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.