Happy Birthday New York State


New York State is 240 years old today!

Read more about it at:
(Article on page 2 of the newsletter.)

The New York Public Library has many old maps available on their website like the one above from 1795.

The original state constitution is held in the New York State Archives, and you can view it online in their digital collections.


100 years ago at the Village Board, March & April 1917

(A silent policeman was authorized by the board in March 1917.)

Minutes, March & April 1917

[As March was the time village elections were held and the beginning of the fiscal year, there is a lot going on!]

March 5, 1917

The office of the Treasurer will be at the Village Hall and all transactions will take place there, and all records and village property kept there. Salary will be $300.

Village Clerk salary is $1200.

Propositions to be published and posted before election day, which is March 20th:

  • Sanitary sewer to be placed in Sacandaga Rd. between Sixth & the village line at Toll St.
  • Surface sewer to be placed in Sacandaga Rd. from Mohawk to the village line at Toll St.
  • To appropriate funds for a building on the Village Water Works property for use of the engineer to maintain the pumps.

Annual reports were accepted from: Street Commissioner, Water Committee, the Board of Fire Commissioners, Sewer Committee, Light Committee, Finance Committee, Treasurer.

The Treasurer’s report to be printed, along with summaries of the others, and mailed out with the water bills.

The budget for the next fiscal year was submitted, as follows:

General Fund                                                    $8, 785                 Water                                                                   $18, 978                 Sewer                                                                   $8, 463                 Street                                                                   $7, 905
Drainage Sewer                                                  $ 1, 607                 Fire                                                                        $2, 051                 Light                                                                      $2, 589                 Health                                                                   $1,108

Total is $51, 486, with $38, 122 to be raised by taxes.

Interesting items: the Street fund included money for a driver and horses, and the Health Fund planned to cover expenses for milk inspection. (No details provided.)

March 19, 1917

Bills submitted to be paid.

March 26, 1917

Following the village elections.

New Trustees elected to serve until Mar. 25, 1918: President: Augustus H. Lasher Trustees: Frank H. Field, Stanley E. Ford, Horton S. Potter, LeRoy R. Wood

Mr. F.F. Lamboy appointed Superintendent of Water & Sewers and Plumbing Inspector for one year at a salary of $1200.

Charles W. Matthews appointed as Assistant to the Superintendent of Water & Sewers at a salary of $1000. He will pay rent of $12.50 per month for the village house at the pumping station when it is completed.

The Superintendent of Water & Sewers can employ laborers at a rate not to exceed $2.25 per day.

The Street Commissioner may employ George Keefer as driver of the village team for $70 per month, and he may hire laborers as needed at a rate not to exceed $2.25 per day.

Maurice B. Flinn was appointed Village Attorney at $500 per year for regular services. Any litigation will be paid separately. He may also earn a 1% fee on bonds or obligations he may sell.

The village will carry bonds as follows: Treasurer, $10,000; Clerk, $5,000; Street Commissioner, $100.

The Schenectady Trust Company is the official depository for Village funds.

The President is empowered to provide police protection as necessary, not to exceed $25 per month.

W. F. Chadsey is appointed Village Engineer at $7.50 per day.

“The Village President [will] be given full power to direct the Village Engineer to furnish grade stakes when he deems it necessary and proper.” [No indication of what grade stakes are–]

The Schenectady Gazette is the official newspaper for all required notices and ordinances.

Carl Henry Krueger is appointed Fire Commissioner for a 3-year term.

Dates for future board meetings listed.

The village will continue to rent a safe deposit box at the Schenectady Trust Company.

Burglar Insurance for the Village Hall to be purchased at $1000 coverage for the year.

Accounts for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 1917 were examined and were found to be true and correct by the Finance Committee; also the Treasurer and Clerk have accounted for all monies.

The Street Commissioner may purchase such gravel as he may require, not to exceed $25 per month.

The Water and Building Committees will prepare plans and specifications for the building near the water pumps, proposition approved by vote at the elections, and submit as soon as possible.

The President is authorized to enter into a contract with GE for equipment at the pumping station, as quoted Feb. 2, 1917.

The Building Committee will have the Hook & Ladder Company rooms repaired and redecorated, not to exceed $80.

One silent policemen to be purchased from the Traffic Sign Co. for use of the Police Department. [//theoldmotor.com/?p=139408; also see //www.crotonfriendsofhistory.org/dummy-forever/. You may have seen the “silent policeman” still in Canajoharie. We don’t know, however, exactly what the Scotia one looked like.]

