Mary Ellen Johnson

As flames consume a dormer of the Thacher mansion, peering through a window frame on the second floor is one of the firemen from Altamont, Fort Hunter, Guilderland Center, McKownville, Pine Grove, or Westmere fire departments who took part in the exercise. The volunteers, under the direction of Chief Ed Pollard, were practicing various methods of firefighting that day.

For decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, late spring and early summer warm weather’s return brought several wealthy, prominent Albany families to the escarpment above Altamont to reop

Over many decades huge numbers of Town residents have experienced Tawasentha Park’s rolling hills  with its sweeping view of the Normanskill.

Rising in wetlands near Duanesburg, the Normanskill flows 45.4 miles downstream through the towns of Guilderland, New Scotland, and Bethlehem to its confluence with the Hudson River.

A century or more ago, Frenchs Hollow would have been a familiar landmark to just about everyone in Guilderland, most of them having actually visited the scenic spot on one or more occasions.

Editor’s note: When writing about local social history, it’s important to examine the ugly parts as well as the heroic parts.

“De-lighted” was the general consensus when, at 4:37 p.m. on Jan. 20, 1916, electric current flowed through wires strung into Altamont by way of Voorheesville and Guilderland Center.

Life for rural Guilderland children in the early years of the 20th Century was still limited to travel by horse and wagon or train.

The Walmart and Amazon of yesteryear were the general stores found in almost every small community, crammed with an amazing assortment of goods.

This is the second and final part of the history of local railroad overpasses and underpasses.


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