Tour Thru Early Years

the First President

Clara Haag, Troy Historical Society First President

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!”

Photo 1-Clara Haag-1stTHSPresident

the Early Members

Early Troy Historical Society Members.

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.

Photo 2-Caswell- Lois Lance Morris Wattles

the Township Supervisor

Morris Wattles, Township Supervisor (1925-1930)

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.

Photo 3-Caswell-VirginiaBollingerMorrisWattles


the Wattles' Farm House

Morris Wattles

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.

Photo 4-MorrisWattles


the Library Department

Joe Howey and Michael Wasilewski

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.

Photo 5-Joe Howey and Michael Wasilewski-1974


the First Public Event

Heritage Day

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.

Photo 6-Gazebo 1975


the Poppleton Project

Official bicentennial project

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.

Photo 7-Elenor Fabyan-PoppletonCheck-1977

the Volunteers


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.

Photo 8-LeeYoung-moustacheRichardDrew-volunteers


the Blacksmith

Rick Stover

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.

Photo 9-Rick Stover


the Curator


Jan Kleco

Jan Kleco was the Museum Curator from 19– – 1997. In this 1987 photo she stands in the gutted one-room school which was relocated to the Village in 1987 and restored as Town Hall.

Photo 10-JanKleco-in Town Hall-1987

The Troy Historic Village features wide variety of engaging activities aimed at enhancing the appreciation of the history of Troy.

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