Turning Back The Pages

The marvelous photographs are on loan from the Stewart Farrar family. The exhibit continues at the museum through Nov. 30.)

Italian laborers invade village

Contractor Joseph H. Walker, in charge of his efficient Italian foreman “Big Tony” — an expert American bricklayer — and his gang of 40 men are making progress on work paving the main street of Warrensburgh with vitrified brick. They are using several of the latest improved machines for road-making.

If the weather remains good the job should be finished in ten days. Bricklaying was begun Oct. 21, 1911, just above B.F. Hammond’s drug store (now where Jack Tony’s Sunoco station is situated just north of the town bandstand). All day Sunday, the work went merrily on, watched by a large group of interested citizens. On Oct. 26, 1911, the brick will be laid on School St. (now called Stewart Farrar Ave). Grading and paving will be done later this fall.

(Note: I grew up near Proctor, Vt., one of the largest marble producing areas in the world. Many of the citizens there were Italian immigrants and among them were master stone cutters with immense talent. The statues and gravestones in the Proctor cemetery are a testament to their fine work. These people were proud of their homes which they kept in pristine condition. The older immigrants, especially the women, seldom learned to speak English which kept them isolated from community life, but the younger generation grew to be solid Americans. Growing up, I had great respect for them. Dennis Martinez at the Glens Falls National Bank in Warrensburgh, grew up there also and has told me how proud he is of his hometown.)

Readers are welcome to contact Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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