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Stillwater historian digs into town's history
By Kathy Bowen   - 02/25/2009

Daily Gazette

More Info on This Book: Stillwater

When Stillwater Historian Linda Sanders says her new book bares the bones of the town’s past, she’s not kidding.

In Stillwater’s case, the bones belonged to the father-in-law of Millard Fillmore, the nation’s 13th president.

Sanders said the Rev. Lemuel Powers was the father of first lady Abigail Powers Fillmore. Lemuel Powers died in 1800, and his body was exhumed in 1937 and moved to another cemetery in town nearer to the church where he had preached on Route 423.

When Powers was exhumed, his skeletal remains were displayed briefly near his grave. Former Stillwater Historian Susan Hayner wrote a description of the events and took photographs of the bones.

One of those photographs appears in Sanders’ book. Hayner was town historian from 1926 to 1971, Sanders said Tuesday: “Her work and the work of my other predecessors made putting this book together possible.”

The newly published book, titled “Stillwater,” is the latest in a series published by Arcadia Publishing called “Images of America.”

The New Hampshire publishing house also has printed historical books about the Saratoga County communities of Wilton, Malta, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs. Sanders said she was contacted by the publishing house last year and asked if she would like to put the book together.

She said there was no up-front cost to print the book because the publisher will take a portion of each sale. The profits from the book will be donated to the Blockhouse Museum, Sanders said. The book will sell for $22, including tax, and will be available in a couple of weeks.

The Blockhouse Museum on Route 4 in Stillwater overlooks the Hudson River and is owned by the town but run by a volunteer committee.

Sanders was the former town historian and now works part-time as the village of Stillwater historian and deputy town historian.

She has worked as a historian in Stillwater for more than 20 years and during that time collected information, photographs and postcards dating back to Stillwater’s immigrant beginnings about 400 years ago.

In her introduction to the book, she writes that the British built Fort Ingoldsby in Stillwater on the Hudson River in 1709 but French and other immigrants had inhabited the area from the early 1600s.

The 127-page book includes hundreds of photographs of the people, animals, houses, businesses, churches and events in the town over the past century.

There are several images of the founding of the Saratoga National Historical Park in the town, which commemorates the Battles of Saratoga during the American Revolution.

Sanders is scheduled to have a book signing at the Stillwater Free Library, 74 Hudson Ave., on March 31 at 6 p.m.

Buy It Now: Stillwater $21.99




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