Welcome to Ken Gottry's Web Site
Ken Gottry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
History Last Updated: 03-Jul-2015
Computer Performance Last Updated: 09-Mar-2014
Each year I pick a topic of local history, do some research, and give a preesentation at the Cambridge Historical Society.
This year's topic is The Covered Bridges of Lower Washington County, NY.
The choice was easy. Last summer I was made custodian of a large collection of history related to the
Covered Bridge Advisory Committee of Washington County. The CBAC advises the Dept of Public Works on the restoration
and preservation of covered bridges in the county.
As these photos show, today our covered bridges are a beautiful reminder of our past, but they weren't always so.
Our covered bridges have suffered from wear-n-tear as well as from the onslught of Mother Nature. But thanks to
the dedication and committment of our communities, our covered bridges will be around for another 100 years.
that covers 3 of the 4 covered bridges around Cambridge (Shushan bridge is not covered)
- Buskirk's Bridge
- Rexleigh Bridge
- Eagleville Bridge
Hannah Stevens and Sara Kelly created a business map of the Village of Cambridge
2104 Tour of the Battenkill bicycle race,
America's largest one-day Pro/Am cycling race.
Click on the thumbnail for larger image.
As I walked to the drug store the other day I heard the carillon bells from the UP church (the big white one by the traffic light).
I sat and listened ... and recorded. Click the link above to see (and hear) a little history of the bells. You'll feel right at home.
I even left in the background noise of cars and people passing by. Close your eyes. It's the 1960s. You're standing by Baratto's Popcorn Wagon,
talking to Mike, hitching a ride to the lake, as the bells play in the distance.
Note: I've found that not all browsers have the same support for audio files. When you click the title above, another browser window should
open and the audio should begin to play automatically. Sometimes, the audio control appears and you have to click the PLAY button icon. If
you don't get any sound, try one of these alternate links. Still nothing, and desperate to hear the bells, then email me at
and I'll see what I can do. Be patient as it may take a minute or two for the audio file and controls to load.
On Saturday 26-Apr-2014 I gave a slidehow presentation at the Cambridge Public Library. Many locals
were on hand to add their stories to my slides.
Eagle Bridge was once a thriving metropolis with two hotels, an opera house, and much more. Eagle Bridge
was the junction of the east-west Boston & Maine railroad line and the north-south Delaware & Hudson.
The 1886 D&H railroad map shows Eagle Bridge with equal prominence as Troy, Albany, and Saratoga.
The houses were beautiful and the streets tree-lined. These photos bring that history to life.
In their September 4, 2013 meeting, the Cambridge Village Board announced that the Ackley Building (Legrys
Buildings to old-timers) cannot be repaired and must be demolished. This leaves 3 of the original 6
buildings to celebrate their 130th anniversary next year.
Read some of the
history of the buildings
on the south sid eof West Main
In 1913 the Village of Cambridge paved its Main Street with yellow bricks.
My great grandfather, William L. Hitchcock, was given the task of finishing
a project that floundered through much of the year.
Cambridge began as four small communities each located 3/4 of a mile from the next along our current Main Street.
To the East was Dorr's Corners at the intersection of Gilbert Street (NYS Route 313). Moving westward, you found
North White Creek at the intersection of Park Street (NYS Route 22). Next was Cambridge Corners, at the intersection
of Union Street (the Great Northern Turnpike, built 1799-1804 from Lansingburgh to Granville). Finally at the West
was Stephenson's Corners, later renamed Coila.
Between North White Creek (now called the East End) and Cambridge Corners (now called the West End) was the Cambridge
Swamp formed by the junction of Blair's Brook (now Owl Kill) and Cambridge Creek. For a century and a half, this
swamp formed a political, religious, and economic separation between the two communities. Main Street was impassable
after even the briefest of showers and was a quagmire after heavy snowfalls and early Spring downpours.
Three of the communities (all except Coila) united in April 1866 to form the village of Cambridge. While the incorporation
presented a united community on paper, the terms of the union called for an East District and a West District. For over
60 years, the village had separate support structures on the East and on the West: Trustees, Police Dept, Fire Dept,
Road Crews, and more. The village was united but separate.
In the late 1880's, J.B.Rice built his Seed House in the middle of the community after filling in much of
the swamp with 3,000 truckloads of dirt. In 1891 Rice deeded land next to his business for the construction of
a new school. Since 1799, Cambridge had had separate buildings of education on the East End and on the West End.
Thanks to Rice, the Cambridge Union School helped bring the two districts a little closer together.
In 1901, the Village Board voted to pave Main Street in order to provide easy passage during any weather.
