100 Years Ago - November 1912
Prolific citizen succumbs
John Harris, 85, died at his home at 35 Terra Cotta Avenue, Glens Falls after a lingering illness. Beside his widow, Zelpha Harris, he is survived by 12 children, 24 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Harris was born in the town of Queensbury, March 27, 1827. He married Lina Sherman, Sept. 23, 1847. She died in 1852. He again married on Feb. 7, 1854, this time to Zelpha Sherman.
The funeral was held from his late residence, the afternoon of Nov. 27, 1912, the bearers being his grandchildren, Fred Brown, Ira Hewitt, Benjamin Harris and Washington Butler. Mr. Harris was a life-long resident of Queensbury and was well respected by all who knew him. (Note…I think that it is a good bet Lina and Zelpha Sherman were sisters. In the mid 1800’s a boy did not go courting very far from his home territory.)
Rabbit on the holiday menu
Preparations for the Thanksgiving dinner in the lumber camps begin early in November. Traps for the rabbits, which form the principal dish, are set in place and carefully baited with a liberal supply of whole corn and oats which is scattered under the leaves in close proximity to the snares. These traps are checked by the cook every day.
After the rabbits are skinned and cleaned, the “cookie” throws the meat into a big kittle with a liberal supply of onions, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables and allowed to simmer over a low fire. The stew is served with a dish of dressing and a mug of cider with just a bite and a bit of an edge on it.
Almost as good as the rabbit stew is the plum pudding which is made of bread, molasses and all the plums the mixture can stand. It is put in the oven early in the morning and allowed to remain until ready to be served along with the mince and apple pies, piping hot and full of the elixir of life.
Baked beans must be traditionally served on Thanksgiving day but are cooked just a little bit better than those doled out during the week. They are soaked in salt water for a short time and put in a big kittle with plenty of pork and buried in the ground on a bed of glowing hardwood coals and served with brown bread made with dried apple sauce and molasses.
Years ago a woodsman thought it was necessary to have a haunch of venison or moose meat for the holiday meal, but that time is past and now they want their rabbit pie with all the trimmings.
There is not a man in a dozen who goes into the woods for the winter that cares a snap for any other dish for Thanksgiving than a good old rabbit potpie or stew, with all the trimmings, as only a cook in a lumber camp is able to concoct. The meal is far better than some of the expensive meals served in the big hotels of major cities.
Wax museum opens
A New York man has established a “World in Wax” exhibition in Glens Falls, something in the order of the famous Eden Musee in New York city.
There are life size wax figures of the Rev. Clarence V.T. Richeson, Captain Smith of the Titanic (His ship sank April 15, 1912), John Schrank (He unsuccessfully shot Teddy Roosevelt. See Oct. 20, 2012 Journal), Harry Kendall Thaw, Evelyn Nesbitt thaw, Thomas A. Edison and many others of great note.
The show is on Glen Street, in the store building formerly occupied by Frank Greenberger.
(Note…Rev. Clarence Virgil Thompson Richeson, 35, a Baptist minister, died in the electric chair at Boston on May 21, 1912 for the sensational murder of Miss Avis Willard Linnell, 19, a singer in the church choir, who died by his hand on Oct. 14, 1911 of poisoning. It was an early and much publicized crime of the 20th century.
There was a movie about Harry Kendall Thaw and his wife, the beautiful Evelyn Nesbitt Thaw, entitled, “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” made many years ago. Thaw shot three bullets and killed architectural-genius Stanford White for being much too friendly with his wife. After a sensational trial he was sent to Mattewan State Hospital and nine years later he was released and acquitted of all charges. He was later sent to the mental ward of the Pennsylvania State Hospital after again being judged insane. Later on he secured his freedom once again and eventually bought Villa Marie Antoinette in Bolton Landing on the shore of Lake George, which had been built by Dr. William G. Beckers. He went there around 1942 to live the good life. His parties were famous and he was a big hit at the Sagamore Hotel where he left lavish tips.
Townspeople described him as “half crazy,” but he was likable. Harry Thaw lived in Bolton for about 5 years before he died in 1947. I wonder if his life-sized wax replica still exists in some dusty, long forgotten storage warehouse.
Contentious court battle
George Brown, indicted on May 4, 1912 in Ballston Spa, for selling intoxicating liquors in Corinth, a “dry” town, was acquitted. The trial was bitterly contested.
Witnesses for the people testified to purchasing beer at the Brown Bottling Works in Corinth. The defense claimed that the liquid sold was malt mead which an expert testified was not a malt liquor, but contained a very small amount of alcohol.
Another good soaking rain, which began the night of Nov. 6, 1912, helped to fill the ground with moisture for the needs of the coming season.
About three inches of snow fell in this vicinity Sunday night, Nov. 24 and Monday morning, Nov. 25, 1912 and traces of it still remain in the fields and shady places while in the sunny spots it has been converted to mud. Ten inches of snow fell in Johnsburgh.
There is a shortage of coal in Warrensburgh, particularly in the domestic sizes and many people are seriously cold and inconvenienced.
The grass plot between the sidewalk pavement and the brick roadway in front of the Burhans property (now the present Town Hall area) on the east side of Main Street, from St. Cecilias Church south to Simon L. Lavine’s store (now opposite the Getty gas station)), has been neatly graded and seeded down and the same treatment has been given to the corner of Horicon Avenue.
The Wayside Hotel on River Street, is being painted outside and inside by Herbert Marsh and Dennis Gallup and the appearance of the building is greatly improved.
About 40 Warrensburgh students went by carryalls to the home of John T. Robinson in Thurman where Halloween games, music and dancing were enjoyed.
Mrs. John Ferris died Friday, Nov. 22, 1912 at her home in North Chester after an illness of several months duration, during which she bore her suffering with rare patience and fortitude. Her maiden name was Hammond. She is survived by her husband, whose faithful companion she has been for more than half a century. They have no children. Internment was in Federal Flats Cemetery.
Miss Maggie Sullivan, formerly of Chestertown, at present residing at 11 Lincoln Avenue, Glens Falls, went “under the knife” recently when she was operated upon for appendicitis by Dr. T.H. Cunningham at the Glens Falls Hospital.
Miles Morehouse and Miss Rhetina Dunkley, both of Bakers Mills, were married by the Rev. Watson E. Perry on Nov. 21, 1912 at the Wesleyan Methodist parsonage in that place.
Brand new cast iron parlor stoves are on sale at Burger’s Store, 26 Warren Street, Glens Falls for $4.95. Brass beds are $8.98 and baby carriages are $2.75.
Thought for the day…A fish in the hand is never so large as the one that got away.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.