South Troy Against The World, And That's Our Motto.
I am a " South Troy Baby", born and raised here. Right up on Stow Ave. I have lots of good memories from those days. We had Tarzan's swings, and sleigh riding down through the woods, and hoping you did not end up in the creek ( one time I ran head first into a tree and they had to go get my mother) I remember going home frozen and snow caked on my mittens, rubber boots filled with snow, and rosy red frozen cheeks. In the summer if we could get big pieces of cardboard we would use them like sleds to slide down the same hills that we did in the winter. There was berry picking in the woods in the summer, and we would take the berries home and add some sugar and milk to them. There were also club houses to be built. Of course there were the usual street games, hide & seek, hopscotch, red light green light , Simon says, kick the can and tag. In the fall we would rake leaves and make leaf houses to play in them. Also riding our bikes all over the hill. The boys would be playing baseball down in the field and basketball over on the backstreet.
Halloween was always a great time ! Every house was decorated and the streets filled with kids in real costumes , not like today where they just grab a bag and go out. Trick or Treating was safe back then. Everyone always answered their doors and all the kids went home with full bags of candy.
I also remember helping my brother deliver newspapers back then. I had the backstreet, they were not good tippers.. We had 3 mom & pop stores on the hill, and I remember being able to buy penny candy and leaving with it in a little brown paper bag.. I remember going to St. Micheal's church and Sunday school, and the long walk up and down the steep hill, also the dances in the church basement. We did not sit in the house, ha ha ya could not, because your mother would shoo you outside!! It was even safe to be outside at night, because the hill was quiet and nothing was ever going on. Good times and good memories back then.
I've moved away from good "ole" South Troy so many times, but somehow I always seem to move back here. I guess South Troy just lives in my heart... I pretty much raised my kids down here, and they as well have moved away, but have come back here to live, well at least for the moment with their children, though I think they will be like me,and just stay here.
Life is funny like that, Ya know? We all have a comfort zone. A place that we feel like we belong, and it suits us. A place that we know and love. A place that many of us just don't want to leave. Though at times can make us mad, and we swear we will leave, and never come back, because the grass is always greener somewhere else. But for many of us, we do come back.
Life in South Troy is never boring. There is always something going on, be it just watching people walking down the street can be interesting, probably because they are doing something that attracts attention.or waiting for a bus, just watching them is interesting! People do some strange things ( well I guess that is everywhere). In the summer just sitting on the porch or having the window open, you can hear more than you needed to know (raising an eyebrow here).
If you go downtown to the city of Troy, there is so much more going on. What seems to be an average day in the life of a city is really not, if you look really close. Just watch what is going on around you.. Late at night, the city of Troy NY, pretty much becomes quiet, due to the fact that all the small corner stores have to close by a certain time, which has cut down on all the un- desired things that were happening in our fair city. Also the police are watching the bars for trouble. And The homeless go to a much needed shelter, and are not lingering on the streets..
Downtown tones down as well. It helps, but nothing is perfect, and it is like any other place you may live, stuff happens. There is still crimes like: domestic disputes, drugs, break-ins, assaults, vandalism to cars and what not. There is no perfect place to live anymore. Troy however is still a friendly place to live, if you like living in a small city. And I take offence at Troy being called Troylet.
Though people come and go now here in South Troy, there is still a sense of the old days, with so many die hard South Troy folks still living here (my age and older). South Troy is still home to so many of us that have lived here for so long. There are also so many loyal people that believe in Troy, that are trying to maintain or start a new business here, and I commend them, as Troy NY needs to be a Thriving city again, just like in the old days.
We all somehow need to come together to make South Troy, the place it really was before. We gotta take back our city! So that we can make those special memories for our kids!
Troy Ny is a really historic city, and was known as the Collar City, and it still is, just not so much anymore. People don't care about history anymore.... Troy NY had so many important notable people, who have shaped this city in one way or another. Dick Van der Heyden was said to be one of the first settlers here in Troy in 1707, W. & L.E. Gurley, Co. makers of presison insrtuments. There was Uncle Sam ( Sam Wilson,who is our National symbol ), Henry Burden ( detachable shirt collar,then he was known for the arrow shirt factory), the Van Rensselear family founder of ( RPI collage & Emma Willard school), The first Baseball team to call Troy, home was, the Troy Haymakers. Troy has been almost destroyed by fire 3 times, the first worst fire in 1862. This is just to name a few, there are so many more people that have shaped the history for this city. Such a rich history that Troy has had.
