Broadalbin's Soldiers' Monument


The Soldiers' Monument, above, was designed by Wm. John Harris and built by Hunter's Granite of Gloversville in 1923.  It honors veterans of all American Wars thru World War I.


The following newspaper article and picture above were donated by Broadalbin Historian, Gordon Cornell.


by Stella Westerling
Nov. 11, 1965

BROADALBIN - A unique monument stands in the business center of the village of Broadalbin, commemorated to veterans of wars from the days when danger from hostile Indians in the area was prevalent. Designed by W. John Harris, the single graceful column over ten feet tall is surmounted by an American bald eagle with wings half spread. The base consists of a solid granite tripod holding three bronze plaques honoring those who have served in local history.

Among those attending the dedication services held on May 30, 1923, by McKeon Post 289, GAR, predecessor of Robert Lee Walsh Post 337, were World War I veterans Lewis Cornell, local historian, and the Rev. Harry B. Erkman, former pastor of the Presbyterian Church, now retired.

Town Clerk Sprague Hennings recalls watching the ceremonies as a youngster, and seeing Elizabeth Harris, daughter of the designer, wrap an American flag about herself as she sang the Star Spangled Banner.

The bronze plaques are self explanatory, the first bearing the inscription "Dedicated to the stalwart pioneers who settled this locality, who endured hardship, kept constant vigilance against Indian attack, and to the soldiers who on this frontier and elsewhere, fought the battles of the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. By their undaunted courage they made and kept us a free nation."

The second plaque reads "In honor of the valiant men who during the dark days of civil conflict, realized that through union alone could this nation survive, and not counting the cost, laid their all on the altar of their country." The third notes "Gratitude to the patriotic men and women who in the war with Spain and in the World War, as soldiers, sailors, nurses and workers, contributed life, service and money to defend the weak, to overthrow militarism, and to make the world safe for democracy."

First Settler

It is especially fitting that the settlers be given recognition on the monument, since the first settler lost his life in an Indian attack. Henry Stoner arrived in this wilderness area about 1760 and built a log cabin in the present village section. In 1777 he went to what is now Johnstown and enlisted in the American Army, along with his two sons, who signed up as drummers.

Upon his return five years later he settled on a farm near Tribes Hill, and while hoeing corn one morning, was attacked and killed by a small band of Indians. The story goes that Stoner's son later killed one of the band when he overheard him boasting of how he had taken the farmer's scalp.

The name Kennyetto was given to this site by a few scattered families which located here prior to the Revolution, but the area proved too remote from other villages and was in constant danger from Indian scalping parties, so that at the outbreak of the war they abandoned their primitive homes and the early name was lost until the village was resettled.

For a time the area was also known as Fonda's Bush, "bush" being a Scotch synonym for woods, since the land was densely wooded at the time, and was named for Maj. Jelles Fonda, who had secured title to several hundred acres of the present site before the Revolution.

The name of Broadalbin, derived from "broadalbane" or broad fields in Scotch, was finally given in 1804 by Daniel McIntyre, who settled near the present Perth area, when a post office was established. Since then, this pleasant rolling area north of the Mohawk Valley has attracted many residents, and continues to do so.

Of interest is a strongbox buried at the foot of the Broadalbin monument containing newspaper clipping, coins and other mementos of the 1920's, which is slated to be dug up in the year 1973. There is much speculation as to the local scene that will greet that occasion.


Link to:
Monument Dedication Program, 1973

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Copyright 1965, Stella Westerling
Copyright 2001, Gordon Cornell
Copyright 2001, Allyn Hess Perry, Jeanette Shiel
All Rights Reserved.

Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:35:36 PDT