Transcription of this text is below.
[Neil B. Reynolds was the Scotia Historian from 1946-1959. He wrote columns that appeared in the Scotia Journal. He also published articles in the Schenectady Gazette, collected in the book Raw materials of history chosen from sources in the Schenectady County Historical Society: essays related to historic Schenectady and Scotia published in the Schenectady Gazette 1959-1972 by Neil B. Reynolds ; edited by Elizabeth K. Joyce. It is available at the Schenectady County Public Library.]
Scotia Names and Streets
By Neil B. Reynolds, The Scotia Journal, April 13, 1939
How many Scotia residents know when the first two-room section of the brick schoolhouse on Mohawk Avenue was built? Probably not two in a hundred. Yet the information is there for anyone passing down the street to see. But the writer must admit that, although he attended school there and played in the front yard at recess, he never noticed that evidence until last fall.
Walk a few steps up the driveway of the Colonial Ice Cream plant, stop, and look up at the left half of the front of the building. Set flush with the brick is a white marble tablet.Scarcely noticeable against the white painted wall, it must have stood out plainly when the bricks were their natural red. The tablet bears this legend:
ERECTED A.D. 1870
SCHOOL DIS’T NO. 2
C. H. Toll, J. W. Pangburn Trustees
W. G. Caw, Builder
Caw, Toll, Pangburn—only one of these three names exists in Scotia today, and only that same name, Toll, is preserved in the name of a street.
[This is the spot where the Village Parking Lot is now. See below for photographs of the school and the demolition of Colonial Ice Cream in 1962.]
But the street names of Scotia do preserve memories of other former residents. Glen and Sanders Avenues are obvious. The first settler’s name was Alexander Lindsay Glen, which may account for Lindsay Avenue and Alexander Avenue. Ten Broeck Street is a memorial to the Ten Broeck family, connections of the Sanders. This was originally called Collins Street. The present Collins Street is one of three, or possibly more, named for the Collins family. The others are James Street, for “Jimmy” Collins; Catharine Street, for either his wife or his sister, who were both named Catharine; and probably Root Avenue, for Electa Root Collins, the mother of James. In addition, Lincoln Street was originally Sausse Street, named for Catharine Sausse, wife of James Collins.
McKinney Street [now North Reynolds St.] takes its name from the McKinney family, that for a time lived in the old Reese tavern on the corner. Wyman Street is from the man who developed that part of the Reese property. Reynolds Street is for David Reynolds, who lived at the Hoek. Huston Street is for William Huston, who was a member of the Village Board in the first decade of Scotia’s corporate life. Toll Street cuts through the Malwyck [sic], ancestral home of the Tolls; Marselius Avenue approximates the south boundary of the Marselius farm, on Vley Road; Larkin Street perpetuates the name of an old Scotia family.
Though not named for Scotia residents, the street names in the Mynderse plot have an interesting history. Dr. Herman V. Mynderse, first President of Scotia [now that office is called Mayor], was a great admirer of the writings of Washington Irving. And as all readers of Irving know, his home was called Sunnyside, and one of his best-known works was the History of New York, by the apocryphal Diedrich Knickerbocker. Which accounts for the names of all four streets in this plot.
Several mysteries remain. Who was the John of John Street, the Charles of Charles Street, the Holmes of Holmes Street? What loyal Scot named Wallace and Bruce Streets? What was the origin of the names Engleman, Orlinda, Elliott, and Walton? What ornithologist named Eagle, Hawk, Lark, Robin, and Wren? Who with a passion for arithmetic named the street from First to Sixth?
Do real estate promoters, when they map new developments and assign street names, realize the responsibility they assume? For once a name is fixed, appropriate or outlandish, it goes on practically forever. Schonowe Avenue is still The Dyke to most older residents; to many Erie Boulevard in Schenectady is still The Dock; and there are those who think of Broadway as Center Street, and a few who remember it as Villa Road.