The territory within the limits of Essex county was originally a part of Albany county formed in 1683 and then embracing all the northeastern part of the State. Albany county was divided in 1772 and the northern section, embracing both sides of Lake Champlain, was organized into a new county and named Charlotte. In 1784 the name of Charlotte county was changed to Washington and the subsequent settlement of the Vermont controversy (1791) limited its territory in the Champlain Valley to the western side of the lake. In 1788 Clinton county was formed from Washington, and embraced the territory which now constitutes the counties of Essex, Clinton and the eastern portion of Franklin. This large county was divided into four towns, Champlain, Plattsburg, Crown Point and Willsborough; these towns were formed at the same time of the organization of Clinton county. Essex county was formed from Clinton on the 1st of March, 1799; its boundaries have not since been changed except the taking off of a corner in the formation of Franklin county in 1808. When Essex county was formed it comprised the town of Crown Point, as then constituted, and the greater part of Willsborough as then constituted; the latter town then embraced three of the present towns of Clinton county. Crown Point being, therefore, the oldest town in Essex county (aside from the portion of Willsborough just mentioned), we shall give it the first place in the succession of town histories, following with the others in chronological order as far as possible.
HISTORY OF CROWN POINT
(There are two opinions as to the derivation of this name, each, perhaps, equally entitled to respect. One is, that the important site receives its name in honor of the Crown of the nation first occupying it; the other, that it was so called from the conspicuous position and prominence of the point.)
The town of Crown Point was formed on the 23d of March, 1788, as a part of Clinton county, and received its name from the old French fortress situated on a point of land extending into the lake in the northeastern corner of the town. In its original limits it embraced the present town of that name, with the present town of Ticonderoga (taken off in 1804), Moriah (1808), Westport (from Elizabethtown 1815), Elizabethtown (1798), Schroon (1804), Minerva (from Schroon 1817), Newcomb (from Minerva and Moriah 1828), North Hudson (from Moriah 1848), and a part of Keene.
Crown Point lies upon the shore of Lake Champlain southeast of the center of the county. The central part of the town is broken, the hills gradually rising into the mountainous district in the western part. A strip of nearly level, highly cultivated and productive land extends along the lake shore. The principal stream is Putnams creek which rises in the ponds among the mountains. In its course are numerous falls and it furnishes considerable water power at several points. The soil on the lake shore is a deep, rich, clayey loam; in the interior it is of a light character. The town abounds in rich iron ore and mining has been extensively developed. There are also beds of natural phosphate of lime, and graphite and colored marble are found in abundance and are profitably worked. About a mile and a half from the shore of the lake is a mineral spring.
The Point, which gives the town its name and which has formed such a conspicuous landmark in the early history of the county, is a beautiful and fertile peninsula formed by Bulwagga bay, which extends southward out of the lake, thus directing the head of the peninsula northward. In earlier pages of this work we have referred to the strong probability that previous to or early in the period of French occupation, a large and busy village stood upon this peninsula where to-day not even a hamlet exists. While the inference has not been clearly proven, we are warranted in the belief that previous to the French occupation the place had assumed considerable importance as a settlement and trading post between the French, English, Dutch and Indians; and it is known that an important traffic existed between the French and English possessions previous to the Revolution, the great highway for the transaction of which was Lake Champlain. In any event, it is certain that long anterior to the Revolution Crown Point was the site of a thriving village. This fact is revealed by evidences of a street extending from near the fort towards the mainland and sidewalks which still exist. Ruins of cellars on each side of this street are also visible, in such proximity to each other as to indicate close settlement; while the narrowness of the street strongly suggests similar avenues in ancient French-Canadian villages. Along the margin of the bay the ground has, in the opinion of Mr. Watson, been graded and formed into an artificial slope, and the shores improved for the landing of bateaux and canoes. Fragments of walls and fruit trees indicated inclosed gardens and orchards are still to be seen. Plum trees of varieties now rare except in Canada, still bear fruit from year to year. During the French occupation large tracts of land were cleared between Crown Point and Ticonderoga, which has since largely grown up with a second forest; and traces of buildings, of burial grounds (one near the garrison and one about three miles south), and other less prominent indications, point unmistakably to the conclusion that this region was once numerously populated. Mr. Watson has recorded the fact that Nathan Beaman, the youthful guide of Ethan Allen, informed Mr. Sheldon that he recollected several stores transacting business at Crown Point previous to 1775. Rogers, the ranger, refers in his journal to the growing crops on the fields of Crown Point and to settlements on the east side of the lake, here not much more than one fourth of a mile wide, one of which was two miles from the fort, and speaks of the presence of three hundred men, chiefly inhabitants of the adjacent villages. He also alludes to the firing of the village itself at Crown Point.
The ruins of the fortifications at Crown Point, as well as at Ticonderoga, still indicate their former strength and magnitude. At Crown Point indistinct landmarks are left of the original fortress of St. Frederic, while the remains of the magnificent works erected at so much expense by Amherst are in such a state of preservation that the fort might be restored in its original form. The form of the extensive stone barracks which enclosed the esplanade is distinguishable, although one side has been demolished and another partially removed, a desecration that was carried on for the purpose of transporting the building materials elsewhere. The walls of two of the barracks, 192 and 216 feet in length respectively, still stand bare, roofless, without floors, their beams charred by fire, mutely attesting their former greatness. The whole circuit, measuring along the line of the original ramparts, was a little less than half a mile. Around the ramparts was a broad ditch cut in the solid limestone, from which the massive barracks were constructed. A well was dug also in the solid rock within the inclosure to a depth of ninety feet, with a diameter of about fifteen feet. The interesting ruins of this historic fortress are now saved from further destruction by the purchase of the site of the ruins by the State. The Crown Point Iron Company owns the adjoining lands and holds a lease of the States purchase, but the ruined fort cannot be further molested.
To-day portions of the cleared and improved tract on the Point which awaited the triumph of the Americans in the Revolution, are forest-covered again and give little outward indication to the casual observer, that cultivated crops and orchards smiled upon the producers more than a hundred years ago; that a thickly-settled community dwelt where now but a few isolated farmhouses stand, to be driven away and their possessions left to return to their original wildness by the devastating hand of war.
The military and other history of this town has already been fully detailed in these pages history that will forever present Crown Point as one of the most prominent landmarks in the continued struggles that ended only when freedom and independence were secured for America. With the end of the Revolutionary struggle emigration followed quickly in the wake of peace, and the Champlain Valley was among the first destined localities to feel its beneficent influence. The embarrassments caused by conflicting land claims were largely ended; Gillilands colony to the north, although its fortunes as far as he was concerned were about to decline, had become numerous and prosperous; the natural attractiveness of the region could not be excelled, and therefore a hardy and industrious population came up from the northward or crossed the lake from the east and made permanent settlements which formed the foundation of the present prosperity of this and other towns.
The first town meeting of Crown Point was held in December, 1788. At that time, when a town often embraced more territory than now constitutes many counties, the local offices were filled by methods different from those that prevail at the present time. It was commonly admitted that the town officers should be appointed to the various prominent settlements. These localities held primary meetings at which persons were designated for the specified offices which the respective localities were entitled to. These nominations were sent to the general town meeting, where they were, as a rule, confirmed. The general election occupied three days. A half day from the first two days the polls were opened at four different points, and the third day at some central or more populous settlement. When a town was twenty or thirty miles in extent, this method facilitated the election and was, indeed, about the only one by which it could be hoped the people at large would be fully represented. In the little history of Crown Point published by Samuel S. Spaulding in 1873, he says, under date of 1806: I remember well when the sheriff brought a ballot box and some votes to my father and told him that he was appointed, with Samuel Foot and Alexander McKenzie, to travel the regions of Crown Point all over and collect every legal vote that could be found in town, and to meet at McKenzies on a set day and count them, etc. This was accordingly done, and forty-four votes were all that could be obtained. (The loss of town records by fire prevent our giving the first town officers and other details of the town organization.)
The settlers that came in, not only to this town but throughout the county, were almost wholly of New England origin. In this growing population was sufficient of the leaven of intelligence and morality to lay the foundations of the later high social standard of the various communities. At the same time there came in, as is always the case in new settlements, a large element of discord, dissipation and immorality of one kind or another. This element was increased and rendered more active through the baneful influences of the Revolutionary War, and the state of society was for a few years deplorable; there was little restraints of government upon the naturally lawless and in too many cases, might was considered right. Of this state of society Mr. C. Fenton observed to Mr. Watson, as recorded in his work on this county, When an individual wished to secure a piece of land, he erected upon it a cabin, and repelled others by physical force; if unsuccessful or absent, his cabin was prostrated, and the last aggressor took possession of the coveted premises and claimed the title. The parties with their partisans and a supply of whisky met on the soil and `tried their wager of battle. The victor maintained the possession. The venerable S. L. Herrick, now of Iowa, writing in 1883 of the town half a century previous, said, I learned that there was a very good reason why there should be a lack of improvement on farms in some portions of the town. The right of soil could not be obtained. People bought and sold merely the possession. Large sections were owned by persons or their heirs in England, to whom the British government had given patents before the Revolution. Their claims were good and the possessors might be driven off at any moment. When the right of soil could finally be obtained, which was after 1830, there was more encouragement to make improvement by cultivation and building.
To correct these evils an association was formed and a system adopted which required a person desiring to occupy a lot to perfect a survey of the premises and to file a transcript with the secretary of the society. The title thus established was held sacred for the purpose of that community.
Law courts were then of the most primitive character -- more or less of a burlesque upon justice. They were held as a rule in taverns, the landlord often being the justice, and the numerous petty suits born of neighborhood wrangles of no consequence except to the disputants, and of very little to them, were more influential in bringing patronage to the bar-room of the justice than in promoting the welfare of the community.
This condition of society was not at all peculiar to this town, but prevailed throughout the county; and, as we have said, there was sufficient of a better element among the earlier settlers to rapidly turn the tide in favor of order and morality and blot out the influences of the war. Industry in the clearing of the forest-covered lands increased and with it grew a spirit of frugality that was soon apparent in all of the settlements; and the good work was advanced by the early establishment of schools and religious organizations.
The author just quoted (Mr. Herrick) says: As I go back to 1826 and call up the faces of the people as pictured on the tablet of my memory, I see but little fault in any of them. As a whole the people were kind, generous, friendly and desirous of deserving and maintaining a respectable position in society. The exceptions were so few as to render them scarcely worth of notice. The solitary hoodlum went about as a lonely wanderer, respected by no one and despised even by himself. Such are my present impressions.
It is well known, however, that a very different social code existed in those early days relative to intemperance and the general use of spirits than prevails at the present time. Whisky was then almost universally used, not only by those without church organizations, but also by a large proportion of church members, and even in many cases by preachers themselves; and the habit was not looked upon as necessarily carrying with it that tinge of social disrespect now attaching to it. Few public occasions passed without being surrounded by the aroma of whisky; town meetings and public meetings of all kinds, bees, as they were called, where neighbor assisted neighbor in some arduous task, raisings (even the raising of church frames), all were carried on amid the stimulus of ardent spirits. This state of social affairs could not but contribute to the general feeling of free license towards outlawry of one kind or another. But this general indulgence in a dangerous agent gradually passed away. Temperance organizations of various kinds sprang up and aided in the general reform. Mr. Herrick notes that the announcements that Judge Murdocks only daughter would be married without the provision of wine on the occasion, and that Dr. Hales barn would be raised without appeal to the elevating influence of whisky, as conspicuous events in the gradually growing determination of the community to consume less liquor.
Closely following upon the desolated farms and homes in the track of the Revolutionary War came the pioneers. The first judge of Clinton county (organized 1788) was Charles Platt, and William McAuley, so frequently mentioned in Gillilands journal, was a side judge. Plattsburg was the county seat.
It is probable that there was but one road then leading northward from Ticonderoga to Split Rock, and that of the most primitive character. Previous to the year 1800 the interior of the town was but very little known to settlers, possibly not at all to any who subsequently located there. Hunters and trappers had reported a tract of excellent land for occupation about ten miles square and embracing Putnams creek and its tributaries. West of this inviting section, it was said, rose the mountain peaks that overtopped the sources of the Hudson. When intelligence of the locality reached the new england States, men and their families who met for social intercourse discussed the advisability of migrating to the promised land, just as in later years families in New york State consulted over plans of going west. These discussions and consultations were the prime cause that started the pioneers of 1800 and subsequent years for the western shores of Lake Champlain, a number of whom found future homes in this town. One of the first to arrive was Stephen Spaulding (father of Samuel Spaulding mentioned on a preceding page). He lived in Salisbury, Vt., and caught the New York fever, as it was termed. With several others he started in September, 1800, to make an exploration of the interior district of Crown Point. They purposed ascending every hill or mountain until they should find one that overtopped all the rest, whence they could, like the great man of the Bible, see the land flowing with milk and honey, and of which, unlike him, they could take possession. On the third day of their expedition, late in the afternoon, they were on the summit of Rhodess Hill. From this eminence they obtained the fine view which they desired of the lands surrounding, with Lake Champlain and the hills of Vermont in the distance. Upon their return they pronounced the country, to use their own language, splendid to behold. They returned to Vermont the next day.
In June, 1801, Mr. Spaulding, in company with Abner Newton and Solomon Chase, returned to the wilds of Crown Point, built a woods camp and worked together until they had cleared each a fallow of about three acres, when they again returned to their homes. In September they again crossed the lake to their clearings. By this time a few others had followed in the track of the pioneers and made similar clearings. All now united their labors, burned off their fallows and soon had each his log cabin ready for the reception of his family.
In the following February Mr. Spaulding moved his family, then consisting of himself, his wife and three children, the youngest, Samuel, being but two months old. From that time emigration to the town was quite continuous and rapid,a nd with the lapse of two years about forty families had located in the interior of the town. These lands had not then, as far as known to the settlers, been surveyed or claimed by any one. In 1805 William Cockburn and Goldsbrow (Goldsboro?) Bangor came from Kingston, Ulster county, laid claim to the lands, surveyed them and sold them to the settlers at prices ranging from three to four dollars per acre. Mr. Spaulding writes: My fathers lot proved to be No. 47 in Cockburns patent, now (1873) owned by Edwin Floyd.
Among these first settlers were Israel Douglass, Abner Newton, Solomon Chase, John Eastman, John Sisson, Joseph Lockwood, Ephraim Towner, Daniel Bascom, Elisha Rhoades, Levi Rhoades, Wm. Barrows, Josiah Converse, Simon Hart, Abijah Nichols, Asa Nichols, Elder Lamson, Amos Lamson, Enos Lamson, Joseph Searles, John Chillis and Thomas Scott. During the same period the following families are named by Mr. Spaulding as having located in the eastern and central parts of the town: Robert Walker, Aaron Townsend, George and Alexander Trimble, the Barnetts, Murdocks and Brookses, James Morrow, Samuel Foot, Dennis Meagher, Andrew Hardy, the Heustis, Crossman, Bigelow, Drake, Davis, Rogers, Hildreth, Newell, Stanton, Strong and King families, John Renne, Elijah Grosvenor, Rodolphus Field (the first physician) and perhaps others. The point of settlement of many of these and others will be given a little farther on.
Before the energetic labors of these men and their families forests were felled, lands cleared, buildings erected, mills built, shops started and schools and religious meetings established, and soon the new town began to take on the aspects of civilized happiness and prosperity.
Elisha Rhoades opened a small store -- merely a little stock of household necessaries -- in the same room in which he lived, and supplied the pioneers as well as he could. At the same time he bought ashes from all who brought them, which he manufactured into potash and exchanged again for his goods. This was a very important source of revenue for pioneers in all parts of the country; indeed it was almost the only one at a time when it was nearly impossible to get cash from any quarter or for any article. The pioneers found little difficulty in hoarding large quantities of ashes, which they were forced to make in clearing their lands and they were always marketable for the demand for potash was constant.
The first school, an institution that has always closely followed the settlement of pioneers in a new country, was opened about this time (1805 or '6), which was also kept in the same room where Mr. Rhoades had his store and his living accommodations, and was taught by his wife. She had five scholars, who were seated on the flat (would that we might also write the soft) side of a pine slab in which were stuck pieces of round limbs for legs. That was the extent of the school furniture.
When it is known that many deer roam the forests of the Adirondacks at the present day, it will readily be conceived that, when the pioneers settled Crown Point and meat was not available except at the muzzle of the hunters gun, many famous Nimrods dwelt among the settlers, while there were few who could not amply provide for their families in this respect. Mr. Spaulding mentions one of the mighty hunters, named Comfort Towner, whose name is still familiar to the oldest inhabitants. He made his home with Stephen Spaulding for a year or more, and he asserted that he killed the first year more than forty deer within a mile of Mr. Spauldings clearing. Fish were plenty, also, Putnams creek abounding with trout. Mr. Spaulding says: My brother Miles, who was some five years my senior, would go with the neighboring boys and take me with them. We would go about a mile from our place in a southwest direction, by the aid of marked trees, to the high falls on Puts creek, now known as Penfields grist-mill, and fish down stream as far as Rhoadess, the distance of about a mile, and would capture about thirty pounds of the speckled beauties, weighing from one-fourth to one and one-half pounds each.
The military spirit engendered by the Revolutionary War was still abroad, and the people of separate localities were annually (or oftener) called on for military duty in the form of drills and practice in the manual. In 1806 the inhabitants of Crown Point, with those of Schroon, Moriah and Ticonderoga, were called for this purpose. The entire force mustered numbered less than eighty men. They went through a crude drill exercise, marching about among the stumps and brush-heaps that still encumbered the fields.
Mr. Spaulding chronicles his memory (probably in the first decade of the century) of riding with his parents from the top of Amy Hill to the lake, when there was but one house from that place to Hammonds Corners (Crown Point village), and not one from there to the lake; all a forest of pine until they neared the lake, when the timber dwindled down to scrub oak bushes and small pines; this was doubtless second growth timber.
Lake Champlain itself at that time could boast very little of its present activity. There were, perhaps, half a dozen small sloops and a few schooners, which sufficed for its entire commerce and not a wharf or a ware-house, from Essex to Whitehall.
As early as 1807 Elisha Rhoades built a tavern and dancing hall. It still stands at buck hollow and is known as The Old Rookery. He finished the structure in time to dedicate it with a New Years ball. A large party assembled, coming with ox teams or on foot, and the affair was a pronounced success. It was not exactly a modern dancing party in high society, but it sufficed just as well and was, doubtless, just as much enjoyed by the participants as are the more elaborate social events of modern days.
Almost the first necessity of the pioneer is milling facilities. The impulse given to a new community when it becomes known that grain ca be ground and boards obtained near by home, can scarcely be comprehended. Therefore, it is not surprising that James Morrow, who must have been a man of enterprise, built a mill at Crown Point Center. He also established the first tavern and store there, both about the year 1800. In 1810 Allen Penfield, a young man of some means and a good deal of energy, built a grist and sawmill at what is now Ironville. To his property there he made subsequent extensive additions and retained it until his death, when he had reached the venerable age of eighty-seven years. In the next year (1811) Ebenezer Hopkins built a saw and grist-mill a mile farther down the stream at Buck Hollow, as it is called. So it will be seen that the early settlers in this town were much better supplied with milling facilities than was often the case in new communities.
The people of this town were frequently agitated early in the troubles of 1812 and reports often reached them that a formidable force was on the way from Canada to devastate their homes. In September, 1814, an alarm came that stirred ever heart in the town. It was in the evening, and the warning flew from house to house that the enemy were approaching and that every man who could bear arms must appear at the rendezvous the next morning. These orders were transmitted to all the settlements of the county. The gathering the next morning must have made an exciting and picturesque scene. Mr. Spaulding says: Here were men and women of all ages and conditions, from the old frosty head of eighty winters down to the infant in its mothers arms. Here were men and women assembled together, all one common family and one common cause. Here was borrowing and lending of guns, hats, coats, boots and money -- anything to help or facilitate the march. One old man named McAuley, a cripple from birth, lent his hat and coat and offered to loan his crutches!
It must, indeed, have been a motley army that started about ten oclock for Plattsburg. For the next few days exciting rumors reached the town, and there was much anxiety. The battle was fought on Sunday, the 11th of September, and on the following Tuesday Captain Archibald Smith, of Whitehall, sailed his sloop up the lake and spread the news of the victory. Congratulations and general rejoicing succeeded, as the welcome intelligence spread over the town.
From this time on the grizzled front of war was not seen nor feared in Crown Point, and the inhabitants returned to their ill-paid avocations of clearing land, burning trees and making potash, or manufacturing during the winter seasons lumber, shingles, staves, brooms, baskets, etc., by the sale of which they could earn a little money or secure what was a good equivalent, household goods. Large quantities of maple sugar were made annually for many years after the settlement, and, according to Mr. Spaulding, tons of it were transported on mens backs to Vermont, where it found a market. In the same laudable desire to provide for their families and better their situations generally, many of the men made a practice for many years of going across to Vermont to help the farmers through their haying and harvesting.
About the year 1813 the inhabitants of the town derived some temporary benefit from what constituted one of the first commercial incidents on the lake. A considerable number of troops were stationed at Skenesborough (now Whitehall) and some fortunate individual conceived the idea of shipping the surplus products of the community to the encampment for sale to the soldiery. Samuel Renne then had a ferry across the lake here; a scow was hired from him by a dozen or more of the inhabitants and loaded with a cargo of potatoes, onions, squashes, melons, butter, honey, etc. The contributors to the cargo all went along, so the crew was a large one, considering the size of the boat. Blankets were hoisted for sails, and before a good breeze this early commercial venture sailed away for Whitehall about the first of October. The cargo was sold out to good advantage and all returned in safety.
At this point we will introduce the assessors roll of the town for the year 1818, which undoubtedly gives the names of a large majority of those who permanently located here previous to that date. It is as follows, the spelling of the names being given as they appear on the records: --
William L. Burrows
James H. Barnett
Asa W. Barnett
Lewis L. Bennet
John F. Bishop
Edmond B. Chapin
John B. Catlin
Daniel R. Davis
Samuel J. Foot
Franklin M. Foster
Jonas B. Griswoold
Benjamin B. Hustice
Wm. B. Hustice
Henry G. Lane
Asa Nichols, 2d
Aaron Nichols (Sugar Hill)
W. John Pickett
P. Nathan Simond
John J. Sisson
E. Aaron Wheeler
The assessed valuation of the town was then $81,155 on real estate, and $20,062 on personal.
Of these men, according to the authority of Foster Breed, who came to the town in 1815 and is now one of the oldest residents, Jewit Armstrong, George Adkins, Israel and Benjamin Ober, Josiah Converse, Amos Pulcifer, James Lyon, Henry g. Lane, Timothy Taft, Moses McIntyre and Benjamin Reed lived in the western part of the town. John and Eben Bigalow, Joel Boyington, Nathan Sprague, and William Treadway lived in the Upper Hollow and immediate vicinity. James Walker, Benjamin and Timothy Huestis (the latter still living at about ninety years of age), Abraham Clark, Asa W. Barnet (of whom Foster Breed bought his farm), Samuel Shattuck and a few others located on Sugar Hill. Daniel Brooks, on the Vineyard road, John Chellis in the white meeting-house neighborhood. Asa and David Stowell, David Drake, Aaron Fuller, William and Nehemiah Russel, Alexander Griswold, located on the road from the lake to and along bulwagga mountain and in that immediate vicinity. Seth and Joshua newel located near the white meeting--House. Heman Maynard, the Lamsons, and Reuben Phillips, on the road leading to Port Henry. John and Abijah Chilcott, Samuel Murdock, and Thomas Turner on the lake road. Samuel Foote at Long Point, John and Ira Crossman on the south side of Sugar Hill, or between that eminence and the lake. Some others we have been unable to definitely locate.
General progress was the rule throughout the town until the year 1816, when the people were afflicted by what has ever since been known as the cold summer.
The "Year without a Summer"
In 1816, Savannah, Georgia, celebrated the 4th of July with a high temperature of 46°F! Because it was so cold across the eastern U.S., crops were ruined as the growing season was shortened. Snow even fell in June, the heaviest in New England between June 6th and 11th, creating snow drifts 18 to 20 inches in parts of Vermont.
This cooler than normal weather also contributed to crop failure in Canada and Western Europe. There was also sunspots on the sun visible to the naked eyes. This combined with the unusual amount of volcanic dust in the stratosphere might have lead to global cooling.
It has been theorized that a series of volcanic eruptions in earlier in the decade ejected billions of cubic yards of fine volcanic dust high into the atmosphere. On St. Vincent Island in the Caribbean, Soufrière erupted in 1812. In the Philippines, the Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814, and Mount Tambora, located in Indonesia, erupted in 1815.]
An event of that character might occur at the present day when the country is thickly settled and every community possesses the wealth necessary to bring to its doors by the aid of railroad and steamboat from distant localities, supplies of the necessaries of lime ample to tide over any transient famine; but in those days, when everybody was living, to use a homely phrase, from hand to mouth; when extreme scarcity of crops in one section was aggravated by the facts that there was little money in frontier communities with which to purchase in older towns, and inadequate means of transportation from distant points, then such a season as that of 1816 meant almost if not positive starvation to many who had little or nothing laid by for time of need.
That summer was a remarkable phenomenon and its like has not been experienced in this country since. The sun seemed to give out but little of its accustomed ; ice formed in some localities in every month of the year; flurries of snow were frequent; in this town half an inch, or more, fell on the 8th day of June; crops could not grow and ripen, except in the most favored localities, and the people felt the necessity of saving for seed in the next season. When that time arrived, starvation as near the doors of many pioneers. It is at such times that the inborn natures of men come to the surface;a nd while there were many instances of the noblest unselfishness on the part of those who had food, towards those who had not, there were, on the other hand, many who refused the aid it was in their power to render, except upon the most exorbitant terms. If it is asked how the people lived; the answer is, that they depended on their limited number of cows, the fish and game of the streams and forests, and the while berries. While extreme cases of suffering were not general or numerous, wide-spread want prevailed. An interesting instance of the privations and hardships of the time has been related by the late John Ober of this town, which Mr. Spaulding gives in his own language as follows: --
I got completely up a stump. I heard that Col. Howe, of Shoreham, had some flour to sell, I took 96 lbs. Of potash in a bag, and my father took 45 lbs., in another, and we started for Shoreham 12 miles distant, about sun rise, and when we got within about three miles of Cols., my father gave out, and I took his load in addition to my own, and carried it the rest of the way, we sold our potash, bought our flour and started for home again; I had the flour of two bushels of wheat, and ten pounds of coarse flour of my own, and father had what flour his potash came to, and we had not got more than half-way home, before my father gave out again, then I took his load in addition to my own and carried it home, arriving after midnight. I tell you, the next day we were pretty tired and sore.
It was about this period that a young man left his home in Pittsford, Vt., for an extended business and prospecting tour in what was then the far west, but not finding in that section sufficiently attractive prospects to induce him to permanently locate there, he returned to his eastern home, which he reached in May, 1822. He had been as far west as St. Louis. This young mans name was Charles F. Hammond. He carried with him the following letter: --
Pittsford, April 10th, 1817.
To whom it may concern: --
Mr. Charles F. Hammond, the bearer hereof, a son of Hon. Thomas Hammond, esquire, etc., of a very respectable family, in affluence in this town, who is about to journey into the State of New York and elsewhere, partly on account of his health, and with a view to establish himself in business corresponding with his taste, and having been bred with us and we being personally acquainted with his reputation, feel happy in commending him as a young gentleman of good moral character, possessing a good mind and disposition and of strict integrity and worthy of the attention of the virtuous and good part of the community, and to such we are happy to recommend him as deserving all encouragement, civility and attention that a young man of such reputation justly merits. Respectfully, we are, Gordon Newell; Amos Kellogg, Justice of the Peace; Caleb Hendee, Jr.; Andrew Leach, Isaac Wheaton, Selectmen.
Charles F. Hammond and his future sons were destined to exercise a mighty influence upon the fortunes of Crown Point, whither he came soon after he returned from the West. Arriving here he hired out to Colonel Job L. Howe at one dollar per day to oversee the clearing of timber land and building a dam at the Overshot. he first camped out in a shanty, but afterwards built a log house to live in. Colonel Howe employed about fifty men, keeping a small store from which he largely paid his help in goods. A good chopper was then content to work for sixty-two and one-half cents a day, and a man with an ox team was paid only one dollar a day. Yet cotton sheeting and calico cost thirty-seven and one-half cents a yard and other goods in proportion -- a vivid contrast with the wages and prices of the present day. The consequences of the prevailing figures of those days were, the people cultivated simpler tastes; they wore less sheeting, calico and other goods.
Mr. Spaulding, whose reminiscences we have often quoted, worked for Colonel Howe on his dam and thus quaintly speaks of the enterprise: We thought the colonel rather steep in his prices, as he only had to go to Middlebury for his goods, but I suppose it was about as well as he could do by us; at any rate it was as well as we could do; there was no striking in those days for higher wages or better times, the men were glad to find a chance to work on almost any terms. It was my fortune at that time to drive an ox team for six weeks, drawing logs and timber for that dam; the colonel subsequently built several other mills which were supplied by this dam, which were in operation for several years, to his advantage and the commonwealth of Crown Point and vicinity.
The nearest road was three miles from them and they were obliged to back all of their provisions in there. When cold weather came on and the men could no longer work to advantage, Mr. Hammond returned to Pittsford declaring that he was through with Crown Point. Soon afterward he received an offer of a position as clerk in Colonel Howes store. This store stood near the present Hammond Corners; the young man accepted the offer.
Returning to Crown Point on the 4th of December, 1822, Mr. Hammond entered into co-partnership with Job L. Howe, Eleazer Harwood and Allen Penfield, under the firm name of C.F. Hammond & Co., for the purpose of carrying on mercantile business and for cutting and transporting lumber in the town. This was about the beginning of the active lumber trade in Crown Point. In October, 1822, Mr. Hammonds father had presented him with a farm of seventy acres in Pittsford, but he had only between $300 and $400 in cash when he formed the co-partnership. The combined nominal capital was $9,000.
But there was that in the firm which was, perhaps, the very best substitute for money or land, persevering energy. The mill at the Overshot was finished and a small business begun in cutting lumber. From this grew up a great mercantile lumber and later an iron business, that for over fifty years has been the chief industry of the town and inured to its general prosperity to a degree that can scarcely be comprehended.
