The Chamber of Commerce is a form of business network. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community.
The Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce was organized at a meeting at the Elks Building in 1925 and promptly elected A. B. Drake as its first president. The steering committee was composed of T. E. Warren, M.J. Wilcox and I.Rothchild. Dues were $25 a year.
During the first few years of existence, the members worked diligently to advocate building the Vermont/ New York bridge at the Ticonderoga Ferry Landing site.
George Spring, Stephen Potter, J. Gordon Michaels, Mortimer Ferris, Ken Shults, Freeman Pond, and A. G. Adkins were active members during the 1920s. They strived to attract new business to Ticonderoga, started a medical insurance program for the members and lobbied the town fathers for road improvements. Annual banquets were enjoyed. By 1932 the group was very active and sought federal funds to establish our airport which was finally completed in 1939. Information booths were built at Moses Circle and established at Simpkins Hardware Store.
Membership was $10 and there were 73 members. President Roosevelt signed a bill giving $2,000 for architectural plans for the Armory building and a series of winter sports programs were held at the fort.
The 1940s were a most productive time for the chamber. The town beach was acquired by popular vote, and a beach bus was scheduled to make three trips daily, charging 25 cents a round trip for adults and 10 cents for children. Parking meters were installed on Montcalm Street - 5 cents for an hour and 1 cent for 12 minutes. A campaign was begun to raise funds for a new wing on The Moses Ludington Hospital. In 1942, System Properties, a subsidiary of International Paper, advocated removal of a dam and wished to restore the natural dam at the outlet of Lake George. The chamber joined in this proposal, which was defeated. This would have had a great impact on the town.
Some readers will remember having an Adirondack Trancit Bus Station here. Do you also remember the New York Freedom Train, a traveling museum of state historic documents? Our chamber is also to be thanked for these things. Today the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce is still very active and has a home on Montcalm Street.
This series of articles is compliments of Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, located in the 1888 building at the entrance of Bicentennial Park.