Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cortland Bicycle Parade

1883 Bicycle parade in New York City.

Stearns tandem bicycle
Cortland Evening Standard, Saturday, July 18, 1896.


Was a Success. Many Riders in Line. Fine Roads.

   Cortland's second bicycle parade occurred last night. While not so many wheels were out as before the parade was just as enjoyable.

   Shortly before 7 o'clock every street leading to Church-st. was lined with wheels, all headed toward a common center. The parade moved at 7 o'clock over the course previously published in The STANDAND. The number of wheels was between 330 and 350. They were counted by several different persons at various places. At Homer a large crowd was out to see the riders as they rode to the Windsor hotel and there countermarched on Main-st., making a very pretty sight.

   The parade was headed by Messrs. L. E. Edgcomb and Frank Hilligus on old style high wheels. They were followed by what was the prettiest sight ever seen in Cortland in the bicycle line. It consisted of two Stearns tandems side by side over which was carried a huge white canvas roof with a border of yellow and on each corner was a small Stearns bannerette. The riders, Miss Ada Seaman, Mr. Harry Henry and Miss Shepard and Mr. Ralph Wright were dressed in white. Credit is given Mr. G. F. Beaudry for this feature of the parade.

   After the countermarch on Tompkins-st. the riders dismounted in front of the C. A. A. clubhouse. Here was an immense crowd. Standing room was almost at a premium. The grounds were very beautifully decorated with Chinese lanterns. The Cortland City band rendered a choice musical programe from a stand near the house. A canvas was stretched on the north side of the grounds and here Mr. A .B. Rumsey of Homer gave a fine stereopticon entertainment. Over 200 views were shown. They consisted of views of natural scenery in America and Europe, statuary, comic pictures, advertisements of local business men and several views advertising  “A Tramp's Daughter" which will be presented at the Opera House July 22, under the direction of Mr. Edward B. Kelly. While all this was going on the members of the C. A. A. were serving ice cream to a large number on small tables on the lawn and from which a nice sum was realized.

Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, November 17, 1896.


The Cortland Athletic Association Located in Taylor Hall.

   This afternoon final arrangements were made by which the Cortland Athletic association, which has been located in the Randall house on Tompkins-st., took possession of Taylor hall, which will be the headquarters of the club for the next year. The entire third and fourth floors of the building have been leased. The anterooms will be carpeted and furnished for sitting and reading rooms for the use of the members. The main hall will be handsomely decorated and put in condition for use for balls, parties and receptions, and when not so used will be fitted up for a gymnasium.

   The latest and most improved apparatus will be put in, making the gymnasium one of the best and most complete in Central New York. The association intends giving a series of entertainments this winter. The rooms are admirably arranged for the use of the association, and the work of moving and getting settled will begin at once.

   A meeting of the association has been called for to-morrow evening at 8 o'clock in the new quarters and every member is asked to be present as business of great importance is to be considered.


C. A. A. officers and board members in 1899.
Taylor block building at 50-54 Main Street. Fire burned this building in 1960.

Taylor block building at 44-46 Main Street stands adjacent and north of the old C. A. A. clubhouse building. Mr. Taylor was a bachelor and lived on the second floor. Butler photo.
Editor’s note:

   The historic Roswell Randall Mansion was situated on a wedge-shaped city plot with access to Tompkins, Main and Clayton. The current address is 7 Clayton Avenue. The Cortland Athletic Association transferred its clubhouse from the Randall Mansion to Taylor Hall on October 30, 1896, and a one year lease for Taylor Hall was signed by November 17, 1896. Taylor Hall and the Taylor block were located at 50-54 and 44-46 Main Street between West Court Street and Orchard Street. Benjamin Taylor was the superintendent of the Cortland Water Works Co.
   A high wheel bicycle was also known as a penny farthing. Open link: High Wheel Race  and click on the YouTube video of the Frederick, Maryland high wheel race held on August 17, 2013.
   Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland: 

Cortland's Kingman Park

Cortland Evening Standard, Wednesday, July 22, 1896.

Kingman Park.

