Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Summit Street in Cohoes, NY

In the 1910 US census Paul Emile Rivet and his first wife Ida Mailloux are living in a house in the town of Guilderland. Ida Mailloux died in 1912 and it was probably soon afterwards, around the time of Emile's second marriage, that he bought the house at the top of Summit Street. This was the house Claire, Al and Raymond Rivet were born it and the house their mother, Marie Louise and their stepmother, Malvina Hamel died in.
The house was unremarkable except for its view from the backyard.  From the eastern edge of the yard, one could look over the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. At the time he bought the house, one would have been able to look over the Erie Canal, the Harmony Mills and its power canals below.   By the 1950s when I spent time there, those days were long gone.  There was just a ditch below. I never saw the canals it the heyday.  By the time I went to high school all the canals were polluted slimy waters filled with old tires and appliances.

The Front of the house....

The Johnson Mansion, 2-3 lots south of Emile Rivet's house.

The Top of Summit Street, looking north. The small pale yellow house,
 left of the brown 2 story, was the house of Emile Rivet.

David Lamarche and yours truly on Summit Street.

The Back of the House....

A very young Al Rivet standing in the backyard of Summit Street.

The backyard was the best part of the property.  This is the yard Claire, Al and Ray Rivet played in as children. The second generation of Rivets and Yettos played there too.  At the far end of the yard, a fence prevented children from falling down the embankment to the canal ditch.  Rhubarb grew in the backyard and my Uncle Al was always sure to gather some for me to dip into a sugar bowl and snack on later! 

View of the Valley from the Backyard on Summit Street 

Another view from the backyard with remains of the Erie Canal in the foreground


  1. My Aunt Clair and Uncle Walker {Pinky} lived in a house there on Summit st. I remember going there a lot and visiting on the weekends

  2. I lived at 28 Summit Street from the time I was three until my parents moved to the Island after my father became ill. I was about 17 and a junior at Cohoes High School. We first lived in the upstairs flat in the first years. Uncle Al and Pipier lived down stairs. When they moved away to Green Island my parents purchased the house and we moved to the downstairs flat and rented the upstairs. Jacqueline Diane Michelle Yetto [ O'Connor, Tarnowski]