In the 1700s a wooden bridge crossed the White Creek, then known by its Indian name SanCoick. The most recent bridge at this site was known as the Dublin Bridge. Today it has been replace with a culvert.
A Mr. Van Schaick (referred to as Tory Van Schaick) owned a grist mill powered by the waters of White Creek, at the time of the revolutionary war. The mill was caught up in a skirmish August 14,1777 between a British force led by Colonel Baum and a detachment from the American Army under the command of Colonel Gregg. The British seized the contents of the grist mill and the Americans destroyed the bridge causing Colonel Baum to send for help.
The mill that Mr. Van Schaick owned became known as the “Old Grist Mill”. During the 1800s it was sold several times. The mill fell into disrepair and had to be rebuilt. John H. Burk, whose father rebuilt the mill, was the last owner. He said that he had all the work he could do supplying feed for the local people. Feed for animals and flour for home use was made from crops of wheat, oats and buckwheat. Common grains grown on the surrounding farms. The Grist Mill burned and was not rebuilt. Along with the grist mill was a sawmill and cider mill, their owners and exact locations have not been recorded. Some of these mills operated into the early 1900s.
There were two other mills built on White Creek upstream from the mills at Dublin Bridge. One mill was built near the White Creek Pool by Walter Shurwood in the early 1930s. He ran a beater for making paper and experimented with improving the equipment for the paper industry. The second was a scythe mill built where the White Creek comes close to the Cobble Hill Road (Now Robert Cooks’ farm since the 1960s. The mill operated until the use of horse drawn mowing machines became popular.
J. G. Byers owned a farm located from the north side of Cobble Hill Road to the property now owned by John Calhoun (The Auction barn) north of Telford Road. The well on the property was pure enough to be used in the making of soda water. The J. G. Byers Bottling Company was established in 1877. The Company produced and marketed bottled soda water that became very popular. Some of the bottles with the company name embossed on them are on display at the Louis Miller Museum in Hoosick Falls. When the bottling company ceased to operate, J. G. Byers’ son Gordon ran the farm for some years. The farm house was located at the corner of St. Croix Road and Route 67. The farm house was sold to Fred Dowling and Jean Seffler in the 1930s or early 1940s. The house became a restaurant and bar known as “The OId Byers House”. Mr. Dowling left the business and later Jean sold it to a Mr. Safford Rudnick who enlarged it and renamed it The Merry-Go-Round Bar. Unfortunately, it burned June 10, 1966.
The mills at Dublin Bridge were not the only mills in North Hoosick in the 1800s.( Just a short distance down stream from the railroad bridge that cross the Walloomsac River was a dam that powered a carding mill that was built about 1807. After a time it became a woolen factory then owned by Timothy McNamara. The mill was sold in 1840 to Thomas and Samuel Fowler who ran it as a flannel factory. The next owner was 0. R. Burnham and Son of New York who converted it into a shawl mill. The mill burned in 1876.
Not far from this site, there was a chair factory located on property now owned by Ira Fisk. Chairs were manufactured there around the turn of the century. The family of Emily Hunter has three of these chairs in their possession. The factory was powered by the water at the same dam as the former woolen mill. After the chair manufacturing, it became a paint factory.
The home of the R. H. Stevens family of the Stevens and Thompson Mills was located on Route 22 a short distance south of the now existing North Hoosick Fire House. It was built in 1879-80. Fred Dowling bought the Stevens home and ran a restaurant and bar there named The Crestwood. It burned in 1950 and was not rebuilt.
The home of the George Thompson family was built in 1880. It was a large house of wood and an elaborate barn of brick. This was located on Route 22 next to the Stevens Mansion. The property was bought by Larry and Judith Peterson in 1965. They made their home there until it burned on December 26, 1980. They remodeled the barn and made it their home and are living there now.
In 1880 Perry Eldridge built a hotel that is located in North Hoosick at the intersection of Routes 22 and 67. He sold it to Charles Hathaway in 1907. Its name became the Hathaway Hotel. Two years later in 1909 Ida B. Delaney bought it and the name, Delaneys’ Hotel remains today. The next owner was Fredrick Goss who acquired the hotel in 1960. An out building burned and Mr. Goss’s son lost his life in the flames. Franklin and William Tate bought the hotel. They sold it to Donald Walker in 1972 and he ran it until he sold it to Marjorie Johnson. Ms. Johnson operated it as a tavern but business did not maintain the expenses and it closed in 1985. Financial difficulties arose between Mr. Walker, Ms. Johnson and Franklin Tate, who held the mortgage. after the problems were settled it was sold again for the sixth time. Lee and Vechae Chrnolai owned the hotel from 1985 until 1994. During this time it remained empty.
Controversy arose when the Stewart’s Ice Cream Company became interested in the property. Many local people and some from other localities protested. Larry and Diane Stevens were able to purchased it in 1994. Through their efforts, it is listed on the Historical Register. They have been in the process of restoring it to its original condition with hopes of operating it as a bread and breakfast. The outside has been repaired and painted and work is continuing inside. The building has become an icon for the community.
A short distance up stream from the woolen mills, a dam was built for the mill that was eventually owned by Stevens and Thompson Company, who manufactured wallpaper. The wooden dam was replaced in 1910 by a concrete dam that is there today. The houses on Baby Lane were built and owned by the Stevens and Thompson Paper Mill Company.
White-Flomatic Corporation, formed in 1933, moved from its location in Hoosick Falls to the Stevens and Thompson Paper Mill in 1943. In 1959 the name was changed to Flomatic Corporation. The company manufactured brass valves for water systems, casting and finishing their products at that location.. In 1990 the foundry had to be closed due to environmental restrictions. In 1996 the corporation moved from North Hoosick to Glens Falls including the business office, sales and production.
In 1885 Hugh Allen and son Edward Allen established a general store that they operated for about 15 Years. They sold groceries and dry goods, stocking most everything one needed in that period of time. This store was located near where the North Hoosick Community Center building is. This building is now owned by Mr. Fox who runs an antique shop. When the Allen’s operated the store the road intersection was located near the store, a short distance south of where it is located today. Across the road from Allen’s store was a hotel run by Pat Word. A Mr. Flynn, a barber, had his barber shop in the hotel. When the new road was built in 1932 the hotel was moved to its present location next to the Post Office. It is now a private residence. The North Hoosick Post Office is the second smallest Post Office in the United States.
There was a shoe shop located north of the hotel. The railroad depot was located near Joan Hathaway’s home and is said to have been standing in 1928
There were two blacksmith shops that were in the area. One was located in a barn that was part of the property that the late Thomas and Ellie Allen owned until their death. Their home was located just east of Urbon Transmission garage today.
Thomas Allen, who was a cousin of Ed Allen, ran a store, meat market and gas station where Stewart’s is today. He delivered meat throughout the area with horse and wagon. Mr. Harry N. Weir who lived in the large stone house on the White Creek Road ran the Texaco Oil Company for this area. He bought Thomas Allen’s business. It remained a gas station until it was sold to Stewart’s Ice Cream Company in 1994.
F. Chase Hathaway owned property on Route 67 across from where Jeans Dinner is located today. He ran a store there until John and Eleanor Houston bought it and ran a general store, including groceries and dry goods. It burned on September 5, 1967 but they continued the business in a little building that was on their property. John Houston died in 1968 and Eleanor sold the property to a Mr. Parker who built a small building and ran the store until he moved to Florida. There is a used car lot located there now. Tony Urbon now owns the property and operates a garage and automatic transmission shop next to the car lot.
F. Chase Hathaway also built the existing Drive-In Theater that opened in 1947. It is still in operation in 2001. It is one of only 500 outdoor theaters in the United States. In their heyday there were 24 drive-ins in the Capital Region and now there are only six.
Franklin Tate built a diner next to the Delaney’s Hotel and ran it for several years. It was operated by several managers and is now owned and operated by Kelly Abbott and her brother, Kevin Sausville.
Compiled by Gilbert E. Wright 2001. My sources were Ira Fisk, Helen Hogan and Emily Hunter who resided in North Hoosick all of their lives.
July 2007: Marilyn Robinson from White Creek has provided some additional information on the Byars family:
I read in the North Hoosick Fireman’s history that J. G. Byars (This is the one known as the Governor and was the first one to come to the area). First we knew of him he lived next to White Flomatic (in the house straight through the old bridge) but it said in the book that he owned “an old, well preserved two story frame house where advance guards of British troops were housed, as well as two or three farms along the river. On the farm where the old house stood was a large spring…”.
There is a lot about this family that we don’t know, a lot we know but can’t prove and some just common sense. For example this great spring which fed the Soda House was supposed to have come from the Byars Farm. The Bottle works was in business in 1877 but Grandpa Byars didn’t buy the farm until at least 1905 and if water ever came from there it sure was a long ditch because the farm ran from Cobble Hill to the North Hoosick Road and not to Calhouns farm. We don’t Believe Grandpa (J. G. Byars III) ever owned the soda house but rented it. Grandpa came from Westerly, RI in 1889 with his first wife but we do not know where they lived. If the soda business was started in 1877 (Which is the date on the bottles), it was started by J. G. Byars along with his son J.G. Jr. We do not know what the G. stands for and we also are not certain how closely related these two were to James Gilbraith Byars (My grandfather known as J.G. Byars III. we do know that he came to North Hoosick in 1889. We do not know where he lived but my Father was born in the double house that was next to the Governor’s on Factory Hill. He was born in l905 and my Aunt was born in l907 in the house that was later the Merry-go-round so we assume Grandpa bought that farm between l905 and l907.
It seems that all the Byars were born in Scotland (a relative, Kenneth Adler) had research done over there and we find that just about all of them were spinners in the woolen mills before they came over here. Wasn’t there a sheeting mill somewhere on Factory Hill in the 1800’s which might have been the calling to get them to North Hoosick from Connecticut and RI?
