Life in the Alleyways of Troy N.Y. During the 19th Century
by Jeanne M. Keefe 1987
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, Rensselaer County, NY
Webpage by Cliff Lamere Jan 2004
This paper is about the de-evolution of the alleys in Troy from streets to alleyways and how they grew and the city expanded. It is also an inventory of the businesses and residents of these alley structures during the 19th century. Genealogists may use this paper to pinpoint the location of the alleys and hopefully find relatives that were overlooked in census reports or city directories and/or locate the relatives they were boarding or working with at that time. They may also be used to indicate the type of work or business the relative was engaged in.
I wrote this research paper at RPI while getting my MS degree. Thomas Phelan taught a class called "Troy, a 19th Century Industrial City" and I did the research for that class. But to explain more fully, in 1980 I was chosen to do an Honors Thesis at Russell Sage College [Troy, NY]. It had to be primary research so I spent a year researching the history of Washington Park in downtown Troy. I scoured the city directories and searched all the deeds to all the houses in the park association to identify the owners and tenants of the buildings from 1839 to around 1920 and then filled in their personal stories from other sources. Since it was "the" place to live mid-to-late 19th century there were a lot of famous and semi-famous residents. During that research I turned up many references to activity in the alleys around the park and I used those sources of information as the basis for expanding it into a more extensive project once I got to RPI.
[The following are images of the original research paper. Therefore, copy and paste of text will not work, nor will your browser's Find feature. The superscripted numbers and the numbers at the ends of lines refer to the endnotes of the same numbers. The endnotes give the source of the information and the page on which it was found. -- CWL]
"Life in the Alleyways of Troy N.Y. During the 19th Century"
by Jeanne M. Keefe (1987)
Bibliography: page 17
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