Answer to Question No. 1: The Morley Sporting Goods’history as a Division Street business began way back in 1931, when founder Percy Morley located the business on the southwestern corner of Division and Wall Street’s, where the first Amsterdam hi-rise of senior apartments now sits. It evolved into one of Amsterdam’s favorite place to purchase anything having to do with participation in a sport including hunting and fishing gear. Tragedy struck the business and the Morley family, when in 1951 an Air Force Corporal on leave from his base in Delaware inexplicably entered the store on a Friday evening and fatally stabbed and beat Percy Morley and a customer. Percy’s son and partner, Ken R. Morley carried on and expanded the business, focusing more on selling wholesale to schools throughout the state and country and when Urban Renewal’s wrecing ball beckoned, moving shop to a new location at 207 Division Street, where it still operates. Ken’s son Richard and his wife Debi then took over management of Morley’s in the 1970’s and now their two sons are doing the same. Approaching their 90thanniversary as a Division Street business, I tip my hat to all the Morley’s on their enterprising acumen, hard work and remarkable longetivity.
Answer to Question No. 2: Traveling east to west, one can get to West Main Street from Division Street (or vice versa) via Market, Mohawk Place, Wall, Pine, Guy, Bayard, Clinton, Leonard, Yeoman, Gardiner, Tryon, Caroline, Evelyn, Henrietta, Ann, Steadwell, Herrick at the furthest western point of Division, where it meets West Main Street. (Note: There is also sort of an alleyway extension of Genevieve Street that can get you between the two streets.)
Answer to Question No. 3:Dr. Harry Lebmanwas born in Gloversville, worked his way through both college and med school and after stops in Oklahoma and Boston, finally came to Amsterdam in 1945 and opened up a private practice. With his beloved Kay serving as his office nurse, it took very little time for Dr. Lebman to become a highly respected member of Amsterdam’s medical community. The first Lebman practice was located on Guy Park Avenue. It was then moved to an office in the couple’s home at 87 Division Street, which was located on a plot that is now part of the Stratton Apartments complex. Dr. Lebman remained active in Amsterdam’s medical community for 55 years, not fully retiring until the year 2000, when he was 92 years old. He and Kay then moved out to the Rochester area where all three of their children had settled. He lived four more years while Kay lived to be 102, passing away in 2011. The Lebman’s were a cherished part of the lower Division Street neighborhood.
Answer to Question No: 4 Harvey Chalmers III lived in the Division Street home. He was the son of a wealthy industrialist and he took over the largest pearl button manufacturing operation in the world after his father retired in 1943, just a bit before zippers and plastic buttons took over as the fasteners of choice in the World’s apparel industry. By 1966, the two Amsterdam plants he and his family had operated at the foot of the Chuctanunda Creek were both gone, demolished to make way for the new arterial system. At its zenith, the business employed as many as 1,000 workers. Meanwhile, Harvey Chalmers II had happily transformed himself from industrialist to well respected historical novelist. It was making buttons that made him rich but writing books that made him happy.
Answer to Question No: 5 – This once very exclusive row of apartment homes was referred to as the Moody Block. Built i the late 1800’s, it extended from 56-to-64 Division Street. The older it got the more commercial it became. The Jones Fish Market moved in during the late 1940s and then Mohawk Candy & Tobacco.
Answer to Question No: 6 – This private residence became the first home of the Amsterdam City Hospital in 1888. Eventually, the two additional wings shown above were added to the facility’s northern side, changing it’s official address from Division Street to Guy Park Avenue