Places & People Blog

Glens Falls, New York, once a hamlet in the town of Queensbury, has been known by several names – Chepontuc, reputedly a native name for “a difficult place to get around”; Wing’s Falls, in honor of its founder, Abraham Wing; and Glenn’s or Glenville after landowner Col. Johnnes Glen. However, at first it was called simply “The Corners,” the local name for that place where roads converged at the bend by the falls in the Hudson River.

In a broader sense, a corner is any location where roads intersect – places where people meet and a community develops. Our blog Places & People is about the history of local places and the social networks that are connected to them. It features stories from the past of Glens Falls, Queensbury, Oneida Corners, French Mountain, Harrisena, Sandy Hill and other nearby places where roads crossed and history happened.


Articles are written by museum staff and volunteers. Researchers are invited to submit articles electronically. Requirements: 2000 words max. Images should be in jpg format with a width resolution of 1024. Submissions are reviewed by an editorial committee.


row of houses

One Man, Tons of Cement, and a Street Transformed

“Architecture is the biggest unwritten document of history.” — Daniel Libeskind It doesn’t take much effort to love architecture when you consider it to be beautiful. It makes both the motivation to learn more about a building’s history, as well as the desire to save it should it be neglected, much easier. But what if…
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stone church and cemetery behind a wicker fence

Moses Harris: A Revolutionary Spy in Warren County

You may be familiar with the story of Alexander Hamilton, one recently popularized by the musical Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton’s father-in-law was Philip Schuyler, a United States senator from New York, who resided in Albany. During the American Revolution, Schuyler worked closely with an ordinary man who became a spy; that man was Moses Harris —…
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elevated view of lake with islands

Post Card Chronicles #2 — Frank Lapham

Born into a family of Glens Falls entrepreneurs, Frank Lapham’s life came with both responsibility and privilege.  His grandfather and uncle had established a grist mill along the Hudson River in South Glens Falls and as a young man, Frank also joined the business.  This did not mean, however, that he was given an office…
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color postcard of a row of fish in the grass

The Post Card Chronicles #1 — August Finke

Welcome to the Post Card Chronicles.  If you’re like me, it’s just too hard to resist a stack of old postcards.  There’s a need to pick them up and look at all the images of far-off places, important sites, unusual events, or exotic themes.  Once you’ve stopped on a particular card that catches your eye,…
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color postcard of brick armory building

Turrets and Towers of Glens Falls

Most of us are probably familiar with the old saying “your home is your castle”.  During the late Victorian period, many architects wanted to make your home look like one as well…at least sort of.  From the 1880s to the early 1900s, the architectural style known as Queen Anne swept America.  Although named after Queen…
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Road sign for Van the Shoe Man

Van the Shoe Man

“…each time I tried a pair of shoes on I got to step on a fluoroscope machine and see my feet and toes inside of the shoes.” – John F. Abess M.D. (on why he enjoyed shopping at Van the Shoe Man, from A Good Place to Live) Shopping for shoes is not something children…
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two apple trees

Queensbury’s Apples

Fall in the North Country brings with it some much anticipated events…the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, the back-to-school routines, and of course, apple season.  New York has a rich history of apple production dating back to the 1600’s.  Traditions such as going picking as a family, cold cider and warm cider donuts on…
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ghost sign of Kiley's

Sharing More Secrets (of Signs, that is):  Who Were the Artists Behind Them?

Recently, I posted an image on our Instagram account @chapmanmuseum of the Kiley’s sign on the northwest corner of Elm and South St.  Several people recognized and commented on it.  Judging from the likes and messages, this wall painting has a fan club.  The funny thing about signs is that they can transcend their role…
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