Stillwater town officials have been moving their stuff into a new Town Hall — or at least a different one.
While nearly every other town in Saratoga County has built a new town hall in the past 25 years, Stillwater has resisted the temptation. The town has operated out of an old elementary school on a hill in the Riverside neighborhood, with Town Board meetings held in an old classroom.
But that’s finally changing. The town government is completing a move a couple of miles up the road into a former parish hall being rented from All Saints on the Hudson Church.
The building at 881 Hudson Ave. is in the heart of the village of Stillwater, a ledger book’s toss from the Hudson River and a more central location than the town had before. The parish hall has about 7,500 square feet of space, which is about twice the size of the old Town Hall, said Stillwater Town Supervisor Ed Kinowski.
The old hall was considered unsafe by the town’s two town justices, but it has more than a few other problems. “It was too small. It really couldn’t accommodate a public hearing,” Kinowski said.
And, because of its age, “the building had issues,” he said.
The town plans to either lease or sell the old hall, which is in a dense residential neighborhood just north of Mechanicville.
Looking to the future, Kinowski has named a subcommittee to look at what the town should do next: build a new town hall, try to purchase the old parish hall or continue leasing from the Catholic church.
If part of you is still 4 years old and wears a railroad cap, listen up. A replica of an early steam locomotive built in Schenectady more than a century ago will be coming to North Creek this fall.
The Saratoga & North Creek Railway will be hosting the Leviathan No. 63 steam engine on Sept. 7-8 and 13-14, with tickets available for trips back and forth to Corinth.
The Leviathan was built by an Illinois hobbyist named David Kloke, who finished building it in 2011. It is based on a locomotive that was built in 1868 at the Schenectady Locomotive Works, as a commission for the Central Pacific Railroad.
While it weighs 44 tons, the Leviathan is a small engine by later standards. Think in terms of the two engines that met in Utah to mark the first transcontinental railroad, not the giant black behemoths Alco would later turn out after the American Locomotive Co. bought out the Schenectady rail works in 1901.
The railway, which runs a successful tourist line between Saratoga Springs and North Creek, is touting the opportunity.
“The original was built right here in New York state, and similar steam engines of this vintage were the first to ply the rails opening up the Adirondacks to tourism and hauling freight along the very route that our railway uses today from Saratoga to North Creek,” said Steve Torrico, the railway’s manager.
Kudos to the state Legislature for changing the name of West Hurley Road in Woodstock to the “Levon Helm Memorial Highway.”
The former singer and drummer with The Band, who died last year, was well-known in recent years for the “Midnight Ramble” concerts in his Woodstock barn and his long association with the Catskills community.
One of my favorite musical memories is hearing Levon’s big folk-blues band thoroughly outplay folk festival headliner Bob Dylan at SPAC in 2008. His old boss was less than stellar, but maybe Dylan knew he wasn’t going to outplay the Levon Helm Band.