect for both children who have fallen behind in school as well as those who are further advanced and need to be challenged. Along with literacy tutoring, Joanna also offers music lessons including; beginner piano and violin and all levels of the cello. She has used her educational background to combine music, art and literacy in several of her classes, helping children express the things they learn through various creative mediums. The time Joanna spent in classrooms full of kids has given her a heightened perspective of what may be missing in children’s education. Additionally, she works closely with educators that are currently teaching so that they can help her fill the necessary gaps. Most importantly, the Treehouse provides a safe community space where expression and learning are properly prioritized. It is important for children to realize that books, art and music can be cool and fun; they can introduce a child to concepts and ideas they never imagined. For more info on Treehouse Reading and Arts Center, check out their Facebook page, call them at (315) 765-6262 or visit the book store/classroom on the 3rd floor of the Fitness Mill building in New York Mills.



With Jerry Kraus ELVIS IS COMING TO THE STANLEY! You’ve probably heard the trivia fact linking Elvis Presley and Utica, New York. Elvis was scheduled to play at The Utica Memorial Auditorium on August 19, 1977. That never happened as Elvis died on August 16th, just 3 days before his Utica concert. That was forty years ago! For one night only at The Stanley Theater in Utica, experience a legendary Elvis Presley tribute show, performed by Kevin Mills, the Las Vegas ‘Legends in Concert’ star. The show will be on Friday, December 29th starting at 7pm. Kevin Mills, a very talented Elvis tribute artist, will portray Elvis with authentic outfits and songs from this historic Elvis ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ concert performance. Kevin’s crowd pleasing style and mannerisms, mixed with his unique blend of talent, vocals and charisma makes him a favorite with Elvis fans around the world. His singing and stage performance will be backed up by a full 16-piece orchestra: Steve Falvo’s ‘Easy Money Big Band’. This show will recreate Elvis’s historic ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ concert from start to finish. In January of 1973, Elvis hosted his ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ concert which was broadcast worldwide via satellite to an audience estimated over 1 billion people! To open the night at 7pm, it’s a tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra, featuring local singers including Nick Lombarda of The Easy Money Big Band, Anthony LaBarbera, Sonny Dee, Joe LaPaglia and Rob Swenszkowski. That’s two music legends: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, who will be honored for one night only at The Stanley Theater in Utica on Friday, December 29th. Tickets are ON SALE NOW and range from $20 - $25 - $35 - $50. Additional service charges may apply. The Stanley Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10a-4p and also can be contacted by phone at (315) 724-4000. Please be sure to ALWAYS purchase tickets either directly from our box office or through our website, beware of third party sellers! See you at The Stanley! Also coming up: Mohawk Valley Ballet presents: The Nutcracker- Saturday, Dec 2nd at 7:30p and Sunday, Dec. 3rd at 2p. YWCA Mohawk Valley presents: Light Up the Night- Friday, Dec. 8th at 7p. Townsquare Media presents: Magic of The Holidays, with Robert Channing- Saturday, Dec. 9th at 7p. The Stanley presents: The Sounds of Christmas Choirs- Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2p. The Stanley presents: The ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ Happy Hour- Thursday, Dec.21 from 5p-8p.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the staff at The Stanley Theater in Utica.

