Towns & Villages


Columbia County,

New York

By Capt. Franklin Ellis350



     Canaan Four Corners a little east and north of the centre, is the largest village in the town, having a few hundred inhabitants.  It is a station on the Boston and Albany railroad, and a point of considerable business.  The location is in a pleasant valley, surrounded by high hills, which give it a secluded appearance.  There are a Congregational church, several stores, and two hotels.  One of the first stores was kept by Elihu Phinney, who removed to Otsego county in 1796.  Ebenezer Sutherland and Reuben Swift were also in trade early.  The former had a tavern in his store building, which is yet used for this purpose, and for many years has been conducted by the Leavenworth family.


     Near the outlet of a lake by the same name is this pleasant hamlet.  It contains several manufacturing establishments and a Methodist church, which are elsewhere noted.  In former days, Henry A. Brown and others transacted a mercantile business at this point, having a large trade, which has been diverted by the railroad.

     South of this place, in the eastern part of the town, is


a hamlet of a few score of inhabitants.  Edwards', a half-mile below, is its railway station.  A little north is a silver mine which has been abandoned.  The Baptist church is located at this point.  Here William Lusk began trade at an early day, having a store on the hill.  He was succeeded, before 1797, by James Lusk, and he turn, soon after 1800, by Uriah Edwards, a merchant for thirty-six years.  Peter Van Vleck and William Woodworth also had stores.  William Lusk had a good tavern.  The early settlers were members of the Curtis, Lusk, Dean, Olmstead, Smith, and Townsend families.

     The post-office was established about 1830, with Wm. Woodworth postmaster.  His successor was Mrs. Eva H. Woodworth, who still retains the office.


is a name applied to a cluster of houses on the turnpike and north towards the railroad.  In early times considerable business was done here, there being stores, shops, and taverns.  One of these was kept by Jonathan Warner, in the house now occupied by C. J. Parson.  Here the committee of safety assembled, and here, also were held the early town-meetings.  The Presbyterian church is located here, and a post-office, in charge of Asa S. Bates.

     In the western part of the town is the old hamlet of


     Its location on the turnpike, in a rich farming country, caused it to be an important place in early times; and here the first post-office in town was established somewhere about 1810.  It was kept in a tavern built by Elijah Hulburt, and was generally in charge of the different landlords.  Since 1832 Samuel Frisbie has been postmaster, keeping it in his store.  For the past forty years the Van Alstyne family have carried on the tavern.  Harry Holdridge had a pioneer store.  Subsequently the trade was represented by John Frisbie, Jesse D. Flint, and, from 1832 to 1858, by Samuel Frisbie.  At his old stand a good store is now carried on.

     The place contains about one hundred and twenty inhabitants, most of whom are retired farmers.  North of the hamlet are the Ford slate quarries, from which are obtained some very fine specimens of this valuable material.


is the name applied to an extended settlement along the creek, in the southwestern part of the town.  The locality was formerly known as Pilfershire, but in 1825 a huge rock along the roadside was painted red, and crowned with a wooden column, to commemorate the change of name.  In 1860 a marble shaft was placed on the rock by the inhabitants and former citizens of the place, and dedicated with imposing ceremonies.  It bears the time of erection, and the date of 1750, as the time of the settlement of the place.

     The place contains several mills and churches, and numbers about one hundred inhabitants.  The store and post-office is kept by James J. Powell.  Other merchants were Cyprian Powell, Daniel G. Thorpe, and J. W. Vincent.