From the Clippings Collection 1


Transcription of this text is below.

[Neil B. Reynolds was the Scotia Historian from 1946-1959. He wrote columns that appeared in the Scotia Journal. He also published articles in the Schenectady Gazette, collected in the book Raw materials of history chosen from sources in the Schenectady County Historical Society: essays related to historic Schenectady and Scotia published in the Schenectady Gazette 1959-1972 by?Neil?B.?Reynolds?; edited by Elizabeth K. Joyce. It is available at the Schenectady County Public Library.]

Scotia Names and Streets

By Neil B. Reynolds, The Scotia Journal, April 13, 1939

How many Scotia residents know when the first two-room section of the brick schoolhouse on Mohawk Avenue was built? Probably not two in a hundred. Yet the information is there for anyone passing down the street to see. But the writer must admit that, although he attended school there and played in the front yard at recess, he never noticed that evidence until last fall.

Walk a few steps up the driveway of the Colonial Ice Cream plant, stop, and look up at the left half of the front of the building. Set flush with the brick is a white marble tablet.Scarcely noticeable against the white painted wall, it must have stood out plainly when the bricks were their natural red. The tablet bears this legend:
C. H. Toll, J. W. Pangburn Trustees
W. G. Caw, Builder

Caw, Toll, Pangburn?only one of these three names exists in Scotia today, and only that same name, Toll, is preserved in the name of a street.

[This is the spot where the Village Parking Lot is now. See below for photographs of the school and the demolition of Colonial Ice Cream in 1962.]

But the street names of Scotia do preserve memories of other former residents. Glen and Sanders Avenues are obvious. The first settler?s name was Alexander Lindsay Glen, which may account for Lindsay Avenue and Alexander Avenue. Ten Broeck Street is a memorial to the Ten Broeck family, connections of the Sanders. This was originally called Collins Street. The present Collins Street is one of three, or possibly more, named for the Collins family. The others are James Street, for ?Jimmy? Collins; Catharine Street, for either his wife or his sister, who were both named Catharine; and probably Root Avenue, for Electa Root Collins, the mother of James. In addition, Lincoln Street was originally Sausse Street, named for Catharine Sausse, wife of James Collins.

McKinney Street [now North Reynolds St.] takes its name from the McKinney family, that for a time lived in the old Reese tavern on the corner. Wyman Street is from the man who developed that part of the Reese property. Reynolds Street is for David Reynolds, who lived at the Hoek. Huston Street is for William Huston, who was a member of the Village Board in the first decade of Scotia?s corporate life. Toll Street cuts through the Malwyck [sic], ancestral home of the Tolls; Marselius Avenue approximates the south boundary of the Marselius farm, on Vley Road; Larkin Street perpetuates the name of an old Scotia family.

Though not named for Scotia residents, the street names in the Mynderse plot have an interesting history. Dr. Herman V. Mynderse, first President of Scotia [now that office is called Mayor], was a great admirer of the writings of Washington Irving. And as all readers of Irving know, his home was called Sunnyside, and one of his best-known works was the History of New York, by the apocryphal Diedrich Knickerbocker. Which accounts for the names of all four streets in this plot.

Several mysteries remain. Who was the John of John Street, the Charles of Charles Street, the Holmes of Holmes Street? What loyal Scot named Wallace and Bruce Streets? What was the origin of the names Engleman, Orlinda, Elliott, and Walton? What ornithologist named Eagle, Hawk, Lark, Robin, and Wren? Who with a passion for arithmetic named the street from First to Sixth?

Do real estate promoters, when they map new developments and assign street names, realize the responsibility they assume? For once a name is fixed, appropriate or outlandish, it goes on practically forever. Schonowe Avenue is still The Dyke to most older residents; to many Erie Boulevard in Schenectady is still The Dock; and there are those who think of Broadway as Center Street, and a few who remember it as Villa Road.

