A glance at
New York, One Hundred Years Ago (1905).
Do you
have a
used to
live in

a great

Want to use this book as a Fundraiser for your group?

click here for ordering details  +++ click here for book signing dates

Best viewed with Internet Explorer
NEW!   Indexes now Online!!!    NEW!
Location Index - by geographic location
Person Index (over 3000 names!)
Split into three sections
General Articles to Genesee County
Greene to Rensselaer County
Saratoga to Yates County
Person Index from pages 2-17

 Introduction:  This book is a collection of stories. Focusing on the whimsy, historical mentions and other commentary of life in general, here in upstate New York, one hundred years ago.  Partial focus of this book is on the way of life back one hundred years ago, just noticing the wording of some articles can show you the different lifestyles back then.  Some of the things that were historical, or monuments that were dedicated in 1905.  There are a few stories of calamity and other disasters, but I specifically kept this part of life in 1905 to a minimum.

  I went through almost all the newspapers that were available on microfilm in the year 1905, in upstate New York.  I then chose what I thought would be interesting stories, in one way or another.  A few available newspapers were not looked at, due to availability of printable microfilm machines.  Even more amazing, is the number of newspapers that no record of existence were kept, except for brief mentions in other newspapers.

  While researching a lunch wagon that was located in Oneonta, NY, and I had to go week by week, looking for a mention of the original owner.  In doing this, I noticed that I was getting caught up in reading many of the interesting blurbs and articles on other subjects.  I thought it would be a neat idea to compose a book of many of these neat stories and mentions.  I recently saved an old 1927 lunch car(diner), and needed some money to help with the restoration.  I thought that if I covered the entire state of New York, the book would prove interesting to more people across the state, and even beyond.

Purpose: This book was published as a fundraiser for a diner I was restoring. A diner built in 1926/7 by Goodell Hardware of Silver Creek, NY.  I have since given the diner to Gordon Tindall of Towanda, PA who owns the Red Rose Diner.  He may be the foremost restorer of vintage diners in the world!   Proceeds from this book will now probably go to the recreation of a vintage lunch wagon.

Research:  Much of the research was done at the New York State Library in Albany, NY.  The New York State Newspaper Project has done a great job in saving newspapers, though, more work is still left to be done!  Here is my list of newspapers that have not been saved (to the best of my knowledge.)

Preview:  Here is a preview of some of the articles that will be appearing in the book.

{{Some articles foretell the future}}

Not without reason the residents of Ulster County inquire from the State Water commission why New York city does not utilize its water supply nearer home.  To go to the Catskills will cost $161,000,000.  It will affect many business interests there and will require a readjustment of local affairs.  The people who are to be disconnected are naturally opposed to the project.  Putnam and Dutchess Counties are much nearer New York than Ulster and Greene.  Suffolk County is only a few miles east of Brooklyn’s boundaries and Westchester adjoins New York.  In these readily accessible neighborhoods, laws have been passed to prevent New York City from utilizing the available water supply.  The Croton watershed is already the property of New York City – paid for and owned.  Its supply is as large as that of the proposed Esopus plant.  Of this Croton supply, half now goes to waste through lack of adequate storage reservoirs.  Of the remainder, 40% leaks through worn-out and defective water pipes and a bad system of distribution.  A new aqueduct has to be built anyway, but it makes a great difference in its cost whether it stops in Westchester County or goes on to the Catskills, beyond Kingston. 

{{Occasionally, some local newspapers dedicated an issue to the businessmen of the vicinity, one such paper was the Ravena News}} 
John Beck
John Beck came to Ravena in 1894, and opened a jeweler’s repair shop in the Ravena House, corner Main street and Central Avenue.  In two months, he moved to the Grogan building (now the Pebler block) and remained there for 3 years.  He then purchased the building in which he is at present located and moved into it.  In 1902, he remodeled and rebuilt the building, making a plate glass front that is the peer of any in town.

{{Every newspaper of the time, especially the village newspapers, were filled with "blurbs," tiny mentions of the coming and goings of people in the area.  Also, sometimes they would mention the newspaper where they got the information from.  Neither paper mentioned below has been saved, to my knowledge}}

    H.P. Hull, now proprietor of the Guilford House at Guilford, N.Y. has bought the Park Hotel in Bainbridge and will take possession May 1st. 
    Mansfield & Corbin, the New Woodstock men who bargained for the Chenango House before its destruction by fire, have purchased the St. James Hotel in Oxford – Greene Sun
    Miss Minnie LaDue was the guest of Mrs. Jerome LaDue at Westfield Tuesday –Brocton Mirror.

  The Delhi Gazette says that ex-Supervisor Sewell, of Walton, about whom much has recently been published in the local newspapers, certainly appears to have had hard experiences during his exile of nearly 5 years.  When his lawyer, W.F. White and his brother, H.B. Sewell, met him at the Sidney station, they did not recognize that he was the one whom they had known so well.  Mr. Sewell went under many names, has been in many places and also turned to many expedients to keep things going.  When arrested in Tacoma, he was doing a small job of painting and was known by the name Leigh.  In Denver he was known as J.J. Smith.  In all, a half dozen names are given by which he has been known in different places.  While on his way back, he told the sheriff, “that no one knew or could know what he had undergone during the years of his exile; that much of this time he might have better been in prison.”  He has in fact been in nearly every state south and west, working at anything he could find to do.

  A consignment of beer was received at Monticello depot last week, frozen, and the consignee, Mr. Hembt, would not accept it.  The railroad authority, in order to get the freightage, hawked it off at fifty cents a keg, and possibly sometimes less.  It was a great opportunity for the thirsty ones to take advantage of cut rates, and some of them were spryer in their movements as they wended their way depotwards than they had been for many a day.  They were afraid they might be too late.  It was a common thing to see old and young staggering under the burden of a keg on their backs, like the pilgrim staggered under his load in Bunyon’s Progress, but they disposed of their loads easier than did the pilgrim, and we have heard not half so much about it. – Watchman

Ordering Details:

  At the moment, I will only accept orders from parties in the United States, please email me if you are outside of the U.S.A.

  Special Offer!  Now you can pay for the book using PayPal.  For only $19.50 plus $3.50 shipping you can buy the book for $23.00

You may still send a money order for $23.00 to the address below.

My Address:

Mike Engle
182 Speigletown Rd
Troy, NY 12182

* - also available at these locations
Hope Farm Press in Saugerties.
Market Block Books in Troy.
Book Outlet in Troy.
Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi
First Edition Book Store in Norwich
Long's Cards and Books in Penn Yan

You may also email any questions/orders to   Please make the title of your email "1905 book" to make sure I catch it.  I can also give discounts to bulk orders.

Book Signings:

  There are no book signings planned for the near future. There will be book signings beginning sometime after September, 2008 for my "Diners of New York" book that I am co-authoring. I will bring this book along with me.  It will either be available through me or the place where I am signing books.  For more information on this book, please go to the Diners of New York page. (this link may not work in April/May 2008, awaiting confirmation from publisher)

Fundraising Opportunities:

  Would you like to offer this book to members of your group/organization, and earn money for your group at the same time?  Contact me through email with the message title: NY 1905 Fundraising for more details.  I can promise you $8 from the sale of each book.  Plus, you may be able to save on shipping costs.  Email for more details.