. And I think about just walking down the streets looking at all the old buildings! The architecture is so beautiful and detailed on many houses and buildings. And imagining all the the many buildings that have been torn down in the past, for one reason or another. And places that have gone out of business, such as the 5 and dime stores. Woolworths & Stanleys to name a few. Mike's Submarines, The old Coffee Time , Jack In The box, Food Circus, Firehouse Tavern, Debonis Bar ( oh I remember lots of fun times there).
Oh and let us not forget the Proctors Theater, which has sat vacant for many years now, and is in really bad shape. (Update on Proctors), They have been renovating it and the outside looks great. I watched many of good movies there back in the day. I can remember when at times the line to get into the movie theater was a block long, so you wanted to get there early. And the only really good pizza parlors left in Troy are, De Fazios and Redfront, Way back when I was little my dad delivered food for Redfront. And he would always bring home a pizza at the end of the night, and even though it was like midnight, he would wake me and my brother up for pizza! , and back then that was a real treat!
Oh and sadly South End Tavern is gone now. I remember when old Dr.Barrett used to go there for lunch when he was out making house calls. Speaking of him. I remember going to his office and the fish tanks, everyone sitting in the waiting room watching TV, and when people would walk in, they would ask who is last. And if it was packed the people would be sitting out in the front hall all the way up the stairway. And it seemed like whatever was wrong with you, he would give you that chocolate flavored medicine and sometimes the one that tasted like grapes. He was a great Doctor. When I drive down 1st. and his old office I still think of him fondly.
I really do appreciate the city that I grew up in, and I still do love it. Just that in itself is enough for me. We can't help the way things change over time. We just have to go with the flow, and make the best of it sometimes. And I get tired of people putting Troy down and calling our city bad names. Our city strives to bring people here, with such things as Chowder fest , Victorian Stroll, concerts in the summer, Troy Night out, which is the last Friday of every month, and many other functions.
So, The South Troy Motto in a "Nut shell', South Troy Against The World! And it still holds true! That is the way it's been, and I hope that is the way it stays for a long time,.
Eileen Dunn Judge on June 16, 2018:
A Sycaway girl. Graduate of CCHS class of 1946. Married Tom Judge from Green Island CCHS class of 1945. Moved away many years ago. Been in Cleveland 50 years where Tom was Pres. of an engineering co.
None of my family left so get back to Troy seldom but still think of it fondly.
Bonny OBrien (author) from Troy, N.Y. on November 17, 2017:
Thank you Barbara for reading. I still live in good ole South Troy, not far from where I grew up. I live off of Campbells Ave now.
Barbara “Stone” Grant on November 17, 2017:
Thanks for the memories! I was born in So. Troy, in the 50’s. My dad worked at Republic Steel, for many years. Since then we moved to , what I call Middle Troy. We lived on 6th Avenue, by St. Patrick’s Church. Went to St. Patrick’s School. I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately. I guess I miss my hometown, since Schenectady is where I live now.
Catherine on September 04, 2017:
What a great article. For a few years growing up, I lived on 2nd Street. I fondly remember many of the things you mentioned. Saw many movies at Proctor's theater. Dr. Barrett was our doctor, too. He saved my brothers life, when his appendix almost burst at eight years old. It was a treat on Friday night to go to Charlie's Hot Dogs on Congress Street. Summers meant swimming at the South Troy pool or going to the Troy Public Library which was for me, a favorite place. I loved sitting upstairs on the thick glass floor which was always cool in the heat. Went to the Troy Farmers Market this weekend and was so happy to see folks working to revitalize the city. The history, people, architecture...worth the effort to go visit. Thanks for the great memories!
