Maury Thompson

Nov 28, 2021

2 min read

Local music history — Rail fare for piano buyers

At one point in downtown Glens Falls history, retailers validated a card that entitled customers to free parking.

In an ever earlier era, one enterprising piano dealer refunded the customer’s rail fare.

“Round trip railroad fare refunded to out-of-town purchasers living within 100 miles of Glens Falls,” the B. Shoninger Co. “high quality” piano factory store at 12 Exchange St. advertised in The Post-Star on Sept. 9, 1922.

The store advertised upright pianos at prices ranging from $39 to $195 — the equivalent of $650 to $3,249 in 2021 dollars — with payments of $1 per week and free delivery within 100 miles of Glens Falls.

The same terms were available to all.

“We will play no favorites. One man’s money is as good as another’s.”

In other music news collected from regional historic newspapers:

  • The Fleming Sisters Trio, of piano, violin and cello, performed a concert Feb. 6,1923 at First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls to benefit the church’s Missionary Society and Brotherhood.

“These lively young women … held the audience spellbound, first by their charming presence, and then by their perfect interpretations of famous, difficult music compositions,” The Post-Star reported the next day,

  • Playtime was replaced with singing for South Glens Falls Union School students in 1887 when teachers arranged for two pianos to be placed at the school.

“The half hour in the morning and afternoon heretofore given up to recess will now be devoted to instructing the scholars in vocal music instruction,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Sept. 23,1887.

Intermediate students would gather at Miss Keenan’s classroom, and primary students would gather at Miss Kelley’s classroom.

  • On Jan. 29, 1923, The Post-Star reported that Charles Pollard, tenor soloist at First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls, was to present a concert the next evening of 22 songs in English, French and German at First Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam.

Cecil Wright, organist at First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls, was to accompany him.

At the Glens Falls Opera House

  • “The Alexander family, consisting of mother and five children, all said to be pleasing vocalists, will give a concert at the Opera House tonight.” — The Morning Star, Oct. 13, 1887