Monday, April 10, 2017

The Great War: April 10, 1917

On this date, a hundred years ago, the front page of the Hudson Evening Register included, among many other things, a report about the guards that had been stationed the previous week at Churchtown and on Mount Ray to guard Hudson's water supply. 

The water supply of Hudson is under constant guards, both at the reservoirs here and at Churchtown dam. Last night a couple of Hudsonians thought they would make inspection to see how well the guarding was being done and they went by auto to Churchtown. One of the guards halted them when fifty or more feet away from him and he had his gun all ready for action, too. He then came down to the auto and looked the party over before they could move on. Two guards are here at night and one in the daytime, and there are also two 12,000 acetylene lights which throw their illumination like a searchlight.
The party then returned and visited the reservoirs here. They found the guards alert and "right on their job." The reservoir vicinity is light as day, from the fifty electric lights placed there.
One guard here, who was on in the daytime, was found asleep while on duty, he evidently failing to realize the full importance of his position. He received a severe reprimand, and he realizes that any "break" of this kind on his part again will mean the loss of his job.
A letter to the editor that appeared in the newspaper on that same day announced that the Daughters of the American Revolution were making their chapter house in Hudson available to the Red Cross.

Editor Evening Register:
Dear Sir--I should like to announce in the columns of your paper that Hendrick Hudson Chapter, D.A.R., as a patriotic society, is ready and willing to render any service of which it is capable.
Our chapter house has been placed at the disposal of the Columbia County Red Cross society either as a place of meeting or where surgical dressings may be made.
The objection has been raised the our rooms are too far down town. That, of course, is our misfortune.
At our last monthly meeting I urged those who were not members to join the Red Cross society, as a large number of our D.A.R. members are serving their country in that capacity. I also stated that unless the need was very great, better results could be accomplished by co-operation with the county society than to start one of our own as I felt that the city was not large to warrant taking that step.
So often societies work at cross-purposes rather than act as aid to each other.
Other organization are appealing to their headquarters for instructions and are being told that it is too soon to decide. Our society is in the same situation and when orders come from Washington, we know that every Daughter of Hendrick Hudson chapter will consider it her duty and privilege to serve her country in any way she may be called upon to do so.
Yours very truly,

The author of this letter lived in the grand house at 306 Warren Street, which her husband had inherited from his parents. It's interesting that already in 1917 the location of the D.A.R. chapter house was disparaged as being "too far down town," and it was being apologized for by someone whose own home was undoubtedly considered too far down town to be fashionable.

If the D.A.R. ladies seemed prematurely eager to assist in the war effort, so were the banks--or at least one of them. This advertisement also appeared in the Evening Register for April 10, 1917. 
Note that the location of Hudson River Trust Company is what is now City Hall. The building had been built for the bank, then called National Hudson River Bank, in 1907.

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