We have a picture of the soda house with several family member which we can recognize making us think they might have been living in the house next door. We do know that Margaret Byars Kimpton Spaulding lived in that house in the early 1900’s. Also the farm was sold to Fred Dowling and Jean Sheffer and opened as the Merry-go-round. Some time after Fred left to open the Crestwood it was sold and it was quite some time after that it was opened as the Old Byars House featuring the Merry-go-round bar. My Dad, Gordon Bears, ran the farm from the time he was in high school until l935 when we moved to White Creek. My Grandfather never was a farmer but hired someone to run the farm before Dad took it over. We left North Hoosick several years before the Bottling works went out of business and Dad never worked there only as an employee to deliver soda and beer locally. My Mother and Dad lived in the house next to the farm from the time they were married until we moved to White Creek.
We keep searching and thinking and maybe someday we will get this all pieced together correctly. That surely is my goal as I hate to see things that we know are wrong. Thanks to you for wanting to help get things on an even keel and if you have any info that we don’t have please let me know. My Mother who is 102, is sitting here thinking and keeps coming up with little things that might help to fit the puzzle and we won’t give up.
– Marilyn Robinson 2007
In the 1800s the Great Northern Turnpike extended from Lansingburgh to Rutland, Vermont. It crossed the Hoosick River at Buskirk, then known as Tioshoke, and proceeded north. It is said to have been routed through the West Hoosick area, crossing the river at Tioshoke and on to the old Stage Road. It continued along the Owl Kill Creek on its way to Rutland. The first lasting bridge (uncovered) was built in 1804 by Martin Van Buskirk. The bridge, known as the Buskirk Bridge, gave the community its lasting name. The first bridge was replaced in 1850 with a covered bridge that stands today. The East Buskirk Station and Depot were located on the West Hoosick Road, a short distance from today’s Route 67. It has been renovated into a house in recent years.
There have been three churches built in this community: the Dutch Reformed, Catholic and Methodist churches. The first was the Dutch Reformed Church. It was built in 1792, located at the corner of Route 67 and West Hoosick Road. The Dutch Reformed Church is there today. The Catholic Church is located near the Depot. The Methodist Church, a brick building located north of Route 67 next to the District School building. It was built in 1859 and services were held there until the mid 1950s.
The Methodist Church property was bought from Cornelious and Permellia Lansing in 1843. The deed was signed over to the Buskirk Methodist Episcopal Church. The first building was a wooden structure. The brick building that replaced the original building was built 16 years later in 1859. The church building and property was sold to The Schaghticoke Encampment No 10 Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOF) in 1962. The property is still in their possession.
The District School building was closed about 1958 or ’59 when the district joined the Cambridge Central School System. The Fire Department now owns the school building. They have added a structure for housing their fire trucks and equipment.
The Gold Medal Farms Milk Plant, known as the Creamery, was located next to the covered bridge. It was operated for over 125 years. Milk from local farms was processed into fluid milk for drinking and other milk products. The Creamery building burned on April 8, 1974.
– Compiled by Gilbert E Wright
The Hoosick Patent
History of Hoosick, New York
|The Town of Hoosick has a 2000 census population of 6,759 and consists of the village of Hoosick Falls and seven hamlets (Buskirk, Eagle Bridge, Potter Hill, Walloomsac, Hoosick, North Hoosick, West Hoosick) and rural areas (East Hoosick, Breese Hollow, Hoosick Junction, Pine Valley, Wilson Hill, Johnson Hill).|
|THE TOWN OF HOOSICK The title to the soil of the town of Hoosick comes from three original patents-the Hoosick, the Walloomsac and the Schneider.|
The Hoosick patent was granted June 3, 1688, by Governor Thomas Dongan to Maria Van Rensselaer of Albany, Hendrick Van Ness of Albany, Gerrit Teunis Van Vechten of Kaatskill and Jacobus Van Courtlandt of New York. This patent covered between 65,000 and 70,000 acres and is described as follows:
All that tract of land with its appurtenances situate, lying and being above Albany, on both sides of a certain creek called Hoosick, beginning at the bounds of Schackoock, and from thence extending to the side creek to a certain fall called Quequick, and from the said fall upwards along this creek to a certain place called Nochawickquaak, being in breadth on each side of the said creek two English miles; that is to say, two English miles on the one side of said creek, and two English miles on the other side of said creek, the whole breadth being four English miles; and as in length from the bounds of Schackook aforesaid to the said place called Nochawickquaak.
The Walloomsac patent lay north of the Hoosick patent but extended farther east. This grant was made June 15, 1739, to Edward Collins, James De Lancy, Gerardus Stuyvesant, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Charles Williams and Frederick Morris. Its area was about 12,000 acres along the Walloomsac river, partly in what is now Washington county and partly in Rensselaer county.
The Schneider patent was issued March 24, 1762, upon a petition presented July 8. 1761, by Hendrick Schneyder, John Watteck, Hendrick Lake, John Johnson, Garret Williamson, Nathaniel Archerly, Benjamin Abbott, William Taylor, Martinus Voorhees, all of New Jersey, and Daniel Hallenbeck of Albany. This patent was “bounded northwardly by the patent of Wallumshack, southwardly by the patent of Rensselaerwyck, westwardly by the patent of Hoosick and eastwardly by other vacant lands, containing about the quantity of 10,000 acres.”
The town of Hoosick is the most northern in the county. It is bounded on the north by Cambridge and White Creek in Washington county; on the east by Bennington in Vermont; on the south by Petersburgh and Grafton and on the west by Pittstown. The revised statutes of the State describe the town as follows:
The town of Hoosick shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly and easterly by the bounds of the county, southerly by Petersburgh and Grafton and westerly by Pittstown.
The surface of the town consists of the mountainous regions of the Taghkanick range on the east and those of the Petersburgh on the west, with the narrow valleys of the Hoosick and Walloomsac rivers. Fonda’s hill in the southeast and Potter’s hill in the southwestern part are said to be about 900 feet above the level of the sea. The Hoosick river runs through the centre of the town. The northern portion of the town is drained by the Walloomsac river, which flows from the east line in a generally westerly course to the Hoosick. The Hoosick river runs through a valley which was the warpath along which the French and Indians marched upon the villages of New England in the earlier French and Indian wars, and it was also a part of the famous so called “eastern trail,” over which the Iroquois and Algonquin tribes marched in their long series of wars of extermination long before America was settled by the white men. It dces not appear that the original grantees of the town of Hoosick took any very early steps for the settlement and cultivation of their lands. For more than half a century the sole inhabitants of these lands were a few Dutch families and some Mohican Indians.
The capture of Fort Massachusetts, located near North Adams, Mass., then known as East Hoosick, occurred August 20, 1746. This expedition passed along the old warpath over the ground now occupied by Hoosick Falls, and upon its return destroyed every settlement in the Hoosick valley. At- this time these settlements must have been wealthy and prosperous, for the loss in that neighborhood alone by this incursion was estimated at 50,000 pounds, New York currency.
Among the pioneer settlers of the town of Hoosick was Jan Oothout, who prior to 1754 had built a home just inside the present boundaries of the village of Hoosick Falls on lands subsequently owned by Henry Barnhart. Soon after Pitt Hogle built a residence about two miles farther south. Near the junction of the Little Hoosick and Hoosick rivers was a settlement known in colonial times as Hoosack. It lay between Hoosick Corners and North Petersburgh and was partly within the limits of the town of Petersburgh and in ihe manor of Rensselaerwyck.
Among other early settlers were the families of Breese, Fonda, Ouderkirk, Bovie, Vanderrick, Huyck, Brimmer, Roberts, Cott and Barnardus Bratt. The latter married Catherine Van Veghten, daughter of Johannes Van Veghten and granddaughter of Gerrit Teunis Van Veghten, (Sometimes also spelled Van Vechten.) one of the original grantees of the patent of Hoosick, acquiring by this marriage and by later purchases from other heirs a large interest in the lands held under that patent. His great ownership of lands and his assumption of manorial rights gave him a high social position and he was generally referred to as the “patroon of Hoosick.” The first grist mill and the first saw mill in the district were built by him.
Near the junction of the Walloomsac and Hoosick rivers in the north part of the present town was a hamlet called St. Croix in colonial times, probably so named by French missionaries who evidently explored the country as far south as the Hoosick river and there established a mission. Aside from this mission the first permanent settlement here probably was made by Gerrit Cornelis Van Ness, a descendant of the family named as one of the grantees in the patent. Other settlers following soon after Van Ness were Jacob A. Fort, John Van Denberg, Arendt Van Corlaer, John Fonda, David Van Rensselaer, Stephen Van Rensselaer, William Nichols, Robert Laeke and families named Van Veghten and Norwood.
Early settlers in the northern portion of the patent were Peter Surdam, Isaac Bull, Samuel Hodges, Stephen Kellogg, Francis Bennett, Thomas Sickels, Joshua Gardner and William Waite. Early settlers of what is now known as West Hoosick included Thomas Brown, David Cass, Joseph Guile, Samuel Stillwell and others, some of whom had made settlements before the first French and Indian war. Joseph Guile was a noted scout in the early Indian wars.
Among the early settlers of the Schneider patent were several of the gran tees. John Quackenbush of Schaghticoke settled on this patent about 1765. Among others who were early settlers were Peter Ostrander, John Palmer, Benjamin W. Randall, William Helling, John Patten and others.
In 1772 Jonathan Fuller leased from Augusta Van Home of New York for a term of twenty-one years, 220 acres of land on the Hoosick patent, which included practically all of the present village of Hoosick Falls south of the old homestead of J. Russell Parsons. and east of Main street. Mr. Fuller doubtless was the first settler at this point.
Henry Northrup subsequently purchased the entire tract of Mr. Van home and settled there, where he remained until his death in 1797. Isaac Turner and Joel Abbott settled at the Falls about 1774. Mr. Turner conducted the first store in Hoosick Falls. Phillip Haynes came from Connecticut in 1783 and located about a mile west of the falls. Deacon Goff made an early settlement on the west side of the road leading to North Hoosick. Joseph Dorm came from Connecticut in 1778 and worked in the mill of -Stephen Kellogg on White Creek, where he soon afterwardS established fulling and carding works in connection with the mills. An early cabinet maker was Comfort Curtis. Among other earlier settlers in the latter days of the eighteenth century were John Pease, Jacob Pease, Benjamin Walworth, John Cornstock, John Chase, Thomas Osborn, Dr. Aaron D. Patchin, Nathaniel Bishop and Isaac Webb.