   Dr. E. O. Kingman's park and bathing houses, corner of Grant and Rickard-sts., are more attractive this year than ever. Dr. Kingman has added to the equipment of the place a high dive, twenty-four feet above the water, and a toboggan slide eighteen feet high and forty-five feet long, terminating in the water. Bathing suits and bath houses are provided for ladies and gentlemen, and soft drinks, cigars and candy are kept on sale. As soon as the bathing season is over, a number of new boats will be placed on the river. The park is being liberally patronized and furnishes the best facilities for a plunge and a swim on a hot day to be found in this vicinity.

A New Sluiceway.

   For years the question at the corner of Main and Tompkins-sts. has been what to do with the great amount of water that comes down Tompkins-st. There have been various ways tried of taking it off and none have proved satisfactory. To-day Street Commissioner Stearns is building a new sluiceway under Tompkins and Main-sts. It is built of pine plank and forms a box. It starts at the second door of the postoffice and extends diagonally across Tompkins-st. to the corner of the Squires Building [clocktower—ed.]. The space for water in this portion of the sluice is three feet wide by six inches high. From the corner near the Squires building a sluice way three feet wide and ten inches high will carry the water across Main-st. The outlet will be on Port Watson-st., where the water can run off by surface drainage. Engineer Landreth laid the grades for this sluice. It is to be hoped that this plan has successfully solved the vexed question.

Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, July 21, 1896.


The Contractors are Anxious to Pave Railroad-st.

   At the meeting of the board of village trustees last night the bids for the paving of Railroad-st. with brick were opened. The bidders were ten in number as follows:

   L. D. Grannis of Syracuse. Costello & Neagle of Elmina, Warren Scharf Asphalt Paving company of New York, O. N. Gardner of Jamestown, Eugene Fee of Olean, Robert E. Dunston & Co. of Cortland, Abbot Gamble Construction Co. of St. Louis, Mo., Jamestown Construction Co. of Jamestown, J. E. Miles & Co. of Easton, Pa., McKee & Webb M'fg. Co. of Cortland (for castings only).

   Each contractor presented a sample of the brick he proposes to use and nearly all of them presented three or four samples and the prices of each. The bids are all itemized under twelve heads and it will be several days before it is known how the bids compare in the aggregate. Engineer Landreth will figure this out and will also thoroughly test all the brick and report to the board next Monday night when the contract will probably be let.

   Representatives of all the firms and contractors bidding were present last night, but all must wait until the total cost under each bid is computed and the brick are tested.

Traction Company Election.

   The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Cortland & Homer Traction Co. was held at the office this morning and the following directors for next year were elected:

   P. S. Page, C. D. Simpson, Harry P. Simpson and Horace E. Hand of Scranton; Herman Bergholtz, Franklin C. Cornell and DeForest Van Vleet of Ithaca; and Horace L. Bronson and Hugh Duffey of Cortland.

   At a subsequent meeting of the board  of directors the following officers were elected:

   President—C. D. Simpson.

   Vice-President—P. S. Page.

   Secretary and Treasurer—Horace E. Hand.

Editor’s note:
   At an earlier meeting village trustees considered but rejected asphalt paving. In 1925 Railroad Street was renamed Central Avenue. The Cortland & Homer Traction Company operated an electric trolley service.

Friday, August 30, 2013

J. M. Showerman, M. D.

Cortland Evening Standard, Wednesday, July 15, 1896.

Will be at the Cortland House, Wednesday, Aug. 12, Clinton House, Ithaca, Tuesday, Aug. 11.

J. M. Showerman, M. D.


Who Cures by Vitalization

Through Specific Medication.

   No guessing at results, but absolute certainty over 30 years' practice. The doctor will GUARANTEE A CURE in all kidney and liver troubles, diabetes, inflammation of bladder, enlargement of prostate glands, trouble in passing urine, fits, piles, discharges from ears, inflammation of the eyes, and all female troubles.

Let the Patients Speak for Themselves. Saved!

   For two years I suffered worse than death from inflammation of the bladder and enlargement of the prostate gland. No rest day or night. The agony was unspeakable and almost unendurable, our local physicians did the best on me they could, but I got no relief, and was told nothing but death would end my suffering. I prayed for that, but found out a man could not die when he wanted to. In my extremity I applied to Dr. Showerman, of Rome, and was told at once that my case was curable. He commenced treating me, and now I rejoice in comparative health, and Dr. Showerman did it. I will answer any letters from sufferers like me gladly,

   Hamilton, Jan. 9th, '95. J. F. Howe

Weakness of Men.

