Ken Gottry - Cambridge NY History

The old blacksmith shop on the west side of Washington Street, just behind Hubbard Hall, was home to Walt Dunbar's welding shop in the 1960s. I remember sitting on my back screen porch at 39 E Main on a hot summer evening, looking across the Wilson's and Brewer's backyards, across Washington Street, to see the sparks fly from Walt's welding torch. In 2010 as part of the Freight Yard Restooration Project, the shed lean-to on the south side was torn off and the building was lovingly restored.

I have collected several censuses about Cambridge, including the first US Census in 1790 when we were part of Albany County

 

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.

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. 

In 1947 the farm on South Park Street belonging to my great grandfather, William L Hitchcock, was sold to the newly formed Cambridge Central School district. The farmhouse pictured here stood where the CCS Science Wing near the north parking lot. The farm sprawled out where the school and athletic fields now lie.

Growing up my parents used to tell me that people in Cambridge thought the sun rose in Ash Grove and set in Coila. Until I went away to college I didn’t understand what they meant. However, until I moved back I didn’t understand that that’s a good thing, a very good thing.

Growing up in Cambridge in the 1950’s meant that Robert Frost lived to the east in Shaftsbury, Grandma Moses to the south in Eagle Bridge, and Norman Rockwell to the north in Arlington. To us, they were simply nice old people who used poetry and art to depict what we saw every day.