Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 7, 1909 - Life in the Age of Rail

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

There were some unique problems in a 1909 railroad community.

Car Thieves Active

Car thieves have been busy in Rensselaer again. Saturday morning a car containing merchandise shipped from Boston to the West was broken open under the Herrick street bridge and several hundred dollars worth of goods stolen. The exact amount cannot be determined until the slips are received by the local freight officials.

Burned a Hole in Roof

A hole was burned in the roof of the home of Dennis Vaughn on Broadway near Partition street on Monday afternoon. The fire, which was started by sparks from an engine, was extinguished with a pail of water.

Many Rensselaerites in 1909 would have remembered the 1862 fire in Troy, where a spark from a locomotive ignited the shingled roof of the wooden railroad bridge at Green Island. Burning shingles blew across the rooftops of downtown Troy, and more than 500 buildings were destroyed by fire, and 8 people were killed.

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