May 26 – Happy Birthday Stephen Sanford

SSThe future of Amsterdam New York’s rug-making legacy was at stake. John Sanford had settled in the city along the Mohawk River in 1821 and built a rug mlll. Today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant went to work for his father in that mill in 1844. Ten years later, a monster fire burnt the place to the ground. John, who was 52-years-old at the time of the blaze, threw in the towel and retired. Stephen, who had attended both West Point and Georgetown could have moved to any city in this country and had his pick of the very best jobs at the very best companies, chose instead to remain in Amsterdam and rebuild the mill.

That decision secured the future of this city. By the time he handed off the reins of the company to his own son John, the Sanford rug mills were employing 2,500 people whose wages were being spent in Amsterdam businesses that employed thousands more. Just as important to this town’s development…

You can read the rest of my story about this legendary Amsterdam industrialist in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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