Warren County Historical Society Presents …
The Digital Version “REWIND”
September 15, 2016
History of Warren Street to 1931
In 1931, The Post Star newspaper ran a column called “Listening In.” The column held weekly contests asking for readers to send in their memories of certain parts of Glens Falls. The winner would receive a $5 gold piece and their remembrances would be printed in the paper. After the ‘memories’ were printed, Dennis F. O’Connell, an editor and writer at the paper, would write an article about the same area of the city. Glens Falls City Historian Wayne Wright compiled O’Connell’s columns together in a book: Listening In: Memories of Glens Falls, 1755 – 1931. Dennis O’Connell’s columns provide an interesting look at the history of the City of Glens Falls.
This Rewind Column is a copy of what was written by one of the winners of the weekly contest. The column asked people to consider this question: What changes that have occurred on the north side of Warren Street between Bank Square and Center Street?
The writer and winner of the $5 prize was Fred H. Eldridge. Mr. Eldridge, it turns out, was a great provider of memories for the column, and had even won the $5 prize before writing this particular memory. The newspaper article which Mr. Eldridge wrote is presented here. Bank Square, in the heart of the City is now Centennial Circle. Center Street would be the second left turn north when traveling east on Warren Street from Centennial Circle, the block past St. Mary’s/St. Alphonsus’ Regional Catholic School. Punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure, as well as spelling is presented here as it appeared in the paper on Monday, April 13, 1931 – over 85 years ago.
CHANGES ON WARREN STREET
In about 1778, Abraham Wing came to a spot near what is now the corner of Ridge and Warren Streets and with lusty strokes of the axe, chopped down trees and after a clearing was made, built a large log building that served the double purpose of a store and tavern. In the woods surrounding the structure lurked lynx, panther, and wildcat and the deadly rattlesnake glided through the grass. Deer, elk and moose grazed even in the door yard. Dr. Holden (local historian) said of the place, “according to the Wing paper, hundreds of pounds of liquor of various kinds was brought from Albany, Montreal and on one occasion from Nova Scotia. Here the Jessups, Hugo Monro, Capt. Bradshaw and the neighbors held high revel and ran up bar bills of lusty proportions.”
And hence form the location of this tavern, the little settlement soon became known, in addition to its name of Queensbury Patent, as the “Corners,” “Wing’s Falls,” and Wing’s Corners.” Then in the year 1802, records show, a son of Abraham ran the place. His name was Daniel Wood Wing. In 1809 he was in business in Sandy Hill. Then a few years later, William Hayes, who was engaged in lumber business built, almost exactly on the corner, the first store this town ever knew. I do not know if the log tavern was torn down or was razed by the builder of the store. Mr. Hayes went out of business here sometime in the ‘30s (1830s), for in 1835 this place was occupied by George G. Hawley, selling general merchandise.
According to a map made in 1858, Warren Street looked like this: The old wooden building that stood on the corner was purchased from G. G. Hawley after he had been here about four years, by D. H. Cowles and was then moved from the place and a more modern building had been erected. At the place where Henry Metivier’s meat market stands was the store of Daniel Peck, druggist. Then where the store of Fleming, Collins and Noreau furniture is now located was the home of N. E. Sheldon. Next came the home of W. F. Hones, where the Glens Falls Paint and Glass company had a store. This was torn down to make room for the new school. On the corner of Church Street stood the M. E. church.
On the other corner of Church Street stood the home of Judge K. H. Rosekrans. And next door to his house was the Universal church. That is a complete list of the buildings that stood here in ’58 (1858) on this part of Warren Street. I will pause a moment here and say a few words in regard to Judge Rosekrans. As a member of the Warren county bar, the name and fame of Enoch H. Rosekrans occupies a prominent place. He was born at Waterford, October 16, 1803. He attended Lansingburg Academy and Union college, graduating in July, 1826, with honors. He studied law with his uncle, Judge Samuel Huntingdon, was admitted to the bar in 1829, and came to Glens Falls in 1831. He was married to Cynthia Beach of Saratoga in 1832 and received the appointment of Supreme court commissioner and master in Chancery the same year. In 1867 the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Union College. He was elected judge of the Supreme court in 1854, and again in 1863. His term expired in 1871. He sought renomination, but failed to obtain it. He retired from the bench soon afterwards. He died May 1, 1877.
The Universalist church standing next to the judge’s home was built about 1850. It was a large wooden building and was called Universalist because it embraced all of the Protestant different creeds. All these buildings on Warren street burned down, except the home of the judge. It is said that he offered the firemen the sum of $200 if they would save his place. Whether this helped to save the place or if this amount was ever paid, I have not been able to find out.