One Hundred Years (+) Ago at the Village Board, Sept.-Oct. 1918

One Hundred Years+ Ago at the Village Board Sept-Oct. 1918

Sept. 2
No quorum, adjourned.

Sept. 4
James Ransom to be reimbursed for whatever expense he may incur going to and from Pumping Station during the vacation of Charles W. Matthews.
Building Committee to have lights repaired on the lower floor of the Village Hall.
Payroll and bills approved.

Sept. 16
The sidewalk laid by D. G. Belcher for the Village is not satisfactory; they promised to make it good but haven?t. The President may take whatever action is necessary to have it completed before the weather is too cold.
Received the resignation of Harry Van Epps as Fire Commissioner.
The Clerk is authorized to purchase necessary equipment to put the Village Sprinkler in working order not to exceed $100.
Mr. A. C. Spitzer, Fire Chief, and Mr. L.M. Burt requested the board if possible get a suitable service flag showing the number of Voluntary Firemen from the village in service of the country. Spitzer and Burt appointed as a committee to choose and purchase one, not to exceed $20 from the special war contingent fund.
Building Committee to investigate removal of buildings from the sewer disposal plant and report back.
Clerk to request Schenectady Illuminating Company to install one new 40 C.P. [candlepower] street lamp at Huston & Second St.
Payroll and bills approved.

Oct. 7
Schenectady Railway Corp applied to the Public Service Commission to increase passenger fares between Schenectady and Scotia, and within the Village of Scotia. The Board believes fares of 8? to Schenectady and 6? within Scotia ?excessive, unreasonable, and wholly disproportionate to the service rendered.? President to file a formal protest and the Village Attorney to appear and present the case to the PSC.
Fireman Motala?s salary to be increased to $90/month beginning October 1, if funds are available.
Matter related to the Village issuing bonds for $2500 to purchase and install a Fire Alarm System in the Village as per vote at the election in March, 1918.
Proposal from Rev. Bard, Rev. Roberts, and Rev. Reynolds requesting the fire whistle be blown at 12:30 [may be 12:00 noon, text not clear] each day as a signal for people to pause and pray for the success of our nation and their allies for an enduring peace. Referred to the Board of Fire Commissioners.
The Board of Fire Commissioners to make a report at the next meeting as to the disposition, if any, of the sorrel team and the black team [horses].
A letter from GE relative to the compensator referred to the Water Committee.
Letter from the Committee of Fire Department members relative to the appointment of a Fire Commissioner read. Reply andrequest they recommend additional names not less than 3.
The bad condition of the crosswalk on Sacandaga Rd. referred to the Superintendent of Streets.
Building Committee to be given power to act in the matter of moving the sewer disposal plant buildings.
Superintendent of Water given power to hire additional man at a salary not to exceed $80/month if there are sufficient funds.
Payroll and bills approved.

Oct. 21
Resignation of F. L. Sturdy from the Board.
Payroll and bills approved.


Historic Sign #4

Historic Marker #4

Finding out more about this sign, which stands near the Glen-Sanders Mansion, was surprisingly difficult, and there is more research to do!

Wondering who those Revolutionary officers were, I went to the New York State Archives, where information about all the state signs?date erected, original papers outlining the source material?
is held. After looking at the Schenectady County files, I discovered that the records there only pertain to signs put up by the State Education Department. As you can see, this sign, as well as the one that just says ?Mohawk River? are marked ?N.Y. State Highway.? I?ve yet to find the person who can tell me where those records might be.

Still curious, I looked a little deeper into the Glen family. During the revolution, the Mansion was occupied by John Sanders and Deborah (Glen) Sanders. As you may know, Deborah was the last Glen to live there. She had two cousins who were officers: John Glen and Henry Glen. They both knew Gen. Philip Schuyler, and there is an unsubstantiated but oft-told story that George Washington may have had tea at the Mansion during one of his visits to Schenectady. (After the war, Henry Glen traveled in 1795 to Cooperstown with Alexander Hamilton.) Both of the Glens appear in letters written to and from the Founding Fathers, including George Washington. Try searching for them at to learn more!

