Sign tells Straight House history

Johnsburg Historical Society

The Straight House, as depicted in this tinted postcard circa 1908, stood on the property until it burned in 1920.

The Straight House, as depicted in this tinted postcard circa 1908, stood on the property until it burned in 1920.

The following narrative is part of a series of historical interpretive signs developed by the Johnsburg Historical Society as a result of a grant from the Pearsall Adirondack Foundation. The sign is on view at Community Bank.

The business district in North Creek was well developed by the early 1900s and included an active railroad, several churches, retail stores, restaurants, industry, and many hotels. One of those hotels stood here on this location. Called the Straight House, this three-story, 30-room hotel was built on this knoll between 1855 and 1870 by James Straight. Railroad workers boarded here as did rail passengers. Commuters from other towns traveling by train to southern destinations boarded their horse teams at the hotel’s substantial barns.

Like many buildings during this era, the Straight House burned to the ground due to an overheated wood stove on Jan. 8, 1920. The north-south directional wind fanned the flames away from the property’s barns and toward the North Creek Methodist parsonage adjacent to the south. A bucket brigade was attempted but to no successful end; both buildings were a total loss.

Within the year, Harold Bissell was operating a garage and filling station out of the Straight House barns. He also sold Buick automobiles. This too was short lived, as these structures also burned down.


Photo courtesy of the Johnsburg Historical Society.

The North Creek National Bank was constructed in 1927. The major change to the outside of the building includes the roof—from flat to gabled — and the grassy lawns were paved into parking lots.

By 1927, The North Creek National Bank had been in operation for 17 years at its second location a block north of here. The success of the bank and the steady and profitable growth of the township proved worthy for a larger building which was constructed here and surrounded by grassy lawns. Despite numerous ownerships, the bank has continued operation since its founding in 1910.

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