19th century bicycling- Stopover en route to Lake George

Maury Thompson
3 min readMar 22, 2024

Glens Falls in the 19th century was often an overnight stop on the way to Lake George — whether traveling by stagecoach, train or bicycle.

“William R. and A.C. Scrimgeour, members of the Brooklyn Bicycle Club, wheeled into town last night and are stopping at the Rockwell House,” The Morning Star reported on Sept. 13, 1894. “They are making a trip from New York to Lake George and return.”

In other 19th century bicycling news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • “John Sweeney has bought a bicycle of Mr. Wade, of North Creek. The Blue Mountain Lake correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Sept. 1, 1894.
  • L.H. Austin of Glens Falls won the mile handicap bicycle race at Warrensburg the previous day, The Morning Star reported on Sept. 21, 1894.

D.D. Austin of Glens Falls placed second, and George Latham of Lake George third.

  • “Myron J. Higgans made a run on bicycle Sunday from Albany to Glens Falls and return of 118 miles in 9 hours and 40 minutes,” The Morning Star reported on Oct. 2, 1894.
  • “An innovation has been made which almost seems to threaten the popularity of the bicycle. It is a pneumatic road skate,” The Morning Star reported on Oct. 19, 1894. “It is a skate with two wheels, one following the other, upon its soul. The wheels are larger than those of the roller skate and have pneumatic tires. Wearing these, a skater can travel over smooth roads at the rate of six or seven miles an hour.”
  • “Walter Kenyon made a trip to Sandy Hill on his bicycle Friday,” the West Granville correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on Nov. 9, 1894.
  • “At a meeting of the Ariel Bicycle Club last night, James G. Budd was elected representative of the club to the convention of the New York State division of American Wheelmen to be held in New York sometime in January, The Morning Star reported on Dec. 12, 1894.
  • “Anyone having a horse to dispose of in exchange for a bicycle will find something to interest him in another column,” The Morning Star reported on Dec. 17, 1894.
  • “A. A. Budd & Sons will reopen their store this morning with a stock of 100 bicycles,” The Morning Star reported on Feb. 23, 1895. “Wheelmen and others will be interested in the exhibit, which is the largest in Northern New York.”
  • “The famous Crimson Rim bicycle is on view at Crittenden & Cowles’ store. It weighs 21 1/2 pounds and will carry a 200-pound rider over any road,” The Morning Star reported on Feb. 26, 1895. “It’s a beast. It’s a flyer. It’s seller. It’s a winner.”
  • The Glens Falls Young Men’s Christian Association in 1895 organized the Triangle Bicycle Club.

Members wore jerseys with the Y.M.C.A. triangle emblem, representing the three-fold mission of building strong bodies, minds and spirits.

“Already the club has more than forty members, with many wheelmen yet to be heard from,” The Morning Star reported on March 29. “Cyclers with find The Bearings, Wheelman, Athlete and other papers containing cycling news in the reading room.”

Membership had increased to 52 cyclists, The Morning Star reported on April 2.

“A meeting will soon be had had for the purpose of adopting a constitution and arranging for a club run.”

Click here to read the most recent previous 19th century bicycling history post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY