Hoosick Township Historical Society

Newsletter - September 2003

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

Who Took the Falls out of Hoosick Falls?
Hoosick Falls had many floods and some people were flooded almost yearly. Very serious floods took place in November, 1927; March, 1936; September, 1938 and a New Year's Day flood in 1950. People organized a committee in 1950 to stop this flooding in their area. They brought their case to the Congress through Dean Taylor a Congressman from Troy. An appropriation of over one million dollars was passed to dredge the river, remove the dam, build retaining walls and provide other safeguards against future floods. Much rock had to be blasted and removed. The project was completed in early 1952.

Lyman Wilder
Lyman Wilder moved to Hoosick Falls in 1826 from Brattleboro, Vermont. He was an architect and builder. He built the Seth Parsons and Levi Chandler Ball homes, the Presbyterian Church and many other homes in Hoosick Falls. He built an octagon house which had an addition put on when he sold the house. Mr. Wilder's home was on Classic Street just below the library and the house next door was the octagon house. He owned the land that went straight back from his home plus all the land up Wilder Avenue to Snow Street. Wilder Ave. and Wilder Lane are completely built on land once owned by Lyman Wilder. He also owned large pieces of property on the Hoosick River. Mr. Wilder became a partner of Seth Parsons in the manufacturing of cloth shearing machinery. Mr. Parsons had patented the machine on November 25, 1838. It was one of the best shearing machines and sold well for over 45 years. He continued in the business after the death of Seth Parsons in 1845. The company flourished until his own death in 1885 at the age of 88. His machine shop was made up of five buildings just over the Church Street "Shop Bridge", in front of the Wood Factory. Mr. Wilder was a member of the Assembly in 1854, and was a Director of the Troy and Boston Railroad. He owned over 2,060 valuable coins which were sold in 1877. He was a lover of nature and collected crystalline forms. His collection of rocks was one of the largest in the United States and became known as the "Wilder Cabinet." In the Business Directory of Hoosick Falls in 1882-83 was the following article about the famous Wilder Cabinet. We are trying to find out what happened to this display at Williams College.

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