Teamwork returns Wemple Farm historic marker to its proper place

— Photo from John Haluska

Bill Vinson, left, and Rob Zwack stand with the Guilderland historic marker they recently installed. Both men work for the town’s sign maintenance department.

To the Editor:

As Dora the Explorer once said, “What’s it going to take? Teamwork.”

The restoration of the Abraham Wemple historic marker is a great example. In March of 2017, the  marker got too close to a snowplow blade and paid the price. The Guilderland Highway Department rescued the pieces.

In September, Tyler Rapp of the highway department expertly welded the pieces together along with the support pole. The marker now rests to the east of the Clover Pond Winery driveway. This establishment is owned by James and Joyce Besha. The hole for this post was drilled by James Besha.

The marker was transported and installed by Bill Vinson and Rob Zwack of the Guilderland Sign Maintenance department. They are shown here. Bill is one on the left and Rob is on the right. Ann Wemple-Person, our town historian, and Greg Weir, our town highway superintendent, offered input on the marker location.

Abraham Wemple built a home on the banks of the Normanskill prior to the construction of the Watervliet Reservoir in 1760.  The home was built of bricks made from on-site clay. Colonel Wemple was reported to have been at the Battle of Saratoga.

Mrs. Alice C. Begley’s pamphlet, called “Historic Markers,” has this information in greater detail. Mrs. Begley and Mary Ellen Johnson, in the “Guilderland New York” edition of Images of America, included a picture of the Wemple Farm on page 58. The farmhouse was demolished when the Watervliet Reservoir was built and the farmland was flooded.

Today, there is a rebirth of this land into agriculture. The Clover Pond Winery owned by the Beshas will be opening in 2022. Dry red and white wines will be offered. This writer is certainly looking forward to this.

There is one more  marker to be installed and that is the Case Homestead marker to be posted in front of the M and M motel near the golf course.

By the way, the “Guilderland New York” Images of America book would make a great Christmas present.

John B. Haluska


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