By Capt. Franklin Ellis311
This is one of the oldest villages in the town, and was for many years the most important. It is north and east from the centre of the town, pleasantly located on a brook which here affords limited water-power. The place is neatly kept and presents and attractive appearance. It is a station on the Harlem Extension railroad, and has in consequence as active trade. The population is about five hundred. Samuel Wilbor was one of the first prominent settlers, and he and others of that family were the most active in promoting the early prosperity of the place. Descendants of this family yet live in Chatham, and have always been among its leading citizens. The other early settlers were Harry Van Valkenburgh, Almon Russell, Rhoderick Bebee, Thomas Hoag, Allen Davis, Volney Burgess, Rensselaer Hoag, Simeon S. Mickle, John S. Lay, Benjamin Beckwith, Hosea Hudson, Pliny Hudson, Levi M. Butts, Wigton Lester, and R. Tabor.
One of the first stores in the place was opened in 1787, by a number of persons, on the co-operative principle. From this fact it was called the "federal store," a term which is sometimes incorrectly used as the name of the village. From an account book kept by Elijah Hudson we learn that it did an extensive business. Stephen Wilbor had also a store on the corner, which has always belonged to the Wilbor family. After 1810 Thomas Hoag had a store in the house occupied in part by him as a tavern. Other merchants were A. Campbell, David Carshore, Harvey Brown, Benjamin Rider, and Seth Daly. For the past twenty years C. B. Hudson has been in trade as a general merchant, and Wait Brothers have conducted the hardware trade for a like period of time.
The post-office was removed to this place from Malden Bridge, and has been kept by Campbell, Daly, R. and T. Hoag, and at present by C. B. Hudson.
A tavern was kept at an early day on the site of the present "Locust Tree House," by Thomas Hoag, which, on account of its favorable location on the turnpike, was largely patronized. The village has at present several public-houses.
Dr. Horace Root was one of the first settled practicing physicians. He died in Chatham in 1865. Dr. N. M. Ransom and Dr. Robert H. Morey have also been located in the place.
The is a neat school-house in the village, and the Methodists have a fine church, whose history is elsewhere given.
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