History Lesson Articles

from Ballston Spa Life bspalife.com

The articles listed below include many (but not all) of the "History Lesson" items published in the weekly newspaper Ballston Spa Life. For a list of all the articles in this series which were written by David Fiske, go to hikeghosttowns.com/disc/topic1.php.

Ghosts in Ballston?
BALLSTON Each community has its share of ghost stories. Some are carried on from years past through the folklore of the town; others crop up as unexplained phenomena occur in people s lives. Whatever the reason, they form an important part of a com... - May 2, 2010

Galway grist mill
MILTON The neighboring town of Galway had more than a half dozen churches in the early 1800s, but very little industry. It was first settled by immigrants from Scotland in 1774. A lack of large rivers or a railroad connection stifled the growth of .... - Apr. 25, 2010

Baseball Player Ira Felix Thomas
BALLSTON SPA Among the many historic records in my office at the corner of Bath and Front Streets are artifacts involving a village native who caught and was team captain for the then Major League Baseball champions, the Philadelphia Athletics... - Apr. 18, 2010

Isaiah Blood's Ancestry
MILTON In researching the biography Isaiah Blood: Scythe and Axe Maker, it was discovered that Isaiah s father Sylvester was not the first of the Blood family to live in this area, as is commonly assumed. Rather, it was his great uncle John who m... - Apr. 11, 2010

Chocolate Factory
BALLSTON SPA Enjoy that chocolate Easter bunny there are more challenges to making chocolate than you think. The buildings just west of the bridge carrying Route 50 over the Kaydeross Creek, are called the old chocolate factory by many area res... - Apr. 4, 2010

Ballston Stockade
BALLSTON Aside from the McDonald cabin site on White Beach Road and the Rev. Eliphalet Ball home northeast of the village of Ballston Spa, the Ballston Stockade is the most significant historic property in the town. Because elevation was crucial in... - Mar. 28, 2010

Michael and Nicholas McDonald
BALLSTON Michael and Nicholas McDonald, the original white settlers of Ballston lived on what we now call Ballston Lake. Their home there was located right on one of the major trading routes used by the indians in an area that they liked to call th... - Mar. 21, 2010

Middle Grove
MILTON Industry along the Kayaderosseras Creek did not stop at the border between the town and Greenfield. The hamlet of Middle Grove was at one time home to several thriving industrial endeavors, mainly through the efforts of one man. Gershom More... - Mar. 14, 2010; scored 200.0

Carney's Restaurant
BALLSTON LAKE Carney s Restaurant in Ballston Lake has been a gathering place for residents of the area for more than 100 years. Its primary use has been as a restaurant and as a hotel but it has had many other uses as well. Carney s has been in th... - Mar. 7, 2010

MILTON During the past few decades, the town has become increasingly popular as a bedroom community of the Capital Region, especially as towns like Clifton Park and Halfmoon have become increasingly developed and homes too expensive for many home b... - Feb. 28, 2010

SARATOGA COUNTY The United States Patent Commission was created on April 10, 1790 to establish a formal method for submitting and indexing patents. Its first three members were Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of War Henry Knox and At... - Feb. 21, 2010

Former Slave Fleming Mickens
BALLSTON SPA Fleming Mickens resided in the village in the late 19th and early 20th century. Despite working as a laborer for most of his life, in his will he left substantial sums to a local church and a southern school for black children. At Ball... - Feb. 14, 2010

Kayaderosseras Creek Industries
MILTON The Kayaderosseras Creek, known locally as the Kaydeross, was once the lifeblood of Ballston Spa and Milton. During the mid- to late-1800s, as many as two dozen large mills and factories were located along its banks and relied on its flowi... - Jan. 24, 2010

It is becoming popular to refer to our area as Tech Valley because of the nanotech facilities in Albany and GlobalFoundries planned for Malta. This is not the first time the Capital Region and Saratoga County were at the forefront of a technological ... - Jan. 17, 2010

The photograph is wide angle view of a parade through Lincoln Center in Ballston Spa, taking place on Milton Avenue in the village in 1910. Visible in the image are the Lincoln Hotel, Sheehy Millinery, A.A. Hemphill Jeweler Optician and Stationer. Al... - Dec. 30, 2009

Axe Factory Fires
MILTON The scourge of fire has brought hardship to many people over the years, but one particular blaze ended a way of life for a local hamlet. In the 1820s, the Blood family established a small scythe shop on the Kayaderosseras Creek just north of... - Dec. 28, 2009

Rock City Falls
ROCK CITY FALLS At first blush it would appear that someone went through a lot of trouble to build a fire station in the hamlet of Rock City Falls. The Milton Eagles Volunteer Fire Station near the Cottrell Paper Co. is situated where a large hil... - Dec. 20, 2009

Famous Writers
MALTA It is unusual for a small town to be the home of two internationally recognized writers. But what are the chances that they would live in the same house? That is the case with The Hill-Porter-Willison House on Cramer Road in Malta. In 1941, P... - Dec. 13, 2009

