Thursday, October 25, 2012

Glass Negative Victory! (maybe)

Mom & I went to an event at the Greenwich Free Library last night.

K. Walter Grom, former Siena College Professor of German Language, History & Culture, presented a slide show on "General Philip Schuyler's Grand Vision" (i.e. the canal system). Most of the history presented I was familiar with having worked at the Saratoga National Historical Park in 1998, and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site  in 2000. I knew that Schuyler was instrumental in the implementation of the canal system in NY, however, due to the sloth of the State Legislature (shocking, I know) the Champlain Canal wasn't started until 13 years after Schuyler's death in 1804.

The Champlain Canal, also known as "Schuyler's Ditch," was started in 1817 and completed in 1823. This brought an immense amount of commerce into this agrarian economy. Various businesses began to flourish, like clay works and the Lowber Lime Kiln. Mr. Grom mentioned potatoes and ice, saying that there were ice houses up & down the canal system.

The slides were particularly interesting because many of them were images of Schuylerville in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. During the slide portion came the surprise. One of his slides was of the Liberty Wallpaper Company building. It was along the canal near current lock 5 just north of Schuylerville. I was so excited to see the facade of one of the images from that stack of glass plate negatives dropped on my proverbial doorstep a few years ago.

Liberty Wallpaper Building? the canal and tow path are to the right

Now to do some research & try to find some information on Liberty Wallpaper!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Historians Make Mistakes

I made a mistake in one of my posts. This comes as no surprise to me. I am just happy that a reader told me. So many times mistakes unacknowledged & wind up in a paper or a book.

So, "Thank you" to Bill Ruddock for letting me know my error. I have fixed the image issue.

I hope you also like the new image at the top. It is also the header on the Town of Greenwich, NY Facebook page. (Have you "Liked" it yet?) I like to keep them the same, kind of a marketing technique. Below you can see the front & back of the postcard.

postcard sent to Miss Marnie Kallihan in Wells, VT

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Uncommon Archives Usage- Archives Month

First, let me apologize for the generic-ness of this post. It does not specifically pertain to Greenwich history, but I think it will be of interest to you.

I earned my undergrad in History from SUNY New Paltz in 1998, & have been contacted for money countless times. However, in recent years New Paltz has been sending out an occasionally interesting magazine. I received the latest copy the other day & came across a very interesting article about another alum from the History Department.

In the Alumni Profile*, Anders Parker ('95) talks about going to the Woody Guthrie Archives located in Mt Kisco, NY ( What I find so intriguing is what came out of that visit. They weren't writing a scholarly paper, or a book, Anders and his musical colleagues were there doing research to compose songs. They used previously unused Woody Guthrie lyrics to create contemporary folk renditions for the album "New Multitudes," a near pitch-perfect tribute to Guthrie in the year of his 100th birthday. (for a more in depth look at this project see below.^)

This project illustrates the power & use of archives. They can be utilized for so much more than genealogy & historical research. Archives can help bring beauty into the world. They can continue the legacy of an icon. What project will you use archives for? Designing a quilt? Inspiration for a poem or children's book? Research for a play or documentary? Visit me in the Town Offices, or visit the Gill Room in the basement of the Greenwich Free Library. Visit the County Historian or the Washington County Archives in Fort Edward.


The above video about Parker and company using the Woody Guthrie Archives is from Rounder Records on YouTube-

If you are interested in the album, check it out on Amazon-

* The New Paltz Magazine, Fall 2012, p.18