Hoosick Township Historical Society

Newsletter - May 2004

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

The Hoosick Falls Veteran Soldiers’ Association
This association was organized on May 30, 1875, for the purpose of grouping together the soldiers of the town, securing annual decoration services, and preserving in every suitable way, the memories of the war.

The association owns a burial lot in Maple Grove Cemetery, for the interment of soldiers. Under the auspices of the association, the fine monument standing near the intersection of Classic and High streets, was erected with becoming ceremonies, May 30, 1878, at the cost of $1,500. Of this amount, $1,200 was raised by the association with the aid of citizens, and $300 appropriated by the town. The site on which it stands is known as Monument Park, and was donated by the village, as well as the beautiful iron fence surrounding it........To the energy, zeal and patriotism of this organization, are the citizens indebted for this fitting tribute to Hoosick’s fallen sons.

On the west side of the monument is the following inscription: “The citizens of Hoosick hold in grateful remembrance the soldiers who fought to save the Union; ‘and on the east side as follows: ‘Erected by the Veterans Soldiers’ Association, A.D., 1878.’“ The above is quoted from the 1889 Hoosick Falls Directory.

In the old Maple Grove Cemetery near the beginning of the Hill Road is the plot of land with Civil War men buried in an oval with a flag pole in the center.

The Armory
The Armory was constructed in 1889, and designed by Issac Perry. “The building is the grand result of zealous efforts on the part of a few of Hoosick’s leading citizens, who obtained an appropriation from the state. Its cost, with furnishings, was $40,000, and the building adds much to the beauty and dignity of the village, and is a deserved tribute to one of the finest military organizations of the state.

The 32nd Separate Company was mustered in the National Guard with the highest recommendations, March 20, 1885, and has connected with it the splendid Citizens’ Corps Band of 30 pieces, of which H.S. Surdam is the leader. The officers are Captain C.W. Eddy; First Lt. F.L. Stevens; Second Lt., George H. Walden; and Surgeon F.R. Hudson.” The quote was taken from the 1889 Business Directory.

The Hoosick Falls Armory was added to the State Historical Register in June, 1991, and the National Register on 2 March 1995.

Hoosick Falls Always Loved A Parade
Memorial Day nears, our community is again looking forward to a parade in Hoosick and the Hoosick Falls Village. As we study our file of parade pictures, we find that parades were plentiful and attended by many from the area.

Memorial Day parades were held yearly and when our Armory housed the large 32nd Separate Company, soldiers marched proudly and parades included the military and local bands. School children participated and floats were very popular.

When men left for the Spanish American War, World War I and II, large parades were held with those leaving at the heads of the parades. The parades ended at the train station with men boarding the trains on their way to Federal military service. Hundreds of people lined the streets and feelings of pride and patriotism rang out everywhere.

Many of our pictures are from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The Old Home Week which was held on August 17-18-19, 1911 was full of speeches and parades. The stores were decorated with bunting and parades always included Elm Street. This parade had seventy units and 35 floats as well as a large horseman group.

The earliest parade picture is from 1888 at the Elm Street railroad crossing. Our next pictures are of a large Columbus Day Parade held on October 12, 1910. Forty-Nine Elks men marched along with many floats and bands.

The prize float was a horse drawn Gillespie Bros Co “The Store of Better Merchandise”.

On June 9, 1917 a Red Cross parade took place.

“The largest, most colorful parade in the history of Hoosick Falls” took place on August 15, 1952 during the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the village. There were 70 units and 35 floats. From 17 communities, in addition to Hoosick Falls, came bands, horsemen, fireman with apparatus and many floats. Floats were entered by the City of Troy and Rensselaer County. Cobleskill float “men of the brush”won first prize in the float division. Upward of 12,000 people lined the 2.8 miles of the line of march.

The first recent St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1992. The St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 13, 2004 was well attended and had four bands and many floats. A great time was had by all. We are again looking forward to Memorial Day.

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