Life in Ballston Spa
BALLSTON SPA John Bulkeley s 1874 booklet Leading Men and Leading Pursuits of Ballston and Vicinity not only detailed his firsthand experiences at the mills and factories in the village, it also described the various stores and hotels that he vis... - Dec. 6, 2009

Industrial Tour
BALLSTON SPA John S. Bulkeley lived in Ballston Spa for many years during the late 1800s and worked as the Up North correspondent for the Albany Argus. In 1872, he took a comprehensive tour of the industries along the Kayaderosseras Creek and beg... - Nov. 29, 2009

Good Times Lakeview Restaurant
BALLSTON LAKE The Good Times Lakeview Restaurant has been in the news in recent weeks. Many personal and economic difficulties led the restaurant into a difficult situation. But, an anonymous donor has loaned $40,000 to the owners so that they coul... - Nov. 22, 2009

James Butler
CROW AGENCY, Mont. Sgt. James Butler died in the most famous battle ever fought on American soil, west of the Mississippi River. On June 25, 1876, the Ballston native was among the 263 soldiers killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn, under the comm... - Nov. 15, 2009

Travel by Rail
BALLSTON The advent of transportation by train changed the Ballston area dramatically in the 19th century. For the first time, people were able to more efficiently travel from city of Schenectady to the outlying areas to experience rural America.... - Nov. 8, 2009

Presidential Visits
MALTA The rumor this summer that U.S. President Barack Obama might visit Malta had me wondering, Has a sitting president ever visited our town? The answer is yes. On July 15, 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julie made a whirlwind tou... - Nov. 1, 2009

Hovey Mill
BALLSTON SPA Jonas Hovey had only about a decade to make his mark as a manufacturing powerhouse in the village before he died, but he was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Paper Bag King, George West. Hovey was born Sept. 16, 1809 in Su... - Oct. 25, 2009

TIMOTHY STARR Brookside Museum board treasurer BALLSTON SPA The lumber business was among the earliest and most important industries in New York. Sawmills were usually the first industry in any new settlement to provide finished lumber for construc... - Oct. 18, 2009

TIMOTHY STARR Brookside Museum |board treasurer BALLSTON SPA Before the advent of home refrigeration, the art of making one s own butter was widespread. Milk was left to settle in a cool place in shallow dishes so that the cream would rise to the t... - Oct. 11, 2009

Elmer Ellsworth
Rick Reynolds Ballston town historian MALTA The first casualty in the Civil War was a man named Elmer Ellsworth who was born in the town in 1837. Ellsworth had studied law in Abraham Lincoln s law offices, worked on Lincoln s campaign for president... - Oct. 4, 2009

Railroad Wrecks
BALLSTON SPA With three trolley lines and one steam railroad serving Ballston Spa, there were bound to be railroad-related accidents. The slow speed of the Ballston Terminal Railroad kept the number of accidents on the trolley line to a minimum, bu... - Sep. 27, 2009

MILTON The former hamlet of Craneville, located two miles north of Ballston Spa on Rock City Falls Road, was named after a man whose family was well known around the country for providing the government with its currency paper. Lindley Murray Crane... - Sep. 20, 2009

Outlying Industries
MILTON Nearly all of the industry outside of Ballston Spa was located on the Kayaderosseras Creek during the 1800s. However, there was one hamlet in the eastern section of Milton that hosted a variety of businesses for decades. Rowland s Hollow, so... - Sep. 14, 2009

Cottrell Mill
Timothy Starr Brookside Museum board treasurer MILTON The Cottrell Paper Co. in Rock City Falls is the last functioning paper mill in the town. The Cottrell family purchased the mill over 80 years ago, but some of the buildings date back to 1859 th... - Sep. 14, 2009

Rowland’s Hollow
PRIVATE track: t- 6.000 MILTON Nearly all of the industry outside of Ballston Spa was located on the Kayaderosseras Creek during... - Sep. 13, 2009

History Lesson
Timothy Starr Brookside Museum board treasurer MILTON The Cottrell Paper Co. in Rock City Falls is the last functioning paper mill in the town. The Cottrell family purchased the mill over 80 years ago, but some of the buildings date back to 1859 t... - Sep. 7, 2009

Eastline Road Cemetery
Rick Reynolds Ballston town historian PRIVATE track: t2.000 BALLSTON SPA The corner of Route 67 and Eastline Road is recognizab... - Aug. 30, 2009

Glen Paper Collar Company
BALLSTON SPA Although no trace remains today, the Glen Paper Collar Co. was a visible presence in the village 130 years ago. It was located in the famous Blue Mill building on the north side of Milton Avenue , built as one of the area s first ... - Aug. 24, 2009

Village retailers pause for posterity
BALLSTON SPA Before he became a postmaster, he was clerk to a clothier. The gentleman standing in the doorway at the far right is Edward J. Morley, who would later become postmaster of the village U.S. Post Office branch. The photograph was taken w... - Apr. 20, 2009