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When one spends their entire life working hard, all they hope to do is leave behind a legacy and an opportunity for the next generation. At least that was the case for the late Sam “Dee Dee” Girmonde, who dedicated his life to business and family. After graduating from Proctor High School, he attended the University of Miami, then joined the United States Army. At a very young age, Dee Dee became a valued member of his family’s business; Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club in New York Mills. Although he loved golf and the business itself, he and his children eventually decided to tackle a new endeavor. In September of 1989, Dee Dee, his son Sam and his daughter Dena Gorea, opened DDS Motor Sports on Champlin Ave in Utica. The business thrived and in 2004 they relocated to a bigger location on Oriskany St in Utica, where they currently remain. For many years, Dee Dee and Sam had a love for recreational vehicles and felt as though it was the perfect industry for the family to enter together. They enjoyed riding motorcycles, snowmobiles and dirt bikes, and along the way, attained a great level of knowledge on the products. They felt that in order to survive in business, they would need to offer an inventory that was suitable for the area’s ever changing seasons. With Dee Dee and Sam running the sales floor and Dena running the business end, they were able to accomplish this feat by becoming certified dealers of Kawasaki, Ski-Doo, Can Am and Yamaha. In the early 1990s, Dee Dee retired from the business, leaving it in the hands of Sam and Dena but he remained a huge part of the store’s atmosphere. When you stopped into DDS, the first person to greet you would be Dee Dee. He loved to drink coffee and shoot the breeze with customers and every customer became a friend. Dee Dee’s son Sam describes him as an easy-going guy who taught him and his sister the importance of family and a strong work ethic. Sam and Dena pride themselves on the fact that they do not “sell” to customers, but rather allow them to “buy” at their own pace. They believe that personal service and the quality of their products makes them the perfect dealership for people who are new to the industry and lifelong riders. Regardless what time of year it may be, if you love the outdoors, DDS Motor Sports has what you are looking for. Specializing in new and pre-owned products by Kawasaki, Ski-Doo, Can-Am and Yamaha, DDS offers: ATVs, side x sides, cruisers, street bikes, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Spyders and jet-skis. Their diverse inventory has been one of the main reasons they achieved sustainability in a field of business that makes it hard to last. On top of the vehicles themselves, DDS also offers and installs accessories for every product they sell and all other brands. Throughout the showroom, customers will also see a huge selection of jackets, bibs, hats, gloves, helmets and just about any other article of clothing related to motor sports. It is not all about selling products at DDS, they also service all make and models of recreational vehicles. Similar to the automobile industry, the technology of these vehicles has advanced greatly in recent years, but Sam and Dena have made it a point to ensure all of their technicians are properly trained. With trends and models constantly changing, they keep in close contact with their manufactures to maintain their quality of service. They understand that the whole point of purchasing and owning one of these vehicles is to have fun and they try to make their customers’ overall riding experience as enjoyable as possible. In February of 2017, Dee Dee passed away and Sam and Dena continue to run the business they started together. What began as a fun way to spend time together has become a passion that the Girmonde family has shared with area for nearly 30 years and hope to continue for many more. For more information on DDS Motorsports, log on to, call (315)-792-4660 or visit the showroom at 2100 Oriskany Street in Utica.

There was a

Utica had an

Champion when... NBA By Brad Velardi

Growing up in the Utica area, most of us who loved the game of basketball learned an important lesson at a young age. We learned that when it comes to the college ranks, you root for the Syracuse Orange (or Orangemen years ago); and you root hard for the Orange! Speaking from firsthand experience, living just 45 minutes or so from the Carrier Dome meant you were within reach of the “big time”. I can remember many occasions when my uncle and I took trips to ‘Cuse basketball games to see the “hometown” team; some of the greatest times of my youth. They may not have literally been from the city we were raised in, but to this day, that Syracuse team holds a special place in our hearts. When I dub the Syracuse program as the “big time”, I am referencing their status as a Division I basketball team; and quite often, a great one. With that in mind, I was absolutely blown away earlier this year by information I received while working on a story. Back in May, I was interviewing the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame induction class of 2017; a couple of them being basketball coaches who have been quite influential

Larry Costello and the Utica College Pioneers circa 1983

in our area. Although I conducted each interview separately, I heard one particular person’s name from 3 different inductees. The name I heard, which even as an avid basketball fan I was unfamiliar with, was Larry Costello. Each of the men I spoke to explained to me the affect that this Costello individual had on their lives and careers. As I wondered in my head who this man could be, one of the interviewees explained, “He was the head basketball coach at Utica College.” That statement was followed by one that nearly made my head spin; he nonchalantly said, “Utica College was a Division I team at that time.” I was amazed. In all my time researching our area’s sports history, I had never come across this piece of information and I had to find out more. I was inspired to learn about Larry Costello, who made Utica College’s jump to Division I possible. That’s when I found out: there was a time when Utica had an NBA Champion. On July 2nd, 1931, Lawrence Ronald “Larry” Costello was born to Charles H. and Ethel M. Costello in Minoa, NY, a village just east of Syracuse. Larry’s life-spanning career in basketball began in junior high, when he played for the St. Mary’s Church team in Minoa. It has been reported that he weighed