   Quickly, thoroughly and forever cured by a new and perfected scientific method which never fails unless the case is beyond human aid. You feel improved from the start and soon know yourself a king among men in body and mind. Ladies who have lost their vigor and vitality restored to perfect health.
   CONSULTATION FREE.  If you have been given up as incurable don't despair, but see Dr. Showerman and get his opinion. Advise your invalid friends to see the Doctor. Remember the day and date. Dr. Showerman is at his office in Rome every Saturday.

                                                                 A Card.

   Reader, can you imagine how it would be to receive a pardon from a death sentence? This is how I felt when Dr. Showerman pronounced me cured of sugar diabetes after other physicians said there was no help for me, and I must die. I feel as though Dr. Showerman had pulled me out of the grave.

108 Groton-ave.,
Cortland, N. Y.

   The doctor will be at the Cortland House, July 8, Ithaca, July 7.

1) History of Herkimer County by George Anson  Hardin: J. M. Showerman, born at Batavia, N. Y., residence Batavia ; College of Physicians and Surgeons of Buffalo, February 22, 1882. Registered April 29, 1889.”

Thursday, August 29, 2013



Far up Mt. Toppin's shingly side,
O'er mossy rocks and brakes and fern,
And neath long branches swaying wide
Back to the vale again I turn;
Adown the dizzy sloping height
And far away beyond the plain,
O'er winding stream and lakelet bright,
Mine eyes retrace my steps again.

‘Tis in the morn of springtime bright
And vale and hill are waving green
And dimmest distance bounds the sight
Till fades in blue the melting scene;
And swimming vision knows no rest
Except against the arching sky,
Or pauses on the mountain crest
To note the misty clouds go by.

'Tis here from boyhood's days I've viewed
Tioughnioga's stream and plain,
The rugged path o'er rocks pursued
And climbed the gentler slopes again;
And as the distance far I view,
So back through hazy years I dwell
And fain recall the old and new
Of all the scenes I’ve loved so well.

And what of those who gave the name
To this long trail of vale and wood;
Who searched the glades for fleeing game
Or pausing by their campfires stood;
Who careless roved so wild and free
Amid the mighty monarch shades,
And recked not that those shades might be
But mold'ring shrouds above their heads.

For now they sleep, and forest, wood,
And fleetest limb alike lie low,
And not one brave there comes to brood
Beside Tioughnioga's flow;
And meadows green and fields of corn
And gem like lakes and winding stream
Are tranquil as the summer morn
While pensively I pause to dream.

I dream of boyhood's time—nay more,
My thoughts go back beyond the day
Of those I knew to those before,
The fathers that had passed away;
The tales beside ancestral fires
That I have heard come back again,
While in the group the aged sires
Recounted all their toils and pain.

O'er rugged roads amid the wild,
Through summer's heat or winter's chill,
Came husband, wife and baby child.
And wandering on o'er vale and hill
Came boy and girl, the oxen, cart,
And weary kine, and bleating sheep,
And jaded horse, new life to start
In cabin home by waters deep.

Then came the crash and rose the smoke
Of forests falling here and there,
And rang the axeman's sturdy stroke
Till many a field lay brown and bare.
And many a low but cheery cot
Was reared along the opening plain,
And many a stubborn, uncouth plot
Was made to yield its store of grain.

And hamlets grew, and household fires
Gleamed through the shady depths of night,
And circling hearths of brawny sires
And mothers true and wee ones bright
All nestled where the fleeing wood
Fell back to let the sunlight down,
That every cot might rear its brood
Of children, laughing, ruddy, blown.

And winter's eve, with sifting snow
And howling wolf on mountain far,
And hooting owl and meanings low
Of tempest shrouding moon and star,
Staid not the hardy pioneers
Who gathered oft in hearty glee
And had for night or cold no fears
Where hearts were warm and friendship free.

They gathered in some rough hewn pile
Of logs and clay and sticks and stone,
With festive cheer to greet the while
And make their joys and sorrows known.
Huge, blazing logs from hearthstone wide
Flashed gaily o'er the grateful scene,
O'er lad and lass in youthful pride
And sturdy sire with sober mien.