In a series of historical sketches written by a member of the Hammond family, he says of this period:
Before the days of railroads this section was exceptionally well situated as compared with the rest of northern New York. In a letter from his (Charles F. Hammonds) friend Judd, who lived at Massena, St. Lawrence county, dated 1832, we find the following: `You know our local situation is such that we labor under many disadvantages. And again, a few years later, 1838: `I expected to have been at your place during the winter with a load of grass seed, but the disturbance in Canada [the so-called Patriot war] prevented my getting the seed. Indeed, before the building of the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain railroad the only outlet of that very large portion of the State was by Lake Champlain [the Champlain Canal was opened in 1823, as detailed in preceding pages, and immediately stimulated commerce of all kinds in northern New York and especially the lumber trade along the western shores of the lake].
Again, the dependence of another section which hardly ever visits Lake Champlain now for trade is shown by the following extract from a letter of Samuel Renne, who was at that time making a clearing in the heart of the Adirondacks:
`Long Lake, June 17th, 1843,
I have one hand with me now, a full-blooded Indian, and a good chopper, works by the month -- expect another just like him. I started for Crown Point last March with 446 pounds of trout, but a great snow storm came on so I could not get any further than Newcomb. We have not so much as one slice of port, but we have trout and venison and venison and trout. We should like to swap a little for pork and no mistake.
All the back country from Long Lake out came here for trade and barter. For some time everything seemed to be in favor of the new concern and their business increased very fast, and finally in their lumber business and buying of timber land, the company purchased property that afterwards proved very rich in iron ore. After a few years Mr. Hammond was joined by his younger brother, John C., and in September, 1828, the latter bought out Colonel Howes interest in the concern. Mr. Harwood died and in 1830 the other partners bought the interest of his heirs. The firm name then became Hammonds & Co., and there was no other change in its personnel until the death of John C. Hammond in January, 1858. The firm and later that of J.&T. Hammond became one of the most prominent in the county, and did more to advance the general interests of this town than any other, as will sufficiently appear further on.
One of the chief obstacles to growth and general advancement in new communities is the lack of transportation to more populous centers. Crown Point was no exempt from this situation until the construction of the Champlain Canal (described in preceding chapter on internal improvements), which was opened from near Cohoes to Whitehall in 1823; it was begun in 1818. This improvement gave not only this town, but all of this northern region, water communication from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River and developed commercial activity on the lake to a wonderful degree. The surplus produce of the town found a convenient outlet and, what was of still greater importance, placed a prospective value upon the forests of the Adirondacks and the immense deposits of iron ore by which it had already become known they were underlaid. Explorations for desirable sites for the manufacture of lumber, iron, etc., were stimulated to renewed activity.
In 1821 a prominent company was formed in this town for the prosecution of the lumber business in the mountains. It comprised the following named gentlemen: Deacon Allen Penfield, Deacon Phineas Wilcox, Deacon Ebenezer Hopkins and John Pressy, who was not a deacon. (He was a poor man in those days who could not sport at least one title, military, civil or otherwise.) They purchased a site and a quantity of pine lands on Paradox creek, at a point since known as the old Dudley mill. This point was then four miles in the forest depths. About a dozen men were employed, a site for the building was soon cleared, and in four weeks the hewn timbers were ready to raise. Those raisings of olden times were events of no little importance and a source of unbounded enjoyment as well as good, practical work. As was the common custom a general invitation was sent to the inhabitants of the town and about forty assembled. The following quaint and graphic account of this raising is given in Mr. Spauldings pamphlet, and will serve as an example of hundreds of other similar pioneer occurrences in the county: --
They were elated with the thoughts of having something like business going on in their midst, where they could find employment near home at a specified time. About forty men turned out to raise that portion of the mill which was not finished the first day, consequently they must stay over night; well, there was enough to eat and drink; the reader must understand this occurred in days of yore, when bread was considered to be the staff of life, and whisky, life itself; when good fellows were plenty, but good templars rather scarce. The proprietors had furnished two or three large gallon jugs of whisky for the raising; it was understood that one was to be spared for the second day, the other was finished at a late hour the first night. The evening passed away pleasantly, each in turn telling stories, and singing such songs as were suitable on such an occasion, all then turned in for rest. The next morning found all on our feet, ready for a little whisky, but to our astonishment the jug was gone, whisky and all; some one had stolen and carried it away; here was a great dilemma and long faces by the dozen, everything as silent as the tomb, except the birds in the trees, which seemed to raise their notes higher than ever, and rejoice at our calamity; I suppose it was because they had no use for whisky. Still no one knew anything about the lost jug, but from some unmistakable signs suspicion rested on one of our number by the name of Parker, an old soldier; who was told very promptly to produce the jug or take the beach wythe; so he provided himself with a forked stick or mineral rod used in searching for minerals, and after lining and cross lining for some time the spot was centered and the jug found; here we were, every man, deacons and all, following the old soldier around searching in every nook for the lost treasure. There was another change, the whole company vociferously shouting, which was answered by the owls, every face as bright as the rising sun.
Samuel Buck and Abel Bailey came into the town early and began extensive lumbering operations. Mr. Bailey was son-in-law of Mr. Buck and the firm became Buck & Bailey. They bought large tracts of pine lands, built mills, and for about ten years manufactured and shipped large quantities. Hiram and Helon Buck became the owners of the property and subsequently sold out to engage in other business. Mr. Helon Buck still lives in the town.
Other individuals and firms who early engaged in lumbering in this town were Allen Breed, Ephraim Towner, M. & S. Spaulding, Wright & Pond, Wm. & H. Phelps, Jonathan breed, and Messrs. Rhoades, Stratton and Brown, Penfield & Taft.
The Iron Interest -- Charles F. Hammond was the leading spirit in discovering and developing the iron interest of this town. He foresaw, apparently from the outset, its importance and the possibilities of turning it to profitable account. The writer of the sketches already alluded to says in quoting Mr. Hammonds own words: I had analyses made of the ore and had it worked in a forge and the iron rolled into round and band iron, and also into nails and tested by the Peru Iron Company at Clintonville. Some of the bar iron I had made at Penfields and some at Vergennes, Vt., where there were forges at the time. The foreman and his workmen at Clintonville said when rolling it that they never saw iron that would roll into thin 4d plate for 4d nails without cracks or fractures on the edge, before this; that their Peru iron was called the best, but it would not stand the test for strength and toughness by the side of mine. I then got about twenty tons of the ore at great expense and trouble for the want of a road, being obliged to use oxen on a wood-shod sled to haul it to the Wooster place on bare ground, and from there I drew it to the wharf on a wagon. I shipped it to Greenbush and took it from there by rail to Stockbridge, Mass. It was there worked in a small charcoal furnace, yielding a very fine quality of pig iron. During all of the time John C. Stood aloof and would not say anything in favor of what I was doing and not much against it, and finally came into the arrangement to build a furnace in 1845, after I had found and engaged a man to join us that had experience in building and running furnaces.
Such is Mr. Hammonds own account of his persevering determination to learn all there was to learn of the Crown Point iron ore and the first steps towards its manufacture. The man who joined the Messrs. Hammond to build the furnace, was Jonas Tower. His experience was ample for the undertaking. In the fall of 1844 C.F. Hammond, Mr. Tower and Allen Penfield went to locate the site for the furnace, and a tree was felled across the site of what is now known as the site of the old furnace, and thus the clearing was begun. [Mr. Spaulding says: The old iron companys ore bed was first discovered by Timothy F. Hunter in 1821, while hunting for bees; he brought some small specimens from the bed in his pocket, which he exhibited to his friends who kept it secret for about two years, at length it leaked out, and the location was generally known; it never benefitted Mr. Hunter, he lived and died a poor man. Spaulding and Otis Bradford were the first men that opened said bed, and took therefrom some eight or ten hundred pounds of ore, which they carried in bags on their backs through the wilderness over one mile to a road where a team could be had, which hauled it to ticonderoga where it was tested and pronounced genuine; but through the treachery of some of their confidentials, their chance of fortune was lost and also their labor.]
The first Crown Point Iron Company was organized and embraced C. F. Hammond, John C. Hammond, Allen Penfield and Jonas Tower. Preparations for building the furnace were made in 1845 and it was finished and the first iron turned out by January 1st, 1846. The iron produced immediately took the highest rank. It was made exclusively from the Hammond ore, and the first steel made in this country under the Bessemer patents was made from this iron [this steel was used in building Captain Ericssons first monitor which encountered the rebel iron clad Merrimac in 1862]. In the fall of 1852 Mr. Tower sold his interest in the company to Wm. H. Dyke and E.S. Bogue. He subsequently went to Ironton, Wis., where he died. The company continued in existence until the organization of the second one of the same name which will be noticed further on.
What were known as the Irondale (Ironville) Iron works had their beginning at what is now known as Ironville about 1828, where Penfield & Harwood (Allen Penfield and Mr. Harwood, father of A.P.H.) built a forge. The ore was taken from what is, or was known as the Penfield Bed [This bed was discovered in 1826, by a boy named R. L. Cram, while hunting, by his taking hold of a small bush to help him up the mountain; the bush was detached from the rock and there lay the shining ore. He carried specimens to his father, who owned the land. He opened the bed and subsequently sold it to Penfield & Taft.] This entire property finally passed to J. & T. Hammond and is now owned by the Crown Point Iron Company. The iron made by Penfield & Harwood had an excellent reputation. Mr. Spaulding is authority for the statement that, owing to the excellent quality of this iron, the government in 1829 gave the company an order for a large quantity for use in making cables for the navy.
Samuel Renne discovered in 1818 what was later known as the Saxe bed in the central part of the town. He opened it about 1822 and it was afterwards worked by Jacob Saxe. The ore was mixed with other ore and worked to good advantage; but it was abandoned a number of years ago. John Renne had a small forge, the first in the town, near Crown Point Center in 1823. The ore worked by him came principally from the Cheever bed, in Moriah, with a little from the bed opened by Samuel Renne, until the discovery of the Penfield bed, after which he used that ore. All of these beds and the entire iron industry of the town is now controlled by the Crown Point Iron Company.