Deborah also had many aunts and they had married into several of the well-known local families. Officers and soldiers with the names of Van Dyck, Lansing, Fonda, Vedder, and Van Eps may well have visited at Deborah?s home.

Though not yet discovering what Revolutionary officers were in the mind of the person writing the text for the historical marker, I did find that there was much opportunity for these visits to have taken place, and that there may be more stories to uncover.

If you know more about these folks and would like to write up a short biography or other story for the blog, please get in touch at

One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, March-April 1919

One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, March-April 1919

March 3
All Treasurer?s business is to be kept and transacted at the Village Hall, by the Village Clerk if the Treasurer is absent. Salary $150 per year.
Village Clerk salary $1500 per year.
A petition with more than 25 signers was presented: That we be annexed to the City of Schenectady. To be submitted to the taxpayers at the annual election on March 18. This is not the proper way to do this, but to give taxpayers a chance to express their opinions, it will be included. The question will ask if the Scotia Board should approach the Common Council of the City of Schenectady about extending their corporate limits to include Scotia.
The Fire Department requests the following on the ballot: Can the Board appropriate $200 annually for support of Volunteer Fire Companies quarters?
Village election to be held March 18 at Village Hall, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Proposition One: Proposition relative to including the Village of Scotia within the corporate limits of the City of Schenectady.
Proposition Two: Proposition authorizing an annual appropriation for use of the volunteer fire companies.
Notice of election and propositions to be posted and published.
Discussion and lists of amounts for the following year for the village funds: Water, Sewer, Street, Drainage Sewer, Fire, Light, and Health.
Total to be raised from taxes: $46, 869.39
Reports accepted as read and placed on file: Light Committee, Board of Fire Commissioners, Finance Committee, VillageTreasurer. 1000 copies of Treasurer?s report to be printed and sent with water bills.
Street Commissioner to be paid $450 per year.
Meeting adjourned.

March 10
A document included with the minutes: a Resolution of Respect from the trustees and people they represent. Sympathy to the family of Dr. Herman V. Mynderse for his great service to the village. [He had died on March 5.]

March 17
Finance Committee report for fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 1919 accepted as read.
Payroll and bills approved.

March 24
Annual Meeting
President: Arthur B. Lawrence
Trustee: Ralph R. Barren
Trustee: Walter W. Miller
Trustee: Jacob Schuler
Trustee: William F. Sneed
Call to order
F. F. Lamboy, Supt. of Water & Sewers and Plumbing Inspector, $1500
Charles W. Matthews, Asst. to Supt. of Water & Sewers, $1300. He will pay rent for house at pumping station at $12.50 per month.
Supt. of Water and Sewers to employ 2 utility men not to exceed $85/month each plus laborers as needed not to exceed $2.75/day for ordinary work and $3.25/day for special work.
Street Commissioner to employ George Keefer as driver of village team at $80/month, plus laborers at 30 cents per hour with special work not to exceed $3/day.
Action deferred on appointment of Village Engineer until next meeting, street Committee to look up candidates.
Appointment of Fire Commissioner deferred for board to investigate.
Schenectady Trust Co. named the official depository; Schenectady Gazette official newspaper.
Village President to be empowered to provide police protection as necessary not to exceed $25/month.
Street Committee given full power to direct Village Engineer to furnish grade stakes.
Safe deposit box will be at Schenectady Trust Co. for another year.
Protect money at Village Hall with burglar insurance of $1000/year.
Board meetings were set for the year.
Street Committee authorized to purchase food for village horses not to exceed $150.
Street Committee to investigate cost of new road scraper as compared to fixing the old one.
Building Committee to have driveway from back door of Village Hall repaired.
Mr. Schuler and Mr. Barren to purchase a horse to mate the sorrel horse now owned not to exceed $250.
Petition for sanitary sewers in Fourth St. renewed by Mrs. Lottie Martin, additional house to be built.
Maurice B. Flinn to be Village Attorney for $800.
President to represent Board at all meetings and conferences connected with great western gateway [new bridge] and look after the interests of the Village.
Standing committees set for the coming year.
Meeting adjourned.

