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Estelle D. Scoville wrote this memoir in 1956.  It has been converted into digital form, except for spelling corrections, it is as originally written.               Source: Chapman Historical Museum archives

Estelle D. Scoville  "SOUTH STREET"                                    

In 1812 there were only 36 buildings in Glens Falls.  In 1813, a man by the name of Walker built a house, No. 17, in South Street next to which were the barns of an inn at the corner of South and Glen.  Mrs. Sarah Coffin lived there in 1874.  She must have lived there some time after that, for I remember her very well.

Well now, there is no record of a hotel being on the corner of South and Glen Streets, as I can find out, but in 1835, Edward B. Richards was proprietor of an inn there. In 1850, the inn was conducted: by Loudon Bailey and Austin Eldridge, the latter the grandfather of Fred Eldridge, a member of the Glens Falls Fire Department.  His brother, Edward, was also a member but retired some time ago.

During the Civil War, George Conery was proprietor, and the hotel was called the American House.  It was three stories high.  The main entrance was on Glen Street.  On the East side was a two‑story porch where the stage coaches would stop for the benefit of the passengers coming from Lake George and the north before continuing their journey on the train.

Previous to the extension of the railroad to Lake George from Glens Falls in 1882, stage coaches provided the only way of public trans≠portation between this city and Lake George and the north.  There were four stage coaches in all, one with four horses driven by Joseph Dunnison, another with four horses driven by Philander Traver, one coach with six horses driven by George Martin.  One day he drove the six‑horse stage carrying 36 passengers from the lake to Glens Falls station.  The coach was so crowded he stood on the whiffletrees to drive.

The driver of the other coach with six horses I don't know.  The horses and coaches were cared for by a man named Edward Putnam, superintendent ≠of the stage coach line, better known in those days as "Ed Putt" ‑‑ and if I'm not awfully mistaken it was his adopted daughter, Anna, who married Charles Fennell, son of the Rev. A. J. Fennell, pastor of the Presbyterian Church here for many years.

The barns on South Street in which the horses and coaches were kept were torn down in 1898 to make room for the Empire Theatre.  The lumber was purchased by the late Adelbert Howe with which he built his blacksmith shop on Elm Street.

Mr. Conery sold the hotel to Nobel Clark who afterwards sold to George Pardo.  The building was destroyed by fire Aug. 5, 1879.  The present three‑story building was completed in 1880. At the death of Mr. Pardo, his nephew, James Pardo, came into possession of the property, and took over the management at that time, but later sold to Mr. George W. Rockwell of Luzerne and his son‑in‑law, H. W. Windsor.  It was at this time that Mr. Rockwell decided to change the name of the hotel and offered a prize for the best name submitted.  Hiram Philo, a surveyor, won with the name Hotel Ruliff, suggested by Mr. Rockwell's father's name, Ruliff Kipp.  The prize, according to one source, was an American flag; according to another, Webster's dictionary.  Mr. Philo always wore a silk hat while at work and a Prince Albert coat.

After operating the hotel for a year Messrs. Rockwell and Windsor sold the place to Edward Cassavant but in a year's time Mr. Rockwell took it back.  In July 1900, Mr. M. H. Frasier and son, Walter, purchased the property and conducted the business until 1922 when it was purchased by the Freeman Hotel Corporation.  A few years later, Mr. Max Zurrok acquired the property and changed the name to Hotel Plaza.

The porch of the hotel was torn down March 19, 1923 and remodel≠ing of the hotel and lowering the first floor to the sidewalk took place at that time.  It is now known as Hotel Bennett.

The house next to No. 17 in 1874 was Mr. Levi Ogdenís home, No. 25, there being quite a strip of land between the two buildings.  After several years, Dr. R. J. Eddy in the early 80ís built a house and office on that land and lived there until his death, when Dr. DePan established his office there and remained there until he moved to Glen Street.

Some time after 1874, Mr. Levi Ogden, who lived at 25 South St., and R. S. Hilkins, who lived at 10 Bacon St., exchanged houses, and Mr. Hilkins moved into the Ogden house on South St., where he conducted a boarding house for many years.

