Turning Back the Pages

(Note:- Orlando Bryant was a Warrensburgh celebrity in his own time — and he thoroughly enjoyed enhancing his legend. He was shrewd, calculating and often intoxicated. He professed to being a student of the occult and boasted about his dealings with the devil. He used to kill rats and put them in a sack which he brought into the bar at the Grand Army House to show off to the patrons. He lived in “unspeakable filth” in a “squalid abode” on Harrington Hill on the family farm where he faithfully kept a dozen or more cheap clocks loudly ticking which he said relieved his loneliness. I believe that he was the son of Roswell Bryant who served honorably in the Civil War and died in 1891. Roswell is buried in the Harrington Hill Cemetery. Orlando was married but his wife left and moved far away from him to a western state. He also had a daughter, Emma, and a son and they both deserted him. His son died honorably in the Spanish - American War. In later years Orlando lived on his farm with his three elderly sisters.

In 1916 Orlando was convicted of stealing chickens and was sent to Albany Penitentiary for five months. At the time, the local people placed bets on whether the shock would kill him if they gave him a bath there.

In the “Dinner with the Dead” reenactment put on by the Warrensburgh Historical Society in 2010, John Gable played Orlando Bryant and he did an excellent job. Thank you to Rita Ferraro and Sandi Parisi of the Warrensburgh Historical Society who assisted me with information.)

Taking a wild tumble

Leonard Ross, 11, was seriously if not fatally injured and his brother, Barey, 2 years his junior, suffered a bad shaking up in a runaway accident the morning of July 30, 1913 at Wevertown. The boys were riding on a hay rake drawn by a team of horses when the animals became frightened and ran off.

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

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