Friday, June 12, 2009

June 19, 1909 - Hudson-Fulton Celebration

(Almost) 100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].

I'm skipping ahead one week to post an article about last century's Hudson-Fulton celebration, in honor of River Day tomorrow.



Promised at Least $5,000 When the Local Legislators Consented to Aiding the Project in the Legislature

The fact that the up-State commissioners of the Hudson-Fulton celebration commission saw fit, after a promise had been duly made to cut out Rensselaer and not give it the $5,000 appropriation that was promised, when Rensselaer had the whip hand and could have smashed pretty much all of the scheme is to be deplored. But then there is another day coming and that's another story.


Notwithstanding that Rensselaer was "done" good and hard it will still have a celebration. The Fire Board some time ago probably foresaw that the city was likely to get left while the bigger fish were scrambling for bait and they inserted an item of $250 to pay for the music and other expenses of an inspection of the fire department. This will take place just as it has been arranged and as far as the local people are concerned they do not care whether the rest of the Hudson-Fulton celebration takes place or not.


Another feature will be the dedication of the handsome monument it is proposed to build in Memorial Park at Third avenue and Washington streets and which promises to be a very fine piece of work. The parade and inspection of the department and the dedication of a monument will make Rensselaerites sit up and take notice even though some other city might, on that day, be spending the money that Rensselaer is entitled to and should have had for the main celebration.

But there is one good thing about Rensselaerites. When someone comes along with a promise and then breaks it, the Rensselaerite, if he be a true native, smiles and when his turn comes, as it usually does, be it sooner or later, he whacks back at a time when the whacks count for something.

So there will be no funeral dirge in Rensselaer because some other town will spend our $5,000, but the day of reckoning will come later on and Rensselaer will have its own celebration, not on so grand or elaborate a scale perhaps, but a celebration worthy to commemorate the dedication of the monument and to give the people of Rensselaer a chance to see the firemen at their best and apparatus which has done so much to keep down the fire loss in this city.

But Rensselaer is not the only place that has a grievance against the up-State commission or those who were responsible for cutting off Renssealer's appropriation. Castleton people are hot about it and Cohoes and Watervliet refuse to go in with anybody and will doubtless do like Rensselaer and have a celebration of their own.

Coeymans, Coxsackie, Stuyvesant, Stockport, Athens, N. Baltimore, Tivoli, Saugerties, Rhinecliffe, Rhinebeck and Fishkill would also like to know where they get off and why they were not considered. As one gentleman put it: "These other towns can sit on the dock and watch the fleet go by."
Here are some Photos of 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration, including a shot of the Half Moon accidentally ramming the steamboat Clermont in NYC. There are scans of The Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909, Volumes I and II at the Hudson River Valley Institute (HUGE PDF files). It's worth a look at the photos of the elaborate Troy, NY celebration starting on page 1333, which is page 238 of the last PDF file. (Maybe Troy got Rensselaer's celebration money back in 1909 - I wonder whether we ever "whacked back".)

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