HOME TOWN NEWS
ALPLAUS, NEW YORK 12008
April 2010 Vol. 134 No. 4
CAKE AND COFFEE SOCIAL
COME TO THE FIREHOUSE ON FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 23RD
FROM 6:30-8 PM AND ENJOY SOME HOMEMADE CAKES AND
COFFEE, TEA OR MILK.
OPEN TO EVERYBODY!
ONE PIECE OF CAKE OR
3 "SLIVERS" FOR $5
Alplaus web address: http://www.alplaus.org
On the Hill…….….………….…………….….....2
Alplaus Citizens of the Year…………………...2 Web input address: Alplaus12008@yahoo.com
4th Of July Celebration Schedule…….……….3 HTN Editor/Publisher: Art Harris
Alplaus Ladies Auxiliary………......……………4 PO Box 57
Home……………………………………………..4 Alplaus, NY 12008
Alplaus Bird Line………………………………..5 E-mail address: email@example.com
How Aal-Platts became Alplaus…………..…...5
Notes from the Alplaus Church……….….…....6
Only in America……………….…………..…….6
The Boyce Store Story….................................7
On the Hill
Spring has definetly arrived in Alplaus. We are ejoying the 70 degree days, shedding two layers clothing in the
last week. April can turn cold and damp; even a late snow storm occasionally. But we are enjoying a
wonderful spring break at the moment.
There was a good crowd at the Annual Alplaus Residents Association last month. We congratulate Joe and
Pat Beaver on their selection as Alplaus Citizens of the Year. Their long and strong support of so many
community functions and the Ladies Auxiliary and Fire Department has long deserved this recognition..
With the advent of spring comes plans for spring and summer community events. A number of these are
detailed in this issue of the Home Town News for you to mark on your calendars. A new event to add to the
usual ones is a Cake and Coffee Social the Ladies Auxiliary has scheduled for Friday, April 23rd.
Enjoy Spring in Alplaus!.…..AWH
Alplaus Citizens of the Year, Joe & Pat Beaver, together with their proud family.
Joe and Pat Beaver, Alplaus residents on Mohawk Avenue since 1966, were recognized as Alplaus
Citizens of the Year at the Alplaus Residents Association Annual Meeting on March 18, 2010. They
are two examples of the very best kind of people you could have as friends and neighbors. She is a
charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary and he has been active with the Fire Company and Fire
Department for decades, serving as Chief for eight years. They are always the first to volunteer
their time, equipment and expertise to any fire Department or Alplaus community function.
This award recognizes that their extensive contributions to the community make Joe and Pat an
integral part of the fabric of Alpaus.
Alplaus Fire Department News
By Mike Sheppeck, AFD Historian
One of my favorite of the many &
varied events where the AFD provides
EMS support is the Indian Kill Fishing
Derby. If you have children or
grandchildren age 15 and under, it is a
great excuse for families to get out and
enjoy nature while creating treasured
The native trout are augmented with
hatchery raised fish [including a few
big ones] to help guarantee success
even for novice anglers. Sorry grown-
ups, no fishing allowed for you until
Preparations for our upcoming
festivities surrounding the Fourth of
July are under way. AFD will be
lacking a couple of key people this
year so we may have to scale back
somewhat. Look for a parade entry
form in an upcoming issue of the
Home Town News.
Schedule of events:
Sunday, June 27th – Alplaus Firehouse Pavilion
Ecumenical Community Church Service 10:30 AM
Saturday, July 3rd – Alplaus Firehouse Pavilion
Firefighter Skills Competition 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Block Party with DJ 8:00 PM – 12:00 PM
Food, drink, conversation, music, and friends.
Sunday, July 4th – Alplaus Avenue
Line-Up forms at Glencliff School Road promptly at: 10:00 AM
The Parade steps off promptly at: 11:00 AM
Alplaus Ladies Auxiliary
by Jill Batson
Happy Spring! We had a very busy meeting last This year the "Paddling for a Cure" event on
week planning all of our spring and summer the river will be held on July 18th. This has
activities! We hope you can come help support been one of our most successful events and it
the auxiliary and even have some fun. is for a great cause; but we couldn't do it
We are planning a Cake and Coffee Social on without help from our neighbors! Please
April 23rd at the Firehouse from 6:30-8:00pm. consider volunteering this year, you won't
All are welcome. Adults: $5 for one piece of regret it! Contact Kathy @
cake or 3 "slivers". Children $2. Come out on a firstname.lastname@example.org or Shawna @
nice spring evening and enjoy some homemade Swankalaka@aol.com for more information.
cakes and company! Please help keep our hamlet clean, as you walk
The Village Wide Flea Market and Garage through our village pick up any garbage or
Sale is scheduled for June 5th. This is always a unsightly items. Earth day is April 22nd. Let's
great way to unload all those items that you keep our corner of the earth beautiful!
just don't use anymore and maybe even make a This is a very busy time for the Auxiliary -
little money. Please join us for some lunch in please consider joining us on April 26th at 7pm
the cook shack! For info on reserving space / for our next meeting and see what we are all
table contact Pat Beaver @ 399-0468. about.
