A prominent brick building in Warrensburg has not only stood as an icon of local architecture for decades, but it has served as a symbol of the prominent and formative role the town played in regional commerce.
That building is the Emerson National Bank building at 3853 Main St., now owned and occupied by the Glens Falls National Bank.
The building was the first permanent headquarters for Emerson & Co. Bankers, after this seminal financial institution in the North Country was founded in 1883 by Albert C. Emerson and his son Louis.
Historians say the bank was a key element in the development of successful enterprises and industry in Warrensburg from the late 1800s, well into the middle of the 20th century.
At the time of its founding, the bank was the only one in the vicinity, with the closest bank in Glens Falls.
The land on which the bank now sits was acquired in the mid-1920s from Louis Reoux, at that time a bank president, who used the plot for tennis courts beside his home, which was in more recent years turned into the Warrensburg Senior Center.
The bank, first known as Emerson & Co. Bankers, was housed in the stone building at the corner of Main and Hudson streets. Later, it moved to the Adirondack Hotel, then into the Colonial Arms Hotel at the present Rite Aid site.
Albert C. Emerson was a prominent businessman at the time he launched the bank. To do so, he sent elder son Louis W. Emerson to a bank in Fort Ann to learn the business. Albert, Louis and James A. Emerson started the bank in the stone building at the intersection of Main and Hudson streets. The bank opened its doors Jan. 7 1884, and grew steadily in assets as merchants and families depended on it for deposits, loans and other vital services.