Walter Bulkey had been active with the Hedding Methodist Church and Olivet Presbyterian Church, and in musical performances at the Powers Opera House (also called the Concert Hall) among other venues – as was his second wife and two of his daughters. In addition to that, he was active in politics.

Bulkley, Walter, was born in Fairfield, Conn., in 1828. His parents were Edwin Bulkley, who was born at the old Fairfield homestead, and Mary Williams, born at Colbrook, Conn. In early life Mr. Bulkley was a farmer. In 1850 he came to Lansingburgh with David Judson, coal dealer, and was in his employ as teamster for two years. He was then taken into the office as bookkeeper and made himself generally useful in the various changes in the retail and wholesale trade, both here and in Troy. It is now an incorporated company, and Mr. Bulkley has been at the head of the bookkeeping department for many years. He has married twice. On October 2, 1851, he married Eliza J. Schuyler of this place; five children were the result of this union: Charles, Louis, Walter, jr., Susan and Kate. Charles married Frances Randall of New York, and has three children: Arthur E., Mary A., and Helen L. Louis married Sara V. Talbot, of Lansingburgh, and has three daughters, Louis R., Edith E., and Marion U. Susan married Joseph B. Gale of Baltimore, and has two sons, Charles B. and Howard N. Mr. Gale died in November, 1893. Mrs. Eliza J. Bulkley died June 20, 1871, and for his second wife, on April 10, 1872, he married Susan Butler of Albany, and has two daughters, Bertha V. and Mabel L. Mr. Bulkley has been the leader of the Olivet Presbyterian church choir since 1860.
Anderson, George Baker. Landmarks of Rensselaer County, New York. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1897. 303-304.


The First and Olivet Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist congregations all united in service at the latter church last evening. The attendance was very large. Rev. Dr. Tyler read the opening hymn, Rev. Mr. Beveridge offered invocation, and Rev. Mr. Mead preached a deeply earnest discourse. After the sermon a prayer meeting was held, at which remarks were made by Rev. Mr. McWhinnie and several laymen. The congregational singing was led by Walter Bulkley. Union prayer services are to be held at this church every afternoon at 4 o’clock, and evening services throughout the week, with preaching by the different pastors.—David Morse, who makes drunkards of children, appeared before the excise commissioners on Saturday evening. They revoked his license, and President Dickson lectured him. As he has sold his property and will leave the village for the village’s good, the complainant will bring no further action against him.—The following is the police report for January:
Number of arrest: Male, 23, female 2, total 25; lodgers, male, 26, female 2, total 28; fires, 1; false alarms, 1; burglaries, 1; search warrants served, 1.
Troy Daily Times. February 2, 1874: 2 col 3.

An uptown man, who was having trouble with his piano, finally found the reason. This is copied from the Times of Jan. 14, 1882:
“Walter Bulkley, residing on Congress Street, Lansingburg, was the owner of a valuable upright Steinway piano. Recently the instrument was found to be badly out of order. Upon examination it was found that mice had made a nest in its interior and had eaten the covers off most of the hammers, thus rendering the instrument almost unfit for use.”
Calkins, Herbert. “Sand Lake Case Featured Snake, Frog, Shining Ghost.” Times Record. January 25, 1960: 5 col 1.

Aunt Abby Jackson, colored, sister-in-law of Walter Bulkley, died at the residence of the latter last evening of paralysis. Aunt Abby was seventy-five years of age and was born in Lansingburgh, where she had always resided.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. September 11, 1882: 2 col 6. [See following item, however, which seems to be the more accurate.]


The venerable Mrs. Mary Jackson died at the residence of her son-in-law, Walter Bulkley, Sunday evening. The deceased was 76 years of age and had always resided in Lansingburgh. Her funeral took place from Mr. Bulkley’s residence, Tuesday afternoon.
“Obituary.” Lansingburgh Courier. September 16, 1882: 2 col 7.

—Information has been received of the death at Fairfield, Conn., yesterday of Edwin Bulkley, the venerable father of Walter Bulkley, a well-known resident. The latter left yesterday to attend his parent’s funeral. The deceased was formerly a slave, and was owned by David Judson, an uncle of the late David Judson of Lansingburgh. He leaves considerable property.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. January 13, 1883: 2 col 5. [See however the following item which seems to be more accurate.]

—Mr. Walter Bulkley received intelligence, Wednesday, of the death of his father at Fairfield, Conn. The funeral took place yesterday. The statement that the deceased was formerly a slave is pronounced incorrect by his friends.
“Personal.” Lansingburgh Courier. January 20, 1883: 2 col 6.


A grand concert under the auspices of Mrs. Walter Bulkley, of this village, is announced to take place at concert hall on the evening of the 15th inst. A very superior program has been arranged, and the finest colored talent in this vicinity has been secured for the occasion. The entertainment will be one of rare excellence and is entitled to the most liberal patronage.
Lansingburgh Courier. November 3, 1883: 3 col 3.

Grand Concert

AT CONCERT HALL, Lansingburgh, Thursday evening, Nov. 15, under direction of Mrs. Walter Bulkley, in which Mr. Bulkley and the best colored talent of Troy, Lansingburgh, Albany and Waterford will participate.
Prices of admission 50, 35 and 25c. Reserved seats at Dickson’s drug store. 11-12 m, w&th-3t
Troy Daily Times. November 12, 1883: 3 col 4.

—Excellent colored vocalists will assist at a concert to be given in Concert hall, Lansingburgh, under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Buckley.
“Where to Be Merry.” Troy Daily Times. November 15, 1883: 2 col 5

—The Lansingburgh musical and literary association will give its first entertainment in this city at Harmony hall Tuesday evening. The exercises will include a fancy drill and a May-pole dance. Walter Bulkley is director of the entertainment.
“The Happy Hours.” Troy Daily Times. May 21, 1887: 3 col 2.

At the Lansingburgh Academy.

That Lansingburgh is proud of the educational advantages and standing of the Lansingburgh academy was shown last evening by the brilliant assembly that thronged Concert hall until standing-room only was available. The graduating exercises of the class of ’91, composed of nine young ladies, well maintained the standard of excellence long characteristic of the school’s closing exercises. The hall was tastefully decorated, ferns and flowers in profusion gracing each side of the platform, with flags and floral emblems arranged skillfully. Seated on the platform were Rev. Dr. Samuel McKean, Rev. Dr. B. B. Loomis, Rev. Charles Townsend, Rev. Charles E. McGinnis, Rev. Josiah Still, R. C. Haskell, S. N. Ide, George Colburn, E. K. Betts, Professor C. T. R. Smith and the graduates: Miss Bertha V. Bulkley, Miss Anna M. Chase, Miss Mary L. Flack, Miss Sara A. Gill, Miss Jeanette B. Gillespy, Miss Mary I. Groesbeck, Miss Maude R. Pfau, Miss Mary M. Reid, and Miss Bertha M. Smith. Doring’s orchestra for the first selection rendered with pleasing effect the overture “Grotesque,” by Schlepegrell. Prayer was offered by Rev. Charles E. McGinnis, following which the orchestra gave the selection “Magnolia Serenade,” by Missud.
Miss Bertha V. Bulkley, whose essay was entitled “Superstition,” was the first graduate to read. In well-worded sentences Miss Bulkley gave reason for the existence of many of the superstitions that cling to the minds of the people of to-day and pleaded for more thorough understanding to banish illogical beliefs.
“Which Way?” was the subject of an interestingly-written and well-rendered essay by Miss Anna M. Chase, who drew many admirable lessons from the advantages of a proper moulding of aims and hopes.
“When the Leaves Turn Brown,” was the subject chosen by Miss Mary L. Flack for an essay, showing much thought and replete with pleasing ideas, interestingly grouped. The reader drew many practical lessons from the tendency of all things to change.
After the rendition of the selection “From Lofty Alps to Silent Dale,” from Waldow, by the orchestra Miss Sara A. Gill read an essay entitled “Our Country’s Wealth.” The essay was charmingly bright and gave many suggestions of how best may be utilized the nation’s strongest resources. Miss Gill read with perfect enunciation.
Miss Jeanette B. Gillespy read one of the most delightful essays of the evening, the subject being “Not Angels, But Angles.” Miss Gillespy had chosen for her theme that quaint morsel of literature “The Compleat Angler,” by Izaak Walton, and the beautiful thoughts of that author added interest when brightened by the essayist’s appreciative words.
“Blunders” was the subject of an essay of great merit by Miss Mary I. Groesbeck, who gave many incidents of ludicrous blunders. Miss Groesbeck took a philosophical view of blunders, thinking that those persons most anxious to avoid errors most frequently succeeded in making them. The essay showed careful writing and original thought.
“The Gondolier Waltz,” by Roeder, was rendered by the orchestra, following which Miss Maude R. Pfau read “A Message from Mars.” The writer had selected an imaginative subject, and throughout the essay were flashes of imagination that gave new thoughts to the reader’s auditors. Miss Pfau took the opportunity of ridiculing the vices of the earth by praising the virtues to be found in Mars.
“Glimpses from a Car-Window” was the subject chosen for an interesting essay by Miss Mary M. Reid, whose thoughts were very pleasing. The essay and of a trip through Pennsylvania, and showed the writer’s appreciation of the beautiful in nature.
The last essay of the programme was read by Miss M. Smith, the subject being “Advice to Girls.” Miss Smith’s essay was one of the most original of the evening, and one of its charms was the fact that no advice to girls was given, the author thinking that already young ladies were burdened with too many suggestions as to modes of conduct, while the younger members of the opposite sex were not so favored.
Music, “The Darky’s Dream,” followed the reading of the last essay, after which the address to the graduates was given by Rev. Dr. Loomis, pastor of the First Methodist church. Dr. Loomis congratulated the class and complimented the faculty of the academy. The conferring of the diplomas was by Rev. Charles Townsend of the First Presbyterian church, who gave a brief address in behalf of the academy trustees. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Dr. Samuel McKean. Each graduate received many floral gifts and the platform at the close of the exercises was a bank of flowers.
Immediately following the exercises the graduates were tendered a reception at the academy parlors by the academy literary association, the alumni and the class of ’93 of the school.
The academy was founded in 1829. No change will be made in the teachers for the coming year. Professor C. T. R. Smith was reelected principal for three years at the annual meeting of the board of trustees, and Professor G. W. Coon of Kingston, who since January has been the assistant principal, having been appointed for the next school-year. Professor Coon is a graduate of Wesleyan university, class of [1800?]
Troy Daily Times. June 19, 1891: 3 cols 2-3.

At Concert hall last evening a reception was given by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bulkley to their daughter, Miss Bertha V. [Virginia] Bulkley. A large number of guests were present from Troy and Albany.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. December 31, 1891: 2 col 8.

Speeches for Colored Republicans—Mass Meeting at the City Hall.

Last night, for the second time in the campaign of 1892, the colored citizens of Troy started a wave of political enthusiasm at the city hall. The colored Republicans of this vicinity are in earnest, and there is every indication that they will swell the majority in Rensselaer county for Harrison and Reid next month. There was a large audience last night, notwithstanding the partial belief that the meeting had been postponed. The J. P. Harden staff, with Doring’s band, marched from the headquarters on River street to the city hall. Captain Harden was in command, and there were about thirty members in line, with new uniforms of white and gold, helmets and lanterns. The staff occupied seats near the stage. The hall was decorated with large flags and pictures of Harrison and Reid. On the stage were several prominent citizens.
Richard Kelly called the meeting to order, and on his motion John F. Price was elected president. Other officers of the meeting included the following:
Vice presidents—Daniel Jones, W. A. Lewis, John F. Price, Rev. S. F. Dickson, Jacob Briggs, G. E. Davis, Hon. Martin I. Townsend, Walter Buckley, Hon. J. M. Francis, L. E. Latham, J. H. Davis, Zeph F. Magill, Peter Azier, William Rice, J. A. Leggett, Archer Bolden, John Whitbeck, William Oliver, W. B. Keyes, Levi Bond, Arthur Mac Arthur, J. E. Richardson, John H. Bishop, F. A. Chew, Garrett Jefferson, W. S. Forman, Hon. John A. Quackenbush, John Cadwell, Charles E. Lewis, Thomas Campbell, John J. Epps, John T. Punch, E. Jamison, A. C. Comstock, Harmon Witbeck, J. P. Harden, E. Evans, Henry Johnson, Charles T. Gidney, John Kemp, James H. Clifton, William Archer, R. H. Lansing, James Tolbert, W. A. Sackett, John Young.
Secretaries—Joseph E. S. Williams, Richard Jackson, John R. Chew, W. Hegamin, Frank Vanderpool, jr., Charles Shelby, Benjamin Scott, S. S. Smith.
W. H. A. Moore of New York was announced as the speaker of the evening. He was a delegate to the colored men’s state convention held recently in this city. Mr. Moore said in part:
The citizens of Troy are conversant with the issues of the campaign. The Democratic national committee, however, did not know what the issue was until the New York Sun came to the rescue. The tariff, currency and other problems are set aside, and, thanks to the Sun, the force bill is the all-absorbing topic—negro domination. But I need not say that this is a false issue. There should be no negro domination, no white man’s domination. The American people will stand the domination of no set. Still, we realize that something must be done to protect the ballot in every state in the Union. The intelligent black men have so much interest in America and the principles that affect it as any other element. The day has gone by when we considered ourselves a ward of this nation. I am ready as are many other colored men, to place Protection, Reciprocity and sound money ahead of the abridgement of the rights of the negro.
They say the black man should be a Free Trader, because he is a farmer. In the South the negroes raise nearly all the cotton, corn and wheat. Before the war, when Free Trade was rampant, taking any period you please, only 4,000,000 bales of cotton were raised. But last year under Protection the product was more than 9,000,000 bales. Should the black man be for Free Trade? In the same manner I could show that every farming product in the South had prospered under Protection.
I am satisfied that the colored citizens of Troy will do their duty at the next election, as will those of other cities, and that Harrison and Reid will be the next President and Vice President. We have a great deal of work before us. Let us enter into it with a spirit. Take an interest in the affairs the country and give your unqualified support to the candidates named at Minneapolis. With their success the prosperity of our nation is assured.
Chairman Price introduced Colonel J. G. McNutt of this city, and his speech was well received. The object of what the Democrats call the force bill, Colonel McNutt said, is to secure for the negroes at the South the same protection and privileges at the polls as are given in the North. The speaker referred to the remarkable increase in the manufactures of the South, the result of a Protective policy. He also showed that the McKinley bill had started new manufactures, giving work to more men and women. Colonel McNutt predicted an increased majority in this county for the Republican candidates.
The meeting closed with three cheers for Harrison and Reid, and other rounds for Congressman Quackenbush, Zeph F. Magill, the Republican candidate for county clerk, and other Republican nominees. The Harden staff enjoyed a spread last night at the club rooms.
Troy Daily Times. October 18, 1892: 3 col 5.

—One of the most largely attended Sunday meetings ever held by the Lansingburgh young men’s Christian association was held yesterday afternoon. The meeting was under the direction of George A. Cohen and Howard M. Briggs, members of the devotional committee of the association, and the address was by Herbert Ford, superintendent of the Sunday school of Hedding Methodist church. The singing was led by Walter Bulkley. The meeting next Sunday will be in charge of John Alexander and George H. Van Arnam. The membership committee of the association will meet this evening, and to-morrow evening the finance committee and the class in mechanical drawing, with E. A. Stanley as instructor, will meet for the first time.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. November 28, 1892: 3 col 2.

