Village Clerk’s office will be closing at 12:00 pm on Tuesday 6/18/2024 and will reopen at 9:00 am on Wednesday 6/19/2024

News

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2023

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Heat Pump Benefits

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Delhi Community Clean-Up Day

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Saturday, May 11, 10am. Meet at Hoyt Park. (Rain date: Sunday, May 19.)

Newsletter Sign up

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The Village of Delhi has started a newsletter email list.  Newsletter emails will include emergency notices, events, notifications and more.  If you would like to sign up to receive these emails please email Pam at clerk@villageofdelhi.com.  If you receive your water/sewer bill by email you have already been signed up.

Street Cleaning

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The Delhi Fire Department will be cleaning/washing the sidewalks in the business district of Main Street in the Village of Delhi this evening, April 23 beginning at 6:00 pm. Please be aware of the activities and personnel in the area as the cleaning takes place.

Stories from the Village Historian: The Life of Delhi's Edgerton House Hotel

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The grand pillared Edgerton House Hotel once stood on Main Street in Delhi, taking up the lot next door to what we now know as Stewart's Department store. Built from 1845-47 on the site of an earlier tavern, E.H. Edgerton's popular hotel enjoyed a long and interesting life, changing hands numerous times while continuing to be a mainstay of the village's history. 

Besides being a lodging and dining place, the Edgerton housed other businesses within its walls. In the September 1859 issue of the Delaware Gazette newspaper, A. Walker advertised his barber shop which was operated in the hotel.

After standing for nearly 20 years, ownership of the Edgerton fell to Daniel O'Donnell in February of 1864. O'Donnell obtained a tavern license in May of the following year. At some point, H.L. Marsh became owner of the hotel but sold it to John H. McDonald for $20,000---including the furniture---in December of 1871. Six years later, C.B. Griffis who owned the Hancock House in Hancock purchased the Edgerton, installing gas lines in October of 1882. The hotel remained in the family when Griffis' son, Fred G. Griffis purchased it from his father in 1888. Fred was no stranger to the business, having grown up assisting his father with operations. In 1892, Fred leased the house and farm on Cherry Hill that was known by the same name as the hotel. On the one hundred and seventy acres of land, he kept a large number of cows, supplying the hotel tables with pure cream, milk and fine butter, while also cultivating the land for vegetables.

In August of 1891, Marshall Arbuckle bought the hotel from Griffis for less than McDonald had spent years earlier--for $16,000. Arbuckle's proprietorship kept the  Edgerton as a popular establishment for several years. It was reported in the Gazette: "Mr. Arbuckle has conducted this popular hostelry for several years and has kept its well established reputation fully up to its high standard. Recently, its register was filled, showing that a book of 400 pages at an average of 25 per page had been filled since May 15, 1900. This for fourteen and one half months makes a total of nearly 10,000 people who have in that period registered as guests of the house. The  many patrons will be glad to know that Mr. and Mrs. Arbuckle are to become permanently identified with the property that they have so successfully conducted." 

The Arbuckles were probably less than thrilled when a coroner was called to the Edgerton on October 1, 1919 to investigate the death of John Jefsen, an "agent" found dead in bed. After an inquest and autopsy were conducted, the death was found to be due to "acute indigestion." No record was made of what Jefsen had for dinner or where he dined.

The glowing words of the Gazette writer saw Arbuckle giving up the notoriety of being such a successful owner-operator in November of 1920, when he gave up the reins to H.W. Palmer of Nova Scotia.   Palmer's tenure as owner of the Edgerton was apparently less shining than that of Arbuckle's as the hotel fell into bankruptcy a short time later and was sold in December of 1921. L.D. Whitlock bought the Edgerton which had about $15,000 in claims against it. Perhaps in hopes that the bankruptcy tainted the Edgerton name, Whitlock renamed the hotel to, not surprisingly, the Whitlock Inn. For reasons that are not clear, in March of 1922, Whitlock oversaw the removal of the massive stone pillars of the hotel-now-inn.  The Gazette did not report how this move affected the structural integrity of aesthetics of the building. Also at this time, the horse stalls in the rear of the building were removed in order to make room for 20 cars.

After all those significant changes, Whitlock sold the inn to a Mr. Holmes of Middleburgh in September of 1922; Holmes changed the name back to the Edgerton House the following month. Holmes' tenure lasted only until July of 1924 when the Gazette reported the sale of the hotel to "James Aristo of Nyack---an Italian." A mere month later, Aristo had carpenters C.H. Thomson and Douglas Hume build an addition to the rear of the Edgerton House Annex, "now occupied by E. R. Brown and family."

The Edgerton saw another sad chapter, this time a foreclosure, when W.N. Mable and A.F. Curtis purchased it on July 28, 1928 following a foreclosure sale.

But the saddest chapter for this once landmark establishment occurred a few short months later just before Christmas on  December 22 when the Edgerton met its demise and demolition began, with completion of that act to happen by March 1.

In January of 1929, the Russell Archibald Company sold the Edgerton House barn to Nelson L. Miller of Elk Creek. The building was described as being 120' by 40' and two and a half stories high. The attached shed was sold to W.T. Aiken. Nothing further of these two structures was mentioned in the Gazette, but in April of 1929, "R.L. Gray & Son started to erect a gas station on the property of the demolished Edgerton House."

Cloudy Water Notice

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Work is being done at the plaza for their fire suppression system, necessitating opening the hydrants there for a brief time. This will likely cause some disturbance in the water system and potentially cause some dirtiness in the Village’s water system. If you find the water coming from your faucets to be a bit cloudy, just let the tap run until the water flows clear. The plaza has let us know this should occur around noon today (Monday 4/15/2024).

Message from Mayor Jeff Gearhart

Boil Water Notice Lifted

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The boil water notice has been lifted for the Village of Delhi streets: Crestwood Dr, Cuddeback Ave, Delview Terrace, Delview Terrace Ext, Edgerton St, Upper Franklin St, Meredith St, Phoebe Lane, Prospect St and Spruce St. Please follow the Department of Health’s instructions for after the boil water event. Please call the Village Clerk’s office with any questions at (607) 746-2258.

Run From Hunger

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Boil Water Notice

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Due to a water main break, a boil water notice has been issued, until further notice, by the Village of Delhi for the following streets: Crestwood Dr, Cuddeback Ave, Delview Terrace, Delview Terrace Ext, Franklin St, Meredith St, Phoebe Lane and Prospect St.

2:30 pm Street Update: Crestwood Dr, Cuddeback Ave, Delview Terrace, Delview Terrace Ext, Edgerton St, Upper Franklin St, Meredith St, Phoebe Lane, Prospect St and Spruce St. 

Please call the Village Clerk’s office with any questions at (607) 746-2258.

Community Solar Presentations Cancelled

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The Community Solar Presentations planned for Wednesday and Thursday are being cancelled due to anticipated severe weather conditions. We'll inform everyone about the rescheduled event dates as soon as they are determined.

Village Seeking Bids: Contractor to Perform Lawn Mowing Services

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The Village of Delhi is seeking bids for a contractor to perform lawn mowing services for delinquent property owners in the Village of Delhi on a monthly basis as determined by the Village. MUST be insured. Bids should be received in the Clerk’s office by April 8, 2024 by noon. For more information or to submit proposals and estimates, please contact the Village of Delhi, PO Box 328, Delhi, NY 13753, (607) 746-2258. The Village accepts the right to reject any and all bids.

Stories from the Village Historian: Explosion Felt In Delhi

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On February 14, 1974, a blast was felt in Delhi from miles away in Oneonta in the evening, as the Delaware and Hudson railroad experienced a massive disaster. At about 5 p.m., seven of eight 100-ton propane gas tankers derailed about a mile southeast of Colliersville, over 20 miles from Delhi. The delayed explosion that occurred following the derailment unfortunately gave officials, responders and bystanders time to arrive at the scene, hence 56 people were injured as the explosion had not been anticipated.

The resulting blast was felt as far away as Margaretville. Injured included firefighters, D&H employees, news people and bystanders. The disaster that was felt in Delhi was described as "a mild blast of air and muffled sonic repercussions" with buildings actually trembling.

Shade Tree Commission

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The village is seeking residents interested in joining the Shade Tree Commission. We aim to update our current plan, which has become outdated. The committee will also propose tree planting strategies for different areas within the village and establish guidelines for memorial or donation plantings.

For more information and to join the Shade Tree Commission, contact Mayor Gearhart at the (607) 746-9882

Stories from the Village Historian: Smalley Theatre

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In 2012, folks were treated to a fascinating presentation on the lost Smalley's Theatre which used to stand on Kingston Street. Presented by the Delhi Historical Society, "Mick" McGrade of Delhi presented memories, photos and old news items on the old theatre as his dad, Larry, had served as manager of the theatre from 1944 to the early '60s and the family accumulated numerous artifacts as well as memories from those years.

Shut down in 1963, the theatre, owned at that time by the Smalley Theatre chain, had a long and colorful history.

"Dad kept the balcony closed up because of what kids would do when they went up there," McGrade said. "They liked to throw stuff down on the people below. And do other things...."

The "air conditioning" consisted of a huge fan, McGrade said, up in the balcony. "You wouldn't want to be in there when it started up. It would blow you over."

Huge film canisters and a plethora of memorabilia filled spaces in the old building.

"The old type of film in those canisters is actually explosive," McGrade advised. "Some of the workers would have fun setting some of it off. Ernie Bird was one of the projectionists and Evelyn Cantwell was a ticket-seller for many years."