We have spoken of the old furnace, referring thereby to the first one built by the original company. This was burned down in 1863, but was immediately rebuilt and operated successfully until 1870.
The brick store at Crown Point (Hammonds Corners) was built by the Messrs. Hammond in 1827, and in 1833 the brick portion of the Crown Point House was erected by them for use as a boarding-house for their numerous employees. On the corner where Chas. F. Hammond lived stood, in very early days, a tavern which kept about 1816 by Widow Willcox. It stood out near to the street. This corner was subsequently bought by Mr. Hammond, the building moved away to later become the dwelling of C.L. Hammond, and the brick mansion erected.
Chas. F. Hammond died December 12th, 1873, the immediate cause being the shock of the death of his son Thomas, wife and children on the ill-fated steamer Ville du Havre, which went to the bottom of the Atlantic November 22d, 1873. His widow died August 28th, 1882. Of their ten children but three are living, General John Hammond and two daughters.
General John Hammond was born in 1827. When the Rebellion broke out he raised Company H, Fifth Cavalry and in the service soon rose to the command of the brigade. He was largely instrumental in the formation of the Crown Point Iron Company, and in advancing the railroad facilities of the town. He was president of the Iron Company from its formation until a recent date. He was elected to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses and declined a re-election. He now enjoys the unqualified respect and confidence of the people of his entire county. His ancestry were distinguished in connection with the early military history of the country. His grandfather was Thomas Hammond, who was an attendant upon an officer in the Revolutionary army and was present at the execution of Major Andre. His great grandfather was Daniel Hammond, who participated in the old French and English War, and was for a time stationed at Crown Point and Ticonderoga.
The Crown Point Iron Company -- The second organization under this name was effected in October, 1872, under an act to authorize the formation of corporations for manufacturing, mining, mechanical or chemical purposes. The capital stock was $500,000 in 5,000 shares. The first board of trustees was as follows: --
Thomas Dickson, Scranton, Pa.; George Talbot Olyphant, of the city of New York; John Hammond, of Crown Point, N.Y.; Thomas Hammond, of Crown Point, N.Y.; and Smith M. Weed, of Plattsburg, N.Y.
The 5,000 shares of stock were distributed as follows: --
John Hammond, 1,250; Thomas Hammond, 1,250; George T. Olyphant, 1,200; Thomas Dickson, 1,200; S.M. Weed, 100.
In November, 1872, the stock of the company was increased to $1,200,000 and in September, 1873, to $1,500,000. The present officers of the company are as follows: L.G.B. Cannon, president; H.M. Olmstead, secretary and treasurer; A.L. Inman, general manager; H.L. Reed, assistant general manager. Following are the names of the superintendents of the various departments of the companys works: Furnaces, W.S. Green; mines, Thomas Montague; railroad, James McMann; forge, James W. Stower; machine shop, C.W. Sanders; mines store, Theo. H. Locke; lake store, F.H. Pierce.
The companys forge of eight fires is located at Ironville (formerly Irondale) on the line of their narrow gauge railroad and midway between the blast furnace (which is on the lake shore) and the mines at Hammondville. The product of the blast furnaces is known as Bessemer pig iron, and is used to a great extent in Troy, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa. At the forge the product comprises blooms and billets. The iron turned out by the company is not excelled for the manufacture of Bessemer steel in this country. The capacity of the two furnaces may be roughly set down at one hundred and fifteen tons per day of pig iron. The capacity of the mines at present is 75,000 tons annually. The works and the mines are not now running to their full capacity on account of the general depressed condition of the iron industry. The old Penfield bed is about exhausted, but prospecting and exploration has been constantly continued in the vicinity and new deposits discovered, which may be said to be practically inexhaustible.
In addition to its many other benefits to the town it has built a church and school-room at Hammondville at a cost of about $3,000, which was donated to the employees about the mines.
The railroad forming a connection with the main line along the lake and running to Hammondville was begun in the fall of 1872. It forms a part of the property of the Iron Company.
The point of land from which the name of the town is derived, exclusive of the ruins of the fort as before explained, is also owned by this company, who purchased it chiefly for the valuable stone which are quarried there.
As the lumber interest became less profitable in the town and particularly as the land already cleared became more productive and easier of cultivation, the inhabitants turned their attention more and more to agriculture. A decided change in this respect is noticeable from about the year 1830 and a little later. The farms found occupation winters in hauling lumber or ore which added in a substantial manner to their incomes. Thus, as Mr. Spaulding puts it, Vermont lost her Algerines. the town at the present time is, in an agricultural sense, one of the foremost of the county, and her dairy products, which are considerable, stand well in the markets.
As the lands were cleared and the inhabitants became more prosperous, the rude log houses gave way to the neat frame cottages and many of these in turn to more pretentious and valuable houses.
The people of the town needed railroad communication, and it is a peculiarity of American communities that when two or more of them desire railroad connection with each other, or with more distant points, the men and means are forthcoming for their construction.
The Whitehall and Plattsburg railroad was surveyed in 1861 and work was begun on it in this town on the 20th of February, 1869. In addition to aid received from the State and the bonds of other towns, Crown Point bonded herself for $50,000. This action was opposed by many good citizens who felt that the town was still sufficiently burdened with the then recent war expenses; but a majority favored the enterprise and it was carried through. The section from Ticonderoga to Port Henry was completed within two years from its commencement. In 1871 it appeared impossible to extend the road farther without other aid and it was, therefore, leased to the Vermont Central Company. The lake was bridged at Ticonderoga and a line built from there (Addison Junction) to the Vermont Centrals main line. The New York and Canada railroad was surveyed in 1871, but as its line was to run almost parallel with the Whitehall and Plattsburg road from Ticonderoga to Port Henry, the former company bought the lease and a consolidation was effected by an act of the Legislature in 1873.
The following named citizens of this town contributed the sums stated towards the building of the first railroad: Chas. F. Hammond & Sons, $12,500; E.S. Bogue, $3,000; Penfield & Harwood, $2,000; C.P. Fobes & Co., $1,000; J.C. Brevoort, $500; Crown Point Iron Company, $1,000.
As the reader of this work has already learned in the pages devoted to the military history of the county, the town of Crown Point was not deaf to the call of the country in her time of trial. The leading men of the town gave up their time, their money and their personal service in the field with a degree of patriotism and generous liberality not excelled in any locality in the surrounding country; and the town officials in various public meetings seconded the action of the Board of Supervisors in the payment of bounties sufficiently large to induce prompt enlistments to fill the quotas under the various calls of the president for volunteers. The widows and children of those who fell on he battle-field were not forgotten, the town records show that those who remained at home were ready to share the burdens of the great struggle. Of the 650 voters then in the town, 290 enlisted and sixty seven laid down their lives for their country. The reader is referred to the military chapter in preceding pages for details of the subject.
The early records of this town have been destroyed, depriving us of a valuable source of historical matter and the records of early town meetings and officers. We are, however, enabled to give the list of supervisors from 1818 as follows: 1818 to 1821 inclusive, Samuel Murdock; 1822, Samuel Renne; 1823 to 1825 inclusive, Samuel Murdock; 1826, Chas. F. Hammond; 1827, Amasa B. Gibson; 1828, C.F. Hammond; 1831, Chilion A. Trimble; 1832, C.F. Hammond; 1833-34, Chilion A. Trimble; 1835, John C. Hammond; 1836-37, George Brown; 1838, Chilion A. Trimble; 1839, Juba Howe; 1840, Henry Halle; 1841, Juba Howe; 1842-43, George Trimble; 1844-45, John C. Hammond; 1846, John B. Goodrich; 1847-48, John B. Brooks; 1849-50, Wm. H. Dyke; 1851-52, Samuel Russell; 1853 to 1856 inclusive, John C. Hammond; 1857-58, Levi Rhoades; 1859, James F. Moore; 1860 to 1873 inclusive, Julius C. Brevoort; 1874-75, Theo. Hunter; 1876 to 1878 inclusive, Elmer J. Barker; 1879-80-81, C.L. Hammond; 1882 to the present time, Julius C. Brevoort.
The present officers of the town are as follows: --
Town clerk -- Garrison W. Foote.
Justices of the peace -- Clark M. Pease, E.R. Eaton.
Assessor -- Norman Bly.
Collector -- Clark W. Little.
Commissioners of highways -- E. Brooks.
Overseer of the poor -- Samuel Buck.
Auditors -- John C. Burdick, Zephaniah K. Townsend.
Inspectors of election, Dist. No. 1 -- L.B. Carter, Oliver C. Pond.
Inspectors of election, Dist. No. 2 -- Wm. c. Northey, Frank T. Locke.
Constables -- C.W. Little, Charles Garvey, Viceroy Moore, 2d, Edward Bradford, Thomas Hocking.
Game constable -- Hiram Cheney.
Pound master -- Albert Peasely.
Scaler of weights and measures -- George C. Robbins.
Commissioner of excise -- Hiram Newell.
Lawyers -- Crown Point does not appear to have been a fruitful locality for the legal fraternity. The inhabitants have as a rule been peaceful and little given to the differences and disputes that have to be settled at the bar of justice; and the attorneys have generally turned their faces towards the county seat, or other more enticing fields. `Squire Chauncey Fenton practiced law here for many years and was justice of the peace. He has left behind the record of an honorable man. His son, bearing his fathers name, is a justice of the peace and attorney in the village of ticonderoga. Amos Bigelow and Harvey Tuttle were former lawyers at Crown Point Center and taught school at an early day. Libeus Haskill is also remembered as an attorney of much native ability. Judge A.C. Hand, who passed the later portion of his life at Elizabethtown, began his professional career at the Center.
W.F. Hickey is at present the only practicing attorney of the place. He studied with B.B. Bishop, of Moriah, and was admitted to the bar in May 1879. He followed his profession for about two years in Mineville and then removed to this place.
Physicians -- Rodolphus Field, one of the early settlers at Crown Point Centre, was probably the first permanently located physician in the town. Dr. ____ Cornwell located very early about one-half mile from the Centre on the old east and west road. Both of these physicians removed from the town. Dr. John R. Goodrich practiced here a few years and removed to Michigan, and Dr. Henry Hall removed, after some years practice, to California. They were succeeded by Dr. H.K. White, who lived at the Center and died there. Dr. Jacob Thrasher mingled the practice of medicine with pettifogging for a number of years.
Dr. George Paige, of Crown Point Center, is a graduate of Middlebury medical College, Vermont, 1840. He attended lectures at Hanover, N.H., and Woodstock, Vt. In 1842 he graduated from the medical department of Yale College. His practice began and continued seven years at Pittsford, Vt. He then removed to Kentucky, coming to Crown Point in 1853, where he now enjoys the confidence of the community and has a large practice.
Dr. Joseph Warner studied for his profession at Castleton, Vt. with Dr. M. Goldsmith. He graduated from the Medical College at that place in 1853, and practiced four years thereafter in Louisiana. He then removed to Bridport, Vt., where he followed his profession twenty-two years, coming to Crown Point in 1881. His success here has been gratifying.
Dr. E.R. Eaton attended lectures at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in the winter of 1878-79, and at the New York Homeopathic College in the winters of 1880-81 and 1881-82, graduating in march of the latter year. He located in Burlington, Vt., in the summer of 1882 and came to Crown Point in January, 1883.
Dr. Melville turner is located at Hammondville. His professional studies began at Crown Point and he graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1873 and began practice at Crown Point in January, 1874. In 1877 he removed to Lewis, returning in March, 179, and has been at Hammondville since that time.
Dr. Enoch Kent came from Vermont to Ironville a number of years ago. He refuses statistics of his career for this work.
Present business, etc., of Crown Point. -- At the Corners, as it is termed, the principal store is kept by Elmer J. Barker, in the old brick Hammond store, where J. And T. Hammond did business for many years. Mr. Barker, in company with J.W. Wyman, bought out the Messrs. Hammonds in 1870, and in 1881 Mr. Barker purchased the interest of his partner.
Lewis & Elkins keep a general store, succeeding Mr. Lewis in the spring of 1884.
H.F. Davis has a clothing, hat and cap and furnishing goods store, which he opened in 1882, where Lewis & Elkins now are. He removed to his own building in 1884.
F.E. Huestis began the hardware trade in his present store, which he owns, in 1875. His stock is general hardware and furniture, the only establishment of the kind in the town.
Fred H. Ingalls began the drug business in July, 1878. He was preceded by Dr. E.L. Strong, now of Keeseville. The latter was associated for a time with Mr. Nichols.
E.M. Johnson conducts a photograph gallery which he has had for about ten years.
S.P. McIntyre carries on wagon-making, undertaking, etc.
Taylor Brothers carry on shoe-making and selling.
In 1818 a Widow Wilcox kept a tavern which stood between the street line and what is now the Hammond chapel and near to the street. This building was subsequently purchased by Mr. Hammond, removed across the street and rebuilt into the residence formerly occupied by Thomas Hammond. After the erection of the Crown Point House it was kept for a time by a Mr. Benedict, who removed from the town. The present proprietor, A.S. Viall, has kept the house to the eminent satisfaction of the public since 1866.
The Spaulding House was opened in 1884 by McNutt & Kelly. It was originally built by Isaac Spaulding.
A.J. Wyman began a banking business in April, 1881. His establishment is a great convenience to the inhabitants of the town.
Post Offices -- The post-office was established at Crown Point early in the century, but the year we have been unable to learn, as well as the name of the first postmaster. Charles F. Hammond had the office before 1833 and officiated for many years. He was succeeded by George Brown and he by Chauncey Fenton, who was in the position about four years. George Brown then filled the office again until 1861, since which date the present postmaster, W.D. Capron, has occupied the position and grown gray in the service.
Post-offices have been established since the organization of the iron company at Hammondville, where T.H. Locke officiates and keeps the store; and at Ironville where James N. Stower has the office and is general manager for the company.
At Crown Point Center the office was established early in he century. Henry Wyman is postmaster and Miss Ingalls deputy.
Press -- There was no newspaper in the town until the year 1878, when, on the 1st of January, R.W. Billett issued the first regular number of the Crown Point Budget. Probably no public journal ever made its first appearance under more unpromising circumstances, if we except the fact that the iron and other interests of the town were then in a very thriving condition. The first issue of the Budget was an eight-page sheet, but had only two short columns to the page. Mr. Billett was not even a practical printer; but he had natural aptitude for both the practical and the literary part of his work, which, coupled with industry and perseverance, enabled him to surmount many formidable obstacles. His paper was a success and he received the support of the community. In the following March he enlarged the paper, making it three columns to the page and four pages. In October, 1879, he again felt justified in making a further enlargement and two columns were added to each page. September 15th, 1880, the name of the paper was changed to the Essex County Times and Budget, the latter title being dropped in March, 1882. When the name was first changed another column was added to each page, and on the date last mentioned, still another was added, making the Times a handsome seven-column sheet. The proprietor has increased his printing material as his business grew, and now runs two power presses with other excellent facilities. The Times is Republican in politics and has a large circulation and advertising patronage.
The Hammond Chapel -- This institution is the former residence of Charles F. Hammond. It was built by him about the year 1837, and for those days and much later was a conspicuously fine dwelling. Since the death of Mrs. Hammond (1882), General John Hammond and his two surviving sisters presented the property to the First Congregational Society as a memorial of their mother. The gift was made in July, 1883. The upper portion of the house has been fitted up as a hall and library rooms, in which is established the chapel library, which is an outgrowth of a small circulating library that was in existence here. Mr. Hammond and others have circulated many valuable books and the institution promises to be of great benefit to the town.
Forest Dale Cemetery -- The village of Crown Point is provided with a beautiful cemetery, for the benefit of which the inhabitants are indebted to General John Hammond. It is situated on a picturesque eminence just off from the main street and is laid out into two hundred lots, among which are winding avenues and paths. Many of the lots have already been taken and are beautified with handsome memorials of the dead.
The Soldiers Monument -- This beautiful memorial of the dead soldiers of this town is also a monument to the patriotism and liberality of Charles F. Hammond. When the war broke out no man came forward more promptly to aid the government in its peril, than he. All of the original horses for Company H of the Fifth New York Cavalry were purchased with funds advanced by him and he in various other ways testified how deep was his sympathy with his country in her trial. When the struggle was over he was prompted by the same feelings to erect the beautiful monument to those who had fallen on the battle field. It is of Westerley granite, thirty-four feet in height, and surmounted by a statue of a soldier in uniform with his gun at rest. On three of its sides are inscribed the names of the dead heroes and on the fourth the following inscription: --
Memory of the Brave Volunteers of Crown Point,
who Gave their Lives as a
Sacrifice for their Country and Humanity in the Suppression of the Great Rebellion
This Monument is Erected by their Grateful Fellow Citizen,
Trotting Park -- On the 8th of May, 18--, the Puts Point Trotting Park Association was incorporated with a capital stock of $10,000.
Baptist Church, Crown Point -- The first meetings of the Baptists of this town were held in Slab Hollow school-house. As a result of this early work seven or eight were baptized and united with the Ticonderoga society. The organization of the society here, about 1827, was effected under the missionary labors of Rev. E. Andrews. The society comprised fifteen members. The first preacher was Ebenezer Mott, who at that time suffered considerable persecution because of his Baptist proclivities. He staid there but one year. In the year 1831 meetings were held in the Union church. By the year 1836 thirty-one new members were added to the church. Down to the year 1863 the number of members received into the society was 266. In 1867, for various causes, the membership had fallen to thirty-two and the church closed its active work. During its career C.A. Hewitt, David foot and Ira D. Burwell were licensed by it to preach. It was chiefly through the persistent efforts and liberality of John Burwell that the church was long kept in the Essex and Champlain baptist Association; he went about and offered to give dollar for dollar on all that might be subscribed for the sustenance of the society. Deacon Wood and Mr. Burwell bought the rights of the Congregationalists in the old white meeting-house, until the Baptists owned nearly all. Six pastors were called tot he church: Ebenezer Mott, L. Smith, J. Goodrich, Charles Berry, I.D. Burwell, Ira P. Kellogg. The report for forty-three years notes fifty-seven baptisms and forty-three added.
The present brick edifice was built largely through the instrumentality of the late Colonel Job L. Howe and the Messrs. Hammonds. It is sufficiently commodious and pleasantly situated, fronting the village park
.First Congregational Church, Crown Point -- This church was organized on the 10th of September, 1804, by Benjamin wooster, of Vermont, missionary. The original number of members was sixteen. Others soon joined, and the number gradually though slowly increased from year to year. For many years the stated ministrations of the gospel were not enjoyed except for limited periods of six months or a year, more or less. The church, however, regularly maintained public worship on the Sabbath, looked well to the discipline of its members, and attended with much regularity to the ordinances. The first settled paster was Rev. Samuel C. Bradford, who was ordained June 26th, 1822. His labors were commenced he year previous. He was regularly dismissed the 14th of June, 1826. On the 8th of October following Stephen L. Herrick was settled as pastor and continued in that position until 1852. Rev. Ira D. Burwell, a Baptist minister, supplied the pulpit for six months. Rev. John Bradshaw was settled as pastor, 1853, and left in 1866. Willard Child, D.D., acted as supply from September, 1866, until September, 1873. W.H. Utley supplied the pulpit from September, 1873, for one year and a half. Rev. F.P. Tomkins from 1875 for one year and eleven months. Rev. I.L. Beman was settled as pastor in 1877 and continued until 1881. Rev. J.W. Cowan succeeded until 1883, in April of which year Rev. James Deane assumed the pastorate and still continues his labor. The church has a prosperous Sabbath-school.
Following are the names of the first sixteen members of this church: Joshua Moss, Samuel Moss, Israel Branch, Dennis Meagher, Martha Wiswell, Robert Hopkins, Phebe Hopkins, Ichabod Brooks, Sarah Brooks, Aaron Townsend, Phebe Townsend, Moriah Wilcox, Mary Wilcox, Elenor Morrow, Martha Moss, Abigail Moss, Eli Moffit.
The brick church, now occupied by the Congregationalists of Crown Point, was erected in 1833 and dedicated February 13th, 1834. It is a substantial, commodious and good-looking edifice, in excellent condition. The value of the church property, including parsonage and the Hammond chapel, is $12,000. A prosperous Sabbath-school is connected with the church. Revivals of widespread beneficent influence were experienced by this society in 1832, 1836, 1841, 1855, and 1878.
