~~~  Around our Towns, 1860  ~~~


Source:  French, J . H.  "Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State", (Syracuse: R. P. Smith) 1861, pages 316-319.

The footnotes contain most names.

BLEECKER1: was formed from Johnstown April 4, 1831.  A part was re-annexed to that town in 1841, and a part of Caroga was taken off in 1842.  It is the central upon the N. border of the county.  Its surface is hilly and mountainous upland, the highest summits upon the N. border being 2,000 feet above tide.  The streams are head branches of West Stony2 and Garoga Creeks.  In the valleys are several small lakes, the principal of which are Chases Lake, in the N., and Woodworth Lake, on the S. border.  The soil is thin and light, and the surface is very stony.  Lumbering and tanning3 are the leading pursuits.  Bleecker (p. v.), near the south border, contains a church, a sawmill, a large tannery, and 20 dwellings.  The first settlements were commenced about 18004.  The census reports three churches; M. E., Germ. Meth., and R. C.

BROADALBIN5:  was formed from "Caughnawaga", (now Broadalbin, Johnstown and Mayfield) March 12, 1793.  Northampton was taken off in 1799, and a part of Perth in 1842.  It is the central town on the E. border of the county.  Its surface is rolling and mostly susceptible of cultivation.  Chuctenunda Creek flows through the S. E. corner.  Fondas Creek flows W. through near the center; Frenchmans Creek through the N. part; and Mayfield Creek through the N. W. corner.  The soil is mostly of the drift formation, inclining to sand.  The N. part extends into the great Sacandaga Vlaie, which is annually overflowed, and in which the soil is alluvial.  Fondas Bush (Broadalbin p. o.), on Fondas Creek, near the W. line, was incorp. April 17, 1815, as "Rawsonville".  It contains three churches, three buckskin dressing mills, a saw and grist mill, and three mitten factories.  Pop. 651.  Mills Corners (p. o.), in the E. part, is a hamlet.  Union Mills (p. o.) contains a sawmill, paper mill, a peg factory and 10 houses.  North Broadalbin (p. o.), in the N. E. part, contains a church, saw and grist mill, and ten houses.   The first settlement was commenced before the Revolution.6  The census reports five churches in town7.>

CAROGA8:  was formed from Stratford, Bleecker, and Johnstown, April 11, 1842.  It lies on the N. border of the county, W. of the center.  Its surface is rolling in the S. and broken in the N. by small, sharp mountains.  A large hill lies W. of Garoga Creek; and a swell of land rises about 300 ft. between the principal branches.  Numerous clusters of lakes lie in the center and N. part of the town, the principal of which are E. and W. Fish lakes, Garoga, Lake, the Stink Lakes, Bellows, Prairie, Green, and Pine Lakes.  Garoga Creek flows S. from Garoga Lake.  A small portion of the area only is susceptible of cultivation.  Lumbering is the principal business.  Newkirks Mills (p. v.), contains a church (Ref. Prot. D.), a large tannery and 30 houses.  The first settlement commenced about 1790.9

EPHRATAH:  was formed from Palatine, (Montgomery Co.) March 27, 1827.  A part was re-annexed to that town on the division of the county in 1838.  It lies on the S. border of the county, W. of the center.  Its surface is mostly hilly upland, 400 to 1,500 ft. above the Mohawk.  Garoga Creek flows S. W.  through the town, in a deep valley, the hills on either side rising about 800 feet above the creek.  The soil is sandy, and in the S. E. a clayey loam.  Ephratah (p. v.), in the S. part contains a church, gristmill, a large tannery, and 359 inhabitants.  Garoga (p. v.), in the N. E. corner, contains two churches, two sawmills, a gristmill, two tanneries, a buckskin dressing mill, and 196 inhabitants.  Lassellsville (p. v.), in the W. part, contains two churches and 20 houses.  The first settlement commenced under the auspices of Sir William Johnson, in 176510. The census reports six churches in town.11

