19th century Minerva — Cornerstone laying

Maury Thompson
2 min readMay 17, 2024

The cornerstone laying ceremony of the Olmstedville Roman Catholic Church was scheduled for May 25, The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on May 19, 1871.

“Quite a number of clergymen will be present, and an appropriate address will be made by a distinguished ecclesiastic. The occasion promises to be an interesting and memorable one.”

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

  • “The land board has granted permission to Charles Bennett and Orlando Shaw to work a garnet mine on state land in Essex County, near the village of Minerva,” The Morning Star reported on April 13, 1895. “The permission was granted under the law to allow discovers to operate mines.”
  • “Aiden Lair, in Minerva, Essex County, under the management of M.J. Cronin, a former resident of Glens Falls, starts out with every prospect of a prosperous season,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on May 18, 1894. “The lodge is a favorite resort for sportsmen. Excellent fishing abounds in the vicinity.”
  • “Another new post office has been established in the town of Minerva, Essex County. It will be known as Aiden Lair, and will be located at Aiden Lair Lodge,” The Morning Star reported on May 22, 1894.
  • “Judge Whitman and his son, J.M. Whitman Jr., returned yesterday from a fishing trip to Aiden Lair. As a result of his sojourn, he brought home twenty pounds of brook trout, among the catch one that weighed two pounds. The fish was caught in Hewitt Pond,” The Morning Star reported on June 1, 1894. “Judge Whitman and his son were handsomely entertained by Landlord Cronin at the finest resort for sportsmen, Aiden Lair Lodge.”
  • “M. L. Brown killed a fine bear yesterday,” the Minerva correspondent to The Morning Star wrote on Sept. 26, 1894.
  • “A party of young folks enjoyed a sleigh ride Monday evening. They stopped at the home of Mrs. Katie Owens where they spent a pleasant evening,” the Olmstedville correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 1, 1895. “Dancing was indulged in, and the best of music furnished.”
  • “A two-story frame building in Minerva occupied as a post office was destroyed by fire Sunday. The building was owned by Mrs. Kate Hall, who conducted the store and was also the postmistress,” The Morning Star reported on March 5, 1895.
  • “Miss Annie McGinn returned to Raquette Lake on Thursday, where she will resume her position of schoolteacher,” the Olmstedville correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 30, 1895.
  • “A lumber shed connected with E. Lavery’s steam mill of Olmstedville was set on fire by sparks from the smokestack on Monday. The shed was entirely consumed with its contents. Mr. Lavery’s residence also took fire and was badly damaged. A new organ was broken by being thrown from a second story window,” The Morning Star reported on May 1, 1895. “The village had a narrow escape from destruction, as the wind was blowing in the right direction. Only the stubborn work of the villagers saved it.



Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY