Hoosick Township Historical Society

Newsletter - August 2003

Editor: Phil Leonard
Museum Curator: Charles Filkins
Louis Miller Museum (518) 686-4682

Warren-Ehmler Estate
This mansion was built in 1878 by Hobart Warren, a member of the Warren family that manufactured stoves in Troy. It had 42 rooms and a spiral staircase. This was their summer home and they lived in New York City in the winter. They drove around Hoosick Falls in a carriage with a coachman and footman. The estate included gardens and the road into the area was lined with trees and flowers. Their help included servants and gardeners. Many famous people visited the Warrens. The estate was purchased in the late 1920s by Hans Ehmler. Mr. Ehmler developed a lily pond, a zoo that contained 11 buffalo and 10 elk as well as other animals.
Through a local native, William Carey, prize fighters trained at the estate and many famous sportswriters and boxers visited Hoosick Falls. During the summer, Indians were hired to live on the grounds in order to draw people to the estate. Recently, we had an inquiry from a native American trying to find out about a grandfather that spent summers in Hoosick Falls. These activities faded out in the late 1930s. John Walsh bought the 350 acres from Ehmler. He sold the mansion to Ralph Helft in 1976. The Grand Union is located on land from this estate. The mansion became a shell and was used to store hay. In June 1982, it burned to the ground in a suspicious fire. 75 men from area fire companies fought the fire. Four firemen were treated at the scene and one with an eye injury was taken to the hospital. Two Hoosick Falls engines had to be towed out and one was out of commission for over a week. Fire Chief Donald McCabe arrived on the scene in a tuxedo. He was called from his sister's wedding.

William F. Carey
William F. Carey rose from being a poor boy in Hoosick Falls to become a millionaire and industrial leader in the United States and throughout the world. William Carey was born on September 14, 1878, the son of William and Catherine Ryan Carey. They lived on River Road. He had a brother, Daniel and three sisters. In 1894, with little money in his pocket, he left for Colorado to become a mule skinner in railroad construction camps. He was earning thirty cents per hour when he met Ocean K. Dailey, a college professor from Nebraska. Six weeks after they were married, they left for the Canal Zone. He worked on the Panama Canal and became a general superintendent of construction. In 1906, the Careys returned to the United States where Mr. Carey went into business for himself as a railroad contractor. He started building sections of train track linking Northwestern United States with Canada. Although he never received an engineering degree, Mr. Carey designed and built many machines used in construction and mining. During World War I, Mr. Carey built a logging railroad to carry the spruce tree logs needed for the construction of barracks. The first company he headed was the Seims-Carey Railway and Canal Company. They built railroads in China and South America. During the depression, Mr. Carey turned to strip coal mining in Pennsylvania. He was involved in the construction of the new Madison Square Garden and was appointed President of the Garden in 1929. Mr. Carey established a training camp for boxers at the Ehmler Estate even though the boxers didn't like the distance from New York City. This brought the best boxers and sports writers to Hoosick Falls. His construction company also built Boston Gardens. In 1936, he was appointed Commissioner of Sanitation of the City of New York under Mayor LaGuardia and reorganized the department under great political pressure. The department improved and the workers were very satisfied. He quit this job in January, 1946 on the election of Mayor O'Dwyer. During World War II, he was a special advisor on airport construction and helped with the construction of the largest airports in record time. Mr. Carey was a director or head of many large corporations. He was First Vice President of the Lone Star Cement Company and the Southern Phosphate Corporation. He retired to a ranch in Indio, California where he died on February 23, 1951 at the age of 72. He was survived by his wife and one son. William F. Carey, Jr.

The Miller Hose Company
The Miller Hose Company was founded in 1890 and was responsible for the second ward.(Clay Hill) Some of it's members shown are, Captain Daniel Bolen, Patrick MacNamara, Fernanda Reynolds, William Trembley, James O'Malley, John McNamara, Joseph McGarvin, Thomas Morris, James McGann, Patrick Calahan, George Hubbard, Jim Seward, James Quigley, John Anderson and Joseph Gerow. The small boy is John Bolen. The fire departments of Hoosick Falls united and the building was sold to the St. Stanislaw Society. The organization, which started in 1912, remodeled the building and has become a very active part of the area. They are very generous to the community, supporting many activities.

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