THE VILLAGE OF NIVERVILLE, COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Capt. Franklin Ellis58
Niverville is a village of several hundred inhabitants, on the outlet of Kinderhook lake, in the northeastern part of the town. It is a station on the Boston and Albany railroad and the shipping-point for Valatie and the surrounding villages. Its name is derived from the Niver family, who have been early and prominent citizens of the locality. There are several good manufacturing establishments, a neat Methodist chapel, and several stores. The first improvements were made along the Valatie creek, near the lake, the upper part of the village having been built since the construction of the railroad. A saw-mill was erected at this point about 1710, and the water-power has been employed ever since to furnish the motor for mills and factories. One of the best known and at present the only grist-mill in town is on the site of the old Niver mill, erected in 1810. The buildings have been enlarged to embrace a cotton-factory, formerly operated by Coop, Brown & Co., and at present contains five run of stones and a plaster-mill. For many years these mills were known as Raeder's, but are now the property of Charles Wild. Employment is given to nine men.
Below these mills, and supplied with power from the same dam, was formerly a brewery, by the Kingmans. A wadding-mill, by Benajah Conant, afterwards took its place. Upon its destruction by fire, James Benson and Robert Trimper erected a new and more extensive mill, which, in an enlarged condition, is now known as the Niverville wadding-mill, C. W. Trimper proprietor. It is a very extensive establishment, and is capacitated to manufacture two thousand pounds of plain and colored wadding per day. The buildings are brick, the main part of the mill being one hundred and ninety-three feet long. There are, also, carding and lapper-rooms and a spacious store-house. In addition to the water-power the mill has a fifteen horse-power engine.
The Victor mower-works were established at Niverville in 1875. They occupy a factory, east of the depot, built of brick, thirty by eighty feet, three stories high, with a large wing containing a thirty-five horse-power engine, which supplies the motor of the establishment. The Victor machine is the invention of E. M. Krum, who carried on their manufacture, in a small way, at Nassau twenty years ago, and subsequently at Chatham. Continued improvements, and notably the invention of a friction ratchet, gave this machine many points of superiority, which let to the formation of a stock company, in order to secure better manufacturing facilities, and the establishment of the new works at Niverville. Wm. H. Smith is at present the managing officer of the company, but the mowers are constructed under the personal supervision of the inventor. Three hundred machines are produced annually, some of which are shipped to Europe. The mower has been brought into competition with many rival machines, and has always succeeded in establishing its claims for good work, lightness of draft, and ease of management, the new friction-ratchet starting the knife the moment power is applied, making it impossible to clog.
At Niverville stores have been kept by Jacob Smith, Peter Springstein, A. D. Simpson, and others. In the store of the latter R. Trimper has the post-office, which was established here since the railroad.
A little northwest from this place are the peat beds of the Columbia Peat Company. They comprise about eighteen acres, containing peat of excellent quality, whose purity has been graded at sixty per cent. which found a ready market in New England and other points. The decline in the price of coal has caused the temporary suspension of work, which will probably soon be resumed. Peter Springstein was the superintendent of the company.
The Buttons and Bars supplied by:
Bulls Buttons & Bars