April 7
George W. Hagadorn appointed a Fire Commissioner for a 3-year term.
Schonowee & Mohawk Ave. to Ballston, 7th installment due on street improvement.
Ballston between Mohawk and Washington, 5th installment due for street improvement.
Sen. Yelverton and Assemblyman Davies had section 104-107 of the village law amended (related to assessors); they need to be thanked.
Village Clerk to interview Mr. W.W. Chadsey as Village Engineer.
Clerk to purchase 2 tons of egg coal for Village Hall and get bids for coal for the year.
Sewer Committee authorized to purchase sewer tile needed for this year?s construction [specifications are mentioned] from Higgens & Gilgore as per bid.
Each committee head allowed to spend up to $25 per month without previous Board action.
The appointed committee has purchased a horse from Henry A. Theuner for $200.
Mr. Sneed reports cost of labor to paint the water tower with one coat of graphite paint is $125, approved with cost of paint added.
Water Committee to purchase one barrel of engine oil for the Water Pumping Station.
Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones request water and sewer to be extended into Collins St. to about 200 feet north of James St. To be investigated.
C. P. Sanders and Livingston Sanders request water main extended in Cuthbert St. 50-100 feet to lot of Mr. Menine. To be investigated.
Road grader?more economical to buy new grader of heavier design.
Petition from homeowners on the north side of Second St. between Sacandaga and Root asking for cement sidewalk. Hearing set for May 5.
Payroll and bills approved.

April 21
Richard H. Ogle appointed a Fire Commissioner for 3 years.
Mr. Yelverton and Mr. Davies have been thanked.
Collins St. water main extension about $500, Cuthbert St. about $155, should be done as soon as those houses are to be built. Water Committee is authorized to purchase necessary supplies and install.
Recommendation?Number 2 pump at pumping station should be sent back to factory (Worthington Pump and Machine Corp.) for repairs. Authorized to do so.
Street Committee has road grader estimates from $170 to $600. Authorized to purchase, not to exceed $300.
Supt. of Sewers to lay sanitary sewer in Wallace, Fifth, and Fourth St. This will use most of budget, new requests will need to be private expense or delayed.
Bids for coal received from J.H. Buhrmaster, W.R. Brown, and W.E. Berning. Bid from Berning accepted for 40 tons egg coal for Village Hall, 14 tons stove and chestnut coal for Hook & Ladder building, 4 tons chestnut coal to Water Pumping Station.
W.W Chadsey appointed Village Engineer for the year. $10/day for each day actually spent on Village work. $3.50/day for assistant if necessary.
Report from Chadsey showing completion of Outfall sewer by Ellis P. Edgar, payment made.
President authorized to provide for traffic officer at intersection of Mohawk & Ballston Ave., Saturday afternoons and Sundays during August and other times as necessary at 40 cents per hour, not to exceed $100.
Appointed Village Policemen:
James R. Ransom, Chief of Police
Floyd J. Parks, Stephen A. Metala, J.C.F. DeGraff, Llewellyn Ford, Daniel Smith, John House, Nelson Consaul, Edward Consaul, John T. Snare, William H. Millard, George B. Scrafford, Ensign Reynolds, Arthur Lange, Arthur B. Smith, Harold Snyder.
President will issue certificates of appointment after each has qualified.
Street Commissioner to employ a driver for the second village team at $18/week. Paid for time lost due to weather, but not other causes.
President to purchase any supplies for Village Police officers, not to exceed $30.
Hearing May 19 about petition for sidewalks on Fourth St.
Clerk and Attorney to review Village Ordinances.
Payroll and bills approved.


