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Historic Charlton Tavern burns

The Greens' house and the tavern were the foundation of Charlton's historic district, settled in 1774 on land bought and surveyed by settler Jesse Conde. He sold 10 lots of land that now make up the eastern edge of the hamlet. The historic district still contains almost 60 historic properties.

On one of those lots was a building that housed a blacksmith, carriage shop and was home to many families, most recently the Greens.

Next door, the Charlton Tavern was built in 1787 and first served its function as the Amos Smith Tavern, circa 1791. Though it was also a grocery store, general store and western clothing outlet in the 20th century, from its earliest years, the tavern served first and foremost as a gathering place for the community.

"It was the anchor " as a tavern and a public place " from the very beginning of Charlton," said Town of Charlton Historian Laura Linder. "It was the original building from the very beginning of the community. This was the heart of Charlton."

Up until this past weekend, the tavern was the location of historical society banquets and celebrations of all types. It was a popular stop for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake sports teams after games.

Over a half-century ago, the tavern escaped damage when a storage barn behind it caught fire on a cold New Year's Day. The 1954 blaze reportedly caused problems for firefighters that were similar to those experienced Saturday morning.

A few years later, in 1969, William Maloney bought the structure and restored it to a functioning tavern and restaurant. He died recently, and his funeral procession ended at the tavern just two days before it was consumed by fire.""

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