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June 27, 2022

The Story about the Print Story

  Three Amsterdam accidents involving New York Central passenger trains in the 20th century resulted in a total of 18 fatalities. With information not in the print story.   

The Historians this Week

Tuesday-Summer years ago(print story). Wednesday, Bob Cudmore does a series of interviews at the Chronicle Book Fair in Glens Falls-2015(when podcasting was just an idea). Thursday, Amsterdam’s unforgettable day(something to do with The Yankees). New, the latest, Friday, July 1, 2022-Episode 429-John Wood Sweet is author of “The Sewing Girl’s Tale,” the story of the first published rape trial in American history. Sweet is a professor at the University of North Carolina.

Mohwak Valley History on the World Wide Web and Public Radio

The Historians Go Fund Me for 2022 needs a slight(small in degree) push

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Update: $100.00 raised over the weekend Thank You 

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Van Curler descendants coming to Schenectady for reunion, quest to learn about city’s founder
For those individuals who enjoy history but don’t really dig into the details, the book on Arent Van Curler is…

Three Amsterdam train tragedies

By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History 

   Three Amsterdam accidents involving New York Central passenger trains in the 20th century resulted in a total of 18 fatalities.

   On April 8, 1918, the Empire State Express collided with a freight train near Henrietta Street in the West End shortly after Noon.  An eastbound passenger train, the New England Express, subsequently crashed into the derailment. 

   The engineer of the Empire State, John R. Botts of Albany, and the fireman, William Barringer, died.  It was considered miraculous that there were only two fatalities among the 60 people injured.

    Eight lives were lost May 6, 1924 when the Twentieth Century Limited passenger train struck a car being driven across the tracks near Dicaprio’s produce farm just east of Amsterdam.

   The automobile in the 1924 accident was driven by John Acee, 45, a clothing merchant on the South Side who was an immigrant from Syria.   Acee, his wife Emmeline, 33, their three children (Julia, Thomas and Joseph), Mrs. Acee’s sister (Sahandra Herb), the sister’s daughter (Mary) and an Italian immigrant (David Sprone) died when the car was struck by the fast moving train.

   Recorder history columnist Tony Pacelli saw the 1924 accident, which took place at a track crossing near Quist’s Lumber at Luther Street, “We worked on the DiCaprio’s farm during the summer months and were waiting for DiCaprio’s flatbed truck to take us home.  Mr. Acee was told to wait, for the train was due at any minute.  He did not comprehend.”  

   Pacelli said a small dog also was in the Acee car, “Mr. Acee was on track two and had trouble shifting the car when the train struck it.  No one survived but the dog, who ran down the tracks.”

   The Recorder reported the animal waited patiently but in vain for his favorite, Julia, to come home from school the day after the accident, “Through some means beyond his canine comprehension he has been bereft of a beloved playmate.”

   More than 100 Syrian-Americans came for the funerals from various Upstate New York cities, adding to the thousands of Amsterdam mourners.  Word was passed to local restaurants to feed the Syrian guests, keep track of the charges and present the bills to relatives of the Acee family.

   The wake was held at Dugan’s Hall of St. Mary’s Institute on Forbes Street after crowds overwhelmed the Perillo and Gilston undertaking parlors.

   The third accident was on June 15, 1945.  Eight men working on the main line tracks just east of Amsterdam were killed when struck by the Water Level Limited passenger train.  The men were from Mexico and had been hired to work on the railroad because so many American men were at war.   

   According to historian Hugh Donlon, the eight Mexican workers who perished were part of a group of 65 working on track maintenance that day.  Donlon said bodies were strewn along the tracks for a quarter mile.

   The eight Mexicans were buried in a mass grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Their bodies were taken to the cemetery in a procession of eight hearses.

   Diane Hale Smith of Amsterdam did research on the accident, “I located their unmarked burial place, using cemetery records and made arrangements for a headstone and urn to be put over the mass grave.”

   Smith said, “I imagined how future generations would hear the story of how these men had died so far from home.  It symbolized for me so many of our ancestors who ventured far from home never to return again--my own Swedish grandfather, to name just one… These eight men were building our rail system and lost their lives doing it.”

Todays rain should produce a puddle or two..

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Puddle Program scheduled at Schoharie Crossing

“There's nothing shallow about a puddle! Puddles are homes, bathtubs, and drinking fountains for wildlife.

The Friends of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will wrap up Great Outdoors month on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 6:30pm by hosting environmental educator and author Anita Sanchez for the program, “Hello, Puddles!” This family friendly program will be conducted from the Enders House on Schoharie Street in Fort Hunter, near the Visitor Center.

Mohawk Valley Weather, Monday, June 27, 2022

Showers and thunderstorms likely before noon, then a slight chance of showers between noon and 1pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 76. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Mostly clear, with a low around 53. West wind 8 to 13 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. West wind 7 to 10 mph.
Mohawk Valley News Headlines, Monday, June 27, 2022
Daily Gazette
Van Curler descendants coming to Schenectady for reunion, quest to learn about city’s founder
For those individuals who enjoy history but don’t really dig into the details, the book on Arent Van Curler is…
Gloversville Common Council rejects Elk Street Park project bid
After only receiving one bid for the city’s project to put up fencing and a new sidewalk for the expanded…

Amsterdam Recorder
CDPHP, MVP, other health insurers seek major rate hikes in 2023
ALBANY — Health insurers are asking state regulators for their largest premium increases in several years — a weighted average…
Mohawks score trio of mercy-rule wins over weekend
The Amsterdam Mohawks needed to play just 17 innings to pick up a trio of wins over the weekend

Leader Herald


June 24, 2022

Ben Kemp

Friday, June 24, 2022-Episode 428-Ben Kemp from Grant Cottage in Wilton New York, where Civil War general and President Ulysses S. Grant died after completing his memoirs. This year is the 200th anniversary of Grant’s birth.

June 17, 2022

David Levine

Friday, June 17, 2022-Episode 427-Journalist David Levine is author of “The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years.” His book explains how Hudson New York was part of the whaling industry. He has stories about Alexander Hamilton, the Mohicans and slavery in the time of Dutch colonial rule.

June 10, 2022

Don Williams

Friday, June 10, 2022-Episode 426-Donald Williams is author of “Grandfather’s Tool Chest.” The book has stories about 400 vintage and antique tools. Don Williams, 88, is a well-known educator, lecturer, columnist, and author. He has written eleven books on local and Adirondack history.

June 03, 2022

Buttonwood Agreement

Friday, June 3, 2022-Episode 425-New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan has the story of the Buttonwood Agreement, the founding document of the New York Stock Exchange.

May 27, 2022

David Brooks

Friday, May 27, 2022-Episode 424-David Brooks from Schoharie Crossing State Historic site in Fort Hunter takes a look at life on the wild side of the Erie Canal with tales about the Kilboys, including balladeer Tom Kilboy. Schoharie Crossing in Fort Hunter, where the old Erie Canal crossed the Schoharie Creek, is now open for the season.

May 20, 2022

Charles Gehring

Friday, May 20, 2022-Episode 423-Charles Gehring’s life work has been to translate Old Dutch language documents from the 17th century New Netherland colony in New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Gehring is Director of the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Education Department in Albany. His work has been used by many historians, including Russell Shorto whose book “The Island at the Center of the World” is a history of New York City dating back to colonial Dutch times.

May 13, 2022

Highlights Episode 2022-2

Friday, May 13, 2022-Episode 422-Highlights podcast #2 for 2022. Topics include early American patriot Marinus Willett, a corset maker in Poland, early radio, World War I, the Titanic and celebrating New York State’s birthday.

May 06, 2022

Chris Lamb/Stolen Dreams

Friday. May 6, 2022-Episode 421-Chris Lamb, author of Stolen Dreams: The 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars and Little League Baseball’s Civil War

April 29, 2022

Paul Craddock

Friday, April 29, 2022-Episode 420-Paul Craddock at UCL Medical School in London England is author of Spare Parts: The Story of Medicine Through the History of Transplant Surgery.

April 22, 2022

Edmund Richardson

Friday, April 22, 2022-Episode 419-English classics professor Edmund Richardson is author of The King’s Shadow: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Deadly Quest for the Lost City of Alexandria, the story of a 19th century British deserter who discovered a civilization founded by Alexander the Great in Bagram, Afghanistan in the fourth century B.C.

