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From Lynchville to Rome Compassionate Hearts Made History with History

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Contents January 2018

The 100-Year History Page 5 of Hockey in GU GU Coupon Pages 24 & 25 Featured Businesses Yorkville Memorials Page 22 Next Level Barbershop Page 27 La Galerie Rouge Page 28 The Walk-in Closet Page 30

Center Stage at the Stanley Page 29 From Lynchville to Rome ... Page 31 In My Travels Around Greater Utica Compassionate Hearts made History with History 39

Web: www.GUmagazine.com email: cs@GUmagazine.com Phone: 315-316-7277 Facebook: www.facebook.com/greaterutica


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The 100-Year History of Hockey in GU by Brad Velardi

One year ago, this month, we celebrated the history of the Clinton Arena and the founder of the Clinton Comets, Edward W. Stanley (otherwise known as “Mr. Hockey”). We were inspired to publish those stories by the area’s love for the game, and the Village of Clinton’s unparalleled support of both the Arena and their Comets. Visiting the Clinton Historical Society and the Arena itself was one of the most enjoyable Greater Utica Magazine experiences I have ever had. The passion of our area’s people, in terms of hockey, is something to be truly revered; even if you are not interested in the game, you must

respect the pride it brings to our people. As I spoke to Clintonians and other hockey enthusiasts while preparing for last year’s story, I was informed of a special milestone celebration set to take place in February of 2018. Ironically enough, there was a weekend-long event planned in Clinton commemorating the 100th anniversary of hockey in our area. I contemplated whether or not to save the information we printed in last year’s magazine for 2018, but as I conducted more research, I realized there was much more story to be told than that of the Arena and Mr. Stanley. To our delight, the January 2017 edition was a great success and was enjoyed by Greater Uticans throughout the country.

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In this year’s edition, we fill in the gaps of local hockey history that we left open. We hope that those of you who are not hockey fans, or do not care for sports in general, will give this story a read as I am sure you will gain an appreciation for one of the area’s most valued traditions. This is a story about how one sport brought an entire community together and provided it with a century’s-worth of memories. If you are a frequent reader of this magazine, you understand that both the Utica and Rome areas hold great significance in American history; this includes their contributions to the game of hockey. There have been a lot of “big shots” to grace the streets of the Mohawk Valley, among them was the man that gave us the gift of that great game. For his innovation, the 100th anniversary celebration includes his name: its title is simply, “Thank You, Albert Prettyman”. Toward the close of the 19th century, the Canadian game of ice hockey had made its way into parts of the northeastern United States. By the early 1890s, universities such as Yale and Johns Hopkins were holding competitive matches and the first United States hockey league was formed in New York in 1896. In the winter of 1917-1918, the National Hockey Association reorganized as the National Hockey League (NHL) with Frank Calder as its first president. Its birthplace was Montreal, Canada, but south of its home country’s border, another monumental event in the sport took place that same season. “On the hill” at Hamilton College, one of the most significant hires in college hockey history was made.

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The 100-Year History of Hockey in Greater Utica: Part 1

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Albert Prettyman and “The Buff and Blue� In 1917, Albert I. Prettyman was hired by Hamilton College as their first full-time physical education teacher and coach. It is a bit unclear as to where Prettyman was born in 1883; some reports have said Virginia, others say Milford, Delaware. The Clinton Arena dedication program from 1948 states that he was from Baltimore, Maryland. What we know for certain, is that he had an undeniable craving

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for sports throughout his entire life. That same Arena program states that Prettyman’s hockey days started as a boy on a set of 50-cent skates. As a student at Springfield College, Prettyman picked the game back up and played for the varsity hockey team, graduating in 1906. Some time after finishing college, he became an athletic director at Columbia University, the New York public school system and at a settlement house. In 1913, he began a four-year stint as athletic director and hockey coach at Nichols School in Buffalo before arriving in Clinton, NY. As an avid sportsman, Prettyman was determined to enhance Hamilton College’s athletics programs and immediately lobbied for the introduction of hockey and soccer teams. There was never a better time in American history for Prettyman to attempt this feat. At the time, the United States was preparing its involvement in World War I, and there was a strong push to get our nation’s young men in peak physical condition. The American armed forces were advocating for schools to expand their sports programs, which went perfectly in line with Albert Prettyman’s goal for Hamilton

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College. With that, Hamilton’s storied hockey program began. Prettyman addressed his first obstacle in the fall of 1917, when he was able to retrieve the funds and man power to develop an outdoor rink on the school’s campus. The rink would be located in front of the Chemistry Laboratory on the flooded, frozen tennis courts. A group of students were selected for minor snow removal, while a horse-drawn snow scraper handled the big stuff. Walls were built on the side of the rink and overhead lights were

Left and above: Construction of Sage Rink Photo courtesy of the Hamilton College Archives Department

installed for night games. Hockey was officially established as an intercollegiate sport by Hamilton faculty members in January of 1918 with Prettyman as their head coach. On February 9th, they lost their first unofficial game against Nichols School. The following season, Hamilton competed in its first intercollegiate game against the University of Buffalo; a game that was stopped early due to poor ice conditions. The team had played just one full game the

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Sage Rink. Photo courtesy of the Hamilton College Archives Department

awarded something special following their perfect season. Olivia Slocum Sage, the widow of wealthy financier, Russell Sage, had established a philanthropic foundation one year after his death: The Russell Sage Foundation. Among the many recipients of the foundation’s generosity was Hamilton College, who received a $1 million donation. Prettyman was able to convince the school to use $130,000 of the Sage money to erect an indoor hockey rink on campus. The construction of Sage Rink was finished in 1921 as the first of multiple commissioned Hamilton projects completed by the Utica architectural firm of Bagg and Newkirk. On top of improving hockey quality, the indoor facility now gave Hamilton’s squad 3 months of skate time per year as opposed to 30 to 40 days. Sage Rink allowed Hamilton’s elite hockey standard to be sustained over the next several years. The first

entire season but accumulated a record of 3-2 the next year. After just a few years of hockey on the campus, Hamilton’s team had reached a turning point thanks to the efforts of their 1920-1921 squad. That year, “the Buff and Blue” as Hamilton’s team would be dubbed to the present day, put together a perfect 10-0-0 season. Included in the list of victories that year was a 21-0 drubbing of the University of Buffalo. One of the most interesting facets of this entire story, is that Hamilton was competing at such an early time in the sport’s history. In fact, at this point, the rules of hockey were constantly changing, as advocates of the game were trying to find the best recipe. It was during this great season of 1920-1921 that many teams were experimenting with 6 on 6 play as opposed to 7 on 7. Prettyman, a true innovator, was one of the first coaches of all the teams Hamilton competed against to suggest the use of 6 players. The end result was a faster-paced, more entertaining game that attracted a greater number of fans. Prettyman’s boys were a level above the rest and it did not Quad Cab Express 4X4 Latitude 4X4 go unnoticed by the school. While playing an away game in Buffalo, Hamilton’s team was fortunate enough to compete at an indoor hockey rink. After experiencing first-hand, just how improved the quality of hockey was on a covered rink, Prettyman had his sights set on the next step in the program’s growth. Between the team’s incredible play on the ice and Prettyman’s 5827 Rome Taberg Rd, Rome, NY ability to persuade the school’s 337-0512 www.victoryofrome.com faculty, the Buff and Blue were

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game ever played at the indoor rink took place on January 13th, 1922 in a 2-1 victory over Amherst College. The Buff and Blue finished their first season at Sage Rink with an overall season record of 7-2. With the exception of just four hockey seasons, Prettyman’s Hamilton teams achieved winning records every year during their first 18 seasons (1918-1935) of existence, accumulating a stellar record of 100-51-7. Prettyman had become one of the most respected men in the sport, serving as chairman of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee from 1926-1946. Perhaps his greatest accomplishments, on a national scale, are his affiliations with U.S.A. hockey. Prettyman was selected to be a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee for three Winter Olympics, helping select the players for the American roster. In 1936, Albert Prettyman was chosen as the head coach of U.S.A.’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. As one would imagine, tensions were high for the 1936 Olympic games with Germany being under Nazi rule. With the United States team set to depart for Germany, they were in need of a spare goalie, as their starter had come down with an illness. Following his performance in a game against the New York Athletic Club, Hamilton goalie, Francis Baker, had caught the eyes of the Olympic committee members. They invited him to fill the void left at his position and he accepted. Baker is significant to the event not only because he was a Hamilton student turned Olympian, but also because of a story he personally told many times before his passing. On January 23rd, 1936, Prettyman and Francis Baker Baker set sail for Germany Photo courtesy of the Hamilton together and arrived in GarCollege Archives Department misch-Partenkirchen on February 3rd; just three days before the United States team would take on Germany. According to an account from Baker him-

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self, Prettyman informed his team that Hitler wished to meet the American hockey players the day prior to the game. When Prettyman asked his players if any of them spoke German, Baker was the only one who at least knew part of the language (thanks to a course he took at Hamilton). The following is a paraphrased version of their conversation: Hitler: Tomorrow, Germany will defeat the Americans! Baker: Not only will we defeat you in hockey…no matter what arises, America will ALWAYS defeat Germany! The following day, Prettyman’s team defeated Germany 1-0 in blizzard-like conditions. After a strong run, the United States would take home the bronze medal, while Canada took home silver, with gold going to Great Britain. While Prettyman had taken a leave of absence during the winter of 1936, the Hamilton team struggled mightily. Upon his return, they went back to their winning ways, including a 9-4 season in 1939-

1936 U.S.A. Olympic Ice Hockey Team

1940. World War II would eventually take its toll on the team and the University as a whole. Hamilton was losing students to the military; one of them being the Hockey team’s best scorer, Sonny Dale who wound up dying in Okinawa. In the 1942-1943 season, the Buff and Blue won 5 games and out of the 4 they lost, 3 of them were at the hands of Colgate University. Why was Hamilton’s great team not able to defeat Colgate, you ask? Unfortunately, the neighboring university had a superstar player by the name of Greg Batt who was virtually unstoppable. Batt would write a chapter of his own in the Clinton hockey history books later on, following his service in World War II. Speaking of the war, because of the number of players lost to the military, the hockey team was temporarily put on the shelf until soldiers began returning in

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WWW.GUMAGAZINE.COM Left: March 2nd 1946 “Town-Gown Game” Picture Courtesy of the Clinton Historical Society. Bottom: Coach Greg Batt addresses his team in the locker room. Picture courtesy of The Hamilton College Archives Department.

late-1945. At that point, there were still not enough players to field a team. As a result, an agreement was formed between Albert Prettyman and Clinton Hockey Club founder, Edward W. Stanley which combined players from each of their teams. A schedule of games was formed with a large number of them being played at Sage Rink including the infamous “Town-Gown Game” played on March 2nd, 1946 between the Clinton squad and West Point. In front of what was the largest crowd in Sage history at the time, Prettyman and Stanley’s team pulled off a 9-7 victory. In March of 1946, Prettyman resigned as athletic director and coach at Hamilton College, leaving an astonishing

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legacy behind. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was sustaining such a great team without ever sacrificing Hamilton’s high academic standards. Roswell “Hop” Rudd would be Prettyman’s replacement in the 1946-1947 season. Twice that season, they faced Stanley’s Clinton Hockey Club which was now equipped with former Colgate center, Greg Batt. Batt, whose team defeated the Buff and Blue twice again that season, was considered by some to be one of the best American-born players of his time. In the following season, Hamilton hired him as their head hockey coach; hoping he could fill the shoes

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Above: Coach Phil Grady. Below: 1980s Hamilton College Hockey. Pictures courtesy of The Hamilton College Archives Department.

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Top left 2016-17 Men’s team Top- Right: 2017-18 Women’s Team Bottom right: Goalie Evan Buitenhuis - 2017 Division III Men’s Player of the Year. Pictures courtesy of Hamilton.edu

of Prettyman, a man famously dubbed “The Father of College Hockey”. Batt would go on to coach the Hamilton Continentals hockey team for the next 36 years. His career is highlighted by a handful of incredible seasons including: 1959-1960 in which Hamilton finished 13-5, the 1967-1968 season which ended

with a 15-5-1 record, and a span from 1973-1974 to 1977-1978 where Hamilton tallied a record of 71-34-3. Like Prettyman, Batt was a member of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee; he was also a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association and was the winner of their first Founder’s Award in

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1980. Indeed, Batt was a legend on the ice as a player, but when he retired, he was referred to as the “Dean of American Hockey Coaches”. Over the next 24 years, the Buff and Blue would be led by head coach Phil Grady who became the 17th coach in NCAA Division III history to reach the 300-win milestone. Grady kept the Hamilton tradition alive until his retirement in 2009. Current Continentals head coach, Rob Haberbusch, has led the recent resurgence of the hockey team; the 2016-2017 season ended with a record of 20-5-4 before losing in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Championship. As it stands at the moment this story was written, Hamilton ranks #13 in the nation in the heart of the 2017-2018 season, with Utica College, led by coach Gary Heenan (a Hamilton grad), sitting at #10. Utica College, incredibly enough, did not have a hockey team until the sport was added for both men and women in 2001. In the 1996-1997 season, the first local women’s collegiate team was adopted at Hamilton. It is safe to say, between these four teams, the MVCC club and the presence of the Utica Comets, Greater Utica hockey at the college and pro levels is alive and well.

The 100-Year History of Hockey in Greater Utica: Part 2 The Warriors Come Out and Play As Hamilton hockey had garnered the attention of folks from around the country, there was no audience more captivated than the youth in the Village of Clinton. As the Chenango Canal or the pond by Chesnut Street froze over in the blistery winters of the early 1920s, the children of Clinton found creative ways to play this new game of hockey. In today’s world, hockey equipment is readily available at various sporting goods stores throughout the area. But in the early years of Buff and Blue hockey, the college team was the closest thing to an equipment distributor in the village; and all they could offer were hand-me-downs. The youngsters were collecting any equipment they could get their hands on, whether it was a broken hockey stick, old pair of skates, a puck that flew over the wall during a Hamilton game or a piece of charcoal to use in place of a puck. Among those young boys finding their way on the ice, was Bert Prettyman, the son of Hamilton’s coach, Albert. One would conclude that Bert Prettyman was likely one of the

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1925-26 Clinton High School Hockey Team - Picture courtesy of the Clinton Historical Society.

Hamilton team’s biggest fans and perhaps the ringleader of the makeshift hockey games on the frozen bodies of water. Being the innovator and visionary Albert Prettyman was, it is safe to say that he saw an opportunity when witnessing these boys play. By feeding their love for the game and pointing them in the right direction, he could turn Clinton into a hockey factory. He allowed the boys to clean the ice at Sage Rink between pe-

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riods and, according to the 1948 Clinton Arena dedication program, Coach Prettyman had begun showing the boys “the ropes” of the game on the frozen surface of the canal. It has been said they would also meet in his home during the evenings to work out plays on his kitchen floor. One day, Prettyman gave these boys their chance to shine when he pinned them against his Hamilton freshman squad. Their six-man team was comprised of: Bob Williams, Biff Bates, Ed Ganey, Charlie Swartwout, Ralph Clark and Bert Prettyman. According to legend, Clinton High School principal, Ray Smith, had been looking for the players on his basketball team; only to find they had been defeating the Hamilton freshman in a game of hockey. The Clinton Board of Education officially approved the addition of a varsity hockey team that took center-stage in the winter of 1926; nixing basketball in the process. Yet another Clinton hockey tradition was born. The high school team played their first game at Sage Rink on January 16th, 1926 against the Hamilton freshman squad; a 4-3 victory. After one full season, Mayor Fred Goering made a strong push to raise funding to assemble an official home rink for the boys. The campaign was a success as town fathers

