Clinton County, NY is noted for its extensive and influential military history – we helped save the United States from invasion in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War just off Lake Champlain’s Valcour Island, and we help end the War of 1812 with Macdonough’s victory off the lake’s Cumberland Head. But there is more. Clinton County is also noted for its agricultural history – apples, maple syrup, milk production, and potatoes. [Read more…] about Potato Farming: A Four Generation Story
Albany’s Seth Wheeler: Inventor of Modern Toilet Paper
Seth Wheeler was born in Chatham, Columbia County, NY on May 18th, 1838 to a successful and affluent family. His father, Alonzo Wheeler, owned Wheeler, Melick & Co. one of the foremost manufacturers of agricultural equipment; his mother was Harriet Hatch Wheeler. At the time, agriculture was the foremost industry supporting the Upstate New York economy and demand for agricultural equipment was strong. Begun in 1830, Wheeler, Melick & Co. moved to Albany in 1849. [Read more…] about Albany’s Seth Wheeler: Inventor of Modern Toilet Paper
Theophilus Roessle: From Celery King To Hotelier
Theophilus Gottlieb Roessle was born in Stuttgart in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, on March 19th, 1811. His father was a successful market farmer and builder in the community. Like many of the children in his homeland, Theophilus received a good quality education that his father supplemented with a solid training in agriculture.
While still a young boy, Theophilus learned the peculiarities inherent in the cultivation of plants. [Read more…] about Theophilus Roessle: From Celery King To Hotelier
New York Pork: A Porcine History of the Big Apple
In 1895 New York City’s newly appointed reformist Mayor William Lafayette Strong nominated engineer and Civil War veteran Colonel George Waring to take on the demanding post of Sanitation Commissioner.
A native of Pound Ridge in Westchester County, Waring had fine-tuned his skills as a landscape and drainage (sewage) engineer having been involved with the construction of Manhattan’s Central Park. [Read more…] about New York Pork: A Porcine History of the Big Apple
Big Fires At Bloodville: An Industrial History
The fires that destroyed both the axe and scythe factories in Bloodville in Saratoga County did not completely end the industrial era of the hamlet, as is widely believed.
There were actually a few valiant efforts to reestablish manufacturing in the years that followed. [Read more…] about Big Fires At Bloodville: An Industrial History
Cranberry Bogs of Long Island: Some History & Natural History
Nearly everyone has enjoyed the several products derived from the fruit of the cranberry, but few people are familiar with the ecology of this interesting plant or the role it has played in many local economies and histories.
Today the cranberry industry is an important. part of the agricultural economy only in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. But many other parts of the country were at one time involved in cranberry production. [Read more…] about Cranberry Bogs of Long Island: Some History & Natural History
Pig Tales From Historic New York Newspapers
This little piggy was not impressed with being invited to the reception.
H.W. Kathan gave a “unique” wedding gift to Anna, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ottis Ellithorp of Conklingville, in Saratoga County: a Sandy Suffolk pig. [Read more…] about Pig Tales From Historic New York Newspapers
Forgotten Farms of Schenectady County
Schenectady County is in a state of revival. New events, businesses, initiatives and people have been coming to the city and surrounding communities to make their mark on one of the oldest settlements in New York State.
As a native to the area, I see two sides to this; it is great to see a new swing of development, making Schenectady attractive to those who don’t already call it home. However, as developers seem to be changing the cityscape ever faster, it is interesting to note where nature has taken its course. [Read more…] about Forgotten Farms of Schenectady County
Saratoga County Fair: A Tumultuous Two Years
2020 was an unusual year for the Saratoga County Fair. Due to the corona virus pandemic, the Saratoga County Agricultural Society, operators of the Fair, felt they had to enact changes. When large public facilities began to close and large public events were canceled, the Society’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to cancel the fair. They did however, open the grounds to the public and some food vendors with no entrance fee.
Another important issue that occurred in 2020 was discussions about the fate of the Fair’s historic grandstand, which was in very poor condition. [Read more…] about Saratoga County Fair: A Tumultuous Two Years
NYS Historic Barn Tax Credit Program Informational Session
Owners of historic barns (built before 1946) may be eligible for New York State’s new Historic Barn Tax Credit program for qualifying expenses to rehabilitate or maintain their barns.
The 25% credit, available to barn owners who pay New York State income tax, can be applied to qualifying barn rehabilitation and/or maintenance expenses incurred in the previous five years. [Read more…] about NYS Historic Barn Tax Credit Program Informational Session