To better understand our town of Charlton, Saratoga County, New York, the time is well spent to make a tour of the town and learn of its characteristics and environment.
Herewith, I include an imaginary tour, with descriptions of places and things.
Frank J. Lafforthun, Historian
November 30, 1981
The present Charlton Road was established as a public highway by the Ballston District Road Commissioners, and surveyed by Beriah Palmer in 1785. It extends from Route #50, thru the hamlet of Charlton, westward to Route #147. The road thru the hamlet is registered on the maps of the New York Power and Light Company as "Main Street".
Charlton Road is the dividing line between the north section of the town, which was the south boundary of the XIII Allotment of the Kayaderosseras Patent, surveyed in 1769. Charlton Road is also the north bounds of the so-called 5,000 acre tract which extends southward to the town of Glenville. The 5,000 acre trace was the first to be set aside and sold to defray the expense of the survey of the patent.
The XIII Allotment consisted of 13 Great Lots of varying acreage. About the year 1787, the first four great lots were ceded to the town of Amsterdam, when the county line was changed.
Great Lots 5 thru 13 contain about 161,877 acres of land. When the Montgomery County Line was altered, a new line at the west end of the town was changed, thus ceding a portion of the 4th ward of Schenectady to the town of Charlton. This area contained about 500 acres of land. The area of the town is about 7 miles from the Ballston Line to the Amsterdam Line, and from the Galway line down Maple Avenue, and Stage Road, to the Glenville it is a similar distance.
For our imaginary tour, we will commence at the east end of the Charlton hamlet and proceed easterly on Charlton Road.
As you leave the east end of the hamlet, proceeding eastward for about one-quarter mile, you will notice the Pashley house at the end of the lane.
Here, Thomas Brown in 1777, purchased a 200 acre tract, and in 1791 he purchased another 200 acre tract to the north, on the west side of Peaceable Street. For some unknown reason, he did not build here at that time, but purchased another tract of 103-1/6 acres, on the east side of Maple Avenue. It is believed that he built the small house adjacent to the St. Paul's Church about 1786. Later on, exclusive of the small-house lot, the church lot, the farm was sub-divided into two farms. Joseph Brown settled on the south farm where the Bailey family resided, and Nathan Brown on the north tract where the Simoni family resides.
On the north 200 acre tract purchased in 1791 on the west side of Peaceable Street, the Brown family built the house where the Morris family resides. Later, this tract was reduced to 140 acres, and was purchased by James Sweetman at a Sheriff sale in 1852.
To continue eastward on Charlton Road, we find the home of John Taylor opposite Valentine Road. Here, Taylor settled in 1775, on a 200 acre tract of land.
John Taylor was one of the Freehold migrators that settled here in 1775. He became a successful farmer, and held the position of County Judge. His son, John W. Taylor, became a member of the Federal Assembly.
South of Charlton Road, and west of Valentine Road, Patrick Callaghan settled here. He married Ann, daughter of James Bradshaw. This 200 acres of land was Small Lot #6, 5,000 acre tract. At the death of Patrick Callaghan, the farm was sub-divided and willed to his children.
Continuing eastward, and at the LaRue Creek, we glance southward to find the LaRue Homestead. Joseph LaRue settled here in 1786. He built a small house, a foundry, and south on the creek he built a saw-mill. Having first settled at Harmony Corners in 1775, he found the area not suitable for a mill, so he moved to the present LaRue farm.
On the left is the beautiful Greek Revival house built by the Maxwell family about 1862. This 50 acre farm was the south portion of.250 acres that David Maxwell purchased in 1775.
In 1774, David Maxwell accompanied Thomas Sweetman here and helped Sweetman build his log cabin. Maxwell and Sweetman married the Kerr sisters. After Sweetman's cabin was built, Maxwell returned to Freehold, New Jersey and the following year was a member of the Freehold group to migrate to this
area, which they called "New Freehold".
As you turn left on Sweetman Road, the land on the east side of the road is the 145 acre tract that Thomas Sweetman purchased in 1775. Jesse Conde settled at the east end of the hamlet at the same time, so it is
questionable which of these families can claim the distinction of being the first settlers of this area.
As you approach Shadick Road, the palatial home on the right was built by John, son of Thomas Sweetman, in 1830. It has been mentioned that owner-ship of this farm never left the family, but the land deeds reveal that in 1823, Joseph McKnight purchased 62+ acres of the south end of the Sweetman
farm, and in 1830 John purchased a 20 acre tract here. In later years, the two portions of the farm were once more joined together.
In 1921, Thomas and Rose Sajack purchased this farm, and at the death of Rose, the palatial Sweetman house was willed to daughter, Josephine Cook, the old house to son, Paul, and the remaining acres an the north side of Shadick Road was willed to son, Louis, In recent years, the north farm has been sub-divided into building lots and sold.
At the foot of the hill, approaching the cemetery, there is a lane winding to the west. At the end of the lane is the David Maxwell house, and lies nearly midway in his original 250 acre tract that he purchased in 1775.
As we reach the rise of the hill on Sweetman Road, we meet the Sweetman Cemetery. As we pass down the middle drive, we meet the cemetery Chapel. This Chapel has four vaults to hold coffins f or those who are deceased during the winter months. At the north end of the Chapel, the room is set aside for a tool room.
Legend tells us that one of the Sweetman men married a wealthy widow, and on their honeymoon they toured Europe. While there, they were fascinated by the Chapels in the Swiss cemeteries. Upon their return, they had the Chapel built. Rev. Joseph Sweetman married the wealthy widow, Amy Bacon, so we wonder
if they were responsible for the creation of this lovely landmark.
In the spring of 1774, John Cavert was petitioned by a group of citizens at Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey, to travel north and find a place suitable for a new settlement. He traveled by sloop to Albany, New York, by horse-back to Schenectady, and crossed the Mohawk River by canoe. Upon landing on the north bank of the river, Cavert cut down a willow sapling and shaped it into a staff. On his journey thru the woods, the staff would help ward off any wild animals that he might encounter. Cavert hiked thru the wilderness for about 8 miles when he came to the Sweetman Road area, which he designated as suitable for a new settlement. Thence, he continued northward about one-quarter mile and was pleased with the abundance of water in the low lands. Here, he struck his staff into the muck to mark the location for a homestead. He returned to Freehold and made his report. The following year he did not accompany the Freeholders, but remained in New Jersey.
After the end of the Revolution, Cavert came to this area to claim the land he marked for a homestead. Here, he found that the willow staff had grown into a tree. In 1786, Cavert purchased a 100 acre tract, and in 1790 another tract of 120 acres to the north of his homestead tract. As we continue northward, we pass many of the farms of the Freehold settlers that named their new home "New Freehold".
The section of Sweetman Road that crosses Rt. #67, proceeding northward to the Galway Line is called "Sweetman Road Ext." today.
At the Galway line, at the northeast corner of the Vernon Pashley farm, the Mourning Kill flows thru the farm, continuing eastward across Finley Road, southward across Rt.#67, thru the town of Ballston, where
it crosses Middleline Road.
A legend for the naming of the creek here has been recorded as such; On the west side of the bridge, here a great battle was fought by opposing Indian Tribes. Many warriors, on both sides, were stricken down and buried here. Each year, members of these tribes would meet here and pay homage to their dead and they called the stream "The Mourning Kill" and the name is still retained.
Never the less, another legend comes to light by word of mouth handed down from the early days.
Hence, we are told that a young pioneer couple settled in the woods near the Galway line on the Pashley farm. They cleared the land and built a log cabin. Suddenly, their two small children were stricken
down by a plague. The children were buried near the bank of the creek. When asked where their children were buried, the inquisitors were told that the children were buried at the "Mourning Kill".
Here, we have two versions for naming this creek. Legends are cliches, such as this one, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". So, you are to make a choice which is desirable for you. (F.J.L.)
At Rt.#67, we turn left and approach the four corners which bears the name of Harmony Corners. Before Rural Free Delivery was initiated this hamlet was affiliated with the Birchton post office, at the Galway line. In 1903, the citizens of this hamlet grouped together to form the Harmony Association Patrons of
Industry, later to be called the "Farmers Club". This group built a hall for a meeting place and to hold community celebrations. The association disbanded and soon the hall fell into disrepair. Recently a group of concerned citizens banded together and restored the Harmony Hall. This hall stands as a memorial to the hardy pioneers that cleared the land and created progressive farms.
Adjacent, and south, of the Harmony Hall, stood School #9, until it was recently removed to straighten that section of Rt. 67 at the hamlet. Following that, the area became known as District #6 of the Ballston Central Schools. Over the years it had been known as the Parent School, as there was a reversion clause in
the original land deed.
South of the school and an the west side of Peaceable Street, Joseph LaRue settled on a 200 acre tract of land that he purchased in 1775. In 1799, Joseph LaRue purchased as additional tract of 100 acres, which now includes the Lester South farm.
As we move westward on Rt. #67 we enter into an area that contains some of the finest farms in the town.
At the 4 corners, on the east side of Jockey Street is the home farm of the Holbrook families. They grow apples and have a large dairy. Their Farm #2 is south of Rt. #67 an the west side of Jockey Street. Between
the two farms the Holbrook families maintain well over 200 acres of land. The farm is also one of our Century Farms.
West of the 4 Corners, an the north side of the road and an a small knoll stood School #3. It has been known as the "Holbrook" school, and at times the "Mynderse'' school. It has recently been converted into a dwelling house.
Just past the school-house, we turn right an Cook Road. On the left is the house and on the right the barns. This farm was in the possession of the Watkins family for 93 years. Fred Watkins made a specialty of raising cabbages for market, he was affectionately called "The Cabbage King" by his friends.
Further north, on Cook Road, we approach a small grove of trees on the west side of the road. Oliver Adams, a Revolutionary war veteran, settled on this 112 acre tract after the war. He set aside this small plot of ground to be reserved as a burial ground. To date, we have only been able to discover one gravestone
here, and that was for Byron Callen who died in 1852 at the young age of four years. With some diligent effort by the community, possibly with some probing, more gravestones will be uncovered, hopefully that of Oliver Adams; The mystery of where he is buried seems a poor reward for his military valor.
Continuing northward we round the curve and enter North Line Road. This road is the division line between the towns of Charlton and Galway. On the left is the brick house that the Adams family built and is now owned by the George Allen family.
At the west end of North Line Road, turning left we proceed south-ward. This road derives it's name from the fact that it is the division line between the voting districts of the town, east side being No.1 and the west side being No.2.
We now turn right and westerly to Scotch Church. At the foot of the long hill, and on the right, is a lane that leads to the Maurice Suits home. Mark Hallowell settled an this 103 acre tract before 1791. When his son Robert, took possession of the farm in 1839, he soon thereafter built and operated a saw-mill on the
Alplaus Kill, which runs south-ward thru this farm.
At the top of the hill at the traffic light is the settlement known as Scotch Church, so named of the many Scotch families that settled here in 1775 or soon thereafter. It is said that when the Revolution broke out many of the Scotch-Irish that resided here took refuge at Schenectady and after peace was declared
these settlers returned home to develop their farms.
On the right corner and an the east side of Sacandaga Road, lies the West Charlton Cemetery. Here in the early days the second church of this denomination was located at the southwest corner of the cemetery. Later to be replaced by the present one south of the corners. This church edifice is the third church
of this denomination at Scotch Church. The first church stood near the Galway line and served
both the Charlton and Galway worshipers. The first church here was called "The Associated Reformed Church", but in 1838 the name was changed to "U.P. Reformed Church Of West Charlton".
North on Sacandaga Road, near the Galway Line, and the west side of the road, we find the McWilliam Homestead. It was listed as a Century Farm in 1967. George McWilliam settled here an this 100 acre tract in 1775 and the title of the farm was in the family name until at the death of Hawley McWilliam Jr. in 1967. The deed for George McWilliam's purchase was recorded at the Albany County Clerk's office and no
further deed was filed until the death of Hawley Jr.
In the days of the Galway Telephone operation the exchange for these hand-cranked phones was located in the McWilliam home. Alberta (Simpson), wife of Hawley Sr., was the operator and in her retiring days was assisted by her daughters. In her 1970 family biography, Jean McWilliam Cosea mentions that the telephone exchange was discontinued in 1930. The exchange is now located at the south end of Galway Village. In her book, Jean did not mention the Galway fire but she told me that her family played a big part in calling for outside help to combat the raging fire that nearly wiped out the village.
South of the McWilliam farm is the farm now owned by the Russell Arnold family who now also owns the McWilliam farm. At the south end of the Arnold farm there are visible marks of the old Rt. 67. When this short span was abandoned it was called "Davis Lane". On the south side of this short span of road the Davis family resided and the lane was named in their honor. It is difficult, without records, to determine whether the name was in honor of this family and/or in derision as the Davis family were black persons.
South of the Davis Lane, onward south on Sacandaga Road, John Mead settled on a 200 acre tract of land that he purchased from Mary Clarke in 1788. At that time Mary Clarke, widow of Thomas Clarke, owned 902 acres of land which extended from the Galway line southward to the North Road in Glenville.
West Charlton and Blue Corners still hold some very productive farms but progress and taxes are slowly gobbling them up.
A few miles west, on Rt. 67, we turn right at the Agway oil storage tanks. This road is now called "Old Rt. 67", and extends to West Line Road. Here we find the hub of Blue Corners. Near West Line Road we find, on the north, in a cow-pasture, the Vosburg Cemetery. This 1 acre plot was excepted out of the Tretiak farm
as early as 1810. The last known taxpayer was Manly Vosburg in 1857. Since then the plot has lain in limbo. Here we find buried early settlers such as Mott, VanAlstine, Vosburg, Tower, Ogden and Capt. Samuel Richards, a veteran of the War of 1812. The gravestones scattered helter-skelter. Such a poor reward for the struggles these early settlers must have experienced.
Opposite this cemetery, on the south side of the road, is the Brotherson Cemetery. On the west half of the lot the St. Mary's Episcopal Church was built and at the rear are many stones to mark the graves of these early Episcopalians.
Not so on the east half of the plot, for here are located nearly 60 graves marked with chunks of blue limerock, native to the area. Such grave-markers was a custom of the Quakers, so possibly before 1820 this was a Quaker cemetery. Possibly, the name for this settlement was derived from the native blue limerock so prevalent here.
Rightfully, this area should have been called "Kissamville" as the Kissam brothers purchased 407 acres in this area in 1787. Their sister, Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Mott, owned a 150 acre tract towards the Galway line. It is now owned by the Andrew Brice family, excepting 41 acres reserved by Frank Pikul in 1951.
Where Old Rt. 67 meets West Line Road, we face the Joseph Lis family home. From a 1792 road survey we learn that at this spot a Boja family had a store located here. Possibly the store could have been the small barn near the road.
West Line Road is the continuation of the road from Cranesville northward to Northampton. In the early days the road saw heavy traffic toting merchandise northward to West Galway and points north.
Crossing Rt. 67 on West Line Road we travel thru the farm of John Dahlin. Dahlin gave up his garage in Glenville to try his hand at farming. The south line of the Dahlin farm is the Old Line of the patent. It extended north-westward, and at Rt. 67, it went westerly 5 chains and 50 links to form the Montgomery Line. When the Montgomery County Line was changed, about 1787, the old line was moved back
eastward for that distance. The purpose of this change was to establish a near, direct straight, north and south line between the towns of Amsterdam and Glenville toward the Galway line.
Traveling south from the Dahlin line, we are in a part of the old 4th ward of Schenectady. In the change of lines this section of the 4th ward was ceded to the town of Charlton and extends southward to the Cassabone farm. The Cassabone farm has land in three counties; 6 acres in Charlton, 22 acres in the town of
Amsterdam and 28 acres in Glenville. The northwest line of the 6 acre tract was originally the extension of the road to Cranesville. In 1829 this part of the road was to be eliminated and run straight as it does now. There was such a conflict between the towns of Charlton and Glenville that in 1829 an Act of Legislation was passed to mandate the change.
Nearly across the road from the Cassabone farm, on the east side of West Line Road in a small field, is the grave of the wife of Timothy Puffer, the Innkeeper. This farm is now known as the Bull Farm. Puffer's Tavern had to be over into the town of Glenville as Puffer did not appear on the 1797 Excise tax-roll as receiving a license to dispense liquor beverages. Timothy Puffer had to be an affluent man as he was mentioned several times as holding many farms in the Blue Corners area in those days.
As we head eastward on Western Avenue, for about one-half mile this span of road is unique in history. In 1881, a road survey was made here for a road, one-half taken from the south side of the Mames Albertine farm and one-half on the south from the George Katterhorn farm. Each land owner was paid for the land taken for the road. This is the first instance where the town paid for the land to establish a road, and
it was the last road surveyed to become a public highway.
As we left West Line Road and reached the third field from the house where the Gilchrist family resided, was located their cider-mill, long since gone. As we reach the top of the hill we find several land-marks and points of history. Here we may be able to resolve some myths lingering today.
As we look north on Jolly Road, we notice a hedgerow coursing north-westward. This hedgerow is the south line of the Charles Snowicz. farm and the old patent line. The line crosses Jolly Road and continues south-eastward to Potter Road Extension.
Glancing eastward we notice a spot where the ground cover is a shelf of solid limerock. Here was the W.P.A. Stone Quarry. Here they crushed the limerock to repair the town roads during the Great Depression of the 30's. This portion of land is a part of the farm on the south side of Western Avenue owned by Albert Snowicz. In the W.P.A. days the farm was owned by John Walkowicz, affectionately called "Little John". One of the W.P.A. projects was to remove the dog-leg section of the road at Little John's gate. The town, in 1933, purchased a strip of land from Little John and coursed the road in the present direction. This project was one of many that the town and the county had tackled over the years to remove the dog-leg right-angle turns in the roads.
As we leave the stone-quarry and head east, we pass thru a stretch of beautiful woodland until we reach the hill west of the Sakne farm. As we course downhill, we can notice in the woods, on our right, several hedgerows twisting and turning downhill. These turns were the old road as each turn was a breaking point for the horses and wagons. Now with the automobile, such turns are not necessary.
Coasting down the hill after leaving the Sakne farm, we arrive at a State marker in front of the Edson Baxter home. This marker carries a few lines telling us about the Gonzalez family massacre that came about in 1782. It is the only state marker in the town.
On this farm the Joseph Gonzalez family resided and in 1782, a band of roving St. Regis Indians enroute to join Sir. John Johnson, attacked the family. In the skirmish Joseph and his son Emanuel were slain. Mrs. Gonzalez and two small children escaped to Cranesville. Son John, and a hired man, were taken to Canada to serve under the British for the duration of the Revolution. Legend tells us that at the end of the war,
John Gonzalez, who now carried the name of Consaulus, given to him by the British, returned home to take over the 3,000 acre tract of land that his father was supposed to have owned. Here we will try to discount some of this myth!
At that time Anne Sharpe, one of Queen Anne's loyal subjects, owned that portion of Great Lot V, that contained about 3,000 acres of land. To the east of this tract, Theophilis Beekman owned 1,000 acres too. The Albany County land records do not carry any transaction by Joseph Gonzalez for the so-called 3,000 acre tract. From land deeds we learn that Emanuel Consaulus purchased a 100 acre tract from Henry Hageman, on the west side of Consaul Road, now owned by Joseph Bagdon. This farm became the
Consaulus homestead farm and was in the family until 1921.
This recording of past history is not meant to shoot down popular legends, but rather to state some positive facts to keep the record straight.
At the Baxter house we run into a short span of road that is in the town of Glenville, a delicate situation. As the road winds and turns, we can wonder how this came about. The answers are found in researching the patent field books.
We find that at the junction of Potter Road Ext. and Western Avenue, the old survey crossed the road west of Potter Road, a few rods south of Wemple's house, which must have been situated in the small brush-lot on the north side of the road. An interesting project would be to probe the grounds to find the old foundation of the Wemple house. At the Wemple house the old line went north-westward at the rear of the
Baxter house and then continued on to the county line. About 1787, when county lines were being changed, a change took place here too. From the old Wemple house a line North 80 degress West was run, and it came out at the Cassabone house. This line ceded a portion of the 4th Ward of Schenectady to the town of Charlton. This tract contains about 500 acres of land.
As we continue eastward, on Western Ave., we pass thru the 200 acre farm of Abraham VanEps, who settled here in 1785. The east 100 acre tract is now a part of the Michael Felder farm. As Adam Conde purchased the west 100 acres in 1827, we can assume that the VanAtten family purchased the east 100 acres and built this house about that time. This house, and the Bagdon house on Consaul Road, are the only two
houses in the town with cupolas on the roof construction.
East of DeGraff Road, and the north side of Western Avenue, was the 100 acre tract that Andrew McAddam purchased in 1792, and the land on the south side of the road was a part of the 250 acre farm of John Anderson, the British soldier who retired to Charlton after the war. At the end of the McAddam farm the road turned right into a dog-leg. This was another such dog-leg removed by the town.
As we approach West Charlton, the home of David Ingraham is on the right. This was the District #4 schoolhouse that was moved here about 1914. The schoolhouse stood at the rear of Harold Downing's storage barn, where the first schoolhouse for this district once stood as early as 1813, when the Common School System was initiated by Gideon Hawley. The Downing barn could have been a store for the area as
Pearse at one time owned a store here as well as the Hecker Store, Finley McMartin was appointed, in 1828, the first postmaster for that area and he resided at the Felthousen house, across the street.
Western Avenue, until the 50's, was always known as the "Fairbanks Road" and where it meets the Sacandaga Road the intersection was known as "The Liberty Three Corners".
On the north side of Eastern Avenue, at the Liberty Three Corners, stands a vacant building that also reaches far back in our town's history. Peter Hecker purchased this store and house in 1867 and the family continued operation of the store until it was sold in 1955. Over the years the store was also used as a
voting place. Before the post office was discontinued, in 1906, it was located in this store. To the rear of the store a small building was the Teller Blacksmith shop. No title for land held by Mr. Teller could be found, so it is presumed that he rented the building during his operation. In 1922, when the town purchased the two chemical fire-engines, one of them was stored in the old black-smith shop for the use of the
residents for fire fighting aid.
Across the street, on the east side of Sacandaga Road, is the Bascom house. Here in 1795, Herman Miller purchased a 1+ acre lot from Abraham Truax. Here Miller built a tavern which was later owned and operated by Levi Bowlsby. Many annual town meetings and court trials were held in this tavern in the early days. The present house replaces the tavern.
South of the three corners, at the Barton Clark place, James Flinn had a Mill-complex. Power for the mill was derived from a steam-boiler. The water of the small stream was used to make steam to power the saw-mill and the grist-mill. There was also a cider-mill in this mill complex.
As we proceed eastward, on Eastern Avenue, we approach the Alplaus Kill. A delightful legend revolves around the stone-work bridge over the stream. We are told that the cautious town fathers negotiated the bridge building by contract. As the work progressed the contractor soon learned that he was going to lose
money, so he brought his plea before the board. They told him that they were sorry but he, the contractor, had to live up to the contract. It appears that the contractor knew his contracts and continued to build the stone bridge. The town fathers investigating the progress of the bridge building, soon learned that the span only allowed one-way traffic. They told the contractor to make the bridge wider but he politely told
them to once again read their contract. It seems that in the contract there was no mention of the width of the bridge. In later years this condition was corrected by the town highway department.
In one of the very early road surveys, mention was made that the road went past the Truax Mill. The location of this mill has been a puzzle but recently research by Marvin Morack and Elwood Arnold have thrown some light on the subject. They found the remains in the terrain, of an old mill-dam on the north side of the road, to the rear of the Alan Burrows home, which indicates that the Truax saw-mill stood on the
north side of the road.
Over the years Marvin Morack has discovered a mill-race chiseled out of the stone, from the north side across the road, and south past the house. Also, Mr. Morack has unearthed pieces of metal that were designed to power a grist-mill with an undershot water-wheel, so now we learn that there were two mills here. The Truax saw-mill had to be one of the very early mills in that section, as Truax bought Small Lot 5,100 acres in 1783. These early mills were important to the expansion of the territory.
Having discovered the second mill at West Charlton, we move on east-ward to Division Street corners. On the north is the Herbert Smith family farm that is also a century farm. Here, in the early period, Isaac Smith I, settled on a 100 acre tract of land. The north 50 acres was sold off and the south 50 acres fell to the
share of Isaac Smith, Jr.. Isaac Smith, Jr. attained the rank of Captain in the local Militia. In 1796, Zadock Smith took possession of this farm and over the years, with successive Smith family ownership, the farm now contains over 200 acres of land. This farm also is a Century farm as of 1967.
Turning right, and heading south an Division Street, we pass the Orzolek family farm, known in the early days as the "Saunders Farm". This farm is one of the few productive farms in this area. The Greek Revival architecture of the house and the expansive barns retain the illusion of the once prosperous farms of the
In a patch of woods in the third field, south of the barn in a cow pasture, stands a lone gravestone marking the burial of Catherine Spitcher, who died March 26, 1837. From deed recordings we learn that John Spitcher contracted for a 50 acre section, here, to establish a farm. At the death of his wife, Catherine,
John Spitcher, with his 3 sons and 2 daughters, left the area, never to be heard of again, and the 50 acre tract contract reverted back to the owner of the farm.
As we travel up the small hill, and bear left, we travel between the two Low family farms. On the left is the 120 acre James Low farm, now owned by the William Moffatt family. Here James Low settled in 1775. Ownership of this farm carried on to Dr. David Low.
The Stage Run, traveling west from Jockey Street, struck this farm on the east boundary and continued northward to Eastern Avenue. Legend tells us that in the early days the Stage, at times, stopped at the Low house to treat ailing passengers, then circled the house to once more come on to the Run at the regular traveled path. The Run, on the east end of the farm, was abandoned in 1843, when Eastern Avenue from Jockey Street to Cook Road, was established as a public highway and became known as "Collins Road".
At the entrance to the Moffatt Lane, we veer right. The 100 acre tract on the right was settled by Nathan Skinner in 1797 and later owned by Thomas Low, who had the distinction of being the High Sheriff of Saratoga County.
On the left there is a series of new dwellings situated on a 100 acre tract owned by the Lebbins Ball family. They sold to Peter Lockwood in 1797. This 100 acre tract was then added to the 100 acre tract bordering Jockey Street and became known as the "Marvin Myers Farm". Legend tells us that Betsey, daughter of Lebbins Thankful (Stowe) Ball, married Aaron Jerome. Their daughter, Jennie Jerome, married
Randolph Churchill, father of Sir Winston Churchill. If this legend can be substantiated it would add to the heritage of our town. A pleasant thought, indeed.
As we proceed southward we enter the intersection of Charlton Road and here we also find some past history. On the west corner, now only a brush-lot, stood the District #6 school. The first schoolhouse was of brick construction, and it's replacement made of lumber, At the last school meeting, held on May 2, 1916, it was decided to abandon the school district and affiliate with District #8 school. The schoolhouse was removed by Frank VanHeusen who used the lumber to build a storage barn at his residence in the Charlton hamlet.
The history of this corner precedes the building of the first schoolhouse. Here, on a 3 acre lot, John Dickinson operated a tavern. He was listed on the 1797 Excise Tax Roll as receiving a license to operate a tavern.
As we turn right on Charlton Road We shall proceed westward to the Sacandaga Road area. On the right is the palatial brick house now owned by the George Gaines family. It stands on the north 32 acres of this farm. The Hugh Thomson family reserved the south portion of the farm when they sold the house-lot to the
Gaines family in 1961. The west boundary of the Gaines farm borders on that part of the Sacandaga Road that is in Schenectady County. When Charlton Road was surveyed and declared as a public highway, in 1803, this farm was mentioned as the Ferguson farm, which was to imply that it was the Ferguson farm. It is a bit of too much Scotch lingo here.
Recorded in the mortgage books, we find that Joseph Beach operated a tavern on these corners but at what point has not been learned. Joseph Beach was a veteran of the Revolution and no doubt purchased this farm with his pension money. The Beach farms extended eastward, from Sacandaga Road, to the two farms east of the Alplaus Kill. In 1797, Joseph Beach was issued a license to operate a tavern at the intersection. As the farm originally extended on the west side of Sacandaga Road, it is possible that the tavern stood on the west side of Sacandaga Road. Time even removes a stone foundation, so here again, we have a mystery to be solved.
When Charlton Road was surveyed thru the Beach farms, in 1803, the recordings left behind another mystery to be solved. In their survey the road commissioners continued north-westward on Sacandaga Road and declared that part of the road, and North Road, as being in Schenectady County. When they reached the top of the hill, on North Road, they continued their survey to indicate the probability of a new road. As they started their survey, at this point, they were specific to point out that the line was two rods of the County Line, and for a short distance they did the same. The survey was continued north-westward until it struck the intersection of Potter Road Ext. and Western Avenue, a few rods south of the Wemple house. This survey was never established as a public highway. It is safe to assume that the commissioners
wished to firmly establish where the County Line between Charlton and Glenville did exist. This survey proved acceptable to the land owners on Sacandaga Road, as there west boundaries of their farm surveys coincided with the road survey.
Now that we have discoursed on the west end of the Charlton Road area, we return and head south on Crane Street. As we approach the Alplaus Kill, on our right is the Holmes Mill-site. We find recorded that John Holmes purchased Small Lot #3, a 5000 acre tract, an March 25, 1775. Legend tells us that he built an
earthen dam and a grist-mill on the bank of the kill. He was given the distinction of being the first miller in this territory.
John Holmes was not without his problems in his mill venture. Legend tells us that about 1810, John Holmes purchased a new flutter-wheel turbine to drive his mill, when suddenly he was visited by a man who claimed that he, Holmes, owed a royalty on the new turbines, as it was an infringement on the patent rights of the inventor. Mr. Holmes paid the royalty and continued operation of the mill until his death
in 1814. They expanded their operation and ground buckwheat flour for the making of pancakes. Their flour was of superior quality and was popular throughout the state.
The Marvin family sold the mill and property to the Crane family in 1866. At this time Zadock Crane also owned the farm on Charlton Road where the Hequembourg family now reside. Zadock Crane dismantled the mill and moved the lumber to his north farm to build a horse stable.
The town recently purchased the mill-pond site and has set aside the land as a nature park, called "Mill Pond Park". Michael Gallup, as a boy scout project, built and erected a nature sign designating the lane that led to the Old Red Bridge.
After crossing the new bridge, built about 1938, we turn right and proceed west on Dawson Road to the County Line. This area was a part of small lot 1, 5000 acres, that William Dawson purchased on Nov. 8, 1784. This was the last lot to be sold in the 5000 acre tract. When the county lines were re-established, about 1787, the new line ran across the sluice west of the Dawson mill-driveway lane. This change in the
line left only about 28 acres of the mill-site located now in Charlton. No records appear whether William Dawson built a mill here, but we find that in 1810 John Dawson operated a saw-mill at the west end of this 28 acre tract, on the bank of the Crabb Kill where it flows into the Charlton area. John Dawson was also not without frustrations in his mill operation. Legend tells us that the inventor who visited Mr. Holmes for the royalty, was not successful with John Dawson. Dawson hearing of the visit to Mr. Holmes, by the inventor, immediately removed his flutter-wheal turbine and buried it on the bank of the Crabb Kill. What a historic find this would be to some future, young archaeologist and a treasure for any local museum.
After the abandonment of the saw-mill, John Dawson built a grist-mill at the present location. This mill was destroyed by fire and replaced with the present one that was moved here from Rotterdam by George Dawson in 1869. To supply water power for the grist-mill, George Dawson built a stone dam and dyke at the west end of his property. He extended the dyke to the mill and here he built a raceway that fed rushing water to turn the water wheel that powered the mill. To build up a supply of water, George Dawson secured water-flood rights from the Beach family to the north. With a sluice ditch he was then able to divert the waters of the Alplaus Kill to the mill pond. The upper pond was called "The Big Pond". He dug a small canal to direct the water from The Big Pond to the Small Pond at the mill. When the mill was not in
operation, the excess water flowed over the stone dam entering the Kill once again. At some period a saw-mill was added to the mill complex and during W.W. II, W. Bronson Taylor, owner of the mill, pulled up the iron works of the saw-mill and sold it for scrap. A large quantity of the grist-mill machinery was sold to the Cromie Brothers, and are now stored in a barn on the Cromie farm on Rt. 67. With the abandonment of the grist-mill operation, so ended an era of mills an the banks of the mighty Alplaus Kill. This mill is the last still standing on this historic stream.
From here we return to Crane Street and travel southward. The farms on the right are situated in a disputed area of the patent. These farms originally extended westward to the old patent line, but when the line was changed, about 1787 only a small portion of the land remained in the town of Charlton. In the survey of
these farms the old line was referred to as the "Vrooman's Line". South of the Rennie and Grabo Farms, the road continues thru the Town of Glenville and is called "Goldfoot Road".
From here we go east on Newman Road and left or north, on Swaggertown Road until we reach the bridge across the stream. On the north side of the Alplaus Kill, on the west side of Swaggertown Road, John Rogers purchased 16 acres from Jeremiah Smith to build a mill-race for his saw-mill. He purchased the land in 1777. Rogers is credited with being the first saw-mill operator in the territory. At a later date a grist-mill was added to the mill-complex but was destroyed by fire from a boiler explosion in 1860.
In 1784, John Rogers purchased the north 100 acres of Small Lot 10, 5000 acre trace. The north line of this farm is the present Vines Road. The farm, on the south side of Vines Road is now owned by the Miner family. Over the years the deed recordings reveal that this was the fulling-mill property. As the house stands on a high bank facing the stream, we have to assume that Rogers built the house for his mill aid and built the earthen dam and mill, at the creek-bed. As the creek-bed is solid slate rock, no doubt the dam was not securely anchored and was carried away by a spring flood carrying the mill with it. Without specific facts, we have to assume some facts, to clearly outline the situation.
On the south side of the bridge, on Swaggertown Road, stands the Jankowski family home. This lovely California style house replaces the old Rogers house that stood near the road. The old house was torn down to make room for the present house. The old house Was a 2+ story of Colonial design, so familiar to the early substantial homes of the early settlers. This farm of 87 acres was known as the "North Farm".
In 1794, John Rogers purchased a 37 acre tract across the road from the Robert Flynn house, from Alexander McAuley. With this acreage and the land on the north side of Newman Road, Rogers created another farm and called it the "South Farm". This farm was sold to his daughter Jane, wife of Rueben Edwards, in 1853.
We continue southward and then stop to contemplate on fact and fiction. At the county line the old line was at Bolt Road but the south bounds of the Lanon farm is a hedgerow that extends north-westward. Here again, we come to the "Indefinite Line", found on the topographical maps. Not so indefinite if you make a map of the patent survey and then fill in with land deeds from the Galway line south to the Glenville
As we stop at Bolt Road, we can reflect on the origin of the name of Swaggertown Road. Legend tells us that historian Pearson made a field trip up Sacandaga Road, down Bolt Road, and then down Swaggertown Road to Spring Road. At Spring Road, he stopped to visit with Elder VanEps. In their discourse, Pearson asked if they knew the origin of the name of the road. Elder VanEps replied that it was a family legend
and went thus; "At one time a peddler stopped there to make a sale of his merchandise. After finishing his business, he asked who lived to the north and was told "the Brother-in-law''. At the next farm he asked the same question and received the same answer. In bewilderment he exclaimed, "Ach Schwager-town" and thereafter the families called the road "Swaggertown". In the German translation the word "Schwager" is
defined as brother-in-law. So much for folklore so we return north, but before we do a point of historic interest should be recalled.
When our town was a part of the Ballston District, Swaggertown Road was surveyed and declared a public highway in 1794. In the survey, the survey pointed out that Bolt Road (now) meets the Sakandaga. This bit of information was also revealed in an early land deed recorded for farms on the east side of upper Cook Road, which stated that the farm was just west of the Sokendaga. From this it appears that the main
route north from Scotia was Swaggertawn Road, then called "Sokendaga".
His Excellency, George Washington, Esq., petitioned Isaac Vrooman to make a map showing all the Indian trails leading out of Schenectady. On this map, Vrooman distinguished Swaggertown Road as the northwest trail leading to the north. His map clearly outlined the Rogers and the Holmes mills on the Alplaus Kill and
stopped just short of the hamlet of Charlton. At that point, our hamlet must have been recognized as a settlement.
We now head east on Crooked Street, so-named of the "S" bend in the road at the power lines. As we approach Stage Road, so named after the Stage Run to Charlton, we face a 2+ story Colonial house, the home of the Ted Glowa family. Here was located the Gideon Bettey's Tavern. Willian Bettey owned this farm and was issued a license to dispense liquor beverages in 1797. When it ceased to be a tavern is in
doubt, but most likely it was in a period soon after 1831 when the DeGraff family got possession of the farm.
Now to turn south on Stage Road, we progress to the Rossman house, which lies across the street from Beechwood Drive. Here, in 1790, Gideon Jenne held a 151 acre tract to become a portion of the Tucker farm, and now is a part of the Beechwood Drive development. In 1836 John Whipple purchased several of these small tracts to make up the 83 acre farm.
In 1878, Laura Whipple purchased the farm from her brother William Ketchum. Laura Whipple married Rev. Justin Fulton. Rev. Fulton expended $1,000 of his money to rebuild the front of the house, no doubt the front parch and balcony. In her will, Laura stated that her husband was to be reimbursed his monies.
This addition was a classic improvement to this large colonial house. In 1949, Ernest Tucker obtained a quit-claim deed for the farm from his sister Marion Pashley. Soon after he developed the farm into building lots and called it "Tucker Heights".
Passing around the bend, at the school traffic light, we enter the Jacob Bovee farm. Bovee settled here in 1794, on an 85-3/4 acre tract. In 1806, Nicholas Bovee purchased an additional tract of 41+ acres. Previous historians claimed that this farm was the "Bolt Farm" but I as sure this was pure guess-work. In 1838,
James Bolt purchased a 14 acre tract that lies in the gully-south of the school. This tract now belongs to Lyman Holder, who has an orchard in Glenville. Never-the-less, this farm has it's interesting points to add to our history. In 1862, John Horsefall (could he have been of Indian extraction?) owned 256 acres, which
included the Kolokowski farm in Glenville. In 1874, Patrick Hanse (Hanch) purchased this farm and his huge barn, one of the largest in Charlton, was located on the east side of the road. Here, in 1927, Arthur Barnett purchased the tract where the barn stood. He tore down the barn and built a bungalow there. Later, in 1956, the property was purchased by the BH-BL Central Schools, the house removed and the school built then. So, with progress, we lose two more land-marks.
We will now proceed northward on Stage Road and stop off at Little Troy. At the foot of the hill, we turn left on Little Troy Lane, a part of the old Stage Road. On our left is the former Dist. #7 schoolhouse, now converted into a dwelling house. This was the second schoolhouse in the area, the first being in 1828, located at the corner of Valentine Road where it originally met Stage Road. Beyond the old schoolhouse are the homes of Ethel Clauder and the Robert Bull family. These two houses stand on the creek bank that was an early mill-complex. Here, in 1785, Seth Kirby and others operated a saw-mill. Later a fulling-mill was added to this complex, possibly by the Morehouse family. Possibly, the fulling-mill supplied cleaned
linen cloth to the collar factories at Troy, New York, hence the name "Little Troy".
As we glance to the north side of Little Troy Lane, here was located the Somersn Miller grist-mill. From a road survey we learn that a sluice-ditch crossed the road to this mill, so no doubt, the mill was powered by an under-shot waterwheel. Hiller was also a cooper and made his own flour barrels.
Returning to Stage Road' we cross the new bridge that was built in 1967, and we arrive at Old Stage Road. This section of the road was originally part of the old Burnt Hills Road, now called Lakehill Road. As we turn left and on our left, about 1800 a Mr. Brown operated a blacksmith shop. Coincidentally, Abby Brown
operated a small candy store here about 1950, and children from the schoolhouse enjoyed their recesses visiting Abby.
Somewhere west of Mr. Brown's blacksmith shop, Capt. Benjamin Chapman operated a tavern. We can establish the fact that he resided in the house at the north end of the old bridge here, but can only speculate whether the tavern stood where George Smith's house is located or if Chapman's house was a part of the tavern.
Benjamin Chapman and his wife, Sarah (presumably widow Northrup), acquired a quit-claim deed from the Morehouse children for "Lands situated and lying near Lake Erie, being granted by the State of Connecticut to suffers in the late war". From this, we can guess that Chapman did want the Morehouse children to break
off ties with his wife Sarah. Chapman died in 1817, but it is not known where he is buried. Possibly he and his wife are buried at the lands near Lake Erie.
Before we leave Little Troy, mention should be made that in 1799 Isaac Valentine purchased the Barrett Mills, 50 acres, iron-works and 75 logs from Smith Hollister. The 50 acre tract was located at the southwest corner of the Charlton Girl's School Farm at the Alplaus Kill.
Now that we have discoursed on the mills at Little Troy, we wander homeward to the hamlet. Opposite Vines Road is the Pine Grove Cemetery, called the "New Cemetery" in the early days. The Jeremiah Smith Cemetery was called the "Old Cemetery". In 1848, the cemetery association purchased a small tract of land
from Thaddeus Hayes and in 1878, another tract from the Murray farm.
The "Good-Old-Days" are somewhat sniffed at today but we have to give the old-timers the credit that is due them, especially at our conduct of today. The small bridge across the creek at the cemetery driveway is an example of fine archetectual masonry, and too, the Morehouse vault. Effie Morehouse died April 23, 1895, age 20 years, daughter of Hiram Morehouse, a prosperous farmer and merchant. In her will, Effie stated that she wished to be buried in a mahogony casket to be placed in a vault. Furthermore, she left money for the care of the vault. (What happened to that money?)
Recently, nearby children have been playing on the arched roof of the vault and have pried the front facade away from the roof. This is allowing the rain and melting snow to creep into the vault. In time the frost is going to topple the stone front. (What then?) If something is not done soon, Effie Morehouse's coffin
will slowly rot away and crumble. This was not her wish!
Continuing thru the Small Lot 5, 5000 acre tract that Jesse Conde purchased on June 20, 1774, we pause at the top of the hill. Westward, at the end of the drive we see the large Dutch Colonial house that Mark Allen built a few years ago.
Past history tells us that the Conde family built their log cabin at the spring south of the present house. About 1816, the farm was split up after the death of Jesse Conde. Jonathan Conde got 19+ acres of the north end of the farm and the house that stood on the Jesse Conde quarter acre lot, where the Larry Ellis
family reside. Jesse Conde II fell to the share of the balance of the farm and built a two story house on the site where the Dutch Colonial house stands.
John Laferton purchased the firm in 1920 from Jesse Conde III and in 1921 sold the farm to the Sabo family. When electricity was introduced in Charlton, in 1925, Mr Sabo had the house wired for electricity. At that time it was sufficient to have only one, one-light fixture installed in each room. There were no switches or any wall outlets included. All these lighting fixtures were hooked to one 15 amp. circuit, with the main service of 30 amps.
Now, I will add some information that may in time become legend. The Pasquariello family purchased the farm in 1937. Soon after their son married, the parents converted some back rooms into an apartment for the newly-weds. For additional lighting, several pin-up lamps were used, supplied by leads under the rugs
or other hazardous means. With the additional power demand, Mr. Pasquariello inserted a penny under the lone fuse. One dark night, the kids stumbled over a lead causing the lamp to crash to the floor. In the collision, the lighted bulb broke, ignited the curtain and blew the lone fuse. The house was thrown into total
darkness. The neighbors called the fire department and the family fled with only the clothes on their backs. The fire department soon found that the well was dry so they strung out the fire hose to the creek at the cemetery. As they reached the cemetery, they quickly learned that they ran out of hose before reaching
the creek. Vainly they tried to string the hose across the field, but by the time this was one, the house was completely engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. The family had individual jars of money spread throughout the house and these fell to the cellar bottom and never recovered.
Here, two phases of ignorance caused a complete calamity. First, the fire department did not know their full potential and second, the owners should have saved the penny that they placed under the lone fuse in the fuse cabinet.
This was not the end to the sad tale. In the 1970's, Ernest Cohen, owner of the farm, donated the grounds of the Conde burial ground to the town with an adjoining strip of land to join the burial ground to the Elmer Smith Park, to save the cemetery for posterity, but low and behold, local vandals entered the cemetery thru
the park and smashed the gravestones of Jesse Conde and his wife, Parthena, to such a state that only the stubs of the stones are now visible. Jesse Conde died in 1818 and his wife. Parthena, died in 1817. Where is the justice for all this tragedy?
Opposite the Conde farm, on the east side of Stage Road, is an 8 1/2 acre farm that was the birthplace of sub-divisions in the town. Joseph Lafforthun, a baker, brought his family to this farm in 1916. In the early part of this century the property was known as the "Aumiller Farm". In 1853, the Presbyterian Church owned
this farm and sold it to raise money to buy the present Manse property.
Lafforthun retired as a baker, in 1929, to continue operation of his grocery store and beer garden, which is now the home of the William Nixon family. This building was the first in the history of Charlton to be lighted by electricity. The power was furnished by a home-lighting plant driven by gasoline. During the Great Depression the farm was surveyed and subdivided into building lots. Presently, the old house
contains only a minimum lot and is owned by the Martin Wilson family. From 1916 on, the several owners each contributed to the renovation of this house and after 200 years it stands as one of our landmarks.
''Charlton Hamlet-Now and Then''
Having encompassed the rural section of the town, we now approach Dr. Schein's driveway, which is 40 rods distant from Main Street and the southern edge of the Historic district.
The hamlet of Charlton, up until after the Civil War, was the hub of the diversified industries that helped promote the growth of the town. On January 1,1976, the hamlet was entered an the National Register of
Historic places and one of the first in the State to be so designated thru the diligent district committee's led by Robert Killen and C. Fritz Schaus.
The district extends southward, on Stage Road a distance of 40 rods, eastward on Main Street 40 rods from Stage Road, northward on Maple Avenue 40 rods, southerly on Swaggertown Road 40 rods, westerly on Charlton Road 40 rods, and northerly on Jockey Street 40 rods. The total district contains about 123 acres of land.
Commencing at Dr. Schein's driveway, we will consider the history of the houses within the historic district.
Here, in 1938, Dr. Rubin built this spacious brick house and in 1949 he added the north wing for medical rooms. After his death, in 1953, his widow Hazel built the brick house where the Ward Allen family resides and sold the home property to Dr. Hans & Mrs. Hedda Schein. At the age of 72 years, the good doctor is
still tending the ailing citizens of the town.
Across the street is the home of Carrie VanVorst, widow of Walter VanVorst, a native son. This house, with it's hand-hewn , oak beams probably was built before 1800, but in our research the land deed was not found until Nathan Sherman purchased this property in 1859.
On the east side of Stage Road, is the Martin family home now owned by the Ronald Nelson Family. Here, in 1832, Jasper Heaton purchased the house-lot and built this house then.
North of the Nelson house is the home of the Gilbert Bliss family. Gilbert, in his spare hours, serves the town as a constable. His wife, Phyliss, is our full-time town clerk.
As early as 1832, Hugh Richey resided here, but the hand-hewn, oak beams of the house predates this purchase by Richey.
Across the street, on the west side of Stage Road, is the home of the Larry Ellis family. Larry is one of our local leading building contractors and his wife, Sandra, is active in the field of real-estate. The first house, a small, single-story building stood on a 1/8 acre lot, but the old house is now hidden from view as Larry built over and around the early structure to build the present house.
As early as 1801, a mortgage recording reveals that Jesse Conde II resided here, and the house fell to the share of Jonathan Conde when the farm was split up after the death of Jesse Conde I.
North of the Ellis house, stands George Jackson's garage. On this spot, Luther Curtis operated a blacksmith shop. In the 1916 period, Mr. Nelson continued operation of the shop, while he resided at the Ducharme house opposite the stop sign on Main Street.
During the Great Depression, Mr. Jackson renovated the south end of the shop into an apartment for his brother-in-law, Charles Jennings. One night, the oil-stove tipped over and the building was destroyed by fire to be replaced by the present garage. So goes another landmark.
As traffic lulls, we turn west on Main Street and park at the Village Shop to reminisce of the Good Ole Days of Yesteryear.
As we glance eastward we see the home of Florence, widow of Stanley Robinson. Past that, the home of the Milton Myers family. Across the street lives Barbara Heineman whose driveway is the east boundary of the district.
Looking eastward, on the north side of Main Street, is the home of the Arnold Barsky family and opposite the stop-sign, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Ducharme reside. The Ducharme house was built by Alida Brown in 1850. This house was owned by the congregation of the St. Paul Episcopal Church in 1891.
To properly review the historic district of the hamlet of Charlton, we shall commence with the buildings on the south side of Main Street.
As stated before, the blacksmith-shop on Stage Road was a part of Mr. Jackson's property, so now we will review the same property facing Main Street.
Here the Luther Curtis family resided while Mr. Curtis operated the blacksmith shop in 1827. In 1858, Lyall Heaton resided here and in conjunction with the blacksmith shop he also operated a carriage shop that faced Main Street. From an old photo of this shop, it appears to be the same building as the house that stands
there now, except that it had a pair of shop doors where the porch is now located. This mystery has not been solved, but the application of the house-siding indicates that the lower windows are a replacement indicated by the short pieces of siding. Furthermore, the construction of the house, with its rear wing, is identical to the construction of the shop. From the mortgage books, we learn that Elind Davis resided here in 1799. This lot is one of ten lots that Jesse Conde set aside from his farm as building lots, to make up the eastern portion of the hamlet, in the late 1790's.
The history of the Charlton house is worthy of notice. An early historian tells us that this building was built before 1787, and the timber construction of the building warrants the acceptance of this statement.
A town meeting minutes of 1816, states that "The next annual town meeting will be held at the tavern of Amos Smith". No land deed could be found for Mr. Smith's purchase of this lot, so it is safe to assume that Mr. Ritchie was correct.
The tap-room was at the west end, the living quarters at the east end and the upstairs room, the length of the building, was us as a ball-room. When John Sanders retired from his general store, he removed the merchandise from the Callaghan Store to this building, where Mr. Dodge in 1919, had converted the tap-room into a store. A few months after Mr. Dodge opened his doors for business he was killed at a nearby railroad crossing and his widow, Laura, sold the property to John Sanders. Mr. Sanders sold the property to Milton Myers in 1936.
In 1952, Frank Lafforthun purchased the property and continued to expand the business. On January 1, 1954 at 1:00 AM, there was an explosion and the storage barn was destroyed by fire. This barn was the old cheese factory, so here we lose another landmark. The reason for the loss was because the old fire-engine
failed to pump water when needed.
That same year, the front porch was enclosed with large plate glass windows for expanded room and for a modern market look. As Lafforthun looks back, he has regrets for having destroyed the colonial facade of this building, all due because the community abandoned his efforts to be wiled away by the coming
super-market gimmicks of big bid, and "sell for less" which now has been proven as a fallacy. In
1969, the property was sold to the Maloney family and the building once more became a tavern.
Adjacent to the Charlton House is the Village Ladies Boutique, operated by Mary (Maloney) Miller. The front portion of this building was once a horse-shed for the patrons of the tavern. In 1940, a group of sportsmen grouped together to form the first Charlton Rod & Gun Club. The members renovated the
horse-shed into a meeting room that boasted a pool table. Soon the club disbanded and the
building reverted back to the tavern property.
In 1963, Richard Haviland, of Middleburgh, purchased the property and added on two additions and carried on his garage business as the "Charlton Main Street Garage", until he sold out to the Maloney family in 1978.
On the west is the home of the Haviland family who purchased this property in 1965. As early as 1798, Andrew Richey resided here and owned a 4 acre lot. On this same 4 acre lot is located the home of the author, built in 1969, after he sold his store. The west portion of this 4 acre lot is located the fire-pond which was, in 1959, leased to the fire district for this purpose. The ready supply of water in this pond was instrumental in saving the Freehold Church buildings from being destroyed by fire on two occasions. The lot is now owned by John Kavicky.
Beyond the pond is the Kavicky house. This house was built in 1932, by Merritt Simpson, who was our supervisor in 1936-37. In his bid to be re-elected, he was defeated by the powerful Dr. L. Ben Rubin, the local physician. This property was owned by the Grovesteen family from 1882 thru 1931. During the Great
Depression, some local vandals put a torch to the Grovesteen house and it burned to the ground.
While residing here, Alexander Grovesteen held the position of Poor Master, as well as operating a shoe repair shop in part of their house. From the records, we learn that it was not unusual for the Grovesteen family to house and feed transient tramps wandering thru the town.
To the west is the home of the Pavlosky family. In 1886, Dr. Abraham Underhill resided here. We have no information if he was a successful doctor, but we do learn from the Beers Atlas that he had a vineyard and sold wine. Mary, wife of Dr. Underhill, was the daughter of Michael Cavert, son of our founder John Cavert.
John Sanders resided here for many years while he conducted his business at the Callaghan Store.
Here we must record a sad incident that in time may become a legend. At the death of Mr. Sanders wife, Bessie in 1962, he became morose and despondent. On September 11, 1964, he rigged a hose from the exhaust pipe to the rear trunk space, started the car, cuddled his pet dog under his arm, crawled into the trunk, closed the lid and he and his companion silently went to their last sleep to the beyond. I weep for my friend, as he was a gentle man and never did any harm to man or beast.
Next comes the home of the Paul O'Brien family, who moved here in 1965 from the State of New Jersey. For years, this was the home of the Callaghan family who operated the general store at the east end of the hamlet. As early as 1840, this lot was affiliated with the Major Millard farm across the street.
In 1853, Sarah Bradt, daughter of Seldon Ely, resided here and as early as 1809, Zopher Weeks resided here, and again as early as 1795, Joshua Harmon resided here. From this, we see that the house dates back to at least 1795, but possibly it was then only the east wing. The building is a mixture of Gothic and
Greek Revival architecture. Possibly it was Mr. Callaghan who added the Gothic windows and flat roof of the east wing in 1861. Who knows for sure?
Here now, I must bring forth a legend told to me by Miss Jess Martin, a long time teacher in the area.
''Mr. Callaghan had a stern wife, four demanding daughters, so with this female rule in the household Mr. Callaghan was outnumbered in his policy making. Occasionally, after closing his store, Mr. Callaghan would stop off at the Charlton House to visit with his friends and tip a few tankards of ale. At times, Mr.
Callaghan imbibed to much and became adventureous. On these occasions, he would reopen his
store, remove a bolt of cloth, tie one end to his belt and march home while the bolt of cloth would unravel on the roadway. Legend tells us that this escapade was revealed, when the next day there would be a sale an that bolt of cloth.'' Hooray for him!!
The next stop is the home of the Robert Hayner family who moved here in 1971. Elijah Spencer resided in this house in 1797 and operated a tannery at the back lot. This tannery was still in use when the family had their leather factory at the Hunt property. For many years Fred Myers, from Burnt Hills, resided here
and was engaged in the carpentry trade all his life. Mr. Myers was one of the carpenters to help build the new Memorial Academy.
A few feet beyond, is the home of Anna Maynard. This house was renovated by C. Fritz Schaus in 1970. As early as 1839, Hiram Jones resided here and operated a harness shop that stood at the northwest corner of the house lot. The shop stood east of the lane that led to the tannery mill. Legend tells us that Mr.
Jones used the lumber from the first church, when it was dismantled, and built this house, but the handhewn beams in the house construction belies this.
On the west side of the tannery lane is the home of the Edward Sherry family. In 1858, David Teller resided here and was the boss carpenter when the Old Academy was built.
Beyond the Sherry house is the home of Anna, widow of John Morgan Sr., and mother of John Morgan Jr., who has been the Highway Supt. for the past 15 years. From a deed reference, we learn that John Boyd, our first Supervisor, resided here as early as 1792, when he was elected.
Until 1824, it was difficult to find a deed recording. In 1824, the Raymond family resided here and operated their tannery & bark mills at the rear lot. Depressions in the earth are still visible where the hide vats were sunk into the ground. In 1866, Abigail, widow of Justin Raymond sold the property and so ended the life of another Charlton mill.
Adjacent to the Morgan house is the home of the Paul Borisenko family, just recently having moved here. Wife Sara, is a descendent of the Angle families that settled at New Freehold in 1775. As early as 1823, Elihu Curtis resided here while operating his blacksmith shop that stood at the rear lot. In 1866, William
Ely purchased a 41 foot strip from the Borisenko place, which was the shop lane. Later, Dr. Burt repossessed 3 feet of the lane for access around the west side of his house.
In 1894, Dr. St John resided here and had his office in the west parlor. This same room was utilized for the same purpose when Dr. A.M. Burt purchased the property in 1907. Dr. Burt was a practicing osteopath at Amsterdam, NY, but due to the ill health of his wife, Kate Marshall Burt, he deemed that the country air
would be beneficial for her. Dr. Burt died in 1928, his wife in 1931, and both are interred at the Bacon Hill Cemetery in that town.
Dr. Burt was not educated in the medical profession for body aches and ills. Faithfully, day or night, he tended the sick throughout the countryside. Sadly, he was labeled "The Pill Doctor", but most likely by those who owed him the most money, and seldom paid him for efforts. In the summer, Dr. Burt made house calls with his horse & buggy, and in the winter switched to the sleigh. When the Model T car came
into it's glory, Dr. Burt purchased a touring car. It was later that he bought a Model T Snowtrac for winter calls. It was not unusual to see the good doctor coming across the fields in his snowcat, fully bundled up in a fur coat and fur mittens, with a hat to match. At times he would he seen driving his cat down the center of the road where the drifting snows had reached several feet in depth. His last journey was to the Bacon Hill Cemetery for the final rest.
Next door, is the home of the William Hunt family, who purchased this property in 1978. Over the years it has been called "The Gardner House". This house was completely renovated by Peter Schrader, a building contractor from West Glenville. The restoration is a credit to his abilities. As far back as 1825, Samuel
Belding, a local realtor, owned this property and sold to Seldon Ely in 1832. Mr. Ely built a leather factory at the west side of the house, here processing the leather of the hides that were tanned at the tannery in the rear lot of the Hayner property. The James Slover family resided here in 1873, while they operated their store at the Killeen corner. When that store was destroyed by fire, the family continued their operation in the leather factory building. The building was demolished during the Great Depression.
Next door, on the spacious lawn, stood in 1835, the First Methodist Episcopal Church. This building was dismantled in 1901, by Frank Van Heusen. The congregation disbanded about 1900 and affiliated with the Burnt Hills Church. Previously, they had been affiliated with the Galway Church. The VanHeusen house and lot was purchased by the congregation and the building was used as a Manse for the minister. Lloyd, nephew of Frank VanHeusen was willed this property at the death of his uncle in 1941. Lloyd died in 1980 and was the last surviving male of this family in Charlton. He is survived by his widow who now has the property up for sale. Soon, we may have new neighbors.
Bessie Maso, of Middlegrove NY, resides in the Mead house. For her faithful service as housekeeper, Perry Mead willed her the place. Perry Mead died September 22, 1978 and was the last surviving member of the descendants of John Mead who settled at West Charlton in 1788. It is believed that this house was built
in 1826 when James Dunning purchased the lot from Archibald Smith.
As we stop at the Killeen corner, a few points of history should be mentioned. Legend tells us that Jeremiah Smith built this house, about 1800, when he abandoned his log cabin on Swaggertown Road.
In 1813, Nathan Hollister owned a store on the corner where the roads meet and that same year sold the store to William Brown. The chain of title for the store is lost after these dates, so it is not known whether the store-lot became a separate piece of property. In 1839, John A. Sweetman owned a 1/8th. acre house-lot
which included the house.
Jeremiah Smith died March 31, 1828, age 78, and willed both farms to his son, Archibald, with the provision that grandson, Theodore, shall have the east farm and grandson, Martin, the west farm. In 1853, Theodore purchased the east farm from his father, Archibald, for $3,200. Up until 1866 Theodore Operated a slaughter-house, on the east side of Swaggertown Road, in one of the out barns.
The Robert Killen family moved here in 1961. Mr. Killeen is with the Schenectady Education Department, and has/is serving on many committees in the town government. He also was the chairman of the first committee to promote the historic district.
At the V of the intersection stands a power pole. Here was located the hamlet flagpole for many years, until it had to be removed. Here, also, is located a Geological Survey Marker, one of the few in the town. This small intersection is beautifully decorated by beds of flowers planted by the Indian Creek Garden Club,
to which many Charlton women belong.
Harold Fobian, a long-time Justice of the Peace, first settled on this farm, having moved here from Grooms Corners, NY. Mr. Fobian was instrumental in forming the first fire department in 1922.
On the south side of Main Street, and the west side of Swaggertown Road, stands another Smith house. It is now owned by the John Desmond family. Mr. Desmond is an attorney in Scotia, NY. His family now enjoys raising horses for show.
At the death of Jeremiah Smith, his son Archibald, sold this west farm to son, Martin, for $800. This indicates that there was no house standing on this site. Legend tells us that the first house on this site, built by Jeremiah Smith burned to the ground and that Martin Smith built the present house in 1862. The
east farm has been sub-divided into building lots and the west farm sub-divided into acreage to go with the house-lots on the west side of Swaggertown Road.
The Jeremiah Smith Cemetery was deeded to the town in 1808 and has been a town charge since. After the Pine Grove Cemetery was established, this cemetery was called "The Old Cemetery".
As we stand at the west corner of Jockey Street and look westward at the 40 Rod distance we see on the right, the home of the Felipe Matinez family who moved here in 1979. We extend a welcome to our new neighbors. The Bergeron brothers, local building contractors, built this house and sold to Nancy Keegan in 1974.
On our right is the home of the Olsen family, who purchased this property recently. Vernon, son of Justice Fobian, purchased this 5 acre lot from his father and built this house in 1946. He was a D.V.M. and tended race horses at the Saratoga track for several years until he died in 1973. On this spot stood the Belding home that was destroyed by fire about 1920. The loss of this house sparked the interest to purchase fire fighting equipment and form a fire department in 1922.
As we look northward on Jockey Street, we see several buildings within the historic district that extends northward for 40 rods.
On the east side of Jockey Street, there still stands the pump-factory building. Although the existence of a wooden pump dates back to the Stage Road survey in 1805. Information about this pump factory is vague. We learn that John N. Young resided on this property and manufactured the wooden pumps, then to be followed by Henry Springer until about 1925, when electricity was introduced in the hamlet.
North of the factory is the old town garage built in 1931, under the supervision of Emmett Martin, who was Supt. of Highways then. In 1961, the town board purchased a lot to the north and in 1966 this town garage was built. At the south end there was a meeting room. When the town purchased the K. of P. Hall, this room was converted into a State Police Satellite Station. Nearly all of the garage lot is within the historic district.
Opposite the garage, an the west side of Jockey Street, is the John Altman home built in 1969. It is the last property on jockey Street within the historic district.
Now to head eastward on Main Street:
On our left is the Richard LeGere family who moved here in 1956. With their loving care, the house stands as a tribute to the historic district. Mr. LeGere is diligently repairing the pump factory to save it as a landmark. The men of this family are quite active in the fire department, which can always use a ready hand.
At the rear of the house, Davis & Bostwick operated a general store and in 1794 the Belding Brothers bought them out.
In 1802, Chauncey Belding was appointed our first postmaster and the office was located in their store. Members of this family served in many town, as well as state offices for many years in the growth of the hamlet.
When Henry Springer resided here, he served as Supervisor from 1922 thru 1925. Legend tells us that Mr. Springer was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election in this office. Someone started a rumor that Henry was getting paid twice for the same job. How fickle could the voters be in those days? Of course, he drew two
salaries, but one was for the duties as Town Supervisor and the other, as Representative of the County Board of Supervisors; two separate duties to be fulfilled. Mr. Springer was the man to call to repair your wooden pump, as well as to find an additional source of water supply. With all these duties, he still had time to visit local groups and lecture on farm life and the conduct of man.
West of the firehouse, setting back off the road, is one of the oldest houses in the hamlet. In 1786, William Clark, owner of this farm then, sold 2 house-lots and the Freehold Church lat. We can establish that this house stood there at that period.
Jesse Conde III settled here in 1865, and the farm passed down the family to Henry Conde in 1896. In 1909, Mr. Conde was Superintendent of Highways, leading the first paid highway department in the town's history. Before that time, each land owner had to spend an allotted amount of time to maintain the highway in front of his property. They were called "Pathmasters".
In 1947, the fire commissioners purchased a small lot from the Silver Acorn Lodge and built the first firehouse. This building was of 1 1/2 storeyed construction with a gambrel roof. In 1958, they purchased an extension to the lot, and removed the roof from the first building and added the west end to make up the
present firehouse. To the rear of the firehouse was the Cromer Hotel, which was destroyed by fire an June 1,1886. (For legend, read "Stories and Pictures Of Charlton" by W. Bronson Taylor). Legend tells us that as early as 1816, Jason Millard operated a toll tavern an this lot followed by Henry Cromer in 1845.
East of the firehouse is the K. Of P. Hall, built in 1890, by the members of the Silver Acorn Lodge 279. This lodge dwindled in membership and disbanded in the 1950's. The sister affiliate lodge, Golden Acorn Temple, continued to hold their meetings in this hall, but in 1972, they sold the property to the town
board. At the dedication of the hall, it was re-named "The John W. Taylor Hall" in honor of an
esteemed congressman, a Charlton native.
On the main floor there is a room for court to hold session, and a room for the office of the town clerk. The main-floor is used as a meeting room. Presently, the upstairs floor is being renovated for additional office space for town meetings.
East of the hall is the home of the Charles Newman family who purchased this property in 1950. As early as 1816, Henry Corl, a land promoter, resided here. When Henry Cromer, in 1851, purchased a strip of land to the north of his hotel-lot, reference in his deed was made that the east boundary began at the northwest
corner of a lot of land owned by Joseph B. Brown, lying in the village of Charlton, commonly known
as "Mechanics Hall". To this day the origin of this name is still a mystery.
Adjacent to the Newman home driveway is the home of Dawn, widow of Henry Slocum. The couple both served in the Armed Forces during W.W. II. This property was purchased by Norbert Gelston in 1954. When he was transferred to the West coast, he still retained ownership and how rents to Mrs. Slocum. As early as 1825, Calvin Gelson resided here. A somewhat similarity in names from the early tenent to the
Next door is the church Manse. The Rev. Robert Bunnell family reside here now. Both Mister and Missus Bunnell are ordained ministers.
As early as 1844, Samuel Woodruff resided here, when he purchased an extension to the house-lot from Roswell Hawley, who now owned the Conde farm. Simeon Woodruff sold the Conde farm to Roswell Hawley in 1844. Some historians have erroneously stated that the Conde farm was the Hawley Homestead, but this is not true. Here at the Manse property, we find that Samuel Woodruff resided in 1844, so
possibly Samuel was the son of Simeon Woodruff.
Between the Manse and the church, there stood a 2 1/2 storeyed house which was last occupied by the Claude Nichols family. In 1955, the church congregation purchased this property and demolished the building to make room for more parking space. In 1859, Josiah Grant resided here and legend tells us that he built coffins in one of the out-buildings. This fact can be verified in the town records of the Poor-
master at that time.
In the 1859 survey of the church property, Mr. Romeyn of West Glenville found a discrepancy in the boundaries. In his survey, he notes on the map, that at the northwest corner of the church-shed, it was 25+ links farther west than the northeast corner of the church-shed, and is 25+ links wide at each end; on it stands an old barn and an old shop. This shop could have been Mr. Grant's coffin shop.
Religion has always been an important influence in welding a community together and rightfully so, the Freehold Presbyterian Church. This church building stands today as a tribute to the early Presbyterians. The first congregation purchased this church-lot from William and Mary Clark in 1786. The deed was filed in Book M, page 69, in the old Albany County records.
A mystery still remains today, for researchers, when and where many of the first land purchases were recorded in Albany County.
In 1958, the congregation contracted with Fred Myers to lay a drain tile across his land to protect the furnace in the church cellar. This was to drain off the water seepage from the spring thaws.
At the turn of the 20th. Century, the gravestones from the cemetery that lay behind the church, were removed to the Pine Grove Cemetery, and are arranged in two, neat rows at the southeast corner of the cemetery. The change was made to allow for the building of additional church sheds.
The first church, on this lot, was removed and replaced by the second church edifice in 1804. The present church is the third on this lot.
At the southeast corner of the church-lot, near the road, here the first Charlton Academy was built. The monies were raised by conscription thru the efforts of Rev. Crocker. David Teller was the base carpenter in building the Academy. Many Charlton students learned their lessons well in this school of higher learning, and went out to become noted educators and ministers. The Academy closed it's door's in 1912 and Miss. Mary Callaghan was the last teacher for this school. The accomplishments of her students was a tribute to her dedication to teach.
In 1946, Edward Sherry discovered smoke escaping from the school eaves and
sounded the alarm. At this point, the inside of the building was wholly engulfed in flames and the building could not be saved. Now we had lost another landmark to the ravages of fire.
East of the church is the Thomas Crawford family home. Here, before 1791, Gideon Hawley Sr. and his family settled. The early deed did not show up for this farm in the Albany County records and is one of many not found. To this day, historians are still pondering where some of these early deeds were
recorded. Ownership of this farm, down thru the years have been many.
In 1934, Lewis Male owner of the farm, discovered mention of the cheese factory lot. On investigation, it was found that the County Treasurer held title to the land from back taxes. Mr. Male paid the penalties, and the lot once more became a part of the farm.
In 1866, two adventurous citizens purchased this lot and built a 2+ storeyed building and promoted the "Charlton Union Cheese and Butter Factory". Within two years, by lack of support from the local farmers, the venture failed and the building was removed to the Charlton House property.
If it be summer weather, especially June or July, a visit to the park can be rewarding. Presently growing in the park are over 200 varieties of wild and domestic flowers. As early as 1816, one of the first schoolhouses in the town stood on the west part of this lot. In 1859, it was replaced by the schoolhouse on Maple Avenue.
When John Boyd Packer and the Northrup family issued the deed for this lot, they inserted a reversion clause. Christopher Ostrom purchased the abandoned schoolhouse and soon learned of the clause, so he had to remove the building. His plans to convert the building as a dwelling-house came to naught.
Ammi Hoyt had his home where the gazebo now stands. It was destroyed by fire, as discovered when the cellar was cleared from debris and stone, to place the foundation of the gazebo.
In 1971, the town board purchased this lot from the state. Not a simple matter , for Mr. Fred Droms had to introduce a bill in the Assembly to make the sale possible. Over the years, the lot had become overgrown with scrub brush and wild cherry bushes. The lot was cleared in 1973, and work was commenced to
create a nature park. The building of the gazebo was followed by the erection of an honor roll, liberty pole, gravel paths, a well-sweep, and beds of flowers. The wild flowers were gathered from the surrounding fields and the domestic flowers were donated by interested citizens. Mrs. Donald Waite, of Charlton Road, was the guiding spirit in planting the flowering plants.
At the park dedication, on May 26, 1974, the park was named "The Gideon Hawley Memorial Park", in honor of our neighbor Gideon Hawley, Jr. After Mr. Hawley graduated from Union College in 1809, he went on to be the first State Supt. of Common Schools and was founder of this school system in his tenure of office. In his honor, the trustees of Union College donated a bronze plaque, and it was unveiled by Frances Hawley Finch and Dr. Gardner Ketchum, both descendants of the Connecticut Hawley clan.
Adjacent to the park, is the home of the Ronald Serapilio family, who moved here in 1977. At the annual Memorial Services held in the park, and sponsored by the Charlton Historical Society, Ron and Lila added to the program with their musical selections.
In 1843, Charles Colebrook purchased this house-lot, and built this house. Many changes have been made to the house, but it still retains the trim so popular in the Greek Revival Period.
In the Beers Atlas, Benjamin Knapp is shown as having a carriage shop and a blacksmith shop located on the park lot. This is in error as the shops were located at the rear of the house. In 1851. Benjamin Knapp purchased a 10 foot strip to the east of his house for a lane to the shops. In 1882, Knapp purchased an additional acre tract that is on the north and east side of the house-lot.
In 1944, Fayette Price sold this property, but reserved land east of the house or his new house-lot. The creek separates the two properties. When George Eaton resided here, in 1964, he had the pond installed at the rear of the house.
Addendum: Legend of a house fire:
Before the death of Benjamin Knapp, in 1895, he gave his son, (we believe it was George, who married Mary Kelly) a lot behind the Fayette Price home for a dwelling-house for aiding his sisters financially to attend a school of higher learning. George built a house on this lot, but at the death of his father, he learned that his father had willed all his property to his wife, Cordelia. Cordelia insisted that George had no right to the house, as be, (George) had no deed to the house-lot. A bitter argument emboiled, and as the Stage made it's way to the Callaghan Store, George put a torch to the house and he and his wife boarded the stage. They went to Albany and never returned to Charlton.
This story was told to me about 1954, by one of the descendants of Benjamin Knapp, who was married in the Orlop family of Schenectady. (F.J.L.)
Fayette Price built this house after selling the wood shingle house next door. This house is a block and stucco house built on a slab. The house is presently owned by Mary Maloney Miller and is up for sale. If the interest rate should drop, we may soon have new neighbors.
Eight feet west of the brick store stood a 1+ storeyed house with slate-rock walls. The first deed for this property could not be found. In 1834, the congregation of the Universalist Church of Ballston purchased an 8 foot lot addition to the west side and the north side of the building, so as to have grounds to circle
the building without trespassing.
In 1898, Schuyler Van Epps owned this property and operated a shoe-repair shop in the building. The property changed hands many times after that, and after 1916 Mr. Sanders used the building as an ice-house, which soon caused the building to crumble. In 1937, J. Donald Robinson, aspiring to run for political office, purchased the property to be eligible to hold office. He was unsuccessful and sold the property. In 1952, Bronson Taylor, who owned the Callaghan Store property, purchased it and removed the building. The lot is now used as a parking lot for the Village Shop. So, here we lose another landmark.
Charlton Village Shop:
Conflicting reports have been made as to when this building was built, so I will tell you only what I know.
In 1829, Eleanor Dows purchased this store-lot from Thaddeus Northrup, who owned the 50 acres north of the store.
The wing at the west end, was at one time a separate building and at some time the blank space was bricked in. The west end was used as an apartment over the years. In the 1930's, Edgar Palmateer operated a barber-shop in one of the ground floor apartments.
In 1835, Mr. Dows sold the store property, as well as the home where Rev. Cartnell resides, to his son, John.
Rowland Wright followed ownership, in 1851, and Melancton Callaghan in 1869. The property was in this family until 1939, when it was sold to W. Bronson Taylor, who used the store as an antique shop.
Mr. Callaghan was appointed the local postmaster in 1886 -1893 and at his death his daughter, Augusta, was appointed, in 1897, to carry on these duties. The post-office was discontinued in 1906, when Rural Free Delivery of mail was introduced.
There are some conflicting views because James Slover was appointed to this position in December of this same year. Needless to say, the post-office stand was still in the Callaghan store in 1961, even though it was not in use at that time.
In 1963, William Maloney was in partnership with George Eaton in the furniture business, but Maloney was sole owner in 1965.
It was the pleasure of the author to point out to the Federal Government that their list of postmasters was in error, as for 1861 they listed John L. Peane as postmaster of West Charlton rather that John L. Pearse. They refused to change their records.
We have nearly completed our tour, but first a stop on Maple Avenue to homebase. On the right is the Edna Robinson house, now owned by the Ducharme family. They recently renovated this house to bring it back to the colonial period of yester-year.
Thomas Brown purchased this tract of 103 1/6 acres on September 4, 1786. The tract extended northward on the east side of Maple Avenue for 52 chains. Although this was his second purchase of land, it is believed that he lived in this house after he purchased this tract of land.
In 1860, Alida Brown purchased this house-lot, which also included the lot where upon she built her new house. The new house is the home of the Ducharme's that faces Main Street.
As early as 1827, Charles Taylor Brown lived here with his family and operated a small store that faced Main Street. Charles Taylor Brown died on April 29, 1830 at age 36, husband of Wilmot Conde Boyd. He left a widow, 3 infant children, parents and 2 brothers to mourn him. Alida Brown was one of his daughters.
Although Thomas Brown owned a 400 acre tract on the west side of Peaceable Street at the time of this tract purchase it is believed that he first built this house in 1786, and later sold the balance of the tract to his son, Joseph Brown. He built the large colonial house on top of the hill where the Bailey family now reside.
The northern section of this tract was sold to Nathan Brown, for $3,800, which implies that a house stood there at the north tract at the time of this purchase. The north farm is now owned by the John Simoni family.
North of the Robinson house stands an edifice that was the St. Paul's Episcopal Church, that was built in 1804 by Eleanor Dows for $1,200. The church lot was purchased from Joseph Brown for $50.00. This blows the myth that the lot was purchased for a number of cords of wood. It is believed that Platt
Wheeler, a Burnt Hills building contractor, built the chapel addition in 1851. It was built on a 30/99 foot extension lot purchased from Joseph Brown.
The church property also included a lot, and a horse shed on the west side of Maple Avenue, adjoining the school-lot to the north.
When the brick house, north of the brick store, was destroyed by fire in 1909, the shed and the church were scorched by the ' heat of the fire. Maria Chalmers donated the brick house lot, after the fire, to the church and it now adjoins the shed lot and is used for parking cars.
It is believed that the last service conducted in this church was by Rev. Leon Cartmell, in 1965. Soon after the edifice was de-sanctified and lay idle until purchased by the Charlton Historical Society in 1971. The building has had many major repairs and is now used by the society as a meeting room and a folk
On the west side of Maple Avenue, is situated the Mission Library, sponsored by Rev. Leon Cartmell. The library holds many books for research for theological students and is open by appointment only.
In 1859, this 140/140 foot lot was donated to the school district by John Boyd Packer. He was exempted from paying taxes to build the new school for his land donation. This schoolhouse replaced the old schoolhouse that stood on the park site i6 the hamlet. The new schoolhouse was built for $411.86 which
included the furniture and out-houses for the boys and girls.
Benjamin Knapp received 75 cents for "Crying The Old School". This school was disbandoned and the district joined the BH-BL Central Schools in 1946. Miss. Jess Martin was the last teacher of this school. The 1920 period cannot be over-looked at this time. The voters met to decide on what to do because the
schoolhouse was getting over-crowded with students.
As a committee, John Laferton, owner of the Jesse Conde farm at the time, offered to donate a 3 acre plot of ground for a new schoolhouse. Joseph Lafforthun, committee member, found a Schenectady contractor that would build a two room, brick schoolhouse, with a play area in the cellar, for $2,200. The committee's
report as rejected as being too costly, so instead the voters voted to appropriate the sum of $2,000 by taxes, to renovate the old schoolhouse, and so they did. The project gave a lot of local craftsmen work. It seemed that everyone got their thumb in the plum pie. As a result, the money was spent, the total cost never revealed and the district wound up still having a one room schoolhouse, except that now they had a
fancy belfry, chemical indoor toilets for boys and girls, and a new blackboard. Hooray !!
There is an old cliche that could be applied to the renovation of this school-house, and that is;
"To appoint a too large committee to design a horse, you could very well wind up with a two-headed giraffe!!"
So long for now, meet you on the next tour!