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just 98 pounds as a student at Minoa High, but that did not stop the scrappy young man from playing on both the basketball and football teams. On the court, the skinny Costello was a star; while off the court, he would attend Syracuse University basketball games at the old Archbold Gym. It mattered little to Larry that the basketball program at Syracuse was “less than prestigious” to put it nicely. The arena fit just a few hundred, but it was Larry’s dream to play in front of the hometown crowd on a basketball scholarship. After being given a mere 8-minute tryout by then-Orangemen coach, Marc Guley, Syracuse foolishly turned Larry away after an unimpressive performance. He then chose to enroll at Niagara University, where he averaged 15 points per game and led the Purple Eagles’ freshman team to an incredible 23-0 record in the 1950-1951 season. In his sophomore season, Larry played on the varsity team, which struggled its way to an 8-21 season, but after averaging 18 points per game as a junior, he led them to a record of 22-6; first in the conference. They finished first in the conference once again during Larry’s senior season and improved their record to 24-6. During his All-American senior campaign, Larry’s Niagara team defeated Syracuse twice by 20+ points; he later admitted that their unfair treatment of him as a high school recruit fueled him during those games. Following a tremendous college basketball career, Larry was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in the second round of the 1954 NBA Draft. After playing 19 games of his rookie season with the Warriors, Larry did not return to NBA


until the 1956-57 season as he was stationed in Germany as a member of the United States Army. While serving in the military, he played for the Army European Championship 86th Regiment team. Larry then returned to the pros and finished his first full season with Philadelphia, averaging 7.6 points, 3.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Following that season, the Warriors sold his rights to the Syracuse Nationals and Larry’s dream of playing in front of his hometown patrons came true. During his 6 seasons with the Nationals, Larry made 5 NBA All-Star teams and was considered one of the finest point guards in the league. In the 1963-64 season, the Nationals would move to Philadelphia and become the 76ers. The following year, Larry made his 6th NBA All-Star team, but retired at the end of the season and moved back to Minoa. He began teaching and coaching basketball at East Syracuse-Minoa High School, leading his team to a conference title in 1965-66. What looked like the beginning of a promising career as a coach was halted abruptly when Larry was dragged out of retirement by the 76ers, who were in desperate need of a guard. That year, the 76ers, who had 4 future-hall of famers, finished 1st in the Eastern Division with a 68-13 record and won the NBA Championship. They are considered by many to be the greatest team in NBA history. In the following season, a devastating injury to Larry’s Achilles tendon ultimately ended his playing career. He was the oldest active player in the league (34 years-old) at the time of his retirement and was the last to execute the two-handed set shot. He owned several NBA free throw records, and despite being a champion and 6-time allstar, Larry has yet to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The next chapter in Larry’s basketball story would be the continuation of his coaching career. In 1968, he was named the head coach of the NBA’s brand-new Milwaukee Bucks expansion team. As expected, the Bucks struggled in their first year in the league and finished with a record of 27-55 in the 1968-69 season. Luckily, their rough start put them in position to draft Lew Alcindor, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as we know him now, with the 1st overall pick in the 1969 Draft. The Bucks immediately improved to 56-26 during the 1969-70 campaign and finished 2nd in the Eastern Division. When they traded for another future Hall of Famer, Oscar Robertson, the following season, that was all that Larry Costello and the Bucks needed to win their only NBA Championship in franchise history. After a very successful span of 5 years with the Bucks, Larry was let go by the franchise just 18 games into the 1976-77 season and subsequently let go after one year as coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1979. In 1979-80, Larry coached the Milwaukee Does of the now-defunct Women’s Basketball Association. When he left the NBA, Larry was one of just 4 coaches in league history to have accumulated over 400 career wins. That, along with the fact he had NBA titles under his belt as a coach and player, left the basketball world in shock in 1980 when he accepted the head coaching job of Utica College’s Division III team. Larry’s connection to Utica College rooted back to his playing days in Minoa. His former high school coach, Thom-