Henry Breese of Greenbush located near Hoosick Corners in 1765. His farm subsequently became the property of Moses Warren, for several years surrogate of Rensselaer county, and later of Gideon Reynolds, one of the most prominent residents of the county and at various times member of assembly, congressman and internal revenue collector. The Breese family was prominent in the history of the town. Hendrick Schneider, one of the original patentees, settled about 1762 in the southern part of his patent. At an earlier date, perhaps 1749 or 1750, Jacob Ouderkirk removed from Albany and located on a large farm two and one-half miles south of the Falls on the west bank of the Hoosick river. About 1780 Elijah Wallace came from Connecticut and settled in Hoosick Falls. Thomas Lottridge, Jonathan Eddy, John Carpenter and Henry Clark were other early inhabitants of this locality.
Among the earliest tavern keepers of the district of Hoosick were Jacob Van Ness, Henry Brown, William Roberts, jr., Daniel Kimball, Godfrey Stock, Jonathan Twiss, John Bovee, Caleb Hill, John Mattison, Joseph Ellsworth and Morris Pearce, all of whom were in business prior to or during 1791. Later proprietors in the eighteenth century included Simeon Hiscock, Luke Frink, Daniel Lyon, Reuben Baldwin, John Potter, Freelove Aylesworth, Jehial Fox and Cornelius Van Vechten.
The first bridge built over the river in Hoosick Falls was constructed in 1791. The old “rainbow bridge,”a mile above, had been destroyed prior to that year,and for a time thereafter a ferry had been maintained opposite the residence of Col. Dorr.
The first physician in Hoosick Falls was Dr. Thomas Hartwell, who came from New London, Conn., in 1778. He was one of the founders of Federal lodge, No. 33, F. & A. M., organized in 1782. Dr. Gleason came from Pittstown in 1806 and after practicing medicine a short time began the study of law. Dr. Salmon Moses removed to Hoosick Falls in 1818.
In the legal profession among the earliest in practice in the town was the famous lawyer, Reuben H. Walworth. George Rex Davis, later in life one of the most prominent lawyers and honored residents of Troy, came to Hoosick Falls about 1799 and opened a tailor shop. Four or five years later he began the study of law and entered upon its practice in the village about 1810. Nineteen years later he removed to Troy to become a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Hezekiah Munsell, jr., practiced law in Hoosick Falls for many years. Lyman Sherwood practiced for a short time and then removed to Wayne county. Later on Lorenzo Sherwood, brother of Lyman; James W. Nye, John Fitch and Charles M. Dorr had offices in the village of Hoosick Falls.
The district of Hoosick was formed March 24, 1772. Its boundaries were not identical with those of the present town and are not clearly defined. Hoosick remained a district sixteen years and. was organized as a town March 7, 1788, three years before the erection of Rensselaer county. While a district it enjoyed all the privileges of a town, except that of having a representative in the State Legislature. The annual meetings of the district were held at the old settlement of St. Croix, now North Hoosick, and many of the earlier town meetings were also held there. The records of this district are not in existence. The town records are complete only from the year 1789, when the full list of officers was:
Supervisor, Thomas Sickels; town clerk, Zachariah W. Sickels; assessors. Jacob Van Ness, Henry Breese, Nicholas Snyder, Reuben Thayer, Isaac Bull, John Johnson, Zachariah W. Sickeis; collector, Henry Brown; commissioners of highways, Thomas Sickels, William Kerr, Nicholas Snyder; overseers of the poor, Ebenezer Arnold, William Kerr; constables, Henry Brown, Squire Read, Henry Walker, Samuel Latham; fenceviewers, James Williamson, Henry Snyder, John Van Buren, Henry Breese, John Van Ness, Zachariah W. Sickels, Godfrey Stark, Asel Gray: poundkeepers, Squire Read, Harper Rogers, Timothy Graves, Benjamin Waite; pathmasters, John Milliman, Samuel Latham, John Ryan, Anthony V. Surdam, George Nichols, Samuel Surdam, Garret Van Home, Isaac H. Lansing, Daniel Rogers, John Bovee, Godfrey Stark, Jonathan Case, Ezekiel Hodges, Jonathan Moasby, William Briggs, William Mellen, jr., David Brown, John Johnson, Luke Frink.
The first recorded public action regarding the common schools was taken at the town meeting of 1796, when John Comstock, Sylvester Noble, Peter Van Dyck and Joseph Dorr were elected school commissioners. Under the law of 18 12-1813 reorganizing the public school system of the State, Joseph Slade, Nathaniel Bishop and Daniel Rogers were elected school commissioners in the spring of 1814. In 1844, under the law providing for town superintendents, Simeon Curtis was elected to that office for Hoosick. One.of the earliest school houses in the town was built in 1788 at the expense of Edmund Haynes, Joseph Dorr, Isaac Bull and others on the south side of the river near the bridge. Among the names of the earliest teachers appear those of Waterman Dailee, Field Dailee and Elam Buel. There have been numerous excellent private schools in the village, one of the earliest of which was conducted by the Rev. David Rathbun.
The assertion has been made, and it is now accepted as a fact by most persons, that the “Leatherstocking” of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels was Nathaniel Shipman, one of the earlier settlers of the northeastern part of the town of Hoosick. He was a noted trapper and hunter, a close friend of the Mohican Indians, and fought with them against the French and the Canadian Indians. He was a Tory during the War of the Revolution and was tarred and feathered for his disloyalty. Soon after he disappeared and nothing was heard of him for years. Mr. Shipman’s daughter Patience married John Ryan of Hoosick. Mr. Ryan became acquainted with the novelist Cooper while the former was serving in the State Legislature about 1804 or 1805, and in their conversations it was found that the missing hunter had been living in the forest near Otsego lake for some time. He was finally induced to return to Hoosick and reside with his daughter and her husband, though he frequently returned to his western home at intervals. He died in 1809 at the house of Mr. Ryan and was buried in the village churchyard.
One of the most important battles of the War of the Revolution was fought entirely within the present limits of the town of Hoosick, yet that great event is recorded in history as the Battle of Bennington! The battle ground is one of the most interesting of the many historic points in the county, and many of the spots are so plainly marked that they are at once evident to the visitor who has read a detailed account of the fight, which is found in preceding pages of this work, carefully compiled from the best authorities.
The interest taken by the patriotic residents of Hoosick in the war of 1812 and the events leading up to it was very marked. In few communities was the cause so warmly espoused before events had so developed that it was seen that recourse to anything but war was impossible. As early as 1808 a meeting was held in Hoosick in pursuance of a call signed by Seth Parsons, Joseph Dorr, Benjamin Walworth, Hezekiah Munsell, jr., John Ryan, J. N. Northrup, Benjamin Lewis, J. C. Walworth, Aaron Haynes, John Palmer, Asher Armstrong and Thomas Osborne, “to deliberate on the embarrassment which foreign nations .and the advocates of rebellion and insurrection have brought upon the country.” As a result of the meeting a letter was sent to the president of the United States offering the services of the patriotic men of Hoosick in the event of war. Other public meetings followed and the patriotic sentiment of all the inhabitants was kept at high pitch. When troops were required to enforce the embargo acts, a military company was formed in Hoosick Falls, with Gideon Gifford as captain, Gilbert Barnes as lieutenant, Samuel Tappan as ensign and John B. Dickenson as orderly sergeant. In 1808, soon after the first meeting referred to, Ebenezer Cross, upon receiving a captain’s commission from General Dearborn, secretary of war, raised a company and when war was declared performed two years service. Others who served included William Palmer, John H. Haynes, Captain John Walworth, Reuben H. Walworth, afterwards chancellor, Benjamin G. Sweet, Captain Lemuel Sherwood, Ensign John Hallenbeck, Benjamin Baker, Solomon Wilson, Stephen Chapman, Clark Baker, Gerrit Hallenbeck, Jacob Haight, Job Cass, Jacob Case, Sergeant Watkins, Jacob Vandenburgh, Ouderkirk, Taliman Chase and William Coon.
In 1814 there were three companies of militia in Hoosick-an artillery company commanded by Captain Thomas Osborne, a company of infantry commanded by Captain Abram Keach and a company of infantry commanded by Captain Nathaniel Bosworth. One hundred and twenty-eight volunteers under George R. Davis joined these organizations, and all marched from Troy to Plattsburgh, but the battle at that place had been fought before they reached there.
The men of Hoosick furnished one company for the Thirtieth regiment New York Vols., which went to the front during the early days of the War of the Rebellion. The first meeting was held at the Baptist church April 24, 1861, when more than forty men signed the enlistment roll, the first being L. Burke Ball of Hoosick Falls. Money was voted liberally and soon the full company was ready for the field, hay ing been designated as Company H. New recruits were received from time to time during the war, and 416 all told left Hoosick for the Civil War during that memorable struggle. Those who died (28 in total) in the service were: William Sears, Frank Williams, Martin Barrel, Jedediali Varnum, Matthew Dwyre, David E. Conger, Pardon S. Fuller, Edward Conger, James Riley. James Van Acker, James Congdon, William A. Callen, Bartholomew Carmody, Jesse T. Dunham, David Donahue, Albert S. Hall, Jeremiah Kimball, George W. Kenyon, Jason Love, Robert Patterson, Jesse Potter, Raiph Selby. John Cumber, Henry C. Link, Thomas Hall, Charles H. White, John J. V. Grover, Robert Robinson.
The largest and most important village in the town of Hoosick is Hoosick Falls. It is located on the Hoosick river at the falls, and has one of the finest water powers in the State. Early settlements in the village and its immediate vicinity have been described in preceding pages. Through the influence of Seth Parsons, who conducted a machine shop there, a post-office was established in Hoosick Falls in 1822 and Mr. Parsons became its first postmaster. He located the office in his shop and appointed David Ball as his deputy. Mr. Parsons was retained in the office nineteen years, during which time the development of the village was very rapid. In its early days the post route to Hoosick Falls, or “the Falls,” as the village was first known, was a branch of the route from Albany to Brattleboro, Vt., and the mail was carried to and from Hoosick Corners by a boy, who walked.
