19th century Stony Creek — Hard times in 1894

Maury Thompson
2 min readSep 13, 2023

Times were tough in Stony Creek after the 1893 national bank crisis that sparked a multi-year depression.

“Money seems to be very scarce, and if anyone has it in any quantity, they are letting it remain in innocuous desuetude (doing nothing with it),” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Dec. 30. “John O’Neil, known as the ‘hermit’ and sometimes designated as mayor of Creek Center, has gone to Troy to spend the winter.”

It seemed that even the saloon was short of customers.

“The ‘Saloon’ has been closed for two weeks, and the proprietor, it is said, is away peddling Dr. Drake’s medicine,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Feb. 17, 1894.

O’Neil returned in the spring.

“John O’Neil, the hermit, who has spent the last two months with relatives in Troy, has returned to home here,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported on March 17, 1894.

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

  • F.C. Knowlton was appointed Stony Creek postmaster, The Morning Star reported on Jan. 8, 1894.
  • John Call sold his stage line between Stony Creek and Fort Edward, The Morning Star reported on Jan. 27, 1894.
  • “A big snowplow is being built of hard wood plank at George Murray’s blacksmith shop. It is of such width that when it is operated it will make a clear track about eight feet wide,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Feb. 17, 1894.
  • “George Murray and Charles Gill filled their ice houses last week,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 17, 1894.
  • “Elmer Baker has bought the farm vacated by L.E. Stearns at Long Lake and Emery Baker has bought the James Ackley place adjoining,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star reported on March 24, 1894.
  • “A.F. Vandusen, owner of the Maple Grove Stock Farm, has bought a new sap evaporator for making maple sugar,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 24, 1894.

Click here to read the most recent previous 19th century Stony Creek post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY