Alcove Day to celebrate history and community fellowship


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Shoppers checking out the wares during Alcove Day in 2021. File photo

ALCOVE — Community fellowship will be celebrated on Alcove Day on April 30.

Residents and visitors will get together for communitywide yard sales and to celebrate local history.

“There is going to be a communitywide yard sale in Alcove and Coeymans Hollow that we do every year,” said Tom Sweeney from the Alcove Preservation Association. “It’s been many years that we have been doing this.”

Alcove Day has been held every year for nearly three decades and includes events and yard sales at local institutions as well, including the Little Red Schoolhouse and Trinity United Methodist Church, both on Route 143.

And while you are out shopping, you can also learn about local history.

“The Schoolhouse Museum will be open for viewing and there will be a yard sale at that site as well,” Sweeney said.

If all that shopping makes you hungry, you will be in luck — local groups will be selling breakfast and lunch.

“The Trinity United Methodist Church will be hosting a luncheon as a fundraiser for the church and the firehouse will be selling breakfast sandwiches,” Sweeney said.

Alcove Day was initially created as a way to raise funds for a local organization and has grown since that time.

“The Alcove Preservation Association started this as a fundraiser many years ago,” Sweeney said. “People like to have yard sales, so we decided to sponsor this and we make a little bit of money from selling maps and registrations.”

After being shut down in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alcove Day made its return in 2021 to big numbers. In fact, last year’s event drew so many visitors the breakfast sandwich sale at the Coeymans Hollow firehouse on Route 143 ran out of food — twice — and had to quickly replenish its stores to accommodate the growing demand from customers.

Organizers hope this year’s event draws a big turnout as well.

Maps identifying where yard sales are being held will be available for a nominal fee beginning at 8 a.m. at several local sites.

Funds raised through the event will assist the association with its restoration efforts, particularly a monument that has towered over Alcove for more than 150 years.

“We do this for our projects out here, generally for the development and restoration of the Valley Paper Mill Park,” Sweeney said.

The association has a management agreement with the town of Coeymans, which owns the property, and has been working with the town for years to restore the historic chimney at the site. The chimney was built in 1848 when the mill expanded. Both — the chimney and the former mill site — are on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

The chimney was damaged in a fire at the mill back in 1892, according to the group, and restoration work began on the base of the chimney in 2017 when the stone foundation was restored.

Additional work has taken place over the years, including the restoration of 10 feet of brick in May 2021.

The town applied for a grant from New York State Historic Preservation last year to help pay for the restoration of the historic chimney, but the grant application was denied.

The Alcove Preservation Association continues to raise funds for the project, which still needs another 90 feet of brickwork restoration.

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