Present Trustees -- General John Hammond, Z.K. Townsend, E.J. Barker.
Deacons -- S.F. Murdock, George Page, W.g. Foote, Z.K. Townsend.
In 1843 the church was built at Ironville and dedicated October 11th of that year. Sarell Wood was the first preacher.
Second Congregational Church of Crown Point [prepared by rev. W.C. Sexton, pastor of the church, 1885] -- As early as 1827 Rev. S.L. Herrick, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Crown Point, began holding religious services at the place now known as Ironville, in a large hall in the house of Deacon Allen Penfield. These services were more or less regularly maintained till the spring of 1843, when it was decided to organize a second Congregational society and erect a house of worship. The first meeting of the society was held April 15th, 1843. The trustees chosen were Allen Penfield, John Taylor and Jonathan train; and these with Timothy Taft and J.E. Moore were the building committee. The by-laws and act of incorporation were drawn up by Messrs. Penfield, Taft and Harwood. A.P. Harwood was the first clerk, and he continued in this office most of the time for nearly a quarter of a century, his last date in the records being April 10th, 1865. Others who have filled the office are James F. Moore, J.A. Penfield, Hervey Spencer, E.J. Morgan, D.V.N. Harwood, H.F. Turner, Thomas J. McMurtry, A.D. Cady, William Brando and Charles McIntyre.
The trustees, in addition to those already named, have been Timothy Taft, Asa Crain, James F. Moore, A.M. Bunnell, Hervey Spencer, Albert Taft, Thomas B. Locke, J.A. Penfield, E.J. Morgan, H.F. Turner, Levi R. Dudley, T.J. McMurtry, and J.N. Stower. Philetus Sawyer, now United States Senator from Wisconsin, was one of the original members and for two years collector of the society.
The house of worship was erected during the summer of 1845 and dedicated in October of that year. It cost, exclusive of the basement, $1,600, for which Deacon Allen Penfield became responsible. He also built the basement, designed for school purposes, as an additional private investment. The edifice was deeded to the society by him, on condition that preaching be maintained in it. In case the society fails to do this for two years, the property reverts to his heirs. The entire property is now valued at $2,500. After the edifice was dedicated Rev. S.L. Herrick occupied the pulpit once in four weeks until the spring of 1844, when Sarell Wood, a licentiate, was engaged as a supply for one year.
At a special meeting of the society, January 13th, 1846, a movement was inaugurated for the organization of a church. An ecclesiastical council was called, and on the 11th day of February, 1846, the Second Congregational Church of Crown Point was duly formed, with the following named persons as members: Allen Penfield, Timothy Taft, James F. More, Huldah M. Lawrence, Eunice Fuller, Sophronia More, Phebe Chapin, Louisa G. More, Ann H. Harwood, Caroline K. Penfield, Sarah M. Crain, Emily McIntyre, Anna Penfield, Lucy Crain, Rebecca Durand, Elizabeth Bascomb, Sophronia Moore, Sybil Honsiger, M. Rhoades, Hepzibah Stiles, Patty Phillips, Parmelia More, Harriet Ward, Hepzibah Taft, Hepzibah Rollins, Margaret Barrows, Lovina Wright, Sally Wright, Lucy Worcester, Asa Crain, Polly Durkee, Lovisa Hitt, Charles F. Hammond, 2d, Frederick Bostwick, Allen P. Harwood.
The articles of faith and covenant of the First Congregational Church of Crown Point were adopted as the basis. The first pastor was the Rev. Chauncey Coe Stevens, who was installed on he date of the organization and continued in the pastoral office until February, 1873, when he retired from service on account of the infirmities of age. Rev. D.W. Cameron began labor November 16th, 1873, and continued until May 1st, 1874. Rev. John t. Marsh began November 1st, 1874, and closed his labors February, 1877. The pastorate of Rev. A.T. Clarke began October, 1877; installation August, 1878; pastoral relations dissolved September 22d, 1884. Rev. W.C. Sexton, the present pastor, began labor January 4th, 1885.
The first deacons were Allen Penfield and James F. More. The others have been Timothy Taft, Levi R. Dudley, Thomas J. McMurtry and John W. Towner; the latter three are still in the office.
The first Sunday-school was organized in 1830, and prior to the erection of the church edifice was held either in the school-house or in Deacon Penfields hall. John Taylor was the first superintendent. The others have been A.P. Harwood, Hervey Spencer, E.J. Morgan, A.J. McMurtry, T.J. McMurtry, J.W. Towner, and Levi R. Dudley, the present incumbent.
The most important revival in the history of the church occurred in 1877, under the labors of J.D. Foote, an evangelist. Thirty-four persons, chiefly the fruits of this revival, were received to membership December 2d, 1877, by Rev. A.T. Clarke. The next largest accession was that of ten persons, January 2d, 1881. The present membership is fifty-five.
The benevolent contributions have been unusually large for a rural church of its size. Not far from $8,000 have been distributed in gifts to the various benevolent causes, making an average of about $210 per annum, not including one personal gift of $1,000. Besides, the church has very generously responded once or twice for the relief of western sufferers.
Church of Christ, Hammondville -- In 1875 and 1876 Rev. J.T. Marsh, acting pastor of the Congregational Church at Ironville, preached occasionally to the Protestant population of Hammondville. In October, 1877, Rev. A.T. Clarke was called to the pastorate of the Congregational Church at Ironville and preached in a school-house in Hammondville once in two weeks for nearly a year. In the summer of 1878 the Crown Point Iron Company erected an elegant house of worship with commodious rooms for a school beneath it. This house was dedicated on Sunday, September 29th, 1878, at which time the following statement by the Iron Company, prepared by A.L. Inman, general manager, was read: --
The company, having a due regard for the welfare of its employees, at its annual meeting in May last, determined on the erection of a building at its mines, for the purpose of a church and school building, the necessities of which have long been apparent, and to that end have expended in the construction and furnishing of the house we now occupy a little less than $3,000. The lower room has a seating capacity for 135 scholars, and is to be used as a school-room. The upper room, with seating capacity for 225 persons, to be used as a union house of worship for the religious services of all denominations. And the company does now give it to its employees to be used for such purposes only, with the hope and belief that it will prove a source of profit to both old and young.
After the dedication of the house of worship religious services were held every Sabbath afternoon by the pastor at Ironville, and a church organization was soon talked of, to be consummated on a liberal evangelical basis. A constitution was drawn up by Rev. A.T. Clarke, and printed, bearing date 1878, but for various reasons no public action was taken upon it until Saturday evening, march 29th, 1879, when it was adopted, and officers were elected as follows: Deacons, William Northey, and William S. Yole; clerk, William S. Rowan; treasurer, Josephy Stone; trustees, the foregoing, with A. McDonald, esq., superintendent of Iron Company.
The first communion season was observed on Sunday afternoon, April 13th, 1879, when ten persons assented to the confession o faith and covenant, thus completing the organization. These ten persons were William Northey, William S. Yole, William S. Rowan, John Kest, Martha Bennett, Etta J. Parkhurst, Mary Scafe, Cordelia Stone, Elizabeth E. Stone, Josephine U. Stone.
Rev. A.T. Clarke continued the first acting pastor of the church until September 22d, 1884. The present acting pastor, Rev. W.C. Sexton, began labor January 4th, 1885.
The first Sunday-school was organized in June, 1875, and held in a school house until the church edifice was dedicated. William Northey was the first superintendent. The others who have held the office are Mrs. Alexander Kee, James Cruikshank, William Trenery and Rev. W.C. Sexton, the present incumbent. Owing to removals and other causes the church membership has remained small.Nine members were received May 4th, 1884, as the result of revival services conducted by Rev. A.T. Clarke, and the largest accession at any one time since the date of organization.
The membership at present is twelve. Alfred Knowlton is deacon, and the present trustees are theodore Locke, Alexander Kee and thomas Montague, superintendent of Iron Company.
A large church edifice was erected and dedicated January 20th, 1830, on the site of the present white meeting-house, in the central part of the town, and was occupied as a union church by the different sects then desiring to hold services there, embracing Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists and Universalists. It gave way in the year 1882 to the present edifice, which is now occupied by the Wesleyan Methodists, who are ministered to by the Rev. W.A. Hathaway.
Lutherans -- The Swedish Lutherans of Hammondville have formed the organization of a church society recently and have occasional services by a non-resident pastor.
Roman Catholic -- There has been a Roman Catholic Church organization here more than twenty years, but the present church was erected in 1876. Rev. Father Mullin was the last priest who officiated in the church. He left the church in 1884 and services are not now held. Rev. Father Butler, from Ticonderoga was the first pastor, and comes to the church for occasional services.
Schools -- We have heretofore alluded to the first school taught in this town, in 1804 or 1805, by the wife of Elisha Rhoades, in the building which was a combined store, dwelling and school-house. But it was a beginning, and others soon followed in different parts of the town. It has never been a characteristic of American pioneers to let their children fold their hands and grow up in ignorance. Better that they should tramp miles through forests, over rough roads, or no roads at all, in the most inclement weather (they were needed at home in the planting and the harvest), and sit the day through upon the hardest of seats, with no support for their backs, and pore over a very limited selection of school books; and the foundation for many an excellent education and for many a strong and enlightened character has been laid under just such circumstances as these.
John Catlin came across the lake from Vermont and taught school here before 1818, and Harvey Tuttle taught from 1818 to 1820. Foster Breed, who came to town with his father in 1815, attended the school. The next teacher he remembers was a lady, who subsequently became his wife (now deceased), Miss Sarah Washburn. She was from Middlebury, and taught in a building that stood where Elmer J. Barkers house is. As settlers located in different parts of the town, districts were divided and schools rapidly multiplied.
The present Union Free School was established at Crown Point in 1878. It embraces three schools in the building at the village and one at the lake, and has been very successful from the first, nearly all the districts in the town (eighteen, besides the four mentioned) being represented among its pupils. L.B. Carlisle was the first principal and was succeeded in 1880 by Professor thomas R. Kneil. He was educated at the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., whence he graduated in 1875. He was born in Westfield, Mass., in 1851, and is a young man of excellent native ability. Under him as teachers are Miss Addie M. Bunnell, intermediate; Miss Clara A. Stanton, first primary; Miss Frank M. Locke, second primary (lake). The average attendance is about one hundred and seventy. The school passed under the control of the Regents of the University in 1881 and graduated its first class in 1883.
