Sunday, January 12, 2014

Before There Were the Boulevards

The last item in the retrospective inventory of improvements and developments in 1913, originally published in the Hudson Evening Register in the first week of 1914, was this:
Leander Weaver purchased Fairground Boulevard of Van Schoick Brothers.
This inspired Gossips to ask which of the boulevards--Glenwood, Parkwood, or Oakwood--was known as Fairground Boulevard. The question prompted Tom D'Onofrio to send this post card image of the fairgrounds, known at the time the post card was published as Hudson River Driving Park, and give Gossips permission to publish it.

The grandstand, which appears at the left in the post card image, appears again in this picture, which is part of Historic Hudson's Rowles Studio Collection.

The answer to the question "Which of the boulevards was Fairgrounds Boulvard?" seems to be "They all were." Local historian John Craig, in a comment posted in Gossips in September 1913, relates the location of the fairgrounds to the boulevards as we know them today:
The Fair Grounds occupied all of the area that is now Glenwood, Parkwood, and Oakwood boulevard. Glenwood boulevard extends along the home stretch of the old race track to the end of the grounds (work was started in 1910 to extend it into the city, meeting North Seventh street through Arthur Farrand's attendant Oakdale Park development). Parkwood boulevard extends west from Fairview avenue along the back stretch of the race track, meeting Glenwood boulevard where the former race track turned into the home stretch! Oakwood boulevard extends from Fairview avenue, where the old Fair Grounds horse gate was formerly located, west and then south, meeting Parkwood boulevard.
The Fair Grounds of the Columbia County Agricultural and Horticultural Association, built in 1860, was sold for $5,000, under foreclosure proceedings, in December 1904, to John Van Tassel of Hudson. The 50th and last Hudson fair was held there on September 1-4, 1909, and the grounds were sold, in January 1910, to Schenectady real-estate developers George and Charles Van Schoick. The Van Schoicks' "grand opening sale of choice residential lots" on the new Fairground Boulevards was held, with free band concert, on August 20, 1910. (Eighteen lots were sold that day to "Hudson and out of town people" for $400 each.)
Motor forth out Glenwood boulevard toward Fairview avenue and know one is driving down the race-track home stretch, and that the grandstand stood on the right (or south) side of Glenwood boulevard as one goes by.
A year after the Van Schoick brothers started selling the lots on the new Fairground Boulevards, they introduced a plan for a park between the boulevards and the rest of Hudson. This map appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on August 31, 1911.

The caption reads:
Here is a plan for a City Park for Greater Hudson. It has been prepared by the Van Schoick Real Estate firm, which has laid out the Fair Ground Boulevard property. Included in the map is about 27½ acres of land known as Power's woods belonging now to F. M. Haviland, of New York, who owns 20 acres and a meadow of Arthur Farrand, of 7½ acres. George and Charles Van Schoick, of Schenectady, the real estate men who have developed the Fair Ground property, have secured an option on Mr. Haviland's land for $5,000 which they are willing to turn over to the city at Mr. Haviland's price. This would of course benefit their property as they admit, but it would greatly benefit all of Hudson, they contend. The cost of these twenty acres would be $5,000. For the 7½ acres Mr. Farrand asks $4,000, which would mean a cost to Hudson of $9,000 for the park.
The proposed park evolved into what we know today as Oakdale, and Gossips will pursue that story at another time. For now, we'll follow up on the development of Fairground Boulevards. On September 11, 1911, the Hudson Evening Register reported--on the front page--that about a hundred lots had been sold in the Fairground Boulevards and published a list of the purchasers.

FAIR GROUND BOULEVARD
List of the Purchasers of Building Lots.
ABOUT HUNDRED LOTS SOLD
Four of the Dwelling Houses on the 
Property Have Been Sold to Hudsonians.
The following gives the purchasers of lots on Fair Ground Boulevard, also those who purchased lots with houses thereon. It will be seen that nearly 100 lots have been sold. Four buildings have been sold, one was already on the property, being the house which stood at the admittance gate to the grounds, and of the four erected by the Van Schoicks but one remains to be sold. It is stated that about twenty purchasers of lots have signified their intention of building the coming spring. The list of holder of property at Fair Ground Boulevard follows:

George E. Risedorph, two lots.
J. Walter Montross, one lot.
Robert L. Andrews, one lot.
George Munzinger, one lot.
Adelbert E. Clapper, one lot.
Frank W. Ketner, six lots.
Samuel Silver, one lot.
Magdelena Baler, one lot.
Irving Vedder, one lot.
Chas. Van Vleck, two lots.
Urlin Kisselburgh, one lot.
H. A. Campbell, three lots.
Herman Boice, one lot.
Mrs. Annie Meyer, one lot.
Alburtus Nooney, two lots.
H. R. Ganzenmuller, two lots.
Dr. Emmerson Barlow, eight lots.
Patrick H. Mullins, two lots.
Wm. H. Kellerhouse, two lots.
Leander H. Weaver, five lots.
Mrs. Margaret Rafter, one lot.
John Crawford, two lots.
Robert M. Dean, one lot.
Frederick Binnler, one lot.
Harry E. Blake, one lot.
Wm. S. Loos, one lot.
Chas. Gambervits, one lot.
Elmer S. Luckenbach, one lot.
Adrian L. Couse, one lot.
William A. Merrell, one lot.
Elbert Felts, one lot.
Bertram J. Hall, one lot.
William Snyder, two lots.
George E. Race, two lots.
Harry Seigler, one lot.
Wm. McGee, one lot.
Englebert Schumaker, one lot.
Charlotte Kline, one lot.
Wm. H. Calder, two lots.
Wm. S. Graham, two lots.
Jeremiah J. Leonard, one lot.
C. Fitzgerald, one lot.
Frederick Eberhardt, two lots.
Daniel B. Downing, one lot.
J. H. G. Hennig, two lots.
Fred. Flick, one lot.
Blanche Gorsline, one lot.
Norman P. Bain, one lot.
W. H. Traver & Son, one lot.
J. C. Rogerson & Co., one lot.
Wm. J. McCune, two lots.
H. Groshans, one lot.
Joseph Leible, one lot.
Lizzie Leible, one lot.
A. Mikele, one lot.
Wilson Ham, one lot.
Chas. H. Draper, one lot.
Mrs. M. Hahne, one lot.

House and Lots.
Frank Stupplebeen, house and lot.
Homer B. Call, house and lot.
Paul C. Burghardt, house and lot.
Mrs. Emma Perry, house and lot.

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