Champion, Jefferson, NY

Villages & Hamlets

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The village of Champion is situated near the centre of the town, upon the main road, at the point at which it is crossed by the Great Bend and Copenhagen (formerly plank) road. It has about one hundred inhabitants; two churches,--Methodist and Congregational; a stone edifice built for academic purposes, but now used by the Episcopalian society as a place of worship; a hotel, owned by Mr. J. A. Hubbard; a store, owned by Mr. M. G. Coughlan; a blacksmith-shop, and a shoe-shop.

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This village is situated mostly upon the south side of Black river, at the base of the peninsula formed by the Great Bend, and at the point where the Chassanis line crossed the river. Among the first settlers in this portion of the town were a large number of martins, who came from the east and located upon the road from Great Bend to Carthage, since known as Martin street. Prominent among them were Enos, Mason, Timothy, Samuel, Harry, and Captain. James Colwell and Samuel Fulton located near the village about 1805.

The first white child born in this portion of the town was the wife of Elisha Burr. A bridge was built as early as 1804, but was swept off by the spring floor of 1807, which was very general in this section, and of extraordinary height. It was, however, soon rebuilt.

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In 1840, a substantial covered bridge at this place was burned, and a few weeks after an act was passed authorizing a loan of $2,500 to the town of Champion, $750 to Le Ray, $2,000 to Wilna, and $750 to Pamelia, for building bridges over Black river, among which were those at this place and Carthage. These loans were to be repaid by a tax, in eight equal annual installments.

The first mill at Great Bend was built by a Mr. Tubbs, who also constructed a dam across the river in 1806 for Olney Pearce and Egbert Ten Eyck, who had purchased a pine lot of one hundred acres in the vicinity. Henry G. Gardner, subsequently became interested in the improvement, and in 1807, the mill which had been destroyed in the floor of that year was rebuilt. In 1809 a distillery was put in operation, and in 1816 the premises were sold to Watson & Gates, who, in 1824, conveyed them to Charles E. Clarke. A destructive fire occurred at Great Bend, march 5, 1840, by which all of the business portion of the village was destroyed, including the grist-mill and bridge. The loss was estimated at $20,000. The mill was immediately rebuilt on an extensive scale.

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In 1834, Joseph C. Budd, William Bones, and Benjamin Bentley erected a blast-furnace in Champion, west of the river, opposite the village of Carthage, which was twenty-six feet square at the base, and thirty-two feet high. It was run but four blasts, the first two on bog ore alone, when it was abandoned in 1836. About one thousand tons of iron were made at this furnace with the cold blast. No castings were made here. The parties owning it had, In February, 1833, purchased of A. Champion about three hundred and twenty acres, opposite Carthage, which were surveyed into a village plat and sold to parties in New York, who caused a new survey and a map to be made by Nelson J. Beach. The speculation failed, and the property reverted to Champion who sold it to V. Le Ray. This village company procured and got incorporating the West Carthage Iron and Lead Company, with a capital of $200,000, in shares of $500. It was incorporated May 15, 1837. The first directors were Ebenezer Jessup, Jr., Chauncey Burks, Wolcot Hubbell, Ebenezer Griffin, and Carlos Woodcock, and the company was limited in duration to twenty-five years. Nothing was done towards carrying this into effect.

West Carthage, having the advantage of excellent water privileges, is one of the most extensive manufacturing villages in the county. There is in operation at present extensive pail and tub manufactories, a map-roller, a sash and blind, and a pump manufactory, two planing-mills, and a tannery. (Jefferson County History, 1878)

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Transcribed by Holice B.Young

Html by Debbie

December 26, 1999

[Jefferson County ALHN][NY ALHN]

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