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.


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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topo map of French Mountain

French Mountain in 1875

Maury Thompson recently shared with me a link to a short newspaper article about the photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard.  On the same page I noticed a letter from a reader, which decried the lack of coverage for French Mountain, at that time a hamlet in the Town of Queensbury.  Now the site of the Factory…
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stone wall with red tenant house

A Legacy of the Land – Stone Walls continued…

Our last blog covered the remarkable story of 19th century stone builder and preacher, Reverend George Brown.  But what about the many stone walls around the area whose builders remain anonymous and whose histories are unknown?  Is it possible to learn anything about those walls, or from them?  The answer is “yes”.  Though we may…
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A cast metal mailbox that bears the raised lettering that states “Letter Box” and an embossed eagle design, beneath which is the company stamp Cutler Mail Chute Company, Rochester, NY.

The Queensbury Hotel’s Cutler Mail Chute

If you have ever wandered through the lobby of the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, NY and found yourself by the elevator, you may have noticed an unusual feature.  Attached to the wall is a beautiful cast metal mailbox.  It bears the raised lettering that states “Letter Box” and an embossed eagle design, beneath which…
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