Granville Then & Now – Telescope parking lot finished

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The Telescope parking lot project has finished. This was the third improvement project begun at Telescope within the past couple of years, after the mural project and the repainting of the water tower. The parking lot work began on July 19. The old pavement was torn out. While the pavement was out, some water lines were replaced as preventative maintenance. The new parking lot was graded, and then curbed. Concrete cylinders were placed for lighting. The signs were put up the week of Aug. 26. The parking lot was paved with a first layer on Aug. 30, and a final layer the next day. The grass sod beds was placed on Sept. 1. A few trees and shrubs were placed on Sept. 2, and the parking lot markings were painted the same day.

The new parking lot has a main area with two access points to Church Street, both allowing entering and exiting. There is also a third access point to the south, entrance only, that goes around the water tower to the main parking lot area. The parking lot is lit with lighting fixtures. The new parking lot is a major improvement.

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After 101 years, the Church Street bridge is gone; the demolition of the bridge has been finished. The bridge contractor is James H. Maloy Inc., of Loudonville. The bridge was worked on with machinery, and pieces were removed bit by bit. Everything above the arch was removed by Aug. 24; on that day the arch itself was worked on and came down onto the cribbing below. The abutments were then worked on and removed, and by Sept. 4 the former abutment locations were dirt slopes. The retaining wall along the north side approach was removed last week.

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The Granville Rotary Club held its meeting on Sept. 2, 1941 at McDonald’s Hall, on an upper floor of the McDonald building on Main Street in Granville. Kenneth Dugan, a member of the State Civil Service Board, spoke at the meeting; he was a guest of Silas Everts. Dugan told of changes in county governments in relation to civil service, as well as the advantages of using civil service examinations.

A dinner was held, after which town supervisor Hugh Williams was called upon to speak about the WPA work being done then in the town of Granville. Williams noted the cost of WPA projects are paid 25% by the town and 75% by the administration.

Supervisor Williams thanked state administrator Lester Herzog for helping with the continuation of WPA work in Granville. He also noted that private industry could hire from WPA rolls, providing that the worker had matching skills, but that the industry would have to pay the WPA minimum wage for labor of $11.10 per week.

At the time of the meeting 408 families were on home relief, and the town of Granville was working to reduce that number. It was $460 then, while some years earlier it had been at $5,000.

Williams also noted that a new storehouse was to be built in the town of Granville on a lot just south of the Jay Gould farm on the Middle Granville road, for a cost of $16,000. Early plans called for the town to pay $7,000 toward construction, but the town board negotiated the town cost down to $5,000. Regarding the quality of construction, Williams said, “I expect the building to last for 200 years.” The storehouse still stands today, used for the Granville town highway department.

At the meeting’s close, Rotary Club president William G. Grastorf announced that annual Ladies Night would be held on Sept. 9 at the Half-Way House, Lake George. This location, originally a tavern and later an inn, was a popular stopping place on the road between Glens Falls and Lake George. The inn burned in 1946, after which it was not rebuilt. The inn was located at the hamlet of French Mountain in Queensbury, the corner of Routes 9 and 149. Today the site is occupied by a strip mall, and is one of many comprising the French Mountain Commons shopping area, better known as the “Million Dollar Half-Mile.”

Four “ace” golfers of the Lake St. Catherine Country Club made the cover of the Sept. 11, 1941 Sentinel. They were Michael Jones, M.T. Minogue, Robert Morris and O.P. Williams. The golfers were a “familiar sight” for regular members of the country club, and held records “envied by many a golfer” at the club. Each golfer in this group kept his scores secret until they reached the 18th green, upon which they held ceremonies before finishing the games. The Sentinel noted that “the foursome has been instrumental in stimulating keen competition at the country club.”