—The last meeting for the school year of the academic literary association was held last evening. Readings were given by Miss Mary Beaudry and Miss Margaret McQuide, and piano duets were admirably rendered by Misses Bertha and Mabel Bulkley. Games were enjoyed and refreshments served. The election of officers was postponed until the first meeting of the next school-year. The meetings of the association this year have been well attended and successful.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. May 26, 1893: 2 col 6.

—The residence of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bulkley of Third avenue was last evening filled to overflowing with guests, a great many of whom were from out of town, to witness the marriage of Miss Mabel Louis Bulkley and George Edwin Wibecan, jr., of Brooklyn. The best man was John C. Wibecan, brother of the groom, and the bridesmaid Miss Bertha B. Bulkley, sister of the bride. The ceremony was performed by Rev. J. T. Emmett, pastor of St. Augustine’s Church, after which a reception was held, the guests partaking of a supper while the orchestra furnished music. Mr. and Mrs. Wibecan left at about 10 o’clock, for a wedding trip. They will reside in Brooklyn.
“Personal.” Troy Daily Times. June 8, 1899: 4 col 2.

The funeral of Walter Bulkley was held from the home, 677 Third avenue, at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Rev. Ira Derrick officiated, assisted by Rev. C. H. Walker. The Olivet Presbyterian church quartette sang. The pall-bearers were members of the family. The interment at Oakwood was private.
“Obituary.” Troy Daily Times. January 25, 1900: 4 col 3.

—Miss B. V. Bulkley, organist of the Olivet Presbyterian Church, has arranged the following program for the Christmas services to be held in the church to-morrow: Morning—Prelude, Guilmant; anthem, “Hallelujah to the King,” Gabriel; offertory solo by Miss Ida Mosher, “The New Born King,” L’Espoir; anthem, “Calm on the Listening Ear of Night,” Ashford; postlude, March in D major, Guilmant. Evening—Prelude, Rink; anthem, “Sing Hosanna,” Root; carols by Sunday School; post-lude.
“Religious Notes.” Troy Daily Times. December 21, 1901: 4 col 2.

Mr. John Wheeler, of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute was the guest last week of Miss Louise Bulkley and family of Upper Troy [Lansingburgh].
“Out-of-Town Correspondence: Troy.” New York Age. August 16, 1906: 8 col 3.

[Albert Francis Mando’s] vocal training was under the late Walter Bulkley of Lansingburg, N.Y.
“Albert F. Mando: America’s Most Noted Musical Artist, Instructor and Composer.” New York Age. August 8, 1907: 2 col 2.

LAST FIERY ACT AT POWERS OPERA HOUSE — Many years ago this theater, at the northwest corner of 117th Street and Third Avenue, was particularly well known to residents of Lansingburgh. Originally built in the Civil War period as a church, the building was later purchased by Nathaniel Powers and converted into a concert hall and theater. It was frequently used by local groups for amateur theatricals. Here it was that Eva Tanguay of Cohoes, who later became noted as a singer and vaudeville performer made her debut. In its later days the theater was devoted solely to the showing of motion pictures. For a time it was conducted under the auspices of F. F. Proctor. This picture shows how the old “opera house” looked on the morning of March 25, 1917 after fire had written the finish of the structure as a playhouse.
Times Record [Troy, NY]. September 23, 1966: B9.

Screen capture of former Powers Opera House, converted to a garage after the 1917 fire.
Google Street View. July 2011.

Miss Bertha V. Bulkley gave a very pleasant recital for her pupils, about twelve taking part. All showed evidence of careful instruction. Both parlors of Miss Bulkley’s beautirful home on Linwood Street, Roxbury, were filled with guests.
“Boston, Mass.” New York Age. April 12, 1917: 6 col 6.

—Comesky & Morier have sold for the Bulkley estate the two-story one-family frame dwelling known as 677 Third Avenue, Lansingburgh, to Jesse J. Slatery and Sarah Slatery, his wife. The new owners will occupy the home.
“Real Estate Sales.” Troy Times. May 15, 1920: 2 col 4.