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The Greenwich journal and Salem press. (Greenwich, N.Y.) 2000-2013, November 23, 2000, Image 1

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GTTH-lWfCH FREE LIBMOT BAIN ST. GBEEHWICK, H.,1. 12334 CS2 F ln O u r C e n t u r y 1 9 9 7 S c h u V l e r v i l l e f i r e c l a i m s l i f e A c c i d e n t t a k e s t w o y o u n g m e n O l d S a r a t o g a ? F i v e t e e n s f l e e c o u n t y h o m e P a g e 4 1 1 1 6 Q r e e n w i c h J o u r n a l a n d S a l e m P r e s s VOLUME 159 - NUMBER 7 Washington County’s hometown newspaper ~ Established October 13, 1842 GREENWICH, NEW YORK - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER23,2900 „ ISSUE NO. 8242 60 CENTS On the Inside ... Choral Society presenting Christmas concerts....page 2 Argyle resident charged in bar fight ... page 5 Salem students honor senior citizens.... page 6 Visitor Center rated successful.... page 8 I h e y c a m e t o l i s t e n \No more trucks!\ is what they heard State Department of Transportation representatives listened at last Thursday evening's public meeting regarding Route 372 By T o n y B a sile About 150 people gathered in the G.C.S. high School auditorium Thurs­ day evening, Novem b er 16, as state Department o f Transportation (D.O.T.) representatives unveiled the state's plans lo enhance the transportation cor­ ridor connecting the villages o f Green­ wich, Cambridge and Salem. They said that they came to listen to the public, and that no decisions have been made. What they heard in response was a series o f objections to the first phase o f the project, the replacement o f the Route 372 bridge in Greenwich, based not solely on the invasiveness o f the project, but upon the anticipated in­ crease in heavy truck traffic the new bridge would bring to the main streets o f both Greenwich and Cambridge. Route 372 is the base o f the triangle o f state highways connecting the three villages, and its use is restricted to trucks requiring a clearance o f 11 feet or less because o f the BattenKill Rail­ road bridge crossing over the Green­ wich end o f the highway. The remainder o f the highway, as it snakes between Greenwich and Cambridge, is a dangerous road by anyone’s standards, and its use is avoided by many area drivers, especially at night and in the winter. The D.O.T. .representatives avoided discussing the state's plans for the rest o f the highway, but they tacitly admitted there are plans in existence to straighten out som e o f the curves. W hile the notion o f increasing the safety o f the motoring public was pre­ sented as a com p elling reason for the project, it was apparent that opening the highway to heavy truck traffic was the underlying purpose o f the first phase. D.O.T. estimates an increase o f about 50 trucks per day once the project is completed. A ll o f this increase, Georgi Museum’s Festival o f Trees The annual Festival o f Trees opens this weekend at the Georgi Museum in Shushan. The gaily decorated trees will be on display weekends from N o v e m ­ ber 25 to December 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. The highlight o f the festival will be on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10. The concluding events for those days will be musical entertain­ ment, food concession and local arti­ sans' works, held in the remodeled community meeting rooms. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. M o st o f the trees on display at the Festival will be auctioned in a silent auction. Bids on a tree may be placed during the festival. The highest bidder for a tree will be able to take the tree home at the conclusion o f the festival. The museum is located on Adams Street in Shushan. WEATHER W e enjoyed som e sunny weather, bright m oonlight, and! starry skies this week. There were showers, however, on Tuesday evening, and it looks like the rest o f the week w ill be cold and challenging. Temperatures and conditions for the week past follow : D a te C o n d ition s H igh Low N o v e m b e r 15 Chill, windy, sunny, rain 0.01\ 45 30 16 Sunny 42 34 17 Clouds and sun 43 38 18 Sun and clouds 37 25 19 Sunny * 38 27 20 Som e sun, clouds, showers 36 20 Museum decked out for Christmas The Old Fort House Museum in Fort Edward will open its Customs o f Christmas Past exhibit , on Sunday, December 3 , from 1 to 4 p.m. Tour the Old Fort H o u se and the other historic buildings decked out for the holidays. Refreshments w ill be served. however, is likely to com e in the form o f heavy truck traffic, since only trucks requiring a clearance in excess o f 11 feet avoid the highway now. The prospect o f 50 heavy trucks per day rumbling through the main streets o f Cambridge and Greenwich was cause for concern among the residents and business owners in both villages. Four plans proposed Four proposed plans were presented, three o f which were highly invasive, in­ volving the destruction o f the existing arch bridge over the Battenkil! and the loss o f several homes as well as Schiedam Hall. The fourth plan, which was pre­ sented in two versions, the enhanced version having pedestrian and bicycle paths, would leave the arch bridge, Schieidam Hall and most existing buildings. It would contain a street level railroad crossing, however, which is its principal downside. It also re­ quires a long span bridge over the top o f M ill Hollow, which in addition to being somewhat displeasing to the eye, would also effectively block out the sun from the green space D.O.T. proposes to put beneath it. Since most o f the problems with all the plans involved the railroad, some suggested,.that the..BattenKi!! Railroad be ended on the Easton side o f the river. A railroad spokesman in the audience explained the shortcoming o f that idea, saying that the hundreds o f tons o f payload the railroad handles for Hollingsworth and Vose in Clarks M ills would then have to be moved through the v illage by truck.