The Manufacturing Interests
By Captain Franklin Ellis407
The manufacturing interests of Livingston embraced at an early day saw and grist-mills controlled by the several lords of the manor. The first and most noted were on Roeloff Jansen's Kill, near its mouth, and were erected about 1710, chiefly to supply the Palatines with meal and flour. At a later period, these mills, or others on their site, were widely known as the "Manor Mills." They were operated more than a hundred years, as well as a carding-machine and fulling-mill, at this place, for a less period of time. The power was last used about 1820 and thereafter to operate a ship-tackle factory, many hands having been engaged in the manufacture of hoisting-blocks, etc. At the time Livingston victualled the Palatines he had a brew-house and bakery near his mill. For many years the power has been idle.
Half a mile above this point, at the mouth of the Kleina Kill, is George W. Moseley's mill, erected in 1875, for the manufacture of box-makers' and bookbinders' boards. The power is supplied from rapids on the Roeloff Jansen, four hundred yards distant, which, by means of a dam eighteen feet high, afford a thirty-foot fall. The mill occupies a good stone building, fifty-seven by sixty-three feet, and two stories high, and the machinery consists of two forty-inch engines, producing two tons per day, and giving employment to fifteen men. This is the only mill of the kind in the county.
On the same stream, where the Sturtevant farm now is, John Richmond erected a woolen-factory about 1810, which was operated on an extensive scale for those times. About 1835 a man named Ainslee became the proprietor, and continued the works several years. A small hamlet sprung up around the mill, and the place had a busy appearance. There is nothing left to note the former prosperity but the ruins of the factory and a few deserted tenements.
Still farther above, at the natural falls, the Livingstons erected the "Good Hope Mill" before 1780. In 1784 it was operated by Jacob Blatner, and about 1800 by Marcus Blatner. About 1820, John Van Deusen became the owner of the privileges, and controlled them many years. Other proprietors were L. R. Miller, John Pierce, Baker & Burgert, and, since 1871, Charles E. Bingham. It has three run of stones, and is capacitated to grin eighty barrels per day.
The two falls at this place have been further improved by several dams, affording now an aggregate fall of more than forty feet. Below the upper falls was formerly a woolen-factory, operated by Asahel Andrews and others, which was finally converted into a hosiery-mill. It was destroyed by fire in 1862, and the site is now used for other purposes.
The power of the lower fall was first improved about 1850 to operate a paper-mill, erected by Jacob W. Rossman. Some years after Baker & Burgert purchased the property, and extended the facilities for manufacturing paper by erecting a second mill just below their grist-mill. Both establishments are at present the property of C. E. Bingham, whose name has been applied to this locality. They contain two sixty-eight-inch machines and six thirty-six engines, capacitating them to produce six tons of medium wrapping-paper daily, and giving employment to about fifty persons.
Near the east line of the town, on Copake creek, the Livingstons had a forge before 1800; but nothing more than the bare knowledge of its existence can now be ascertained. After 1825, Messrs. Red & Watson improved the power for a cotton-factory, which later became the property of Samuel G. Wheeler, and was operated by Jeremiah Carpenter. It was a large frame building containing about forty looms. Some time after 1835 it was destroyed by fire.
In 1842, Henry P. Hermance purchased the water-power and erected the present grist-mill, which was remodeled by Edward Livingston in 1865. It is at present the property of Martin L. Potts, and contains four runs of stones, two of which are used for merchant work, producing the celebrated "Glenco Mills" brand. On the opposite side of the stream is a saw-mill, operated by John H. Schermerhorn.
On the same stream, near the north line of the town, are the "Linlithgo Mills." the first improvement in this direction was made by Robert Livingston, who erected, about 1780, what was long known as "Mill Support." Abram Burdick operated this mill at a later period, and Abram Briggs was an early owner. From him the mill passed to Samuel Fox, who enlarged the building and changed it into a hosiery-mill. After a few years' operation he removed the machinery and again operated it as a grist-mill, giving it the present name. Since 1870 it has been the property of Jacob H. Proper. It is supplied with several run of stones to grind grain and plaster, the capacity being two hundred bushels of the former and ten tons of the latter.
In the southwestern part of the town, on the Kleina Kill, are "Walker's Grist-Mills." Moncrief Livingston first had a mill here about 1800, in which Christian Cooper served as miller. In 1820, Eleazer Smith put up some clothing-works, which he sold, in 1832, to Henry Walker. In 1835 the present mill was started, and has since been operated by the Walker family.