Bolton Hall was a large entertainment venue along the Hudson River in Lansingburgh at the intersection of 107th Street and 2nd Avenue. Built as the Casino Roller Skating Rink in 1884, and briefly operating as the Casino Opera House in 1886, it was bought by the brewer Samuel Bolton in 1895 and operated under that name until it ultimately burned in 1924. Aside from roller skating, it featured bicycle races, roller polo, and basketball, among other sports. It was used a venue for speakers, including at least three United States Presidential candidates, and as a venue for fairs of various kinds such as early automobile shows. It served as a temporary replacement for the State Armory from 1917 to 1922 after the Ferry Street Armory in Troy had burned.
Samuel Bolton has purchased the Casino rink of Lansingburgh. The decaying building will be thoroughly repaired at once. The rink will be used for a storehouse.
Troy Daily Times. February 19, 1895: 2 col 5.
Samuel Bolton, jr., has recently had a number of benches erected on the river road for the use of bicyclists or strollers who wish to rest by the wayside. His latest philanthropic move is to have a place fitted up in rear of Bolton hall for bathers. Such acts as these are of frequent occurrence on Mr. Bolton’s part and are appreciated by the people.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. July 12, 1896: 4 col 2.
—Joseph Bergman has completed the bicycle track at Bolton hall. The track inclines from a point seven feet above the level to the floor and occupies a surface fifteen feet in width. The improvements to the hall will cost about $700.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. December 24, 1896: 4 col 2.
—The bicycle track in Bolton hall was removed yesterday. Preparations were commenced for the ball to be given Tuesday night by Oriental Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. February 19, 1897: 4 col 2.
THANKSGIVING DAY, Matinee and Evening.
Afternoon program, six great races. Admission 25c. Races commence 2:30. Evening program, four open races. All star entries. Match race, HARRY D. ELKES, Hour Champion of the World, vs. NAT BUTLER, the Handicap King, for a purse of $300. Admission -50c. Races begin 7:30.
Troy Daily Times. November 22, 1898: 3 col 8.
—Opportunity will be afforded to those interested in bicycling to enjoy exciting sport at Bolton hall to-morrow night and Thursday night. Some of the most prominent bicycle riders in the world are training at Bolton hall and they will be seen in a number of races. The racing to-morrow night will be for the benefit of Peterson, the rider who was so severely hurt at the hall Thanksgiving evening. Thursday night will occur the finals of the short distance races. A great international six-day race will be held at the hall commencing Saturday. The riders will ride each day from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. and from 5 p. m. to 11 p. m. Riders must cover 1,000 miles in order to entitle them to a place. The contest will be for the seventy-two-hour championship of the world.
“Amusements.” Troy Times. November 29, 1898: col 2.
—A seventy-two-hour bicycle race for the international championship was commenced at Bolton hall, Lansingburgh, at 10 o’clock this morning. The races, which will continue all week, will be most exciting and interesting. The riders will be on the track from 10 o’clock in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, when they will retire for an hour and reappear and retire for an hour and reappear and remain until 11 o’clock at night. In this way the men will be fresh and able to race.
“Amusements.” Troy Daily Times. December 12, 1898: 3 col 3.
—The [Hudson River] life saving station No. 6, heretofore with headquarters at the Troy Yacht Club, will be stationed hereafter at Bolton’s hall.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. June 24, 1899: 4 col 3.
—The basket ball team of St. Peter’s Lyceum will meet the Deaf Mutes team of New York at Bolton Hall Thanksgiving evening.
—The Belmont Athletic Club will play a game of indoor baseball with St. Peter’s Lyceum this evening at Bolton Hall for a purse of $150.
Troy Daily Times. November 4, 1901: 1 col 6.
—A large number attended the races last evening in Bolton Hall and several exciting contests were conducted. The races included pursuit and five and ten mile races. Miss Tillie Anderson, the champion woman bicycle rider of the world, arrived yesterday and last evening rode a mile in two minutes and fourteen seconds. In the pursuit race Miss Glaw defeated Miss Allen. In the five-mile race Wiley defeated Nealand and Tatro. The race between Miss Allen, Miss Anderson and Miss Glaw resulted in a victory by a small margin for Miss Glaw. Races will be given every evening this week and Saturday afternoon.
“Amusements.” Troy Daily Times. April 30, 1902: 3
Republican Candidate at Bolton Hall.
Presidential Nominee Speaks on Injunction Question—Shows Fallacy of Democratic Charges.
Troy Times. October 30, 1908: 5 cols 1-7..
“THE PEERLESS ONE.”
William Jennings Bryan Addresses a Large Audience at Bolton Hall on Campaign Issues—The Preliminary Bouts—The Democratic Candidate For President and His Promises.
Troy Times. October 29, 1908: 11 cols 2-4.
—The roller skating season at Bolton Hall will open Thursday evening, when a grand carnival will be held. Excellent music will be provided, and a large attendance is expected. Roller-skating, one of the most delightful of indoor amusements, is more popular than ever, and Bolton Hall with its big area and perfect floor provides the very best facilities for the enjoyment of the sport.
Troy Times. September 12, 1910: 5 col 2.
—Eugene V. Debs, Socialist candidate for President, will speak at Bolton Hall Sunday evening, October 6, under the auspices of the local Socialist organization.
“City Notes.” Troy Times. September 23, 1912: col 1.
Rourke Cockran and Senator Clapp Principal Speakers—Roosevelt’s Message for Protection.
A gathering variously estimated from 3,000 to 4,000 last night attended the Bull Moose rally at Bolton Hall, sang “Roosevelt, My Roosevelt,” “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and other songs and heard Hon. Moses E. Clapp of Minnesota and Hon. Bourke Cockran of New York speak. John A. R. Kaaps of Albany, a former Democratic Alderman in that city, was the Chairman, James M. Snyder introduced him. Mr. Kaaps compared Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt as “a man of the hour,” and then he introduced Senator Clapp, who waited for “The Star Spangled Banner” from the Troy City Band to subside.
He said that before he would deliver his own message he must present one from Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt’s message read:
I appeal to the men and women of Troy to stand by us in this fight, regardless of past political affiliations. In our party we have men who were in the past affiliated with other parties. As the Republican and Democratic parties are banded against us, I ask all honest citizens to stand with us in the cause of political right and justice.
The Bull Moose chorus then sang “Roosevelt” and after quiet was restored the speaker proceeded to outline what he termed the fundamentals of the campaign.
He continued by saying that he had had experience with Bourbons in the Senate, and hinted that the representatives who were not Progressives were Bourbons. He spoke of the Bourbons as being blind as kittens, whether in the French Revolution with their necks near the guillotine, or in the present industrial crisis, with them and their kind all doomed to extinction. He compared them to new-born kittens, and carried the simile further by saying that they were worst off than the kitten, for “the good Lord wills that if a kitten passes the vicissitudes of the first eight days of kittenhood at the end of that time it may receive its sight, and the Bourbon never receives his sight.”
He said he thought that when women take a part in politics and sing “Onward, Christian Soldiers” at a mass-meeting, it tends to take much of the hell out of politics. He went at length into the Roosevelt policies, as they were styled when that man set the precedent for them in Washington, and said that it was the Roosevelt policies that the people wanted then and want now. He said that the only way that Taft secured a nomination and election was on the basis that he would carry out the Roosevelt policies. He outlined the policies at length, and told wherein he thought them superior. He asserted that Taft had failed in his covenant with the people, in failing to carry out those Roosevelt policies, and added that for that reason Taft was doomed as a political failure. He characterized the Republican party as a ship without a rudder, plunging downward to political oblivion. He said that the party was doomed to defeat because it had failed to meet the popular demand. “Oh, Mr. Taft says that he has carried out the Roosevelt policies. Yes. He is right.” said the speaker, “he carried out the Roosevelt policies, and I know, for I was there and witnessed the ceremony.”
The rest of Mr. Clapp’s speech was on the tariff. He asserted that a protective tariff was necessary, because we had reached a stage in economic development which made it necessary. He attacked the Wilson policy, as one that would lead to panic. He called on all to stand by Protection as the sound policy. he attacked the Constitution as an instrument that could be twisted to suit the purpose of monopoly, and gave lengthy illustrations of the effect of monopoly tariff, in violation of the Constitution as it should be interpreted. He spoke of the Paine-Aldrich combination as the father of monopoly legislation, and said that the Progressives in the Senate had continually fought for a fair tariff. During the interval which elapsed before the arrival of Hon. Bourke Cockran, who was on his way from Albany, Rev. John L. Clymer, candidate for State Senator, made a short address, in which he said that the chief aim of the Progressive movement was typified in the statement that “righteousness was greater than the tariff, justice was greater than party and human rights were greater than special privilege.” Frederick E. Draper, jr., also made a short speech, and he was well received.
Mr. Cockran arrived a few minutes later, and he spoke for an hour and twenty minutes. He spoke of the “deplorable industrial conditions” in the big cities, of child-labor, the stunting of men and women in greed, and he said that the mission of the Progressive party was to free these millions, who, as he said, “believe Democracy has failed.” He spoke of the inadequacy of the present laws, and then outlined the Progressive platform to show that the remedy lay in electing Progressives to office.
Troy Times. October 31, 1912: 13 col 12.
—Tom McMahon of Pittsburg, who last night at Bolton Hall fought Dan Flynn of Boston, and “Jimmy” Dime, another well-known boxer, were guests of Anthony Cummings at his home on Paine Street yesterday. Mr. Cummings became acquainted with McMahon while playing baseball at Newcastle.
“Personal.” Troy Times. March 10, 1914: 2 col 4.
—A special program has been arranged for the closing of the photo drama of “Creation,” which the I. B. S. A. has been showing in Bolton’s Hall for the last few weeks, at 3 o’clock. Part 4 of the drama will be shown, and pastor I. F. Hoskins of New York city will speak at 8 o’clock on “Pastor [Charles Taze] Russell’s Teachings Examined,” and will use some of the best moving pictures from the drama to illustrate his points. The lecture is given under the auspices of the International Bible Students’ Association, which is financing the drama. It has organized classes for non-sectarian Bible study in all parts of the world. All seats are free to the public and no collections are taken.
“City Notes.” Troy Times. August 29, 1914: 5 col 1. [A “photo drama” was a magic lantern slide presentation, or in current parlance a Power Point presentation.]
STATE LICENSE GRANTED FOR BOLTON HALL BOUTS.
Word was received to-day by Manager Cornelius A. McGrath of the Collar City Athletic Club that the State Athletic Commission has granted a license to conduct boxing bouts at Bolton Hall. The Directors of the club making the application are C. A. McGrath, Thomas Horan and Moe Myers.
The granting of the license assures ring contests in the city, and in a few days the club expects to announce the time for the opening bouts. This will depend somewhat upon the progress made by the officers and members of the local military companies in moving their effects to the new State Armory on Fifteenth Street.
The new club has secured a lease of Bolton Hall, and Manager McGrath, who has just taken over the Troy franchise in the State Basketball League, will begin preparations at once for the opening of the second half of the league season with the first game in which the new Troy team, now being assembled, will play next week.
Arrangements are being made to introduce other athletic events at Bolton Hall, beside boxing and basketball during the season, and the plan is to make it a popular centre for professional contests of various kinds.
Troy Times. January 25, 1922: 12 col 3.
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTH REGIMENT MOVING.
Will Be Installed in New $300,000 Building on Fifteenth Street By Saturday Night—Formal Opening April 18—Governor to Be Present.
Under the direction of Lieut. Harvey S. Gardner, who was detailed for the purpose by Col. Rasom H. Gillet, Commander of the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment of Troy, the work of evacuating the temporary Armory in Bolton Hall was begun this morning and will be prosecuted as rapidly as possible. It is thought the work will be completed by Saturday night, and the regiment will be installed in the new $300,000 State Armory on Fifteenth Street.
Troy Times. January 25, 1922: 5 col 4.
A number of fans from this city attended the basketball game at Bolton Hall last night in Troy between the Celtics of New York city and the Noble Callahans of Troy.
“Here and There.” Hudson Valley Times [Stillwater, NY]. January 26, 1922: 4 col 4.
Bolton hall has a parking space in the basement of the building where autoists can leave their cars in safety. Ample police assistance is given the officials of the club in handling the large crowds, and little discomfort is experienced by the patrons, no matter how big the crowd is.
Times-Union. February 27, 1922: 13 col 4.
Because many spectators thought the practice dangerous, the indoor parking of autos under Bolton Hall has been abandoned, but there will be a policeman detailed to see that the cars parked outside are properly watched.
Troy Times. March 1, 1922: 12 col 3.
Mrs. M. Oetteking, who managed Riverside Park, Springfield, Mass., for the past six years, has opened Bolton Hall, Troy, N. Y., as a skating rink. Sessions are held every afternoon and evening except Monday and Wednesday. Troy has not had a rink since before the war, the government having used the hall until this year. Al Anderson, who has managed rinks in various parts of the country, is in charge of the rink. Leo Doherty, an oldtime racer, has charge of the skate room, and there are ten instructors.
The attraction for the opening week of the new rink was Red Fitzgerald, trick and fancy skater, and he proved a good drawing card.
“Rinks & Skaters.” The Billboard. March 11, 1922: 71.
With the opening of the Bolton Hall Roller Skating Rink this pleasant exercise has become an enjoyable pastime. We have skates selling at all prices.
Buy a remodeled
These machines are all in first class shops.
SPORTING GOODS. SAFES.
Troy Times. May 12, 1922: 15 col 1.
Troy, Nov. 23.—More than 1,300 members and guests of Phoenix Lodge No. 58, F. and A. M. assembled last night in Bolton Hall, to participate in the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the lodge. More than 100 members of Apollo Commandery, No. 15, K. T., participated in the ceremonies, making the trip to Bolton Hall in special cars.
Hudson Valley Times. November 23, 1922: 4 col 4.
—Noble-Callahan Post of the American Legion will meet tomorrow night to complete plans for the skating party and dance to be given at Bolton Hall Friday night. The new band of the organization will make its first appearance at the dance.