April Mystery Tool Answer

The April Mystery Tool is a Slater?s Hammer. This illustration is from ?Building Construction? by Henry Adams (1907), which is available free on Google Books.



April Mystery Tool

April Mystery Tool?but you probably won?t be using it if you?re afraid of heights. (It?s propped up so you can see all the useful parts.)

One Hundred Years (+) Ago at the Village Board

One Hundred Years(+) Ago at the Village Board, July-August 1918
(Summer Recap 4)

July 1
Tax rate set at $1.60 per $100 assessed value, to total $36,780.08.
Treasurer?s report read and accepted.
Assessments for street improvements remain unpaid on Mohawk Ave. and Schon-o-we?and Ballston Street, also for the sidewalks on Third Street. These will be included on the annual tax levy as well as corrections for 1917 errors.
The Street Commissioner is to build a cement sidewalk and driveway in front of the Village Waterworks property on Second St., and charge to the Water Fund.
Payroll and bills approved.
$5100 in Refunding Water Bonds were issued and sold to Geo. B. Gibbons Company.
A copy included of the Treasurer?s report about unpaid paving and sidewalk assessments.

July 15
A petition from residents of First St. who want a surface sewer in the 1919 budget. Referred to finance committee.
Board of Fire Commissioners to choose a contractor for construction of automatic fire alarm system in the village.
Request from Mrs. Charles Zach for street lights on Wyman St. Referred to Light Committee.
Committee to be appointed with President as chairman to look into the subject of necessary machinery for better maintenance of roads and report to the board.
Payroll and bills approved.

July 24, Special Meeting
Action related to the $5100 in Refunding Water Bonds.

August 5
Payments related to Special Street Funds and transfers from general fund to specific funds.
Action related to Special Street Fund payments and loans.
Payment to the Schenectady County State Highway Repair Fund ($333.13).
Village Clerk to purchase one service roll of honor book at cost of $13.
George Keefer, driver of the village team, informed the Street Commissioner he must have more money because of the increased expense of living. Board will give him more money and also vacation time. They will offer $80 per month for service, vacation not to exceed 2 weeks, approved by Street Commissioner.
Petition from the residents for Catherine St. to be covered with gravel. Left to the discretion of the Street Committee.
A delegation of residents of Harwell asked the board to enter a protest before the Public Service Commission against the increase of streetcar fare from 5 to 10 cents between Tower 9 and Schenectady on the Fonda, Johnstown, and Gloversville RR. Various people spoke and the President said a representative of the village would attend the hearing and present the protest.
Sewer Committee to construct Sanitary Sewer on Wallace St. as extension of current sewer, not to exceed $300. Clerk to purchase necessary materials. Pay on arrival of bill to save the 2% allowance for ten day payment.
New ordinances:
Parking of automobiles and other vehicles on both sides of Mohawk Ave. from westerly line of Collins St. to 75 feet west of Ballston Street and both sides Ballston St. between Mohawk and John St. between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. is prohibited.
During other times, no parking for more than 30 minutes, parallel with street curb and not more than 6 inches from curb, at least 5 feet from the rear of any other vehicle.
Street railway cars must stop outside this zone to discharge or pick up passengers.
There will be a $25 fine and a disorderly conduct violation, and the person violating the same shall be a disorderly person.
The new ordinances must be advertised and posted for 2 weeks.

[Missing pages here, as minutes for the meetings of Aug. 19 and 23 were approved in September. These transcriptions are from the scanned copies of the minutes; so pages could have been dropped while compiling them.]

Wages of laborers in Water & Sewer Dept. increased from $2.50 to $2.75 per day and $3 to $3.25 for special work, effective Sept. 1.
Payroll and bills approved.

August 30 Special Meeting
The charge to the Town of Glenville for use of the Village Hall as a polling place for the 5th election district and for storing voting machines and booths is $50 per year.


Signs of Spring

A few tiny signs of spring at the Flint House, and an almost last view of the other side of the creek, which nearly disappears once the leaves all come out.