Historic Homes in Little Falls: 528 Garden Street

Little Falls was first settled in 1722, using the Burnetsfield Land Patent, with Johan Jost Petrie and Johan Jost Herkimer leading the way for the exiled Palatine German farmers.

528 Garden Street

528 Garden Street | Built in 1827 by Colonel David Petrie | Original photo by Liz Spraker

The home at 528 Garden Street was built by Colonel David Petrie in 1828.

He purchased the lot on December 28, 1827, from Edward Ellice for $400. The lot contained two small homes. He must have been an influential citizen at that time, because the lot was only the third one sold by the Ellice Estate.

Petrie was the grandson of Dieterich Markus Petrie, who was killed at the Battle of Oriskany during the Revolutionary War. He was also the great grandson of Johan Jost Petrie, a noted Palatine German leader who established the first industry here around 1723, a grist mill at the mouth of Furnace Creek, along the Mohawk River. The mill was burned during the 1782 Petrie Grist Mill massacre. Daniel Petrie, Johan’s grandson, owned and ran the mill and was murdered by Loyalist, British and Indian soldiers. The location of the Petrie Mill is marked with a historical marker, which can be viewed at the intersection of West Mill Street and Elizabeth Street.

Colonel Petrie was born in 1792 on the family farm north of Little Falls. He fought in the War of 1812 and was married to Charlotte Hackley on September 30, 1824 by Reverend Spinner of the German Reformed Church in Herkimer. They had two daughters, one daughter dying at a young age and the other marrying a William Cressey and leaving the area.

Petrie came to Little Falls in 1825 to engage in the merchant business with his brother Joram. The business was located in the vicinity of the present-day Price Chopper Market. In 1838 they purchased the iron foundry of Sam Smith, which was located at the present location of the present-day shop of Sam’s Deli at the northeast corner of Furnace and Main Street. They manufactured and sold cast iron stoves, which were soon replacing brick and stone fireplaces for heating homes.

The brothers had a fleet of boats on the Erie Canal for the transportation of people and cargo. They realized that the new Utica and Schenectady Railroad in 1836 would curtail their transportation business on the canal, so they took their fleet of boats to the newly opened Toledo & Wabash Canal in the state of Ohio, to be sold.

The brothers sold their store in 1844 to William Wheeler. In 1856, the brothers sold the iron foundry, which gave Furnace Street its name.

Colonel David Petrie died of consumption on September 17, 1859. His house was then occupied by his nephew, Charles Lynds Petrie, who was a son of his brother Joram. Joram built the house at 77 North Ann Street in 1847. Charles was born in his father’s house and schooled at Cornell. He was admitted to the bar in 1876, but preferred the real estate and insurance business to practicing law. He married Fanny Rust, daughter of Nelson Rust and sister-in-law of Joshua Judson Gilbert. Charles Petrie was village president from 1889-1890. His death from Bright’s Disease was on April 21, 1914.

The next owner was a nephew of Mrs. Charles Petrie, Frederick Rust Van Vechten. Frederick married Alma Newell. They had a son and eventually moved away.

In 1928, Carl Lundstrom, of the Lundstrom Bookcase Factory, was living here with his son C. Brynolf Lundstrom. The Lundstrom Factory was in the former Saxony Mill on East Mill Street, where the present-day George Lumber is located. Lundstrom liked the house since he could see his factory from the porch.

Mr. Burnet Schneider purchased this home in 1951.

He was the Vice President of H. P. Snyder Manufacturing Company. Although the principal product of the Snyder Company through the years was bicycles, the company also made velocipedes and exercisers. During both World Wars a variety of products were produced for the United States Government.

The “Historic Homes & Places Self-Guided Walking Tour in Little Falls, New York” can be found at : https://littlefallshistoricalsociety.org/historic-homes…/

Learn more about Historic Little Falls, NY by visiting https://littlefallshistoricalsociety.org where you can find an online writing series, historical timelines, events, exhibits, and so much more.