Downtown Troy developed rapidly throughout the 19th century. The bustling river city saw a devastating fire that ripped through River and First Streets and the surrounding area in 1820. Troy’s business community quickly rebuilt, this time with many more brick buildings. As the century progressed, River Street and the downtown blocks that connected to it saw vast growth and development. [Read more…] about Troy’s Nathan Dauchy Centerpiece Harmony Hall Still Stands Tall
Everywhere that Burleigh went, Burleigh went, Burleigh went – everywhere that Burleigh went the press was sure to follow.
The press followed H.G. Burleigh, a 19th century State Assemblyman, Congressman and political power broker from Whitehall and Ticonderoga, because reporters knew there would always be an entertaining story that more often than not came with a nugget of breaking news. [Read more…] about Henry Burleigh, Benjamin Harrison’s Peacock Feather & Political Reporting
Between the more formidable island of Papscanee (previously spelled Papsickene, now a peninsula nature preserve) and where the Hoosac River meets the Hudson, more than a dozen streams flow into the Hudson River. Only at the Poesten Kill, which flows through Troy, was there enough farmland, room to grow, and sufficient water-power for the earliest industries. [Read more…] about Early Dutch Farms at Troy
That was the strategy for reaching unanimity in 1888 at New York’s 18th Congressional District nominating convention.
And the strategy worked, although some of the politicians from Washington and Rensselaer counties may have eaten crow, so to speak. [Read more…] about Schaghticoke’s Congressman: John A. Quackenbush
Washington Park was laid out in 1840 and is one of only two privately owned urban ornamental parks in New York State. At the time, Troy was an industrial powerhouse and the houses surrounding Washington Park were home to captains of industry and commerce.
The buildings imitated the homes in wealthy New York City neighborhoods. As a stand-in for Gramercy Park, Washington Park provided the “old New York” scenery in films like Martin Scorcese’s The Age of Innocence (1993) and will appear in HBO’s upcoming The Gilded Age (2021). [Read more…] about Troy’s Washington Park Assoc. Reorganizing After 181 Years
Let us raise a glass to beer, the drink that has fueled America since its beginnings. Beer was such a popular drink that most cities during parts of the nineteenth century there were almost as many breweries as houses of worship.
One source lists 34 breweries in Troy at one point. Some only lasted a couple of years, while others endured, even beyond Prohibition. One of the oldest and largest of Troy’s breweries was the Fitzgerald Brewery. [Read more…] about The Fitzgerald Brewery: A Short History
As a result of bigoted attacks by his political enemies being carried forward by later writers like Herbert Asbury in Gangs of New York (1928), he’s been falsely accused of being in criminal league with Tammany Hall, for leading “the dead rabbits gang,” and for being involved in the killing of the nativist William “Bill the Butcher” Poole. [Read more…] about John Morrissey: Toward Setting The Record Straight
On the Morning of St. Patrick’s Day, 1837, Troy’s Irish immigrants woke to an annual indignation – mocking effigies hung around the city. Boys spent the morning parading one along River Street. A lone brave Irishman attempted to pull it down but was turned away by its defenders. He left the scene, returned with members of the Hibernian Society, and together they moved a second time toward the offending stuffed figure.
“Stones were thrown and the wildest disorder prevailed” at the intersection of Ferry and River streets in the heart of the city. The Irish were outnumbered, and during this short melee several men were injured, John Foster seriously. As word of the fight spread, rumors an Irishman had made an unprovoked attack on an American brought hundreds to the corner. “The crowd began to assume a fearful aspect,” one observer reported, “stones were flying in every direction.” [Read more…] about Troy’s Anti-Irish St Patrick’s Day Riot of 1837
There are only eleven gasholder houses left in the United States. Troy has the largest, and one of the finest examples of this type of 19th century utility storage facility. [Read more…] about The Gasholder House: A Troy Landmark
It’s at 1 Jackson Street. What I like to call the Fortress of Shoddy. [Read more…] about The Hudson River’s Fortress of Shoddy in Troy