Hoosick Falls was incorporated as a village in 1827, and Mr. Parsons, who evidently was one of the most public-spirited men of his day, was chiefly instrumental in bringing this about. At the time of the incorporation of the village it had a population of two hundred. The first village was one mile square, with the old Caledonian cotton factory as the centre.
A new charter was granted the village of Hoosick Falls March 26, 1859. Some of the most important sections read as follows:
All that part of the town of Hoosick in the county of Rensselaer contained within the following limits shall constitute the village of Hoosick Falls, to wit: Beginning at a point due north, one hundred and sixty rods from the southwest corner of the brick building known as Gordon’s or the Caledonian factory, in said village, and running thence due east one hundred and twenty rods; thence. due south three hundred and twenty rods; thence due west two hundred and forty rods; thence due north three hundred and twenty rods; thence due east one hundred and twenty rods, to the place of beginning; and the inhabitants residing therein are hereby constituted and declared -a body politic and corporate, by the name of the village of Hoosick Falls.
The officers of the village shall be as follows: A president, four trustees, a police justice, one or more police constables, a collector, a chief engineer of the fire department, a treasurer, a clerk, a superintendent of streets, a poundmaster, a fire warden.
The law further provided that the president and trustees should be elected by the people; that the chief engineer and two assistants should be elected by the fire department, subject to the approval of the board of trustees; that the clerk, police constables, street superintendent, treasurer, collector, fire warden and poundkeeper should be appointed annually by the board of trustees; that the police justice should be appointed by the board of trustees. The village was also prohibited from borrowing money, and any village officer incurring any liability on behalf of the village was made personally liable for the same.
The Hoosick Falls Gazette, formerly the Cambridge Valley News, which was moved from Cambridge to Hoosick Falls about 1862, and of which A. C. Eddy was proprietor at the time, was the first paper published in the village. It continued but a year. Soon afterward Botsford established the Hoosick Falls Independent, but this too died at the end of a year. The Rensselaer County Standard was established November 15, 1873, by James H. Livingston, and since that time it has been one of the representative papers of the county.
The first school of high grade in the village was Ball seminary, which was incorporated by the Regents of the University April 11, 1843. The work upon the building was begun the previous summer. Judge Chandler Ball donated a large portion of the money necessary to its construction, and the institution was named in his honor. The first board of trustees consisted of L. Chandler Ball, Seth Parsons, Lyman Wilder, Harvey Patterson, Adin Thayer, Hial Parsons, Thomas Gordon, Andrew Russell, John White, William Palmer, Willard Herrington and John Renwick. The seminary was eventually closed by reason of the lack of funds to carry on the good work auspiciously started, and in 1863 the property was conveyed to school district No. 1 for the purpose of founding a free school. Of the new school the first trustees were Walter Abbott Wood, Charles H. Merritt and the Rev. A. De Witt.
The early history of the schools of Hoosick Falls is embodied in the school history of the town of Hoosick, which appears in preceding pages of this chapter. Since the early days the schools of the village have risen to a high rank in the State. The educational facilities of the village are now equal to any found in any village of its size in the State. The affairs of the district are administered by a board of education composed of three trustees. The community is quite particular into whose hands it commits its educational interests and hence there are selected for this important office men who are prominent for business capacity and enterprise, executive ability and intellectual attainments. The trusteeship has been graced by such names as Hon. Walter A. Wood, J. M. Rosebrooks, Joseph Buckley, Hon. J. Russell Parsons, M. J. Earley, William Hyland and Ambrose Carr. The district owns and uses four large buildings. For many years Mrs. Julia M. Dewey, a scholarly lady, was principal of the schools. She resigned in 1887 and has since held responsible positions in the educational world. John E. Shull became her successor and continued serving as principal for three years, at the expiration of which time the board of education elected him superintendent. Mr. Shull was succeeded by Prof. Arthur G. Clement, who was followed by Prof. H. H. Snell, the present superintendent. An able corps of twenty-five teachers is employed. Many have had the benefit of normal school, college, and high school training. Nearly all have had considerable experience in the school room. A teachers’ training school is in connection with the school, in charge of Miss Tuthill. The district is under the supervision of the Regents of the University of the State of New York. The number of pupils in attendance in 1896 was over 1,500, and the average daily attendance was about 90 per cent. of the enrollment. The district owns a large and well selected library open to the public and pupils. In 1887 the free text book system was adopted.
Besides the public schools St. Mary’s church supports St. Mary’s academy, which opened September 8, 1891, with 550 pupils. There are twelve Sisters of St. Joseph in charge. The academy was char tered under the State Board of Regents December 12, 1894. The school is noted for its high standard of educational and moral discipline. The building is a three-story brick and besides commodious and modern school rooms there is a large hall known as Columbus hail.
Hoosick Falls is supplied with pure water by the Hoosick Falls Water Supply company. The source is a gigantic well twenty-five feet in diameter located on the flats above the falls. Water is pumped into the main pipes direct, and also into a storage reservoir located on one of the eminences in the extreme eastern part of the village. The company has about eight miles of street mains and supplies the village with eighty-eight fire hydrants. The officers are George H. Norman, president; G. Norman Weaver, treasurer, and Ezra R. Estabrook, secretary. The water was first turned on June 1, 1886. The capital stock of the company is $100,000.
Hoosick Falls is supplied with an excellent system of sewerage at a cost of about $50,000. The system, which consists of about fourteen and one-half miles, was completed during November, 1893. That it is giving entire satisfaction is apparent from the fact that already over 600 families have laid connections with the mains and the number is annually increasing in large numbers. The system is equipped with automatic flush tanks, Since the introduction of the sewerage system the average sickness has been largely decreased. Previous to its introduction, at certain seasons of the year, contagious diseases were prevalent, consequently the system has proven a blessing in this direction. The first members of the board of sewer commissioners were: Joseph Buckley, president; Lyman C. Wilder, clerk; John F. Murray, Danforth Geer and Thomas Gleason. Lawrence E. Buckley has been the superintendent since the organization of the board or since the system was completed. The outlet is below the dam of the Hoosick river.
By a special act of the Legislature passed March 19, 1888, a police force was established in the village, regulated and governed by a board of police commissioners. Previous to this time the patrolmen were under authority and special fee compensation of the village board of trustees. The first board of police commissioners consisted of Francis Riley, president of the village and board, Charles C. Spencer and John H. Cronin. Their first meeting was held March 26, 1S88. The first patrolmen were Thomas McManaway, chief, who is at present acting in the same capacity, John McPartlin and Hugh Reed. The present force consists of Thomas McManaway, chief; Byron Willis and Auer Powers.
Hoosick Falls boasts of several handsome public buildings. Foremost is the armory of the Thirty-second Separate company, a description of which is contained in the history of the company. Seth Parsons steamer house on Church street, a two-story building, was erected of brick at an original cost in 1882 of $4,800. The total cost of the building has been $10,000. The village also has four public school buildings. One, on Main street, was erected about 1884; the High school building, a three-story brick edifice with basement, with large hail on the top floor; the building on the corner of Centre and Second streets, known as the Centre Street school, erected about 1880; and the Classic Street school, formerly the old Ball academy. Another school is in Trumanville and is now known as Parsons school.
The history of the extensive Walter A. Wood Reaping and Mowing Machine company centres from the early history of Hon. Walter A. Wood, whose interesting biography is contained in this work. He was a blacksmith by trade and afterwards mastered the trade of machinist. After a time he became interested in the manufacture of agricultural implements. In 1850 he purchased a territorial right to make and sell the reaper known as the John P. Manny reaper, and began its manufacture in Hoosick Falls. The date of the first introduction of the celebrated Wood machines was 1852, when Mr. Wood commenced their manufacture in a small way. In 1855 he added to his facilities by buying the premises of the Tremont cotton factory. In 1859 the increasing business compelled him further to extend his premises by renting the place formerly occupied by a competitor. In November, 1860, the entire plant was annihilated by fire. The sales had averaged 5,000 machines for the two years previous. The same year the work of rebuilding began and the factory was established with improved facilities. The Wood mower had already been added to his manufactures and has remained a specialty ever since. It made a great success from the start. In 1861 Walter A. Wood patented his “chain rake reaper,” a machine so unique and different from anything ever before conceived that perhaps no one ever looked upon it the first time without being startled.
Wood’s reapers and mowers had by this time acquired wide fame and his business was not only attracting attention from farmers, but from financial people in the business world. It now became an easy matter to enlist large capital and in the year 1866 the Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine company was organized with these officers: Walter A. Wood, president; William B. Tibbits, vice-president and secretary; Willard Gay, treasurer. The Wood establishment met with a second interruption by fire in 1870, but the check was in part neutralized by the lately acquired ownership of the Caledonia Mill buildings, which furnished a workshop while the burned premises were rebuilding. From the date of the fire of 1870 new buildings have year by year been added to meet the heavy growth of business. In 1873 the reel rake reaper, known as the “Walter A. Wood sweep rake reaper,” was put forth with great success. In 1874 the most striking enterprise in Mr. Wood’s career occurred in the introduction of the harvesting machine, which not only reaped the grain and separated it into gavels, but bound it into sheaves ready for the shock or stack. In 1878 was introduced “Wood’s enclosed gear mower,” which was at once adopted as a type by European manufacturers. In 1880 the company brought out their “twine binder harvester,” to which was added “Wood’s bundle carrier,” which deposited the sheaves in groups. Novelties were brought out almost every year after that.
