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Doc's life

About Doc Garrison

Garrison was born in Burnt Hills at his family's farm on Goode Street. At the turn of the century, the 30-square mile town of Ballston had a population of 2,000. Milk was the main source of income for the family, who had 35 cows and used a Hinman milking machine powered with a gasoline engine.

In summertime, if they had extra milk, it went to Bischoff's Chocolate Factory in Ballston Spa, a business that is a happy memory to many local adults because of the extra candy they used to hand out to kids at the end of the day. The Garrisons earned $2 for 100 pounds of milk. In winter months, they harvested ice for their own icehouse, for Markham's Bakery and Turpit's store. If the ice was thin and they slipped through, Garrison and his siblings trudged home, changed into dry clothes, and started out again.

One of the highlights of Garrison's childhood was attending the annual Ballston county fair, held the week before school started. The family's Model-T had a hard time just getting up the steep incline of Fairgrounds Avenue. After the fair, the family would make a shopping trip to Montgomery Wards in Latham for school clothes. Garrison and his siblings attended a one-room schoolhouse on Scotchbush Road behind their home. In 1916, a school was built on Lakehill Road and named the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School of Agriculture and Homemaking, and its first graduating class consisted of two people.

Garrison's uncle, Bert, was the town of Ballston supervisor in the 1930s, and when the caucus was held at Turpit's store, one of his campaign promises was to get the roads fixed.

"Uncle Bert came through and the road crew cut the brush, put the stones through a crusher, and raised the road," writes Heritage in Garrison's voice. "It was quite an improvement, and that's how it became Goode Street instead of Goode Road."

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