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Tour of the Mohawk-Industrial Gateway
at the
Burden Iron Company Office Building

A guided tour of the Hudson-Mohawk Gateway Museum located in the old Burden Iron Company Office Building was given to members of the Troy Irish Genealogical Society on Saturday, May 22, 2004.

 The Burden Office Building, while in a state of some disrepair, is still a beautiful structure to look at today. In December 1882, The New York Times described the building as a model of modern corporate headquarters.  A beautiful and large skylight gave plenty of light in the structure.  Cherry paneling was used in decorating the inside of the building.  Some of the cherry paneling on the upper walls is still there today. In addition to the payroom and the operating office space, there were private offices for the two Burden brothers and a large walk in safe.  There was even a telegraph office which was used to notify the various dams on the water ways as to the amount of water to be released.
As beautiful as the building was, the ordinary Burden workers never got to see the inside.  A side door led to the payroom which was as far as the workers got.  The large metal cash box used to hold the payroll can still be seen in the payroom.

For those not familiar with the Burden Museum Building, there are representative exhibits and examples of the products made in Troy that were known throughout the world.  A list of some of the exhibits and memorabilia contained in the museum are  outlined below:

Fuller & Warren Stoves

Ludlow Valve Fire Plugs

Burden Iron Company Manhole Covers

Fitzgerald Garryowen Ale

Stanton Cream Ale

Meneely Bell Co.

Surveying Equipment by W. & L. E. Gurley Instrument makers.

Model of famous Burden Water Wheel.

Oldest Rototiller in U.S. made by Garden Way

Remnants of armor plate made for USS Monitor by Corning, Winslow & Co.

Cluett & Peabody Arrow Shirts

Burden horseshoes (production was one million a week)

Production book of Meneely Bell Co. showing order of the replacement Lberty Bell now in Independence Hall, Philadelphia.

Thomas Carroll, the Gateway Executive Director gave our group an extremely interesting two hour talk on Troy and the different industries that settled there.  He likened Troy, with its cutting edge technology, as a Silicon Valley of the 19th Century.  Another major point he made was that Troy was unique in the United States in that it had the two sources of water right near each other  - the Hudson River for transportation and the falling waters of the Wynantskill and the Poestenkill to provide power.  

Since the visit of our group in May, the museum has now added two Meneely bells to the exhibits. One bell, a 4,500 pound Bell from a church in Lansingburgh, is inscribed:

Meneely & Co. West Troy 1889
Grace M.E. Church
Given By The
Young People's Christian Union

The other bell is inscribed:

Meneely Bell Co. Troy 1917
In Memory Of
Mr. & Mrs. Peter R. Doelger
Donated By Their Daughter
Matilde D. Hupfel
AD 1917
Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Have Mercy On Us

If you have not been to the Burden Iron Works Museum, you certainly have to put a visit there on your "to do list".  You will be more than likely to hear about the companies that your ancestors worked for.

By Bill McGrath
Clifton Park, NY

Photos by Donna Vaughan


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