Hoosick Township Historical Society

Newsletter - May 2003

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

New York State Armory
The Armory was built in 1889 on Church Street. It immediately became the home of the 32nd Separate Company of the State Guard. "The building and site cost $37,000. The site was purchased by Rensselaer County at a cost of $6,000, and the building was erected by the State. The company expended about $3,000 in fittings and furnishings, thus making the armory and appurtenances cost $40,000. The building is 154x75 feet in dimensions. The basement is utilized as a rifle-range. The drill room is 120x75 feet, and is without obstruction." This description came from the 1890 Board of Trade booklet. During WWI the State Guard was Federalized and fought on the Von Hindenberg Line. Thirty-one men lost their lives in WWI and twenty-one of those were part of the 138 men that left from the Armory. As the numbers belonging to the Guard decreased, the unit housed in the Armory became a Headquarters Detachment. On October 23, 1940, 27 men were Federalized with 22 becoming part of the military. Eleven of these men participated in the Battle of Saipan where three were killed and four were wounded. The Armory was to be closed by the State of New York but is opened now because the Town of Hoosick signed a 50 year lease(renewable ten years) to rent space in 1995.

Memorial Day
Memorial Day is observed annually on the last Monday in May in most of the United States. The day is in honor of the nation's armed services personnel killed in wartime. The holiday, originally called Decoration Day, is traditionally marked by parades, memorial speeches and ceremonies, and the decoration of graves with flowers and flags. Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, on the order of General John Alexander Logan, Grand Army of the Republic, for the purpose of decorating the graves of the American Civil War dead. It was observed on May 30 until 1971. World War IMore than 3,000 gathered at the Armory and the railroad station to bid "Good Bye" to M Company on Sunday, July 2, 1916. An impromptu parade took place, with thirteen flags at the head, the Van Surdam's Band, fire departments, and Spanish American Veterans. Twenty-one of these men lost their lives in WWI.

World War II
On October 23, 1940, 27 men of the Headquarters Detachment,105th Infantry, left Hoosick Falls, as they were called up for Federal service. They lined up at the Armory and marched to the railroad station. The streets were lined with the local people and the school children were excused from school. Twenty-two men were inducted into the armed services. Five of these men lost their lives, and seven were wounded Starting on the left, bottom row the men were: Joseph Reinfurt, Robert Fitzpatrick, Anthony Wirmusky, James McGarvin, Barney Zelinskas, Walter Sluzas, Allison Chatfield, Stanley Ford, Walter Fleming, Edward Nowik, Anthony Slavis, Joseph Sprague, (second row) Rowland Johnson, Francis Downing, Joseph Carelli, John Carelli, James Carelli, Peter Davendonis, Herman Barnhart, Edward Brodeski, Teddy Barnhart, Hitchcock Robinson, Augustin Gallagher, and William Fox. The picture was taken at Fort McClellan, Alabama in April,1941. On July 7, 1944, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry lost 406 men and 512 wounded on Saipan.

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