Christ's Lutheran Church in 1889

[ The old church ]

Pastor Martin J. Stover, 82, conducting services in the third church building, which, like the second one, was known as the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill (about ¾ mile east of our present location--that is, north of present-day Route 212, across from the country club). (To enlarge the picture, just click it.)

The Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Lutheran Church of Woodstock, organized the previous year, began its first meetings at the home of Mrs. Helen Lasher, with the motto "We will do what we can." It was resolved that a monthly installment of 5 cents per member [$1.05 per member in 2006 dollars] be paid into the treasury.(1)

From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 109, citing Lasher, Helen, "The Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Society" [paper delivered at the centennial celebration]. (Close)

The Woodstock Region in 1889

Prospectors were exploring the Woodstock area for coal, oil, and gas. According to the Kingston Weekly Leader,

a large tract of land has been leased from several owners in West Woodstock by the Standard Oil Company and they will bore for oil and gas at an early date.(2) From Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, p. 144. (Close)
Nothing came of this venture.

The United States in 1889

[ Benjamin Harrison ]

Grover Cleveland (Democrat) was President, succeeded during this year by Benjamin Harrison. The newly elected 51st Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $20.91 in 2006 for most consumable products.

The value of manufactured products in the U.S. was $9.3 billion ($194 billion in 2006 dollars), a 75% increase in just a decade, a nearly threefold rise in 20 years, and a more than fivefold rise in 30 years.

Immigrants from the British Isles and western Europe (especially Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany)--the so-called "Old Immigrants," most of them boasting a comparatively high level of literacy and accustomed to some level of representative government, who were either Protestant (most of them) or Catholic, were arriving during this decade at an average annual rate of 275,300. The "New Immigrants," those from southern and eastern Europe (especially Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia), largely illiterate and impoverished, who tended to be either Catholic, Orthodox, or Jewish and who had little experience with representative government, were arriving at an annual rate of 92,600--34% of the Old Immigrants' rate, a threefold proportionate increase from a decade earlier and a fivefold increase in raw numbers. The New Immigrants huddled together in large cities, such as New York City and Chicago.

Solidly Democratic white supremacists held political power all over the South. The economically dependent blacks who even tried to vote (forget about being elected to political office) would be facing unemployment, eviction, and violence. Blacks (and poor whites as well) continued being forced into sharecropping and tenant farming; former slave masters were now bosses and landlords. Through the "crop-lien" system, the serflike small farmers could get food and supplies from storekeepers by agreeing to a lien on their expected crops, a lien they would never be able to fully pay off. The daily discrimination against blacks grew increasingly oppressive. Blacks were continually assaulted by harsh reminders of their second-class citizenship, and the white supremacists dealt brutally with any black who dared to violate the customary racial code of conduct.

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The World at Large in 1889

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