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donated money to the effort and the Clinton Community Rink opened on December 7th, 1926 at Meadow Street and Franklin Avenue, otherwise knows as “the point”. In the 1926-1927 season, aside from one tie, the high school team went undefeated, setting the standard for the next 90-plus years. Another great town tradition began on January 1st, 1928, when Clintonian native and Hamilton grad, Edward W. Stanley’s Clinton Hockey Club played its first game. Most of the elite players from the high school team would play for the Clinton Hockey Club in the early years. Of course, the team would go on to become the Clinton Comets at the professional level; setting the stage for many years of professional hockey in Greater Utica (read more on Stanley and the Comets in the January 2017 issue of Greater Utica Magazine). There were countless great players in Clinton High School hockey history, but like any amateur school sport, it is the coaches that achieve iconic status when sustaining greatness. The Clinton Warriors had several great coaches over the years, but most would say their first icon was Bob Williams. His name should ring a bell as he was one of the town youngsters who practiced the game on the Chenango Canal and was a member of the first high school roster. In fact, he was their best scorer; netting three goals in the team’s first official game. He also proved to possess great leadership qualities and following his graduation from the high school, Williams was named head coach of the Warriors in 1929. There were but a handful of high schools in the area who had an official hockey team in those days, so Williams’ Warriors often faced prep school and college freshman teams. It mattered very little that most of their opponents were more mature in age as the Warriors were far more advanced on the ice. According to the New York State High School Hockey Coaches Association website, during the Williams-era of Clinton High School hockey, his teams lost an astonishing total of 5 games in 12 seasons. While Williams was teaching the sport as good as anyone, he was still playing at a dominant level for the Clinton Hockey Club, for whom he played center from 19281946. He stepped down as coach of the high school in 1942 after years of champiBob Williams onship hockey that sent sevPicture courtesy of the Clinton eral Clinton players to some Historical Society. of the best college teams in the nation. In 1948, Ed Stanley, a master promoter of Prettyman proportions, had drummed up enough support from the town to finance the erection of the Clinton Arena on Kirkland Avenue; the town’s second indoor rink. The arena eventually became the home ice of the high school team as well as the new

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Left: Clinton’s outdoor rink at Meadow Street and Franklin Ave. Bottom: 1964-65 Clinton High School hockey team. Bernie Burns far right. Pictures courtesy of the Clinton Historical Society.

teams he coached. There was no team more reflective of Burns’ philosophy than the 1963 squad that allowed 14 goals in 13 games with a final record of 12-1. For nearly 30 years, dominance was expected of the Warriors and season after season, they delivered. When Burns’ career as Warriors coach was over in 1983, he had won roughly 70% of his games. In honor of a man who devoted his life to the youth of his hometown and the sport he loved, the Village of Clinton declared March 10th, 1984 “Bernie Burns Day”.

Clinton Comets, who were led by their coach, Bob Williams on opening night of the arena (read more on the Clinton Arena in the January 2017 issue of Greater Utica Magazine). From 1942-1946, Norm Parkhurst coached the high school boys through the World War II days, then Arthur Scoones from 1946-1950, followed by former Comet Mike Nardello from 19501955. Taking over in the winter of 1955 was another Clinton hockey icon, who similar to Bob Williams, was one of the best players in the high school’s history. Lifelong Clintonian, Bernie Burns, was named head coach of the Warriors. Burns was one of many individuals over the years to have played for Clinton High School, then for Hamilton College and finally with the Clinton Comets. Burns was a social studies teacher at the time of his hiring, and although his heroics as a player continuously sent Clinton fans into a frenzy, no one could have predicted how successful he would be as a coach. For 28 years, Burns was the face of Clinton High School hockey. In the days that preceded state championship play, Burns’ teams compiled many Section III championships; Burns is said to have been quite instrumental in the formation of Section III hockey altogether. As a player, he was a hardnosed defenseman and that attitude was passed down to the

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From 1983-1985, the high school was coached by former Rome Free Academy coach, Don Simon, who brought a “European style” of play to the team. From 1985-1991, another legendary Clinton Comet, Jack Kane, became the Warriors head coach before its next reign of total domination. In 1991, Time Suppe, who had been captain of the aforementioned 1963 high school team, was hired as the new head coach. After working as an assistant to Jack Kane since 1985, Suppe took the program to another level, winning 5 straight section titles in a row from 1991-1997 and back-to-back Division II New York State Championships in 1995 and 1996. In 1999, Suppe stepped down as coach, leaving the team in the hands of his assistant, Fran Alteri. After 2 years under Alteri’s leadership, his assistant,


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Dave Litz was named head coach in 2001. Litz had served as captain of Bernie Burns’ 1982 team and was prepared to write the next historical chapter in Clinton High School hockey. Under his leadership, the Warriors won three Section III titles and back-to-back Division II New York State Championships in 2005 and 2006. He was named Section III coach of the year twice and New York State coach of the year in 2007. Bob Williams, Bernie Burns, Tim Suppe and Dave Litz were all inducted into the New York State High School Hockey Hall of Fame for their accomplishments.

100th Anniversary of Hockey in Greater Utica – Part III The Celebration It is clear that the roots of Greater Utica and Rome hockey are in Clinton, NY but the 100th Anniversary celebration in February is one that should be embraced by us all. The great hockey teams we enjoy watching from Utica to Rome and everywhere in between, are branches that have grown directly from the Prettyman tree. The idea for the celebration was formulated by Clinton native, Andy Burns, who has worked tirelessly to make the event come true. One of the goals of Andy and the many volunteers is to document the history of local hockey through the event’s official web site (ThankYouAlbertPrettyman.com). On the web site, visitors can learn all about the history of hockey and share stories and experiences of their own. Of course, the main objective of the centennial celebration, is to thank Albert Prettyman. Andy, along with many members of his family were beneficiaries of the gifts given by Prettyman; after all, hockey would not be possible without him. Andy told me about the average Saturday of a Clintonian kid during his childhood: After convincing one of the coaches to open the Clinton Arena a couple hours early, Andy and his brothers would make their way down College Street around 6AM. With their equipment over their shoulders in canvas bags, the boys trudged through the snow until they saw three or four kids they had planned to meet along the way. Across the snowy landscape, a few more kids would appear until a group of about 20 entered the arena together and breathed in its familiar scent. There were always a group of supportive dads that were committed to the hockey

interests of their sons and together they ate glazed donuts and drank hot chocolate and coffee. There is no doubt that this community was brought together by Prettyman’s vision. Like many other Clinton families, the Burns clan’s presence in the village precedes the introduction of hockey at Hamilton. Andy’s great-grandfather worked on a farm in Clinton and sold goods in a shop at the current location of Subway on College Street. He saved enough money to send each of his boys to college and they all had been bitten by the hockey bug. Perhaps the most respected Burns of all was Bob Burns, who went on to play for Dartmouth before losing his life in World War I. In the 1940s, Andy’s dad, Nick Burns, along with five other relatives, were members of Hamilton’s team as well as the Clinton Comets. At one time, the Burns boys made up nearly the