April 15, 2022

Bruce Dearstyne(April 2022)

Episode 418-Bruce Dearstyne is encouraging New Yorkers to celebrate April 20 as the birthday of the Empire State.  The first New York State constitution was adopted April 20, 1777 during a momentous year for the state during the Revolutionary War.  Bruce Dearstyne was formerly on the staff of the Office of State History and the State Archives.  He has written books and articles on New York State history.

April 08, 2022

Bryan Jackson

Friday, April 8, 2022 Episode 417-Bryan Jackson is author of Why the Titanic Was Doomed.  Titanic, the most magnificent ocean liner of her time, was destined for disaster before she left the docks at Southampton according to Jackson--doomed by her owner, designers and the men who sailed her.

April 01, 2022

Neil Lanctot is author of The Approaching Storm

Friday, April 1, 2022-Episode 416-Neil Lanctot is author of The Approaching Storm: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jane Addams and Their Clash Over America’s Future.  The book recounts the debate over whether America should enter World War I. 

March 25, 2022

Ann-Marie Barker Schwarz

Friday, March 25, 2022-Episode 415-Violinist Ann-Marie Barker Schwarz explores the history of high quality music in the early days of radio. Edward Rice played the violin during WGY Schenectady’s first broadcast on February 20, 1922. Barker Schwarz is the founder of Musicians of Ma’alwyck and took part in WGY’s 100th anniversary broadcast.

March 18, 2022

Annette Libeskind Berkovits

Friday, March 18, 2022-Episode 414-Annette Libeskind Berkovits discusses her historical novel “The Corset Maker” which tells the story of a courageous Orthodox Jewish teen, Rifka, who was living in Warsaw Poland in the late 1920s and early ‘30s.  Rifka is loosely based on Annette’s mother Dora.

March 11, 2022

Highlights Episode 2022-1

Episode 413-The first highlights episode of 2022 with excerpts from seven Historians Podcasts including Evacuation Day in New York City, 100 years of WGY radio in Schenectady, a chat with New York State historian Devin Lander, the case for Benedict Arnold and more.

March 04, 2022

Jim Kaplan(Marinus Willett)

Friday, March 4, 2022-Episode 412-New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan discusses the life of Marinus Willett.  Willett is well known to historians because of the work he did during the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley.  But Willett was born downstate and returned to New York City after the war to serve in public office.

February 25, 2022

Jim Coulthart

Episode 411 Jim Coulthart is an aviation historian. He has a collection of WWII aircraft incidents, and accidents with ties to Central New York. 

February 18, 2022

Peter Betz(Grave Stone)

Friday, February 18, 2022-Episode 410-Historian Peter Betz explains how he was able to help a Perth NY family acquire a gravestone at no cost for a deceased family member, Howard Forgette, who was a US Army veteran.  Betz also discusses a program on Fulton County immigrants taking place at the museum in Gloversville.  And he has the story of a bear who did groundhog weather forecasting work in Sacandaga Park.

February 13, 2022

WGY 100 Years (Mike Patrick)


WGY’s Mike Patrick interviews Bob Cudmore on Bob’s years at the 100 year old radio station.

February 11, 2022

James Kirby Martin

Friday, February 11, 2022-Episode 409-James Kirby Martin is executive producer of the documentary Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed.  The film is based on Martin’s 1997 book Benedict Arnold Revolutionary Hero.  The documentary is streaming on several TV platforms, narrated by Martin Sheen and stars Peter O’Meara.  Three men from the Mohawk Valley area created the documentary: Niskayuna native Chris Stearns, Saratoga Springs native Tom Mercer and Fort Johnson native Anthony Vertucci.

February 04, 2022

WGY Podcast

Radio station WGY is celebrating its 100th year on February 20, 2022.  Bob Cudmore, who hosted a WGY talk show from 1980 to 1993, has audio featuring pioneer WGY air personalities Kolin Hager, Martha Brooks, Howard Tupper, Elle Pankin and Earl Pudney.  Current WGY news anchor Mike Patrick describes podcasts Patrick has done with many WGY veterans.

January 28, 2022

Devin Lander

Friday, January 28, 2022-Episode 407-New York State historian Devin Lander discusses plans to observe the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

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