History of the Tracy

Tracy Memorial Village Hall

The Tracy Memorial Village Hall was dedicated on May 23, 1913 in memory of Albert E. Tracy. It was the gift to all Village of Chatham residents from Mr. Tracy’s mother, Mrs. Delia E. Tracy and his wife, Mrs. Margaret T. Tracy. Albert E. Tracy had been bom in Chatham, attended local schools and Hartwick Seminary in Cooperstown in preparation for college, which he was unable to attend because of ill health. He was a Captain of the Cleveland and Thurman Marching Club in the first Cleveland campaign for the Presidency. He worked as a clerk in the post office under Postmaster George McClellan, and later in his law office to prepare himself for the large inheritance that he anticipated. He devoted his life to his wife, his mother, his home on the Kline Kill Road, and his fine horses. Mr. Tracy died on August 10, 1910.

Attorney John C. Dardess presented the keys and deed of the building to Mayor William B. Daley. It was free from encumbrance and with an insurance policy protecting the building and its contents for the next three years.

The building was built by the Tomngton Building Company for an estimated cost of $40,000. Horace W. Peaslee of Washington, DC, a native of Columbia County, was the architect.

The building was described as follows: A large public lobby on the ground floor; police court; office of the police justice; detention room for prisoners and witnesses; meeting room for the village trustees; a public waiting room; office for the village clerk; a large room on the second floor for the firemen with smaller rooms for the General Logan Post of the Grand Army of the Republic; a shower bath for firemen; hardwood floors; mahogany doors and staircase; a steam outfit for heat; concrete sidewalks; electroliers of handsome design; lavatories on both floors; sixty five pieces of mahogany furniture for the firemen and twenty five pieces for the GAR. The basement was to have several rooms to be used as needed and a large fireproof vault for the safe storage of village records and the records of the Health Department.

To this date, the maintenance of the Tracy Memorial is funded by a trust set aside by the Tracy family. The trust is managed by a Board of Trustees that meets yearly to discuss the upkeep of the building.

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