On the corner of Center street stood a house that in 1858 was at one time the home of William A. Fonda but was occupied at that time by H. G. Lapham. This house must have burned in about ’73 (1873).
Famous Law Suit
We will now return to the corner of Ridge and Warren streets. The new store of D. H. Cowles and Co., now stood here and in the rear was the Glens Falls bank and upstairs was the office of Dr. James Ferguson. Perhaps it will be of interest to tell these facts about the life of the doctor. Doctor Ferguson came to Glens Falls in 1852 and practiced medicine. In 1877 he purchased Prospect Mountain, situated one and a helf miles from the town of Caldwell. A house on the mountain was remodeled and opened as a summer hotel. In 1880 this hotel and surrounding forest were destroyed by fire. Dr. Ferguson sued Frederick B. Hubbell of Caldwell for eight thousand dollars damages, claiming negligence on his part caused the fire, but was defeated after two trials and appeals to higher courts. The case was one of the most famous in the county. The house was rebuilt and still stands on the mountain.
H. Cowles and company in 1843 attempted to put a large set of scales on Warren street In front of their store but the trustees of the village refused them the privilege. So they built them on the Ridge street side. In 1854, the Glens Falls Insurance company had their office upstairs in this building for a time. After the fire in ’64 (1864), Cowles and company rebuilt and resumed the same line of business until in 1880, Dwight Holman, Joseph Haviland and I. N. Scott bought them out and formed partnership known as Holman, Haviland and Company. Mr. Scott being the “Co.” In 1885 Mr. Scott bought out his partners and took in his son, Charles and formed the firm of I. N. Scott and Son. Later he took in his other two sons. The printing office of The “Messenger” was in this building upstairs in 1882 and at one time the Department of Internal Revenue had an office upstairs here. Scott and Son moved out and in 1891 Harry Floyd opened his jewelry store here and stayed until 1908 when Henry Moss and William Burt started a cigar store. They were known as “Hank and Bill.” Then came Charles Thonrton and later William Tichnor and Homer Dailey had cigar and tobacco stores here. The John Collins had a news room and it is now occupied by Alex Shorrell as a fruit store. It is owned by the Pruyn estate, and is No. 2 and 4 Warren.
Old Time Grocery
No. 6 Warren street is next. Here Joseph Keyes and John Hill had a grocery store after the fire in ’64 (1864). Merchant Bitely bought them out in 1883 and conducted a meat and grocery store until ’93 then Eugene Breen opened a shoe store here that he ran for a time and then took in Edward Bush as a partner and the firm became Breen and Bush. The Hudson Valley Railway company began to use this place in about 1908 for a waiting room. Joseph Silverman had a news room here for a time. Mr. Silverman is in the cloak and suit business in New York at the present time. After the railway company discontinued running cars, November 30, 1928, the Hudson Valley Fuel corporation moved into the store at No. 6. It is now occupied by Mat Caruso as a barber shop.
At No. 8 Warren street, George Lockhart opened a grocery store and was followed by F. C. Wilson in the same business. This was 1871. In about ’74 (1874) R. N. Peck moved his drug store here and ran it until 1910. Then Fred Peck of Troy carried on the business for a few years. Then James Morarity had a delicatessen store here for a while. Next came the Artex Clothing company, followed by the Union Store in the same business. The store is now vacant.
At No. 10 Thomas Oliver and H. Sheldon had an office for the Glens Falls Brewing company. Then they opened a meat market. Then Eugene O’Connor opened a meat market here. He was followed by Jerry O’Leary until John Sheehan bought the building to use as a cigar store and then Mr. O’Leary moved his meat market to No. 16 Warren street. Mr. Sheehan now owns and runs his cigar business here. At No. 12 and 14 John Kenworthy ran a hardware store here for years opening here after the fire until about ’95 (1895), when C. A. Hovey opened his fruit store here. In 1900 a Greek candy store opened and was run until The Commodore Restaurant began business about four years ago.
Peck’s Clothing Store
At No. 16 Daniel Peck (not the druggist) had a clothing store here for a great many years. He will be remembered as being very deaf, by a number of people who used to buy hats and clothing from him. Jeremiah O’Leary ran his meat market here for a long time, until he retired from the meat business to open a rooming house. Then Henry Metivier moved his meat and grocery store and now occupies the building.
