Ballston Spa:
The Way We Were,
The Way We Are

By Ann Hauprich and
photographer Michael L. Noonan

self portrait
2007 Limited Edition
to read testimonials about this book.
to read news story about this book (PDF).


PLEASE NOTE: While this 8.5" X 11" 374-page literary labor of love by seasoned journalist Ann Hauprich and photographer Michael L. Noonan is SOLD OUT, a second printing or digital release of the book is being considered.

The History of Ballston Spa, NY DEDICATION: This book is dedicated to Audrey & Donald Hauprich and Maeve Noonan for their endless support & encouragement with this literary labor of love -- and to -- Nancy Reynolds Rooney & Maurice "Chris" Morley who brought history to life in a manner that instilled pride in our past with hope for many bright tomorrows.

Incorporated in 1807, Ballston Spa contains a treasure trove of inspiring human interest stories and spectacular images just waiting to be shared with contemporary readers and those of future generations.

How -- and why -- this book came to be

It is said that in this life we often start out writing one book and end up with quite another. That has literally been the case with the limited edition volume book pictured on this web page.

What began as a simple 200-page souvenir of the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the Village of Ballston Spa somehow blossomed over a two-year period into a literary labor of love nearly twice that size, filled with more inspiring stories and unforgettable images than I ever dreamed possible.

Exactly how this happened, I'm still not sure. It would certainly have been far easier, faster and less expensive to produce had I stuck to Plan "A” limiting the scope of the book to standard history book topics and illustrating the text with Then & Now pictures of familiar landmarks and scenes. Make that black and white pictures, like one taken by J. S. Wooley around 1907 that featured youngsters milling around The Old Iron Spring with Brookside in the background. How it was transformed into the meticulously hand-colored image that graces our cover is explained by archival photographer Michael L. Noonan on the pages that follow.

Suffice to say that while one of us kicked into Michaelangelo-like action, the other found herself dashing from one welcoming setting to the next, listening spellbound to the stories of old-timers like Maurice "Chris" Morley and Nancy Reynolds Rooney, both of whom are honored with special dedications in this book's opening section. Others who made priceless contributions include Joseph Bruchac III, John J. Cromie and C.H. Grose about whom you will read more elsewhere in the book.

What matters most is that research that had been expected to take place in solitary corners of libraries and museums instead unfolded in a broad diversity of private homes in and on the outskirts of the village. History came to life as I had the joy of listening to stories about the way things were as vividly recalled by senior citizens. Many shared family tales that had been handed down from generation-to-generation within family circles, but which had never been heard by others in the community. On other occasions, I had the honor of turning the faded pages of ancestral journals and photo albums.

I soon realized this was not going to be a traditional history book framed by the dates 1807 - 2007, but rather a vibrant living history book that would span the thousands of years before the coming of the first white settlers with no definite ending. It ultimately evolved into an open door leading from the way things were and are to the way they hopefully will be many moons from now.

A great deal of inspiration was drawn both from the words penned by Edward F. Grose back in 1907, and those of Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who once addressed the New York State Writer's Institute. It was she who observed: "Literacy is not only a mirror; it is also a map, a geography of the mind. Our literature is one such map; if we can learn to read it as our literature, as the product of who and where we have been. We need such a map desperately; we need to know about here, because here is where we live. For the members of a country or a culture, shared knowledge is their place, their here; it is not a luxury, but a necessity. Without that knowledge, we will not survive."

It is my profound hope that this book will in some small measure help this and future generations appreciate Ballston Spa for the treasure it truly is: a community that is destined not merely to survive, but to thrive.

In closing, I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to impeccable Publisher Pat Peck and all who gave generously of their time and talents to make this book a reality. Their photos are scattered throughout the pages that follow with some biographical information tucked inside of the colorful dust jacket. Should you spot them on the street, I hope you will greet them with a smile and express how much you appreciate their part in charting the literary map titled "Ballston Spa: The Way We Were, The Way We Are."


Preface by Ann Hauprich & Michael L. Noonan ......7

Before the White Settlers by Joseph Bruchac III ......13

A Look Back at the Past Two Centuries by John J. Cromie ....21

Memories of a Bygone Era by C.H. Grose....37

Special Dedications by Ann Hauprich ......55
Carving a legacy of caring with Maurice "Chris" Morley
More than a few minutes with Nancy Reynolds Rooney (and her brother Andy)

Landmarks, Legends & Legacies ......86
Preserving the ordinary makes Brookside extraordinary by Ann Hauprich
Heritage Hunters search for ancestors by Audrey Bopp Hauprich
Abner Doubleday's Home Base by John J. Cromie
Make tracks for Ballston Spa by Ann Hauprich
All aboard the PPJ by Maurice "Chris" Morley
How sweet it was "and is” at the Chocolate Factory by Michael L. Noonan
The "Painted Lady" with the Verbeck name by Francis G. Hauprich
History on tap at National Bottle Museum by Ann Hauprich

Memories & Milestones .......157
Special Commemorative Section by Ann Hauprich & Michael L. Noonan
Centennial of 1907, Sesquicentennial of 1957 & Bicentennial of 2007
Bonus: Return of the Queen: A Royal Tribute to the former Margaret Zepko
& the enduring ties that bind her to former Apronstrings Leslie & Della Groom

Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives .....197
Special section by Ann Hauprich
Paving the way with the big-hearted, rock-solid Pompas
Don Mundell could have starred in "A Wonderful Life"
Firm Rowland Street foundation keeps Eberts grounded
Lorraine Zahn Janack: How she remembers Mama & Papa!
On the go with the Legnantes at Jim's Ballston CITGO
Michael Polsinelli could have his own "The Way We Were Car" Show
PLUS The Mangino wheels have been turning for half a century by Cari Scribner
& Bob Curtis named Great Northeast's 2007's Lumberman of the Year by Pat Peck

In Their Own Words ........243
Surviving rheumatic fever by Marjorie Sack Hobday
Her love lives on through journal entries by Esther Armstrong Charon
The Nifty Fifties & Groovy Sixties by Carl Feathers
What made life pleasant on Pleasant Street by Dave Sherwood
A small byte of computer history by James A. Lestrange

Houses of Worship: Answer to a Prayer in Good Times & Bad .....266
Ballston Spa Presbyterian Church by the Rev. David H. Bennett
Christ Episcopal Church by Rev. Derik Roy
First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa by Don Mundell with Alice Lattimore
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church & School by Audrey Bopp Hauprich
United Methodist Church by Karen Staulters

Service Above Self ........ 317
Irving Wiswall helped charter this local service club in 1922 by Ann Hauprich

Ruralities ....... 332
How Cornell Cooperative Extension has grown by Ann Hauprich
The Crawfords have deep & electrifying roots by Ann Hauprich
BONUS: The "scoop" on Stewart's by Wendy Hobday Haugh

Remembering "The Way We Were" ......364
What went on behind-the-scenes on Front Street by Dick Buyer
The Way We Are & The Way We Hope To Be by Ann Hauprich

Tudd, The Wonder Dog: A Parting Tail by Michael L. Noonan ..... 370

Meet Some History Making Contributors ....... 374

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