Multiple proposals and multipe votes over the next 11 years and still no work had started. In Mar-1913, lines for
the new curbing were finally drawn. By August, the project was floundering in the face of strikes, unmet payrolls, and
delays in shipment of bricks and concrete. My great grandfather took control of the project and by Christmas
Cambridge had its Yellow Brick Road from the corporation line on the East to the corporation line on the West.
explains why Main Street needed paving, how it was accomplished, and the effects on the Village, effects that linger
Around Cambridge, White Creek, and Jackson by Ken Gottry
I did it. I published a book!
The Cambridge Valley has always been united and divided,
each community holding tightly to its identity. In 1773, the
Cambridge District was formed, comprised of the current towns of
Cambridge, White Creek, and Jackson. In 1788, the area became
the Town of Cambridge in Albany County and was annexed to
Washington County in 1791. The area was divided into the present
town boundaries in 1816. The three communities of Cambridge, North
White Creek, and Dorr.s Corners, though each only three-quarters of
a mile from the next, did not unite into the Village of Cambridge until
1866. Today the village spans the boundaries of the three townships
but still divides itself into the East End and the West End.
Ken Gottry.s ancestors, the Van Ness, Woodworth, and Hitchcock
families, have been associated with the Cambridge area since its
founding. His father was historian for the village, town, and church,
leaving a large collection to the village archives and public library.
Much of the content in Around Cambridge, White Creek, and Jackson
comes from material his father amassed in the mid-1900s.
The Images of America series presented by Arcadia Published celebrates the history of
neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival
photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past
that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud
to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history
available to all.
If you're in the area, stop by
Battenkill Books. It's also available at smaller outlets (grin) online such
as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you're interested in a peek, some of the book
and photos are available via
Cambridge Celebrates its 250th Anniversary
On July 23, 1761 Cadwallader Colden's patent for the Cambridge settlement was signed.
In 2011 we celebrated the 250th anniversary of the
Cambridge Then & Now
In honor of Cambridge's 250th anniversary, I created a slide show of
Cambridge Then & Now
Each slide presents a section of Cambridge with photos of how it used to look and
photos of how it looks in 2011. Each slide also contains text describing the history associated with the photo.
Local History - Cambridge, NY 12816
Coila and Whiteside Churches
The Coila Presbyterian Church was fortunate to have stability in the pulpit throughout the 1800s.
Rev Alexander Bullions served from 1807-1857, being followed by
Rev Henry Gordon from 1857-1897. The Coila church supported the Whiteside Church in
West Cambridge as well. Read more about the connection between the two churches.
Following the Revolutionary War, population in the United States began to shift. The fledgling country
tried to build roads through public financing, but construction was often haphazard and maintenance
was spotty. In the 1790's there was a shift toward privitization, with many corporations created for
the sole purpose of building a Turnpike. While most turnpikes headed westward, the Northern Turnpike was
created between Lansingburgh, NY and Granville, NY, completing the only link from New York City to Canada.
The turnpike, and its associated financial benefits, played a role in the early development of Cambridge
Corners and North White Creek, two small communities that united in 1866 to form the Village of Cambridge.
1866 Map of Cambridge listing all residents
The communities of Cambridge Corners, North White Creek, and Dorr's Corners united in 1866 to form
the Village of Cambridge. At that time, a map was created, listing every dwelling and occupant.
It's a great way to look for your ancestors.
Click on the link to view the map or right click and select Save Target As to download it.
North side of West main Street, 1870s
The photos of the West End fall into two categories: (1) the South side; and (2) the Union House on
the north side. This photo is an exception, giving a rare glimpse of the north side of West Main Street, probaly
in the 1870s or early 1880s.
I'm creating podcasts of Cambridge Then and Now.
Each podcast shows a section of the village, as it looks today and as it has looked over our 250
year history. I also toss in a few podcasts of major events of 2011 such as our Memorial Day parade
and our 11th annual Cambridge Valley Balloon Festival. Adding more as time permits.
I'm struggling with this new technology ;-) Some browsers only play the audio without the video.
I'm continually working on this to correct it. I've found that if you click the DOWNLOAD link underneath
the podcast, it plays fine on your computer. So it's something with how I'm trying to play the
podcast within the browser. Stay tuned.
Here is a
chronology of Cambridge's past
from 1761 to 1974
Census reports for Cambridge
This is the first census taken in the US. Cambridge was part of Albany County
By now Cambridge was part of Washington County. The Old Cambridge District had not
yet been divided into the present towns of Cambridge, White Creek, and Jackson.
Miscellaneous Stories and Photos
Cambridge Historical Society
Cambridge, NY - photos from 21st century
Cambridge, NY - photos from 19th and early 20th century
Cambridge Memorial Park - in the 1990s Cambridge erected monuments to all our soldiers, war-by-war. You will find photos of the rolls for Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietname War.
Mary McClellan Hospital - Photos and Presentation
Mary McClellan Hospital School of Nursing 1922 Catalogue. The school of nursing opened in 1922.
The nurses' residence was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert McClellan, brother and sister-in-law
to Edwin McClellan, founder of the Hospital.
This is the very first catalogue, describing the school's affiliation with
Skidmore College, photos and floor plans of the Florence Nightengale building, curriculum,
and entrance requirements.
Memorial Day Parades:
(May 31, 2010)
(May 28, 2012)
They all look the same don't they? But that's part of the charm of Cambridge. These paraades look
like the ones from 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and beyond. I love it!
History articles posted on CCS Alumni website
O.L. (Okie) Butcher from Shushan, NY published many books on trapping and hunting, including this one in 1963 on Professional Fox Trapping. I have seven Blake & Lamb traps (with the Cambridge, NY logo)
Blake & Lamb was owned by Sam Hart. Sam lived on Hart Lane, off Hickory Hill Road,
that goes between RT 313 and Camden Valley Road, goes past the Ondawa Farm.
Across from Yushak's in Shushan is a north/south street that goes by the firehouse.
Hart sold his traps in a store on that street. O.L."Okie" Butcher sold B&L traps out of
his house/store up in Camden Valley.
You can find Okie all over the Internet including this
O.L.Butcher T-shirt and this
14-Jun-2010 presentation of the History of the Masons and Cambridge
10-Mar-2010 photos as I walked down Main Street to go to the bank
The Cambridge Public Library invited me to present a four-part lecture series
1976 application and photos of the Cambridge Historical District
On Saturday 18-Jan-2014 I walked across the village to the Library. I took some photos of the library, the antique stores,
the co-op, and the barber shop.
Check them out
Cambridge Central School (CCS)
Reading an Oracle AWR Report
Here is one person's approach to reading an Oracle Automated Workload Repository (AWR) report. It is not intended to be a
complete explanation of all the information contained within the report, just a list of places to start.
OEM's SQL Monitoring Feature
Being a cmd-line guy, I only recently stumbled upon this feature. Database gurus in the audience have probably been using it for a long time. But I wanted to document it and share it.
I proudly admit I'm a cmd-line sqlplus guy with a bevy of queries against V$ and DBA_HIST (and a devout user of "vi") but this OEM feature may have finally turned me into a GUI-wimp.
Attached is a how-to presentation for OEM's SQL Monitoring feature.
Which indexes are used and how
This SQL analyzes all Explain Plans in DBA_HIST_SQLPLAN to find what indexes are used and how
Which SQLIDs use which indexes and how
This SQL analyzes all Explain Plans in DBA_HIST_SQLPLAN to find what SQLIDs use a specific index and how
WebSphere (being restored a little at a time)
Monitoring App performance using WebSphere v6 Request Metrics
WebSphere v6 introduced Request Metrics (PMRM), which unlike Performance Monitoring Infrastructure (PMI) metrics,
are transaction based. PMRM can be a useful first step in performance analysis of your application. This article and scripts
show how to use the PMRM records to measure the elapsed time for each request, including JDBC EJB calls.
Testing WebLogic infra (KenTest.Jsp)
This JSP selects an entry from a WebLogic JDBC Pool or Multi-Pool, issues a SQL query,
and returns the results to the browser. This JSP can be used to verify the configuration of
all components in a infrastructure, including web server with WebLogic reverse proxy plugin,
firewalls, load balancers. In addition, the JSP can be used to test various settings of WebLogic JDBC pools,
such as thick vs. thin drivers, TestConnectionOnReserve delays, and OS-level
authentication for database connectivity.
WebLogic JDBC Timings
When developing a WebLogic application, you create one or more JDBC Connection Pools
to communicate with the database. There are several parameters that can be used to
define the JDBC pools. Some parameter settings have a significant impact on the performance of the
technical infrastructure. This article describes the impact on response time and throughput
of the TestConnectionsOnReserve parameter.
Successful Solaris Performance Tuning
In this article, originally published in SysAdmin magazine in Nov-2001, I present three real-world
performance problems and share some of my Solaris secrets of tuning success.
Korn Shell Programming Techniques
In this article I present my programming tips and techniques. In just a few minutes, you can
learn the basics of Korn shell programming, using techniques that are guaranteed to work.
This was originally published in Apr-2001 on the Sun Developer Connection website
Shared Memory and IPCS
Like other UNIX systems, Solaris implements Inter-Process Communications System (IPCS).
