by Captain Franklin Ellis433
New Lebanon, one of the handsomest villages of its size in the county, is located in the midst of the celebrated Lebanon Valley, about two miles from Lebanon Springs. It is on the Harlem Extension railroad, which has a very neat station at this point. As a business point it does not retain its former prominence, but is still noted as the seat of several important manufactories. Here is the widely-known medical laboratory of Tilden & Co., which is elsewhere fully noted. The place contains a fine church, a young men's hall, a number of handsome residences, a seminary, and has a few hundred inhabitants.
Among the first settlers at this place was Major Samuel Jones, who opened the first public-house and store. His house was regarded as a famous stopping-place by travelers from Boston to Albany. Afterwards, Aaron Betts and John Lewis had taverns at this stand, which is now occupied by the Moses Y. Tilden residence. A contemporary tavern was kept by Ami Doubleday, on the opposite corner, which was continued by Thomas Peirce, and was subsequently sold to the Shakers.
A very handsome hotel building was erected in 1874 by Henry A. Tilden, which is now occupied by a boarding-school. It is an attractive three-story brick, fifty-six by one hundred and thirty feet, with a main hall sixteen feet wide, and has a detached kitchen.
Major Jones was succeeded in his mercantile business by his son-in-law, Elam Tilden, who was for many years reputed one of the most sagacious and successful merchants in the county. On the death of his father, Moses Y. Tilden continued the trade. Others followed, and while the store was owned by David Spier it was destroyed by fire. Peabody & Sweet, P. E. Leonard, and others have been in trade. There are now two stores.
Elam Tilden was appointed the first postmaster, having the office in his store. Subsequently the position was held by Moses Y. Tilden, Philander Leonard, W. A. Whittlesey, and at present (1878) by Clarence W. Bacon.