Glen Historic District
The Glen Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Portions of the text were selected and adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The Glen Historic District encompasses the core of a rural crossroads hamlet located near the geographic center of the town of Glen, Montgomery County. Glen is located atop a ridge four miles south of the Mohawk River. The topography surrounding the Glen Historic District consists of undulating hills that rise nearly 600 feet from the river valley to culminate at Glen. Land use in the immediate area is predominantly agricultural, with scattered residences and farmsteads set amidst croplands, pastures and wood lots. The boundaries of the Glen Historic District encompass a group of 26 principal properties containing 52 contributing residential, commercial, religious and agricultural buildings constructed during the period of significance (ca.1795-1900). The Glen Historic District also includes 2 contributing sites (the former community "pound lot" and the Glen-Edwards Store site). The center of the Glen Historic District is the intersection of two current New York State highways that follow the alignment of historic roads, Route 30A (Oak Ridge Road), a principal north-south artery, makes a sharp "S" bend near the center of the district. The east-west axis of the Glen Historic District is Route 161 (Mill Point Road), which extends along the ridge to the limits of the hamlet and intersects Route 30. West of this intersection, Route 161 becomes Logtown Road. The historic buildings located along both sides of Routes 30 and 161 and Logtown Road are sited on village lots generally landscaped with large shade trees. The boundaries of the Glen Historic District generally correspond to historic lot lines in the community and are drawn to encompass all properties that are contiguous, possess integrity and help to define the historic and architectural character of the Glen Historic District.
The architectural character of the Glen Historic District derives from similarities in scale, massing, materials and setting among the principal contributing properties. The majority of buildings are 1 1/2 or 2 story, timber framed structures on fieldstone foundations, sheathed in board siding, covered by gable roofs. Three buildings constructed of locally manufactured brick are located within the district boundaries. Vernacular adaptations of Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire and mid/late Victorian pattern book styles are represented in the Glen Historic District, their design and decorative elements reflecting typical regional building practice spanning the period of significance. The buildings clustered at the center of the Glen Historic District around the principal intersection are the most architecturally significant: these include two large Federal style residences, a mid-nineteenth century general store and a distinguished, Second Empire style brick residence built in 1878. (A rare, Federal period brick commercial building formerly located at the road juncture was destroyed by fire in November, 2000.) The Glen Reformed Church, a brick Italianate style building of 1875, is a prominent visual element of the Mill Point Road streetscape. Other contributing features that attest to Glens historical development include a Federal period church hall (1831), a farm complex containing a rare, early nineteenth century Dutch barn, a board-and-batten, former Grange Hall (ca.1885) and a vernacular Greek Revival schoolhouse (1860).
The Glen Historic District is historically and architecturally significant as a substantially intact example of a crossroads community in rural Montgomery County as it evolved from the Federal period to the end of the nineteenth century. Consisting of 26 principal properties situated on village lots along three intersecting roads, the Glen Historic District reflects the settlement patterns, social and economic development and vernacular building practices that occurred in the hamlet of Glen from c.1795-1900. The period of significance spans the nineteenth century to include properties ranging from the settlement era to the decline in the community's economic importance by the turn of the century. The Glen Historic District encompasses residential, commercial, agricultural and religious properties that together illustrate the design, materials and decorative elements characteristic of the region's vernacular architecture during the period of significance. Situated astride three principal thoroughfares, Glen prospered for a time as a travellers' rest stop and a business and service center for the surrounding farming community. The Glen Historic District retains a high level of integrity, encompassing numerous rare and distinguished regional building types within its boundaries.
Initial settlement at Glen occurred during the last decade of the eighteenth century. First known as Five Corners or Voorheesville (after local storekeeper and tavern owner Peter Voorhees), the community was re-named Glen in 1830 after a prominent early landholder and merchant, Jacob Sanders Glen. Glen inherited a tract of 10,000 acres south of the Mohawk River in Montgomery County, part of the DeLancey Patent lands forfeited after the Revolutionary War. Jacob Glen settled in the region to manage his property and commercial interests. Using brick fired on his own estate, Glen in 1818 erected the substantial and imposing Federal style brick residence that stands at the road juncture of the present Glen Historic District. Soon thereafter, Glen built a two story, brick store building at the intersection of Oak Ridge and Mill Point Roads. Strategically located at this important crossroads, the general store housed the first post office (1823). Owned and operated after Glen's death in 1859 by J.V.S. Edwards, this store prospered well into the nineteenth century. (This rare and significant brick commercial building from the Federal period survived until November, 2000; it was completely destroyed by an arson fire. The frame Voorhees House (1795) and the brick Jacob Sanders Glen House reflect the earliest settlement period of the community; they are architecturally significant as rare, extant examples of vernacular Federal period architecture in rural Montgomery County.