IPCS includes shared memory, semaphores and message queues. This presentation
explains what shared memory is, how it works, why you need it sometimes. It also
describes how you can watch programs like Oracle and MQSeries use shared memory.
ndd is a Solaris utility that displays and sets parameters that control the
behavior of the TCP network drivers. This script dynamically acquires a
list of the parameters and then displays the current setting for each.
adb is a Solaris general purpose debugger. One way to use it is to display or change
the settings of Solaris tunable kernel parameters. You must have root privileges to run this script.
Use with caution. Read the man pages carefully.
Generational Garbage Collection - HotSpot JVM 1.3.1
This article, originally published in JavaWorld in Jan 2002, explains the basics of generational garbage collection.
It explains how to modify the default JVM parameters to improve the throughput of large, server-side
applications by 20 percent or more.
Data Dependent Routing
Oracle supports database clusters. In Oracle 8i they were called Oracle Parallel
Server (OPS). In Oracle 9i and 10g they are called Real Application Clusters (RAC). When
designing your application to use database clusters you tried to minimize database pinging
by routing SQL calls for one portion of the database primarily to one DB node and
SQL calls for the other portion of the database primarily to the other DB node.
This application logic is called data dependent routing (DDR).
AIX (to be restored soon)
Using Reverse Proxies Within a Web Server
A few years ago the term reverse proxy came into vogue. I resisted the urge to use
the term until I fully understood it. In this article, which was originally published on
Sun's Dot-Com Builder website, I explain what a reverse proxy is in general and in the context
of a web server. I share some gotchas that I've encountered when adding multiple reverse
proxies to an SunONE (formerly iPlanet) obj.conf file.
Introduction to Sockets
In this PowerPoint show, I explain what sockets are and how they are used.
In this PowerPoint presentation, I explain how to use netstat to measure and monitor the performance of sockets.
Then I explain how to use the ndd utility to set some Solaris socket tuning parameters.
Hacking - The Edge Pieces
When you start a jigsaw puzzle, you pick out the edge pieces to help you frame the big picture.
This presentation is intended to give you the edge pieces of your first hacking jigsaw puzzle.
Since this brief presentation attempts to discuss hacking form A-Z, it obviously can't go into too much
technical detail in any one area.
Home Networking Made Easy
This article is a bit dated (2002) but it explains what cable/DSL modems are and
how you can use one to build a home network in one evening for under $100. It provides
a how-to about the do's and dont's of building your home network, answering the basic questions
like why would I want to do this.
F5 BigIP and 3DNS - MQ Qmgr Failover
This article explains how the F5 BigIP and 3DNS products dynamically route socket connections
from a remote MQ queue manager to a central MQ queue manager during (a) the normal configuration;
(b) when the QMgr fails over to another host at the central site; and (c) when the QMgr fails over to the DR site.
Using perfdump to measure SunONE Web Server Performance
The SunONE Web Server includes perfdump,a seldom-used built-in performance capture and display utility.
I use it to look beneath the covers to see how my web servers are consuming valuable system resources.
This is Part One of Two of an article I originally published on Sun Developer Network.It shows how to activate
perfdump and how to interpret its output.
Using perfdump custom Performance Buckets
Besides its basic functionality, the SunONE Web Server perfdump utility allows you to define custom
performance buckets. This is Part Two of Two of an article I originally wrote for Sun Developer Network.
I show how to use custom performance buckets to see how my WebLogic applications are performing.
Perfdump is a function built into SunONE web server to capture and display performance
statistics (see articles above). While the online display is nice, sometimes you want to capture these statistics
to a log file for later monitoring. The scripts described in this article should help.
Charting Utility using jFreeChart
(PDF (details) or
I perform lots of performance Enginnering (PE) tests. I created this charting utility using jFreeChart
library to convert XML data into PNG charts. Then I created numerous scripts to convert common PE TXT
files (e.g. IIS web logs, Perfmon counters, WebSphere logs, mySQL extracts) into XML files. At the end of a PE
test I run a script to convert the data into XML, then run the charting utility to convert the XML files into
PNG charts. The scripts also create HTML to display and link the charts as well as build HTML Tables of
avg, min, max values. The details PDF shows sample output from 10 different types of input
Download files here. Unzip all files into the same directory. This creates a sub-directory named PE_Chart_Utility.
There is a README file in the top directory that explains one edit you need to make to identify the location
of Java on your computer. There are 11 sub-directories of examples. Each example contains the data file and
the script to execute. Each example also contains a Sample_Output directory showing the PNG and HTML files
that the example will create. Enjoy!
Using the Excel FREQUENCY function to measure Performance
Sometimes when doing analysis of performance enginnering (PE) data, statistical functions such as AVERAGE and MODE
can hide significant facts. The seldom-used FREQUENCY function in Excel is a great way to group values into buckets
to spot outliers that are skewing the average. This article gives you step-by-step instructions of how to use the
FREQUENCY function to analyze some real-life PE data.