Postcards freeze old scenes of Altamont, the Helderbergs, and Albany

This historian spoke this morning with Earl Brinkman who is the grandson of William Brinkman,  one of the first historians of the town of Guilderland. Earl came to the Town Hall about seven years ago to give me picture postcards of Guilderland and Albany that had belonged to his grandfather, William.

Earl himself is now 97 years old and remembers the post cards well.

One of the Guilderland postcards was of a young women's camp headquarters in Altamont and several others were pictures taken from paintings depicting downtown Albany between 1805 and 1820 and the Dutch Church that stood until 1806 at the foot of State Street.

Mine Lot Falls, Helmes Crevice,  and the Tory Cave of the Helderbergs were pictured, too. And so were  State Street in Albany, an 1820 view of the Hudson River shores, and houses with "half-doors" called Dutch doors.  Seventeen postcards in all.

A corner of State Street in Albany was known  as "Old Elm Tree Corner" because of the tree that stood there for over 100 years, planted in 1760 by Phillip Livingston who lived in the corner house beneath its shadow.  Later this house was bought by Noah Webster and for many years was the center of  great activity in the printing and publishing line. In the distance at the foot of Broadway can be seen the Third Reformed Protestant  Dutch Church.

The ship "Half Moon" is pictured at anchor in the Mauritius, now called the Hudson River.  The postcard was produced  in 1924 for Albany’s tercentenary, with the image taken from a painting depicting the site of Albany in 1609. A Dutch trading post was established in in 1624, which was the beginning of the city of Albany.

A special thank-you to the Brinkmans who have added much to the town of Guilderland and the neighboring city of Albany.

Historian’s note: In my new book, "More From The Historian's Desk," is a story on William Brinkman titled "Remembering Brinkman" on page 3. The book can be found at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.