TURIN NY in POSTCARDS
by Larry Myers
Turin is located between Boonville and Lowville on the “upper” road. Most of the picture postcards you see in this group are from nearly a century ago and many of them were produced by well-known postcard photographer H.M. Beach. Our first picture shows the village from the hills to the west. From what I can gather, this second picture shows the northern part of the village with three different churches! When photographers entered the village, the bandstand seemed to be the first attraction. In this photo, the Holden Bros. and Nickerson Stores appear on the right. Taken from East Main Street, this picture puts the bandstand in the foreground with homes on the west side of Route 26 in the background. Probably taken from the corner of East Main and Rt. 26, this shot captures the view down E. Main. The Business Center is the backdrop for this photograph. Here, we’re in the shadow of the business center, looking up North State Street. Standing on Route 26 (State Street), looking south gives us this view of the cannon and the bandstand. And, finally, the bandstand as it appears from Route 26, looking east on East Main Street.
Here’s the Turin Military Band as they appeared in Lowville in this 1906 photograph by Lowville photographer, Mandeville. Looking southeastward from the square, we see the stores on the left and the business sector on the right. Here’s a better view of the Holden Brothers and Nickerson Stores. Here, the old 1812 cannon seems to guard the business block. A horse and wagon approach as we look east on East Main. This is what it looks like looking west on East Main. I’m lost on this picture; maybe you can identify it.This one is one of my favorite pictures. It’s the Turin Boy Scout Troop #1 all packed into a car with solid wheels like a wagon. The license plate says the year is 1916. Here’s the bridge on North State Street, looking north. A residential area features children with a swing. I don’t know just where this picture was taken, but the word “Gallery” is painted on the second building on the left. Here’s what the Methodist Manse looked like in 1909. This area will look familiar to anyone who goes from Turin up to Gomer Hill. Photographer Beach labeled this as the Old Wollen Mill.
Here’s another puzzler. The sender wrote to “Mable” in 1908, telling her that this building in Turin was where they had spent most of the summer. This is a 1914 side view of the North State Street bridge. Here’s a different bridge, on East Main Street. I’d definitely be guessing if I told you this was another East Main Street picture. Maybe a “Turinian” could tell you where this street is. Looking south from North State Street. This building, the Turin House, has been a landmark for about 100 years. Here’s how it looked about 50 years later (and probably about 50 years ago) as Hotel Turin. See the horseless carriage in the foreground. The sign out front says, “Garage”, but the building looks like it was once a church.Remember when we saw the 3 churches in one small area in one of the first pictures? Here’s one of them! Here’s another church, and if I remember correctly, it’s the Methodist Church. Now we know that one of the early Turin churches was Presbyterian, because here’s the Presbyterian Manse. As you already know, Turin is in the snowbelt. This was the residence of R.R. Miller. An unidentified residence here, but definitely Turin! I’m not sure just when Snow Ridge in Turin became operational, but this picture was mailed in 1943.
We are fortunate to have image owners who share their images with us. This picture of the Turin Music Hall was made available to us by William Hamblin. Another viewer, George Bittner, who grew up in Turin, wrote us this note: Hi Larry: The photographs of Turin at postcardpost.com are terrific. I really enjoyed looking at them. My son came up with your website for some reason. My wife and I grew up and lived in Turin about half of our lives. (We live in Cleveland, NY now.) Both of our mothers still live there along with many relatives in the area. My uncle Larry Jedrich owned the corner store in the "Brick Block" for many years. I worked there when I was a teenager (1960's). My wife's father, William Burmingham, owned the Turin Inn (Turin Hotel) from the mid-sixties until my brother-in-law Tom Burmingham took it over in the 80's. He sold it some years later.
The big limestone church on E. Main St. is actually the Methodist Church. My wife and I were married there and are actually still members, although we only get to attend once in a great while. The one on the highway (Rt.29/Rt. 12D is State St., as you know) north of the bridge on the west side that you are thinking is the Methodist Church, is the Presbyterian and has been a 7th Day Adventist Church in more recent years. I don't know if it still is or not. It's adjacent to the current town fire barn/fireman's field. The Presbyterian Manse (I don't think I ever heard that word before) is the house my wife grew up in on the south side of East Main. It's two doors down from the Methodist parsonage, which is nearly across from the Methodist Church. The covered porch is gone, the right side porch and entry are gone and there is now an attached garage. Ernestine Regetz lives their now. She just gave my wife and daughter a tour through the house recently. My wife and I can remember the bandstand, we're thinking it was torn down in the late 50's maybe?
Your picture tu17 is a view down E. Main. The big building on the left was just behind Holdens and is long gone. There is a small park and a house there now. The one just beyond with the facade front, burned down in the 1960's when it was being used as "The Parka Ski Dorm". If you look closely at your tu10, you can see them both. It took me a while to figure it out, though. Kay and I actually first recognized the houses on the right side as houses on the south side of E. Main, just east of the "Brick Block". In the book referenced below, there are a couple of excellent photos of the building. It was called "the Williams Block" and, according to the authors, was torn down in 1934. My wife dug out the book today, while I was trying to figure it out.
In tu24, the woolen mill was in Deweyville, which is just where you turn right at the new high school to go down the hill to Lyons Falls. I believe the big barn in the background is the still existent barn, which you see coming up the road from Lyons Falls. That would square with where the stream is in the picture. The road was different in those days. You can see the foundation of the old bridge across the stream on the right just before the current bridge at the top of the hill. The roads were different also and, I believe, to get down the hill, you had to take the road to the left just after the big barn and before the bridge. Then you would have had to take a right to cross over the bridge that's gone. Paul Dewey owned the barn but died quite a few years ago now. I think Gaylords own the old farm these days.
The photo tu21 would have been taken on State St. standing between the Hotel on the left and the Brick Block on the right at the intersection with E. Main, which is in the foreground. You can see the bridge in the background. The big house on the left is just beyond the current post office. In the 1960's until ? it was owned by Ralph and Myra Gleasman. I'm actually having some trouble with tu20. I'm pretty sure that it is W. Main St. looking east from around where the brick Turin school building still is. The photo in tu25 is part of the Turin Canning and Pickling Company. It is the large complex seen in the photo tu1 and on the left in tu2. That awful ugly green water tower they've put up is pretty much over the top of the ruins, I would say. Anyway, it's just behind the new fire barn. A small stream coming from the hill in the middle of Snow Ridge runs through there. We used to occasionally play on the ruins, which are large concrete pads and such that were foundations for the buildings, I guess.
The bridge in tu27 is on E. Main. It looked pretty much like that when I first saw it back in the late 1950's, although the road was paved then. The old dam would be just to the left out of view. I played with some kids in the George Snyder family that lived in the house on the immediate right in the photo, which was torn down quite a long time ago now. In the 1960's, as I recall. The photo in tu28 is E. Main, looking east, about half-way between the Brick Block and the bridge. The end of the porch on the far right should be the house called the R.R. Miller house in tu39. The garage building in tu34 was indeed evidently a church. We have a copy of the book "A History of Turin Lewis County New York, by Emily Williams and Ethel Markham. In the book there is a picture with the steeple still on it. In a booklet for the Turin Bicentennial, edited by William Paczkowski, he describes it by location and calls it the Baptist Church. He should know, actually, because his father used to own it and use it for storage for the hardware store that he used to own in Boonville. The picture in the book (circa 1910) shows Holdens on the right and the church in the background on the east side of state street. The house referred to as the R.R. Miller residence in tu39 is on the south side of E. Main St., about 10 doors down from the Brick Block. The house to the right in the picture was owned until not many years ago by Mrs. Miller, who my wife thinks was 102 years old when she passed on. Neither of us ever knew her first name, but she had lived there since at least the 1950's.
Lawton and Lyman Williams, who were apparently not related opened Snow Ridge, tu41, in 1945, according to Emily Williams who was married to one of them. I can't tell you which one, though. The Turin Music Hall, evidently became the fire hall in the mid-1900's. It ultimately adjoined the south side of the Brick Block. You can see it in tu6, connecting to the bell tower. Their were dinners and such held there. My wife and I were in it many times. It was torn down sometime after the new fire hall was built in the 1970's, although I don't recall exactly when. The bell tower housed the fire siren when I was young. I think the bell had been gone for some time by then. I think it was reduced in height, as well. Hope all of this is of some interest. I had a great trip back to my younger days looking through this. Thanks for your site and best regards, George Bittner.
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