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Front center - Larry Costello, front right - #1 Oscar Robertson, Back center #33 Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar). - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

as Sheldon, was acting as president of the college, and was asked to serve on the interview committee for the vacant head coaching job. Ray Simon, professor emeritus of public relations and journalism was asked to represent the faculty on a campus-wide search committee. He responded simply, “Fine, but what do you want me to ask Larry Costello?” Despite having 40 different men interview for the job, UC chose the man who would help them fulfill their ultimate goal. It was the college’s wish to make the push to Division I, which with their enrollment at the time, would make them one of the smallest in the nation to reach that level. The move from the NBA to Division III was puzzling to most people, but Larry planned on ending his career in Utica nonetheless. The “drill sergeant-type taskmaster” as one news-

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paper called him, claimed he hadn’t even pursued a pro job and was eager to coach college kids. Larry cited the egos of many pro players among other reasons as to what drew him away from the NBA. The biggest adjustment he needed to make, was becoming a recruiter; something not asked of an NBA coach. The life of a college coach is very demanding, and as anyone from the area who knew Larry will tell you, he devoted his life completely to bettering the UC basketball program. The 1980-81 season was Larry’s first as Pioneers coach and the school’s final year in Division III under his regime. The season opened up successfully with a 62-54 victory over Alfred University and UC finished with a record of 13-12. The next year, the Pioneers’ first year of Division I basketball, was a rough one; which was to be expected. They finished 4-22 in 1981-82 with their mixture of Division III players and incoming recruits that were hand-picked by Larry Costello. He had stated before the season that it would be “a tough road to travel” competing against bigger, more experienced talent but the next year showed signs of great improvement. In 1982, Larry held his first “Larry Costello Specialized Basketball Camp” for boys entering grades 8-12. These annual camps helped our local kids in a special way that not only improved their skills, but gave them the chance to meet famous basketball figures. Larry attracted such players and coaches as, former national championship coach from Villanova, Rollie Massimino and former NBA MVP and Champion for the Celtics, Dave Cowens. These names, among Larry Costello

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Larry Costello - front row, fourth from the left.

many others showed kids from the Greater Utica area the tricks of the trade; something our youth of today could benefit from tremendously. In 1982-83, Larry brought in more recruits as well as a couple transfers from other schools that helped provide UC with a boost. The Pioneers finished 12-15 as the players began to respect and appreciate Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfectionist approach to the game. In 1983-84, UC had 9 returning players, 2 recruits and 1 transfer which made expectations even higher than the previous season. Unfortunately, they finished 11-15 after facing a tough schedule that included multiple teams that wound up in the NCAA tournament. There was a very impressive statistic associated with that yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team: junior forward, Keith Walker

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finished 5th in the entire nation in field goal percentage. The 1984-85 season was UCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most successful during the Costello-era as the Pioneers finished 15-12, their first and only winning record in Division I. After getting off to a horrible start that season, UC was able to turn things around by mid-December and hopes were high for Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pioneers going into the 1985-86 season. The sad truth was, although they were able to make the jump to Division I and be somewhat competitive against the top teams, building a consistently winning program proved to be too difficult a task for even an NBA Champion. In his final two seasons as UCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball coach, Larry Costelloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pioneers went 13-14 in 1985-86 and 10-16 in 1986-87. The financial burden of maintaining a Division I team became too strenuous for the college and it was announced that they would again join Division III the following season. As a result, Larry resigned and never returned to a head coaching position again but there was nothing for him or Utica College to be ashamed of. Together, they made a valiant effort to build something special for Utica College and they accomplished their mission. We, as members of this community, can look back with pride knowing we competed with Jim Boeheimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orangemen and others in their category. Larry Costello and Utica College fought hard to enhance the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s level of basketball prowess and won that fight. It is worth repeating that, for reasons unknown to me, Larry Costello has not yet been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Of the 4 major sports in America, it has always seemed as though the basketball hall is the easiest to get into which makes the lack of recognition given to Larry even more perplexing. In no way do I mean to discredit the accomplishments of those who have been inducted, it is just an observation I have made over the years. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take one more look at some of Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credentials as a player and coach: Playing at the College and Pro Levels: 1952-53: Named an All-American at Niagara University 1954-1967: In 12 seasons in the NBA, he made 6 All-Star Appearances, was a member of the All-NBA team in 1960-61 and won the NBA Championship in 1967. Coaching at the College and Pro Levels: 1968-1979: Was the first head coach in Milwaukee Bucks history and led them to an NBA Championship in 1971. When