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entire first line for Hamilton, it was: Jim, Bernie, Owen, Nick and Dick. Andy and his brothers and several cousins went on to play themselves, and in all, 19 members of the Burns family attended Hamilton College. The Burns family, as well as so many others, continue to be incredible supporters of Clinton hockey. The next time you are enjoying a hockey event in the Greater Utica or Rome areas, keep in mind something I like to call the “Prettyman Trickle-Down Effect”. What I mean is, because of Prettyman, high schools and colleges across the area went on to develop hockey teams that bred players and coaches who reached the professional ranks. Those names include: Nick Palmieri, Guy Hebert, Ted Fauss, Dave Litz, Robert Esche, Ted Sator and Mark Mowers. Also because of Prettyman, Greater Utica has been the home of multiple professional teams. Over the years, as different

schools added hockey teams, they themselves began building strong programs. In 2003, Whitesboro High School won the Division II New York State Championship and the New Hartford Spartans won back-to-back State Championships in 2009 and 2010. Rome hockey history is a story all in itself that will told in a future issue of the magazine; they are the arch-rival of Clinton and Rome Catholic captured back-to-back State Championships themselves back in 1984 and 1985. At the youth level, starting with Clinton, numerous pee-wee, midget and other comparable leagues were formed and helped positioned our young kids for success at the upper levels. Of course, the Clinton Figure Skating Club is also a bi-product of Prettyman’s efforts. As for the celebration, it will be a 3-day event in which everyone from around the area is invited. It will kick-off Friday, February 9th with a high school match-up between Clinton and

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RFA at the Clinton Arena at 7:00PM. On Saturday the 10th, there will be alumni games at both the Arena and Sage Rink starting at 8AM, with everyone meeting for food and refreshments in the village at noon. At 2:30PM, there will be a keynote program at the Clinton High School Auditorium featuring three speakers: Stan Fischler (Emmy award-winning NHL announcer), Pat Kelly (legendary former player/coach of the Clinton Comets) and Guy Hebert (Hamilton alum and former NHL goalie for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks). At 7PM, the Hamilton men’s team will take on Connecticut College at the Clinton Area. Finally, on Sunday the

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11th at 3PM, Hamilton’s men’s team will take on Tufts University at Sage Rink where an Albert Prettyman banner will be unveiled. On May 24th, 1963, Albert Ira Prettyman passed away at the age of 80, but similar to the sport he fathered, his memory lives on in the Greater Utica area. May each tick of the clock during a high school, college or Utica Comet game represent the beating heart of hockey in the Mohawk Valley. Thank you, Albert Prettyman. A very special “thanks” is in order to the Clinton Historical Society, the Hamilton College Archives Department (Led by Kathy Collett) and Andy Burns. Each of them assisted us greatly in our search for hockey information and photos and we are greatly appreciative for their cooperation.

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Yorkville Memorials

It is a rare occurrence, but when a local family business reaches its third generation of ownership, it is worthy of notoriety. To sustain the changes in culture, economy and technology over a long period of time, it is quite impressive. What is even more awe-inspiring, is that the love and dedication for the same business can be transferred across three generations. Yorkville Memorials of Champlin Avenue in Yorkville has been under the ownership of the Trzepacz family for nearly 70 years. Gina Trzepacz-Timpano, current owner/manager, knew from day one that she wanted to carry on the family name that was started by her grandfather. In 1942, Gina’s grandfather John Trzepacz, was hired at John A. Cordiner Monuments Works; located at 32 New Hartford Street in New York Mills. While working for Mr. Cordiner, John mastered his craft of hand-carving and lettering on monuments and markers for 7 years. On September 26th, 1949, he founded Yorkville Memorials, building a display platform in the lot adjacent to his home at 99 Campbell Avenue in Yorkville. By October, the first shipment of granite monuments had arrived at John’s display lot and eventually, he purchased the business’ first truck, a ½-ton 1950 Studebaker. On September 22nd, 1954, John and his wife, Stella, purchased the property at 1309 Champlin Avenue in Yorkville (the business’ current location) from a man named Walter Roberts. Construction on the current office commenced in 1959 and was finished by July of the following year. John purchased all new engraving equipment and moved his monuments from Campbell Ave., to the new location with the help of his brothers and brother-in-law. As the business grew in the 1960s, John purchased a second truck, a one-ton 1964 Studebaker, using it for many trips to Vermont to purchase monuments, markers and supplies. Although John did not pass away until 1981, he retired in 1975, transferring ownership of Yorkville Memorials to his son, Stanley T. Trzepacz, who had apprenticed with his father since 1959. Along with his brothers Gene (Gina’s father) and James, Stanley worked very hard to help grow Yorkville Memorials. Later on, he purchased a letter stencil machine, a new truck and monument hauler to improve production. All the while, Gina had been adamant about one day working in the family business as she grew up within it and always worked hard beside her dad and brother as a child. While being employed by the Utica City School District, Gina became very ill in 1992 and was forced to leave work for many years. In the coming years, she was able to overcome her own illness with the help of acupuncture while supporting her young daughter, Ashley’s battle with cancer. At Ashley’s high school graduation party, Gina’s uncle Stanley expressed to her that he wished to retire. In 2007, she began working alongside him, learning the ins and outs of the business before ownership was transferred to her in May of 2009. Over the last eight-plus years, Gina has been able to grow the business through her positive approach to customers and diversifying the company’s services. At this point, almost everyone knows that Yorkville Memorials offers high-quality services of memorials and markers. Their caliber of service has never wavered over the years as they perform work that is meant to last forever, while also offering cleaning and flower planting services. Gina encourages those who visit her office to take their time and carefully decide how they would like their memorial to look. She understands how difficult of a decision it can be whether someone is pre-planning or trying to honor a deceased loved one. Her compassion and positive energy has been known to make the process a little easier on folks during a difficult time. She stresses to everyone she meets how significant it is to pre-plan; when a family is going through a loss, things are already very emotionally taxing, and when the wishes of their family member are unclear, it creates potential conflicts that only further complicate matters. Although the topic may be difficult for some to discuss, pre-planning ensures that those being memorialized are honored in a way they see fit and frees their loved ones of a great deal of burden. What many people do not realize about Yorkville Memorials is that they offer engraving services on far more than just memorials and markers (call and ask about the many options available). When it comes to granite work, they are able to build steps and treads, posts, bollards, walkways, patios, edging, curbing, benches, ornamental pieces for your garden or pool, stonework for landscaping, as well as signage and features for businesses, offices or homes. When visiting Gina at her office, customers are presented with a wide granite selection for just about any job imaginable. This additional list of services that Gina has implemented has allowed Yorkville Memorials to build upon the sustainability put in place by the previous generations of the Trzepacz family. For more info in Yorkville Memorials, dial 315-736-1781 or visit Gina at 1309 Champlin Avenue in Yorkville.