JOHNSTOWN12 :  was formed from "Caughnawaga", (now Broadalbin, Johnstown and Mayfield) March 12, 1793.  Lake Pleasant was taken off in 1812, Bleecker in 1831, Mohawk in 1837, and a part of Caroga in 1842.  A part of Bleecker was re-annexed in 1841.  It lies on the S. border of the county, near the center.  A series of hills occupy the N. part.  A high ridge extends through the E. part; Garoga Creek through the N. W. corner; and a branch of the Cayadutta through the W. part.  The soil is clayey and sandy loam.  The manufacture of buckskin gloves and mittens forms an important item in the business of the town.  Johnstown (p. v.), was incorp. April 1, 1808.  It is situated on the Cayadutta, S. E. of the center; and it contains the county buildings, seven churches, the Johnstown Academy13, three printing offices, a bank, two gristmills, a sawmill, a planing mill and gas works.  Pop. 1,661.  Gloversville (p. v.), on the Cayadutta, is four miles N. of Johnstown, is noted for its manufacture of gloves and mittens14.  It was incorp. in April, 1853, and contains three churches, the Gloversville Union Seminary, a printing office, a bank, a paper box factory, machine shop, and gristmill.  Pop. 1,965.  Kingsborough (p. v.), in the East part, contains a church, an academy, ten mitten factories and 300 inhabitants.  Sammonsville (p. v.), in the S. W., contains a paper mill, gristmill and 15 houses.  West Bush (p. o.), in the N. part, Kecks Center (p. o.), in the W. part, and McEwens Corners are hamlets.  The first settlement was commenced under the auspices of Sir Wm. Johnson, in 1760.    He removed to "Johnson Hall", about of a mile N. W. of Johnson Village, in 1761 or '62.  There were then about a dozen houses in the village, and 100 tenants on farms adjacent.  The lands were leased by him with the evident intention of establishing a baronial estate for his family15.  The census reports eleven churches in town16.

MAYFIELD17 :  was formed from "Caughnawaga", (now Broadalbin, Johnstown and Mayfield) March 12, 1793.  Wells was taken off in 1805, and another portion of Mayfield was annexed to that town in 1812.  A part was annexed to Perth in 1842.  It lies on the N. border of the county, E. of the center, and it extends nearly to the S. line.  Its surface in the N. part is broken by mountains rising 1,500 to 2,000 ft. above tide.  These elevations are of primary formation, with rounded summits, the higher peaks having steep declivities.  The central and S. parts are rolling and generally susceptible to cultivation.  Stony Creek flows through the N. W. corner; Mayfield Creek through near the  center; Fondas Creek18 through the S. E. part; and Cranberry Creek in the E. part.  The soil is sandy and gravelly, in some places strewn with boulders.  The valleys are alluvial, with some clayey loam.  Mayfield (p. v.), contains two churches, a saw and grist mill, and 600 inhabitants.  Vails Mills (p. v.), in the S. E. part, contains a sawmill, a gristmill, a tannery, and twenty houses.  Jackson Summit is a p. o.  The first settlement was commenced about 1760 or '61, under Sir Wm. Johnson, on the old road from Tribes Hill to the Sacondaga, and was then called "Philadelphia Bush"19.  There are two churches in town; M. E. and Presb.

NORTHAMPTON20:  was formed from Broadalbin, February 1, 1799.  It is the N. E. corner town of the county.  Its surface is hilly in the N., the hills rising about 1,000 feet above the valley.  In the S. part the Sacondaga21 Vlaie occupies several thousand acres, which cannot be easily drained.  Sacondaga River flows S. E. through the center of town, in a valley to 1 mile wide.  Mayfield Creek flows E. near the S. border.  The soil in the valley is a rich alluvium, and on the upland, a sandy loam.  In places it is stony and rocky.  Shell marl abounds in the bed of the Vlaie.  Northville (p. v.), in the N. part, contains three churches, four mitten factories, and 450 inhabitants.  Northampton22 (p. v.), in the S. E. corner, contains two churches, a large tannery and 210 inhabitants; and Osborne's Bridge (p. o.), a church and ten houses.  Cranberry Creek is a p. o. The first settlement commenced under Sir Wm. Johnson, about 177023.  The census reports five churches in town24.  A part of Wells (Hamilton co.) was taken off in 1805.