« The D.O.T. representatives said that they would take all comments and sug­ gestions under advisement, and they promised to hold several more public meetings before a decision is made. Salvation Army red kettle bells The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle bell ringing will begin soon. The bell ringing is a long standing tradition begun in late nineteenth century. The purpose is to raise funds for the Sal­ vation Army's many programs to assist those in need in times o f emergency and disaster or to help local families facing crisis situations. Adopting a kettle by a group or a family o f four, each member would ring the bells for two to three hours a day which would cover the kettle for the whole day. In Greenwich, the M asons from Ashlar Lodge have taken care o f bell ringing at the Greenwich Plaza; Addi­ tional sites could be manned by others. The funds raised by the Red Kettle bell ringing program provide services to the W ashington County towns, vil­ lages and smaller communities within the towns. no w inner \Predict the Outcome\ contest result held up by events in Florida The Greenwich Journal and Salem Press is contemplating filing for action by the Florida Supreme Court to compel officials in that state to declare a winner o f their election for President. So long as the out­ com e there remains in limbo, the outcom e o f our \Predict the Out­ come\ contest remains in frustrat­ ing question as well. . W e are fortunate here in that the \will\ o f the entrants was crystal clear. W e have n o dimpled, n o preg­ nant, no hanging chads with which to contend. The intention o f every prediction registered with us was undeniably evident^ N o o n e jiashad to hold any o f the entry blanks up to the light to determine what some­ one m ight or m ight not have in­ tended to tell us. .However, such is not the case in Florida. So we w a it Historical Society to hold dual celebration open house A dual celebration will take place at the Washington County Historical Soci­ ety on Saturday, December 9, between 11 am . and 4 p.m. The Historical Soci­ ety, located in the Wing-Northup House, Fort Edward, will observe its sixtieth anniversaiy as an organization and it will have its annual Holiday Open House. The theme for the day will be \The 1940s Revisited.\ The Wing-Northup House wiil be decorated in a festive 1940s patriotic style. A special Christmas tree will be hung with ornaments dedicated to World War II veterans with the names o f various members from the different branches o f the Armed Services on them. All proceeds from these orna­ ments will be donated to the World War II Memorial under construction in Washington, D.C. Doors will open at eleven, and events will commence at 11:30 when the color guard o f the Hudson Falls American Legion Post 574 will march into the Wing-Northup House. Sarah Adamson o f Hudson Falls will sing an a cappella rendition o f \The Star-Spangled Ban­ ner,\ followed by a ballad from the mu- sical \1776\ and \America the Beautiful.\ M usic from the B ig Band era will be played during the day as entertainment. There will be several speakers sched­ uled throughout the day. M a iy Buffum Hamlin o f Shushan will discuss her role as a nurse during World War II; local historican and World War II veteran Richard W ilson will chronicle his serv­ ice in the Pacific Theater during the war; Audrey Wagner o f Cambridge will relate her experiences as a \Rosie the Riveter\ at Grumman Aircraft; and Salem historican Al Cormier will dis­ cuss the home front in Salem during the war. At one o'clock, the James R. Cronk- hite Award, presented annually by the Washington County Historical Society for outstanding scholarship and dedica­ tion to the promotion and preservation o f Washington County history, wiil be conferred. This year's recipient will be Doris McEachron, former Argyle Town and Village Historian and former Histo­ rian o f Washington County. The open house is free and open to the public. Free food and refreshments will be served throughout the day. A bridge built by a teenager A part o f our history The time was spring o f 1834 when Andrew Jackson was President The place was Union Village, a thriving little N e w York community, population iOOO, many years later to be named Greenwich. The village was one long straggling street from the lower end o f Schiedam through the present Main Street fo Washington Square and thence up Salem Street to the village limits, a distance about one mile. A few other streets had been hopefully laid out. At the head o f Washington Square was the v illage bank, in a wing o f the present Daniello house. Also on Church Street were a few homes and the Bottskii! Baptist Church. There were no houses within the village north o f the Mowry mansion, now Evergreen Bank on Main Street. John Street and Hilt Street did not exist. Washington Street had but recently been opened and had a few houses at its west end. Leading out o f the village to the north and west were: The Fordway (now Academy