During the mid 1800s the consumer co-op movement sought to eliminate profits of the middleman and reduce cost of living for farmers and workers. Around 1840 several Farmers and Mechanics organization were set up in the Champlain Valley. By 1845, the consumer movement was well under way with the quantity purchasing of groceries, fuel and other goods at reduced quantity prices. Some groups offered sickness and old age insurance to members. From 1857 t0 1876 the organization was active in Ticonderoga. The president of the group was B.P. Delano. Other members were G.D.Clark, W.A.G.Arthur, Wm. E. Calkins, George Wright, B.F.Frazier, J. McCormick, C.H.Chilson and A. J. Cook. Dues were $1.00 per year and there were 50 members.
Their first fair was held on Oct. 15, 1857, on what is known as The Central School Lot with 100 entries of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, farm equipment, butter, cheese, fruit, vegetables, honey, wine and six paintings by local artists. This fair was held for several years on the same location, and then fron 1865 to 1880 it was held on Mt. Hope. This site was bounded on the south by the Middle Road and the ticket office was built close to it. On the race track, the ability and speed of many a fine horse raised in this vicinity was a great attraction to all lovers of fine horses. After a few years, these fairs were absorbed by the county and the corner- lot fair ground became only a pleasant memory. Mrs. Johnson Streetroad.
Bundles for Britain
Bundles for Britain was begun in 1939 by Mrs. Wales Latham, a young New York society matron who began her charity work for Britain by organizing her friends to knit garments for British soldiers on the frigid North Sea. Mrs. Winston Churchill had put out a call for Englishwomen to knit these items and Mrs. Latham decided to answer the call from across the Atlantic. Her knitting circle was such a success, she decided to broaden her horizons. The genius of the operation was that anyone with idle hands, spare time, or spare clothing could participate. Clothing was sewn and knitted, repaired and made over. Woolen patchwork blankets and baby sleeping bags were created. Monetary donations came pouring in.
The ladies of Ticonderoga joined in this cause in 1941. Every woman who could knit or sew and every man who could help buy materials was invited to join in. From Ticonderoga there were 59 large shipments of items destined for the British fighting force, their families and to the general population of England. Fortunately only two of the 59 were lost in transit.The groups local headquarters was in a vacant room on Montcalm Street where items were displayed to the public before shipping. There was a general chairman, a secretary a treasurer and five program chairmen to organize projects, purchase materials, collect the finished articles and pack for shipping. After VJ Day, the project slowed its pace, eventually closing its doors.
This series of articles is compliments of Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, located in the 1888 building at the entrance of Bicentennial Park.