OPPENHEIM:  was formed from Palatine, (Montgomery co.) March 18, 1808. St. Johnsville (Montgomery co.), was taken off in 1838.  It is the S. W. corner town of the county.  Its surface is a hilly upland, inclining gradually S. W.  In the N. E. part  the hills rise 1,200 to 1,500 feet above the Mohawk.  East Canada Creek flows S. along the W. border.  Fish Creek flows through the N. W. corner.  Little Sprite, Crum, Zimmermans and Fox Creeks all flow S. W.   The soil in the S. W. is clay, in the S. E. a clayey loam, and in the center and N a light, sandy and gravelly loam.  Boulders scattered over the surface in profusion; and primary rock appears in the N.  Limestone has been extensively quarried in the S. W. part, for the Erie Canal and for private use.  Oppenheim (p. v.), near the center, contains a church, a sawmill and 59 inhabitants.  Brockett's Bridge (p. o.), in the W. part, on the line of Herkimer co., Lotville (p. o.), in the N., and Crum Creek (p. o.), in the S. part are hamlets.  The first settlement was commenced by Germans, before the Revolution25.  Rev. Jacob Frisband held the first religious services, about 180026.

PERTH27:  was formed from Amsterdam (Montgomery co.) April 18, 1838.  Parts of Mayfield and Broadalbin were annexed February 17, 1842.  It is the S. E. corner town of the county.  Its surface is gently rolling.  Chuctenunda Creek flows through the extreme E. part of town.  The soil is mostly a clay loam.  Limestone crops out in several places; but the prevailing rock is slate.  West Galway (p. v.), in the N. E. corner, on the line of Saratoga Co., contains a church and twenty houses.  Perth (p. o.), in the N. part, contains a church and eight houses.  West Perth (p. o.), is a hamlet.  The first settlement commenced on the road from Tribes Hill to Sacondaga, about 176028.  The census reports two churches in town; Presb., and Assoc. Ref. Presb.

STRATFORD29:  was formed from Palatine, (Montgomery co.) April 10, 1805.  A part of Caroga was taken off in 1842.  It is the N. W. town of the county.  Its surface is high, rolling and hilly upland, 800 to 1,200 feet above the Mohawk, and in the extreme N. 1,800 to 2,000 feet above tide, with a general inclination to the S. W.  East Canada Creek flows through the N. W . corner and forms a part of the W. boundary.  North, Ayres, and Fish Creeks are the principal streams.  In the N. part are several small lakes, the principal of which are:  Dexter, Spectacle, North Pleasant, and Ayres Lakes.  The soil in the S. W. and in the Valley of the East Canada Creek is a clayey loam; and in other parts it is light, sandy and gravelly.  Nicholsville (Stratford p. o.), on the W. border, partly in Herkimer co., at the junction of Ayres and East Canada Creeks, contains two churches, four sawmills, a gristmill and tannery, and 32 houses.  Whitesburgh (p. o.), is a hamlet, in the S. W. corner.  The first settlement was commenced by Samuel Bennett, in 180030.



1.  Named for Rutger Bleecker, of Albany, a patentee.  The town includes portions of Chase's, Glen's Bleecker's, Lansing's and Mayfield's Patents.

2.  Named Des-kon-ta on Southier's map, pub. in 1779.

3.  There are four large tanneries in town.

4.  Among the early settlers were James Morse, Wm. Rood, Ephraim Lindsley, James Landon, Samuel Shaffer, Wm. Eglan, Frederick Mills, ---- Goodwell, and Geo. Hamilton, about 1806.  Wm. Chase, the patentee, built a gristmill on the N. branch of Stony Creek in 1804-05.

