Charles B Knox Gelatine Co. Inc.
Edition of
The Old Mohawk-Turnpike Book

Entering Gloversville.
On Main street, showing  the heavy automobile
traffic over the Sacandaga Trail on a bright
summer Sunday morning of 1922.

   

GLOVERSVILLE.

(Fulton County)
(Over F., J. & G. R. R.and N.Y.C.R.R., Fonda, 6 m; New York, 192 m.: Buff,. 260 m. sea elevation, 780 ft. Pop., 1920, 22,075l 1910: 20,642)

Gloversville Mileage Distances, Mohawk Turnpike,
New York- Buffalo Highway.

Southward: Fonda (on the Mohawk Turnpike), 8 m.

Eastward: (By detour to Mohawk south shore Fonda to Fultonville) Auriesville (shrine) 13 m. Over north side Mohawk Turnpike, Tribes Hill-Fort Hunter 14 m., Fort Johnson 17 m., Amsterdam 19 m., Schenectady 35 m., Albany 50 m., New York 199 m.

Westward: Stone Arabia churches, about 15 m. (by cross-country State road) to Palatine Church, about 22 m. Over north side Turnpike west from Fonda: Yosts (the Noses) 14 m., Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge 20 m., Stone Arabia churches (by detour north) 24 m., Fort Plain-Nelliston 23 m., Palatine Church 27 m., St. Johnsville 30 m., Gen. Herkimer Homestead (by detour to south side at St. Johnsville) 38 m., East Creek 33 m., Finks Basin Bridge (fall Hill) 38 m., Little Falls 40 m., Herkimer 47 m., Mohawk 48 m., Fort Herkimer church 50 m., Ilion 50 m., Frankfort 52 m., Utica 62 m., Whitesboro 66 m., Oriskany 69 m., Oriskany Battlefield Monument 71 m., Rome 77 m., Syracuse 112 m., Buffalo 266 m.

The next important point south is Johnstown, 4 m., and
Fonda, on the Mohawk Turnpike, 8 m.

Gloversville lies on the Cayadutta creek on the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville R. R., the terminus of which is Northville, on the Sacandaga river, 17 miles northeast.

An electric street car line connects Gloversville with Johnstown and runs south to Fonda and eastwardly to Schenectady, with connections to Troy and Albany. The main industry is leather and leather glove manufacture. In 1913, 5,750 persons were employed in Gloversville industries, 5,032 were engaged in leather and leather glove manufacture; 159 were employed in the manufacture of silk gloves and 129 in that of woolen gloves. Eighty per cent of the leather gloves manufactured in the United States (1924) are made in Gloversville and Johnstown.

In 1919 Gloversville had 206 factories with 6,331 primary horsepower and capital of $27,616,000, 6,704 workers receiving $7,559,000 annually , and a yearly manufactured production of $38,913,000. (1920 U. S. Census report.)

The Fulton-Hamilton counties fair is annually held at Gloversville.

The highest point in Gloversville is a hill on its western edge rising 160 feet above the Cayadutta, or 940 feet above the sea.

The city of Gloversville lies on the divide (780 feet sea elevation) between the Sacandaga and the Mohawk watersheds. The waters of the Cayadutta (running into the Mohawk at Fonda) drain the greater part of the city but the northeastern limits lie on the divide between Cayadutta Creek and Mayfield Creek, which empties into the Sacandaga at Northampton where Sir William Johnson, in 1760, built Fish House in the shadow of Bald Mountain there rising 1,000 feet above the river.

Before the Glacial period the Sacandaga flowed south in the Mohawk Glacial drift deposits choked its channel at Northampton, forcing it to seek a northern channel to the Hudson.

  

Gloversville - The Adirondack City.

Although Gloversville's southern limits lie less than five miles , in an air line, from the Mohawk river, its northern section is close to the Adirondacks some of whose southern summits rise from the city. A wonderful picturesque region of forest, lake and mountain lies immediately north of Gloversville Mountain Lake (3 miles northeast, at a seal level altitude of 1,577 feet) is the nearest Adirondack lake. The road makes a steep rise of 800 feet to the summit on which it lies. Peaks near Woodworth lake (4 miles northeast) rise to heights of 1,960 and 2,000 feet or over 1,200 feet above Mayfield creek. Westward, the highest summit is Klip Hill, 1,600 feet above the sea, a northward continuation of Nose Hill ridge or Mayfield Mountain.

  

The Old Canadian Trail -
Roads to Lake Pleasant, Lake Piseco, Canada Lake.

The old Canadian trail north to Lake Champlain is now followed by the road to Northville, which reaches Northville 17 m., Speculator 42 m., and thence to Piseco lake. From Northville it runs to Lake George, 53 m. northeast of Gloversville.

This is the trail over which Sir John Johnson escaped to Canada when the American authorities were entering Johnstown to arrest him in 1776. Over this trail Johnson and an enemy war party of 500 Tories and Indians came south on May 21, 1780, and entered Johnstown at midnight, plundering, burning and killing. The next night these raiders escaped north by another trail. This forest trail was a difficult point to defend and there were much skirmishing and scouting along it in the Revolution. An American blockhouse was built (1779) on the Sacandaga at Northville as an outpost. It was successfully defended, in April 1780, by a heroic American soldier, Woodworth (later killed at Fairfield), who fought off a party of seven Indians singlehanded. In French-British wars, Canadian-French and Indians descended by this trail to the Mohawk to burn and massacre.

Six miles northeast of Gloversville, over this trail, is the Sacandaga Vly (Vly or Vlaie is Dutch for swamp, swampy stream and sometimes for natural meadow). This is one of the largest Adirondack marshes. The road to Northville runs along its western edge. The Vly will soon be covered by the Sacandaga storage reservoir, which will form an artificial lake 35 miles long, from Northville to Conklingville.

  

Garoga, Canada Lakes -
An Adirondack Playground for the Mohawk Valley.

A State road runs northwest, from Gloversville 11 miles to the Canada lake region, where the Adirondack peaks separating the Mohawk and Sacandaga watersheds rise to summits of 2,200 feet and over. Pigeon Mt., with a sea elevation of 2,780 feet, is the highest peak (11 m. n. w. of Gloversville) on this Mohawk-Sacandaga divide.

The Canada and Garoga lake region is the most southerly of the Adirondack mountain lake districts. It is the nearest to and the most accessible from the Old Mohawk Turnpike and is therefore increasing in popularity and population as a summer resort.

  

Gloversville - Historical.

Gloversville has a most interesting history. Its site has virtually been cleared in the Adirondack wilderness, the forests of which look down on the city from the northern summits. In 1786 nothing but the Sacandaga trail connected the present cities of Johnstown and Gloversville. Blazed, or axe-scarred trees showed the way to the New England settlers who came up to Mohawk and through Johnstown to settle in this section, then known as Kingsborough, by which name the northern Gloversville neighborhood is still known. The first Yankee settlers came here soon after the close of the Revolution in 1783.

  

Flag Day at Gloversville High School.
On North Main street.

Gloversville, 1784-1924.

Families by the name of Burr, Ward, Giles, Mills, Throop, Mann, Bedford, Jones, Lord, Heacock, Griswold, Wilson, Crossett, Greig and Lindley were among the first settlers.

The first church (Methodist Episcopal) was built in the Kingsborough section in 1790 and the first school, in the city limits, was opened in 1800. A mill and tavern also were built about 1800. Leather manufacture and leather mitten manufacture developed about 1806-1809. In 1816 the place was called "Stump City," with reference to the clearings in the forest which then covered most of the present city. The first store was opened in 1828. Gloversville had 14 houses and about 100 population in 1830, after which date it grew rapidly. In 1851 it was incorporated as a village, then having about 350 houses and a modern steam-heated, gas-lighted hotel was built. In 1857 it had 500 houses and nearly 3,000 population. In 1854 Union Seminary was built, which was incorporated as a building of the public school system in 1868. The Civil war boomed glove manufacture. In 1870 the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville railroad was constructed and in 1875 this road was extended to Northville. In 1890 Gloversville became a city.

In 1840 Gloversville had 2 churches, 2 stores, 1 grist mill, 1 saw mill, 50 dwellings, with 300 inhabitants. Buckskin moccasins as well as gloves and mittens were then made here.

  

Business Center, Gloversville.
Fulton County National Bank, corner of Main and
Fulton streets.  The City National Bank, at the left
on North Main street.

