COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Capt. Franklin Ellis56
Valatie is a Dutch term signifying "the little falls," and was applied to the rapids at this point, to distinguish them from the "great falls" in Stuyvesant. Valatie Kill here unites with the Kinderhook, and as both streams afford good water-power, the natural conditions for a manufacturing village have been very favorable, and the judicious improvement of these privileges has promoted the rapid growth of the place. It now ranks as one of he most important villages in the county, having a population of more than two thousand inhabitants.
Besides the manufacturing interest of the village, it enjoys an active business, having a large number of stores, shops, several hotels; and contains, also, four churches, a fine school building, and several very handsome residences, surrounded by spacious and tasty grounds.
The location of the village is pleasant, and its appearance has been much improved since it has a
Valatie was incorporated March 25, 1856. The application for corporate privileges was made to the court of general sessions in 1853, and set forth that the place contained fifteen hundred and fifty-seven inhabitants, on the six hundred and forty-eight acres which were to be comprised within its limits. For various reasons the incorporation was not effected until three years later, when, at an election ordered to test the minds of the people upon this matter, one hundred and thirty-five citizens voted for incorporation, and seventy-eight against.
On the 23d of April, 1856, the first election for village officers was held with the following result:
Trustees, Wm. P. Rathbone, Sylvester Becker, John H. Corning, G. W. Bulkley, John Rogers; Assessors, John M. Mesick, Henry L. Miller, Barent Mesick; Treasurer, Benajah Conant; Clerk, James Miller; Collector, James Mesick; Pound-master, Abram Brewer.
The trustees selected Wm. P. Rathbone as president of the board, and at once enacted such ordinances as were thought conducive to the public good. In November, 1856, the board secured the transfer of an independent fire company, which had been formed in the place several years previous, and a month later gave it proper recognition as "Valatie Fire Company, No. 1." The company had thirty-four members, and Wm P. Rathbone was appointed chief engineer of the department. An engine-house was erected in a central locality, which has afforded quarters for apparatus provided by the board. In 1878 the Legislature empowered the village to expend two thousand dollars in the purchase of the old Presbyterian church for a public hall. This building will afford ample and suitable rooms for the uses of the corporation, and will be a much-desired convenience.
The following have held the principal village offices since its incorporation.
|1856||Wm. P. Rathbone||James Miller|
|1857||ditto||D. E. Merwin|
|1858||S. G. Tallmadge||W. I. Merwin|
|1859||Wm. P. Rathbone||ditto|
|1860||Sylvester Becker||George Ransford|
|1863||S. G. Tallmadge||ditto|
|1865||Justus W. Bebee||W. I. Merwin|
|1866||Charles W. Trimper||ditto|
|1867||ditto||W. H. Pulver|
|1871||ditto||Charles E. Reynolds|
|1872||Allen Miller||W. H. Pulver|
|1873||Charles W. Trimper||ditto|
|1874||Wm. H. Silvernail||John Busby|
|1875||J. W. Merwin||W. H. Pulver|
|1878||ditto||M. W. Lant|
Before 1700 there were saw-mills at this point; and sixty-three years later there were saw and grist-mills on the Kinderhook, owned by Hans and Derick Hoes; and still later, there were four grist-mills in this locality, owned by Mallory and others. These gradually gave place to other interests, principally cotton manufactories.
The "Kinderhook Manufacturing Company" was the pioneer in this industry. Some time about 1820, it put up a frame building, on the site of Davis' paper-mill, in which it manufactured warps and other cotton goods, increasing its business until it was an important interest, and created a little hamlet in this locality, form which has sprung the present village.
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