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Original Text and Graphics Copyright 2015 by David Griffin,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Busy Corner III

Above, looking across Busy Corner west on Lafayette Street.  The cars indicate late teens or early 1920s.  The Utica Trust is on the far left corner (southwest).  It replaced the white mansard roofed building seen in many earlier photos and was torn down in 1938.

Below, I guess when Woolworth's moved into the old Fraser store, they simply painted their sign over Frasers high on the North Wall.  See both photos below.

From the Oneida County Historical Society

DOWNTOWN UTICA IN 1941 -- This photo (above) was taken on Oct. 2, 1941 - just two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and Americas entry into World War II. It was taken from Franklin Square, looking past the Busy Corner and south along the east side of Genesee Street. 

The dark-colored building on the left was the Oneida National Bank & Trust Co. and the light-colored building next to it was Daws drug store. Across Bleecker Street on the corner was Wagners jewelers and opticians. Then, proceeding south along Genesee, were: Macks cut-rate drug store, the Gilbert Shops womens apparel, Doyle-Knower womens apparel, Woolworths five and dime, Attie Jacques linen and baby wear, Daniels Jewelers and the 14-story First National Bank Building with Kresges five and dime on the ground floor. 

On the right - at the southern tip of Franklin Square to Lafayette Street - were: The Ritz Apparel, Fanny Farmer Candy Shop and A. S. Schulte cigar store. Uticas mayor was Vincent R. Corrou. Its population was 100,518 and its 200 plus manufacturers employed 23,415 men and 12,265 women. Its principal manufactured products included: knit goods, heating equipment, rayon yarn, sheets and pillow cases, bed and bed springs, rifles and machine guns, nippers and pliers, sheet metal stampings, sprayers, air compressors, paper products, fishing rods and tackle and mufflers.

I don't know the occasion, but here's Ed Whittaker from WKTV in his clown character.  Probably a substitute for Santa Claus arriving by Inter Continental Ballistic Missile or parachuting down into the crowd.

1950 Lunch Counter Menu

Above, Uticans celebrate VJ day, the end of the war with Japan.

Below is a familiar place for some of us in the 1950's, the Woolworth's Record Department, just up from the Busy Corner.  Woolworths had the music we enjoyed listening to on what at the time was the local "kid's music station,"  WTLB.   Also selling records as well as instruments was the Melody House on (I think) Deveraux Street.  And probably the oldest music store in town was Worden's in the Stanley Theater block.  Earl B. Worden ran the store for many years and sold pianos and mostly Broadway and clasiical music.  He sold the store to Boyd E. Golder Jr. (the middle aged son of former Utica Mayor Boyd E. Golder) and Ray Humann (Thanks to J.F. Weber.)  I worked part time for the two men in the store from 1961 - 62 while in college.  Boyd and Ray changed the business very little, except to add a profitable line of furniture-style console stereos that I remember sold very well. 

Hope you've enjoyed the photos and postcards.  Once again, I am in debt to those who took the photos.  And to those who believe they have an exclusive right to them, my apologies. 

Now, we'll take a couple of side trips. First east on Bleecker Street and then west on Lafayette Street.