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It is amazing what one can accomplish with a little hard work and a clear vision of what they want for their future. Some people find their living at a young age unintentionally; it starts off as a leisure activity. It is one thing to pick up a fun hobby you enjoy as a kid, it is another thing entirely to turn it into a career of 15 years. Chris “Critter” Maldonado, owner of The Next Level Barbershop in New Hartford is one of few people you will meet that has practically had one job his entire life; and he happens to be his own boss. Critter’s journey has landed him in his third and largest location with a great group of barbers he searched years to find. Around 1996, Critter began using his older brother’s clippers to cut his friends’ hair; he was just 14 years-old. Although it was not the first time he had experimented with them, it was the first time money was exchanged for his service. As he continued to develop his skills over the next few years, Critter’s list of “customers” expanded to friends and family. By 1999, it became evident to him that he could make a good living for himself as a barber, but he had no idea how to pursue his vision. At the time, there were very few young entrepreneurs in the area and practically none that were aspiring barbers. For the next three years, Critter continued cutting hair in his home but was paying closer attention to shop owners across the city. In 2002, he finally joined a friend’s business on Albany Street in Utica after receiving his barber’s license. By August of that year, his partner left, and Critter took ownership and moved the shop at the age of 19. With little to no knowledge of how to run a business, the young man had to learn mostly by trial and error. Critter did, however, possess two attributes that would work in his favor; great talent, and a work ethic he inherited from his sister, Melissa, and his father, Louis. One thing Critter learned from his dad, a man of few words, was that simply talking accomplishes nothing; so, he put in the extra hours necessary to succeed. By progressing his abilities and using creative promotional techniques, Critter began filling up the shop with new customers. Word traveled fast and Line Em’ Up Barber Shop grew to a new location in 2005. Critter was not quite satisfied yet and had bigger things in mind for his business; in 2010, he moved to Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford under a new name: The Next Level Barber Shop. When it comes to The Next Level Barber Shop, the name says it all. Not only has the business been taken to new heights, but so has the quality of cuts and customer service. The newest location has exposed Critter and his staff to a whole new market of people who never heard of their shop. The New Hartford shop has more space and more chairs that are all occupied by barbers with great talent. Along with Critter, the crew consists of Vinny Brescia, Kris Kallay, Nick Catrombone, Jose Acevedo and young apprenticing barber, Ryan Walsh. Each of these men now have years of experience and never seize to expand their repertoire of styles and cuts. At The Next Level, you never have to worry about who’s chair you end up in, they all have skills. Each of them were customers of the shop before becoming a part of the team and understand what The Next Level is all about; dedication and appreciation. The dedication aspect requires constant adaptation to new styles and trends, along with maintaining a standard of high quality work. The appreciation aspect helps them realize it is a privilege to do a job they love for people who continue to show their support. Friendliness and fair treatment are two staples of The New Level Barber Shop’s customer service policy. No matter who you are, every customer is greeted with a “Hello” and hears “Goodbye” and “Thank you” as they depart the shop. The attentiveness to customers has helped Critter’s shop transform from a “young man’s barber shop” to an “everyman’s barber shop”. That’s right: at The Next Level, the person ahead of you in line may be a 1-year-old baby and the person behind you could be a 90-year-old man. They even do some women’s cuts. No matter what age, gender, or ethnicity you are, everyone feels welcome in Next Level’s clean and professional environment. Customers never have to worry about bringing a friend or family member and hearing foul language, and they are almost sure to share a laugh. The customer base is very multicultural and meshes as well as any you will see in another shop. With two small children, Marciano and Mila, Critter along with his wife, Jaclyn, works hard for a bigger reason: help provide for their family. He hopes that this 20-plus year adventure opens new doors such as the opening of a new barber school, where Critter would not only teach young men and women how to cut hair, but also how to be self-employed. He also wishes to host barber competitions similar to ones in New York City where he has been a participant. For more info on The Next Level Barber Shop, check out their Facebook page, call them at 315- 724-6398 or visit them at 8449 Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford.

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FEATURED BU

SI N E S S

Many people get into business with huge aspirations and various financially-oriented goals; losing sight of what truly breeds success. Most times, what makes one successful is, their initial love for their industry of choice. When you do what you love for a living and work hard at it, the odds of failing are minimized dramatically. Rick Bianco, founder of La Galerie Rouge in Clinton, is a man that allowed his love for art to guide him on a lifelong career path. Today, Rick’s son and daughter-in-law, Rich and Michelle, operate the business and are proud to lead La Galerie Rouge into its 48th year. Their pursuit of growth has allowed the shop to survive many changes in the industry. It was the late 1960s and Rick Bianco was working as a body man at his brother’s garage. As a young man, Rick was one of the rare individuals to assume the distinction of body man/artistic painter, but he had a knack for both trades. Painting was Rick’s hobby and true love, and one day, in hopes of displaying one of his pieces in his home, he visited a framing shop in Syracuse. The owner of the shop suggested to Rick that maybe he should give the framing business a try in the Utica area, but Rick was skeptical. The man then gave Rick some basic tools and wood scraps to practice with at home and he took them with him. Realizing he may be able to make a modest living with his newfound skill, Rick opened La Galerie Rouge on South Street in Utica. He was not expecting to strike it rich as he had very little money growing up and was working on a shoe-string budget as a new business owner. To get people in the door, Rick began to hold painting classes in the shop which led to his students becoming customers. From there, his clientele grew as a result of his craftsmanship, integrity and personality. He eventually moved La Galerie Rouge to where Plaza 5 is currently located on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford, then to the current location of the Moorehouse Plaza. In 1986, Rick moved the business to 8240 Seneca Turnpike in Clinton, where it remains to this day. The location was converted from a house to a shop and offered framing services along with an array of art supplies. Since purchasing the business from his dad 2 years ago, Rich Bianco, Rick’s son, says that changes in the industry have caused La Galerie Rouge to focus completely on framing. Regardless of the shifts in the business, Rich, who runs the shop with his wife Michelle, says La Galerie Rouge has enjoyed steady growth over the past year. While their approach to business has been one positive attribute for the shop, their experience in the field of framing has been their biggest contribution. As a kid, Rich grew up in the shop; working beside his dad just about every day. After attending high school in New Harford, he moved out west to attend college and earned his business degree. He decided to settle in Las Vegas where he was a full-time paramedic with big gaps in his schedule. He decided to take employment with a commercial frame building and installing company; where he met Michelle. The couple also owned their own successful framing business out west before returning to the Greater Utica area. Both Rich and Michelle have extensive, hands-on experience in the field; setting them apart from big box competitors. They have handled everything from small residential jobs for local people, to large jobs for corporations and celebrities. Knowing the intricacies of the business, Rich and Michelle are able to completely customize the frames their customers envision. They have a vast supply of metal and authentic wood frame samples to choose from on-sight and customers can build their entire piece from the ground-up. According to Rich, hanging a beautiful custom frame is one of the cheapest ways to enhance the look of an entire room in your home. Rich and Michelle know all the proper materials to use to preserve the object you are looking to frame. When purchasing from La Galerie Rouge, customers can remove their prized possession from their custom-built frame without fear of it being damaged. Whether it is a family photo, a diploma, award or a valued piece or art, Rich and Michelle understand how important it is to be entrusted with such items and they take that very seriously. They not only want to take care of their customers and preserve their possessions, they also want to preserve the great reputation that Rick Bianco built over several decades. For more information on La Galerie Rouge, call 315-724-1756 or visit their shop at 8240 Seneca Turnpike in Clinton.

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CENTER STAGE AT THE

With Jerry Kraus

HAPPY NEW YEAR from The Stanley Theater!

Last year was one of our best years in a long time and we thank you for your support. As we enter into 2018, we promise to keep on working very hard to bring you a wide variety of shows and events at our area’s historic and beautiful Stanley Theater. Please join us for some of our upcoming events. Sunday, January 14th: The Tramiversary (10th Anniversary of the Tramontane Café) Tuesday, January 16th: The Illusionists, presented by Broadway Utica Sat./Sun. January 27th and 28th: The 18th Annual ‘Mohawk Valley Antiquefest’ ALSO: Thursday, March 29th: Daughtry, presented by NY State Tool, produced by Events Forum, to benefit Sitrin.

On stage before the Kenny G concert at The Stanley: Lisa Betrus, CEO/Administrator at Valley Health Services, Eve Van de Wal , Regional President of Excellus BC/BS and Jerry Kraus, Executive Director of the Stanley Theater. We extended a very special Thank You to Eve Van de Wal and Excellus BC/BS for their 10-year sponsorship support of our Fall fundraising concerts. Over the years, those concerts have included Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, REO Speedwagon, Michael McDonald and most recently Kenny G, on Nov 5th. The funds raised benefit the programs at Valley Health Services and the operation of The Stanley Theater. We appreciate everything Eve and Excellus have done for our organizations over the years. Lisa, who also is a long term member of The Stanley Board of Directors, joined me on stage to present Eve with a beautiful framed photo of the Stanley Theater’s interior with our sincere thanks.