The Glove Industry, 1809.

Eighty percent of the leather gloves made in the United States are manufactured in the Gloversville-Johnstown manufacturing district. The inception of the industry is one of the most engaging chapters in the romance of American business. As before stated the earliest settlers of Gloversville were Yankees from New England. Some of them were natural peddlers and were tinsmiths and manufactured tinware, as this was a prime requisite of a Yankee peddler's stock. These Kingsborough Yankees loaded packhorses with this tinware and a stock of "Yankee notions" and went over the rough roads and Indian trails into the new settlements, trading and bartering with pioneer and Indian alike. A tin basin was legal tender for a deer skin. All pioneers learned the art of tanning deer skins from the Indians, using the deer's brains or hog's brains in the process instead of the soda ash "fat liquor" later in use. Deer skins were then used for all kinds of clothing, moccasins and mittens, and were especially prized for breeches on account of wearing qualities. These skins were plentiful, cheap and often a drug on the market.

Ezekiel Case settled in Kingsboro in 1806 and tanned leather and made leather mittens. In 1807 Tallmadge Edwards, an English leather dresser settled in Johnstown. James Burr of Gloversville brought Edwards to this place and the manufacture of leather and leather mittens were here begun in 1809. In 1810 Burr sold leather mittens by the dozen lots. James Burr seems to have been the leading figure in early glove industry, as he created many improvements in the manufacture of leather. Gloves were only occasionally made of the finer and softer parts of the leather. In 1825 Elisha Judson took a load of gloves to Boston for sale. In 1859 the first glove and mitten cutting machines were made at Gloversville. Since that time improvements in the machinery and leather have been constant and glove manufacturing has become one of America's leading industries with Gloversville as its center. Silk and woolen glove manufacturer are becoming also important industries of Gloversville, as well as of the Mohawk valley towns.

Prior to the Civil war, manufactured leather gloves or mittens were legal tender in Gloversville. Nearly all trade was by barter and settlement was made by merchants, manufacturers and artisans on January first.

  

Gloversville, Military - Co. H, 105th Inf., N. G. S. N. Y.

Gloversville ranks high among Mohawk valley towns because its patriotic spirit has long maintained here a company of National Guard, S. N. Y. Co., H, 105th Inf., N. Y. National Guard has its armory at 87 Washington Street, Gloversville. Co. H formed part of the 105th Inf., 27th Division, U.S.A., which took part in smashing the Hindenburg line (Sept. 25-29, 1918) and other actions in France.

Like all New York National Guard units, Co. H. 105th Inf. N. Y. N. G., is now (1924) federalized as a part of the U. S. Army, while still available for state service under the Governor or the Adjutant General of New York State.

  

Detour-Return to Mohawk Turnpike-Fonda to the Noses.

Tourists, making the Johnstown-Gloversville detour, return to the Old Mohawk Turnpike at Fonda, or by any of the routes mentioned under Johnstown.

The Old Mohawk Turnpike and the Stone Arabia road (on the Sand Flats), both running west of Fonda, were famous racecourses of Valley Colonial days. The earliest racecourses were straightaway over highways, instead of around oval tracks. The early Holland-Dutch settlers were famous horse racers, especially with sleighs in winter.

  

Mohawk Castle of Anagoron, 1642-1666.

Over a mile west of Fultonville was the Middle Mohawk castle of An-da-go-ron (village of the Bear clan), destroyed in DeTracy's great French Canadian raid of 1666, which greatly weakened the power of the Mohawks. (See Sprakers.)

  

Mohawk Castle of Canagorha (1666-1693)
and Prehistoric Mohawk Castle on Briggs Run.

Briggs Run, a small stream, enters the Mohawk 5 miles west of Fonda and 1 mile east of Yosts. On its banks was located one of the first Mohawk castles of the period from about 1600 to 1625. When the south shore Mohawk castles were destroyed in the French-Canadian raid of 1666, the Mohawks built, close to the Mohawk Turnpike, near or on Briggs Run, their castle of Can-a-gor-ha. It had 16 houses and was "situated upon a flat, a stone's throw from ye water's side," in the words of Greenhalgh, the explorer of 1677.

About opposite Yosts, on the south bank of the river, is the hamlet or small village of

  

Randall.

  

  

      

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