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

February Mystery Tool Answer

The tool is a snow knocker or snow hammer.

In the winter, snow and ice can get packed under a horse’s hoof, turning into a solid mass of frozen material. Walking on this can cause tripping and sliding, and even serious injury, so it needs to be removed. Thus this handy little tool.

(From A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane)

Here’s the team that assisted in the above photo, providing sleigh rides at the Hanford Mills Museum Ice Festival on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. It’s a great event–you can actually go out and cut some ice blocks yourself.


100 Years Ago at the Village Board

100 Years Ago at the Village Board, January & February 1917

Jan. 5, 1917

Action on Sewer Bonds.

Dudley Toll Hill appointed Acting Police Justice of the Village for the year 1917.

Resignation of James Bliss, Village Assessor, accepted, effective March 1.

Bills submitted and approved for payment.

Jan. 15, 1917

Financial matters related to:

Special Street Fund

Bonds related to various funds

State, County, and Town tax on the Village Water Station & Sewer Disposal Plant

Sewer bonds

List of the names, addresses, and amounts of those with unpaid Village taxes and unpaid assessments for paving and curbing; a list of those deemed uncollectable that will be sold for back taxes.

Village Clerk authorized to purchase additional steel filing units for the Village office, not to exceed $60.

Bills submitted and approved for payment.

Feb. 2, 1917

Payments approved for 2 street funds (one includes paving for Mohawk and Schon-o-we [sic]).

A proposition for a new pumping unit to replace the current pump #2 was received from the General Electric Company. It is to be placed on file, the amount needed included in the 1917 budget, and the next board can have the work done.

The Village Attorney is to interview the State Board of Health in regard to the operation of the Sewer Disposal Plant.

Bills submitted and approved for payment.

Feb. 19, 1917

The Village Attorney and Engineer reported on their conference with Mr. Horton of the State Health Department. The Engineer is to see if it is practical to dispose of sewage without the cost of pumping, and to submit this plan to the Health Department.

Bills submitted and approved for payment.

Feb. 28, 1917

Bills submitted and approved for payment.



Flint House Elves

Lillian Flint (the previous owner of the Flint House) took up photography in 1967. Most of her pictures involved small handmade elves (about 4 inches tall) which were imported from Denmark. Miss Flint also had in the back part of the house a small shop to sell various items imported from Scandinavia–many of you will remember it. She posed the elves with natural materials in a variety of charming ways. Here’s a fun winter scene. (I’m guessing many of you are wishing there was snow enough to ski right now.)

And here’s a single elf.