The thrifty housewife plied with care
Her far-fetched skill of those old days,
And baked the crispy corncake rare
And swung the sparerib in the blaze.
E'en faithful dog and purring cat
Were happy in that firelit home,
Where hearty cheer and merry chat
In spite of chilling blast had come.

And when the merry round was done.
The meal and dance and rustic play,
The storm again took back its own
Through dreary woods to fight their way;
The men with shirts of madder red
And women with their flannel frocks then
All jumped aboard the old wood sled
And homeward rode behind the oxen.

And thus, with joys and hardships blent,
They builded well for future years,
And toiled right on with hearts content
And took their meed with hopes and fears.
Their work is done; upon the shore
Beyond the mist-bound river turning.
Say, would they fain look back once more,
Back to this land of their sojourning?

But sunken mounds and mossy stones
Are sole reminders of the past;
A century's forgotten ones
Lie strown like leaves before the blast.
And o'er the wide, once woody vale,
Behold the bustling towns arise,
And, sped along on iron rail.
The mighty steam horse snorts and flies.

Where once, high in its whizzing flight,
For death the feathered arrow wrought,
There speed on trembling wires all bright
The lightning-winged shafts of thought.
Thus, fairest landscape that I know,
From Toppin's rocks do I look down—
Down on Tioughnioga's flow,
On lake and wood and field and town.

Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, June 19, 1896.

Editor's note:
   Punctuation may not be 100% accurate due to newsprint irregularities. Horace Hiscock lived from 1828 to1904. His wife's name was Kate. Mt. Toppin is a Preble landmark visible from I-81. The west branch of the Tioughnioga River flows south at Preble. Mr. Hiscock's poem memorializes Native Americans and early European pioneers and settlers who made a home in Cortland County.
Horace Hiscock obituary:

Bicycle Brevities

Cortland Evening Standard, Monday, July 13, 1896.
There is a tyrant and his name is Mud;
He stops the moving wheel;
And costly labor with a dull, hard thud
Goes down beneath his heel.
   Why can't a strip of Main-st be left dry for wheelmen? The town authorities keep the pavement (?) in as bad shape as they know how, without sending sprinkling carts to convert it into mud pie. If such things happened in an enterprising western town, the wheelmen would start a needed reform with a little necktie party.
The father pays his land tax and
His school tax with a frown,
      But he smiles and pays his mud tax
Every time he drives to town.
   Loyal bicycles are built to ride.
   A novice may be trapped or inveigled into buying a low grade bicycle but if he is fooled a second time he should consult a specialist on mental phenomena.—Ex.
   Cortland novices can save nothing by buying low grade wheels, when they can obtain a "Loyal" built at home and thoroughly guaranteed. New York society has frowned upon
bloomers, and says they must go. The opera and party dress yet remains at low-water mark and endeavors to wear the mask of modesty.
   Talking about low water marks, the price of Loyal wheels is there at the present moment. They are being sold as low as first class wheels can be built and guaranteed.
   Cortland people are given the benefit of bottom wholesale prices on a wheel which is thoroughly first-class and guaranteed in all respects. In case of accidents, the factory is here, and broken parts can be quickly replaced.
   Our new price-list goes into effect today and will be strictly adhered to.
   Henceforth our motto will be, "Standard Goods, Standard Prices, Standard Terms to All."
Cortland, N. Y.
Appeared to be Poisoned.
   On Saturday afternoon, Gracie, the three-year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. F. Hoar, living on Sand-st., drank two ounces of a patent cough medicine.
Symptoms of violent poisoning soon developed. Dr. Edson was called and found symptoms of poisoning by morphine and Cannabis Indica. After several hours hard work, ably assisted by kind neighbors and the administration of physiological antidotes the little girl was saved.
Fire at Marathon.
   The large plant of the Adams Manufacturing company at Marathon was burned to the ground Saturday. The fire was discovered late is the afternoon and before the department arrived It had gained such headway as to lie beyond control. The company was engaged in the manufacture of blackboards. The value of the plant was estimated at about $5,000. It was insured for $3,500.

Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, July 14, 1896.


Streets Are Too Muddy—Will Occur Friday Night.

   The streets are considered too muddy for the great cycle parade which was scheduled for to-night, and it has been postponed to Friday night. The band concert and the ice cream festival on the C. A. A. grounds will also go over. The committee in charge propose to take advantage of the delay to make the event Friday night even more attractive than was first planned. Further particulars will be given later.





Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Cortland Evening Standard, Monday, July 6, 1896.



Rain Prevented Some of the Sports —Excellent Firemen's Parade — Great Fusiliers—Fine Exhibition of Loyal Bicycles.

   The Fourth of July or a circus will either one of them draw together a crowd regardless of what there is to be seen. The crowd was certainly in Cortland on Saturday and enjoyed all that was going on, though the rain prevented the completion of the sports. The small boy and his older brother made night as hideous as usual during the period of darkness preceding the dawning of the Fourth. Bells were rung, whistles blown, fire crackers of all sizes exploded and bonfires were lighted.

   When the morning came at an early hour all roads leading into town began to fill with teams and with pedestrians and before 10 o'clock one would think it was Barnum's circus day.

   The firemen's parade was started at 10:45 A. M. and made one of the finest displays of its kind ever seen in Cortland. It was probably not excelled by anything here since the days of the state convention in 1888. The procession was in three divisions, the first forming on Court-st., the second on Railroad-st. and the third on Groton-ave. The line of march was as previously announced and the column was made up as follows:


   Police force 7 men; board of engineers 12; Dryden cornet band 16 pieces; Neptune hose of Dryden 17 men; Water Witch Steamer and Hose 28 men; C. W. Conger hose of Groton 20 men; Tempest hose of Homer 16 men; Emerald hose 23 men.


   Cortland Drum Corps, 6 pieces; Tioughnioga hose of Homer, 17 men; Hitchcock hose, 28 men: Protective police, 24 men.


   Cortland City band, 16 pieces; Triumph hose of Homer, 16 men; Orris hose, 27 men: Orient Hook and Ladder Co. of Homer, 15 men; Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co., 31 men.

Board of trustees.

   After the parade which closed on Church-st. the board of village trustees alighted and reviewed the Cortland department. The village fathers expressed themselves as well satisfied in every respect with the appearance of the department. President Benton said it was a department in which any place could well take pride and he was proud of our firemen. Complimentary words for the visitors were also heard on every side.

   The first event of the afternoon was the fusilier parade which was one of the best ever seen in Cortland. The parade was full of amusing and laughable features and pleased everyone. The makeups and paintings were the work of Messrs. B. D. Hakes and J. J. Murphy.

   Just in advance of the fusiliers there was a parade of Loyal bicycles built by the Wesson-Nivison Mfg. Co. This company was headed by Messrs. Wesson and Nivision themselves. Forty-three wheels were in the line. All the riders wore white sweaters and white caps and the word "Loyal" in blue letters appeared on their breasts. Fourteen of the riders drew a light truck wagon which was handsomely decorated and upon which were samples of the products of this company. Mr. Wesson's two small boys, dressed like the others sat upon the truck. The effect was very pretty indeed and the whole company was highly complimented.

   A number of the business men had floats in the parade advertising their respective lines of business.

   After the fusilier parade the hose races occurred on Church-st. The 200-yard hose race was won by Orris hose in 33 seconds, the time of the Emeralds being 34 1/2 sec. The Orris and Emeralds were the only companies starting in the hub and tub race [tubs on wheels; also known as hub, tub and pub race--ed.] which was won by the former by 4 feet in 28 seconds.

   The 100-yard hook and ladder races resulted in a victory for the Orients of Homer, their time being 27 seconds and that of the Excelsiors of Cortland being 34 seconds.

   Rain interfered with the further sports and so the bicycle and fat men's races were not started. [text highlighted--ed.]

   An immense crowd assembled at the corner of Church and Court-sts. in the evening to witness the fireworks which were of a high order and presented a very pleasing sight.

   After the firemen's parade in the morning on Church-st. Excelsior Hook and Ladder company gave a very creditable exhibition of running from Clinton-ave. to Port Watson-st., erecting a ladder and having a man on top of it in remarkably quick time.

   The crowd Saturday was a very orderly one and the police did very efficient service keeping everything orderly.