“The sleighing just now is good and our teamsters are happy. The cotton factory is running full time,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported in its debut issue on Feb. 7, 1874. “The band boys are looking for rooms in which to practice.”
Ticonderoga boasted of the best school system in Essex County and a military history that was widely known. “Every intelligent person between Maine and Florida and from ocean to ocean takes in interest in ‘Old Ti’,” the paper said.
The village that sprung up along the LaChute River, the little connector between Lake George and Lake Champlain, was enjoying an economic boom.
Over the past 18 months 54 houses had been constructed and a large cotton factory had started operation, as well as a foundry and machine shop, stave mill, livery stable, sawmill, and a sash, door and blind factory.
Watchmaker F.W. Crain of Albany was setting up a workshop at Pond & Cook’s drug store.
Now the community was ready for its own newspaper.
“It is with not a little pride and pleasure that we pick up the editorial pen, knowing that we are the first to dip editorial ink in this historic old town,” H.M. Mott and T.M. Tobin mused in their maiden editorial.
Ticonderoga residents in 1874 were generous and knew how to have a good time.
At the “donation visit” to the Baptist parsonage to welcome the Rev. J.J. Muir as new pastor, parishioners contributed $143 – the equivalent of $3,223 in 2020 dollars.
The event “proved a complete social and financial success.”
Methodists, at a social at the home of Mr. Hooper, collected $80 for their pastor, the Rev. J.H. Stewart.
Fifty-seven couples danced to “the merry music” of the Rutland Quadrille Band at the Masonic Ball at the Central House.
“Fleming furnished a first-class supper, and the large company did simple justice to the same.”
Illustration: The first issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, Feb., 7, 1874 (courtesy New York State Historic Newspapers).