Clara Haag (left,) was present at the charter meeting of the Troy Historical Society in February 1966 and served as the organization’s first president. Following William Caswell’s death in 1965, the group considered options for preserving the community’s oldest home, including the suggestion to relocate it. Clara Haag recognized the financial challenge this presented. She stated to a reporter, “It would cost a fortune to move the blooming thing. Where to get that kind of money? We don’t have it. Heavens!”
Early THS members included Lois Lance (left), Virginia Bollinger (center), and Morris Wattles (top right). This photo was taken when the Society was raising funds to move the Caswell House. Their efforts produced $8,400. This amount would be equivalent to $59,952.00 in 2015.
Virginia Bollinger and Morris Wattles carry materials into the 1927 Township Hall through the Pioneer Room entry. Morris Wattles oversaw construction of the Township Hall while he served as Township Supervisor between 1925 and 1930. A teacher who valued history, he saw to it that the community’s government building reflected the geographic origin of the township’s first pioneers. The architecture is based on an old inn in New York.
Morris Wattles live to the age of 93. A lifelong bachelor, he resided nearly 90 years in the farm house built in the 1850s by his father Harry Wattles. Harry raised thoroughbred Jersey cows. Morris and his sister, Helen Mary, were honored as Troy’s Distinguished Citizens in 1972.
The City of Troy owns the buildings, land, and collections known first as the Troy Museum, later as the Troy Museum and Historic Village, and today as the Troy Historic Village. For many years, the museum was administered through the City’s Library Department. In this 1974 photo Library Director Joe Howey (left) and Curator Michael Wasilewski pose in a general store exhibit in the 1927 Township Hall.
Heritage Day was one of the first public events organized by THS volunteers and members of the Historical Commission, a seven-member board appointed by City Council to oversee museum operations. Note that the Caswell House in the background is the only historic building on the site in 1975.
Preserving Poppleton School was an official bicentennial project in the City of Troy in 1976. The building had been purchased by a developer who would not donate it to the Troy Historical Society or the City. THS volunteers spearheaded efforts to raise funds to purchase the building. In this photo THS president Elenor Fayban accepts a check for the fund.
Lee Young (center with moustache) and Richard Drew (right with beard) were active THS volunteers for many years. Here they explain household items from the 1800s that were exhibited in the general store exhibit in the 1927 Township Hall. (See also Photo 5.) Lee Young served as the chairman of the Historical Commission and was an active member of the Troy Historical Society.
Rick Stover was an active volunteer and skilled blacksmith in the Village for many years. He developed a training program for others interested in working metal in the Wagon Shop and also taught fireplace cooking in the cabin.