The Apostrophe Era — Business thriving

Maury Thompson
2 min readFeb 25, 2024

The editor of The Fort Edward Ledger did not have time for depth reporting when he visited Glen’s Falls.

“During this week we drove to Glen’s Falls on business and spent an hour or two in looking around,” The Fort Edward Ledger reported on Oct. 5, 1860. “The village seemed unusually full of visitors, stores were crowded with customers, the streets with teams, and foot passengers. We could not learn of anything more than ordinarily occurs and came to the conclusion that business was thriving.”

In other news from the era before Glen’s Falls dropped the apostrophe from its name, collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • The new census counted 4,900 residents of Glen’s Falls, The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on Aug. 30, 1881.
  • “The Clark Terra Cotta Co. (of Glen’s Falls) are to furnish about $10,000 (the equivalent of $303,709 in 2024 dollars) worth of their manufactures for a mansion in Tarrytown,” the Glen’s Falls Messenger reported on April 8, 1883. “Lindsey Pike, master mason, with several men from here, are engaged to work on the house.”
  • Prosperity at Glens Falls in the 19th century often provided capital for local industrialists to invests in ventures outside the area.

W. Scott Whitney, Byron Lapham, E.F. Russell, H.R. Leavens, Henry Day, S.W. Russell, and George W. Leggett, all of Glens Falls, established a partnership to buy a 400,000-acre working sheep ranch with improved buildings and 5,000 sheep in southern Colorado, sixty-five miles from Colorado Springs, the Glen’s Falls Messenger reported on April 6, 1883.

“The location is considered a very favorable one and is in a fine grazing country where stock can feed the whole year. We wish all the gentlemen all the success.”

  • “The cornerstone to the new opera house, laid recently, measured 2 ½ by 18 feet, was 18 inches thick and weighed between four and five tons. It was put there to stay,” The Messenger reported on April 20, 1866.
  • “On the 19th, St. Mary’s Church was dedicated with the pomp and splendor which attends the ceremonials of the Catholic Church,” the Warren County Times reported on Jan. 23, 1870
  • “It is said that a large wholesale manufactory of furniture is to be started at Glen’s Falls this spring,” The Messenger reported on March 13, 1874. “Manufacturing businesses which shall produce something that will find a market elsewhere is what we need, and not an increase of stores which must entirely depend on home patronage for support.”
  • “That old landmark, №5 Bay Street, the blacksmith shop, has been removed and a new brick building is to be erected on site,” The Messenger reported on March 27, 1874.
  • “A manufacturer from Connecticut was here a few days ago and looked over the town, visiting the falls and viewing the mills in operation. He seemed to be very much pleased with the appearance of the place,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on Aug, 15, 1876. “He said that there was unused waterpower enough here to run all the factories in Connecticut, and he did not see it all, either.”

Click here to read the most recent previous Apostrophe Era post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY