By Capt. Franklin Ellis235
Ancram, which is the principal village, is situated on the kill, near the west line of the town, and contains about three hundred inhabitants. It is pleasantly situated, lying mostly on the west bank of the stream, which rises quite steeply to a height of about seventy-five feet. The village is separated into two parts, nearly an eighth of a mile apart. The first, and principal part, lies near the fall in the kill, and contains two churches (Evangelical Lutheran and Methodist Episcopal), two hotels ("Ancram" and "Sunnyside"), two stores, two blacksmith-shops, a shoe-shop, a large paper-mill, a fine school-house, a depot, and about twenty-five dwellings. A little way to the north is a small cluster of about a dozen dwellings.
The first hotel was built on the present site of the Ancram Hotel, in 1845, by John Scism. It has been repaired and added to, but the original frame is still standing.
The first grist-mill stood on the east side of the creek, nearly opposite the paper-mill. It was run by Philip Coon, and existed previous to 1826. There was a saw-mill on the same side near the bridge, which is still standing, though in very dilapidated condition.
The first store was kept in the early part of the century, in a building east of the bridge, by Isaac B. Williams, a son of Livingston's agent at the iron-works. The building was afterwards moved near the creek, below the saw-mill, and is now used as a barn. Augustus Tremain afterwards kept a store near the same place.
Previous to 1840 the village was but a hamlet, consisting principally of the employees of the furnace and forges. There was then not more than half a dozen houses, or rather cabins, and the Livingston mansion. In 1843 this mansion was torn down and rebuilt on the same foundations by the heirs of Henry I. Livingston. In 1845 the first sale of the soil in Ancram was made under mortgage, and the property was bought by Dr. Peter P. Rossman and Joseph D. Monell. They tried to build up a village, and it is principally through their efforts that the place has attained its growth and prominence. Dr. Rossman now resides in the Livingston mansion. He is a descendant of the first Rossman family in Taghkanic, and a grandson of Jacob Rossman of that town. He is one of four brothers, all of whom were practicing physicians. Two of them died in the south, and one, Dr. John B. Rossman, lives in Albany. He has attained considerable prominence in political matters, having held many important town offices and represented his district in the Assembly.