By Paige Kwasniak
A museum or historical society thrives on artifacts, mementos, and interesting pieces of local history found in attics or uncovered when settling estates upon the loss of a loved one. Oftentimes when someone purchases an old home, they may find a left-behind treasure and set it aside as they get settled in or begin some upgrades and restorations to their new home.
This is what happened with a local family in Hoosick Falls. After several years in their new home, they decided it was time to donate a box of letters they found in the attic. Recently, the box was delivered to the Hoosick Township Historical Society where it sat until someone could find the time to inspect them and determine what to do with them.
These letters were dated from 1896 to 1937, making them some 125 years old. They were written by Mr. H.W. Blake, from all over the world, while he worked and traveled for the Walter A. Wood Reaping Co. in Hoosick Falls. His job took him away from his family for long periods of time and he wrote quite frequently to check on them and tell them of his experiences abroad and how much he missed them. Most letters were several pages long and addressed to his wife and children but among them were some letters written to Mr. Blake by his daughter who missed him dearly.
Many of us locally remember the Robson family. They operated a furniture store on Classic Street for several years, as well as the Robson Funeral Home. Harold B. Robson (Hap) and his wife Jean raised their eight children while living on Main Street. After Hap’s mother, Mabel (Blake) Robson, passed away, the family moved to her home, known as The Pines, on the outskirts of town. This is where the letters were discovered by the current residents, the Brewster family. The author of the letters, Mr. H.W. Blake, was Mabel’s father and she was the daughter who wrote to him while he was away.
After reading through a few of the letters we felt they should be returned to someone in the Robson family. We contacted Charles (Chuck) Robson, son of Hap and Jean, and offered to package them up and send to him. He and his family are thrilled to be in possession of the letters from their great grandfather to their great grandmother and grandmother, Mabel.
A huge thank you to the Brewster family for realizing their importance and dropping them off to us!