The founders of The Glens Falls Home's first annual report for 1899–1900 stated that the idea of a home for "aged, indigent and infirm women" had been "apparent for a long time."
In 1897 a group of concerned citizens —men and women representing five of the major local churches — began a series of meetings leading to the founding of the Organization. The group, comprising many community leaders, established two boards. The all-male "board of directors" was to oversee the Home's finances and investments while the "board of lady managers" was to oversee the Home's management and to raise money.
The Home received an unexpected gift in February 1899 when Mary Conkling offered her family home on the corner of Warren and McDonald Streets (including its property, which extended to Prospect St.). In 1901, when it became apparent that the Conkling home was too small, William McEachron, a leading businessman and husband of one of the founders, offered to donate the cost of a new building designed specifically to meet the needs of the Home.
Ephraim B. Potter, a prominent local architect, was selected to design the new building, which was completed in 1903. From its specially made brick exterior to its beautifully appointed interiors, the second Glens Falls Home was exquisite. Cherry wood was used throughout the neo-colonial style home. Large fireplaces, elegant staircases, and bright, well-appointed rooms awaited the residents. The windows were large and the rooms comfortable. Among its various amenities, the Home featured a spacious dining room and a separate library. An outpouring of gifts of money, furniture, ice, food items, and the like helped the Home begin operations.
The Home had 13 residents in 1903. By the 1920s, that number had grown to 22. Using land loaned by Mrs. Helen Foulds, the Home created its own greenhouse and garden, which provided all of the residents' vegetables, "not only for the table use in season, but sufficient for canning purposes." The sense of community giving that began with donations of everything from money, milk and fruit to tables and chairs continued through the following decades, leaving a lasting and inspiring legacy for our community.
Many changes have taken place over the years. There is now only one board of directors, which includes women as well as men. The original residential facility was closed (and subsequently sold in 2002), and the Board has incorporated the organization as a private, not for profit operating foundation with ties to many other organizations throughout the greater Glens Falls area dedicated to serving the needs of our senior population.
"To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it more fit for its prime function of looking forward."Margaret Fairless Barber, author
The spirit of the organization remains unchanged and community support remains strong. Financial support continues and our endowment continues to be strong due to the diligent over-site of the Board of Directors. On March 5, 2015, we were rebranded to The Conkling Center. With the programs and activities that we offer, The Conkling Center continues to operate in the forefront of providing information to and for seniors, ready to serve with over a century of experience - and always improving upon that tradition.