AMERICA - In Concert Presented by The Stanley Theatre and The Herkimer County Historical Society Friday, May 11th at 7:30pm at The Stanley Theatre, Utica For the first time in their 48 year career, the legendary group AMERICA will headline a concert at The Stanley Theatre in Utica. The date is Friday, May 11th and the concert will be a benefit fundraiser for The Stanley and The Herkimer County Historical Society. America's journey has found them exploring a wide variety of musical terrain. Their best-known tunes, include ”Horse With No Name”, "Ventura Highway," "Sister Golden Hair", "Tin Man," "I Need You," "Don't Cross The River," "Lonely People," “You Can Do Magic” and were cornerstones of Top 40 and FM rock radio. Tickets are on sale and prices range from $35.00 - $45.00 - $65.00. Additional service charges may apply. To purchase tickets come down to the box office Monday through Friday from 10:00am - 4:00pm, give us a call at (315) 724-4000 or go to Ticketmaster.com. For more information about America please visit VenturaHighway.com.

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The Walk-In Closet Consignment Shoppe

FEATURED BU

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The retail industry can be quite tough for local business owners. Their hope is to provide their community with a good product that is reasonably priced but keeps the doors open. What many folks do not realize, is that “success” in the eyes of many of these owners is measured by far more than just dollars and cents. It takes much more than a profit to fulfill them; sometimes, a smile is worth more than any price tag could show. Sometimes, knowing that your place of business makes your customers happy makes it all worthwhile in the end. Such is the case for “Dee”, owner of The Walk-In Closet on Route 12 in Barneveld. Dee always loved crafts and clothes, but it was never really her plan to open her own store. She had a friend who owned a consignment business in the Utica area and Dee felt as though the people up north would really gravitate toward that type of shop. She decided to open her own consignment shop, The Walk-In Closet, in 2009. After outgrowing her previous two locations, Dee has finally found a permanent home at 8024 Route 12 in Barneveld across from Nice N Easy (look for the orange door). The greatest asset The Walk-In Closet possesses is: comfort. While that word could certainly characterize the clothing sold at the shop, it has a much deeper meaning; it is about being comfortable with yourself and your surroundings. As you walk through the front entrance of The Walk-In Closet, one of the first things you will notice is their Keurig coffee machine, which lets customers know they are free to make themselves at home and stay awhile. Some longtime customers come for the conversation, but due to the diverse selection and affordability of Dee’s items, rarely does anyone leave without making a purchase. The wonderful thing about consignment shops, and The Walk-In Closet is certainly no exception, is that they allow us to wear the name brands without breaking our bank account. At any given time, Dee stocks up on brand name women’s clothing by the likes of: Gap, Chico, The Loft, White House Black Market and Dress Barn. Any woman who is a fan of handbags knows how expensive the top names can be, but The Walk-In Closet gives everyone the chance to own one with a low-cost selection of bags by such brands as: Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Vera Bradley and Michael Kors. Their selection of quality women’s shoes and jewelry is very comparable to their clothing and bags; giving customers the chance to put a beautiful wardrobe together from head to toe. Along with their array of women’s clothing and accessories, The Walk-In Closet also carries a variety of home furnishings and decorations. Dee has a number of items that can tie a home together such as: antique dish and silverware sets, dressers, hutches, lamps, picture frames, candles and various knick-knacks. For consignors, Dee tries to make things as easy and pleasant as possible. She describes what it is like to do business with her in two simple steps, “Drop off your items, and pick up money” (you can call the store for the specifics of consigning). Dee is proud of the fact that she is able to help her customers by offering them very affordable products and one on one customer service. New items arrive daily, and the selection is ever-changing. She is a part of a network of consignment shops in the area that work together within our community. For more info and photos of the products at The Walk-In Closet, log on to their Facebook page (The Walk-In Closet, LLC.). To reach Dee or another staff member at the shop dial (315)-896-2050 or visit them at 8024 State Route 12 in Barneveld. Look for the store with the orange door!

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Map courtesy of the Rome Historical Society I am sure you will agree, when looking for information on individuals such as John B. Jervis, James Sherman, or Theodore Faxton, their impact reaches far beyond Utica, Rome, or better yet, New York State. Some were born and raised here, others came from abroad and found our area worthy of their investment. This fact holds true for Dominick Lynch, an Irish immigrant that made his fortune before coming to this country; however, that was not the end of his journey of financial successes. A large

portion of his money was made right here in Central New York as one of its most coveted cities transitioned from “Lynchville to Rome”. Although telling the story of Dominick Lynch may be like “beating a dead horse” to some of you, hopefully something new will come to light in this article. If I may get off topic as I usually do for a moment, being from Utica, Rome history is a whole new learning adventure for me. The way I see it, whether it is Utica, Rome or the surrounding towns and villages, it is still home to me and the more I learn about it, the better. In the travels of our magazine, we have come across many native people to our area, some that have never left, others that now live afar. The number one thing most all of them say is…. “the area will always be my home and I would not trade the memories or experiences for anything”. In 1754, Dominick Lynch was born to James and Anastasia Joyce-Lynch in Galway, Ireland. On August 31, 1761, Dominick married his cousin Jane Lynch, and shortly after, moved to Bruges (Capital of West Flanders in Belgium) where he opened a business. He made his fortune by exporting flax seed to Ireland. He also made a considerable amount of money in selling products to the United States and Great Britain as well as France and

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Spain who were at war with one another. It was in Bruges that Lynch met his future brother-inlaw, and a merchant with Spanish and French connections, Don Thomas Stoughton (married Lynch’s sister). Lynch decided to accept a partnership with Stoughton and their business would take place in America with Stoughton arriving in New York City sometime in 1783. On June 20, 1785, Lynch arrived in New York with his wife, three children and several servants. He had approximately $75,000, all in cash, with him, and at the time, was considered one of the wealthiest men in the city. Lynch’s luxurious residence in New York City was located on Broadway near Battery Place and was in close proximity to a home owned by the country’s future first president, George Washington. Being a man of great faith, it was through Lynch’s personal efforts and charitable contributions that he played an important role in establishing both Old St. Patrick’s and St. Peter’s. These two structures are the oldest Catholic churches in New York City. As a result of his dedication to his faith, he was held in high regard as one of the most distinguished Catholics in our country. In fact, he was chosen as one of five Catholic’s in the country to sign the noble document congratulating George Washington on his election as America’s first president. Due to ill differences, the Lynch – Stoughton partnership dissolved in July 1795, and a legal battle followed that would last more than 20 years with each filing a suit against the other. Finally, the lawsuit was decided by Chancellor Kent and ended in favor of Stoughton. As a result, Lynch had to pay $25,000.

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Lynch had proven to be successful in the investments of cargo to China, bank stock, securities and other ventures but he also had an interest in investing in real estate. Around the same time Lynch turned down a farmland offer near city hall in New York, another opportunity was brought to his attention. Some sources state that it was George Washington that suggested to Lynch to invest in property in the area of modern-day Rome,


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New York. The Expense Lot was approximately 697 acres of land that was taken from the Oriskany Patent (see the map on page 35) in June 1785 and would later be auctioned off. The proceeds from this auction would be used to cover the surveying cost of the Oriskany Patent, hence the name “Expense Lot”. On March 17, 1786, the Expense Lot came up for sale in an auction and the winning bid came from Dominick Lynch. The amount paid by Lynch for the winning bid was 2,250 English pounds, approximately $11,250.00. While we are on the topic of the Expense Lot, Expense Street in Rome was on the western border of this land; explaining the origin of the street’s name. Based on my research, it remains the only street of its name in the country. Included in the Expense Lot purchase was a swampy portion in the southern section of the property that was essentially useless land for building. Soon after, Lynch continued to purchase land to the north and east of the Expense Lot. He began planning the development of the Village of Lynchville from these large amounts of land. The first map of Lynchville only displayed 2 streets, Dominick and James Streets which were named after Lynch and his eldest son. A number of blocks were laid out in Lynch’s village that measured 600 by 400 feet, each containing 18 lots. By 1800, he had accumulated approximately 2,000 acres in all and a second map was created, this one presenting eight more streets: Washington (after his friend President George Washington), Liberty, Madison, Court, Embargo, Jay, Thomas, and Bloomfield Streets. Dominick, Washington, James and Liberty, were the only to open before 1850. Once Lynch split his land into blocks, and then lots, he had no intentions of selling any part of his property. What he did want to do was lease these lots, similar to the way it was done in his native country of Ireland. This was a practice that was not looked upon favorably in this country, especially to the people interested in purchasing property in this area. Starting in 1796, Lynch began to lease his lots; some tenants leasing one, others up to twenty or more. In July 1796, Lynch leased out twenty-eight lots to tenants, part of this area would later be known as the Empire Block. In 1799, George Huntington leased, for twelve bushels of wheat, the lots that would make up the Merrill Block. Payments for these lots were expected on the first day of May, each year. These leases were perpetual (continuous) and if the rent was not received for the land on time, the property would