5.  Named from a place in Scotland, by James McIntyre, one of the early settlers.  This town comprises parts of Sacondaga, Kayaderosseras, and Stone's Patents.

6.  Henry Stoner, Joseph Scott, Benj. Deline, Philip Helmer, Andrew Bowman, Herman Salisbury, John Putnam, Joseph Desilver, John Homan, Elias Cady, settled near Fondas Bush before the Revolution. --Simm's Trappers of N. Y. , p. 21.  James McIntyre, Alexander Murray, Alexander Oliver, Daniel McIntyre and Nathan Brockway, from Scotland, Peter Demarest and Derrick Banta, from N. J., Abram Manchesterm, Reuben Burr, and Enoch Cromwell from New Eng., settled soon after the Revolution.  Rev. --- Romeyn held the first religious services, after the war in 1790-92.

7.  Presb., M. E., Bap., Christian, and Union.

8.  Named from the principal stream.  Custom has applied the named "Garoga" to the latter and "Caroga" to the town.

9.  David, Robert and Solomon Jeffers settled in 1798; Samuel Gage, Reuben Brookins, Wm. Jefferson, Abram Carley, Anthony Stewart, Nathan Lovelace, Isaac Peckham, Elijah Gardner, Ira Beach, John Mead, Jas. McLellan, Titus Foster, Lemuel Lewis, and Daniel Goff, were also early settlers.  The first marriage was that of Francis Vandercook and Lucy Jeffers, in 1800.  The first death was that of Mrs. Amy Mead in 1804.

10. Frederick Getman, Jacob Empie, and Jacob Schell settled near the village.  Nicholas Rector, Jacob Fry, Henry Herring, Philip Kreitzer, Wm. Cool, ---- Deutzler, Johannnes Winkle, Wm. Smith, Henry Hart, Zachariah Trip, John Cassleman, Peter Schutt, and Jacob Eplie from Germany, came in from Schoharie, mostly before the Revolution.  The first German School was taught by ---- Moot, and the first English school by ---- McLean.  A gristmill was built by Sir Wm. Johnson soon after the first settlement.  It was afterward burned by the Tories.  Johannes Winkle built the first mill after the Revolution.

11. Two M. E., Two Union, Bap., and Ref. Prot. D.

12. Named for Sir William Johnson.  The town embraces the Kingsborough Patent, granted June 23, 1753, a part of  Stone Arabia, Butler's and the Sacondaga Patents.

13. This academy was built in 1798-99, by Wm. Van Vort.  Sir William Johnson set apart a portion of the Kingsborough Patent for the benefit of a free school.  This reservation was respected by the courts of forfeiture, and trustees were appoint to take charge of the trust.  The proceeds were appropriated to the use of this academy.

14. There are in this town over 100 establishments for the manufacture of gloves and mittens, and ten mills for dressing the skins.  This business was first commenced by Ezekiel Case, in 1803, and has grown from a small beginning, until now it is said that over $500,000 capital is invested in it.

15. Among the tenants were Dr. Wm. Adams; Gilbert Tice, innkeeper; Peter Young, miller; William Phillips, wagon maker; Jas. Davis, hatter; Peter Yost, tanner; Adrian Van Sickle, Maj. John Little, and Zephaniah Bachelor.  The first school was taught by ---- Ralworth, and the second by G. B. Throop.  The tenants were imbued with the political sentiments of the Johnson family, and shared its fortunes.  The estates were confiscated during the Revolution; and many from New England settled there after the war.

16. The first clergyman, according to the records, was Rev. ---- Mosley, in 1770.  The churches are two M. E., two Presb., Bap., Cong., Evan. Luth., Asso. Presb., Prot. E., Ref. Prot. D., and R. C. 

17. Named from the Mayfield Patent, granted June 27, 1770.  The town comprises parts of this and Bleecker, Kingsborough, Sacondaga, Kayaderosseras, Glen, Dan'l Clau's, and Norman McLeod's Patents.

