By Capt. Franklin Ellis244
The town of Ancram first derived prominence and notoriety from the iron-works erected by Robert Livingston, grandson of the first lord of the manor, at Ancram village, in 1748. This was the first, and for many years the only iron-works in the colony. The furnace stood on the site of the present paper-mill, at the south end of the bleaching-room. The top-house was on the north side. There were four forges built at different times,--one stood near the furnace, one stood nearly opposite on the east side of the kill, one stood near the dam on the west side, and the other was about eighty rods down the stream on the west bank. The one near the dam was carried away by a freshet in the spring of 1839. The others were torn down, with the exception of the lower one, which was afterwards converted into a dwelling. The ore used was formerly brought from Salisbury, Conn., in carts, but about 1830-35 they began to get ore from the Copake mine. The ore was first made into pig-iron in the furnace, and then refined in the forges, and made into bar, and rod-iron of all kinds. The manufactures of this furnace won a wide reputation for their excellence. When running full force the works furnished employment for from sixty to one hundred men as colliers, teamsters, founders, blacksmiths, etc. The iron-works remained in the possession of the Livingston family until 1845, when it was sold under foreclosure of mortgage to Peter P. Rossman and Joseph D. Monell. In 1847, Rossman sold out to Monell, who held it till 1853, when he sold to George W. Platner. In 1854 the furnace was torn down, and a paper-mill was erected on the site by Platner and Elizur Smith, of Lee, Mass. It was afterwards owned by Stephen H. Platner and Peter G. Conkling, and was sold by them in 1859 to Messrs. Peaslee & Carpenter, of Kinderhook, who erected the present paper mill.