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.


Old view of the Flint House #1

This is the earliest picture we’ve found of the Flint House. It appeared in the Utica Saturday Globe in May 1901, as part of a long article about the murder of the owner, David Reynolds. He had been killed out back in one of the many barns, and, while several arrests were made, no one was ever tried for the crime.

You can see the house had a very ornate (and likely Victorian) porch, and it had a long ell in the back, nearly the size of the front part of the house. Also note the interior chimney–Lillian Flint moved the chimney to the outside of the house and rebuilt the fireplace when she lived there.

The Historian’s office has very few historic photos of the Flint House. If you have any (from any period up to about 1990) among your personal photos, I’d love to see them! Contact me through the village office, or email historian@villageofscotiany.gov