Other well-known names from the local area were remembered, some from more recent events related to the old building.

"Buck Wilson fell through the floor some time after the place was closed up. Elsie (Logwin, the last owner) had shut off the heat after she closed it in '63 and that was it for the old place. The floor rotted. Buck fell through and after that, it was condemned. Before that it had been a roller skating rink and an opera house."

McGrade remembered more of the architecture.
"The floor was rebuilt after it was no longer a skating rink, so that it sloped. That's when it became a theatre. There were diamond-shaped windows that you could only see from the inside since the exterior got covered over and you couldn't tell those windows were there from the outside."

Besides the canisters containing potentially explosive film, old movie posters, costumes, toupees and even sets of false teeth were discovered inside the theatre after it closed.

"You never knew what you would find in there. I wish we had saved more of it...." McGrade shook his head sadly as his wife concurred from her seat in the audience.

He told of celebrities who would arrive at the theatre for the openings of films in which they starred.

Some of those celebrities were other-than-human.

"Tom Mix and his horse came here, and Roy Rogers, too. They built a ramp so Tom's horse could go on in. And yes, they signed autographs like crazy and didn't ask for money first like they do nowadays."

Dressing rooms from the theatre's opera house days still held a costume or two.

"Where did the old seats go?? Many of them had names of servicemen written on the backs. Those would have been precious souvenirs," McGrade lamented.

He remembered hearing from his dad of "a lady during the silent movie era who lived on Meredith Street and she played the organ in the opera house. She'd walk from her home on Meredith and walk back after the show."

McGrade said his entire family helped out at the theatre when his dad managed it. "I remember putting up movie posters on the side of a barn going out on Rte. 28 towards Oneonta. Dad did a lot of 'baby-sitting.' People would drop their kids off while they went shopping. Dad was given a hard time when he wanted to show movies on Sundays. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' was likely the last film shown in '63."

The theatre survived a lot before it was condemned, McGrade said. "I remember when the water elevation was about 8 feet high during the flood of '35. But it came through."

Others shared their remembrances of Smalley's Theatre. Sue Pierson, secretary of the Delhi Historical Society and a 1961 graduate of Delaware Academy recalled seeing "The King And I" and sitting in the balcony.

"Four days after giving birth to my youngest, you couldn't keep me away from going to Smalley's to see 'Goldfinger.' I wasn't going to miss that film!"

Pierson remembered the McGrades fondly. "They were always so friendly when you went there to the movies. Such a nice family."

In its heyday, the Smalley Theatre chain included about 22 theatres throughout New York State. Others existed in Cooperstown, Camden, Fort Plain, Hensonville, Johnstown, Norwich, Oxford, St. Johnsville, Cobleskill, Sharon Springs, Sidney, Stamford and Walton. The string of theatres grew from a dream by William C. Smalley who began as a projectionist at an opera house in Danbury, Connecticut. When Smalley passed away in 1952, 12 theatres were still in operation. Gradually they disappeared or were operated by new owners.

Having stood so long, the theatre naturally found itself in headlines as part of its history, and not always happily so. The 1951 obituary of Albert William Dubben, 78, "a prominent business man for many years until his retirement in 1945, notes that Dubben died in the Delhi hospital hours after being struck by a car in front of Smalley's Theatre. Dubben and his wife had been crossing Kingston Street and he was struck by a car driven by Robrt Salton, 18, "a member of the senior class of Delaware Academy."

The Delhi theatre was originally built in 1882 as the Delhi Opera House and was purchased by Smalley in the 1920's. It suffered a sad end in 1990 after having been closed since 1963. The last owner, Elsie Logwin, lived in a house next door while she operated the theatre. She refused to sell to anyone who wanted to restore the unique local landmark, and in 1990, the village trustees of Delhi voted to purchase it. The board considered the structure to be an eyesore too expensive to restore following an engineer's estimate of over $1.1 million, and so opted to demolish it, in spite of a citizens' group that expressed interest in saving it. Demolition began on the morning of November 5, 1990.

Some in the audience noted sadly that Delh's theatre was lost while happily the Walton theatre was not only saved, but is still undergoing restoration. Sidney's is now a pizza place, and Cooperstown's theatre is now a, what else, baseball shop.

Some relics of the Delhi theatre are now at a theatre in Cooperstown, McGrade said.

Spread out on tables in the library were samples from the theatre's heyday. Copies of old ads showed films starring Ginger Rogers and a phone number for the theatre: simply PH.113.

"It's a big shame that it's gone," McGrade stated, echoing the sentiments of most in the audience.

But he added that the Paint & Paper store on Main Street sells reproductions of postcards that had originally been found in their attic and they donate the proceeds of those postcard sales to the Delhi Historical Society.

"That's real nice of them," said McGrade.