The Street Commissioner will purchase 2 tons of hay at $16 per ton.

A water gauge will be placed in the home of the Water Committee.

A communication from the Mayor of Schenectady will be referred to the Railroad Committee. [Contents was not mentioned.]

Committees for the year: Finance (Wood, Field, Lasher); Sewers and Buildings (Ford); Water (Field); Lights and Railroads (Potter); Streets (Lasher).

April 2, 1917

Bonds for the Treasurer and Clerk accepted.

Property owners to be notified of installments due for road improvements: Schon-o-we, Mohawk from Ballston to the village line; Mohawk & Washington.

Proposals put out for the sewer work in Sacandaga Rd.

The Superintendent of Water will have the hydrants painted.

Bills were submitted for payment.

April 16, 1917

Bids received for the sewer project were all too high and were rejected.

A petition was received for a sidewalk on both sides of Third St. A hearing will be held May 21.

Plans for a house at the pumping station were accepted and will be sent to contractors.

The Clerk will purchase 3500 stamped envelopes for use of the Water Department (maximum $76).

As to the application of Lewis Marino for a street light on Cuthbert St.—“conditions do not justify the expense at this time.”

The President will authorize any necessary steps to protect the Water Pumping Station.

The Street Commissioner is authorized to spend no more than $50 to improve Reynolds St.

The Engineer will prepare a profile showing the proper grade for Wyman St. (between Riverside & Larkin) and Larkin (below Wyman and Reynolds).

Payroll approved; bills submitted for payment.

April 20, 1917

A special meeting held about the bids for sewers on Sacandaga Rd.


U.S. enters World War I (part 2)

The music industry got right to work producing popular songs about the war. Below is the cover art (often quite elaborate) and lyrics to the chorus for several songs. The first two (as well as many other songs) can be found on the website www.firstworldwar.com. There you can listen to original recordings of this music, just as the folks 100 years ago did.

Not sure what our debt to Lafayette and France is? Look up your Revolutionary War history, especially the Battle of Yorktown.

Let’s start with one you probably know already:

You’re a grand old flag you’re a high-flying flag,
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true under Red, White, and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag;
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag. 


Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,
We’re ten million strong,
Goodbye sweethearts wives and mothers,
It won’t take us long,
Don’t you worry while we’re there,
It’s for you we’re fighting too,
So Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,
We’re going to square our debt to you.


One thought of mother, at home alone,
Feeble and old and gray;
One of the sweetheart he left in town,
Happy and young and gay.
One kissed a ringlet of thin gray hair,
One kissed a lock of brown,
Bidding farewell to the Stars and Stripes,
Just as the sun went down.


Somewhere in France is Daddy
Somewhere in France is he
Fighting for home and country
Fighting, my lad, for liberty
I pray ev’ry night for the Allies
And ask God to help them win
For our Daddy won’t come back ‘till the Stars and Stripes they’ll tack
On Kaiser Williams’ flag staff in Berlin.


Now’s our chance to pay our debt
We owe France and Lafayette
And never were we better off than now.
Our boys to France have gone
To drive out the Turk and Hun
And Lafayette, we’ll pay our debt to you.


If I am not at the roll-call,
After the fighting is done,
Won’t you be kind to my mother,
Just for her soldier son?
Tell her I know how she loves me,
And prays for me constantly,
May angels attend her,
Brave comrade befriend her,
And kiss her goodbye for me!


Wake up, America,
If we are called to war,
Are we prepared to give our lives
For our sweethearts and wives?
Are our mothers and our homes worth fighting for?
Let us pray, God, for peace, but peace with honor,
But let’s get ready to answer duty’s call,
So when Old Glory stands unfurled,
Let it mean to all the world,
America is ready, that’s all!

Besides stirring us up to patriotism, the music business wanted to help with the war effort as well.

Below is a close-up of the notice on the front cover, and then two pieces of music together–you can see how much smaller they sometimes made them to conserve paper. (The larger one, typical at that time, is 10.5 x 13.5 inches.)


More resources:

If you didn’t catch the American Experience World War I series on PBS, you may be able to watch it online, or check the schedule for additional airings.

The National Archives has a link to its vast collection on the homepage at www.archives.gov

Gov. Cuomo has also announced a new website for the World War I Centennial Commission at



100 years ago today U.S. enters World War I

This is the front page of the Schenectady Gazette from April 6, 1917. We have a copy in a giant-size scrapbook donated to the Flint House by Marjorie Englehardt.