Street), the road to Fort M iller (now upper Main Street), ançjjjhe Stage Road to Argyle (now Cottage Street). Crossing the Batten Kill was a rickety wooden bridge several feet lower than the level o f the present Greenwich Village Bridge on Bridge Street. There was a short, steep pitch down onto the bridge at either end. The spring freshet o f that year was a veritable flood such as com es but once in a generation. The gentle Batten Kill became a raging torrent and carried away the rickety bridge. The loss o f the bridge was a major catastrophe for the people o f Union Village for the chief industries, the Mowry cotton mil! and the furnace o f Walden Eddy, were on the Easton side o f the river. There were at that time no other bridges over the Batten Kill within four m ile: and the fordway at the Cement Mountain quarry was unusable at tim es o f high waier. The village was effectively cut in two, with most o f the homes and business places on the Greenwich side and the principal places o f employment as well as a large farming population on the Easton side. The folks o f the village were greatly distressed. Their whole economy was thrown out o f joint and brought nearly to a standstill. The officials o f the two towns started planning for a new bridge but it would be over a year before it would be available. The v illage trustees were considering building a scow to be used as a ferry but that seemed inadequate and, anyway, they did not get forward with the project. George H. Corliss was the son o fD r . Hiram Corliss, whose home was. at that time, a building on lower Main Street. George was born in Easton and had grown up in Union Village. He was seventeen years old and had completed, at age 14, such education as the v illage could provide. Pending arrangements for further e d u cation, he w a s working in the M owry store and cotton m ill. He approached the town authorities with a plan for a temporary bridge which he offered to build with a bit o f financial backing from the two towns. The town officials laughed at him. But thè boy was n ot easily discouraged. He circulated a subscription paper in the hope o f raising enough m oney to finance his temporary bridge. Henry Holmes, the b oy’s employer and manager o f the cotton mill, started the subscription with fifteen dollars, and 55 others subscribed from twenty-five cents to two dollars. A little over fifty dollars was promised and nearly all o f it was paid. The original subscription paper is in thé library o f Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Armed with this meager capital but with high hopes, courage and confidence, this seventeen-year-old boy set to work. Much o f the labor and some o f the materials were contributed. The bridge was quickly built “for foot passengers and teams” and served its purpose well (and could have served much longer). The vital link was restored and life and commerce resumed its normal course in Union V illage.. The seventeen-year-old bridge builder completed his formal education at Castleton (V e rm o n t) Sem inary. A fter a few years as a merchant in Union Village he became a draftsman in a machinery shop in Providence, Rhode Island. He invented the first automatic steam engine governor, was soon a partner, and eventually became c h ief owner o f the largest steam-engine works in America. H e was granted sixty patents, and w a s showered with medals and honors in many countries. One o f h is accomplishments was the construction o f the largest steam erigineever made, up to that time, for u se at the Philadelphia Exposition o f 1876. (The engine pow ered all o f the machinery at the United States Centennial exposition.) H e g a v e generously o f his great wealth to many worthy causes and o f him self to public service. H e had imagination and the skill and courage to translate it into deeds. A b o v e all, he had integrity and this he acquired from stanch parents in the v illage at the foot o f the hills: Union Village. * * \ «»****> • *«*.* Thé permanent bridge which replaced the bridge carried away by the 1834 freshet was a covered, wooden bridge. As the level o f the original bridge had been toò lów, thè replacing bridge was too high with a short, steep pitch up onto it at either end; This bridge was replaced, probably soon after the Civil War, by a steel truss bridge. The floor level was that o f the present-day bridge. It had taken tw o bridges and nearly one hundred years to learn that steep pitches, up or down, at the bridge approaches was uneconomical. The steel bridge with plank flooring soon became a rickety, rattling affair, for it had not been designed to carry the w e ight o f modern vehicular traffic. Condemned as unsafe, it was replaced in 1917 by the present concrete and steel bridge. In year 2000, the state’s Department o f Transportation is considering replacement o f the 1917 Greenwich V illage Bridge. * * «••*•••*•** Note; The bulk o f this Story is as it was Wiittenby longtime Greenwich historian îslày V. H. Gill. Thp story was first,published in the March 8 , 1958, Greenwich Journal Mr. Gill reported, “The main source o f this bit o f local history is an address by Dr. Samuel J. Berard, emeritus professor o f engineering at Brown University, delivered before the I inEaston.” H a p p y T h a n k s g i v i n g t o A U T h u r s d s y , N o v e m b e r 2 3 P e n n i n g t o n h o n o r e d o n d e p a r t u r e Hayes to serve another four years W a shington County D irector of Cornell C o o p