Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunny Day on the Bike Path through Cohoes: When railroads killed horses and men were never the same afterwards

Saturday and it was gorgeous for a change in the northeast! So we put the tandem bike in the car and headed up north.  After a breakfast at Uncle John's Diner (a really good breakfast) on Ontario Street in Cohoes, we were on the bike in Cohoes.....

The bike path follow the RR line from Cohoes to Schenectady

Historical marker at the site of High Street station
needs serious scrub work.  Tree sap !

Under Johnston Avenue named for the Harmony Mills superintendent

View to the east and the hills beyond the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers

Here a Lansing of  the Dutch Hudson Valley family owned a huge farm.
Louis St Hilaire from Napierville, Québec bought the land
from the Dutchmen in the late 19th century.
He farmed and fed the textile factory workers below in the town

The St Hilaire family farm was here

At his intersection, the old railroad crossed Lansing Lane
Here the RR hit and killed one of the St Hilaire's horses
Lea Langlois said her grandfather was "never the same" after his horse was killed!
Louis St Hilaire and his wife, Elisa Paré, gave each of his sons and daughters a plot of land on Lansing Lane to build a house and raise a family. Instead of farming, some of his sons went into brickmaking and masonry.  Louis Street, around the corner, was probably named after Louis St Hilaire - before he went crazy over the death of his beloved horse.  Many of the houses on Louis Street were homes of extended family... the Benoits, Krameks (Marie St Hilaire married Walter Kramek), and Sheperd (Chabot).

Soon after passing this point, the path went out of Cohoes, under Route 9 and along the southern side of the Mohawk River and old Erie Canal.  We cycled past the old Niskayuna train station that's been restored and whose roof is home to a huge hive of carpenter bees.

A few thunder clouds and some threats of rain couldn't change a beautiful day!

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