I took a short detour off the highway (summer 2017) to drive through Scotia, Nebraska. It?s about 170 miles west of Omaha, rolling farm country, near the North Loop River. I drove through in the late afternoon after businesses were closed, so wasn?t able to check out the Heritage Center.
Scotia was founded in the 1870s, named after the homeland by an early settler, Samuel Scott. It became the county seat in 1874, but later lost that designation to Greeley, due to population changes related to the new railroad lines (very brief summary). Scotia is home to a chalk mine, the only one in the state for over 50 years. Chalk was shipped to Omaha for processing into 71 different products, from blackboard chalk to paint. Some early buildings in Scotia were built of chalk blocks, and one is still in use today. It?s a bit smaller than our Scotia, with a population of just over 300, but it is a Village also.
Summer Recap 3 ? (I?ll get them all in, eventually.)
One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, May-June 1918
May 6 Business related to the Street Fund Clerk to purchase 36 tons of stove & egg coal and 17 tons of stove & chestnut coal, divided between the two local dealers W.R. Brown and J. H. Buhrmaster. The Fire Commissioners asked if the John Miller Hook & Ladder company can use the lower floor of the building on Ten Broeck St. as additional rooms. Referred to Water & Building Committee. Street Commissioner to be instructed to place guard rails on the approaches to the Washington Ave. bridge over the outlet to Collins Lake. Hearing on Ballston St. sidewalk petition: E. A. Curtis is in favor but needs some time J. J. O?Connell is opposed?doesn?t want to invest more money R.L. Hoffman, Heber Williams, E.L. Lockrow in favor?safer to walk to the car [trolley] stop without walking in the street. Hearing closed. Motion: Petition was received from more than half the property owners on the NW side of Ballston St. for sidewalks. Hearing completed and petition granted. A cement sidewalk 5 feet wide, 6 inches in from the curb, the inside elevated at a ? inch grade, will be installed per all Village regulations, at the expense of the owners, and completed before Aug. 15, 1918. Anyone refusing to pay will have the amount added to their tax bill. Motion: the question of writing a Village Ordinance preventing the use of ashes on village streets is referred to the Village Attorney. New ordinance approved to require the Fire Department to inspect all properties as often as necessary, at least once a year in outlying districts and twice a year in closely-built properties, to identify and have corrected any fire hazards. A fine of $25, plus $25 for each additional day, for not complying within 10 days. There will be a hearing on June 3 about a change of grade on First St. between Vly & Center. Payroll and bills approved.
May 20 Village Attorney to attend hearing about taxes in Albany. Water Committee to get the Venture Meter at the pumping station working. Pay Ellis B. Edgar $875.04 due on sewer contract. Financial items related to bonds & notes. Payroll and bills approved.
June 3 (Pages appear to be missing in this digitized copy) Payroll and bills approved.
June 17 Bids for Scotia Refunding Water Bonds opened and read. Sold to George B. Gibbons & Co. Street Commissioner directed to construct concrete crosswalks across Huston and Lincoln Streets at their intersection with First St. Building Committee to make changes and repairs at the Engineers Residence not to exceed $100. Pay Boston & Maine Railroad Co. for freight on the sprinkler tank and water pipe. Clerk to purchase fittings for Water Department. Payroll and bills approved.
[Items related to the end of the war (World War I) are in bold.]
Nov 4 Bid open and then issued to LeRoy Wood (Treasurer of Village) for $2500 bond for Drainage & Sewers. Various items related to short-term borrowing from Schenectady Trust Co. To be included in 1919 tax levy: $333.13 to Schenectady County for repair and maintenance of 22209 sq. yds. of State Highway within the village in 1919. Supt. of Sewers to construct a wire fence around that portion of the village disposal plant on the bank of the creek of the lake which might be considered dangerous if unprotected and to have such portion of the property posted with signs reading as follows; ?Dangerous Place? ?No Trespassing?. Mr. Lasher and Mr. Schuler to be appointed a committee to look into the matter of matching the sorrel horse belonging to the village. A delegation from the Fire Department appeared before the board and on being given the privilege of the floor announced that they had received a request from the Board of Trustees asking them to submit additional names, not less than three, of persons who would be satisfactory to them as a fire commissioner of the village in place of Harry Van Epps who has resigned from said office. After some explanatory remarks by the members of the Board and discussion by several members of the delegation, the delegation refused to submit additional names and informed the Board that they had submitted the name of Christian Herbock [original typing not legible?the o, e, and c all clogged up, as those who have used a typewriter will remember all too well!] who was the choice of a committee appointed by the Department to make a selection and that the Board could take him or leave him as they saw fit. Payroll and bills approved.