At No. 18 Here after the fire A. Wurtenburg opened a rug store, then followed Hiram Holey and son, grocers, with Lovejoy’s photo shop upstairs. Then Jarvis Underwood had a hardware store. George E. Adams was in here in 1883. Then J. B. Powers started in here with C. A. Hovey as a partner. Henry Day bought out Mr. Hovey and the firm became Powers and Day. Later Mr. Day withdrew and in 1893, Mr. Powers had a store here and one on South street. Then Mr. Powers left here and G. B. MacIntosh opened a grocery store here, then George S. Eddy moved his grocery business in and stayed until the present occupant, Simon Collins, moved is restaurant from across the street.
At No. 20 A. F. Steward had a crockery store in ’84 (1884). Levi Case had a plumbing store here in 1893. Then the Eastern Estate Tea company come and stayed until about 1906, when William A. Sheehan opened his shoe shop and is still in this place.
At No. 22 Wiliam Kennedy had a hotel until Martin Snyder moved his candy store in here in 1880 and ran it until the sons, Fred and Howard, took the business over in about 1908. The firm is now composed of George Davis and Fred Snyder and is Snyder and Davis, dealers in musical merchandise.
Next No. 24 John Tillison had a bake shop here for a while until Lyman Harris opened a saloon. Then Patrick Sullivan and John H. Madden built the place over into a hotel. Then Mr. Madden was in here alone in 1908 and ran the place until Daniel Hurley took it over. Then the Buckley brothers ran a hotel here and it is now run by Patrick English.
At what is now 26, 28, and 30 stood a small building that was moved to another part of the business section that was occupied by George W. Conkey’s photo store. This was moved off and John Linehan and John Hefferson built the present building that they used as a shirt shop about 1890.
At No. 26 Burger had a furniture store until about 195 and then Sitterly and Fleming brought it and opened their own furniture store here. The were bought out by Fleming, Collins and Noreau who now conduct the present business.
AT No. 28 J. E. Sawyer & Co. had their harness shop here until about 1915 when they moved to their present location on Glen street. Nicholas R. Tarrant then opened his meat market.
At No. 30 Max Stitchman opened a picture house called the Majestic Theatre. The express company followed him and then G. A. Patterson moved his grocery business here. The part upstairs was used by J. Ham, shirt waist manufacturer and later Charles H. Hitchcock and Alfred Barrows here had an insurance office.
At 32 the Glens Falls Gas and Electric Light company had an office and was followed by Seymour Taylor Electrical supplies. Then Stickner and Hubbard sold electrical goods here. They were followed by Bert and Russell Robinson in a hardware supply shop.
At 34 C. J. Clements had a wall paper store. Then the Crandall Flower shop until Charles E. Bullard, undertaker, had a store here. Then came the Glens Falls Paint and Glass company.
No. 32 and 34 have since been torn down to make room for the new St. Mary’s school.
No. 36 is the rectory of the old Methodist church. It was used as a dwelling house by Dr. Dever and then was conducted later as a boarding house. This has also been torn down to make room for the new school. At the corner was the Methodist church.
M. E. Church
The first M. E. church in Glens Falls was started in the dwelling known as the General Pettit place in the year of 1824, by Rev. John Lovejoy This building stood in the rear of an old stone store situated between the canal and the river and on the east side of Glen street. The building was removed in 1874. The original class was twelve, eleven of them being women.
In 1829 under the auspices of Julius Fields a stone building was erected at 3 Church street at a cost of about $1,500. The land was given by J. Pettit. This was, as stated before, sold to the Roman Catholics. In 1847-48 a new church was built on the corner of Church and Warren streets, under the pastorate of Rev. C. R. Morris at a cost of about $5,000. This church was destroyed by fire in ’64 (1864). In 1865 a new church was erected and in 1873 as the congregation grew the need for more room was felt so land was purchased from H. M. Harris on the west side of the church, and the rectory was built and the church improved at the cost of about $21,000 and the church property was estimated at $45,000.
Mr. Eldridge continues the article with a discussion of the Judge Rosekrans home which was later purchased by Augusta Sherman, local lumber baron, and then others before it was purchased by the Catholic Church. It is now used as the Rectory for St. Mary’s Church. It is interesting to note that in 1902-03 the home was used as a hospital.
He also has a list of the Methodist ministers who served that first church on the corner of Warren and Church Streets, and he continues with a short discussion of the Glens Falls Academy that would eventually be located further down Warren Street.
Although earlier than the time period mentioned in the article, here is Warren Street from and 1851 map, courtesy of Warren County.
Listening In: Memories of Glens Falls, 1755 – 1931is available from City Historian Wayne Wright at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall, the Warren County Historical Society at 195 Sunnyside Road, and the Chapman Museum on Glen Street.