19th century music — Piano gets new home

Maury Thompson
3 min readApr 15, 2024

An abandoned piano found a new home.

“Charles Lyons has bought the new piano left in the store by Milton Stevens when he moved to California and has given it to his granddaughter at Gloversville,” The Granville Sentinel reported on Dec. 14, 1894.

And a church on the west end of Glens Falls purchased a new pipe organ.

“The new pipe organ at St. Alphonsus Church has been put in position and an expert is expected here this week to put it in proper tune,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Jan. 28, 1895.

In other 19th century music history news collected from historical newspapers of the region:

  • “James H. Curley, for the past ten years a pupil of Professor Carl Durr of St. Peter’s Church, Troy, has been engaged to succeed J. H. Downs as organist at St. Mary’s Church (of Glens Falls),” and will conduct a (choir) rehearsal at the church tomorrow evening, at which a full attendance is requested,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Nov. 24, 1894.
  • “Julian Jordan, an eminent composer and musician of New York, has been engaged as choir master of the (Glens Falls) Presbyterian Church, a position formerly filled by James H. Downs,” The Morning Star reported on Dec. 1, 1894. “Mr. Jordan arrived in town yesterday and will meet the members of the choir at rehearsal at the church at 8 o’clock this evening. A full attendance is requested.”
  • “The directors of the Troy Vocal Society have extended an invitation to Charles W. Carry to accompany the society on their excursion to Montreal next Tuesday and assist them in the second tenor part. The society will sing before the gentry of that city,” the Fort Edward correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Dec. 8, 1894.
  • “The University of Vermont Glee and Banjo Club will make their second appearance before a Granville audience at Norton Hall, Monday evening, January 7,” The Granville Sentinel reported on Jan. 4, 1895. “The banjo club is larger and better than ever this year, numbering thirteen musicians and including three banjamines, a violin and a violin cello. They play only the latest and best banjo club music.”
  • “On Saturday evening about twenty young men of the vicinity met in Stevens’ Opera House and organized a brass band,” the Sushan correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on Jan. 18, 1895. “The following officers were elected: Leader, D. W. Haight; Secretary, R. J. Bowers; Treasurer, G. H. Stevens; Manager, MK. C. Lincoln. The majority of members are experienced players, and under leadership of Mr. Haight the band is making excellent progress.”
  • An itinerant music teacher

“Prof. H. E. Hankey, who visits Whitehall and vicinity semi-annually professionally, has arranged a summer sojourn here and received some pupils for musical culture and offers to receive more,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Aug. 3, 1877. “He is an expert in tuning and repairing pianos and organs, as shown by the highest possible testimonials, and thus affords our region an unusual opportunity for such services.”

  • Another itinerant music teacher

“Fred C. Sheldon was in town last week to give a music lesson to the Crown Point Mechanics’ Band. We understand he is to give them lessons in the future,” the Crown Point correspondent reported in the Ticonderoga Sentinel on Aug. 10, 1877.

  • “Mrs. Peter Gonyer, 10 Bacon Street, bought a Bradbury piano for her daughter, Miss Nellie,” The Morning Star reported on April 26, 1895.

Click here to read the most recent previous local music history post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY