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Antique cars find new

Their former carriage home once used as a has been sold to the New Visions project.

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Houck, right, pushes his Ford Model T truck an Argyle Street garage the help of his buddies, from George Anderson lll, Bob and Chuck Wilson. Houck the barn a former speak-easy in the acccording to Houck to the New Visions project.



The cars belonged to gangsters they simply classics. But there was about the way they were in the carriage house at 2 Argyle that might make of Al Capone and Tommy guns run a bystander’s head.

Standing his jewelry repair and design Ed Grant watched the commotion the carriage house, which he had told was once a speak-easy, and if two arch-shaped cutouts on the second might have been gun for defending the bar.

But the explanation was more mundane; although the pigeons are gone, the entry to the roost are still visible.

should turn it back a bar: The Speakeasy,” Grant

The building had actually been a during Prohibition, according to its owner Phil Houck; of Houck and his wife, Jean, a heavy wooden door a sliding peephole through a password could be muttered and gained.

The door was rotting off its when the Houcks bought the formerly known as 150 Main St. and that relic has not survived.

bought it 25 years ago for the garage, and the came with it,” Houck said as he stood in the sun in front of the carriage house behind the large Victorian that had been separated apartments.

The Syracuse-based nonprofit Visions Inc. closed on the on April 5, and it will be renovated as of the $8 million Cortland Crown project.

The collection of antique cars in the house had to go elsewhere, and the Houcks and of their friends gathered on Argyle Place to get the collection on its

“I basically wanted a car every 20 years since Phil Houck explained, with the replica of a 1901 (circa 1965), kept in a at the Houcks’ home on Kinney Road, along with AMC Rambler and a 1981 Volkswagen he’s currently looking for a PT Cruiser to round out his personal which will be kept in

The 1921 Oldsmobile touring car was in the carriage house, as was the 1941 Fleetline, and these two were company by a 1924 Ford “T” Huckster Truck, and a Buick Marquette.

A 1924 chemical fire truck, in Binghamton and formerly owned by the Otselic Fire Department, had moved a few days before.

friend Chuck Wilson of wondered about the red fire as he stood looking into the of the Victorian garage.

“I’m a disappointed that you got rid of my fire I wanted that for myself,” said.

But there was little for reminiscing as the moving day kicked high gear, at least None of the cars were out of the carriage house, but were pushed and pulled into the

“Boy, this brings memories,” said Tom Straight, the of the cars’ new resting place at Watson Park, as he put a shoulder the wooden frame of the Ford. had several Model Ts.”

For of the cars, Houck hooked his and much-repaired John Deere to the undercarriage and gave his friends a and much-deserved break.

Eventually, the were all sitting in the back and Houck hooked the Model T and the to the tractor, one behind the other.

A procession with a city escort puttered down Street and onto Pendleton taking the cars to their new spot, a brick warehouse in Watson Park.

“Now, the problem is that it’s a 15 per hour school zone, and I know if I’ll be able to get up to Houck joked.

The Cadillac followed during a trip behind the tractor, by a flat-bed tow truck hauling the

The cars were stacked in new home one after the other, and wrestling the final car into these cars didn’t power steering, and the wheels turn easily at low speeds the men the sweat off their brows.

historian Mary Ann Kane she did not know of a speak-easy at 2 Argyle but she was able to dig out a file with newspaper clippings from the era.

A bust at the Mont Hotel in Homer was documented in and there were many at the Venetian Gardens, which could not pinpoint with any

Luckily, the Houcks and their were able to step Ivan’s Bar Grill on south Street for their celebration the fear of federal agents in.

To read this article and pick up today’s Cortland

Legislature to vote on land



CORTLAND A resolution to the two commercial properties involved in County’s controversial land will go before the full Legislature at its meeting on Thursday.

the plan to purchase will the needed two-thirds majority remains to be seen.

The General Committee, in a special meeting voted 3-2 to forward a resolution to the Legislature calling for the purchase of the Lodge and Robbins Vending on south Main Street.

The was hopeful the county could its way out of contracts for the remaining properties in the deal, all of which are residential

The Moose Lodge property at 151 and 157 St. along with a parcel 6, 8 and 10 Randall St. would cost the $250,000, while the Robbins property at 159 Main St. and a parcel 7 Williams St. would cost

Those were the agreed-upon prior to the county’s reversal of an decision in December to purchase the

Those voting in favor of the committee Vice-chairman Dan Tagliente Ward), Tom Hartnett (D-4th and John Daniels (D-Cortlandville) the decision as a way to leave the county options, while also the county from a costly or lawsuit with the possibility of in return.

“We can’t forward with _the projects we need to do if we’re in litigation,” Daniels said. just think we should get the purchased and hopefully we can do something with them.”

The two committee opposed to the resolution Kay Breed and Newell Willcox (R-Homer) by saying they had no interest in the properties without knowing how would be used.

“I’m not hearing what our alternatives are if properties are bought, what are we to use them for?” Breed

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Wickwire site could into land options


Staff Reporter

CORTLAND The interest of McNeil in the Moose Lodge property have a serious bearing on how the moves forward with its land needs.

McNeil has made a verbal offer of to the Moose Lodge for its property and it may have an interest in the Robbins property, John Daniels said Thursday at a special of the General Services Committee.

The are also interested in selling the Wickwire Building property on Main Street to the county, said, and some sort of and equitable trade of properties be in the works.

“I’m hoping have something to present said Daniels, who said he some sort of proposal be ready in a week or so, but likely not the April 21 legislative session.

think one thing we should at is working with them on Wickwire site, either us the property or having them something for us,” Daniels

Dave McNeil did not want to Thursday on any potential proposals, but he did the McNeil’s verbal purchase for the Moose, and the fact that were interested in working the county on the Wickwire property.

the county consider the Wickwire it could potentially be a good for a health facility similar to the one farther north on Main said Dan Tagliente, vice-chairman of the General Services Committee.

only difference is it would be shaped more like an Tagliente said, noting an ‘L-shaped’ building would for a degree of separation desired by of both the Health and Mental departments. “I’d like to try to do a health facility.”

The former property owned by McNeil a 1.9-acre lot at 190 Main St. assessed at and a nearly 1-acre lot at 4 Crawford St. at $25,000, however the latter’s will likely drop due to the of a fire-damaged home on that city Assessor David said.

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The McNeils also own the former Potter Paint along Crawford Street, includes a total of 4.8-acres and a assessment of $312,500, due to the large still in place on that

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Water, sewer concern in annexation



DRYDEN Concerns adequate water and sewer raised during a joint and town annexation hearing night that would close to 50 acres of property the village.

The property includes an 46-acre parcel owned by Realty and between 2 to 3 acres includes the A-1 Restaurant, owned by St. Realty Corp. The property is on 13 and North Road and also Mott Road and Ellis

Preliminary plans would a 9,000-square-foot Dollar General on a of the property at the intersection of North and Route 13 and there also has interest in building a 20,000-square-foot or motel on a site just of the A-1 Restaurant.

In a letter, village Planning Chairman Gene German that in general the board was of growth to the village,” but had two “critical water and sewer service.

He out that the village had no plan in to upgrade these systems and no on the increased cost to provide He also said maintaining the atmosphere was important.

Debbie a member of the Planning Board, she agreed in part, but was not aware of the situation in the village so had not been in of sending the letter.

Mayor Taylor said the village is into the water problem by the Tompkins County Board of She said the Board of Health’s is that the village would not enough water to supply customers if the main water had to be taken off-line for any reason.

She the pump on Jay Street could the load temporarily if its head is allowing it to pump more

Ed Bugliosi, who is on the Planning Board and works for the U.S. Geological asked what extra would be anticipated.

Gary who is the project engineer for the annexation of properties, said he did not know

Bugliosi, who is working with the to help site a new well, he was not sure where it should be “I think it’s a important issue,” he said.

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acquit man of burglary charges


Staff Reporter

A man who says his cousin fabricated a to falsely implicate him in a 2003 was found not guilty on all counts

Christopher Humphrey, 25, whose was not available through the court, was of second-degree burglary, third-degree mischief, third-degree grand and fourth-degree grand larceny, all after a three-day jury in Cortland County Court.

Humphrey’s attorney, Public Keith Dayton, said cousin, Cody Humphrey who guilty to the crime lied his involvement in order to receive treatment from the District Office

“I think the did the right thing,” Dayton after the verdict. “Justice was

Humphrey was accused of breaking a house at 625 Long Road, with his younger cousin Humphrey, 20, of 5984 Route 11, on March 2, 2003. The two were of stealing $3,500 in cash, guns valued at a total of and causing property damage $1,225, according to court

Humphrey was also accused of a animal cruelty charge for unspecified acts of abuse a German shepherd dog but those were dismissed during the because of statute of limitation

Cody Humphrey testified on against his cousin. He told the that he and Christopher Humphrey “like brothers” at the time of the and the two committed the crimes together and split up the money.

He said he and Humphrey broke into the at around midnight and stole the as well as several guns. He he got the idea to commit the crimes a classmate of his who lived at the Scott told him there was a large of loose change in a bedroom of the home.

Christopher Humphrey did not at the trial.

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