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Looking west down W. Dominick Street in the early 1900s. Currently, Berkshire Bank is approximately at the former site of the American Block (first building on the right) and the Empire Block. These were some of the first lots leased by Dominick Lynch in 1796. Picture courtesy of the Rome Historical Society.

revert back to the owner (Lynch). In the early part of the next century, Lynch had tenement houses built; as many as thirty-five of them to accommodate arriving settlers. The swampy portions of land, known as the “Pepper-corn lots” were split into 60 lots of four and a half acres each. A Pepper-corn lot was presented to those that leased Lynch’s prime land. A pepper corn was the payment for these swampy lots that were also payable on the first day of May each year, for a term of ten-thousand years (not a mis-print), and after that, the rent would be twenty cents per year. Dominick Lynch was also associated with the Western Inland Lock Company, to which he served as one of its directors. One of the undertakings of this company was to create a twomile canal for boats to pass from the Mohawk to Wood Creek at

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Above: The original patents of Oneida County in 1829. In green is the Oriskany Patent.

the United States Arsenal. The Inland Canal was open for use in 1797 and alleviated the need of carrying supplies over the routes necessary before its existence. In 1800, Dominick Lynch donated land to the village

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for East and West Parks on the southeast and southwest corners of North James and Court Streets; additionally, he gave the land adjacent to these parks, where the old courthouse stands today. In 1804, Lynch built a dam across the Mohawk River

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above that of the inland canal. From the dam of the Mohawk, he dug out a bowed head race from one side to the other which created a stream flow back into the river. Near this bow is where the old Red Mill would be built in the same year. This area was known as Factory Village, which was a suburb of Rome (now part of east Rome). On August 21, 1816, Lynch donated property to the State of New York that assisted in the completion of the Erie Canal. In the coming years up to 1820, Dominick Lynch continued investing in the area by building a sawmill, a Woolen factory, cotton factory and a wrench factory in Factory Village. Lynch leveled down the southeast corner of Fort Stanwix where he chose to build his large square-framed mansion and where he

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Above: The adjacent land that Lynch donated to Rome where a junior high school (center left) and a county court house (right) were built.

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RIght: Lynch’s dam and head race. The blue circle is the dam, light blue line is the head race. “W” is a woolen factory, “F” is a flouring factory and “D” is a distillery. Map courtesy of the Rome Historical Society

ed in the destruction of the house. The property was then purchased by Virgil Draper, where he then built his home. This was also the home of H. K. White and the Henry P. Smith Post 24 American Legion. In all, Dominick Lynch had twelve children, James, Anastasia, Anthony, Dominick, Alexander, Margaret, Jasper, Henry, Harriet, Louisa, Edward, and William. There is a street with each of these names in Rome with the exception of Anastasia (there is an Anna Street) and Margaret. There is also a Jane Street (named after his wife) and a Lynch Street. These two streets are consecutive off Canal Street. The question I see asked most frequently is, “How did the village and now city of Rome get its name?”, a question that will likely always be up for debate. According to my research, the early Lynch leases stated that the properties were in “Lynchville in the town of Rome”. One alleged reason for its name was based on Dominick Lynch’s Roman Catholic faith. It has also been claimed that George Huntington (banker and real estate owner) had suggested that the village should take the name Rome because of the Eternal City. He suggested it because some upstate New York communities had picked traditional names, but none had chosen Rome.

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As you probably gathered earlier in the article, Dominick did not live in Rome all year-round. In 1797, he made a home purchase in West Chester County, New York where he would live out his remaining days. He died on June 5, 1825 and was buried in a family vault at Old St. Patrick’s Church in New York City. Being a Dominick myself, I always asked myself when in Rome, “Why Dominick Street”? I married into a family of Irish decent, and from time to time, I would get picked on for my Italian ancestry in a harmless way by all except one person, my wife’s aunt Nancy. Due to a mutual liking over the years, I grew to take her as my own Aunt and called her Aunt Nancy. On one occasion while getting picked on by the Irish gang, in my defense Aunt Nancy deemed me honorary Irish. Even though I was honorary, I thought of myself as the first Irish Dominick in the world, little did I know, my name was a little more Irish then I ever imagined. Here is to Aunt Nancy and the Irish Dominick’s of the world.

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{


In My Travels Around

Greater Utica

Compassionate Hearts Made History With History by Joseph P. Bottini Oneida County Historian

Within a few years, most of the personal stories of our warriors from WW II will be unavailable. Each year more of the veterans from that conflict are going on to their final resting place. Our disrespect for their sacrifice is a sad commentary if we don’t capture their stories for the benefit of future generations of Americans. Many of those men and women have not been able to fully discuss their experience until their later years. It has been my fortune to become personal friends with Johnny Scarfo, who fought and was wounded on the island of Iwo Jima. He was a marine exposed to the thick of that battle as a young nineteen year-old. His story needs to be told and will be if Brian Miga, a patriotic and compassionate local attorney, has any say about it. Last spring, as a member of the Whitesboro Writers Group, Brian Miga decided on a writing project. He would tell the story of his uncle who was killed in World War II (September 1944) while stationed in Belgium. The book, “Remembering Bernie” (Avalon Document Services; Utica, New York) is full of pictures, photos and many documents relating to his Uncle, Staff Sergeant Bernie (Barney) Bator. The experience of this project created an idea begging to be brought to life. After reading the book, Dr. James S. Pula suggested Brian do more writing about World War II veterans. The ever-present notion, “we ought to write and collect the stories of other WW II veterans” was given life each time Brian and others spoke. Brian Miga is not one to talk about things (outside of his

law practice where “skilled talk” is an asset) he is a doer. Following an Observer-Dispatch article that created interest, Brian contacted other writers groups asking of those interested in such a project - the idea became a reality. The goal was to pay tribute to central New York World War II and other veterans. All Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legions in Oneida County were given applications to distribute to veterans. Not only volunteers for the writing phase came in droves, but also the names of those suggested to be honored came flooding into Brian’s office.