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he parted ways with the Chicago Bulls, he was one of just four coaches to have more than 400 career victories. 1980-1988: Helped propel Division III Utica College to the Division I level, influencing countless coaches and players in the process. It is my opinion at least, that Larry’s time at UC should


be considered when looking at his Hall of Fame credentials. Although the Pioneers had just one winning season at the Division I level, the idea of them moving up from Division III in one season is almost unheard of. It was the reputation of Larry Costello and the respect given to him from the basketball world that allowed our local college and community such a great opportunity. The impact he made on so many people in less than a decade is worth noting, and let’s not forget one factor that should be taken into consideration for all Hall of Famers: their representation of the game. When Larry passed away from cancer on December 13th, 2001, players and coaches from around the country spoke of him as a class act. In an article published in Utica College’s alumni magazine, D.J. Carstensen, one of Larry’s best Pioneer players, spoke of his former coach in a very positive light: “He had a caring side to him that was overlooked by many because of his competitiveness on the court. He was a humble, down-to-earth family man who always treated people fairly.” Larry was a ferocious competitor who lived the game and spent countless hours honing his craft. It has been said that many of his techniques are still used by coaches at all levels to this very day, proving he has an impact even on the modern game. Larry Costello was a man who put in the TIME necessary to be a great player and coach and excelled at both on a championship level. By not enshrining a man of this caliber in the hall, what does that say about the sport? I am in no way trying to knock basketball (which I love), but Larry Costello did everything we ask our kids to do as athletes and deserves his time in the sun. Maybe I am biased when it comes to this topic because Larry Costello proved to me that: there was a time when Utica had an NBA Champion.

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Stanwix Hall

by Brad Velardi

In the case of such structures as Romeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stanwix Hall, it is important that we share their story with you. Whether you refer to Utica, Rome or the valley, they all have their share of historic buildings that resemble a prominent generation from the past. In most cases, we find some sort of use for these structures, which is crucial as it can have a positive affect in terms of an areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s morale. We must value the beautiful architecture from another era, and it feels good as a citizen to be reminded of the talent and significance our town or city once possessed. It reminds us that it still exists here today.

Theodore Roosevelt at Stanwix Hall - Pictures Courtesy of the Rome Historical Society December 2017 GREATER UTICA MAGAZINE



Picture Courtesy of the Rome Historical Society

The harsh truth is, there are a number of buildings that fit this criteria that are never again made useful; this is true of fact, Stanwix Hall is an even more unique case in the sense all towns and cities. We watch as they decline in appearance that, the neighborhood in which it lied, looks completely difand fade into history. The one positive in a situation such as ferent today. Unless you are familiar with Rome history or are this, is that we can still physically see and touch them before of the age to have seen it stand, one would never even contemthey are torn down. They at least spark questions in our mind, plate the existence of Stanwix Hall. For many years, the hotel “What was the purpose of this building?”, “Who built it?”, or was as much a staple of Rome as any business one can think of; “How did this building contribute to the history of the place it was known as one of the finest hotels in the entire state. Thus, in which we live?” Regardless whether they are occupied by a the significance of sharing its story with the people who should business or organization, they play an educational role in our be most proud of its place in history. lives. Time isOur running out!on the corner of South James and story begins There is a third category of historic buildings; one in Whitesboro Streets in Rome in the early 1800s, where two of its which Stanwix Hall falls under; the kind that was razed years citizens, Nathaniel Mudge and Benjamin Hyde, occupied a red before the birth of a large segment of the area’s population. In health fund dollars run out on December 31st Your

