The following article is based on an interview with Bill Abrams of Arietta, by Annie Weaver. The pictures included in this article are all from the "Sesquicentennial of the Town of Arietta Hamilton County, New York," by the Historical Book Committee, privately printed, 1986. Permission to post the photos was graciously granted by Roberta Abrams, wife of Bill and a member of the committee.
Bill Abrams was brought up in the Town of Arietta. He is the son of Floyd David Abrams who was a contractor and house builder. His father built the house Bill lives in now.
Bill remembers many of the businesses and other buildings that were around when he was just a lad. He had a lot to say about his grandfather's businesses. William B. Abrams owned what is now Ford Trailer Park. On this land William B. had the Sawdust Dance Hall, a merry-go-round, refreshment stand, baseball field, trap house (to shoot clay pigeons), several cabins to rent, a large tent area, a beach and a lighted picnic area. Bill can remember many a time he went swimming at his Grandfather's beach. His grandfather also owned all of Vly Lake and had a hunting camp there which has had a few owners including John Knox. New York State now owns all around Vly Lake. Besides these businesses William B. also owned a sawmill on Cold Stream and icehouses that he filled with ice from the Piseco Lake during the winter.
The William and Charlotte Abrams Dunham Store was in a big house and they sold groceries and had the local post office there. The store was located between the Airport Road and Wight Road. Across from the store was Bill's Uncle George Abrams home. Both buildings burned down. The Town of Arietta, which eventually destroyed the buildings, acquired the Dunham residence and farm. The area is now the site of the Piseco Airport.
On the corner of the Airport Road, Len Anibal had a clothing store. Up the main street David Judway owned a large home. Ricky Wilt now owns this home. Beside this home Peter and Lena Judway owned a home. Across the street was the Courtney Hotel, which has been run by Len Anibal, Bill Lamkey and many others.
Haskells Hotel was further up the road and eventually burned. Now Bill and Gene Haskells Winters have their home in the same spot. Haskells' Hotel has been run by Truman Lawrence, Len Anibal and then by George and Helen Haskell.
Bill can remember going to school in the one room schoolhouse on Haskells Road. He was there through the eighth grade. Ninth grade was spent at the Lake Pleasant School, tenth grade at the Wells Central School and he spent eleventh and twelfth grade in Ithaca living with his uncle and aunt. At the Haskell School, Bill can remember teachers like Miss Page, Mary Donahue, Evelyn Hines who married Robert Lawrence, Miss Ferrell from Long Lake, NY and one of his last teachers, Miss Croshaw. Bill could remember that Miss Croshaw was from the country of Poland.
What a wonderful area to spend a your life as a child!