“What! another paper in Washington County!” publisher George A. Nash wrote in the first issue of The Commercial Advertiser of Sandy Hill, now Hudson Falls, on November 26th, 1879.
“Yes, dear reader, but ours is such a little one that it will not take up much room, and we bespeak for it your forbearance for a season,” he wrote of the 4-page weekly newspaper to be published on Wednesdays. “And, by-and-by, if we prosper, it may grow large, and perhaps wiser. But even though its dimensions do not expand, you know small things fulfill their mission even as do larger ones.”
Nash and his staff were still working the bugs out of their new printing press.
“We ask not to be judged by this initial number, either in matter or mechanical execution,” Nash wrote. “Our time has been so much occupied in getting ready for our advent that we have not had the leisure to prepare and arrange matter as we hope to do in the future.”
A subscription cost 75 cents for a year –the equivalent of $21.28 in 2022 dollars. Nash said he would publish a mix of literary reading and local news.
Among human interest items in the first issue was this bit of wisdom: “Truth is always consistent with itself and needs nothing to help it out. It is always near at hand, and is upon our lips and ready to drop out before we are aware. But falsehood is troublesome and sets a man’s invention upon the rack, and one untruth needs a great many more to make it good.”
The paper’s “corps of correspondents located in nearly every hamlet” was committed to gathering breaking news. “In this respect we shall not be behind any of our contemporaries,” Nash wrote, even if there was not time to confirm a report on deadline.
“It is rumored that there is to be a wedding in town tomorrow. Should this be the case, we will give particulars in the next issue.”
The Sandy Hill school tax levy was set at $3,883.55 – the equivalent of $110,182 in 2022 dollars.
The new Fort Edward Shirt Co. factory at the Harris Place in Fort Edward employed 25 people, and had a backlog of orders.
Julia Ward Howe was scheduled to lecture at the opera house in Glens Falls on December 8th.
A trio of successful Fort Ann men had a successful three-day deer-hunting trip in the northern part of the town. “Allen E. Benton, Edward Benton and Allen Plue killed four of these such sought-after animals. One of these was dressed and placed in the market of Demerest & Haskin, and sold for ten cents a pound,” – the equivalent of $2.84 cents in 2022 dollars.
Mother Nature was not favorable to agriculture. “Old Winter has ‘cast the snow over the landscape’ a little too soon for our farmers. Belated fields of corn are still in sight while the dry weather which prevailed through the early fall has stopped the ploughing until too late for completion, which will give a light crop from all regions of heavy soil next year.”
In other weather news: “Ice an inch thick formed on the canal at Smith’s Basin Friday night, and boats were forced to wait until the next day before fighting their way through the frozen barrier.”
The Commercial Advertiser claimed to be politically neutral. “While we shall eschew partisan politics, we shall deem it our duty to speak fearlessly of men and matters as they transpire, giving credit where credit is due, and censure where censure is due.”
Photo of the first edition of the Sandy Hill (Hudson Falls) Commercial Advertiser November 26th, 1879.