Lecture series were a major form of entertainment in the late 1800s. The photo shows Ackley Hall on the south side of West Main Street where Samuel L. Clemens (better known by his pen name, Mark Twain) lectured on 13-Jan-1870 at the age of 34.
Below is a recount of his visit based on the letters he wrote to his fiancé, Olivia (Livy) Langdon. The letters were published by the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. All letters to Livy are signed “Sam’ while letters to others are signed “Mark”.
The following letter was written on 14-Jan1870 from Troy, the next stop on his lecture tour. I have interjected comments from footnotes and from our local history files using the markings “[ed:]”
Harold and Betsy Ehrenfreund ran the Owl Kill Farm in the 1960s and 1970s. The egg farm was located on Owl Kill Road between Turnpike Road and NYS Rt 22 about 4 miles south of the village. Until 1970 the farm had moved slowly toward food products with the addition of packaged whole egg and scrambled egg mix. In 1970 the emphasis shifted to manufacturing and selling a shell-less, hard-cooked egg in convenience form
My friend, George Virtue, found an old baseball autographed by the Cambridge Central School baseball team from 1945. So I did a little research on the team, hoping to find the signed ball was a memento of a championship year. Alas, the school newspaper, Orange Tattler, reported that CCS finished second that year.
During the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the Village of Cambridge submitted a nomination form to the National Register of Historic Places. The appplication was accepted on 15-Nov-1978 as Referennce Number 78001922.
In general the district consists of properties facing on Main Street and South Union Street, plus a few properties on South Park, St. Luke's Place, and First Street
In Apr-2013 I took some short videos of the village. Eventually I will inject into the videos old photos and narrative to show Cambridge Then & Now.
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.