Troy's One Hundred Years 1789-1889:
Industry and Commerce

These are excerpts from Troy's One Hundred Years 1789-1889, compiled by Arthur James Weise, M. A., and published in 1891 by William H. Young of 7-9 First Street in Troy. They were transcribed and contributed by Bill McGrath of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, NY.

pages 221-222
in the winter of 1871-1872, the organization of the Citizens' SteamboatCompany of Troy was effected with a capital stock of $250,000, divided into2,500 shares of $100 each. The first directors of the company - Norman B.SQUIRES, Charles EDDY, Charles W. FARNAM, Robert ROBINSON, Robert GREEN,Henry H. DARLING, Charles L. MACARTHUR, E. D. BEACH, James R. FONDA, William KEMP, Thomas D. ABRAMS, George W. HORTON, and Joseph CORNELL - were elected on January 22nd, 1872. The articles of association were signed by the directors on February 19th.

The steamboats, the Thomas POWELL and the Sunnyside, having been purchased of CORNELL, HORTON & Co. of Catskill, [Greene County,] N. Y., began plying as night-boats, between the city [of Troy] and New York [City], at the opening of navigation, in the spring.

After the loss of the Sunnyside, on December 1st, 1875, the company determined to build two boats which, in size and appointments, should surpass any of the boats previously plying between Troy and New York. The contract for the construction of one was given to John ENGLISH & Son, of Greenpoint, L. I. On January 2nd, 1876, the building of the boat was begun, and on April 1st, she was launched and named the City of Troy. On the morning of June 15th that year, she arrived at the steamboat-landing, at the foot of Broadway; Captain L. D. DEMING, formerly of the C. Vanderbilt, commanding her. Previous to the City of Troy taking her place on the line, the Twilight, Captain C. D. HANCOX, substituted for the Sunnyside.

The Saratoga was launched from the yard of John ENGLISH & Son, on March 26th, 1877, and arrived at Troy on June 13th; Captain T. D. ABRAMS, of the Thomas Powell, commanding her. Captain Thomas D. Abrams has had the command of the Saratoga since that time, and Captain G. D. WOLCOTT has had the command of the City of Troy since 1878.

Note from Bill McGrath: The book has a photograph of the City of Troy, taken by Frank BAYER of Troy from the Watervliet Arsenal wharf.

pages 168-169
The manufacture of carriages was one of Troy's early industries. In May, 1815, VEAZIE & BARNARD, coach and carriage makers, had a factory in a two-story wooden building on the south side of Titus's Inn, on First Street. In 1818, Thomas WILLIAMS engaged in the same business there, Charles VEAZIE having occupied in May the wooden building on the south-west corner of Albany and Second streets, where he manufactured carriages and coaches until he removed in 1832 to No. 30 Albany Street and there pursued the business until 1836.

Orsamus EATON, in 1820, began making coaches and carriages in the building at No. 3 First Street previously occupied by Thomas Williams. In 1830, he removed to his new factory on the north-east corner of Albany and Sixth streets, where, in the following year, he and Uri GILBERT formed the part-partnership of EATON & GILBERT, manufacturers of carriages and stage-coaches.

The Troy Sentinel, reviewing on May 8th, 1827 the changes made in the construction of carriages for the conveyance of travelers, remarks:

"The improvement in the mode of conveyance in this country is not confined to steamboats and the water, as those may well testify who recollect the difference between our light, elegant and convenient stage-coaches, with their spring seats and easy motion, and the lumbering vehicles which were in use for the purpose some twelve or fifteen years ago. We are happy to know that the public are indebted to the ingenuity and enterprise of citizens of Troy for some of these additional conveniences. The valuable improvement of fixing a seat over the baggage and a railing around the top of the carriage was first introduced, we believe, by Mr. Charles VEAZIE of this city; and in one of the elegant stage-coaches lately turned out from the shop of O. EATON, we notice a still further improvement of a similar kind. An extra seat is placed on the top of the coach, just behind the seat of the driver. It is thus fixed in a more pleasant and agreeable situation, and gives, at the same time, a better balance to the load."

In 1830, about fifty post-coaches and one hundred other carriages, worth altogether about $50,000, were made at the works of Charles Veazie and Orsamus Eaton. In 1841, Eaton & Gilbert began making passenger-cars for railroads and, shortly afterward, freight cars. They built the first eight-wheel passenger-cars run on the Schenectady and Troy Railroad. By the admission of Edward O. EATON into the partnership, the firm on March 18th, 1844 took the name of Eaton, Gilbert & Co.

