Hoosick Township Historical Society

The Naming of Eagle Bridge

 

In the May 29, 1909 issue of “The Mirror”, a newspaper published in Eagle Bridge, N. Y., an article appeared that addresses the naming of Eagle Bridge.  It was written by Luke Carpenter who was born on 1823 and died in January of 1910.  The newspaper was owned by Harry S. Viets.

 

In the year 1827 two carpenters named Comstock and Sherwood from Johnsonville, took the contract to build the covered bridge across the Hoosick. Two Felshaw boys, Joe and William worked with them.

 

Previous to this time there had been an open bridge at this place, but it had been broken down by a drove of Ben Joslin’s cattle rushing upon it.   At this time there were only three houses on the Rensselaer county side of the river, and the same number on the Washington county side.   Caroline Thayer, a school teacher, lived in a little house at the end of the bridge.  She was naturally quite an artist and one day while the Felshaw boys were alone at work on the bridge she showed them the picture of an eagle that she had just painted. They persuaded her to get upon the scaffold which had not been removed from the Washington county end of the bridge, and paint an eagle up there.  When the boss carpenters returned they were delighted and said, “Now we’ll have one on the other end and call it “Eagle Bridge”.   The scaffold had been removed on that end and as Miss Thayer said she couldn’t stand on a ladder and paint it, they built another scaffold for her, and she painted the eagle on the Rensselaer county side.  Since then it has been called “Eagle Bridge”

 

As soon as the bridge was completed, Jay Wiele gave a barrel of rum for the privilege of driving the first team across it. After their jollification was over, Viele found out that he had been beaten, for the night before, Benjamin Sisson got permission to drive across to tell Leonard Sisson, at White Creek, of my grandfather’s death.

 

Published in “The Mirror”, Eagle Bridge, NY - May 29, 1909 by Luke Carpenter

 

Caroline Thayer, soon after this, married Cornelius VanVechten, whose home at the time was located at Buck’s corner, opposite the location of the present filling station.  The Van Vechten family was very prominent throughout the section.  Several children were born of the union and at the present time there are ten grandchildren living, many within this section.  One son, Henry, became prominent during the Civil War.  Among the daughters were Helen, the wife of the late John H. Pitney; Martha, who was the great-grandmother of the prominent business men of Hoosick Falls,  Forrest S. White; and Evaline, whose daughter is now the wife of a locally prominent musician, J. Wells Herrington.  This last paragraph was taken from another article                                                                                        

Philip Leonard

Town of Hoosick Historian

February, 2002