Home, to me, is a word full of meaning. When I think of home, I think of all the places I dearly
Home is the tree in which I sit, at peace with myself, watching the world go by.
Home is the glider soaring in the sky, where everyday problems drop away as I realize what a
small part of the universe I really am.
Home is the hilltop where I sit, the cool evening breeze on my face, watching darkness creep
over the valley, and the stars coming out clear and twinkling.
Home is the small village church. When I was a child, it meant gold bars for attendance; now it is
a place of prayer and contemplation; a nearness to God which is a vital part of my life.
Home is the outdoors, because I love the freedom of the mountains, the blue lakes and the open
Home is my house which provides for sleeping, eating, protection and rest; for privacy from the
community and pursuance of my personal interests. I never realized how much this home meant
to me until I came back from my first long vacation. I was happy doing anything because I was so
glad to be home. All the familiar things taken for granted before seemed new and vital to my life.
But most of all, home is my family. It is my mother and father, who have made their home a
happy one, full of love, warmth, content and gaiety. It is my brothers and sisters, who add color
and fun. My family, to me, means love, and companionship.
A happy home can be one of the most important influences of a person's life, for it is there that
most of the true personality develops, under the influence of harmony and respect for other
Home, to me, is the people and places I love; especially the wonderful group of people with
whom I live, --my family.
Suzanne Bundy (Daughter of Hazel and Frances Bundy--formerly of Alplaus Avenue)
Alplaus Bird Line
by Shawna Thompson
The Red-Winged Blackbirds did it again! posted to the Home Town News website, so
As many of you know, I track when they you can check it out too.
return to the Alplaus Creek and there is It isn’t clear yet if there is a break in
almost always one more snowfall after their tradition or a coup happening at my house.
arrival. March 13 was the return date this Eastern Phoebes have nested on a shelf under
year, and we had a dusting of snow on the the eaves for at least 25 years. This week
ground on the morning of March 26. If these there has been a lot of activity there with the
birds are to be believed, you can put your Carolina Wrens, and it’s possible they are
snow shovels away and get the lawn mower building on the site. No Phoebes have been
tuned up. seen yet, but they can be pretty defensive if
Great thanks to Harry and Lea Darling for they want to be. Are there squatters at the
their wonderful pictures of a flock of Turkeys prime building site? Did the Phoebes find a
on Maritime Drive. There were 3 or 4 Toms in new location? Will there be a War? More on
full Spring regalia, with their tails spread this next month…
wide, their chests all puffed up, and their Thanks also to Elizabeth and Jim Burke of
heads brilliantly colored. They were strutting Bath Street. They sent some nice photos of a
about in front of a group of females, showing Hawk in their yard. In one he has his mouth
off for all they were worth! Unfortunately for wide open as if he were yawning, but in the
them, the females were much more other you can see just how fierce and wild
interested in pecking around on the ground, they are. Check the Home Town News
and not a one was paying any attention! They Website for these pictures too.
will probably change their minds soon, as
If you have a picture or a good bird tale,
Spring fever hits. I’ll try to get the pictures
send it to me at email@example.com or call
me at 399-0490 so everyone can enjoy it too.
How Aal-Plaats Became Alplaus
Written by Mrs. Novella Spoonogle (date unknown):
How Aal Plaats changed its name to Alplaus: Told to me by Mrs. Harry Schermerhorn whose father
Alexander McBride and Joseph Hanigan saw the need of a Post Office. They wrote to Washington.
The reply was the name would keep them from making the request on account of the spelling
making a mix-up in mail and if they could simplify the spelling. They, Mr. McBride & Mr. Hanigan
decided to pronounce it the same and spell it Alplaus. Washington granted the request.
The mail came out on the D & H train. The Post Office was in Hanigans hay & coal office
(Atlantic Crane, 209 Alplaus Ave). John Oliver was the post master and tended the mail, he worked
for Mr. Hanigan. He, Mr. Hanigan, was a hay buyer, coal & fertilizers.
Some of the families who rec'd mail was McBrides, McDougall, Marsh, Cooper, Berning,
Hanigans, Stevens, Olivers, Bath, LaGrange, Merrick, Diggins, Bouk, Klines, Browns, Palms,
Clute, Birch, Martins, Kohring, Bradt, Flansburgh.
Original copy resides in the Efner library SHS Clifford W. Hayes Page 1 3/25/2005
Notes from the Alplaus Church
Eastertide! Not a term we are
used to hearing. It‟s the period
from Easter morning to Pentecost,
the time when the risen Christ
again walked the earth, proving he
was really alive and giving his
followers final instructions. It‟s a
season we tend to lose sight of in
our excitement over the arrival of
spring at last. We get busy raking
the lawn, preparing the garden plot,
buying our flowers to plant,
servicing the lawn mower,
watching spring training… I urge
you (using a phrase usually heard
around Christmas) to “not forget the reason for the season.”
I‟ve spent a lot of time the past month taking care of my mother who had a series of heart
attacks. I thought I sympathized with other caregivers in the past, but I have a whole new
appreciation now for how this can consume your time and your thoughts. Fortunately, I‟ve received
a lot of help from family and from the members of my congregation. If you know someone who is
a primary caregiver, ask them what you can do to help or to give them a break. Oftentimes they just
need someone to be there.
At the church we‟ve now been through the excitement of the Easter Egg Hunt, the celebrations
of Palm Sunday and Easter, the solemnity of Good Friday. We now slow down and take a little
breather, so there‟s not a lot on our calendar - other than a whole series of meetings of the
Methodist Church. But we are still holding our monthly Community Luncheon on April 13th at
11:30 AM. Attendance at these has been growing and we have a great time. Bring a dish to share
or not - just come and join the fun. And of course the knitting group continues to meet on Thursday
afternoons 1:00-3:00 PM as a ministry providing knit goods for a number of causes. In fact, they
just made a prayer shawl for my mother. They would be delighted to welcome knitters from
beginners to experts.
Wishing you a blessed springtime!
Only in America......do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their
prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in America......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our
useless junk in the garage.
Only in America......do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin
meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.
The Boyce Store; Now Home of the Alplaus Post Office
by Cliff Hayes
A talk was given recently by Merrill Negus, the grandson of Jacob Boyce, the original owner of the
first grocery store operated in Alplaus. (Currently, the Alplaus Post Office).
Jacob and Nettie Boyce and their 3 young daughters (Pearl, Gertrude and Ida) were well established
in Alplaus by 1910. Jacob, born in Ballston Lake, managed a grocery store in Rexford for a period of time
before settling in Alplaus. Much information on the store itself has been lost to history due to Jacob‟s
premature passing in 1922. However, from newspaper accounts, census, tax documents, etc., the store was
active as a dry goods grocery. It appears no meat or dairy products were sold, however, it was probably a
good bet cookies and candy were available in their individual storage bins. From the newspaper, the store
issued Carl‟s gold bond stamps with purchases, redeemable at the Carl‟s department store in Schenectady.
Those stamps were quite popular with shoppers in the „big‟ city. Another account was the Boyce store sold
Angelus flour in bulk sacks which was advertised as the „Gold Medal‟ of present day baking. Early delivery
of groceries was made by horse and wagon, later by a Model T Ford truck.
All three daughters attended the grade school which Jacob paid $8.40 according to the 1914
Glenville tax assessment rolls, Alplaus being school district #15 at the time. Speculating the girls not being
interested in continuing the store as a grocery, the business probably phased out by 1930. Pearl and Ida had
opened a beauty shop above the store in 1928 continuing for a short period.
Later Ida married, but lost her husband suddenly two months prior to Merrill‟s birth. Ida applied for
and was granted the open position of US postmaster commissioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid
1940‟s. By 1945, Ida, being a single mom and having to care for an elderly mother, moved the post office to
its present location at a reasonable rent to the US Postal Service.
With the post office replacing the inactive grocery store, changes were made to the utilities of the
1908 ca. building. The old coal furnace was replaced with a gas space heater and associated duct-work.
Indoor plumbing was installed, a bathroom replaced the old beauty parlor room, and the out-house near the
barn at the rear of the building was deactivated. The hand-dug water well became less dependable and even
the cistern in the cellar was used to catch rain water for washing. For a short period during this time, a gift
shop business operated by Mrs. Maynard had space in the building.
In the early 1950‟s, Ida married Joe Dillman. Joe, who was a conductor on the electric trolley that
passed through Alplaus, worked for the railroad and later was an expert machinist at American Locomotive
(ALCO). Not necessarily involved in the bicycle craze during those times, Joe, a natural tinkerer opened his
bicycle shop in 1953 within the post office building including a workshop in the back room. At the time, it
was more of a second job and hobby to Joe, but a flourishing business developed. When ALCO left
Schenectady, Joe retired and maintained the bicycle shop as a full time operation. My friend, Bob Stote,
bought probably the first Raleigh bicycle Joe sold with money saved from his newspaper route.
Ida was postmaster just shy of 30 years retiring in 1972. It's noteworthy during her tenure that
residents east of the creek received mail at the post office as there was no rural delivery in this area.
Residents on the west side received mail via the Scotia dispatch rural delivery, but could rent a box at the
post office if need be. Merrill, as a young child, greeted most box holders as his playpen was set up on the
east end of the front porch; weather permitting of course. The configuration layout of the post office is
basically the same as present day. When Ida moved the post office from the Samuel‟s location in the mid
1940‟s, the postal service supplied new boxes. Later combination boxes from the Ballston Lake post office
Since that time the post office went contract after a „save the post office‟ campaign in 1973 and the
bicycle shop stock sold. The building also has been occupied by an insurance office and gift shop. The AFD
has used the upstairs area for fire training and a meeting room downstairs.
Thanks to Merrill for volunteering his time providing information on the
Boyce store, certainly an Alplaus landmark.