History threads — February thaw

Maury Thompson
2 min readOct 27, 2020


This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about the history of the garment industry in Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Essex counties.

A February thaw in 1884 was almost tragic when workers at a Warrensburg shirt factory took a short cut back to work after lunch break.

“While the employees of the shirt factory were returning to work last Friday, and while crossing the river, Miss Julia Millington broke through the ice and narrowly escaped being carried under,” the Warrensburg correspondent reported Feb. 29, 1884 in The Morning Star of Glens Falls.

“Her lady companions fled in terror, screaming for help, with one exception, Miss Hayes, who, with more presence of mind than the rest, went to the rescue of the unfortunate lady. Just as she reached the victim, the ice to which she was clinging gave way and she was taken out with much difficulty.”

In other historic regional garment industry news:

On Oct. 30, 1919 The Post-Star reported that McMullen Leavens Co. leased the Schermerhorn building at Lake George for a factory to supplement its Glens Falls operation.

“It is expected that the company will start operations about Nov. 20, employing about 50 hands at the start.”

On Dec. 20, 1921 The Post-Star reported that U.S. Rep. James S. Parker, R-Salem, was advocating for higher tariffs on imported collars.

On Dec. 21, 1945 The Post-Star reported that 18 employees of the dress department of McMullen-Leavens Co. conducted a dinner party at Kong Chow Restaurant on Warren Street the previous day at noon.

“A turkey dinner was served and gifts were exchanged from a grab bag.”

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



Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY