Hoosick Township Historical Society

November 2001 Newsletter


Meet The Author!

Thomas Carroll, the author of a new book about the industrial development of our region, will present an illustrated talk, “The Silicon Valley of the 19th Century,” about the central role of the Troy area in sparking the industrial revolution in the United States. The presentation will be held at the Hoosick Township Historical Society Meeting on Tuesday, November 6 at 7 pm.

Carroll’s book, co-written with Thomas Phelan and entitled “Hudson-Mohawk Gateway, An Illustrated History,” tells the remarkable story of the growth of Troy and its surrounding area following the opening of the Erie Canal. Carroll, a professor of history at RPI for 16 years, and the Executive Director of the Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway, will answer questions, and he will be available to sign copies of the book and to discuss the book’s topic with visitors at a reception after the program.  The event is free and everyone is welcome.

       The focus of the book is on the incredible flowering of invention and industry that turned Troy from just another agricultural village at the beginning of the century to a city of worldwide renown and influence at the time of the Civil War.

Robert Fulton's successful steam boat trials on the Hudson in 1807 suddenly made it a short trip from New York City to the head of navigation of the Hudson at Troy, and the idea that the area around Troy could be a gateway between New York City and the vast resources of the western and northern interior took hold.  Ideas for constructing canals had been floated for a century before, but now the talk turned to action. By 1817 the Canal Bill, authorizing construction of the Erie Canal, started the ball rolling. The canal did everything its builders had hoped, making New York The Empire State, New York City the greatest city on this continent, and the Troy area into what the authors call "the birthplace of America's industrial revolution," and "the Silicon Valley of the 19th Century." The triumphs of industry and engineering came one upon another during this period, from the canal itself to Henry Burden's horseshoe machine, which by 1857 could make horseshoes at the rate of one per second, powered by the biggest water wheel ever built before or since. The first Bessemer-process steel made on this continent was made at Troy in 1865; the armor for the successful ironclad boat “The Monitor” was made in Troy at about the same time; and during this period RPI became the premier engineering school in the country.  The public is invited to the meeting to learn more about this fascinating piece of regional history. Refreshments will be served.

         This handsomely produced book, 248 pages lavishly illustrated, will be available for sale at the meeting ($30), to be held at the Louis Miller Museum, 166 Main Street in Hoosick Falls. The phone number there is 686-4682.


The Historical Society’s Web Site

A visitor counter has been added to the Society’s web site, and there have been 110 visitors in the last two weeks!  We continue to receive communications from people all over the country who are interested in Hoosick History, who find us by finding our web site on search engines.

Quite a bit of new material has been added to the web site recently, including a farm diary from 1897, and essays from our Battle of Bennington Symposium last year, and new material about the various hamlets in the town. The URL of the web site is www.hoosickhistory.com


Big Holiday Sale!

Don’t miss our big sale of historical materials for holiday gifts, which will be held November 10 as a fund-raiser.  We are stocking up now on books, posters, booklets, CDs, notecards, postcards, and other stuff that we can sell to help finance the museum. There will be videotapes of the Eberles and Harriet Hoctor in the movies, audio tapes & CDs of Eberle brothers music, framed pictures and many other items of interest to people in the community or for friends and relatives.  We will set up a special display of sale items in the front meeting room on Saturday, November 10 from 10 am to 2 pm, and on Monday and Tuesday, November 12 & 13, from 1-6 pm. After that, all remaining items will still be available during our regular open hours, Monday and Tuesday, 1-4 pm, or by appointment.


Grandma Moses Books & Prints

Unmatted                                             $12-$50

Matted and Framed                              $28-$130

Books on Grandma Moses              $12.95-$20.00



Eberle Brothers in movies                     $5.00

Harriet Hoctor Dancing in Movies

And Grandma Moses interview $5.00

Tape of Swing Weekend 2001             $10.0


Books on Hoosick History

“As In Days Gone By” (limited stock – come early)                                                       $25

New Book – Hometown Heroes of Hoosick Falls by Phil Leonard & Alex Brooks       $10

Timeline of Hoosick Falls History, 1900-1999 by Gilbert Wright                                   $5


Post cards and note cards with color pictures of historical scenes                                                      50˘ or 3 for $1.25

Commemorative Plates made in 1952 for 125th Anniversary of the Village of Hoosick Falls (limited stock) $20


Tapes and CDs of Eberle brothers music           $10-$18


Will Moses Books & Cards

Will Moses’ New Book, Johnny Appleseed      $16.99

Will Moses Books – Rip Van Winkle,

Silent Night, Legend of Sleepy Hollow  $16.95-18.95

Will Moses puzzles                                           $9-$14

Will Moses Notecards                                      $9-$14


And much more – Grandmas Moses post cards, refrigerator magnets, etc. Many other books, stocking stuffers, and small presents. Something for everyone! Start your holiday shopping here! See You November 10!