Troy's One Hundred Years 1789-1889:
Woodside Presbyterian Church

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 214-215
About the beginning of the year 1866, a Sunday-school, under the auspices of the First Presbyterian Church, was organized in Mechanics' Hall, on the south side of Mill Street. A number of Presbyterians interested in the school, who resided near the Wynants Kill, having in view the organization of a church, on April 8th, 1867, engaged the Rev. John TATLOCK of Williamstown, Massachusetts, to conduct religious services and preach to them in Mechanics' Hall. At their request, a committee of the Troy Presbytery organized there, on June 19th, the South Presbyterian Church of Troy, with twenty-nine members.

On May 1st, 1868, the Rev. John TATLOCK resigned "his position as stated minister" of the congregation. The erection of a stone church and chapel was begun in May, that year, on the plot of ground on the north side of Mill Street, given the congregation by Henry BURDEN and Erastus CORNING. On September 16th, the corner-stone of the double building was laid. The name of the organization was then changed to that of the Woodside Presbyterian Church.

In June, 1869, the first services were held in the chapel. The handsomely-finished church was dedicated on July 15th. Including the chapel at the north end of the church, the expenditures made for the erection and furniture of the building were not less than $75,000. A tablet set in the interior side of the south wall of the edifice displays the following inscription:

    "Woodside Memorial Church, dedicated to the service of the Triune God, has been erected to the memory of Helen BURDEN by her husband, Henry BURDEN, in accordance with her long-cherished and earnest desire, 1869."
The later-built stone chapel, on the east side of the church, used by the Sunday-school, is admirably furnished. The following inscription is lettered on a tablet on one of its walls:
    "Woodside Chapel. Erected A. D. 1883, by Margaret E. PROUDFIT, James A. BURDEN, I Townsend BURDEN, in memory of their children."
After the death of Henry BURDEN on January 19th, 1871, his surviving children erected to his memory the attractive manse on the west side of the church.

Notes from Bill McGrath:

Note 1. The Albany Times Union recently ran a story on the closing services held at Woodside Presbyterian Church. The building is in disrepair, and the congregation has dwindled, so a decision was made to close the church.

Note 2. The article stated that the future of the property is unknown at this time, since they have to contact descendants of the BURDEN and CORNING families.

Note 3. I have never heard of Mechanics' Hall, and the only buildings I knew of on the south side of Mill Street were residential houses. The book Troy's 100 Years has the following information on Mechanics' Hall:

"In 1864, the firm of CORNINGS & WINSLOW was formed, which in 1865 erected for the use of its workmen the building known as Mechanics' Hall, on the south side of Mill Street."

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