A.J. BERRY'S Spot
of the St. Johnsville Area.
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Little Falls Fonda Bus Company
Little Falls Fonda Bus Company was started by Warren Smith about 1920 and it maintained a regular route from Little Falls to Fonda. This was during the depression and many families didn’t own cars; the bus was the only way to get from Fonda to Little Falls except to hitchhike. Even if the bus was empty, the bus still kept to the schedule. The bus company was located between Saterlee’s Market and Francisco’s Market, and the buses were stored behind the garage. There was a place between the buildings where the bus could drive through to Main Street. (See photo) The bus company is next to the Satterlee's sign, you can see a vertical pole marking where the bus company was located.
The bus company continued to operate as the main means of transportation in our section of the Mohawk Valley during the war years. After the war, almost everyone owned a car or two and the passengers who rode the bus no longer needed a ride.
Warren Smith was ill with TB and as he became more ill, he realized he couldn’t keep the bus company. Joe Capece was his mechanic and Warren sold the company to Joe for a small sum. The business was adapted to carry school children and continued to grow. Anita Smith said she remembers riding the school bus with her husband Freddy and his route went through Salt Springville almost to Route 20.
Joe sold his bus company to his son Sonny Capece who built the garage opposite the bank on Main and Center Streets. The buses were stored behind the garage. When the bus company grew and more space was needed, Rusty put up the garage where Johnson Plastics was located and then later built another garage where it is located today.
I rode the bus in 1956 from St. Johnsville to Little Falls and took another bus to Utica in order to take the New York Central back to Michigan. Then in 1958 I lived in St. Johnsville for the first summer after I was married, and worked at Central National Bank in Canajoharie. Since we only had one car and I didn’t get to use it, I caught the bus in front of the St. Johnsville branch of Central National Bank and rode the bus to work in Canajoharie and then back to St. Johnsville in the afternoon.
Bob Brown purchased the company in the early 1990s and still owns the company.
The information is from Anita Smith, who is the widow of Fred Smith, brother of Warren Smith.