January 2018 GREATER UTICA MAGAZINE

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Hours, weeks and months of work resulted in the written stories of ten worthy warriors. The culmination activity was a presentation of tribute, recognition and appreciation to each surviving veteran and to the family members of those who paid the “full measure” of sacrifice. Retired schoolteacher/accountant C. J Alexander admirably provided the proofreading and editing. Darcelle Bleau performed successfully in formatting and arranging the book. The book “Writers Honoring Veterans 2017” furnishes an interesting read for history buffs, citizen patriots and everyone in between. Nine area writers utilized their talents to prepare historical tributes to local heroes who served their country in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans honored were: Albert Circelli, Nina “Dolly” Marvin, Sylvester Puccio, and Joseph Rositano, World War II; Donald Rothdiener, Korean War; David Wilson, Joseph Costello, Gary Markowicz, Vietnam War; George Wood, Iraq War; Daniel Geary, Afghanistan War. The writers of the tributes were: Darcelle Bleau, Deborah Hornesky, Karen Jacobson, Brian Michael Miga, Linna Miller, Caren Pepper, Bob Sblendorio, Victoria Scarborough Six veteran leaders: Stanley Babiarz, Joseph Fraccola, Fred Griffiths, Daniel Pieloch, Robert Rothdiener, and Mark Williamson nominated the recipients of honor. On November 7th, 2017, at a gathering in the New Hartford American Legion, tributes were presented. Each veteran recipient, the writers of their stories and family members were given the opportunity to express themselves. This two and one-half hour commemoration brought out civic pride, respect for our military and many deep emotions. The internal long-buried memories as well as day-to-day remembrances made the ceremony meaningful for all in attendance. Each participant received twenty copies of the book. There were two “Gold Star” families present representing Captain George Andrew Wood who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq, and Corporal Daniel J. Geary who gave his last full measure in Afghanistan. This writer was not present, but talking with Brian Miga made me aware of the intensity involved in the ceremony. Brian shared information while employing a discernible effort to keep his emotions under control. But his voice and facial expressions were evident of his struggle within. Admittedly, as a veteran I encountered a similar problem, especially when I read the first recipient’s name. Sylvester Puccio lived in the neighborhood (East Rome) where I was born and spent the first eighteen years of my life. As a pre-teen I remember when “the boys came home” including Sylvester Puccio. Listening to Brian recall the event, sitting in his office with official papers, legal documents, bookcases of legal books and memorabilia in abundance, it was obvious this man is full of old-fashioned patriotism and civic pride for America and our community. His nameplate of days served on the Oneida County Legislature was visual testament to his involvement in working to help make our county a better place. There were approximately fifty names submitted to the committee. Each writer was able to select the person’s story they wanted to write.


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We would be remiss if a brief bio of each honoree were not given. The complete stories can be found in the book, “Writers Honoring Veterans 2017.”

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Oneida County History Center January 2018 Events **Programs are free and open to the general public** Saturday, January 13 at 1:00 PM– History Show & Tell Come share the stage and your story with special guest Frank Tomaino and your host, Joe Kelly. Bring an old photograph, personal artifact, or other memorabilia. Community members are invited ‘show & tell’ or just listen.

Saturday, January 20 at 1:00 PM– Let’s Throw some Stones! 150 Years of the Utica Curling Club Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Utica Curling Club and discover the rich history of curling with club President Roger Rowlett. Grab your friends and come learn about this unique sport with deep roots in Oneida County.

Saturday, January 27 at 1:00 PM- What Happened to Downtown Rome? Urban renewal in Rome, NY 1958-1977 Between 1958 and 1977 the city of Rome underwent an aggressive urban renewal program covering over eighty acres that forever shaped the growth of the city. Patrick Reynolds (Rome Historical Society) will discuss what worked, what didn’t, and why. Oneida County History Center 315-735-3642

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Albert Circelli: Volunteered with the United States Navy on his seventeenth birthday in 1942. Assigned to the USS Missouri, Al was involved in significant action including a kamikaze attack. He was there at the ceremony aboard the Missouri for the Japanese surrender in 1945. He continued to serve in the Navy reserves and was called to active duty in the Korean War. Joe Costello: Following graduation from high school Joe Volunteered for duty and became a grenadier for the storied Black Lions in Vietnam. Private Costello was wounded with shrapnel in his back, but continued to rescue severely wounded soldiers. Upon his superiors being wounded or killed, Joe assumed command although only a private. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry on the field of battle. Daniel J. Geary: Upon graduation from high school in 2006, Dan joined the marines. He was deployed on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Gary Markowicz: From the football gridiron of New York Mills, Gary enlisted and became a gunner on a helicopter in the jungle of Vietnam. Serving in the thickest action, he was hit three different times by enemy fire earning three Purple Hearts. Recently, he donated a completely equipped van for the use of disabled veterans. Nina Dolly Marvin: Dolly enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943. She became a member of the communications network doing top-secret encrypting and decrypting classified documents at the Pentagon in Washington. Maintaining abso-

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Joseph Rositano: Joe joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 at age eighteen. He became a ball turret gunner in a B-24 bomber. His plane was hit and he parachuted into Austria. Taken prisoner meant he endured many dark days as a prisoner of war. Seriously wounded with a shot in the back, he recovered and returned to Utica where he served as Utica Deputy Fire Chief. Donald Rothdiener: Donald served in the United States Air Force from 1949-1972, joining at the age of seventeen. With service in Korea and Japan, he received many promotions, certificates and medals for his military service and achieved the rank of Sergeant Major. Donald returned to the Mohawk Valley and settled in Oriskany where he served as village mayor for many years. Dave Wilson: Dave rose to Master Sergeant (E-7) in the United States Air Force with twenty years active duty service. He enlisted in 1955 and was in 50 combat missions throughout Southeast Asia. Hospitalized in 1967 as a result of Agent Orange, Dave was in the TET offensive where he received an Air Force Commendation Medal among other honors. Since retirement from active duty, Dave continued to volunteer service with Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, and other veterans groups. George Andrew Wood: Born on an Air Force Base, George’s life ended serving his country in Ba’Queba, Iraq. George joined the ROTC program in college and became a 2nd Lieutenant upon completion of training. In 2003, then Captain Wood was deployed to Iraq. He achieved his childhood dream when he became a tank commander. Always feeling that a leader ought to lead in the front of his troops, Captain Wood rode in the first tank. While on convoy a detonated IED (Improvised Explosive Device) exploded and Captain

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Wood gave his last full measure to his country. It is often said, individual citizens who give their time and talent by becoming volunteers, including all who participated in this project, help make what we call home a better place. Their compassion and pride in Oneida County ought to be somehow replicated in others. Perhaps, articles such as this may awaken some folks from their slumber to step up and imitate the example of those who made this project a piece of “forever” local history. Brian said, “There is too much interest in this endeavor not to do it again.” A second volume seems impossible to avoid, with many writers and families of those long-ago heroes anxious to repeat this worthwhile endeavor.” Brian said, “This was an interesting and widely received project, in my opinion, and a story of each would give the worthy veterans some well-deserved recognition.” One moving story seemed to make it worthwhile. At the end of the ceremonies, Marie Babula, Captain Wood’s mother requested an extra copy of the book to send to her granddaughter in Texas. The granddaughter was on a quest to find out all she could about the father she never knew – being a toddler when her father was killed. The grandmother said her granddaughter would be proud that her father’s story was in a book with other recognized heroes. Another activity of this group was to present at schools who were able to carve out the time for a veteran and/or writer visit. Any school group who would like to have this available to them ought to reach out to Brian Miga and your request will be fulfilled. Brian feels among other things, one important accomplishment is to “recognize and preserve for all time the great stories of valor by those who sacrificed so much to preserve our values and way of life.” The articles on the four World War II participants were sent to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. The proverbial “dropping a stone in the water and watching the never-ending concentric circles it makes” comes to mind as so many people were touched by this project. If we can teach our young students the importance of sacrifice and commitment to a valued cause, the reverberations will go on forever. This project did not just save history; it created some in the process.


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It doesn’t end there; each person who reads this anthology will forever be changed by the experience. One cannot help but reflect on the need for all of us to sacrifice in some way - to some extent- to help make this a better planet on which we live. Brian Miga and the committee of writers and veteran leaders thank the generosity of many including: C. J. Alexander of Whitesboro Writers Group for editing and proofreading the ten tributes, Darcelle Bleau for formatting and arranging the book, Andrea Graves of Classy Cakes in Marcy for preparing a special cake for the ceremony, New Hartford American Legion for the use of their facility, and the Carbone Auto Group sponsoring the printing and publication of “Writers Honoring Veterans 2017.” Books can be ordered through the printer, Avalon on Franklin Square in Utica, Oneida County History Center and other history repository outlets. Correction December Issue - Page 18 “Taps Composer Honored with Historical Marker” Although buried there, General Butterfield did not graduate from West Point.

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January 2018  
January 2018  

Celebrating 100 years of hockey history in the Greater Utica area. Also, read about Dominick Lynch and his purchase of land that became tod...