erative Extension M a d eline Pennington is presented with a plaque and a corsage as she is thanked for her sorvicss to the county. By Tony Basile M adeline Pennington, who has served W ashington County as Director o f Cornell Cooperative Extension since March o f 1995, was honored by the Board o f Supervisors at their regular meeting Friday morning. She is leav­ ing Washington county to accept a po­ sition in St. Lawrence county. Pennington has been instrumental in developing many programs such as Re­ gional Fruit, Food Stamp & Nutrition, AIDER, A g and Farmland Protection, Agricultural Economic Development, and Family & Farm Ag Impact Tours. The board thanked her for her friendship and service to Washington county and wished her great success in her new endeavors. Kevin Hayes With the term o f the County Ad­ ministrator expiring’ on November 30, upon the recommendation o f the Offi­ cers and Personnel Committee, the Board o f Supervisors unanimously re­ appointed Kevin Hayes o f Argyle to a four year term expiring in November 2004. County tax and cost o f trash stickers to increase Following several futile attempts by som e supervisors to fund the 2001 budget increase from the 2000 fund bal­ ance and to void the previously passed 50 cent trash sticker increase, the board passed the 2001 budget with the provi­ sion that any increase will be raised by taxes. In previous years, tax increases have been avoided by using e x cess monies in the county's fund balance, which fund balance has been increasing over the past few years. County Administrator Kevin Hayes, however, cautioned the board that beginning this year the fund balance may see an annual decrease over the next several years in the face o f added expenses like the jail. The county uses the fund balance to avoid borrowing to finance the day-to- day operations o f the county while awaiting the r^cejp^ef tax< revenues and reimbursements from the state and fed­ eral governments, and to fund unantici­ pated expenditures. Washington county needs a minimum o f eight m il­ lion dollars annually to operate, four million o f which is paid directly to the school districts. While most o f the money due to the county eventually ar­ rives, the county can experience losses on tax sales o f real property. The 50 cent increase on dump stickers is projected to generate about $400,000. Based on the theory that renters create trash but do not pay property taxes, many supervisors felt that it would be more equitable to in­ crease user fees than to burden prop­ erty owners. Others, however, believed that landlords routinely pass on tax increases to their tenants and that the fee increase will result in more trash either finding its way to bum barrels or being dumped on the side o f the road. They also felt that more items will come to the transfer stations as free recyclables that now are coming in as paid trash. These same supervisors said that many taxpayers are already at their financial limits and that they preferred to see the budget trimmed rather thqn to have a tax increase in any form. County seeks three people to serve on planning board The W ashington County Planning Board is currently seeking county resi­ dents to fill three vacant positions on the County Planning Board. The board m eets on the second Mon­ day o f the month and consists o f eleven members, each serving seven year terms. Main duties o f the County Planning Board include reviewing and making recommendations back to communities which refer planning and zoning mat­ ters to the county board, agricultural district reviews, and such other county- wide or intermunicipal issues as may arise. Those residents interested in land use planning and development who wish to be considered for a position on the board should contact their town super- Coats for Kids \Coats for Kids\ distribution is being handled from the County Etuilding B -178 at 383 Broadway, Fort Edward, for residents o f Washington County. Hours are 8-3:30 p.m. daily. Closed holidays and from 12 to 1 daily. You do not need to call for an appointment to select a coat. visor. Any questions about the work o f the County Planning Board should be directed to the town supervisor or to the County Planning Department at the Washington County Municipal Center, Building A, 383 Broadway, Fort Ed­ ward 12828. Thè deadline for consideration is November 30. Where is it? Bulletin B o a r d . .................. . ........... . ...........3 Card o f T h a n k s ......................................... 7 C lassifieds ................................................... 7 Crossword P u z z le .................................... 4 Editorial Features . ................................ ... 4 LegalNotices.................. . ......... ;•••■• 7 N E W C O .......................................................4 Sports..............................* ............................ 5 Vicinities- A r g y le................................................ . 5 Cambridge ............................................. 5 Easton ........ . ............................. 2 G reenw ich ................ . ....... . .................. 2 Rupert ................. . ........................ . ........ 5 Salem..;. .......... . ..................................... 6 Schuylerville................. . ...................... 8 Shushan ................... . ...................... . ...... 5 W est H ebron ..... . ................................. 6

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