Below is a list of Scotia men–and women–who served in the war. This clipping is undated. I copied it at the Glenville History Center. Joan Szablewski, the Glenville Historian, has collected lots of information about all the wars Glenville citizens have experienced.

The New York State Archives “preserves the service cards of every New Yorker who served….and over 300,000 photos, letters and records from service members at home and overseas.” (www.archives.nysed.gov)

They also have a link to the free New York records available on ancestry.com.

The Library of Congress has many records as well; they recently posted issues of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, which was published for soldiers of this war.



After a flood, March 1916

Schonowee Ave., 1916

We haven’t had any ice jams this year so far, but they are a common occurrence along the Mohawk River in the spring.

From pre-colonial times through the early settlements, a road ran along the north shore of the Mohawk through the area of Scotia.

When the first bridge was built in 1808, it joined Washington Ave. in Schenectady to the junction of Washington and Schonowee Ave. in Scotia.

“Sooner or later, nearly everyone in Scotia-Glenville passed along this river flats road. Travelers were often hampered by floods and wet conditions. The floods of 1811 were so severe that bids were advertised and a $1500 contract let to John Sanders of Scotia to build a dike on which the road could be raised. Earth for the dike was scraped up from the flats on both sides and the surface was covered with gravel. The contract specified that this new dike was to be two feet higher than the nearby “Deborah Glen Dike,” which had protected the Glen-Sanders mansion from flooding since before the revolution.”

[Quote from the Special Bicentennial Section of the Scotia-Glenville Journal, July 21, 1976. No byline on the article.]

In this photo you can see, on the south (river) side, the trolley tracks. The trolley line was extended to Scotia in 1902.



March Mystery Tool Answer

The March Mystery Tool is a pike pole. This was used in the ice business. After the block of ice has been sawn, the pike poles are used to push the blocks to the ramp. A grappling hook is attached, the block is pulled out of the water, and the ice tongs are used to get it to the vehicle, some type of wagon or sled, which will take it to the ice house for storage.

Pike poles of various styles were used for other tasks as well, like logging.

The following pictures are from the Hanford Mills Museum Ice Festival.


March Mystery Tool

March Mystery Tool–That pole might be up to 10 feet long. It’s just what you need for a big winter activity.

1865 New York Census, #1


The 1865 New York State Census contains much interesting information in addition to lists of the individuals living here. I’ll be highlighting different parts of the census in future posts.

Glenville had 3 districts which were enumerated separately in the census. The second election district contains the part which later became Scotia. Today’s section is:

Industry Other Than Agricultural

Reported from the 2d Election District of Glenville, in the county of Schenectady, N.Y., for the year ending June 1, 1865. These statistics were obtained be me, on the 10 day of June, 1865. E. Z. Carpenter Enumerator

F & AS Reese (line 7) ran a broom business, with $5000 of capital invested. They used 20,000 broom handles, 500 pounds of twine, and 1 ton of (broom)corn, with a value of $910, to produce 4300 dozen (51,600) brooms with a value of $12,900. They employed 9 men with an average monthly wage of $40.

(Frederick and Abijah were grandsons of Frederick, the first Reese to own the land around the Flint House. They had apparently taken over the business from their father, David, at this point. David died in 1867, age 71.)

There are 8 families involved with brooms—P.E. Sanders, H.F. Perry, C.H. Toll, the Reeses, Wm. Hasalo, Wm. Cramer, Robert McKay, and John Barhydt. Altogether, these farms reported investing $38,000 of capital; using 95,000 handles, 1120 pounds of twine, and 36.75 tons of broomcorn, with a value of $18,060 in raw materials; producing 32,550 dozen (390,600) brooms with a value of $128,475. They employed 57 men, and 14 boys under 18. These men earned a monthly wage of from $25-$40.

Also listed is George Campfield, who invented and manufactured broom machinery. He apparently never patented these inventions, and they were copied and produced throughout the country. He therefore received no income from their sales, which were extensive. In this census he reports his industry as Broom Machinery; capital invested as $100; raw material of 1500 pounds castings and 700 feet of lumber with a value of $163; 28 machines were produced with a value of $840, and he employed 1 person (himself, most likely).

The other industries listed were M.M. Howe’s Boots & Shoes and JH & R Shaw’s Rope & Twine.