Groceries, Cigars, and Fish

When we talked about the former Hotel Borthwick the other day, we skipped over talking about another venerable business that occupied the ground floor of the more westward building, past the opening to the courtyard and, in this view, directly behind the horse. That was Bouton and Vine, wholesale grocers, at 76 Washington Ave. When …

Stoves and Pork

Continuing our look at a photo from 1919 of a whole bunch of buildings that aren’t there anymore on Washington Avenue, just west of the Capitol, we come to the storefronts of Charles C. Campbell and Christopher Gardner (we covered Edwin Nellegar yesterday). Charles C. Campbell was a stove dealer for decades, at least as …

Hotel Borthwick

This charming edifice (a combination of two buildings, if you look closely) is the Hotel Borthwick. Known in a previous life as the Avenue House, it was located just a bit west of the Capitol at 74 Washington Ave. We’re not quite sure when it was built, but as early as 1868 Avenue House was …

The Blue Factory

One of our favorite road names in the Capital District (and a favorite road for cycling) is Blue Factory Road. It is named not for a factory that was blue, but for a factory that made blue. Before the age of synthetic colors (in which a Rensselaer factory played a significant role), colorants primarily came …

Latham “The” Hatter

From a guide book to the State of New York, we have this description of Latham “The” Hatter (emphasis always his), who was located at 558 Broadway in the latter part of the 19th century. Prominent among the business enterprises of North Broadway is the hat emporium of Mr. George Latham, who is largely engaged …

The Ark of Albany

Munsell’s Annals of Albany could keep an amateur historian busy until the end of time, running down all the interesting tidbits. For example, without Munsell, we would never have known that Albany once had an ark. Apparently around 1830 or so, the companies that owned tow boats (probably steam boats by this time – Fulton …