In 1850, one hundred stage-coaches, fifty omnibuses, thirty passenger-cars, and one hundred and fifty freight cars were made at the extensive works on Sixth Street, between Albany and Fulton streets.

More than five thousand stages built in Troy were then in use in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America.

pages 276-277
The brewing of beer in Troy, it would seem, began as early as 1793, in a brewery belonging to Colonel Stephen J. SCHUYLER. The first established of the nine now [i. e., in 1891] in the city is that of KENNEDY & MURPHY, on Ferry Street, east of Fifth Avenue. On a part of its site, Charles HURSTFIELD and Thomas TRENOR erected a small brewery in 1809. In 1823, READ & ARMSTRONG purchased the property. Their successors were Read, Armstrong, & Co., 1832; Read & Son, 1837; M. P. Read & Brothers, 1841; Read & Brothers, 1847; Arba Read, 1856; Read Brothers, 1857; DUNN & KENNEDY, 1867; and Kennedy & Murphy (William KENNEDY and Edward MURPHY, jr.), November 1st, 1867. The extensive brick buildings of the Excelsior Brewery, on the south side of Ferry Street, are fitted with all the modern inventions and conveniences for malting and brewing ale and porter.

The GARRYOWEN Brewery, on the west side of River Street, between Hutton and Hoosick streets, covers nine building lots. The malt-house and the brewery-house, two imposing brick structures six stories high, were severally built in 1877 and 1881. Each is provided with the latest improved machinery and apparatus for making ale and porter.

The firm of FITZGERALD Brothers was formed on October 1st, 1866, by Michael, John and Edmund FITZGERALD. On the withdrawal of Michael in 1870, John and Edmund continued the business. Since the death of John in 1885, Edmund has conducted it under the name of Fitzgerald Brothers. The firm's predecessors were James LUNDY, who in 1852 began brewing at No. 461 River Street; Lundy & INGRAM, 1853; Lundy & Kennedy, 1855; Lundy, Dunn & Co., 1857; and Dunn & Kennedy, 1859.

Four of the nine breweries brew ale and porter, and the others brew lager beer. The total product of 1890 was 205,232 barrels of ale, porter, and beer.

dry-goods store
pages 380-381
The earliest established retail dry-goods house now [1891] in the city is that of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. Few of its first patrons are living to tell of its beginning on the east side of River Street, one door north of State Street, sixty-seven years ago. Then it was seated, as it is now, in the business center of the city. Its removal on October 1st, 1856, to the south-east corner of Third and Albany streets, was looked upon as a mistake of the circumspect proprietor, but the marked changes in the growth of the city which later followed confirmed his foresight and sagacity.

The large and finely-lighted four-story store is a creditable monument to his enterprise. The business being wholly that of the sale of dry goods, the stock of the different departments, both wholesale and retail, comprises silks, woolen, cotton, and other dress fabrics, prints, cloths, linens, muslins, underwear, hosiery, laces and embroideries, shawls, cloaks, haberdashery, carpets, curtains, and other products of the loom and needle. An elevator carries buyers from floor to floor. The spaciousness of the salesrooms is one of the striking features of the well-ordered establishment. Situated at the intersection of Third Street and Broadway, two of Troy's principal thoroughfares, it is of easy access to city shoppers as well as country customers.

