How many people remember the original Altamont High School? The Altamont Museum & Archives houses a number of year books, playbills, school newspapers, and photographs.
The first school was known as District # 7 and was located in what was the "old village" of Knowersville at 120 Main Street. This building became a private residence in 1879.
A fine, two storied schoolhouse was built on School Street (Lincoln Avenue) at a cost of $ 5,000. to the taxpayers. The school offered grades 1 through 8. The school operated until 1902 when the Altamont Union School opened.
The 1879 building was sold and in 1905 it was moved to Maple Avenue. It has served as Village Hall, a firehouse, an apple packing warehouse and at one time housed a basketball court on the second floor and a rollerskating rink in the basement. It then became a private residence and later it was converted into apartments.
The Altamont Union School District # 7 started the September 1902 year in a brand new building. The building was constructed on solid brick, with white marble trimmings, 56 x 78 feet, two stories and a basement in height. It was designed to hold a capacity of 250 pupils. It was dedicated on 9/14/07. The first principal was Prof. A. Z. Boothby. Students came from other villages, towns and even counties to attend Altamont Union School. Some as far away as Schoharie. A few students would arrive by train on Monday, board with a Village family while attending school during the week and return by train to their homes on Friday afternoon.
One of the items includes this playbill from 1941. Students of Altamont High School performed three One-Act Plays at the Masonic Hall on March 21 of that year at 8 pm. How many remember these shows or the performers?
A second item was a 15 page report entitled "History of Altamont". I have reprinted the the contents since they were not scanable. Please remember this was written in 1946 by 7th graders.
HISTORY OF ALTAMONT
COMPILED AND EDITED
ALTAMONT HIGH SCHOOL
Jane Ann Crounse Walter Beskorowajny
Janet Crounse Leroy Brunk
Myra Crounse Walter Chapman
Luella Gage Joseph Femia
Katie Klama Richard Long
Barb ara Mattice Robert Martin
Betty Orsini John Pollard
Mary Orsini Robert Tompkins
Lillian Page John Travis
Mary Ann Rissackor
Map of Altamont
HISTORY OF ALTAMONT
The village of Altamont lies at the foot of the Helderberg Mts. In north western Albany County, 15 miles west of the city of Albany and 9 miles south of Schenectady.
It was settled by the Dutch and Germans about the date 1750, it came into prominence during the Revolution. One of the largest groups of the patroits and Tories ever organized was dispersed at the Battle of the Normanskill, a few miles from the village, in the early days called Knowersville after Benjiman Knower, banker and a maker of hats, who in 1800 built the Knower house in the "Old Village". In his home took place the wedding of Knower's daughter to William L. Marcy, famous governor of New York.
On October 1, 1887, the name of our village changed to Altamont. Alta meaning high, and mont, a short word for mountain. It was changed through the aid of President Grover Cleveland, who while governor, often visited the Helderbergs.
Earlier settlers were the Vroomans, Wemples, Van Aername, Crounses and Seversons.
Frederick Crounse, a shoemake bor in Germany, settle on the Crounse farm near Altamont in 1754,
The first doctor was Fredrick Crounse who had his home in the "Old Village". He practived there for 60 years, and he built the house there in the year 1833.
In 1835, Colonel Church built the celebrated Kushaqua hotel at the price of $ 100,000. The Seminary of Our Lady of La Salette is now located there. Colonel Church brought the Van Rensselaer lease in 1855. He assessed the land and the people had to pay him.
The Dutch Church of the Helderbergs was founded in 1760. The first fude log meeting house was built a the place now known as Osborne Corners. The sermans were in Low Dutch and German. The first church was built in Altamont in 1834 and demolished in 1886. The new church was built in 1889 in Guilderland Center and shortly after, one was built in Altamont.
The Lutheran Church started its servercs about 1788.
The first Albany County Fair was held in Altamont in 1893.
The foot of the seteep incline that led over the mountains on the old Schoharie Road was the location of the Wayside Inn or the Severson Inn, which is still standing. It was built after the close of the Revolution. In the cellar of the old house were located the slave quarters.
An Indian once hollowed a great wooden bowl from a maple tree which stands where Walter Alston lives.
Outside of Altamont is located the burying ground known as the "Whipple Cenetary" or "High Point Cemetary". Here are buried some of our most famous men of a century gone, among them Revolutionary veterans, and one George Washington's own orderly.
In 1890, the first officers of the village were choosen. They were as follows: President, Hiram Griggs; Trustees - Smith Philley, Jesse Crounse, and Henry A. Wilbur.
The Wayside Inn or Severson Inn as it is called was the Post Office of Altamont.
The house were the Richards live in the "Old Village" was once the Inn of Jacob Crounse built in 1833. It was a midway tavern where horses were changed on the Schoharie-Albany Stage Coach routes.
The population of Altamont is about 1999 or more. It is mainly a residential village. Large numbers of its residents are commuters to Albany and Schenectady.
The Altamont Enterprise, a weekly newpaper was established in 1884.
By Jane Ann Crounse and Janet Crouse
Typist - Robert Tompkins
We can go up the road by car or we can walk up the trail that starts at the stone house farm. Then after we get up there, we can look out over the country. We might even go over to Lookout Tower, so we could get a better view.
After that, we can go over the old bear path and see the sits. The old path is Lower than it use to be. Then we come to "Thin Man's Cave" which is very narrow and there is a falls by the cave. We go a little farther and come to another falls.
After that, we come to the old Indian Ladder, where they have now built steps. Then we can eat and after we eat, we can go to Haile's Cave or Fat Man's Cave. If the water is not running out, we can go back in the cave. It is necessary to have alight, for it is very dark. The cave is about a half mile long. It has a few curves in it. Then you come to a lake over a hundred feet deep.
If an added trip is taken the next day, the animal park, where deer and other animals are kept, would be our logical stopping off place. It can be found a little ways from Thatcher Park.
ALTAMONT HIGH SCHOOL
Altamont High School was ereted in 1901 and the principals were as follows: Mr. Griffin, Mr. Arthur Boothby, Mr. Homer Northrup, Mr. John Atwood, Mr. Homer Fancher, Mr. G. Homer Hook, Mr. Lester Bacon, mr. Kent Burroughs, Mr. Lester Rounds, and Mr. Walter Campbell.
The present teachers at Altamont High School are as follows:
Miss Flagg - Kindergarten
Mrs. Wilson - 1st and 2nd grade
Miss Loga - 3rd and 4th grade
Mrs. Spadaro - 5th and 6th grade
Miss Dam - Grade 7
Mrs. Relyea - Grade 8
Miss Shrack - 9th grade homeroom teacher, Health, Biology, Social Studies
9 and English 9
Mr. Spione - Social Studies 10, 10th grade homeroom teacher, Social
Studies 12 and guidance
Miss Benzal - 11th grade homeroom teacher, Science and Math
Miss Brautigan - 12th grade homeroom teacher, English grade 12, Spanish,
Mr. Burton - Business Law, Economics
Miss Curtis - Secretary, Lunch Supervisior
Mr. Campbell - Principal, Guidance, Business Arithmetic, Coach
Mrs. Crounse - Cafeteria Cooks
Mrs. Van Eck - Cafeteria Cooks
Mr. and Mrs. William Fellows - School custodians
Mr. Korkosz - Music
ACTIVITIES AT ALTAMONT HIGH SCHOOL
Altamont High School has a 6 man football team, 9 man baseball team. It also has a girls socker team, and a boys and girls bowling league. Due to lack of space, there is no basketball team.
The curriculi of Altamont consists of : a lunch program, Commerical Departmetn, motion picture projector and radio transcription phonograph, Courses in art, music, journalism, Spanish, Latin, Stenography and Guidance. It also has a yearbook, the "Tawsenthan"; and a school newspaper, "The Altamonitor" edited and published by the pupils.
The most complete school local history library of New York State can be found in the Altamont School Library.
A well-known school band, and choir or glee club, and orchestra make up the music end of the program.
Every year, an inspection and medical examination of each child is held by the school physician.
Part of the Reformed Church has been turned over to the Kindergarten and 1st and 2nd grades at a school annex.
Crossection of the Nationalities in Altamont
VARIOUS OCCUPTIONS IN ALTAMONT
Artist - Charles Townsend
Well driller - Torlish, Platz, Ogsburg
Janitor - William Fellows
Printor - Howard Ogsbury
Library - Mary Weaver
Grocery Store - Pangburn, Keenholts, Williamson, A&P Manager
Oil Business - John Pollard II
Hardware - A. R. Crable
Drugstone - Stephen Veneer
Hairdressing - Pearl Griffen, Marguerite Orsini
Grain Mill - Ward G. Ackerman, G.L.P.
Policeman - Alfred Whipple
Gift Shop - Mrs. Goldsmith, Mrs. Bradt, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Stephens
Shoemaker - Milton Becker, Miss Helen Becker
Insurance - Millard Severson
Coal - Wrighter, Ackerman
Paper and Paint - F. Lape
Barber Shop - Tony Gagliotti, Mr. Ross
Watchmaking - Mr. Golden
Electical Appliances - Mr. W. Austin, Mr. Dabo , Mr. Hayes
Funeral Home - Harry Fredendall, Mr. Dorsett
Freight - Mr. Stafford
Telegraph - Mr. Stafford
Telephone - Mr. Chapman
Bank - Mr. William Wands, Pauline Hellenbeck, Frances Severson
Laundry - Mrs. Crocee
Bus - Boh
Nurses Home - Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. Wright
Garage - Howard L. Gage, Westfall, White, Ackerman
Doctors - Dr. Sweeney, Dr. Cullen
Lawyer - Earl Blarkhuff, Mr. Fowler, Joe Graham
Paper Hangers - Mr. Martin, Mr. St. John, Mr. Schaible
Plumber - Mr. Rector, Charles Kelley, Mr. Secor
Carpenter - Mr. St. John, Mr. Flo_____, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Kent
Contractor - Mr. May
SIGNS OF ALTAMONT
Inn of George Severson
Old Schoharie Rd. Built at close of Revolution.
First Post Office of West Guilderland.
Incorporated as a village 1890
Officers : President - Hiram Griggs
Trustees - Smith Philly
Farm and burial place of John Groot, officer 3rd regiment,
Albany County - Militia - War of Revolution.
Dr. F. Crounse built house 1833
First physician at West Guilderland (Altamont)
Practiced here 60 years
Inn of jacob Crounse built in 1833
Midway Tavern where horses were changed on Schoharie Albany Stage
Established as Hat Factory about 1800 by Benjamin Knower. Governor
Marcy married Cornellian Knower in this house.
OLD PLANK ROAD
Schoharie to Albany followed this route.
Chartered 1849. Abandoned 1857.
Severson house built by early settler Jurrian Severson.
Located on map of West Manor, Rensselairswyck 1867.
Old Helderberg. Land of bitter conflict between Patriots and Tories. Known
later as West Guilderland, Knowersville and Altamont.
The name means clear mountains. They have been called the key to the
Geology of North America. John boyd Thatcher Park operated by
Conservation Department State of New York.
Tory Cave 1777
Jacob Salisbury, a spy, during the Invasion of Burgoyne, found refuge from
settlers in a cave against the cliffs near by.
Explored by Professor Theodore G. Haile of Albany 1880.
Settled by Naluchi Whipple of Conn. about 1793. In 1820, Farm premium
as model farm in Albany County.
About 1750, Frederick Crounse, son of Polish noble-man. Owned by
Crounse family at present.
END OF REPORT