The works stand on a tract of eighty-five acres of land on the west bank of the Hoosick river. The company has its own malleable iron works, besides all the other necessary workshops, constituting one of the most commodious and conveniently equipped plants of its kind in existence. On a high point of land in the midst of the company’s tract stands a large reservoir, considerably higher than the roofs of the factory buildings and connected by pipes with all parts of the premises, with automatic sprinklers fastened to the ceilings. There is also an independent fire apparatus. All parts of the works are connected by railroad tracks, which comprise seven miles, with a full outfit of freight cars and two locomotives for switching cars to the public railroad and moving machines and material on the premises. Whole freight trains are quickly loaded at the company’s freight houses and hauled by the company’s locomotives to the track of the Fitchburg railroad, thus bringing their works into prompt communication with all parts of the world. The shops are lighted by electricity by the company’s private plant, and the various departments are steam heated. The river furnishes a fine water power, the steam engines of the company being used merely as accessories in case of emergency.. The company has sent forth inventions which have received the highest prizes at nearly all of the world’s fairs, and made the names of Walter A. Wood and Hoosick Falls familiar in every country. In 1895 the company met with reverses, having been placed in the hands of receivers, Seymour Van Santvoord and Danforth Geer. The demand for machines, especially for the foreign trade, however, has been larger than ever, and the works were operated to fill the demands under the receivers’ hands in 1895 and 1896.
Among the prosperous industries of the place established during 1895 was the Superior Knitting company, located on Water street. The concern was organized November 1, 1895, for the purpose of manufacturing ladies’ and children’s ribbed underwear. The first members of the firm were Robert Clark and his brother, George W. Clark. Later Clarence Rowland and Francis Riley were taken into the firm. The concern occupies a building 50 by 50 feet, basement and three stories, and employs about sixty hands.
The Miller, Hall & Hartwell shirt shop occupies a three story brick building at the corner of John and Lyman streets. About 200 hands are now employed. E. W. Williams is superintendent. The concern’s present quarters were completed in May, 1896, by the Hoosick Falls Industrial & Building association.
Among the other industries of the town is the Noble & Johnston Machine works, located at the foot of First street A foundry and carpenter shop is connected with the shop. The concern was organized under this name in 1894 for the manufacture of paper-making machinery, which is sold in all parts of the country and abroad. About twenty- five hands are employed. The factory was tormerly used for the manufacture of Pruyn potato diggers.
The Wm. Howland Paper Box factory has been in existence several years. About fifty hands are employed in the manufacture of paper boxes.
The First National bank of Hoosick Falls is the only banking institution in the village. It was organized March 11, 1880, with a capital stock of $60,000 and began business in its present quarters, corner of Classic and Main streets, May 3, 1880. The first officers were: President, Truman J. Wallace; vice-president, Charles A. Cheney; cashier, Addison Getty; directors, Walter A. Wood, T. J. Wallace, A. L. Johnston, S. S. Stevens, C. E. Stroud, W. S. Nicholls, J. Russell Parsons, Benjamin V. Quackenbush, J. P. Armstrong, Charles J. Eldredge, E. A. Cheney, E. P. Markham, Benjamin F. Rerrington. Its present officers are: President, E. P. Markham; vice-president, A. L. Johnston; cashier, Addison Getty; directors, S. S. Stevens, William Kelyer, C. W. Easton, Addison Getty, A. L. Johnston, E. P. Markham, H. S. Moseley, Jos. Buckley, E. R. Estabrook, Charles Q. Eldredge, Ira J. Wood, A.H. Sherwood, Walter A. Wood, jr.
Among the flourishing secret organizations of the town is the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, No. 178, organized December 9, 1890, with twenty charter members. On that day about forty members of the Troy and Albany lodges were present and the installation occurred in the K. of P. hall, conducted by D. D. Sol Davis of Albany. The following were the first officers elected: Exalted ruler, Dr. F. R. Hudson; esteemed leading knight, Edward Levy; esteemed loyal knight, Thomas H. Hayfield; secretary, Louis Markstone; treasurer, Peter Gaffney; tiler, Forrest D. Var aum; trustees, William Powell, jr., Alex. A. Levy, James King.
The village of Hoosick, sometimes known as Hoosick Corners, originally was an important point in the old stage line running from Troy to Bennington, Vt. Hezekiah Munsell was probably the first postmaster, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Dr. Asher Armstrong held the office continuously from 1799 to 1832. Dr. Asher Armstrong located in Hoosick about 1796, and for more than thirtyfive years, or until his death, November 23, 1832, enjoyed a large practice. An early industry at “the Corners” was a tannery maintained for many years by William Goodrich. The Tibbits butter factory was established about 1871.
North Hoosick is located on the Troy & Bennington railroad and the Walloomsac creek. Several small industries have been conducted there from time to time. A carding mill was established there about 1807, and later was operated by Timothy McNamara as a woolen factory In 1840 Thomas and Samuel Fowler changed it to a flannel factory. A few years later 0. R. Burnham & Son of New York converted it into a shawl mill. The property was used for various purposes after that, and was burned in 1876.
Eagle Bridge is located on the Fitchburg railroad, and not far from the Hoosick river in the northwestern part of the town. It has become quite an important.town for the railroad and is the point at which considerable shipping is done. The industries of the town are small.
Walloomsac is a small hamlet on the Troy & Bennington railroad in the northeastern part of the town. The paper mills at this point were established by A. & W. Orr of Troy, manufactures of wall paper. The buildings were originally devoted to the purposes of the McNamara scythe works, established very early in the nineteenth century A. & W. Orr converted the property into a paper mill, which for many years, under different firms, has been one of the prominent industries of that locality. The mill at Walloomsac and the mill at North Hoosick, about a mile apart, for many years were run in connection.
Buskirk, formerly known as Buskirk’s Bridge, is located in the northern part of the town. Its industries are not very important nor numerous.
West Hoosick is a small hamlet in the western part of the town.
Trumanville, a hamlet located opposite Hoosick Falls, was incorporated into the latter village many years ago.
Potter Hill is an unimportant hamlet, containing a post.office, located in the southwestern part of the town.
The first place of Christian worship in the town of Hoosick probably was established by the early Catholics at St. Croix as a mission for the Indians. Authentic data in relation to this institution is lacking.
The first church of which we have any definite and satisfactory record is the old Protestant Dutch church at St Croix, The building stood on the road to Cambridge. The house of worship, which was built principally through the offices of Cornelius Van Ness, was abandoned in 1800, but was not torn down until twenty-five years later.
In the northeastern part of the town, near Walloomsac, a Baptist church was founded as early as 1778. Three or four years later a house of worship was erected, and in 1788 a second one was built at Waite’s Corners. One says that the church was established in 1772.
The Hoosick Baptist church was founded March 16, 1785. Who the first pastor was does not appear in the records. The first of whom anything is known was the Rev. Samuel Rogers, who served from 1797 to 1801. For four years the society was without a pastor. The Rev. David Rathbun preached from 1805 to 1809. The society was first known as the Mapleton church, but during the pastorate of the Rev. James Glass the name was changed to Hoosick church. About 1831 the church was transferred to Hoosick Corners.
The Reformed church at Buskirk’s Bridge (now Buskirk) was organized May 2, 1792, and was the outgrowth of a church formed in 1714 in Schagticoke. The Rev. Samuel Smith first served the society as pastor, preaching but once a month. The first house of worship was located near the site of the present one, the locality then being known as Tiashoke. In 1823 a building was removed from Pittstown and dedicated May 2 of that year. In 1872 it was enlatged and remodeled.
The Walloomsac Methodist Episcopal church was organized April 18, 1811, with Isaac Mosher, John Matthews, John Comstock, Simeun Sweet, Benjamin Barnet and Thomas Milliman as trustees. The first meeting house was completed the same year and some time afterward the society was incorporated as the Methodist Episcopal church of Old Hoosick. June 2, 1858, it was reincorporated as the Walloomsac Methodist Episcopal church, and soon after the old church was abandoned and services were held in the school house at North Hoosick. Soon after the church was reorganized at that place.
January 25, 1825, a’ number of the inhabitants of Hoosick Falls assembled at the Warren meeting house on Main Street and there organized a religious society by the name of the “Presbyterian Society of Hoosick.” In 1829 the congregation erected on Church street a frame meeting house, which, when finished, was dedicated by the Rev. N. S. S. Beman, D. D., of Troy. This building cost $1,800 and had seats for about three hundred persons. In 1854 the old building was removed and the present church edifice was erected at a cost of about $7,000, and having a seating capacity for about five hundred persons. It was dedicated in the spring of 1854, the Rev. N. S. S. Beman, D. D., LL. D. of Troy, the Rev. J. H. Noble of Schaghticoke and the Rev. A. M. Beveridge officiating. The church edifice was enlarged and improved in 1879 at an expense of $6,500. The different pastors of this church have been:
The Rev. C. Cheever, 1825-6; the Rev. Samuel W. May, 1826-9; the Rev. Robert Shaw, 1830-1; the Rev. Luther P. Blodgett, 1831-6; the Rev. Leonard Johnson, 1837-9; the Rev. Thomas Gordon, 1841-5O; the Rev. A. M. Beveridge, 1851-8; the Rev. A. De Witt, 1859-65; the Rev. A. B. Lambert, D. D., 1865-8; the Rev. John Tatlock, D. D., 1868-93; the Rev. George W. Plack, 1893-96; the Rev. E. Payson Berry, 1896–.
The new church of the original Mapleton church society, located at Hoosick Corners upon the renewal of the organization, was erected about 1831. At that time Rev. Israel Keach, who had accepted a call in 1824, was pastor, and he remained as such until 1839. About 1869 a new house of worship was erected at a cost of $11,000, and in 1874 a parsonage costing $4,000 was built.
The Liberal Religious society at Mapleton was incorporated January 23, 1836, and occupied the property of the old Mapleton church. It was established as a mission church, and persons of several religious denominations worshipped there in its early days.
