The lazy days of summer
The Parks Hospital, of Glens Falls has been renamed and will henceforth be called "Glens Falls Hospital."
A total eclipse of the moon, the first total eclipse of the moon in 11 years, was watched the evening of June 10, 1909 by hundreds of Warrensburgh people. There was a total eclipse of the sun June 17, 1909.
Farmers report that crops are doing poorly for this time of year and corn is scarcely two inches high due to the cold nights and potatoes are not doing much better. The hay crop, however, is giving promise of doing very good.
No less than three dog fights have taken place this week up and down Warrensburgh's main street.
There is a hydrophobia (rabies) scare in this area and dogs have been required to be muzzled.
Fort William Henry Hotel burns
The Fort William Henry Hotel burned in a spectacular fire on June 24, 1909. Through vistas of green shrubbery, black smoldering ruins mark all that remains of the old hotel at the head of Lake George. This big establishment was owned by the Delaware and Hudson Co.y when it burned in the early morning hours and they had owned it for several years. The loss was estimated at $500,000 with an insurance of probably $90,000.
Shortly after 3 o'clock in the morning the hotel manager, J.F. Wilson detected smoke and sounded the alarm. It was near the servant's quarters in the basement, directly below the dining room that the fire started. The servants, about 150, had barely enough time to escape with what wearing apparel they could grab as they ran for their lives. The fumes of the smoke, belching throughout the building, stifled all the attempts to use the fire hydrants.
The fire department promptly responded but there was little they could do to rescue the main building but a stream of water was kept playing on the cottages and the power house which were saved. The hotel was to be opened for the season the very day that it burned. It will probably be rebuilt.
(Note... The Fort William Henry Hotel, named for the old fort that had once stood next to it, was built by a stock company in 1854 and opened to the public in 1855 with Daniel Gale as manager. He purchased all the stock and later became partners with his good friend, Mr. Joslin. From 1855 to 1868 were prosperous years.
The "new" Fort William Henry Hotel was opened on June 17, 1911 with George J. Valliquette as manager. It had 80 handsome rooms, many with open fire places as well as steam heat and 50 baths. At the grand opening, the Philharmonic orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House of New York City was engaged to furnish music with Signor Ruggerio as conductor. Expensive paintings, depicting Adirondack scenes, lined the walls.
It was truly a grand time to be alive, especially if one had lots of money.)
Thomson's dream house
With no pains or expense spared, the new home of Lewis Thomson, corner of Main and Second streets, Warrensburgh, is about completed on June 24, 1909 and is one of the finest dwelling houses in Warren County
W.E. Lawrence, of Glens Falls, was the architect and drew the plans almost entirely from specifications furnished by Mrs. Thomson. The proud owners have no reason to conceal a just sense of pride in their new home, furnished in such artistic pretensions, furnished in a style that is plain but pleasing from a viewpoint of comfort and attractiveness.
Seven light and pleasant sleeping rooms have been fitted up in the third story, which is done in Georgia pine. The rooms and the hall have oak and cherry woodwork and oak floors extend throughout the first and second stories.
John G. Smith, manager of the local electric light plant, finished wiring the house and installing the fixtures on June 23, 1909. That night the current was turned on for the very first time and the house was brilliantly illuminated from basement to attic. The memorable sight elicited many favorable comments from the many eyewitnesses who had gathered to view the brilliant spectacle.
(Note...Lewis Thomson was a poor farm boy from North Warrensburgh who worked hard to become one of the wealthiest men around. He started out as a drover and cattle dealer and went on to deal in lumber and real estate. At one time he owned 27 farms and 7,000 acres of timber land. In 1882 he married Phoebe Ann Sisson of Fort Ann and they had one child. Pearl Thomson married internationally known hotelman, Philip Rice who owned The Brown Swan Club in Schroon Lake and they had two children.
Lewis Thomson had only four years to enjoy his beautiful home before he died in 1913. He was 60 years old. Phoebe died in 1950. Today the 27-room house is known as " The Cornerstone Victorian" bed and breakfast and is owned and loved by Doug and Louise Goettsche.)
Building going up at Aiden Lair
Michael F. Cronin of Aiden Lair Lodge, on the Boreas River 16 miles from North Creek, is about to erect a fireproof garage on his hotel grounds and this will please the numerous autoists who journey north in summer. (Note...Cronin won considerable fame by driving Theodore Roosevelt from Aiden Lair to North Creek in 1901 when President McKinley was shot while Roosevelt was on a hunting trip in the Adirondack forest. Cronin was adjudged insane by doctors in early 1914 and died June 10, 1914 in the St. Lawrence Insane asylum in Ogdensburgh. Aiden Lair burned the same year. Cronin was 50 years old when he died and left a widow, a son Arthur and 8 daughters. He was an Adirondack legend even in his own time.)
Bloody walk to town
Eli Mosher, 20, son of C.C. Mosher, was spudding trees a short distance from his home on the River Road, June 14, 1909, when the tool he was using slipped and the sharp point struck him in the face near one side of his nose, inflicting a severe and very painful wound. Young Mosher pluckily walked to the village of Warrensburgh, a distance of about two miles, and had Dr. Goodman dress the cut.
Death snatches old gentleman unaware
Struck by the butt end of a tree limb, on June 15, 1909, and almost instantly killed, Judson B. Smith, 70, of Warrensburgh, expired within five minutes after the accident.
The limb was part of an elm tree on Mountain Ave., on the north side of the residence property of Walter Pasco, who had decided to cut the tree down when it became split as he feared it might break in two at any time.
With the help of Lewis Smith, son of the victim, who had been promised the firewood for his help, Walter Pasco was on a ladder and had sawed the limb which was hanging by its bark. Judson Smith was standing by the foot of the ladder watching as his son had hold of a rope and was pulling on the limb which suddenly gave way and came crashing down striking Mr. Smith in the forehead. Dr. J.M. Griffin, a neighbor who lived near by, rushed to the scene but found that Mr. Smith was beyond earthly aid. His whole forehead and nose were crushed in, the cheek and jaw bones broken. He expired on the doctor's lawn. Judson Smith was carried to his home on King Street and Undertaker J.A. Woodward was summoned.
(Note...Judson B. Smith was born in Warrensburgh on Nov. 18, 1838, the oldest of the 11 children of Zopher Smith (1812-1868) and Annie M. Smith (1817-1880). He was an honored veteran of the Civil War and married Lucy Wright of Bolton in 1868. He was survived by his widow, son Lewis and three daughters. Lucy died in 1924. He is buried in the Warrensburgh Cemetery with his family and his son, "Little Charley" who died when he was 3 months old.)
The name "Adirondacks" originated from the Mohawk Indian word "Ratirontaks," meaning "Barkeaters."
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1nycap.rr.com or 623-2210