Building was booming in Altamont when the paper changed its name

Fanciful type spells out the name of the village’s first newspaper, a forerunner of The Altamont Enterprise. The left column of the broadsheet was used for advertisements.


— Guilderland Historical Society

The idyllic small village of Altamont was first named Manor of  Rennselaerwyck,  Helleberg, West Manor, West Guilderland, and then Knowersville. Finally, under the direction of Hiram Griggs, Altamont’s first mayor, the village was renamed Altamont upon its incorporation as a village in the town of Guilderland.


— Guilderland Historical Society

In 1890, village of Altamont workers assisted D & H railroad men in building a turntable that led the Altamont “Scoot” through the D & H engine house and back on tracks for a return trip to Albany. (The turntable was on the site of the present Altamont Post Office).


— Guilderland Historical Society

Crounse family members stand in front of their ancestral home, built in 1803 on Route 156 near Brandle Road.  The farm was established in 1754 and remained in that family for generations. The house still stands today.


The old Knowersville Enterprise masthead of Dec. 10, 1887 that begins this historian’s column came from the archival files of the late Allan Dietz.  Dietz was a skilled local historic researcher.  I am privileged to have been the recipient of a portion of his files from his widow, Betty Dietz.

The Knowersville Enterprise had been published from 1884 to 1891 when the publication

Became The Altamont Enterprise with the incorporation of the village of Altamont.

We’ll continue with excerpts of selections from those early papers collected by the late “Shorty” Vroman, a one-time part-owner of The Enterprise.

Saturday, April 4,1885

Fuller’s Station:  The bluebirds arrived here last week.

Saturday, April 11, 1885

Local: Building is to have a big boom here this season.  D.G. Staley is to have the honor of putting up the first frame in the village with Dietz closely after him.

Saturday, April 18, 1885

Local: Ten new houses are going to be built at this place this season, and probably more to follow.

Saturday, April 25, 1885

Editorial: With this issue, our connection with the Enterprise ceases. We have used our best endeavors to make the Enterprise a welcome and readable sheet to our subscribers. How well we have succeeded we leave them to judge…

The Enterprise  was first an experiment but such has been its success that today it is recognized as a fixture, and we can express the belief that in the hands of our worthy successors, The Enterprise Co., under the management of J.B.Hilton, it will not only hold its own but increase in interest and patronage to the entire satisfaction of the proprietors and patrons.

Thanking all who have encouraged or aided us, and surrendering sanctum to our successors, we cease to be the editor. D.H. Crowe

Saturday, May 9, 1885

Local: One of our correspondents has furnished us with the following statistics in regard to our village: number of houses 82; families 112; population, white  445,  colored 1,  total  446.   The village is growing rapidly and we hope by Fall  to add a dozen more dwellings.

Guilderland Center: From a setting of 14 eggs three weeks ago, James White now counts 14 chickens.  Whose old hen can beat that?

Saturday, May 16, 1885

Local: The carriage business is booming. Van Benscoten and Warner are getting their ware-rooms in shape for the summer trade.  They shipped a carriage to Richmondville Monday.

Charley Witherwax went to Albany one morning last week and returned the same evening which clearly demonstrates that such a feat is possible.

Dunnsville: Although the season is late, many of the farmers are getting pretty well along with their planting and the prospects are they will have a fruitful season.

Saturday, June 6, 1885

Local:  The work on the new houses and the improvement on those already built is progressing favorably.  Mr. N. Sturges has completed his work and Mr. Harry W. Heck has taken possession of his new quarters.  Mr. D.G. Staley and Supervisor  B. Crounse have theirs nearly completed.

Mr. M. Tice’s house is being rapidly covered with a tin roof.  Mr. Austin H. Wilber has his barn and the cellar for his house finished, and Mr. VanAuken has his cellar ready for the carpenters. Mr. John T. Severson and Silas Hilton have their cellars underway and Mr. Osbonlighter is ready for the masons.

Fullers Station: At the recent meeting of the Classis of the Reformed Church, the attention of that body was called to the needs of a church of that denomination at Knowersville, and the indications are that one will be built.

Thompsons Lake: The proprietor of the Grandview House opened his place of business last week.

Saturday, June 20, 1885

 Local: The Twilight Croquet Club has organized for the summer and filled out a ground on the village green.

On Saturday of last week, the New York Riding Club of New York City, finely mounted and wearing white hats, drove into town, followed by their grooms and baggage, and quartered at the Knowersville House. They started from New York about three weeks ago and since have traveled on horseback as far west  as Buffalo and are now returning home.

They left Sunday morning for Coeymans and expect to reach home today (Saturday).  They expressed themselves well pleased with the hospitality of Knowersville.