The historical heritage of a town and a village is not, nor should it be, in the hands of one person or single group of people. Pride in one’s native folklore and historical fact is an inherent characteristic. To strengthen this characteristic state governments have made a local history unit obligatory in the school curriculum. Early enough to develop youthful interest in one’s community and late enough to insure an understanding of local events in relation to national and world history.
Anniversary bells today for Mr. and Mrs. George Hyatt.
Whitehall is now a National Bicentennial Community. With the official flag and certificate presentation to come, the community will be farther along with the plans that have been formulated to make Celebration ‘76 a success with the assistance of all Whitehallers.
This year 1975 will see the start of the observance of Whitehall’s part in this Republic’s national observance of its Bicentennial. This is the opportunity for Whitehall’s heritage to be written loud and clear, to be let out of obscurity caused by emotionalism over one man’s later treason, lack of thorough research, dominance of nearby community events, and just plain lack of knowledge of our community’s history.
Whitehallers are really proud of their community, although their words sometimes seem to belie the fact. Now is the time to spread the word of Revolutionary action, men, and national significance of the events that happened in Whitehall, the Champlain Valley, New York State and the nation. Let us show our pride in our heritage.
Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – The Whitehall Times – January 2, 1975
Vice President James Colpoys and Supervisor of Special Services Ellyn Freeman have arranged to have the D&H Spirit of Freedom, Engine 1776, and a baggage car on display in the railway yard during Capture Days May 9 and 10.
Personnel of the D&H active and retired are assisting in collecting railroad articles and pictures for the display and will act as hosts during the two days.
Many items will be needed for displays in the baggage car. Although Mrs. Freeman~ will furnish some displays and items from Skenesborough Museum will be used; it will be appreciated if anyone having railway items will loan them for the occasion.
The Bicentennial window in Aiken’s restaurant has a D&H display calling attention to the need for loans. A call to 499-0936 will insure the pick-up of any articles.
Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – The Whitehall Times – May 1, 1975
Whitehall has been a railroad town since 1848 when the Saratoga and Whitehall line reached here from the south, and “railroaders” as the people in that occupation have been known are an important, community-minded group of citizens.
Delaware and Hudson Railway’s contribution to the Capture Days: The D&H Railway Spirit of Freedom engine and a 1916 baggage car proved an extremely popular display during Whitehall’s Capture Days, May 9 and 10.
The 1776 engine (Spirit of Freedom); painted red, white and blue, was detoured from its occasional duty tours and was open for inspection at the old freight depot. Not only youngsters thrilled at being allowed in the cab of the train engine but adults had a long standing desire to see the inside of an engine satisfied.
The baggage car, newly painted, had railway displays prepared by Special Services Chairperson Ellen Freeman of the D&H and her assistant, Lewis Wasserman. The exhibits contained a history of the company and many artifacts of railroad life — lanterns, keys, plaques, pictures.
Railroad retirees of Whitehall acted as hosts throughout the two days, being on hand to converse with the visitors, to explain the apparatus in the engine, and to set up and dismantle the exhibits from Skenesborough Museum. These men were Timothy Carroll, Adelbert Herron, Joseph Manell, Peter Sparano, Ralph Sparano and Charles Tinsley. Lurvey Rooker loaned two oil cans and a lantern for the display.
Through the interest generated by the D&H exhibit, additional gifts were made to the Skenesborough Museum. Mrs. Charles Tinsley gave a nickel plated oil can individually owned by her father Alexander Pratt. His name is engraved on the can. Among some other items given anonymously were railroad hats, service pins, buttons and keys.
This railway display was initiated by D&H Vice President James Colpoys, a former Whitehaller.
Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – The Whitehall Times – May 15, 1975