Schenectady

Top of the sevens, ma!

1973 was a year of inflation — even before President Ford’s famous “Whip Inflation Now” pins (they didn’t work), the prices of meat, gasoline and other staples of life were growing at an incredible pace. Schenectady Savings Bank, where passbook savings accounts ran at about 5% in the previous years, was here advertising savings certificates …

Barney’s EOM Clearance

In 1973, H.S. Barney’s venerable establishment was also lurching to its death. The last of the great Schenectady department stores still west of the canal (Erie Boulevard), it still retained an air of down-at-the-heels class from its days serving the carriage trade, but single-store department stores were on their way out, and downtown department stores …

Wallace’s Good Buys

As mentioned before, downtown Schenectady’s landmark Wallace’s Department Store, closed at the end of 1973. The store  was significant in my personal history, as well, and I spent endless hours there in my youth, seemingly an eternity, while my mother fussed over fabrics. This is one of the final Wallace’s ads. I’m sure a good …

Blood in the snow

It was a cold February night, 322 years ago, that 200 French, Sault and Algonquin warriors descended on the stockaded village of Schenectady. It’s unlikely that the story of the stockade being guarded by snowmen was true, though that would be a lighthearted element of an otherwise heartrending story of death by musketball, hatchet and …