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frame building. In the building, Mudge managed his grocery while Hyde conducted the tavern until Enos Gilbert became the landlord. In 1815, Gilbert sold out to Elisha Walsworth, who kept the hotel until 1825, when it was purchased by Thomas Ford. As owner of the structure, Thomas Ford improved the hotel by making numerous repairs and putting in a brick front. In 1833, his son, John A. Ford, became proprietor and left his stamp on local history when he named the house, Stanwix Hall. Of course, its name derived from the famous fort occupied during the Revolutionary War, but this hotel would begin to build a name for itself. For a short period from 1840-1842, a man named Giles Hawley was the hotel proprietor before John A. Ford took over once again. During his second stint as operator, Ford erected a brick hotel in the next two years and the old structure became the stage office of Hawley and M.L. Kenyon. In 1845, Kenyon purchased the entire property and raised the roof on the brick hotel. Kenyon then razed the Walsworth hotel, which was just north of Stanwix Hall and built an enormous brick block. Over the next 16 years, Kenyon would remain the

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owner of the building until the property was purchased by Andrew J. Sink in 1861. Ownership of Stanwix Hall remained within the Sink family until the turn of the century and had gained quite a reputation over the first 67 years of its existence. Throughout the second half of the 1800s, there were many noted guests who stayed there including the most prominent preacher in the United States at that time, Henry Ward. Among the other famous guests were: humorists Harry W. Shaw and Charles F. Browne, whom is said to have been President Lincoln’s favorite humorist. Some of the top entertainers of their era stayed at Stanwix Hall including: Blind Tom (piano player) and Lawrence Barrett (actor) among many others. What Stanwix Hall is most known for, aside from being a beautiful and prestigious hotel, is its link to American politics. Its political ties go back many years to when it was the headquarters of the “Rome Regency”, a powerful group of individuals in the area who were very influential in the Democratic party. In later years, Republicans and Democrats alike would hold their annual conventions in Sink’s Opera House on East Dominick Street. The night before each convention, politicians would meet


at Stanwix Hall to discuss situations within their party, plan their campaigns and choose who to put on the party ticket. Perhaps the most famous event to have ever taken place at Stanwix Hall occurred on October 24th, 1900. The eventual Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt visited Rome on the campaign trail and delivered a speech from the balcony of Stanwix Hall. Countless American Flags decorated the scene and many businesses closed for the hour so their employees could hear the former colonel speak. The Rome City Band played several songs beforehand and a salute was fired from a cannon. In front of the huge crowd, Roosevelt opened his address by saying, “Me fellow citizens, I appeal to you today not merely as Republicans but to every good citizen and American who is alive to the national interest.” Roosevelt made a second trip to Rome on October 28th, 1910 to support Harry Stimson, Republican candidate for Governor of New York. At noon on that day, he arrived in Rome from Utica via automobile. Roosevelt was in town to deliver two addresses with one of them taking place from a temporary platform in front of Stanwix Hall. As he stood facing the crowd on James Street, which went from curb to curb, he said, “I base my belief on the future of this republic because I believe the average citizen is a pretty good fellow.” In 1902, Andrew Sink’s son-in-law, H.H. Cummings, purchased Stanwix Hall from the Sink heirs and starting that fall, he began a $40,000 complete renovation of the building. Many changes were made to the building with the first noticeable enhancement being the cutting down of the main entrance

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and lowering of the lobby and office floors. Large triple plate glass windows were installed on the James and Whitesboro Street sides of the building and the chairs were replaced with ones made of solid oak with leather cushioning. The ceilings, separated into 4 panels each with a chandelier, were made of stucco with gold leaf trimmings. New dining rooms were built and beautiful tilework was done to the floors of the main rooms. Countless other enhancements were made to the 73-room hotel including the modernization of their kitchen and appliances. When the renovations were complete, it was described in the Rome Citizen as “one of the finest appointed hostelries between Albany and Buffalo”. The reopening in February of 1903 made for a memorable social experience. In 1915, William H. Hurley of Massena purchased the Stanwix Hall lease. Under his management, there was great emphasis on “cleanliness and prompt, efficient and courteous service”. In June of 1923, Hurley purchased the building, the Stanwix Hall garage and the E. Dominick Street business block which was occupied by the Bradt Mercantile Company on the first floor. Hurley began a 10-year renovation on the building that was to include new furniture and carpets to start. Stanwix Hall was to be completely modernized with every room being equipped with either tiled baths with shower-bath attachments or running water. Each of the rooms would have telephones. Over each lavatory were lights and shaving mirrors and the lobby was renovated as well. When the project was completed in 1928, the Rome