The hilly upland terrain surrounding Glen left itself to dairy farming, which gave rise to numerous cheese factories in the area during the early nineteenth century. Between 1825 and 1900, the through transportation routes of the Erie Canal and the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad greatly spurred economic development in communities located along their respective rights-of-way. Located four miles south of these transportation arteries, the hamlet of Glen failed to benefit directly. Nevertheless, Glen evolved as a community serving the needs of travellers on two principal roads as well as a trade center for the region's farmers. Glen was a community of 40 dwellings, two churches and numerous small shops by the eve of the Civil War. By 1878, business in Glen included two hotels, two general stores, a steam sawmill and grist mill, cigar factory, harness shop, wagon and blacksmith shop, potash factory and several cheese factories. Once located on short streets off the hamlet's main roads, the majority of these small factories and tradesmen's shops are no longer extant. Fires destroyed Glen's two hotels early in the twentieth century. The present Glen Country Store was built ca.1850 and is the only historic commercial building remaining in the Glen Historic District.
The religious and social history of Glen is represented by five properties included in the Glen Historic District. The congregation of the first Reformed Dutch Church of Glen organized in the hamlet in 1795, although the first church edifice was not erected until 1814. Abandoned in 1842, the church building was moved and subsequently used for a storehouse; it collapsed and was demolished in 1980. The present Glen Reformed Church, a gable roofed, brick building, was constructed in 1876. With its staged bell tower, slate roof and cut limestone trim, the Glen Reformed Church remains a notable example of vernacular Italianate inspired religious architecture and the focal architectural and visual element along Mill Point Road. The earliest extant church in the Glen Historic District is a frame, vernacular, Federal period building erected in 1831. Originally built for a dissenting congregation of the "True Reformed Church" that survived until the early twentieth century, this rare building type retains many original architectural features, including Gothic arched wood windows with tracery, plank floors and grain painted, horizontal plank wainscoting. Acquired by the Glen Reformed Church in 1938, the historic former church remains in use as a parish and community hall. The frame, Greek Revival District School No. 8 was erected in Glen in 1860. Converted to a private residence, the schoolhouse retains its original bell tower and other vernacular architectural elements. Located nearby on the south side of Mill Point Road, the former Grange Hall is a late nineteenth century building sheathed in board-and-batten siding. Moved from the neighboring village of Fultonville to its present location by horse team, the Glen Grange Hall served as a social gathering place for area farm families for several decades. Ochumpaugh Hall, a community center built near the center of the hamlet, also hosted dances, lectures and other public gatherings in Glen at the turn of the twentieth century.
The hamlet encompassed by the Glen Historic District remained largely self sufficient throughout the period of significance. For a time, Glen prospered as a crossroads farming and service community at the intersection of two heavily travelled roads. In succeeding decades, Glen's location a short but significant distance from the through transportation routes of the Mohawk Valley brought a gradual decline in the local economy. The hamlet's two hotels and several of its small shops were lost to a series of fires, or were abandoned and ultimately dismantled during the early twentieth century. The devastating arson fire of November, 2000 destroyed the community's most architecturally and historically significant commercial building, the Glen-Edwards Store of 1818. The effect of social and economic changes over time has been de facto preservation of a significant concentration of historic vernacular architecture in a small village setting. The quality and variety of buildings encompassed by the Glen Historic District coupled with the lack of intrusive modern development make the hamlet a rare, well-preserved "time capsule" of regional historical development during the period of significance.
Beers, F.W. Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties. New York, 1878.
Donion, Hugh P. History of Montgomery County, 1772-1972. Amsterdam, 1973.
Frothingham, Washington, ed. History of Montgomery County. Syracuse, 1892.