The next house, on the corner of South and Elm Streets, was the home of Capt. J. S. Little, No. 27.  The records show that his house was built in 1836, but whether he lived there at that time, I don't know.  It was his home in 1874 and so on until he built the house at No. 471 Glen Street where Dr. Huested now lives and has his office.  Mr. Little sold the South Street house to Mr. Harvey Floyd.  When Mr. Little moved to Glen Street, Dr. Bullis moved into the South Street house and had his office there until he moved to Glen Street, and in 1900 Dr. H. E. Clarke established his home and office there.

On the opposite corner of South and Elm Streets in 1874 was No. 29, where Mrs. C. H. Faxon lived.  About the time Spier Falls was built Dr. Lemon Thomson bought Mrs. Faxon's property and built the brick building as it now stands and on the second and third floors he established a hospital to be used for the sick and injured men working on the Spier Falls project.  Dr. G. A. Chapman was his assistant.

The next house in 1874 was Mr. Thomas Potter's home, No. 31; Mr. Russell Ogden's home was No. 33, and Isaac Buswellís No. 35.  On the opposite corner of West and South Streets stood the old brick schoolhouse built in 1823.  In 1863 it was replaced by a larger building at a cost of $1,400.  Twenty‑seven years later that building was removed and the present school building was erected in 1890.

Mrs. Still lived in the house next, No. 41; Mrs. Kirkham, No. 43, and Mr. W. A. Baldwin, No. 47.

In 1874, the old cemetery called "God's AcreĒ owned by the Presbyterian Church, was located from West Street to South Street, partly back of the schoolhouse where New Pruyn Street now is, and it came within a building lot of Coffin Street, now called Columbia Avenue where the Brick Manor is now.  As time went on, it was found necessary to make a change with the cemetery and around the years 1885 and 1886, the remains were removed to any other cemeteries friends desired.

Across the street, corner of Coffin and South Street, lived Mr. Frank Miner and family in 1874.  In 1879 one day, we had a very hard thunderstorm and Mr. Minerís house, No. 67, was struck by lightning and their little child was killed.  Just at that moment, the late Mr. Herbert Knight, probably seven or eight years old, and his sister, two or three years older were coming up Park Street, directly across from the Miner house on South Street.  There came that awful flash of lightning and crash of thunder.  The umbrella they were carrying folded down on top of their heads. They were so frightened they thought the world had come to an end.  I asked their sister if they reached home all right. Her reply was, she never knew.

No. 69 South Street was Mr. William H. Martin's home; No. 71 was Norman Quinlan's home; No. 73, Emaline Capron, and No. 75, David Asherís home on the corner of South and Mechanic Street, now Hudson Ave.  On the opposite corner was a double house facing Mechanic Street and occupied by Mr. Bullock and Mr. Smith's families.

At that time in 1874, there were no more houses until we get up to Mr. Michael Mann's house, No. 83, which I am told is one of the oldest houses in town.  It is now occupied by Mrs. Edward Bemis.

Now to go ahead a few years, Mr. Bethuel Bullock built a house, No. 77, where he took up his residence.  As time went by (now I'm guessing at this date) Mr. Bullock built two more houses, probably around 1900.  In No. 79, a family lived who had a very popular young son.  One morning, a neighbor went in on an errand and this young manís mother, calling the neighbor by name, asked her what she would do with a boy who didnít want to go to school.  Calling him by name, she said, "And don't you like to go to school?"  He replied very quickly "Well now, what do I want to go to school for? I've got to stay home and get the news."

Who says a person is not born to his job?  This same young man is now one of our leading citizens, and newspapermen, Mr. Arthur Irving, publisher of our daily papers, and one of the best after‑dinner speakers in this locality or any other.

Also about that time, another family lived at 85 South Street, who also had a son who has become so renowned in science that he is now counted one of the six men in his field today, Dr. Francis Lucas.

Back to 1874 again, the next house, No. 87, was the home of Mr. Earl Smith who in after years conducted one of the first ice businesses in town, No. 89.  He also conducted a slaughter house, and as Paul Harvey says, he never used a hypodermic.  No. 91 was Mr. George Granger's home, No. 93, Mrs. Emeline Kellogg's residence, and she is listed as a botanical physician.  She would spend days in the spring and early summer in the woods gathering different herbs she could find and talk about the witchesí brew!  When her brewing days would come, would her house smell of sassafras, ginseng, mint or any other herb with which she would make her powders, pills and tonics. We lived across the street from her, and I thought she could cure anything but a toothache.  After years, it was rumored that Indian feathers were found in her great grandfather's back dooryard.

The next house, No. 95, Mr. George Norris, a wagon maker, built but he lived there a short time only and sold the place to Abner Varney.  Mr. Varney's daughter, Marion, married Dr. Clyde Demarest of Chicago.  Shortly after that, the Varneys sold the place to Ransford Haviland and one of his daughters married Dr. George McMurray of this city.

In 1874, Mr. Cheesebrough and family lived in No. 97, corner of First and South Sts. About that time Mr. Cheesebrough moved that house to the corner of Spring and First Sts. and it is still there.  He built the brick house as it is now, corner of First and South Sts.  He had two sons, Samuel, who was a doctor of medicine, and Harry, who was a dentist.  A granddaughter, Edith Bain, who afterward lived there, married Dr. Glass of Boston.

On the opposite corner of First and South Sts., No. 99, was Mr. Nelson Murrayís home.  He was a retired farmer.  One of his sons, Sanford, was a doctor of medicine and a daughter, Anna was one of our good old school teachers.  She was the first teacher I had in the Glens Falls Academy.  Her assistant was Mrs. Dix, mother of Mr. Dix who recently died.

                        After several years, Miss Murray left the Academy.and went to the Elmwood Seminary and the last of her teaching was in the Glen Street public school until her retirement.  She was a wonderful teacher.

The next house was another retired farmer, Mr. Grayís home, No. 101.  At N o. 103 was L. P. Juvet, who conducted a jewelry store on Glen Street for many years.  Mr. Ulysses Juvet and family also lived in that house.  Their daughter married Dr. Elias Bibbey in the late 1880's.  His office was on Maple Street.

The next house in 1874 was located at the corner of South and Second Streets, No. 107, the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Thompson.  Mr. Thompson was bookkeeper for Finch and Pruyn for many years.  The next house, No. 109, was the home of Richard Effnor and family.  There were no more houses until we get up to the Enches house, corner of South and Fifth Sts.

In the early days before the Civil War, Mr. Roger Haviland, owner of 560 acres of land extending from McGregor hill to Feeder Dam, built the Enches house and gave it to his son, William Haviland, who afterward sold it to Mr. Enches.  It was remodeled in 1935.

There were no more houses in 1874 until we get up to the home of Mr. Roger Haviland, corner of South and Knight Sts.  There have been few alterations to the house since that time, at least on the outside.  It is one of the oldest places in town but I don't know much about it. The most I do know is that Mr. Haviland had three wives and 13 children.  I was acquainted with seven of them, Mrs. C. B. Thompson, Mrs. W. B. Griffin, Mrs. Cheesebrough, Mrs. Staples, Mrs. Harriet Haviland, Augustus Haviland and Willard Haviland.

To go ahead to 1903, Dr. Virgil D. Selleck lived at 200 South St. after finishing his medical course, he opened his office in Maple Street.  He was health officer 26 years and was the founder of the Health Center located in Ridge Street, Mr. and Mrs. McEachron's home.

In 1874, Mr. Samuel Browers' house, No. 114, was the first one from Knight Street on the right side of South Street as we go toward the center of the village.  No. 112 was Mr. Amos Havilandís home; No. 110, Dr. David Cornell who afterward lived at 45 Ridge St.  His son was a dentist.  No. 106 was the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Traphagan and they had a beautiful green house.  In those days their place was considered one of the show places in town, especially in summer.  Their front door yard was a mass of color from spring till fall.  There was a heart‑shaped flower bed which reached from the driveway in front of the brick house which still stands there in perfect condition, to within a few feet of the sidewalk.  A front porch has been added to the house since then.  Mr. H. Prior King, Miss Jane King's father, boarded there with the Traphdgans during the time he was reading law in Judge Davis' office.

The next lot, No. 104, was vacant, and Mr. Traphagan prided himself on the speckled corn he raised there.  No. 102 was Mr. Joseph Kenyon's home.  Judge Cheritree lived there in later years and after his death Judge Enches had his residence there in 1874.  No. 100 was Timothy Stebbins home.  A retired engineer, he moved there from Montreal.  No. 98 was Mr. M. E. Parkerís home, No. 96, Seth Witherell; No. 94, Dr. H. P. Sweet; No. 92, George P. Scoville; No. 90, Samuel Sterns.  During the years of the eighties and nineties, Robert Simms and family lived‑in the Sterns house.  Mr. Simms was a machinist and he was also quite a musician.

During the summer months he and his daughter, Anna, furnished music for entertainments at Lake George and dancing at hotels, she playing the piano and he a cornet.  The hotels were the Marion House, Fort William Henry, Kattskill House and many others.

My family moved to Glens Falls in May of 1869 and took up our residence at 92 South St.  Mr. John W. Knight and family lived at 86 South St.  They had a little daughter also and it wasn't many years before our acquaintance began‑‑love at first sight. We were probably five years old or so when we began rolling our hoops.  We have both had a fine memory and have been able to recall many happenings which we have loved to talk about.  Of course, now there is no one left to contradict, which we laugh about.  We often think how we would ask people passing by what their names were and in what house they lived.  We were friendly whether they were or not.

Among things we love to talk about is the day we saw a man with a hand organ and monkey coming up the street.  We waited until they were quite near and then we ran into her house, which still stands at No. 86 and upstairs to a front window.  The window was open and a woodbine grew up, pretty well covering it.  I suppose the man heard us laughing, watching the monkey's tricks, and he let out the cord tied to the monkey and up it came on the vine and peeking through, tipped its cap to us.  Well, that was too close for us and did we run to the back of the house!

The next house was a family by the name of Malleson.  They came from New York; their son was a doctor.  The next house, No. 82, was George Bibbey; No. 80, George Conery; on the opposite corner of South and Park St. was the home of Charles McMullen, a constable, and it was his son, Arthur McMullen who with Fred Lord, Beecher Sprague and Jeremiah Mahoney were the first publishers of the Glens Falls Morning Star.  The date was April 21 1883.  I remember so well, it said at the top of the first page, "The morning star shone brightly this morning.Ē

I have found it interesting that so many doctors have lived or have been connected with families on South Street.  I would like to add the name of Dr. Charles Barber, who lived in South street.  In 1922, his family moved to Center Street and he lived there during his school years.  His office now is 416 Glen St.  Dr. Hughes lived at 192 South St. for about three years.  His residence and office now is 135 Ridge St.

In 1874, Nos. 72 and 70 were vacant lots; No. 68, Daniel Brooks; No. 66, Stephen Cassavant; No. 64, John Sullivan; No. 62, John Kelley; No. 60, Lewis Pero; No, 58, Alex Yott.  The Yotts had a son, Moses, and when free mail delivery was first established here, he was one of the first postmen.  And then also was Billy Stay, who lived with the Yotts and owned and ran the first taxi cab we had in the village, and as I think of it, it has never been surpassed by any taxi we have ever had.  Billy was short and stocky, dressed in style for those days, his horse was also short and stocky and his gait was never beyond the speed limit, rather slow but sure.  Mr. Stay had a lovely surrey with the fringe on top, and as he drove he always carried a whip in his hand, not that he ever used it, but probably to give the outfit a rather speedy look.  The charge for a ride in any part of the village was 25 cents.

No. 56 was J. w. Suprenaunt; No. 50, Patrick O'Connor; No. 48, vacant lot; No. 46, Mary Hacket; No. 42, Robert Cox, pound master, corner South and School Sts.  Sometime during the 30's, and 40ís, Dr. Mosher lived there and also had his office there.

William Miller's residence in 1874 was at the corner of School and South Sts.  Sometime during the 1880's after Mr. Millerís death, Dr. Rochon moved there and had his office. No. 36 was Dennis Gardephe, patent maker; No. 30, corner of South and Elm Sts., was W.W. D. Jeffers' home, and it was a very nice one.  In later years, Mr. Jeffers built the house at 142 Warren St. where he lived until his death.  It is now the home of Dr. and Mrs. John M. Griffin.  At the time Mr. Jeffers vacated the house at the corner of South and Elm, Mrs. Mary Rockwell, her niece, Deborah Leavens, and two nephews, Henry and Daniel Leavens, took possession and lived there until their deaths.  Dr. Lemon Thomson purchased the property and built the present business block.

Now I'm taking you down to the southeast corner of South and Glen Street which has been the site of a grocery store for more than 100 years.  The first occupancy of this corner was a blacksmith shop conducted by Abraham Haviland in 1787.  In 1828, Henry Ferguson, a grocer at Halfmoon in Saratoga County, moved to Glens Falls and with Henry Philo, father of the surveyor I have mentioned who won the prize for the best name submitted for Hotel Ruliff, opened a store at the upper end of the village.  They purchased the lot at Glen and South Street from Mr. and Mrs. Francis Fitts for $100.

Six years later, Mr. Philo sold his interest in the real estate business to his partner for $500.  Still later he sold his interest in the business to Mr. Ferguson.  About the years 1840‑41, Mr. Ferguson moved off an old building which had been used as a watch repair and jewelry shop by A. A. Holdridge and erected what was considered in those days a fine three‑story brick building to be used as a store. The old blacksmith was also moved back and a two‑story wooden dwelling was erected on its site and was the home of the Ferguson family.

In after years, Mr. Buswell had a locksmith shop in the front room of the building. After the death of Mr. Ferguson, the business was conducted by his son, George Ferguson.  On the south side of the store building was an open stairway leading to the second story.  Among the occupants in the fifties was Justice of the Peace Hiram Philo, justice and surveyor; Mr. Van Tassel, and some years later, Dr. R. J. Eddy.  At the rear of Mr. Fergusonís store stood an old hotel built about 1868.  It was run by W. H. McNutt in 1875.  Later, Hill and McCabe had at Nos. 8 and 10 a meat market and grocery story in the building.  A. Oliver had a shoe shop at No. 6 and at 10, John Murphy and Co. also had a meat market.

During the decade of 1872, Mr. Ferguson sold his property on the corner to Mr. Henry Crandall, who enlarged the building and added the present stores to what is now called the Crandall Block.

In 1896, Mr. Ferguson, who had continued his business on the corner after selling the property, announced his intention to move.  Smith and Horton then obtained the lease and Mr. Ferguson moved to West Street.  The old hotel, Nos. 8 and 10 on South Street, which had been a hotel, meat market and grocery for so many years, was torn down in 1882 and Mr. Crandall built the present three‑story building and at its completion, Henry Palmer opened a barber shop on the north side in 1883 and had Charles Perry for a partner.  In the next store in the same building, A. J. Dunwick opened a bakery shop and remained there about a year, and then H. Bleumeneur started a bakery here and was followed by Robert Stewart and James Winton.  Then came Edward Reynolds and then John Webster, all of these men conducting bakeries.

Next to this building was an alley way which ran back to a barn in the rear of the next building.  In here was a livery stable run by John Sullivan.  The next building on South Street was built in 1867 and Mr. Landers had a harness shop in the entire building.  On No. 14 and 16 stood the Mansion House, built by Alexander Mosher about 1869.  It was run by George Lee in the early days. Some time during 1875 it was purchased by Dennis McSweeney and Jerry Lynch.  In the early summer of 1876, Barnumís Circus came to town and with it were Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb.  They were guests at the Mansion House.  I have a distinct recollection of seeing them come out of the hotel and cross the sidewalk and get into their small carriage drawn by a pair of small horses.  Some tell me that the Thumbs were accompanied by Admiral Dott; now whether he was a bodyguard to the Thumbs or another member of the circus I donít know.

Mr. McSweeney remained in the Mansion House until 1886 when he and his family moved to 212 South St. where his son, John Henry McSweeney and his family now reside.  His daughter, Miss Katharine McSweeney, married Dr. Charles B. Phillips of Amsterdam.  The Mansion House burned in 1890 and was rebuilt and opened by William Van Cott.  He was followed by Hiram Kathan, then by Charles Allen, next by Peter Pulver and then by John Connell.

In 1905, John Madden purchased the hotel and it has since remained by the name Hotel Madden.

                        The next building was the Fire House built in 1866.  It was the firemen's home until they moved into the Broad Street building Nov. 8, 1913.  In 1874 there were three hose companies in the fire department.  They were governed by a chief engineer and three assistants. The chief engineer was William McEachron; assistants, Henry Nesbitt, Hiram Krum and D. C. Holman.  J. L. Cunningham Hose Co. No. 1, foreman, J. H. Leonard; secretary, E. T. Spencer, engine house on South Street; M. B. Little Engine and Hose Co. No. 2, foreman John Feeney, secretary, John Haverty; house on Ridge Street.  The Jerome Lapham Hose Co. No. 3, foreman, S. B. Whitney; secretary, Clarence Wilmarth.  There was a fire hydrant on South Street, corner of School Street; another on South opposite Coffin; another on South opposite John Knightís residence.

Next to the fire house was John McKay's house, his residence; next, Eli Carpenter, carriage painter; Felix Rainville, blacksmith, also Ed Spicer, blacksmith, and Nelson LaSalle, carriage maker, and now we are back to No. 30, corner of Elm and South St.

The first gas lighted streets were in 1874.  We had one street light at the corner of South and Mechanic St. and another corner of West and South Sts.  James Arthur was the caretaker at that time and for many years.

The first electric cars were installed in South Street in 1891.  The last run of the trolley car was Nov. 30, 1928, when the busses took over.  The first electric lights were in 1890.  Free mail delivery was about 1884; no one seems to know.  Timothy Downey was our first postman, then followed by Mr. Gates, Mr. Godette, Moses Yott and John Pickett.

In 1874 we had a town pump located at the corner of Cross and School Sts. which supplied the water for the street sprinkler used during the summer months.  Mr. W. H. West, father of the late E. W. West, was superintendent of the work but I don't know the driverís name.  The cart would fill during the night and the first trip would be about 9 a.m.  The trip would be from School Street to South down to Glen, down Glen around the fountain to Warren St., down Warren to Church, back to Glen, up to and around the monument, then back to South St. and School St.

The afternoon trip would be around 3:30 over the same route.  At that time usually there would be a company of bare‑footed boys waiting at the curb on South Street and was it an event for them‑‑without charge.  They would look like drowned rats by the time they got back to South St.  I wonder if there are any of those boys left to talk it over.

Our first milk man in 1874 was Mr. Arad Mickle, father of the late Harry Mickle, a lawyer here.  I can hear the milk cans come rattling up the street now.  He made two trips a day.  First one was about 9 in the morning and again in the afternoon about 4.  If there happened to be a very hard storm, we had no milk that day, because it was too hard for him to get from Bay Road, where I believe his farm was located, to Glens Falls.  Milk was five cents a quart then.

Among my earliest recollections of South Street is Mr. Champlin and his tin cart.  The cart looked very much like the old stage coach we saw last year.  It had a door on one side and when he would open it you would be amazed at the variety of tinware it would hold, with brooms and mop sticks hanging from the top on the outside of the wagon on pleasant days.  All of these wares to be exchanged for the price of the rags the bags would bring.  Mr. Champlin and his products were an event with the women on the street.  As soon as they knew he was on the street they would drop all work they might be doing and run for their bags of rags.  And the funny thing was, he never had a dissatisfied customer.

Mr. Champlin had lost one of his arms at the elbow.  He had a good sized hook fastened on his arm with a heavy strap.  He would hook into the top of the bag and throw it onto the top of the wagon as quick again as most men could do it with two arms.  Of all the people I have known who lived on South Street in 1874, there are only three of us left, Mrs George Wetmore, Mr. J. H. McSweeney and myself.  I have lived in this house, 5 Third St., for 77 years.

                       Written in 1956  

(signed) Estelle D. Scoville

 

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