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Theodore Roosevelt delivering a speech at Stanwix Hall - Picture Courtesy of The Rome Historical Society


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Theodore Roosevelt delivering a speech at Stanwix Hall - Picture Courtesy of The Rome Historical Society

Chamber of Commerce held a celebration at the hotel in honor of Hurley’s efforts. Stanwix Hall was again modernized in 1936 when a new tap room, cocktail lounge and grill were installed with a grand opening that followed. A year prior, on September 6th, 1935, William H. Hurley passed away and his wife, Rose, became the owner of the hotel with his son, Thomas, acting as manager. The city was immensely proud of the hotel, particularly under the management of the Hurley family. So much so, that there were several public events held on August 9th, 1940, to celebrate the 25th year of their management. In 1944, Stanwix Hall Hotel, as it became known as, was sold to Frank W. Lloyd and Marius Badiny of South Bend, Indiana. Lloyd, a native of England, had been the comptroller of the University of Notre Dame for 12 years. Badiny, a native of France, was the executive chef, steward and catering manager of the university’s cafeteria, which served approximately 15,000 meals per day. He had also worked for multiple upscale Crematory Fee Starting at: $245

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European hotels. The Hurley family was sure to leave the hotel in what they felt were good hands; the new owners assured Romans that, once wartime conditions would allow it, they would provide an impressive hotel and dining experience. Just 3 years later, Lloyd sold the hotel to E.F. Lampkin of Lewiston, Maine and Albert E. Farone of Oneonta, two men

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Lobby at Stanwix Hall - Courtesy of The Rome Historical Society

that had been operating multiple hotels throughout the east and middle west. They leased the hotel to M.W. Henderson and Everett Childress of Rutland, Vermont. Henderson vowed to “completely rehabilitate and renovate the Stanwix Hall so that it will compare favorably with the best hotels of its size in any city of comparable size.” The lobby was once again, completely remodeled with a private dining room, and a banquet room was added in 1948. In 1956, the final owners of the hotel, Sam Bova and Speros Haritatos, purchased the property. After taking over, the new owners installed baths and showers in the remaining rooms that did not have one, they switched the plumbing to copper piping and converted 12 of the sleeping rooms into efficiency apartments. Its significance on the political scene was sustained over the next decade or so; Jacob K. Javits, former United

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Lobby at Stanwix Hall - Picture Courtesy of The Rome Historical Society

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McKinley & Roosevelt Vs. Bryan & Stevenson 1900 - Picture Courtesy of The Rome Historical Society

States Senator, made a speech at Stanwix Hall in 1956. In 1960, Robert Kennedy met with Democratic leaders from the local community at the hotel while managing JFK’s campaign. In 1970, it was announced that one of Rome’s most prized possessions, Stanwix Hall, would be demolished as part of the city’s urban renewal project. The building had faced possible demolition in the past when the Barge Canal route was being planned, but citizens protested in the city, and the state

canal board chose an alternate route. Such would not be the case this time; the Urban Renewal Agency acquired the building on June, 30th, 1970. The hall would be torn down as part of the city’s effort to build the Fort Stanwix National Monument, which stands in the heart of the city today. It is unfortunate that many of us were never able to experience Stanwix Hall in its heyday. Hopefully through these photographs and the information in our story, your imagination can place you in one of the 73 elegant rooms where many prominent individuals rested their heads. Stanwix Hall is yet another microcosm of a city’s progression; as Rome grew, so too did the hotel. It provided a platform for a small city in Upstate New York to attract political figures and celebrities alike. Dating all the way back to the 19th century, it was one of the most popular stops along the Erie Canal route. As times change, it is only natural that we lose some of our local treasures, but one thing remains true: you can never take away our history.

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December 2017  
December 2017  

This is issue is about the history of the Boston Store in Utica and Rome, NBA Pro Basketball Player, Utica College and NBA Coach Larry Coste...