Saturday, July 21, 2007


49 degrees!

But - finally! - the rain has stopped and, after a chilly start to Field Days, today's forecast is great!

That's good news, too, for those attending their twentieth highschool Reunion or for those who are going to a special wedding, today.

  • Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny. Nice! High: 76, Low: 51
  • Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. Still nice. High: 79, Low: 55


Driving up Post Street from Franklin Springs, yesterday, I passed field after field of tasseled corn: it's Summer!

On the other hand - Rose Hips on bushes along Frog Park Road are already turning red: they're rushing the season, I think.

In country woods and flowerbeds, too, Beebalm blooms. Sometimes called Bergomot (because it smells somewhat like a Bergomot Orange) or "Oswego Tea," early colonists, taking a cue from Native Americans, drank a hot beverage made from the leaves of this plant in protest to the British tax on tea!


Softball Tournament starts at 8:00 a.m.
Midway opens at noon
Firemen’s Parade starts at 6:00 p.m.
Huge Fireworks display at dust – courtesy of Zielinski’s Equipment Rental.
Music by “stage Road” – 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.


Friday, July 20, 2007


It's 60 degrees; not raininng - at the moment!

  • Friday: Mainly cloudy with scattered showers or drizzle. Cool and less humid. High around 70.
  • Friday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of a few showers. Low in the low 50s.
  • Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds with a handful of showers possible across the region. High: 76, Low: 51

It was a gray day, yesterday, but these Tower Street doorway decorations looked bright despite rain.

And it did rain - ALOT. The only creaures that I saw who seemed to be enjoying it were these exotic-looking ducks at Slade's Bird World, West of Sangerfield.

More on the Milk Plant! Waterville Fire Department Historian, Lou Langone, arrived at my home yesterday morning with a copy of a newspaper clipping in hand: he knew it existed and he knew just where to find it!!! Thank You, Louie!

The Waterville Times, August 1945.

The Borden Milk Receiving Plant, located on Osborne Avnue, valued at $30,000 was almost completely destroyed by fire early Saturday morning. The fire, which started on the side of the plant facing the D. L. & W. Railroad, was believed to have caught from sparks from a train during the night. When discovered about 5:50 a.m. by Roy Hill, an employee of the plant on his way to work, and Lynn Williams, a nearby neighbor, the fire had gained such headway that it was impossible to prevent the destruction of the building. It is believed, however, that machinery was not badly damaged. The local plant received approximately 150 cans of milk per day from dairymen in this area, Henry Gardner, plant manager, said. ....... The Oriskany Falls and Deansboro Fire Companies assisted the local department in protecting the nearby buildings, which include the White Street Bowling Center and a large coal shed and store.

I'd hoped that the article - when found - would indicate when the structure had been built or when the Borden Company had come to town - no such luck. Nor was there any reference to "Borden" or "milk" in the index cards of The Waterville Times microfilm in the Library. Of course indexing has only been completed through 1890, and all of that was done by the late Steven Gates back in the 1970's and 80's. There's plenty of work waiting for someone - or some organization! A great deal has been written about Gail Borden, the inventor of "condensed milk": here's an article from The Smithsonian Magazine.

(Click to enlarge.)

The "carnies," setting up rides at Firemen's Field, must be used to this: the plan is - of course - to have it rain all week and clear just before 6:00 on Friday evening!

Oneida County Convention
Waterville Firemen’s Field Days

Friday, July 20th

Midway Opens at 6:30 p.m.
Kiddie Parade at 6:30 p.m.
Music by “Phat Alice” 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 21

Softball Tournament starts at 8:00 a.m.
Midway opens at noon
Firemen’s Parade starts at 6:00 p.m.
Huge Fireworks display at dust – courtesy of Zielinski’s Equipment Rental.
Music by “stage Road” – 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Sunday, July 22

Softball Tournament continues 8:00 a.m.
Chicken BBQ – noon ‘til gone
Ride Special - noon – 4:00 All You can Ride $10.00
Music by “Good Ole Boy” from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Music by “G.J. the DJ” 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Advance Sale Ride Tickets on sale at Belfield Insurance.


Harry Potter fans are invited to celebrate the release of the final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," at a Midnight Magic Party beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4811 Commercial Drive. Come as you are or dressed as your favorite Harry Potter character.
The book, the seventh and final installment in the tale of the boy wizard, goes on sale at midnight.

(My copy should arrive in the mail tomorrow. If there aren't any blog posts for a day or two, that'll be why!)


Thursday, July 19, 2007


Garbage Day!

It's 60 degrees; not raining.

  • Thursday Morning: Areas of fog, yielding to a mix of sun and clouds. Warm and humid with temperatures warming to near 80 by Noon.
  • Thursday Afternoon: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some could be strong with heavy rainfall. Temperatures falling back into the 70s after highs in the low to mid 80s.
  • Thursday Night: Showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain likely. Heavy rain will taper to showers before sunrise. Low in the low 60s.
  • Friday: Mainly cloudy with a few morning showers or rumbles of thunder. Cooler and turning less humid. High: 71, Low: 53
(This looks just about like he last two days!)

But here's the forecast we're interested in:

"Field Days" are coming!

By yesterday morning, a dozen or more vehicles and conveyances made a circle around Firemen's Field and a couple of rides were all set up - just waiting for Friday evening.

There's a full schedule of events in this week's issue of The Waterville Times.


News of this (below) and excitement spread fast, and there was "gridlock" up North of Paris Green at Savicki's ....

...... where a small sign that read "SWEET CORN" was a magnet to motorists.

(And the corn was GOOD!)


Coming back through Hanover, I stopped to say "hello" to a watercolorist who was standing in the old cemetery looking towards my Summertime favorite view: the Zweifel Farm. Diane Hadfield is a student in a MWPAI Workshop taught by Annette Gurdo, of Waterville, a full-time member of the faculty at the Art Institute.


On yet another country road I stopped to admire a field of grain - I still can't tell them all apart - but frowned, instead: what IS this? Not a beautiful sight, after all.


This house at 128 Osborn Avenue is looking better and better!


WKTV has a website sory about a story in the August issue of the Reader's Digest which spotlights Utica as the "Second Chance City".


And that's what the Yankees are looking for!

Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday morning

It's Recyclables Day!

It's 62 degrees and wet!

No one will need to water plants or lawns - or trees! - today: that's been going on since before ten o'clock last night!

  • Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Otherwise, a mix of clouds and a little sun. More humid. High near 80.
  • Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a few showers possible. Low in the mid 60s.
  • Thursday: Sun and clouds, warm and humid. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms likely. High: 81, Low: 61

A small item on WKTV NewsChannel 2 re: roadwork in Utica:

Summer construction continues to "heat" up. Plant Street, Lafayette Street, Deveroux Street, and Genesee Street will be paved over the next few days.
Crews ask drivers to use alternative routes while the construction work is being done. There is no word on when it will be complete.


The Borden Milk Plant

Thanks to three blog-readers, now we know when the Borden Company closed the milk plant.

Pauline Barnes was the first to answer:
"I cannot give you exact date the plant closed, but know it was operating in the early 40's. We bought the farm on White Street, Oct.1940. I remember getting very very sick from eating cold steamed clams at a cook out Stillman Dunster, the manager, put on for the farmers.
Roy Corbin was one of the employees. I think closed sometime early 40's.

Also, my husband, Ken worked at Bissell's store and delivered groceries to Sanger Mansion - occupied in the summer. Mrs. Sanger always tipped him $1.00. That looked good to us those days."

Hank Gardner, who lives in Virginia, wrote:
"My father, Henry D. Gardner, was the last superintendent. A fire destroyed the building in 1944 or 45. I am not sure of the year because I was overseas in the Navy.
The Borden company never rebuilt. There was another plant built on the site, but I don't know what company or cooperative ran that one.

I do not know when the Borden plant was constructed. I do know that at one time, prior to 1930, it was a processing plant. When we moved there in January 1933 the milk was brought in by farmers, visually checked, weighed, butterfat measured (I think weekly), cooled to a consistent temperature and then shipped, via rail, to near New York City for processing.
In the postcard picture the large section on the left side was one of two ice houses.
There were two artificial ponds behind the building. In the winter one was filled with water to provide for ice. Local men were employed to cut and store the ice. That process ended sometime during the late thirties when an ice making machine was installed. Later the icehouses were taken down and the wood sold.
That is according to my memory."

And Gary Tuttle added:

"I asked Lynn Williams at coffee break this morning when the plant closed. He said it burned down in 1945 or 1946. He also said that there was a log cabin where Marge Wilson lives that the plant manager used to stay in during the summer. Lynn said he has lived on Osborne Ave. all his life."

Writer's note: Mr. Williams is married to Mr. Gardner's sister!

And Thank You, All! This really is turning out to be a great way to collect and share history!


It's Butterfly Weed! (Asclepia tuberosa.)

Blooming in a hay field south of Waterville!

And another clump, west of the village!

Butterfly Weed isn't really that "rare," but it's very unusual to see it around this part of New York State. It grows in very sandy or gravelly soil and its roots go "all the way to China."

(Click for full pleasure!)

If you like it, you can purchase plants for your gardens at local garden centers or online.


Equally bright "Trumpet Vine" blooming on Madison Street.


(Click to enlarge.)

From Brothertown Road, just a bit North of Route 20, this is the view to the West: a dozen new towers - part of the "Munnsville Wind Farm."

Everyone seems to be wondering what's going on atop Sanger Hill - I don't know!


-- and No: I don't know if this is acceptable or not, but it was noticed by several people, yesterday afternoon, who thought that the brick pavers weren't meant to be a parkinglot.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday morning

Green Waste Day

It's 53 degrees, and WKTV predicts:

  • Tuesday: A mix of sun and clouds. Slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon. High in the low 80s.
  • Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms late. Low near 60.
  • Wednesday: Sun and clouds with afternoon showers and thunderstorms. High: 80, Low: 62



It may not look like anything but a Summer Scene, right now, but if you stop and look closely at this area West of Beaver Creek Road next to Route 20 you'll see that there's been quite a little digging going on and that there are mounds of earth here and there and holes where the soil used to be. If I said "Golf Course" would that explain it? As soon as I can get in touch with property-owner Tim Bartlett I'll tell you more!

Second Cutting, on Osborn Avenue.

Hollyhocks and Friends at Spring Farm Cares, north of Paris.

On Route 12 B .........

....... North of Deansboro.


This picture postcard of the Borden Milk Plant on Osborn Avenue was purchased, recently, by a collector in Muncie, Indiana. He's written to ask the history of the plant and I've been sadly lacking in any firm dates. Are there any readers who can remember when the plant closed? Both he and I would appreciate knowing!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday morning

It's Garbage Day!

It's just about 50 degrees; good sleeping weather!

  • Monday: Partly/mostly sunny. High 78
  • Monday night: Mostly clear. Low 59
The 7-Day Outlook from WKTV.


Village Board Meeting this evening at 7:00
at Municipal Hall.

(Will a date be set
for the demolition of the old mill?)


"Seventeen members of Boy Scout Troop 108 just returned from another super week in Long Lake at the Cedarlands Scout Reservation. They even managed to win, for the second year in a row, the McRorie Honor Troop award! They are the only troop to win it twice in a row."

Photo and description sent in by Kristin Strohmeyer.


Another piece of mail has alerted me to something NEW that's coming to Sangerfield! I'll take some photos of the site, today, and explain it to you!


Queen Anne's Lace

Everywhere, now, this beauty is blooming. Queen Anne's Lace is said to have been named for Queen Anne of England who, although an expert lace-maker, pricked her finger while doing so and left a tiny drop of blood on her handiwork.


In low rows along roadways, dense borders of Camomile, the dried flowers of which have been used for centuries to treat all manner of ailments.

I just put them in little bouquets!


Have as great day!