The founder of the store, Gerrit Van Schaick QUACKENBUSH, engaged in the dry-goods business in 1824 with William C. MILLER, under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co., at No. 202 River Street, next door north of the dry-goods store of KNOX & MORGAN, opened in May, 1827, in the building on the north-east corner of River and State streets. The site was originally occupied by a two-story frame dwelling, first the residence of Zephaniah ANTHONY, who, on October 27th, 1792, sold it and lot 70 to Moses BEARS for 350 pounds, who converted the building into a tavern, which was burned in the fire of 1820, when Amos ALLEN was the landlord of the house. On the dissolution of the partnership, on April 28th, 1826, G. V. S. Quackenbush and Edwin SMITH formed the firm of Quackenbush & Smith. On the withdrawal of Edwin Smith, on March 7th, 1828, G. V. S. Quackenbush continued the business until 1837, when he and William LEE as G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. became associated in it. The firm, from 1839 to 1841, had a branch store at No. 3 Franklin Square, which was conducted under the name of William Lee & Co. In 1841, the store at No. 202 River Street was conducted under the name of Quackenbush & Lee. From 1842 to 1865, G. V. S. Quackenbush had the management of the business. On February 1st, 1865, he, his son Gerrit QUACKENBUSH, and Samuel LASELL, who had held a clerkship under G. V. S. Quackenbush for a number of years, and William H. SHERMAN, who had likewise held a similar position in his store from 1848, entered into partnership under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. In 1868, Frederick BULLIS became a co-partner. On the death of Gerrit Quackenbush, on May 8th, 1869, the four surviving members of the firm continued the business under the same name. Gerrit V. S. Quackenbush died on June 10th, 1872, aged 71 years. On February 1st, 1873, Samuel H. Lasell and William H. Sherman succeeded to the business, which they have since conducted under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co.

pages 383-386
William H. Frear's bazaar, long and widely known by visitation and advertisement as on the south side of Broadway, between Second and River streets, attracts to its extensive salesrooms daily a larger concourse of town and country customers than is elsewhere seen in the city. The vast stock of goods needed to supply their wants is partly visible in the fifty-four departments into which the great establishment is divided. The spacious storage rooms in the five-story building are temporary depositories for undisplayed goods. Imported and domestic fabrics, silks, velvets, laces, and ribbons, fans, gloves, handkerchiefs, and hosiery, cloaks, capes, and wraps, underclothing, corsets, collars, and cuffs, bijouterie, toilet articles, parasols, umbrellas, traveling bags, and trunks, house-furnishing goods, and a thousand and one other salable things draw throngs of eager buyers to the counters of this busy mart on Washington Square.

More than two hundred men and women give attention to the sale of goods on the first and second floors. As many as three hundred and seventy employees have been required at one time to dispatch the business of the popular bazaar. In 1890, the mail-order department forwarded goods to forty states and territories and held correspondence with customers having seven hundred and seventy-two different post-office addresses. In the advertising department are great folios in which are pasted every advertisement since 1865 which has been inserted in newspapers to give publicity to the display of new goods. The sales in the retail department have exceeded $1,200,000 in a year. A record of those of a day shows receipts aggregating more than $12,000. The current expenses of a single year have required an expenditure of $200,000. There is probably not a city in the world of the same population as that of Troy in which a retail dry-goods house commands so large a trade as this notable emporium.

The main salesroom in the first floor extends along Broadway one hundred feet, with a depth of one hundred and nineteen. The part extending to the entrances on Second Street has a width of about fifty feet and a depth of one hundred and thirty.

The brick building, originally four stories high, erected in 1835 by Le Grand CANNON, had been known since that year as Cannon Place. Lot 131, fifty by one hundred and thirty feet, was leased on March 10th, 1789, by Jacob D. VAN DER HEYDEN to Mathise VANDENBURGH at a yearly ground rent of three pounds five shillings. Thence it successively passed to Elias LEE, Nathan BETTS, Nathan WARREN, Stephen WARREN, Eliakim WARREN, and, on October 13th, 1831, to Le Grand Cannon. On May 4th, 1891, the property embracing the lots 130 and 131 and the buildings on them was sold to William H. FREAR, who that day gave a check for $124,000 to George H. CRAMER, agent of the heirs of Le Grand Cannon, in part payment for it.

The business career of William H. FREAR in Troy began on March 1st, 1859, when he became a salesman in the dry-goods store of John FLAGG, at No. 12 Fulton Street, in the BOARDMAN Building, on the north-east corner of River and Fulton streets. He and Sylvanus HAVERLY, having, on February 11th, 1865, entered into partnership as Haverly & Frear, on March 9th, that year, engaged in the sale of dry goods at No. 322 River Street, between Fulton and Grand Division streets. On the admission of John Flagg as a partner on March 16th, 1868, the firm took the name of Flagg, Haverly, & Frear, and on April 9th following, occupied Nos. 3 and 4 Cannon Place, where DECKER & RICE had previously a dry-goods and millinery store. On the withdrawal of Sylvanus Haverly on January 2d, 1869, Flagg & Frear continued the businessuntil the dissolution of the partnership on March 1st, 1874, from whichtime, William H. Frear has individually conducted it.

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