St. Joseph on September 23, 2016:
South Troy Against the World
Bonny OBrien (author) from Troy, N.Y. on August 12, 2016:
JRSL, Thanks for reading! One of my residents tell me all the time about the good old days in South Troy. She grew up on Havermans ave. and Hill st.
JRSL on August 10, 2016:
I Too Love South Troy! My dad owned a service station there we loved all the great places in Troy Red Front Hot hog Charlies Famous lunch Manory's On any given Wednesday you could smell sauce cooking. Mrs Scarson would always my my dad and brothers son kind of dish. Defasio's had great food. Still love it but it has changed. We still own a house on Hill Street Blues We called it. Thanks for writing this story it was nice to read!!
Betty on May 07, 2016:
what a great tribute to South Troy yes we are are own kinda people. You know what that means if your from South Troy. I lived on Fourth Street between Madison and Monroe my mother still lives there.
Miamoo on March 13, 2016:
I grew up in south troy, and even tho it ha
Maryanne7 on January 24, 2014:
This is a great article & excellent pictures. We have facebook groups about Troy, maybe you would consider sharing this with one (or more) of the groups? Troy memories // You know you grew up in Troy when ... // Troy picture book // back when. I am sure all the others would enjoy this.
Bonny OBrien (author) from Troy, N.Y. on January 27, 2013:
Thanks shiningirisheyes. Actually now I live on Adams St., and can see the top of the gas & light building, can't believe it is still there. My friend grew up in Wynantskill, right off of Main street, she moved to South Troy, but then moved back home to take care of her mom, who since has passed away.
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on January 24, 2013:
Hi - Sorry to keep hijacking your hub but I just showed Mom your article and profile and she said the pic of the gas and light building brought back many memories. She states that when she was a child (shes 85 now) her friends and her used to peak in through the windows as the carnival used to use the building to store some of their rides and equipment.
Also, my Irish Nana was 101 upon her passing. She worked for Emma Willard for a good portion of her life. She said the girls always treated her well and were pleasant.
I am on to your next hub. Not only from Troy but Irish too! Can't get any better than that!
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on January 24, 2013:
I can not tell you how awesome it was to see photos of the places I know like the back of my hand. I am a native NYer born and raised just outside of Wynantskill, NY and it is a true pleasure to make your acquaintance. I commend you for including a great icon of our neck of the woods, Mart Burkes! How many St. Patrick Days the entire family filed into Marty Burkes for the famous Corned Beef and Cabbage (although I always ordered a cheeseburger)! Yes - I am Irish and always take great ribbing at disliking the dish. How about the old Cluett and Peabody shirt factory - my Grandfather was employed their his entire working life. Although we are situated in quite a rural area, my Mom grew up right on Main Avenue in Wynantskill. AS a teen, the big deal was to take the bus to Troy. My brother had a home right on Ida Street and we would walk to the corner store.
Outstanding article and I am happy to be following you.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 30, 2012:
It was interesting learning about your love of living in South Troy, NY. I am hoping that you are OK with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It is so sad learning about all the devastation up there and in many other states. Will have to look up where Troy is located in NY. You could add a map in this hub for others who may have the same question. Just a suggestion. Enjoyed your photos.
Just looked up the location of Troy...and knowing that it is located along the Hudson River...I am hoping that you and your neighbors are OK. Looks dire according to the national television reports. May God bless you and others who were in the path of Hurricane Sandy!
Olde Cashmere on August 09, 2012:
A beautiful article describing your town lucybell, this was interesting. I've also left my hometown several times but have found myself here once again. Thank you for sharing this. Voted up, awesome, interesting, and beautiful :)
Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on June 11, 2012:
Really interesting hub about a place I knew nothing about. I left my birtplace, Texas, long ago, and then left my second home, California, where I went to high school and have now been in Oregon for over thirty years, long enough to call it home.
Bonny OBrien (author) from Troy, N.Y. on May 29, 2012:
Thank you. We can always move away, but where we grew up always stays with us.
mwilliams66 from Left Coast, USA on May 29, 2012:
What a great tribute to the place that lives in your heart. I completely understand your feeling. I too have a comfort zone. I place where I feel I belong. I have, for the time being, moved away from there but I am sure I will return.