“City Notes.” Troy Times. March 5, 1923: 5 col 1.
Fire in a rubbish pile at the foot of One Hundred and Seventh Street back of Bolton Hall threatened the hall for a short time about 9 o’clock last evening. Pumper 11 responded to a still alarm and used snow to extinguish the fire.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Times. January 26, 1924: 3 col 2.
Claim Waste Was Discovered Scattered About the Place.
SIMILAR MATERIAL FOUND NEAR TROLLEY CAR BARNS
Firemen on Duty All Day Yesterday—A Mysterious Auto.
Soon after 4 o’clock yesterday morning fire destroyed Bolton Hall, famous as a place of amusement and as the former home of a number of prominent organizations. The blaze was the most spectacular of recent years, calling to mind the fire which razed the plant of The Shaughnessy Ice Company, located just south of Bolton Hall, on New Year’s Day, 1922. […]
Bolton Hall is owned by the Samuel Bolton estate, shared by three brothers, Joseph Bolton, jr., William and George Bolton. The amount of insurance is estimated by William Bolton at $32,000. The hall was built in 1884 by George W. Oliver, builder and contractor, and the first event held there was a ball of the Troy Masonic lodges January 22, 1885. The hall was intended primarily as a roller-skating rink. About thirty years ago S. Bolton & Sons purchased the property and placed a stone foundation beneath it. In this cellar stock ale and porter were kept to age in casks at the time when the brewery was operating. Two thousand empty barrels remained in the cellar at the time of the fire. There was also a variety of miscellaneous goods in storage, including some old sleighs and wagons. Including the purchase price and numerous improvements and alterations, among which was the laying of a floor of four-inch maple boards laid on edge, the Boltons estimate they have spent about $50,000 on the building.
For four years after the State Armory was burned in January, 1917, Bolton Hall was used to house the state militia. It has also served as quarters for the Collar City Athletic Club and many large entertainments have been staged there, the most recent of which was the fair conducted by Troy Lodge of Elks last September. Recently negotiations had been under way with Mrs. Pettkins of Pittsfield, Mass., who was contemplating reopening the hall as a skating rink. She formerly leased it for this purpose.
Troy Times. February 18, 1924: 5 cols 2-3.
The work of cleaning up the sidewalks in front of Bolton Hall, which was destroyed by fire Sunday morning, has been begun. The firemen will surround the ruins with a fence for the protection of passersby. Some remnants of lumber may be salvaged from what was in the cellar.
Troy Times. February 19, 1924: 23 col 4.
A fire for the purpose of getting rid of a pile of old lumber in the ruins of Bolton Hall on Second Street, owned by the Miner Wrecking Co., grew to such proportions yesterday afternoon that a still alarm was sent to Pumper 11 for help. Although no damage was done to adjoining property, considerable excitement was caused in that neighborhood.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Times. July 30, 1925: 3 col 3.
Another Outbreak In Ruins at Bolton Hall—Wetting Down Debris.
A fire broke out again in the ruins of the old Bolton Hall on Second Avenue, between 106th and 107th Streets, last evening and grew to such proportions by 9:30 o’clock that the apparatus from Pumper 11 was called to extinguish the brisk blaze. Chief John J. Evers accompanied his men, and one line of hose was put on the fire, the firemen working for over an hour wetting down the debris so that it would not break out again.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Times. August 6, 1925: 3 col 1.
Vacant Land In Lansingburgh Will Be Offered at Auction Again.
The Troy Common Council last night rejected as “too small” an offer of $2,000 for the former Bolton Hall property made by Charles B. Owens during public auction of city owned lots in December at the Troy High School.
The rejection of the Bolton Hall sale was the fourth out of almost sixty made at the December auction, and was one of three turned down by the aldermanic body as “too low.”
Alderman Henry E. Smith, Republican majority leader from the Seventeenth Ward, in asking the council to reject the offer said that the city did not put the resolution before the council with the other sales which were approved because it did not consider the $2,000 “sufficient.”
Since then the city has been offered “much more” for the property and “it feels that it can obtain a much higher price than the $2,000 at a second public auction,” Alderman Smith said.
Alderman Smith said that a second public auction will be held and that the Bolton Hall property will be offered for sale, thus again giving all interested parties a chance to bid for it.
Mr. Owens, who resides at 358 Third Avenue, had offered to purchase Lots 1 to 8, identified by the council resolution as being “on the west side of Second Avenue,” and “known as the “Bolton Hall site.”
Two other bids made at the December auction had been previously rejected by the council and the third, for the former Eddy lands, was turned down to permit the possible use of that property for expansion of the Frear Park golf course. The latter action was taken after a public hearing requested such a step.
Times Record. January 3, 1947: 6 col 3.