Century-old Ti — Celebrating ‘hard-fought’ vote for playground

Maury Thompson
2 min readOct 22, 2021

This is the latest in a series of posts about news reported a century ago in the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

You’ve heard of Christmas caroling.

How about school referendum Election Night caroling?

Ticonderoga students went door-to-door the evening of Sept.16, 1921, singing songs to entertain residents who had just voted to move forward with development of a school playground.

“After learning the result of the vote, by way of celebration, they spent a few hours of the night serenading about everybody who had favored the proposition, and also, but in a different spirit, one or two who had opposed it,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Sept.22, 1921.

The referendum, voted on at a community meeting, passed by a vote of 238-to-185, with 56 percent of the voters in favor, to purchase a 4-acre pasture at the end of Holcomb Avenue, between Lake George and Butler avenues, on which to develop a playground.

“Our schools are to have the playground that since their existence they have lacked and needed. … But it was only after a hard-fought battle that those in favor of the proposition put it across.”

Students had conducted a grass-roots campaign in support of the purchase for several weeks, and in the afternoon, before the community meeting, staged a parade through downtown.

There was a heavy turn out.

“When the meeting was called to order by Clerk James H. Hoffnagle, a crowd of interested voters had filled the high school auditorium and overflowed into the main corridor.”

Representatives of both side spoke.

“Before the balloting began, F.B. Wickes, ardently in favor of the proposition, in a favorable address, outlined the benefits the school and children would derive from a playground and made an earnest appeal for support. He was followed by Dr. Douglass, one of the most bitter opponents of the playground idea and accepted head of the opponents.”

In other Sept. 22, 1922 Ticonderoga Sentinel news:

  • Logging operators in the southern Adirondacks predicted it would be the worst winter for business in years,

“The International Paper Co. strike, and the condition of the timber market in general, has resulted in a comparatively slight demand for timber.”

  • Brick layers and masons on Sept. 19 began laying brick for the new Ticonderoga Knights of Columbus hall that was under construction.
  • Lucretia Burleigh and Marjory Weed opened “Ye-Odd-i-tea-Shoppe,” a tea, homemade food and gift store, on North Main Street.
  • The North Ti Giants baseball team defeated Dresden 8–6 on Sept. 18 at Dudley Field at Streetroad.
  • The Port Henry baseball team won an “exciting, free hittin” game against Mineville 8–6 on Sept. 18 to benefit Pat Farrell, a former Mineville outfielder who was a patient at the Raybrook tuberculosis sanitarium.
  • Mrs. James Leach of Minerva donated a 21-pound box of candy to Moses-Ludington Hospital.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY