Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cooperstown Pursuit #5

By: Kate Betz, Manager of Public Programs
When did the first automobile motor into Cooperstown?

1900? 1904? 1907?

Don’t peek below the picture until you’ve guessed!

1900: Yes, you got it! July 30, 1900 heralded one of the village’s biggest changes as the first automobile drove into Cooperstown. In her 1923 autobiography, 95 year-old resident Charlotte Prentiss Browning remembered, “automobiles opened up a new world to all of us, especially to the young people, with whom touring became instantly popular.”

1904: So close! By 1904, residents were used to the sight of cars roaring down their streets. The Freeman’s Journal reported, “two gentlemen of this village owning fine horses are offering them for sale because of the ‘red devils on wheels’ now so frequently encountered.”

1907: Good guess! Some residents and many travelers were already using cars to navigate in Cooperstown by 1907. During this year, Arthur C. Crist opened Cooperstown’s first public garage on Main Street. The village even proposed a speed limit and gave its first speeding ticket to “Vincent from NYC” for $10.

Cook of Cooperstown advertisement for Cole and Ford Cars, The Freeman’s Journal, March 19, 1913

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