All of us who grew up in this area a few years back know that song which was written by Thomas Allen back in 1905. We sang it in school. It was Americana. For us in the Mechanicville-Stillwater-Waterford-Halfmoon area, it was our own history. We live in an area where a century and a half ago the Erie Canal and the Champlain Canal were both life-giving arteries that made transportation, settlement and commerce possible throughout northern and central New York in the days before there were planes, trains and automobiles, big trucks and superhighways. The barges and passenger boats that plied the waters of these amazing canals in the 19th and early 20th centuries were for the most part powered by mules walking the towpaths.
Read the entire article in the Oct. 9th issue of the Express.
I will take a week off from Schaghticoke mill history to remind us all that 200 years ago at this time of year, New York State was being invaded by a large British Army via Lake Champlain. I was reminded of this because recently I heard an NPR radio broadcast recreating the invasion of Washington, D.C. two hundred years ago in August. The British Army, fresh from beating Napoleon at Waterloo, marched into Washington and burned the White House and Capitol buildings.