McKownville was originally the gateway to the west from Albany. It tends to blend into the city of Albany but has a very distinct identity, especially to the baby boomer generation.
This site is for the benefit of those who still fondly remember those days and their children who may have heard many a story of those times.
Currently this is ONLY a beginning and ALL contributions are welcome as long as they fit the general theme of the site.
Please e-mail any comments, photos, captions, corrections
or questions to:
GCHS class of 1971
Town resident from
GCHS class of 1971
Jim Wilson was the manager of King Shell for over 30 years. Knew almost everyone in McKownville from working on their cars. He also maintained the firetrucks for the McKownville Fire department.
via Lulu Press
He pulled his 2011 Chevy Cruz rental car into the large and very empty dirt lot on the corner of US route 20 and state route 146 and killed the ignition. Opening the door, he slid out and lit a cigarette. As he slowly walked toward the center of the lot, his snakeskin boots kicked up dust and his Stetson hat shielded his eyes from the late afternoon sun. Passing cars and the few pedestrians hurrying along their way paid no attention to him despite his attire that was way out of place.
Jonathan stopped and waited. He was wondering if he would presently smell stale beer, pizza, smoke and urine. Would he hear the rippling humming noise of the crowd or “My Sweet Lord,” “Get Back” and “Honky Tonk Woman” beating out of the jukebox? Would a familiar voice say, “Hey Jon… what you doing tonight?” Nothing mystic or Stephen King like happened but he stood waiting nonetheless.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues…”
This was his next to last stop. He had time.
The Tom Sawyer Motor inn was high-end accommodations for its day. Also had restaurant and banquet facilities. The business that later located next to it was aptly named: Huckleberry Finn!
Denby's c. 1969
Stuyvesant Plaza is the 2nd oldest shopping center in the Capitol District. Some of the older stores included:
- Western Auto
- Grand Union
- Record Town
- McManus & Riley
- Golden Krust Bakery
- Mechanics and Farmers Bank
- Richman’s Card Shop
- W.T. Grant & Co.
- Hall’s Drug Store
- and of course right in front was Howard Johnson's Restaurant with its “28 Flavors” of ice cream!
Can you name more?
Originally just "Eugene's," owned by Gene Audi, this was a popular watering hole since the 1960's. Of course, it had no OTB and wireless Internet back then.
Remember when they washed your windshield and checked your oil while "fillin' 'er up" ??
- NOTE: This is another page where our source material is slim. Please see above for how to send submissions.
McKown's Grove was a popular family gathering place for swimming, picnics and just hanging out.
The Toll Mansion on Krumkill Road
McKownville Fire Department
Hoppers Bar - Johnston Road -
"I was thirteen the first time I went in with my dad, he ordered a shot and a beer for himself and a beer for me. The woman behind the bar said, "I don't think he's old enough". My dad replied, " if my son wasn't old enough I wouldn't have brought him in", I was never proofed again." - submitted by Stephen Curran
"Myself and a few of my friends were regulars at Hopper's by the time we were juniors at Guilderland (1967). Great clams, cheap beer and endless games of pool. I seem to remember the owner's name was Abe. I can't remember his wife's name but she was a character too! We lived in Altamont and would sometimes take the afternoon bus there after school and hitchhike home around 4:00 to get home in time for dinner!! Friday and Saturday nights were always fun at Hopper's too.
--submitted by Lou Hall.
Places not included yet
_ Howard Johnson
- Huckleberry Finn
..and more to be
added to the list!