By Capt. Franklin Ellis301
Provision was made to work the highways of the town, by forming six beats, at the first meeting. A number of New roads were located in 1795, and some of the old roads changed to more favorable locations.
In 1801 the town contained forty-one road beats, and the number of men assessed was five hundred and forty-seven, yielding on the property assessment two thousand one hundred and seventy-seven days of work, or an average of nearly four days to a man. The appended list give the names of all who were assessed five days or more, and is here produced to show the names and position of the early settlers: John Son, 5; Abram Macy, 9; Timothy Bunker, 10; Zephaniah Coffin, 5; Amos Serrien, 14; Henry Clark, 5; Isaac Clark, 7; Jared Pratt, 10; E. Mosher, 8; Joseph Pitts, 7; Morris Murphy, 8; Thomas Williams, 5; Abram Johnson, 5; Abram Hogeboom, 10; John Cornelius, 5; Jacob Stevens, 7; Benejah Slack, 10; William Wagner, 5; Sheldon Curtis, 6; Ichabod Lester, 5; Peter Roberts, 7; William Palmer, 6; Obediah Wilbor, 8; Joseph Phillips, 7; Reuben Moore, 7; Russell Crocker, 5; William Clark, 10; Abel Eaton, 10; Aaron Cade, 8; Elijah Stevens, 7; Abner Beckwith, 6; John I. Miller, 9; John Van Derburgh, 6; Richard Stevens, 6; Jonathan Chapman,12; Frederick Ham, 5; William Sutherland, 6; widow Krum, 11; Samuel Hunt, 10; Dennis Harder, 9; Joel Champion, 7; James Van Valkenburgh, 9; widow Mills, 8; Israel Phelps, 6; Nicholas Van Horsaw, 6; Nehemiah Reynolds, 6; Nehemiah Finch, 8; Amasa Pitts, 5; Joseph Allen, 5; Anson Pratt, 6; Abraham Vosburgh, 5; Caleb Knight, 7; Samuel Thompson, 7; Samuel Crocker, 9; Reuben Lay, 5; David Wickham, 6; Asa Starkweather, 6; Daniel Bebee, 5; Nathaniel Halsey, 10; Andrew Markus, 8; Andrew Weiderwax, 9; Andrew Calner, 7; B. L. Van Valkenburgh, 6; Jacob L. Schermerhorn, 5; Conrad Rouse, 5; Phineas Knapp, 6; Ebenezer Burger, 10; Mathew Dorr, 13; John Johnson, 7; Robert Macy, 12; David Haight, 6; William Steves, 7; Solomon Van Valkenburgh, 6; Josiah Richmond, 6; James Brebner, 10; Seth Rowland, 14; Gaylord Hawkins, 7; Abel Smith, 7; Benjamin North, 8; David Reynolds, 8; Calvin Eaton, 6; John Darrow, 9; Gershom Babcock, 5; Isaac Webster, 5; Elijah Cade, 9; Samuel Mott, 5; Rowland Gifford, 8; Edward Dorr, 6; Samuel Wilbor,18; Joel Talmadge, 8; Joseph Smith, 6; James Savage, 13; Philo Bebee, 6; Ebenezer Cade, 9; Ebenezer Lovejoy, 5; Daniel Morris, 6; Jabez Person, 5; Isaac Hammond, 6; John Clark, 6; Frederick Tobias, 9; A. A. Van Alstyne, 12; Tunis Sowers, 5; Peter Van Slyke, 5; Gershom Reed, 9; Isaac Van Ness, 5; Peter Becker, 6; James Hudson, 8; John Roberts, 6; Cornelius Van Ness, 6; Juatus (sic) Betts, 6; S. Fitch, 8; Oliver Parks, 5; William C. Elmore, 7; E. Hudson, 14; James Lockwood, 7; Daniel Troop, 5; Hosea Bebee, 6; Elisha Hallister, 5; Thomas Wilson, 10; Robert Garnier, 5; Eleazer Davis, 6; Daniel Benjamin, 6; Gilbert Van Allen, 10; A. J. Van Alstyne, 19; Elkanah Briggs, 10; Samuel Drake, 5; Jacob Van Hosen, 8; Edward Upton, 7; Peter Pulver, 5; John R. Bullis, 6; Robert Simms, 8; John Walker, 7; Timothy Babcock, 6; Uriah Coffin, 9; Nathaniel Gillet, 6.
"Spafford's Gazetteer," of 1813, thus speaks of the roads of that time: "The roads are rather too numerous to be good, although improving very fast since the introduction of turnpikes, of which there are three or more in this town." The turnpikes referred to were at that time and are yet the principal highways in town. They will be more particularly noted in the general history of the county. All are at present used as public highways, and are generally in good condition. The streams of the town are all spanned by substantial bridges, whose aggregate cost has been forty-six thousand dollars, and from twenty to forty dollars per lineal foot. there are at present seventy-nine road districts.
The railway system of the town is comprehensive, and affords the best shipping facilities at the five stations on the different lines. The Boston and Albany railroad enters the town near the centre of the eastern line, and passes to the southern bounds at Chatham village, thence northwest to near the centre of the western line, having eleven miles of double-track in Chatham. The Harlem Extension railroad was completed through the town in 1869. Its general course is northeast from Chatham village, having nearly ten miles of single track in town and stations at Chatham and Rayville.
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