From 1877 to 1912 the Fulton County community of Broadalbin had its own newspaper.
Village and town historian Steve Oare said the paper was not a completely Broadalbin media outlet. “It was published in Amsterdam and then Gloversville and almost always affiliated with another publishing company.”
Rev. R.G. Adams started the eight-page weekly on Nov. 29, 1877. Charles Kested of Broadalbin also was instrumental in launching the paper, according to Oare.
In 1878 the Gloversville Intelligencer newspaper critiqued the Broadalbin Herald’s editorial stand in favor of temperance and concluded that “the devil” was running the Herald.
Broadalbin entrepreneur Charles H. Butler bought the newspaper that year and ran it until 1879 when the newspaper plant was destroyed in a fire.
Oare said, “Butler conducted an insurance business and continued as editor of the Broadalbin Herald, although the paper was published in Amsterdam.” The Herald was combined with the Amsterdam Daily Democrat for a time. The Democrat was one of the predecessors of the daily Amsterdam Recorder.
In 1880 the Broadalbin Herald again became a separate paper and Butler continued as editor.
In 1885 Addison A. Gardiner, who was a real estate agent, insurance agent and postmaster in Broadalbin, bought a half interest in the Herald. Schenectady Union newspaper veteran G.W. Van Vranken served as foreman of the Broadalbin paper.
What stories did the Broadalbin paper cover? In October 1885 the Herald reported on a heaviest pumpkin competition, according to a reprint in the Amsterdam Daily Democrat. Nelson Lasher was leading with a 70-pound pumpkin, but it was reported that pumpkin grower Jimmy Robinson from North Broadalbin had not been heard from yet.
In 1886 a Herald story reported on a Mayfield stagecoach driver who broke down on Burr Potter’s Hill. The driver left his passengers and proceeded on horseback with the mail. Fortunately a coal wagon took the passengers to the train depot, unfortunately too late for the train.
Benjamin Smith was editor of the Herald for 19 years. In 1892 he married Hortense Churchill Salisbury of Broadalbin.
The Gloversville Daily Leader wrote, “The bridegroom is the popular young editor of the Broadalbin Herald, whose weekly contributions to the local columns of that paper are read with interest and pleasure throughout the county.” Smith served as Broadalbin village’s first mayor from 1924 to 1928.
In a story with the headline “Broadalbin Aroused,” the Herald reported in October 1896 on “the grandest political demonstration ever held in Broadalbin.”
More than a thousand people came there from Johnstown and Gloversville, most of them in a six-car train. “Myriads of Chinese lanterns surrounded the depot and torches as well as the lights of residences contributed to make a grand effect.”
The crowd was in favor of electing Republican William McKinley as president of the United States. Even prominent local Democrats had pro-McKinley signs.
There was a 14-unit parade featuring one unit called the Fat Man’s Republican Club.
Glovemaker Lucius Littauer of Gloversville was on hand campaigning for Congress and urging tariffs to protect the ladies’ fine glove industry.
The Herald described its hometown as a summer resort, saying some of the wealthiest families of Brooklyn had summer homes in Broadalbin.
In a 1908 ad, a six piece set of Sanito dishes (which retailed for $2.50) was offered as a bonus to people who bought a year’s subscription to either the Fulton County Republican or Broadalbin Herald.
In its final years, the Herald was published by Collins and Leaning of Gloversville, who also printed the Gloversville Daily Intelligencer and Gloversville Daily Leader, a predecessor of today’s Leader Herald. The Broadalbin Herald ceased publication in 1912.