On May 10, 1922, the Old Forge Hardware store built by Moses Cohen burned to the ground. Three days later the fire was still burning coal, unsold construction materials, and other debris and would continue to smolder for days to come. But Moses Cohen continued to serve his customers, securing an office in the neighboring Givens Block and receiving permission from the Village of Old Forge to install his stock in the Fire Hall (today’s Nathan’s Bakery). In 1923, his rebuilt store sold everything from “paints, bath tubs and up to the best in parlor suites.” Today, the year 1922 is engraved under the Cohen name on the façade of the present store.
A year after the fire, as the construction of the present store was almost complete, the Utica Daily Press interviewed Moses Cohen in an article titled “Moses Cohen’s Story of Struggle to Top”. I thought Moses Cohen’s recalling his beginnings in Old Forge a worthy chapter to the town’s early history and how one man overcame ethnic prejudice with sound business practices. » Continue Reading.