Free Masonry -- Molang Lodge, F. And A.M., was organize d in 1876, with the following charter members: J.D. Hardy, James West, J.E. Pond, G.G. Gage, William Scott, H.J. Potter, Robert Taylor, C.N. Mead, L.B. Carlisle, E.T. Strong, S. Taylor. The officers under the dispensation were: J.D. Hardy, M.; James E. Pond, S.W.; James West, J.W.; Robert Taylor, treasurer; L.B. Carlisle, secretary; G.G. Gage, S.D.; C.N. Mead, J.D.; William Scott, tiler; E.T. Strong, S.M.C.; S. Taylor, J.M.C. The first officers chosen under the charter were: James E. Pond, M.; George G. Gage, S.W.; S. Taylor, J.W.; Robert Taylor, treasurer; M.H. Turner, secretary; Adelbert Barse, S.D.; Eugene Wheelock, J.D.; Otis Breed, S.M.C.; L.A. Porter, J.M.C.; Hyde R. Barnett, tiler; S. Taylor, James West, B.P. Treadway, trustees.. The present officers are: S. Taylor, M.; H.D. Spicer, S.W.; Hyde R. Barnett, J.W.; L.R. Berry, treasurer; F.H. Ingalls, secretary; T.R. Knell, S.D.; E.E. Spaulding, J.D.; C.N. Mead, tiler; Z.C. Sherman, S.M.C.; Adelbert Barse, J.M.C. James E. Pond is the only resident P.M.
The C. F. Hammond Post No. 533, Department of New York, G.A.R., was organized January 24th, 1885. Following are the names of the charter members and officers: Thomas F. Allen, Solomon Allen, Elmer J. Barker, Egbert A. Braman, Henry Betts, William Barrows, James Bryden, James Deane, Charles F. Dunckler, Elbert M. Johnson, John H. Kelly, Sidney Knights, William P. Lamson, Simeon P. McIntyre, Alpharis H. Moore, Viceroy Moore, Clark M. Pease, Nelson Smith, John W. Treadway, William H. Taylor, Hiram Underhill, Henry E. Wyman, Franklin Waite, Robert Waterman. Officers: Commander, James Deane; senior vice-commander, Elmer J. Barker; junior vice-commander, Simeon P. McIntyre; surgeon, John W. Treadway; chaplain, Egbert A. Braman; adjutant, Clark M. Pease; quartermaster, Henry E. Wyman; officer of the day, Thomas f. Allen; officer of the guard, John H. Kelly; sergeant-major, Elbert M. Johnson; quartermaster-sergeant, Franklin Waite.
Crown Point Center -- The settlement at this point, about three miles up the creek from the lake, was made a little earlier than at what was called Hammonds Corners. The road now from the latter hamlet to the Center passes through Factoryville, which is only another section of the well-settled district beginning at the lake and extending westward -- as though a populous village away up the creek had ben caught by one of the floods for which that stream is not unknown and carried down stream, portions of it being left along on the banks.
There has been a post-office here and at the Lower Hollow, as it is locally called, since early in the century. The office was located at the Upper Hollow permanently some twenty-five years ago, while at the Lower Hollow there was continual strife in early years to secure its location permanently at Hammonds Corners; and it vibrated from one of these points to the other. `Squire George Bunn kept a store on the site of the present brick store at the Center as early as 1825, and `Squire Chauncey Fenton was located at The Corners. As the post-office was changed from one locality to the other it invariably also passed from the control of one of these worthy gentlemen to the other, the name of the office remaining the same -- Crown Point. The office at the Center is now in charge of Miss Ingalls, as deputy, under Henry E. Wyman. Mr. Wyman succeeded A.S. Palmer.
The early settlements in Buck Hollow and vicinity have already been sufficiently noted. A grist-mill at the Hollow that was operated for many years fell into ruins in 1884, and there is nothing there indicating business except a small store kept by a. Bailey. There was a saw-mill there in early days, and another at the Upper Hollow. These mills were a part of the great lumber business that was extensively carried on in the town in early years.
William Fuller is the oldest merchant at Crown Point Center. His father was Cornelius Fuller, who located near the old red store in 1818. He removed, however, but came back in 1824 to what was known at the Cummings farm. He died in the town in 1829. William Fuller was employed as clerk for A.B. Chipman, and in 1851 took the position of agent in the Union store, which was operated by the New England Protective Union, a co-operative organization. He continued in that capacity for twenty-one years. In 1873 he bought the store and has since that time continued the business on his own account. His store burned in 1875, when he erected his present substantial brick building.
A.G. DePoutee has a general store, where he began trade in 1871 with Henry E. Wyman as a partner, whose interest he subsequently purchased. He was preceded by J.T. Hill.
The firm of Trimble & Buck carry on a general store in a building which was erected in 1866 by P.S. Russell. The first firm was Russell & Trimble; then Russell, Trimble & Co., and Trimble & Buck since 1869. The firm is composed of James K. Trimble, who is a son of Chillion A. Trimble one of the early settlers already mentioned, who located on the Point, and Rawson C. Buck [Since this history was prepared R.C. Buck has died. See biographic sketch in latter pages of this work.].
The wagon factory here is owned by Chauncey Dudley, and Samuel Crawford runs the business.
There has been a hotel here since an early day. Elijah Grosvenor had an early tavern where Moses DePoutee now lives. M. Willcox had the first tavern on the site of the present hotel. The house, as it now stands, is the result of several changes of structure, and numerous proprietors have tried its fortunes. Samuel Russell, Nathan Ingalls, Henry McNutt and Alexander Freeman were among the proprietors; it is now kept by John Donnelly. Samuel Russell was one of the early settlers.
Alexander Turner has kept the harness shop since 1884, in a building that was put up for the post-office on one of the occasions when the Hammonds Corners people were temporarily deprived of it. John Little had a harness shop here formerly.
Rufus Fassett carried on the tinsmith business here for fifteen years. It is now, and for a year past, in connection with hardware, in the hands of John Donnelly.
The grist-mill is operated by Henry E. Wyman.
A.M. Buckman manufactures butter tubs, etc., on the site of the old saw mill. This mill was reconstructed from the old forge that was built here many years ago.
Moses De Poutee keeps a grocery.
The old woolen factory at the Upper Hollow was built about 1840 by William Treadway. It has been operated for thirty years by William Clure.
John M. Locke, one of the early settlers in the neighborhood of the White Meeting House, on the homestead now occupied by his son, formerly drove a stage through this region. Wm. Fuller, the merchant, taught a school in that neighborhood in 1833.
The road as it now runs through the valley was not opened until about 1834. Previous to that time the hill road was used. In early days roads were opened either over or along the sides of hills, to avoid the mud that was sure to be found in spring and fall in the valleys, at a period when teams were not so numerous as now.
The first church in the White Meeting House neighborhood was the one that gave the name to the locality, derived from its own color; it was not every church that could in those days boast a coat of paint of any color. It was located near the center of the town and there were good reasons for believing that a hamlet or village might be built up there. The town meeting was held in the old church the first year after it was built. Mr. Fuller remembers that it was necessary to place a guard about the pulpit to prevent the enthusiastic electors from breaking it down. The present church was built on the site of the old one in 1882.
Factoryville -- This is a mere hamlet midway between Crown Point and Crown Point Center. A post-office is maintained by private effort.
The Crown Point Manufacturing works are located here and now operated by James E. Pond. G.W. Foote is in charge of the store. This manufacturing establishment was started for the production of sash, doors, blinds and pails, by Flint Brothers, some twenty-five years ago. They were succeeded by C.P. Fobes, who was associated with the Hammonds.Mr. Fobes bought out his partners interest and formed the C.P. Fobes Manufacturing Company. This continued to 1880 when the business took its present name, with C.L. Hammond as proprietor. About two years later it passed to the present ownership.
The Mason Wheel Company began business here in 1880, manufacturing patent wagon wheels; but the business was abandoned in about a year.
Two saw-mills are operated here by Mr. Pond, before mentioned.
Gunnisons -- There are two ferries from Crown Point across the lake, one of which is south of the mouth of Putnams creek and the other north of it. The one first mentioned is now operated by Gunnison & Brooks and the other by Wolcott & Rogers, and by Timothy Huestis from this side. A ferry called Wilkinsons ferry was run from Long Point.
George Gunnison some fifteen years ago erected the large hotel that stands near his wharf on the lake shore. Its proximity to the railroad and the expectation that it could be filled with summer guests were the reason for its erection; but the hopes of patronage were not realized and the handsome house is used only as a sort of boarding-house.
Following are the names that appear on the assessors roll of the town for the year 1835, which is worthy of preservation here as indicating the settlers who had become property owners at that time. The real estate valuation had then reached $91,361; personal property, $4,800. The spelling of some of the names is undoubtedly incorrect: --
John F. Bishop
Jonathan I. Breed
Asa W. Barnet
Barker & Fenton
John B. Brooks
Brooks & Floyd
Samuel b. Bailey
George Conn, jr.
Bradley M. Davis
Franklin F. Dike
Benjamin S. Davis
John T. Ewen
Alfred A. Edmunds
Osro P. Gray
Lemuel D. Howe
Chas. F. Hammond
Hammonds & Co.
Daniel D. Huestice
Samuel H. Ingalls
Arrial A. Kibby
John King, jr.
John M. Lock
Saml Murdock, jr.
Roswell H. Morgan
Lyman & L. Morton
John E. Moore
John R. Mott
Nilson & Allen
Jacob J. Parmerter
Penfield & Taft
Paris I. Prible
Saml Russell (blacksmith)
Saml Russell (inn-keeper)
Spaulding & Hatch
Alex S. Sturtefant
Sn Spaulding, 2d
Chany P. Sawyer
Ephrim I. Towner
Ichabod A. Towner
Trimble & Murdock
Moses B. Townsend
Tyrell & Chipman
Benj. F. Towner
Chilion A. Trimble
Aaron B. Townsend
Wilder & Gray
Joseph T. Wilder
Witherbee & Wood
John I. Wallace
Wright & Eaton