The photograph (from the December 2012 Newsletter) is of Main Street looking east, the large three-story building is the Cortland House. This photo was taken some time between 1930 and 1945; the clue to the period is the street lamps. These light fixtures were used from 1930 to 1950.

    The photo was taken prior to 1945; we know this because in 1945 Spivak’s Jewelry store was two doors east of the Western Union store. Western Union is the first store in the picture.  Spivak’s had a clock in front of their store, which is not in this photo. Therefore, we can conclude that the photo is pre 1945.

    Two snowstorms dropped more than a foot of snow between 1935 and 1941.  The snowstorm of Jan.23, 1935 dropped 12.8 inches of snow.  The snowstorm of Mar. 8, 1941 dropped 15.7 inches of snow. 

     My educated guess is that this photo was taken after the 1941 storm.  I estimated the height of the arm of the lamp to be 15 feet above grade.  I came to this conclusion using the height of the arm of the lamp, which appears to be in line with one half of the second story of the building.  The normal height of a story is approximately 10 feet and that would put the height of the lamp arm at 15 feet above grade. Using a pair of dividers, I divided one story of the building into two. This division would be equal to five feet; I then stepped off the height of the arm of the lamp to 15 feet, which would be grade level. The sidewalk or curb is six inches above the road, making a total height of 15 feet 6 inches from the roadbed. Stepping off the height of the pole from the arm of the lamp to the top of the snow leaves 13 feet 9 inches, which would indicate that the amount of snowfall was 15.7”.  

     2013 – Number 1 East Main Street to 17 East Main Street was the area occupied by the Cortland House. The Cortland House and the stores up to the building with the Levy’s Department Store sign no longer exist. The building with the Levy’s sign still remains and is number 29 East Main Street; the store portion is now occupied by Changing Times Bar & Grill. The Cortland House was replaced by the existing building; the area between these two structures now consists of   an open corridor approximately 30 feet wide, which provides access to various offices. The remainder is occupied by 25 East Main Street, Aides At Home, Inc

Ernest Pontes


Cortland House 1941