Daughter in law Sue Allen presents a plaque issued by the town of Ticonderoga naming Aug. 19 Desmond Allen day to father in law Desmond Allen at his 100th birthday celebration.
The year is 1914 Ford has just introduced its assembly line for production of the Model T. The novel The Jungle is published documenting working and sanitary conditions in the meat packing industry. Babe Ruth has made his Major League Baseball pitching debut, and on Aug. 19 Desmond Allen was born, at the home of parents Earl and Agnes in Ticonderoga.
On Aug. 24 surrounded by friends, family and caregivers Allen accepted a proclamation by the Town of Ticonderoga to name Aug. 19, his date of birth, Desmond Allen Day. A plaque was presented to Allen by daughter in law Sue Allen.
“I talked to Bill (Ticonderoga Supervisor Bill Grinnell) about the birthday,” said Sue. “He said that we would do something for him.”
Allen, a life time Ticonderoga resident graduated in 1933, from the Alexandria School after the Ticonderoga high school fire in March of ‘33. He went on to work in the Adirondac ore and smelting mines in Tahawus, drilling mining holes for $1 per hour.
Later in life Allen owned a Shell gasoline station located at the current Riverside Salon he managed this location from 1950 to 1970. Allen and his wife also ran the Five Gables motel at the current St. Joseph’s location. As he aged, Allen served as the town assessor and also as the chairman of the board of assessors.
“Dad sold snowmobiles out of the Five Gables too,” said son Richard Allen. “He was an avid hunter and skeet shooter as well. He had a speed boat on Lake George and he loved to ice fish. I remember one year that he cut 10 cords of wood with just a hand saw. I think all of these things kept him busy and that is how he has made it to 100.”
Allen married the late Geraldine Burgey Allen Jan. 10 1941 and later had five children that he raised at his Montcalm Street home. Sue Allen recalled the couple’s milestone anniversary.
“They were married 74 years,” Allen said. “We through them a big party for the 70th.”
In their retirement years the couple spent winters in Florida and the warmer months in Ticonderoga.
On Aug. 25 morning show personality Willard Scott announced the commemorative birthday for Allen.
“My husband made sure he saw the show,” said Sue Allen. “He went up this morning and put him in front of the television. It was special.”
Allen is a resident at Inter Lakes Health,-Heritage Commons facility, so he is able to receive health care and also maintain close contact with family and friends.
When asked the feelings he had surpassing this milestone birthday and the 30 plus people that attended to celebrate, Allen remained modest.
“Well, it feels pretty good,” Allen said. “Ticonderoga is my home and there is no place I would rather be.”