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flag  History of Glens Falls, New York, USA

Journey back in time to Glens Falls, New York, USA

(Glenn's Falls)

Visit Glens Falls, New York, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Glens Falls, New York, USA - Hotel Ruliff and Empire Theatre

Glens Falls, Warren, New York, USA

As a halfway point between Fort Edward and Fort William Henry, the falls was the site of several battles during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. The then-hamlet was mostly destroyed by fire twice during the latter conflict, forcing the Quakers to abandon the settlement until the war ended in 1783. Fire also ravaged the village in 1864, 1884, and 1902.

The area was originally called Chepontuc (Iroquois; "difficult place to get around"), also referred to as the "Great Carrying Place," but was renamed "The Corners" by European-American settlers. In 1766 it was renamed Wing's Falls for Abraham Wing – the leader of the group of Quakers who established the permanent settlement – and for the falls on the Hudson River. Wing's claim to the name of the falls and the hamlet was transferred to Colonel Johannes Glen of Schenectady in 1788, either on collection of a debt, as a result of a game of cards, or in exchange for hosting a party for mutual friends, depending on which local legend is believed. Colonel Glen changed the name to "Glen's Falls," though it was often printed with varying spelling such as "Glenn's," or "Glens". The spelling "Glens Falls" came to be the common usage.

A post office was established in 1808. Glens Falls became an incorporated village in 1839, and was re-incorporated in 1874 and 1887, expanding the village to what would become the city limits when the city charter was granted by the state legislature in 1908, at which time the city became independent from the town of Queensbury.

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There is MUCH more to discover about Glens Falls, New York, USA. Read on!

Glens Falls Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Hotel Ruliff and Empire Theatre
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Hotel Ruliff and Empire Theatre
Paper Mills, a Busy Industry, Glens Falls N.Y.
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Paper Mills, a Busy Industry, Glens Falls N.Y.
View on Glen Street, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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View on Glen Street, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Glens Falls Insurance Building, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Glens Falls Insurance Building, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Christ M.E. Church and Parsonage
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Christ M.E. Church and Parsonage
Glens Falls, N.Y. Municipal Building, 1907
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Glens Falls, N.Y. Municipal Building, 1907
Glen Falls, N.Y., Finch-Pruyne & Co.'s New Paper Mill
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Glen Falls, N.Y., Finch-Pruyne & Co.'s New Paper Mill
Glens Falls, N.Y. Halfway Brook, Crandell Park
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Glens Falls, N.Y. Halfway Brook, Crandell Park
Coopers Cave
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Coopers Cave
High School
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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High School
Hudson River Falls, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Hudson River Falls, Glens Falls, N.Y.
St. Mary's Church
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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St. Mary's Church
Presbyterian Church
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Presbyterian Church
Post Office
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Post Office
St. Mary's Academy
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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St. Mary's Academy
Commodore Restuarant
Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Commodore Restuarant

Discover Glens Falls: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
General Henry Knox and his troops passed through here in the winter of 1775-76 with a load of 59 cannons pulled by teams of oxen.
The cannons were captured from the British at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. They were transported from Lake Champlain to Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts and used by George Washington's army on March 17, 1776 (Evacuation Day) to free Boston from British control during the American Revolutionary War.
1854 - Glenn's Falls
Glenn's Falls, a thriving post-village of Warren county. New York, on the Hudson river, about 60 miles N. from Albany. It contains churches for the Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists, 2 banks, 1 or 2 academies, 2 newspaper offices, and several factories. The river is crossed by a bridge at this place, and has a fall of about 60 feet, famishing abundant water-power. The village is connected by a feeder with the Champlain canal. Population, about 2400 ; of the township, 2717.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1869 - A few days ago, George Frost, of Lansingburg, N. Y., walked to Glens Falls, N. Y. and back, a distance of 104 miles,
in twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes, arriving in Lansingburgh at 12 o'clock noon, not all that tired. He finished the day working at his trade.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
May 29, 1869
1871 - Queensbury and Glens Falls
QUEENSBURY was incorporated by patent as a township, May 20, 1762, and embraced 2,300 acres. It was reorganized as a town March 13, 1786. Luzerne was taken off in 1792, and a part of Caldwell in 1810. A strip of territory one mile wide was taken from Luzerne and added to this town in 1802. It lies between Lake George and the Hudson River, in the southeast corner of Warren Co. The west part is occupied by the Luzerne Mountains, and the extreme north part by French Mountain, a high, rocky bluff, which rises precipitously from the surface of Lake George to the height of 2,500 or 3,000 feet above tide. The central and south parts are rolling, gradually declining towards the south. The soil is a light sandy loam in the interior, and a deep tough clay upon the river. The fall upon the Hudson at Glens Falls is about fifty feet, and affords valuable mill privileges. Below the fall is a small island, through which is a cave extending from one channel to the other. The manufacture of lumber is... Read MORE...

1890 - THE BRIDGE GAVE WAY. TWO LIVES LOST, TWO PERSONS INJURED, AND TWO MEN MISSING.
Troy, N.Y., March 15. - At about 10:30 o'clock this morning the Queensbury span of the old Queensbury-Moreau Bridge at Glens Falls fell into the Hudson River, carrying down the workmen who were upon it. The bridge was being demolished for the purpose of constructing an iron bridge, and only the flooring, under which supports had been placed, remained to be taken down.

Workmen were taking away a side beam on the upper side, when the supports gave way. The whole span rolled over, up stream, and fell into the falls below. NELSON SANSOUCI, a prominent member of the Cunningham Hose Company of Glens Falls, struck on the rocks below, and, before assistance could reach him, rolled over into the river. He was seen to rise twice, but must have been drowned.

The remains of the bridge floated off with three men clinging to it. The body of GEORGE CARR, the veteran South Glens Falls mail carrier, was taken out on the Moreau side.

THOMAS HOLLORAN of South Glens Falls was rescued badly cut... Read MORE...

1895 - Glens Falls
Glens Falls, or Glenn’s Falls, a post-village in Queensbury township, Warren co., N.Y., on the Hudson River, and on a branch of the Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad (connecting with the main line at Fort Edward), 60 miles by rail N. of Albany, 22 miles S.S.W. of Whitehall, 18 miles N.N.E. of Saratoga Springs, and 9 miles S. of Lake George. It has a bridge across the river, which here falls about 50 feet and presents picturesque scenery. The village contains 11 churches, 2 national banks, an academy, a union graded school, and several saw-mills and machine shops. Two daily and 2 weekly newspapers are published here. A quarry of fine black marble has been opened at this place. Its trade is facilitated by the Champlain Canal. Pop. in 1890, 9509.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1909 - LAKE GEORGE LOSES HOTEL. THE FORT WILLIAM HENRY, THE LARGEST RESORT IN ADIRONDACK REGION, TOTALLY DESTROYED.
(By United Press.)
Glens Falls, N. Y., June 24. - The Fort William Henry Hotel, the largest resort on Lake George and the Adirondack region, was destroyed by fire early this morning, with a loss of half a million dollars. The great structure was entirely consumed one hour after the blaze was discovered at 4 a.m. Manager WILSON, with 15 servants who were getting the house ready for tomorrow's opening, escaped in their night clothes. Many had close calls and no one saved and private effects.

The hotel was built in 1854 and rebuilt many times. The property was owned by the Delaware and Hudson and the company last year spent $150,000 in improvements, a like amount being spent this year on the improvements of grounds. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The Evening Observer
Dunkirk, New York
June 29, 1909
1912 - AIRMAN HURLED INTO BARN.
Spaulding Hurt When Biplane Is Wrecked at Glens Falls
Special to The New York Times.

GLENS FALLS, July 4. - Ira D. Spaulding, an aviator of Brattleboro, Vt., while giving an exhibition for the Clawson & Hamilton Aviation Company at League Park at Glens Falls this afternoon, was badly hurt when the wind carried his Curtiss biplane out of its course through the side of a barn just beyond the park. The machine was wrecked and Spaulding, who is 19 years old, was thrown head first into the barn, suffering injuries about his head and shoulders.

Spaulding was reluctant to make the flight on account of the strong wind, but consented to fly in response to repeated demands from the spectators. The accident occurred immediately after the machine left the ground. Spaulding says he has made his last flight.
The New York Times
New York, New York
July 5, 1912
1916
Glens Falls, a banking post-village of Warren co., N.Y., on the Hudson River and on the Delaware and Hudson R., 61 miles N. of Albany. The river here falls about 50 feet and presents picturesque scenery. The manufactures comprise shirts and collars, paper and pulp, flour, cigars, brick and terra-cotta, cement, etc. Fine black marble is quarried here. The village has a state armory, and is the seat of St. Mary's and Glens Falls academies. Pop. in 1890, 9509: in 1900, 12,613.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here are some of the best places to visit and activities to enjoy in and around Glens Falls:
Adirondack Theatre Festival:

If you're a fan of the arts, make sure to check out the Adirondack Theatre Festival. They feature an exciting lineup of contemporary and new productions that will leave you entertained.

The Hyde Collection Art Museum and Historic House:

This museum is a treasure trove for art lovers. It boasts an impressive collection of European and American art, including works by artists like Rembrandt, Picasso, and Homer. The historic house is a beauty in itself.

Cooper's Cave Ale Company:

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to Cooper's Cave Ale Company is a must. They offer a variety of craft beers, and you can even take a tour to see the brewing process firsthand.

Glens Falls Farmers Market:

If you're around on a Saturday morning, head to the Glens Falls Farmers Market. It's a fantastic place to explore local produce, artisan crafts, and enjoy the vibrant community atmosphere.

Adirondack Balloon Festival:

Timing is key for this one, but if you... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Glens Falls Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Glens Falls, New York, USA

We currently have information about 25 ancestors who were born or died in Glens Falls.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Glens Falls, New York, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Glens Falls

Our Glens Falls Gift Ideas


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Updated: 9/28/2023 11:48:01 AM