Nov. 18 Mr. Cassius F Bartholomew is appointed a trustee for the balance of the official year ending Mar. 24, 1919, after the resignation of Fred L Sturdy. Mr. Bartholomew appeared, took the oath, and assumed his duties. Arthur Hommel [again, typing not clear in original] is to be appointed Fire Commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Harry Van Epps, who resigned, term expires on the Monday following the 3rd Tuesday in March 1921. Sylvester Cornell petitioned to construct a sanitary sewer from Ballston & Fifth, through 5th Street 50 feet to his house. Granted if constructed at no expense to the village and inspected 30 days after completion. Schenectady Illuminating Co. agreement to light village streets for 5 years appears satisfactory. Payroll and bills approved.
Dec. 2 The Village Clerk will purchase one additional section for the bookcase in the Clerk?s office. Four 4-in-one light fixtures #8200, flemish old brass finish, to be installed in the rooms of the Neptune Engine Company, not to exceed $100. At this time the matter of a celebration in honor of the returning soldiers and sailors of our Village was taken up and discussed by a delegation of citizens who appeared at this meeting pursuant to the request of the Board of Trustees, and the following resolution was unanimously adopted. Moved by S.R. Boucher, seconded by George Dutcher, that a committee be appointed to take charge of the celebration in honor of our returning soldiers and sailors and that said committee be composed of all present, and past Presidents and Trustees of the Village, and five additional persons from each church of the Village.
Payroll and bills approved.
Dec. 16 Moved by Potter seconded by Schuler that the Village Clerk be directed to purchase one hundred fifty certificates of appreciation of service to be issued to the boys and girls of our Village as they return from the service of our country and ten Gold Star certificates to be issued to the families of those who died in the service and that the cost of such certificates be charged against the special war contingent fund. Payroll and bills approved. Resolution pertaining to Sewer Bonds approved.
Scotia is a stop on the Mohawk Towpath Byway! While you may not be strolling by the sign on Schonowee Ave. in this winter weather, you can listen to the narrative by calling the number on the sign and keying in our stop (#16). Also check out their website: mohawktowpath.org.
A Taste of Change: Handwritten Cookbooks and the Stories They Tell Us, a program by Peter G. Rose, will be presented on Saturday, October 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the First Reformed Church of Scotia.
Hand-written cookbooks tell us a lot more than just how a dish is made; they are also documents of social and family history, showing us howa culture was retained over generations with continuing customs and celebrations.
Using Dutch and New Netherland customs and food history as examples, culinary historian Peter G. Rose will discuss a variety of such recipe/scrap books, dating from the late 1600s to the 20th century. Photographs of pages in cookbooks as well as paintings of the 1600s will illustrate the talk.
One of the cookbooks Ms. Rose found in her research is that of Maria (Sanders) Van Rensselaer, which is in the collection of Cherry Hill in Albany. Maria was the niece of John Sanders, whose wife Deborah Glen (1721-1786) was the last Glen to live in the house that is Scotia?s Glen-Sanders Mansion; one of her cookies will be on the menu for the event.
These ideascan apply to cookbooksof other groupsas well. The audience is encouraged to bring old family or community cookbooks to share and discuss after the talk.
Following the program guests can sample a selection of Dutch desserts, with most of the recipesfrom these old cookbooks.
The talk is free, with a suggested donation for the food and beverages.
This program is supported by a Humanities New York Quick Grant, the Village of Scotia, and the First Reformed Church of Scotia. See villageofscotia.org for any updates.
Since this is the 360th anniversary of Alexander Lindsey Glen?s settlement on the north shore of the Mohawk, and the 200th anniversary of the founding of the First Reformed Church of Scotia, it is a perfect time to consider our early Dutch heritage and its continuation into the English colonial period.
The First Reformed Church of Scotia is at 224 N. Ballston Ave., Scotia NY.