As summer vacation comes to an end, students are once again preparing to return to school. What follows is a letter written in 1854 by a student at the Jonesville Academy. The Academy was a private school, built about 1839, complete with dormitories. It still stands today as a private home in the hamlet of Jonesville, in Clifton Park, Saratoga County, NY. [Read more…] about ‘Send Pies’: A Letter From School, 1854
During the Civil War, Colonel Simeon Sammons received authority to recruit a regiment in the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Saratoga, with headquarters at Fonda. On August 26, 1862, it mustered into the service of the United States for three years as the 115th New York Infantry Regiment, known as the “Iron-Hearted Regiment.” [Read more…] about The 115th New York: The Iron Hearted Regiment During The Civil War
The Grange, formally known as “The Patrons of Husbandry,” was introduced to Saratoga County in 1890, twenty-three years after the agricultural organization’s founding and twenty-two years after the nation’s first local chapter was established in Fredonia, Chautauqua County, NY. In the 1880s and into 1890, New York State Grange sent organizers in the field to build up membership. [Read more…] about Saratoga County Granges: The Patrons of Husbandry
Before the Northway was built, travelers would gain access to Clifton Park from the south by crossing the Mohawk River at either the Route 9 bridge to Crescent, or the Route 146 bridge to Rexford. These bridges existed since the early nineteenth century. Between these two bridges there were three ferries: Dunsbach Ferry, Forts Ferry and Vischer Ferry. The most logical place for another bridge was at Vischer Ferry. This would provide direct access into the heart of Clifton Park. [Read more…] about A Bridge at Vischer Ferry: Some Clifton Park History
In the 1800s, most of the commerce at Halfmoon in Saratoga County, NY, was located close to the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. Joshua Anthony however, developed his spice factory in a remote part of northern Halfmoon on his grandfather’s farm on Farm to Market and Anthony Roads.
The three-story tower in the center of the factory once boasted a windmill that provided power for the machinery. Anthony heated the farmhouse and buildings in the winter with steam from the factory. [Read more…] about Joshua Anthony: The Baking Powder King
People came from Schenectady, Albany, Troy, Cohoes and even New York City to spend a day, a week, a month or the complete summer in the healthful climate and beautiful surroundings of Vischer Ferry. As quiet 120 years ago as it is today, the village was an ideal spot to escape from the noise and turmoil of the city. [Read more…] about Vischer Ferry As A Summer Resort
Imagine the Mohawk River flowing with more force than Niagara Falls. Around 22,000 years ago, that’s exactly how it was. During the last ice age, the Laurentide Glacier began to melt, forming a large lake atop the glacier. As the glacier receded north, it opened access to the Mohawk River, which for thousands of years had been buried beneath the two-mile thick block of ice. Suddenly, all that lake water had somewhere to go.
The deluge of water that was released was so great that it carved an entirely new riverbed. It was so great in fact, that geologists gave the river a new name; the Iromohawk. Water rushed down the valley, carving away the cliffs of Clifton Park, the gorge at Cohoes, and the channel at Rexford. The river also curved back onto itself, creating the bend around Schenectady that the Mohawk follows today. [Read more…] about A Brief History of the Mohawk River
David Fiske, a regular contributor to New York Almanack, will give a lecture on “The Kidnapping of Free Citizens before the Civil War,” as part of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library’s First Friday series on Friday, June 3rd. [Read more…] about Kidnapping of Free Citizens Before the Civil War (Virtual Event)
April 14th marked the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln‘s assassination by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. This tragic event, like the later assassination of John F. Kennedy, had a tremendous impact on the nation.
There was a period of twenty days of mourning from the time Lincoln was shot to the time he arrived by train for burial at his home in Springfield, Illinois. The first of his twelve funerals was held in Washington, then his funeral procession began by train across the land to Illinois, stopping at major cities for additional funerals. It was the mightiest outpouring of national grief the world had yet seen. [Read more…] about Clifton Park’s Ties to Lincoln’s Assassination
Few remember when Clifton Park had its own amusement park. It was located on the Mohawk River in Rexford near the Alplaus border from 1906 to 1933. [Read more…] about When Clifton Park Had Its Own Amusement Park