includes Town of Bleecker and
Bleecker Center, Bowlers Corners, Lindsley Corners, Peters Corners and Pinnacle
Around the Town:
- Businesses & Residents in 1869 - Child's Gazetteer
- Bleecker Churches - Church Histories and listings
~~~ Historian ~~~
(where to inquire for information)
~~~ Town Clerk~~~
(where to inquire for official records)
Mrs. Eleanor Brooks
184 Co. Hwy 125
Gloversville, NY 12078
Bleecker Town Clerk
603 Cohwy 112
Gloversville, NY 12078
~~~ Historical Society ~~~
Bleecker Historical Society
575 County Highway 112
Gloversville, New York 12078
History of Bleecker
Bleecker is the central of the northern tier of towns of Fulton county. It was taken from Johnstown on the 4th of April, 1831; a portion was reannexed in 1841, and in 1842 a part was annexed off to Caroga on the west, leaving the town nearly square. The surface is a mountainous upland, with ledges of rocks cropping out in almost every section of the town. Some of the highest points rise to the height of two thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea. Stony creek is the principal stream of the town, taking its rise in the south-western part, and running in a north-easterly direction into Hamilton county. It is fed by smaller streams, and is used by lumbermen for the purpose of floating logs to the Sacondaga, into which it empties, and by which they are carried to the lumber mills at Glen's Falls and Fort Edward on the Hudson. There are seven lakes or ponds in the town, the principal of which is Chase's lake, in the northern part, Woodworth's, in the south-eastern corner, and what is called Peck's Pond, in the south-western corner of the town.
For many years lumbering and tanning have carried on very extensively, until at the present time the forests are comparatively stripped of valuable timber; two or three firms, however, still do quite an extensive business in both tanning and lumbering. There are at present eleven saw mills and two tanneries in the town. There are also two hotels, four stores, and two small establishments dealing in wet groceries.
Six school districts, with competent teachers, comprise the educational department of the town. Its religious interests are cared for by the Methodist, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and "Christian" denominations. A large majority of the population are Germans; for a few years past they, with a few others, have turned their attention to farming, which to-day is taking the place of the leading industries of former days. The town comprises an area of 36,898 acres of land, according to the assessor's report for 1877, and the assessed value of the real estate for the same year was $55,155. The aggregate tax raised was $1,731.57. Bleecker derives its name from Barent Bleecker, who, in the company with Messrs. Glen and Lansing, purchased a tract of land covering a large portion of this town, April 4, 1793. Chase's and Mayfield patents cover the rest of the town, the former dated March 23, 1792, and the latter June 27, 1770. Of Chase and his purchase Mr. Simms speaks as follows in his "Trappers of New York":
"Wm Chase, the patentee, was in early life a sea captain, and in the Revolution became am American privateer. he was captured and taken to Europe, and while there visited France. After the war he removed from Providence, Rhode Island, to Hoosick, New York. At the latter place he built a bridge, by constructing which he was enabled to purchase some 12,000 acres of land in the western part of Fulton county. A large tract of land adjoining his, and which Chase intended to buy, was subsequently sold in Albany by auction, and was purchased by Barent Bleecker, Cornelius Glen and Abraham G. Lansing. It was known as Bleecker and Lansing's patent. Failing to secure this tract of land, on which he seems to have set his affections, Capt. Chase was heard to exclaim, with an oath, 'I would rather have lost my right in heaven than a title to this soil.'"
An Indian trail ran through the town, from south to north, passing through what is now Bleecker village, past Pine tannery in the north, and so on into Hamilton county. For a number of years Lindley's Corners, near the centre of town, was also the business centre. Subsequently the Bleecker tannery, near the south line of town, was built by a Yankee firm, Richards & Co., and gathered around in the hamlet known as Bleecker village, which attracted the business of the town to that point.
The pioneers of Bleecker settled in the territory of the town while it was a part of Johnstown. Among those who found themselves in Bleecker when the division was made were James Morse, William Rood, Hiram Lindsley, William Eglan, Gad Hamilton and others, mostly from New England. They settled here about the year eighteen hundred. Soon after, others began to make this their home, being the prominent men of the town in their day; - John Donaldson, William Bowler, Henry Lippart, and a few others, form the link between the first settlers and the present inhabitants of the town.
INDUSTRIAL and EDUCATIONAL BEGINNINGS
The first grist mill was built by William Chase soon after his patent was granted. It was located a little east of Lindley's Corners, on a branch of West Stony creek, and went to decay many years ago.
At present there is no custom grist-mill in the town, and the inhabitants are under the necessity of going to Gloversville for their milling. Mr. John Peters, one of the principal lumbermen in the town, has a feed mill, run for his own accommodation.
The first house of unhewn logs in the town, according to tradition, was built by early settlers at Lindley's Corners. The first hewn log house was built by Martin Hopfield, on the old Caroga road, west from Lindley's Corners. The first frame house was built where John M. Peters now lives, at Lindley's Corners. The first brick house, and the only one in the town, was built in 1874, Joseph Holler, in the western part of the town, near the Caroga line.
The oldest graveyard in the town is on the flat just north of Lindley's. The first school-house in the town was built at or near Eastman's, near the line of Hamilton county, in 1824, chiefly through the influence of Joseph Eastman.
The first saw-mill was built on a stream that empties into Stony creek above Lindley's Corners, called "Barlow's mill".
The town is divided into six school districts, and the school-houses are located as follows: number one, at Lindley's Corners; number two, near the hotel of Michael Heintz, south of the center of the town; number three, at Bleecker village, where the first teacher was Nancy Foot; number four, on the western side of the town - here the first teacher was Aseneth Greenfield; number five, at Pine Tannery, and number six, at Smith & Deming's tannery.
The first tannery in the town was built by William I. Bellinger and others, at what is now called Bleecker village, and went to decay twenty years ago.
Burr & Co. built a cabinet-ware factory on the stream below the tannery at the village, and operated it for several years, when it was abandoned and fell into decay. The first store in the town was built and managed by Richards & Hamlin, in connection with their tannery at Bleecker.
The first tavern was kept by S. S. Eastman, near the south line of the town, where Mr. Bussey now keeps a hotel.
The first blacksmith shop was built and operated by Gad Hamilton, north of Lindley's Corners.
The first preachers in the town were Rev. Messrs. Goss and Hurd, who ministered to the old Northampton Methodist circuit, which is now in the Saratoga district of the Troy Conference. They preached at Lindley's Corners once in the two weeks, alternating. They traveled on horseback, as at that date buggies, plank roads, and even turnpikes were not in fashion.
There is only one post office in the town; it was established about 1844 at Bleecker village, with E. A. Campbell as post master. Hiram Vandenburgh is the present incumbent.
Bleecker is the only village deserving the name. Mr. Isaac Van Nostrand formerly owned the land which it stands. The village contains a hotel, a brewery, a church, a school-house, two saw-mills, a store, a broom handle factory, six blacksmith shops, and twenty-three dwellings. The men who have lived here longest are John Donaldson and Hiram Vandenburgh.
There is a little hamlet at Heintz's, near the center of the town, and another at Smith & Deming's tannery, in the northeastern part of the town. Pine tannery, and Smith & Deming's, are the only ones now doing business in the town.
Source "History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y.", (New York: F. W. Beers & Co.)1878, pages 212-213.
Copyright ©1999,2000 Jeanette Shiel
All Rights Reserved.
Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:09:40 PDT