The First Baptist church of Hoosick Falls was organized October 30, 1847. In the meeting house of the “Warren Society,” May 8, 1851, the organizers of the church elected these trustees: John Lyon, Jonathan Case, Allen Spencer, Hosea Daniels and Edmund Leonard. The certificate of incorporation is dated May 16, 1851. The following have been pastors of the church: The Rev. John M. Gregory, 1847-5O; supplies for several years, the Revs. Grant and Thomas Rogers of Hoosick Corners; the Rev. 0. C. Kirkham, 1860-63; the Rev. Thomas Rogers, the Rev. William A. Doolittle, the Rev. William Wilcox, the Rev. William Garnet, 1867-69; the Rev. E. T. Hunt, 1869-1873; the Rev. A. B. Whipple, 1873-74; the Rev. H. W. Webber, 1874; the Rev. H. A. Morgan, 1875-76; the Rev. George R. Robbins, 1876-88; the Rev. A. Chapman, 1888-95; the Rev. W. E. Webster, 1895- -.
The congregation until recently occupied what was called “the meeting house” of the Warren society, erected in 1800. During 1884 a beautiful and commodious house of worship was built at a cost of over $12,000 with a seating capacity of 700. It was dedicated October 31, 1884.
The first masses were celebrated in Hoosick Falls in 1834 by the Rev. J. Shannahan in the old school on Elm street, and in the Baptist church (then used as a union church). The Rev. J. B. Dailey attended this place in 1836-37, and subsequently the Rev. Fathers Havermans, Farley, Finnelly and Quigley officiated until 1849. In that year the Rev. Hugh Quigley built a church on Church street, which was afterward enlarged by the Rev. John McDermott, who officiated until 1862. In 1862 the Augustinian Fathers took charge of the parish. The Rev. J. A. Darragh, 0. S. A., was appointed first pastor and remained in charge until 1865, being succeeded by the Rev. E. A. Dailey, 0. S. A., who remained in charge until 1874. The church proving too small the corner stone of a new church on Main street was laid August 15, 1869, by the ‘Very Rev. E. P. Wadhams, V. G., of Albany. It was dedicated December 10, 1871, by the Very Rev. T. Galberry. A bell weighing 2,960 pounds was placed in the tower in August, 1872. In July, 1874,. the Rev. J. D. Waidron, 0. S. A., was appointed pastor, and in 1890 he was succeeded bythe Rev. P. J. O’Connell, O. S. A. The Rev. D. D. Reagan, the present pastor, has served since 1894. A new organ was placed in the church August 15, 1881. The present edifice is a substantial brick structure with stone trimmings, and cost $58,000. Its seating capacity is 1,050.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Hoosick Falls was incorporated April 12, 1858. In 1860 a frame church was erected on Main street, in which services were first held on Christmas day of that year, at which time it was dedicated, the Rev. J. E. King, D.D., preaching the sermon on the occasion. The building cost about $3,300, and had a seating capacity of 300. It was further enlarged in 1877. A fine toned bell, weighing 1,866 pounds, and costing $642, was placed in the belfry in the summer of 1874. In 1887, during the pastorate of the Rev. C. W. Rowley, it was determined to build a new church, the old one having been outgrown. The Russell homestead was purchased, the old house converted into a parsonage, and the corner stone of a new church laid October 20, 1887. The edifice was completed in about a year, at a cost, including furnishing, of about $30,000; the value of the entire property, lot, parsonage and church, being about $40,000. This building was dedicated October 31, 1888. The society is in a strong and flourishing condition. The first pastor of the church was the Rev. Reuben Wasliburne.
The Baptist church at West’ Hoosick was incorporated April 16, 1861, with Stephen Paddock, Philip Herrington and Isaac Shedd- as trustees.
St. Mark’s Protestant Episcopal parish, of Hoosick. Falls, was organized under the ministrations of the Rev. Nathaniel 0. Preston. It was incorporated November 1, 1834. The parish continued to exist in a very uncertain condition till 1858, when a new organization was effected. The corner stone of the church was laid in the summer of 1858 by the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter. The first services in the church were held Sunday, August 26, 1860, and the edifice was consecrated May 5, 1863. The church was partially destroyed by fire in 1886; was restored the same year, and enlarged in 1888-89. This church contains a townclock and a fine chime of bells presented by J. Hobart Warren, in memory of his wife. A beautiful carved oak reredos, representing the Lord’s Supper, is the gift of William M. Cranston, of England, in memory of his wife. A brass lectern and oak pulpit are the gift of John G. Darroch, in memory of his wife. The rectors of the parish have been:
Rev. Nathaniel O. Preston, 1833-38; the Rev. Ebenezer Williams; the Rev. James Henry Morgan, 1861-63; the Rev. Geo. A. Weeks, 1863-65; the Rev. Geo. H. Nicholls, 1865-81; the Rev. Geo. D. Silliman, 1881-93; the Rev. Chas. C. Edmunds, jr., 1893, now rector. SUPERVISORS OF HOOSICK. 1789-1794, Thomas Sickels; 1795-1796, John Ryan; 1797-1799, Joseph Dorr; 1800, Joseph Dorr; 1801-1803, John Ryan; 1804-1805, Joseph Dorr; 1806-1809, John Ryan; 1810-1812, Joseph’ Dorr; 1813-1814, Jonathan Eddy; 18l5-1818, Nathaniel Bishop; 1819-1823, Jirah Baker; 1824-1825, Reuben Clark; 1826-1827, Amasa Kenyon; 1828, Abraham Keach; 1829-1833, Harry Patterson; 1834-1835, Reuben Clark; 1836, Daniel B. Bratt; 1837-1838, Palmer S. Shrieves; 1839-1841, David Harrington (2d); 1842-1845, David S. McNamara; 1846, Jonathan Cottrell (tie), D. M. Cooley (appointed); 1847, Lucius M. Cooley; 1848-1849, Alvah H. Webster; 1850-1851, Nicholas Danforth; 1852-1853, Joseph Haswell; 1854, Jirah E. Baker; 1855, Augustus Johnson; 1856, Harry Patterson; 1857, Alvah H. Webster; 1858, George W. Ostrander; 1859, William Hayes; 1860-1867, J. P. Armstrong; 1875, Gideon Reynolds; 1876-1877, Alvah H. Webster; 1878, Jonathan P. Armstrong; 1879-1880, J. Russell Parsons; 1881-1882, E. C. Reynolds; 1883-1884, Le Grand Tibbits; 1885, William P Harwood; 1886, Le Grand C. Tibbits; 1887, Levi E. Worden; 1888-1889, Joseph Buckley; 1890, Levi E. Worden; 1891-1892, Francis Riley; 1893-1895, Watson M. Holmes; 1896, Salem H. White, TOWN CLERKS OF HOOSICK. 1789-1792, Zachariah W. Sickels; 1793-1799, Thomas Hartwell; 1800-1809, Sylvester Noble; 1810-1812, Thomas Osborn; 1813-1818, John Comstock; 1819-1820, Thomas Osborn; 1821, Seth Parsons; 1822, Samuel Burrell; 1823-1827, Seneca Dorr; 1828, Dow Van Vechten; 1829-1834, Hiram harrington; 1835, Jonathan Eddy; 1836-1838, Jonathan Eddy, jr.; 1839, Abram K. Sanders; 1840, Samuel F. Burrell; 1841-1842, Adin Thayer, jr.; 1843, Abram K. Sanders; 1844, Andrew Russell; 1845, Jason Burrell; 1846, Isaac N. Joslin; 1847, Truman J. Wallace; 1848. Willard Harrington; 1849-1850, Ezra R. Estabrook: 1851, Marshall F. White; 1852, J. Gordon Russell; 1853, S. Parsons Cornell; 1854, J. Gordon Russell; 1855, Marshall F. White; 1856- 1857, S. Parsons Cornell; 1858, Charles H. Hawks; 1859-1862, Edward M. Jones; 1863, Ezra R. Estabrook; 1864, Manley W. Morey; 1865, Charles E. Morey; 1866, John P. Brown; 1867-1868, Ezra R. Estabrook; 1869-1870, Eli P. Forby; 1871, George E. Wilcox; 1872, Edward F. Brush; 1873, Henry D. C. Hanners; 1874-1877, Henry O. Peters; 1878, Henry D. C. Hanners; 1879-1881, Warren F. Peters; 1882, Joseph Haussler, jr.; 1883, C. A. Johnston; 1884-1886, Joseph Haussler, jr.; 1887, W. H. Estabrook; 1888, W. F. Peters; 1889, George W. Van Hyning; 1690, B. C. Armstrong; 1891-1892, P. McKearin; 1893, Ambrose Carr; 1894- -, F. H. Esta. brook. JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OF HOOSICK. Harry Patterson, February 24, 1823; Clark Baker, February 24, 1823; Seth Parsons, March 11, 1823; Stephen Eldfred, September 30, 1823; David Gleason, October 18, 1823; Herr Munsell, jr., October 24, 1823; Harry Patterson, January 1, 1828; Herr Munsell, jr., January 10, 1828; David S. Benway, January 18, 1828; Nathaniel L. Milliman, January 25, 1828; David S. Benway, January 7, 1829; Lemuel Sherwood, jr., December 9, 1829.
Commencing in 1830, these officers were elected at the annual town meetings as follows:
1830, Seth Sweet; 1831, Harry Patterson; 1832, John J. Viele; 1833, Moses Warren; 1834, John Fitch, Prosper M. Armstrong; 1835, Nathan Wait; 1836, George Manchester, L. Chandler Ball; 1837, George W. Rogers; 1838, David L. McNamara; 1839, Hezekiah Munsell, William C. Raymer; 1840, David S. Benway; 1841, Albert Brown; 1842, David. S. McNamara; 1843, Jason Burrell; 1844, George Manchester, Henry B. Clark; 1845. Henry B. Clark; 1846, David S. McNamara; 1847, John Renwick; 1848, James J. Allen; 1849, Henry B. Clark; 1850, George Chase; 1851, Jason Burrell; 1852, Jirah E. Baker; 1853, Henry B. Clark; 1854, George Chase; 1855, Briggs Keach; 1856, Andrew Houghton; 1857, Henry B. Clark; 185S, George Chase; 1859, Marshall F. White; 1860, J. Oscar Joslin; 1861, Henry Hawks; 1862, George Chase; 1863, Marshall F. White; 1864, Eli Barton, jr.; 1865, J. Merritt Bratt; 1866, .George Chase; 1867, Marshall F. White; 1868, J. Oscar Joslin; 1869, Gideon Reynolds; 1870, George Chase, Henry Hawks; 1871, Joseph Buckley; 1872, Henry D. Harrington; 1873, George W. Brown; 1874, Alexander Frier; 1875, Joseph Buckley; 1876, George W. Allen; 1877, Albert H. Hawks; 1878, Alexander Frier; 1879, Joseph Buckley; 1880, George W. Allen; 1881, Albert H. Hawks; 1882, Edward Hayes; 1883, Joseph Buckley; 1884, Elon Percey; 1885. Albert H. Hawks; 1886, A. G. Hayner; 1887, Alexander Frier; 1888, George H. Kincaid; 1889, Elmer E. Barnes; 1890, Warren S. Reynolds; 1891, Charles E. Cunningham; 1892, William A. Cahill; 1893, Henry A. Johnston; 1894, John M. Percey; 1895, Franklin B. Surdam; 1896, William A Cahill. PRESIDENTS OF THE VILLAGE OF HOOSICK FALLS 1827, Seth Parsons; 1829, S. S. Crocker; 1830, Jonathan Hurlburt; 1831, Hiram Herrington; 1832, Joseph Dorr; 1833, Harry Patterson; 1884, S. S. Crocker; 1835, L. Chandler Ball; 1836, Thomas Bussey; 1837, Matthew Wait; 1838-1839, L. Chandler Ball; 1840, Hiram Herrington; 1841, Seth Parsons; 1842, Doel Sanders; 1843, L. Chandler Ball; 1844, Hial Parsons; 1845, L. Chandler Ball; 1846, John White; 1847, John Renwick; 1848, Willard Herrington; 1849, L. Chandler Ball; 1850, Harry Patterson; 1851, L. Chandler Ball; 1852, Willard Herrington; 1853. Henry Gill; 1854-1857, L. Chandler Ball; 1858, Walter A. Wood; 1859-1868, records missing; 1869, W. H. Burchard; 1870-1871, L. Chandler Ball; 1872-1874, J. Russell Parsons; 1875-1876, Albert T. Skinner; 1877, Joseph Buckley; 1878, J. M. Rosebrooks; 1879, Isaac A. Allen; 1880, M. V. B. Peters; 1881, 2 Edgar Leonard;. 1882-1884, C. C. Spencer; 1885-1887, W. P. Parsons; 1888-1890, Frank Riley; 1891-1893, Thomas Canfield; 1894- , J. M. Rosebrooks. CLERKS OF THE VILLAGE OF HOOSICK FALLS. 1827-1832, Hezekiah Munsell, jr.; 1833, S. S. Crocker; 1834, Sidney A. Page; 1835, Walter Clark; 1836, Hezekiah Munsell, jr.; 1837, Samuel Shuffieton; 1838-1839, Isaac N. Joslin; 1840, Hezekiah Munsell; 1841, Hial K. Parsons; 1842, John Renwick; 1843-1845, Isaac N. Joslin; 1846, William Dorr; 1847, Isaac N. Joslin; 1848, Truman J. Wallace; 1849-1852, Elliot C. Aldrich; 1853-1855, Truman J. Wallace; 1856-1857, M. F. White; 1858, Truman J. Wallace; 1871, John & Wilcox; 1872-1875, Albert C. Eddy; 1876-1879, Edward Matthews; 1880-1881, Henry O. Peters; 1882-1887, Wallace Barnes; 1888-1893, W. H. Slocum; 1894- , Edward J Lane.
Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Company
In the fall of 1852, business partners Walter Abbott Wood and his brother-in-law James Russell Parsons traveled to Geneva, NY, where there was an agricultural society-sponsored trial of farm machines. Wood and Parsons purchased a shop license to build the best machine presented there for sale in New York State.
Back in Hoosick Falls, there was an apparent disagreement on how to proceed. Parsons joined with another brother-in-law in forming Ball & Parsons to manufacture Manny Patent mower-reapers. Ball & Parsons would cease production in 1858. That year J. Russell Parsons would join Wood and the next year Wood would lease the former Ball & Parsons works. Walter A. Wood had grown up at his father’s forge and foundry. He examined the Manny machine for improvements, to make models for standardized parts, and improve the design for production. In 1854 he purchased a license for the Haines Header – a machine better suited for dry grain growing area like California.
By 1860, Wood had an improved mower and a new combined mower – reaper. He soon decided the combination machine wasn’t as good a mower as his separate mower. The mower version of the combined machine was sold as a separate mowing attachment to the reaper. This increased its cost to near that of the separate mower while providing a “combined” machine for those who insisted on buying one. The reaper was improved and became the chain-rake reaper – an early machine that no longer needed a second operator to rake the grain from the platform. Wood had all the patents for this early one-man machine, and was able to sell a license for the reaper and the improved mower to Hart Massey for sale in Canada.
During this early period, Wood also established offices in London and Berlin. In Hoosick, he purchased several other buildings near his foundry and leased the former Ball & Parsons shops. In 1860 his company made and sold 6,000 machines. In November 1860, the entire manufacturing area north of the Hoosick River burned. Wood purchased more land and built a new foundry and factory. In 1865 the Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Company was incorporated. In 1868, it purchased an old factory south of the river to gain more water power at the falls. In March 1870, there was another disastrous fire which leveled the buildings on the north side of the river. The old factory on the south side was put into manufacturing use while a temporary foundry was built on the north side. A new factory was completed in 1871 with fire sprinklers fed directly from a new reservoir on the nearby hill. The new building was wood frame inside brick. In 1873 a new foundry was built along Mechanic Street.
Wood had heard that Sylvanus Locke of Wisconsin was working on a binder-harvester. Locke had contacted a major western manufacturer who concluded the idea was impractical. Wood invited Locke to come to Hoosick Falls, and Locke designed a patented wire binder to go on a Wood harvester. Now one machine could cut and bind grain into sheaves. The Wood – Locke machine was the first commercially successful binding harvester in the world.
By 1875, production again reached 23,000 machines, and, with the exception of one year, would remain at that level throughout Wood’s lifetime.
In the late 1880s the Wood Company purchased the Minneapolis Harvester Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1889 Walter A. Wood returned in triumph from his third Paris Exposition where his machines were victors in field trials. The Wood company was known worldwide for its quality products and after-sale support.
Walter Abbott Wood died in 1892 as one of the pioneer manufacturers of farm machines to reduce farm labor. In 1895 a national financial panic left the Wood Company unable to pay bondholders. Two receivers were appointed that year. By late 1897, there was a plan to emerge from receivership and form a new Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Company.
By 1910, International Harvester, formed in 1902, had combined the resources of the McCormick and Deering Companies plus several other mower – reaper – harvester manufacturers and dominated the market. International used the income to expand its line with a goal of providing a competitive model of every machine used by farmers in the United States. This was a blow to sales of Wood products.
World War I created the conditions that ended the Wood Company. The war destroyed the European market and war debts led countries to drastically cut U.S. imports. There were strikes at home, and too much competition for a now shrinking farm market. By 1923, another receiver was appointed, and the Wood company assets were sold off in 1924.
History of Movies in Hoosick Falls
At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Thomas Edison introduced two pioneering inventions related to showing moving pictures. From 1895 – 1906, films went from a novelty to the beginning of a big business. Small towns and neighborhood movie theaters usually had a pianist.
The first movies in the village were shown circa 1903 in the Armory. The Lyman H. Howe Productions came once a year and showed scenes taken from the rear platform of a moving train. They also included comedies of characters from the Sunday Funnies.
In Hoosick Falls two theaters were started circa 1907. The Bijou Theater opened on John Street where the present Loretan Gallery is located. A second theater, the Lyric, opened on 54 Classic Street near the Holmes Furniture Store. The piano player at the Bijou was Grace Sommerville and Margaret O’Brian played at the Lyric Theater. Jack Eberle, manager of the Lyric, sang popular songs as colored slides were shown on the screen. Margaret married Jack Eberle and were the parents of the Big Band Era singers, Bob and Ray Eberle.
The Star Theater was erected at 56 Church Street around 1909 and was well attended. It was located across from the Senior Center in the present empty store. It advertised “No Cheap Trash – 8 reels – all licensed – all Censored”. One night during the showing of the movie, “A Trip Thru Death Valley”, the floor caved in during the middle of the showing. There was no cellar under the building so no one was injured. The Star Theater went out of business with the building of the New Theatre at 40 John Street in 1913. The auditorium had a seating capacity of 1050. It booked vaudeville shows as well as motion pictures.
On October 19, 1915 a picture filmed in the gladiola fields of Arthur Cowee at Berlin, NY was first shown at the New Theatre. It was the only feature filmed in this area.
The New Theatre was demolished in September 1969.
Driving Park and Fair
The Hoosick Driving Park and Fair Association existed in the late eighteen and early nineteen-hundreds. Events were held on grounds located north of the village on the east side of Route 22. This land, then known as Webster Grove and later as Tomlinson Grove, had a quarter-mile racetrack, a grandstand and a picnic area.
Entries for this fair were open to the world. All the exhibitors were charged $1.00, which entitled them to a pass to enter the fair twice each day. When prize money was awarded, 10% of the premium was deducted unless the premium was $10.00 or less. The entries were divided into seven divisions – Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Poultry, Dogs, Farm and Garden Products, and Implements. Each division was divided into classes.
Horse Racing was a big attraction at all fairs. The Hoosick Driving Park and Fair Association provided a contest for Trotting and Pacing. The purses for the winners were from $250 to $500. The entry fees for these races were 5% of the purse.
During the years of the Hoosick Driving Park and Fair Association, three other local fairs were also popular. The Rensselaer County Agricultural and Horticultural Society Fair, then held in Lansingburgh, the Agriculture and Liberal Arts Society of Rensselaer County Fair held in Nassau, and the Cambridge Fair. Fairs made it possible to promote social events crucial to the exchange of ideas and goods. It gave the opportunity to engage in competition and the opportunity to enjoy entertainment otherwise seen only in large cities.
While it seems that our Hoosick Fair was relatively short lived, other fairs had their hard times also. The Rensselaer County Agricultural and Horticultural Society had several high and low times, almost losing their charter in 1919, their centennial year. The Fair at Nassau continued until 1944. The Cambridge Fair closed in the early forties after over 70 years. Some fairs have closed because of changes in transportation, changes in economy, and sometimes poor management. The reason that the fair at the Hoosick Driving Park closed is not known. However, its existence was important to the town.
The Store at Hoosick Corners
Isabelle Marshall sent this photo to the Museum a while back. This is the building next to what is now Seifert’s Auction House in Hoosick taken around 1911. Mrs. Marshall noted that sitting on the porch in the photo is Albert Hotchkin Marshall with his son Albert Fenton Marshall. Mrs. Marshall’s husband Rudy was another son born in 1911. Albert H. Marshall ran a barber shop in this building. He was also a barber in 1908 at the American House which was a large hotel that stood on the corner across the street at the Hoosick Corner.
To get a wider view of this area, here is a photograph taken circa 1915, of the store at Hoosick Corner that was owned by Thomas F. Howe. The Marshall store is to the right.
Thomas F. Howe owned the store from around 1895 to his death in 1930. He became postmaster of Hoosick in 1908 and ran the post office until 1930. His daughter, Fanny, ran the store for a short time in the early 1930s before it was sold. Thomas married Zoe Fanny Rudd on June10, 1891. You can see her wedding gown and wedding invitation on display in the Wedding Room at the Louis Miller Museum. They had four daughters who did not marry.
The last living daughter, Dorothy Church Howe, died at age 87 in her home in Troy, NY. The sisters rarely threw anything away, and a 1987 auction took eight hours to sell everything collected and brought in close to $100,000. Among the items was a Christmas card signed by Grandma Moses, an autographed biography of Grandma Moses, and a painting by Joseph Hidley of Poestenkill. All the monies from the Howe estate were divided between six of the sisters’ favorite charities: the Hoosick Baptist Church, the Hoosick Episcopal Church, the Rensselaer County Historical Society, the Hoosick Township Historical Society, the Troy Public Library and the Hoosac School. This money received by the Hoosick Township Historical Society was used to establish more displays at the Museum and was added to the endowment.
Two weeks before the end of the Civil War, on March 26, 1865, the 32nd Separate Company of the National Guard of New York was formed. The Hoosick Falls Armory was built in 1888 and the 32nd, which contained 65 men, became the active unit of the Armory in 1889. When the Spanish American War broke out in 1898, the unit volunteered to take part. On June 4, 1898, they arrived in Tampa, Florida with 109 men. Due to lack of transport the unit was not sent to Cuba, and the war ended before they could be deployed.
The unit stayed active in the Armory, and before World War I, it was joined with a Troy unit and was attached to the 27th Division. The unit was in the war from March 25, 1917 to April 1, 1919, and operated with the British in Belgium. Thirty-one men from the division died in World War
The unit at the Armory changed and decreased in number after World War I. The unit before World War II became Headquarters Detachment, First Battalion of the 105th Infantry. The unit of 27 men were federalized and left for Fort McClellan, Alabama on October 23, 1940. Five men were discharged because of physical problems, eleven men participated in the Battle of Saipan, the others transferring and were active in other units. Three were killed in the Battle of Saipan and four were wounded.
The Armory is located in Hoosick Falls at 80 Church St. and is listed as a National Historic Preservation Site.
Banking in Hoosick Falls
The First National Bank was organized in 1880 and was very conservative in its management.
For many years thereafter it was under the direction of Addison A. Getty. It was the only bank in Hoosick Falls for over twenty years, and it was the center of industrial and commercial activity during the village’s heyday. It was located on the Wood Block at the corner of Main and Classic Streets.
Each Wednesday, the bank was clogged with workers of the Walter A. Wood Company cashing
their pay checks. The payroll of the Wood Factory contained thousands of individuals. The bank had to clear volumes of information to make this possible.
The Peoples National Bank was organized in 1901. It soon became very active and successful in the community, drawing business to shops in the village. The bank activity became too large for their present building on Main Street and improvements had to be made. The Peoples National Bank and The First National Bank consolidated on April 11, 1931, and opened in its new building on February 6, 1932. This was an important merger in the banking system of Hoosick Falls.
As of December 31, 1931 the Condensed Statement of the Bank’s Condition listed its assets at $5,253,086.34. The bank safe was purchased through the Diebold Safe and Lock Company. Its door weighed nearly twenty tons, and there was a ventilation system and a telephone inside. The vault was built so that it could not be entered by torch or otherwise.
The Wood Flong Corporation
The oldest and largest manufacturer of newspaper mats in the world was located in Hoosick Falls. The Wood Flong Corporation was located in Clay Hill in the Malleable Iron Works plant of the old Walter A. Wood Company. The plant covered 13 acres and had 125,000 square feet of space devoted to production and another 3,300 square feet of space for offices. The company employed over 200 people, with sales representatives all over the United States.
The company was founded by Benjamin Wood in 1911. Wood was the fourteenth of 15 children of a onetime mayor of New York City. He was no relation to Walter A. Wood. The company began as an importer of stereotype flongs, or newspaper mats as they are called in the U.S. A mat was a specially designed wood fiber board used mainly by daily newspapers as a mold to transfer the type and picture images from metal or plastic type to a printing plate for the presses. By 1915, the company had perfected a domestic manufacturing process. Increased sales created a need for more space. The plant was moved from Stillwater, NY to Hoosick Falls in 1929.
Wood Flong was the first mat maker to produce the one-piece packless mat. Over 124 newspapers purchased this better mat. The New York News and the New York Times used over 150,000 mats per year. With a million-dollar expansion, the company could produce 50,000 mats per day. The mats was exported to over 45 foreign countries.
The company remained in the Benjamin Wood family until 1946 when it was sold to an outside group. In, 1966, Moore-McCormack Company purchased Wood Flong and sold it in 1969. Bolt, Beranek and Newman took over operations. In 1973, it was sold again to a group of employees headed by Calvin Otto and included Ralph Millington and Charles Cappellino.
With the advent of new technology in printing, the need for mats slowly disappeared. Wood Flong worked hard to produce new products and did worked with Lydall Company to produce gasket material, electric board, engraving material, and other products. Lydall purchased Wood Flong in January, 1980 and continued operations.
Lovejoy Chaplet Corporation
Lovejoy Chaplet Corp is located on River Street in Hoosick Falls and is one of the longest, continuously operating manufacturing companies in the Town of Hoosick. Lovejoy can be traced back to 1897 when Fred Lovejoy operated the Patent Specialty Supply Co. in Cambridge, NY. By 1911, his brother Charlie operated the Lovejoy Chaplet Co. in West Sandgate. Leroy Brownell and Merritt Ashworth purchased the Lovejoy Chaplet Co. and incorporated the company on December 18, 1923. Circa 1925, the present factory was built on River Street.
In 1935, the Co. was merged with the Patent Specialty Co. to form the Lovejoy-Patent Specialty Company. Elwin Bentley brought in his hinge tube machines and became a third partner in this new corporation. The company had approximately 20 people working at the plant. The main products produced were chaplets, hinge tubes, door catches, and screw machine parts mostly used in automotive distributor caps molded by Specialty Company and Hoosick Engineering of Cambridge, NY.
Lovejoy Chaplet manufactured hinge tubes and chaplets by the hundreds of thousands.
What are hinge tubes and chaplets? Hinge tubes are small tin tubes filled with casting sand that are placed into a foundry mold. When hot metal is poured into the mold, the tin melts leaving behind the casting sand. Once the casting sand if removed, you have a hinge tube. Before foundries came up with new methods, these hinge tubes were used in making cast iron objects like stoves, door hinges, door catches, and so on. Chaplets were tin objects of many shapes that were used in the foundries to create specific outcomes in castings.
The company went through several name changes, and in 1956 it was incorporated under the present name. In 1968, Fred McGuire purchased Mr. Ashworth’s share in the company and became president in 1980. Seeing the need to expand into new machine technology, the company invested in its first Computer Numerical Machine (CNC). Several CNC machines were purchased to meet the needs of the machine shop.
Factory on First
From Potato Digger to Paper Machinery to Copper Foil
Since 1891, a large factory has been located at 80 First Street. It started as the Pruyn Manufacturing Company which manufactured potato diggers invented by Henry S. Pruyn. The company produced and sold potato diggers all over the world, but in 1894, the company went bankrupt.
James A Noble from Lawrence, Massachusetts moved to the area in 1894 to manufacture paper making machinery. A. L. Johnston, a successful store keeper on Church Street, purchased the foundry. After a few years, Johnston teamed up with James Noble to establish Noble and Johnston Machine Shop. The paper machinery produced at this factory was soon known throughout the paper industry. The plant grew into a machine shop, woodworking shop, and a blacksmith and steel shop. By 1899, it employed over 40 people. However, on March 14, 1902 the plant was destroyed by a major fire.
A. L. Johnston declined to invest in the rebuilding of the business and factory. Walter A Wood, Jr. became interested, and the Noble and Wood Machine Company was organized in 1902. A new modem well-equipped plant was built. Within a few years, over 150 men were working in this thriving enterprise. Noble and Wood became a leader in paper making machinery. They began manufacturing piano parts as a side enterprise. These piano parts were cast, machined, plated and polished in the plant and shipped out ready to be assembled.
During World War II, the company employed over 250. During this time about 100 women were employed making artillery shell boosters. Business slowly declined in the. In 1969 Simmons Machine and Tool Corporation of Menands purchased 53% of the company’s stock. The Simmons company went bankrupt in 1973, and the Noble and Wood Machine Company closed in January 1974.
The factory was purchased by Oak Industries in August 1977. The manufacturing of copper foil started here through a joint venture between Oak and Mitsui Mining. The business flourished, and in 1988, plans were drawn for a new plant on Route 22 opposite True Value, but were later cancelled. In July 2001, 100 employees were temporarily laid off due to a weak electronics market.