18. Called by the Indians Ken-ne-at-too.

19. Nathaniel Conners, Michael Croman, two families of Walters, Peter Whitman, ---- Schutt, ---- Circaman, Michael Haynes, George Cough, Simon Christie and John Anderson settled before the Revolution.  William and Robert Jackson, David Knapp, Alvin McDougal, Peter and John McKinley, Duncan Anderson, Isaac Bemas, Captain and Major Van Beuren, Douw and Jellis Fonda, Samuel Lefferts, William Vail, David and Luke Woodworth, and Jonah Bartlett were also early settlers.  The first birth was that of Mary Cough, in 1766.  Christian Furtenback taught a German school in 1771.  Mills were built for Sir Wm. Johnson in 1773.

20. Named from the patent granted to Jacob Mase, John R. Bleecker, and others, Oct 17, 1741.

21. Local pronunciation: Sock-na-daw-gar.

22. Locally known as "Fishhouse".

23.  Godfrey Shew was the first settler; John Eikler, Lent and Nicholas Lewis, Robert Martin, Zebulon Alger, families of Ketchum and Chadwicks, Asahel Parker, John Trumbell, John Rosevelt, Alexander St. John, and John Fay were among other early settlers.  Soon after the Revolution, Zadoc Sherwood and Samuel Olmsted settled in Northville.  They were followed by Thos. Foster, Daniel Timothy Ressequie, John McNeil, Calvin Young, Adam Olmsted, Cornelius Richardson, Elihu Coleman, Sylvanus Sweet, Robert Plamer, John Randall, Eli Sprague, Green Wells, Cornelius Harving, Felix Porter, and John Denison - mostly from New England.  The first birth was that of Godfrey Shew, about two years before he Revolution; the first marriage was that of Alexander St. John and Martha Scribner, about 1798; and the first recorded death, that of Gideon Olmsted.

24. Two Presb., two M. E., and a Bap.

25. Rudolph Yonker was the first settler; John Shaver, Jacob Youron, Moses Johnson, Daniel Dickman, Wm. Alterburgh, Henry Burkdorf, Frederick Bellinger, and Simeon Schuyler settled in the S. part; Benjamin Berry, Peter Clive, Jacob Ladue, James Johnson, Wm. Bean, Richard Hewett, and Daniel Guile, from New England, settled in the central part in 1797.  William Alterburgh kept the first inn; Andrew Zabriskie the first store; and John Beardsley built the first mill.  Mr. B. was the pioneer millwright in Central New York, and took an active part in the first improvements of this class.

26. There are four churches in town:  two Univ., M. E., and Ref. Prot. D.

27. Named from Perth, in Scotland, by Archibald McFarlane.  This town contains parts of the Sacondaga, and Kayaderosseras Patents. 

28. Charles Mereness, Richard Bowen, Marcus Reese, ---- Davis, Michael Swobe, and Francis Frey settled before 1770.  Lawrence E. Van Allen, Henry Van Valkenburgh, Ira Benedict, Conrad and Francis Winne, Derby Newman, James and William Robb, and Peter Vosburgh, settled soon after the Revolution.

29. This town comprises parts of Glen, Bleecker, & Co'.s Patent, one tier of lots of Lott & Low's Patent, and a part of the Jerseyfield Patent, granted to Henry Glen and others, April 12, 1770.

30. John Wells, Amos Kinney, Eli Winchell, Nathan Gurney, Eleazer, Levi and Samuel Bliss, Abial Kibbe, and Daniel Shottekirk settled on the Johnstown road, and Stephen and John Wilcox, Amasa Chappell, and Abiathar Moshur in other parts of the town.  The first birth was that of Lansing Wells in 1800; the first marriage, that of Samuel Ellis and Polly Gurney; and the first death, that of Jesse Wilson, killed by a fall of a tree, December 25, 1802 or '03.  S. Bennett kept the first inn; Sanders Lansing, son of one of the patentees, built the first gristmill, on Fish Creek, in 1810; and Daniel Cross built the first tannery, in 1812.


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