Friday, January 28, 2011

1915 Map of St. Regis Falls

For reference and research in the Schryer Center for Historical and Genealgoical Research of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society are copies of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Franklin County, NY towns/villages in our collection are:  Ft. Covington, Moira, Malone, Chateaugay, Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, St. Regis Falls.  Excellent for exploring how Main Street has changed through the years or for settling bets on where that store was back when our memories were young, these maps are available during the open hours of the Schryer Center (winter 2011 = Wed, Thurs, Fri 1-4pm).  

A teaser to show you the value of this rich resource:

St. Regis Falls, September 1915 

click to enlarge

Founded in 1867 by D. A. Sanborn, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. To order individual maps directly from the Sanborn Map Company (now owned by Environmental Data Resources, Inc. (EDR)) please call 1-800-352-0050 or visit their website at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Franklin County and Saskatchewan

A query from a resident of Nokomis, Saskatchewan led us to research the role that two Franklin County, NY companies and numerous local individuals played in the development of that town in Western Canada. 

Following the 1904 opening of the area to homesteading, the first settlers began to arrive in the area that would become Nokomis.  The Franklin Realty and Trading Co. was incorporated April 30, 1907, with brothers-in-law Aaron (A.C.) Allison of Malone and George Brush of Brushton as its principals.  Allison had previously been a railroad superintendent and partner in the Symonds & Allison confectionery business and now turned his attention to the real estate and land development business.  Beginning in 1907, Mr. Allison spent summers in Nokomis and winters in Malone for many years:

And George Brush appears to have moved to Nokomis entirely, although by 1917 he had sold his farm and returned to NY:

A November 6, 1907 article in the Malone Farmer highlighted the charms of Nokomis:

The article goes on to describe the geographic situation and development possibilities of the area, and refers to Mr. Allison as the "pioneer and king of Nokomis."  The hard-working settlers and entrepreneurs were lauded thus:
"The men who are making Nokomis seem to have confidence in the camp.  They believe that Nokomis is the coming town and her merchants will recognize it at once as a great distributing point, a sort of commercial center for the Last Mountain Valley and Quill Plains country."
and the boom is described:
"More than thirty buildings have been completed in ninety days, all fairly good-sized buildings up-to-date, and really remarkable for so new a town.   ... While the development has been remarkable at Nokomis during the past three months and will continue until winter sets in, the real push will probably not be in full swing until next spring, when both the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Pacific will have a regular through service from Winnipeg to Edmonton."
In 1909, A.C. Allison was already reporting success in his land development and farming operations:

From the start, Franklin Realty & Trust Co was hiring other North Country men to help manage its Nokomis interests, thus deepening the ties between NY and Saskatchewan:

A.C. Allison was not the only Franklin County son to try the bounty of Saskatchewan.  Herman Phelps of Brushton conducted a livery business in Nokomis beginning in 1907.  In 1912, the Carter Land Co., another Malone-area business, was incorporated in order to take advantage of the Nokomis boom:

More than a decade after its founding, the Franklin Realty & Trust Co. was still reporting success in Nokomis:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hogle/Smith House Hotel

The three-story building on the corner of Academy and West Main Streets in Malone has stood vacant for several years now, but it has a history as a prosperous tavern and hotel, as well as a slightly seedy rooming house.  It has been known alternately as the Hogle House, Cushman House, The City Hotel, Hill Crest Inn, Smith House, the Franklin Hotel Annex, The Tavern, the Tavern Arms, and Nikki's Place.

The Tavern, late 1930s
From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society  (1986.102)
click image to enlarge

Over the years, ancillary businesses have also been housed with the hotel, such as a barber shop , billiard room, bowling alley, and livery stables.   Additionally, it appears that on at least one occasion, a gambling parlor operated out of the hotel:

The building was erected about 1866  by Canadian Hotelier James L. Hogle and operated by him as the Hogle House until 1875, when Hogle sold it and opened the Elmwood House hotel on the corner of Main and Pearl Streets.

The hotel nearly constantly changed hands, almost always with name changes.  In 1877, George H. Hogle was proprietor of the Hogle House.  But beginning in April 1885, George W. Cushman leased the hotel from George Hogle and renamed it the Cushman House.

In October 1887, Cushman decided to try his hand at the running of a hotel in Oswego, however, and leased it to J.A. Stratton, who was obliged by June 1888 to relinquish his lease.   Alex Chisholm took over the lease and changed the hotel's name to The City Hotel.

Chisholm's lease was revoked in September 1889 when George Cushman, returning to Malone, purchased the hotel from George Hogle and resumed management, reverting the business' name to Cushman House.  Chisholm purchased the Elmwood House hotel (also from George Hogle) in July 1889 upon receiving notice that his term as landlord of the City Hotel was nearing its end. 

In March 1902, the firm of Ladd & Smallman (primarily a lumber and mill business) purchased Cushman House, with George Cushman continuing as manager. 

Despite the optimism of the Palladium's editors, by December 1903, Charles McCarthy was the proprietor and the hotel's name had changed to Hill Crest Inn.  Not two years later, Fred A. Smith owned the hotel and changed its name to the Smith House

Businessman F. Roy Kirk purchased the hotel around 1921 and changed its name to the Hotel Franklin Annex (or Franklin Hotel Annex or Franklin House Annex), and operated it as a rooming house in conjunction with the Franklin House Hotel (located where the W. Main St. Stewart's Shop currently stands).
After the sudden and early death of F. Roy Kirk, in October 1921 the hotel was sold again and renamed the Smith House. 

 It was leased and operated by Henry Badore from its new owner, local businessman George Northridge (who had been associated at various times with the Malone Milling Co. and the Benware Broom Co., in addition to his own feed and produce firm of G.D. Northridge & Son and earlier real estate business).   From June 1921-January 1922, Troop B of NY State Police, newly located at Malone and in advance of the construction of their barracks, were housed at the Hotel. 

After Northridge's death in 1923, it was purchased by Badore's brother Herbert and William Monaghan.

In 1927, the business again changed hands:

The Smith House found itself in the hands of an old friend again in 1935, when former hotel clerk and manager Henry Badore purchased the property as an investment, but with no intention of being involved in its daily operation again. 

Under the ownership of Henry Badore and the management of W.E. Rodman, the hotel became known as "The Tavern."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Malone Fire Department

These four photographs of the Malone Fire Department are from the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society, and were donated by Dr. M.M. Kissane in 1979.
Ca. 1890  William Devine on right  (1979.296)

1890  Frank McEnrue, Bill Metcalf, William Devine (1979.293)

In 1890, the volunteer fire department became a paid service.  The Malone Callfiremen's Association, which more closely represented a modern fire department organization, was formed in 1938.  William Devine (pictured above) became Fire Chief in 1922 and retired from the department in 1934.  ("Fire Department" Malone Sesqui-Centennial booklet, 1952. pages 14-15)

1914   Pearl Street Station (1979.292)

Original framed by Trautmann Studio, 24 Catherine St., Malone
and "Given to M.M. Kissane M.D. by Monk Earl of Malone, 1954"

From Seaver (1918), page 432:
"Malone's first fire engine was bought in 1832, and, an extremely crude contrivance, amounted to little more than a pump set in a box on wheels.  It was operated by a crank on each side, and not more than eight men could work on it at a time.  It was back-breaking business when one kept at it long.  The water had to be dumped into the box from buckets, and the stream which the pump delivered was small and feeble."