Edgar C. Emerson's
History of the Town of Hounsfield
excerpted from "Our County & Its People" (1898), pp. 629-660

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Online at: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/jefferson/hounsfield/emersonhistory.html
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See also Emerson's Family Sketches


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CHAPTER XXX.

THE TOWN OF HOUNSFIELD.


            When on August 5, 1796, the proprietors of the eleven towns, otherwise known as the Black river tract, divided the lands among themselves, numbers 1, 4, 5, 8 and 10 (Hounsfield, Champion, Denmark, Rodman and Harrisburgh), with 1,283 acres of what is now Worth, fell to Richard Harrison and Joseph Ogden Hoffman. On June 30, 1797, Harrison and Hoffman sold the north part of Hounsfield (11,134.5 acres) to Henry Champion and Lemuel Storrs, and on March 10, 1801, disposed of the south part (15,913 acres) to Peter Kemble and Ezra Hounsfield (consideration of $4,000) who sold to settlers and smaller proprietors through the agency of Silas Stow and Elisha Camp.
            As is well known in Jefferson county history, the title to all lands in the region passed from Macomb to Constable, and from the latter to the lesser proprietors. This town passed through the same channel and its title became vested in Harrison, Hoffman, Low and Henderson as owners of the eleven towns, or the Black river tract, as above stated, and as more fully detailed in an earlier chapter of this work. Champion and Storrs, who paid for the north part of the town (with the town of Champion) $58,383.33, sold a portion of their tract (Nov. 14, 1798) to Loomis and Tillinghast, receiving therefor two promissory notes of $6,000 each, the payment of which was secured by mortgage on the lands. The notes were not paid when due, hence the mortgage was foreclosed, and on June 20, 1801, at the Tontine Coffee House in New York, under a decree of chancery the Loomis and Tillinghast lands were sold to Augustus Sacket, also of New York, who had heard of the desirable location and who, previous to the sale, had visited the region, having in mind at that time the subject of purchase and the subsequent improvement and settlement of the territory, although at that time he had no idea that his tract was to become one of the most historical localities in the whole country, and even afterward a military and naval station of much importance.
            After the title had become perfected in Augustus Sacket he at once

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came to the lands with a small company of employees and began making improvements, so that within three years he had established quite a colony of mechanics and others, and was himself the possessor of one of the most pretentious residences in the region. In the meantime settlement had begun elsewhere in the town, and the honor of being the pioneer seems to have fallen to Amasa Fox, who in 1800 settled in the north part of the town in the vicinity of the afterward known "Muskalonge burying ground."1 If local tradition and scattered records are reliable, Fox was a worthy pioneer, an earnest developer, and one whose name should be preserved, although none of his immediate descendants are now known to be in the locality. Following closely after Fox, other scattered settlements were made along the south bank of Black river, a number of which were of a temporary character and associated with the flourishing settlement built up by Jacob Brown, at Brownville. The real pioneer of Hounsfield was Augustus Sacket, who began his extensive work during the summer and fall of 1801. At the same time the proprietors of the south part of the town were hardly less active, and under the agency of Silas Stow a number of sales and improvements had been made. In 1802 an observing traveler passed through the town, noting the condition of development, and reported about 30 families then settled in the territory, but did not (neither does any extant record) preserve their names. Mr. Sacket's colony probably included the majority of these settlers, while those scattered along the river with a few in the south part of the town comprised the others.
            On his arrival at the place in 1801, Mr. Sacket first built a saw mill that later comers might be furnished lumber for their buildings, but no sooner was he comfortably established in his new residence than there was added to the settlement a number of English families, whose temporary wants required attention, but nearly every one of whom in later years became successful and comfortable in life, and furnished to the county some of its staunchest business men. This colony came in 1805, and included Samuel Luff and his sons, Edmund, Samuel, jr., Joseph and Jesse (from whom sprung a thrifty and prosperous line of descendants). David Merritt, William Ashby, John Root, Henry Metcalf and George Sloman, nearly all of whom were afterward in some manner identified with the best history of the town and. its interesting

            1 The pioneers of this section of the town found the remains of an ancient Indian fortification on the shore of Black River Bay & short distance southwesterly of Muscalonge creek. It was a brick enclosure of the ordinary form, but unfortunately no diagram was made and no description has been preserved. All traces of the work have long since disappeared.

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events. In the same vicinity, and following closely after the settlement by the English colony, there came John and William Evans, Daniel Reed, Amasa Hulbert (then called Hollibut), Charles Berry (called Barrie), Uriah Rowlson (Roulison), Azariah P. Sherwin and others whose names are lost with the passing years and whose descendants long ago left the country.
            In addition to those already named there came and settled in Hounsfield during the first few years of its history, Ambrose Pease, Theron Hinman, Stephen Simmons, Loren Buss, Joseph Landon (at whose house the first town meeting was held), Jotham Wilder, John Patrick, Hezekiah Doolittle, Josiah McWayne (who is said to have come soon after 1800), Jeremiah Goodrich, Samuel Bates (the pioneer head of the numerous and prominent Bates family of later years), John W. Phelps, William Waring (the first town clerk), Solomon, Robert, Asher, Austin and Joshua Robbins (five brothers who came from Berkshire, Mass., about 1806 or '7 and founded the Robbins settlement in the southwest part of the town, and from whom sprung a numerous and highly respected family), Elijah Field (founder of Field's settlement, south of East Hounsfield, and father of Rev. Lebbeus Field), Palmer Westcott (who came about 1807, and carried on an extensive potash works. He was the head of an afterward numerous family in the town and county), Asahel Joiner (who lived to be more than 100 years old), Dr. Titus Ives, and also Jonathan and Erastus lves (who were owners of large tracts of land in Hounsfield and Watertown. Dr. Titus was the father of the late Willard Ives, of Watertown.)
            Among the other early prominent settlers were Ebeneser Allen (located on lot 38 about 1808, and among the settlers was known as Major Allen, by reason of his long and honorable revolutionary record. He was grandfather of Lebbeus F. Allen who still lives on tie old homestead), Nathan Baker (settled on the south line about 1808), Timothy Holden (1810), David Spicer, Elisha Ladd, Joseph Knowlton, William C. Pease, Thomas Wright, Daniel Holloway (who carried on a cloth mill near Stowell's corners), Ezra Tyler (a revolutionary patriot), and Ira Inglehart (whose family became prominent in the later history of the county).
            All these, and perhaps many others whose names cannot now be recalled are believed to have been in the town previous to the war of 1812, and nearly every one of them was an active participant in that great struggle. These were the pioneers who accomplished the work of settling the town and preparing the way for later generations of occupants. The task was neither hazardous nor especially eventful, but before it was fully done a war with Great Britain took place, and for nearly three years this town was the constant theatre of important military and naval events, and some of the most stirring incidental events of the period.
            However, pioneer life was not without its incidents to prove the friendship existing among the settlers although few of them were ac-

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quainted with one another at that time. In 1805, according to the personal reminiscences of David Merritt, on Sunday evening, a settler who lived half a mile from any other habitation, had occasion to visit his nearest neighbor. Unknown to him, his four year old child followed at a distance, and not overtaking his parent, became lost in the woods. After a time the settler returned and was at once questioned by his wife as to the whereabouts of the child, whom she supposed had accompanied him. Losing no time the nearest neighbors were summoned and all the night was spent in a vain search for the lost one. All the next day (Monday) the search was continued, other settlers aiding, but still no trace of the lost was found. Still another night passed but without recovery, and the intensity of the suspense was heightened by a rumor that a panther had been seen prowling about the woods. At last it was determined to make still another effort to find the child, and a messenger was sent to Sackets Harbor with the news and a request for aid. No man hesitated, and to the number of about 500 they were gathered from all quarters of the town; and headed by Samuel Luff, William Ashby and David Merritt, they repaired to the home of the distressed settler. About 11 o'clock Tuesday morning a line was formed extending a mile to the right and left of the house, so that every foot of ground might be examined, and then the forward march began. In this way the men proceeded about two miles, when the report of a gun shot was heard. The signal was understood and all hastened to the spot, where the little fellow was found alive aad unharmed, although much exhausted.
            During the period of its early history the town, which then formed a part of Watertown, was almost entirely without public improvements, and the conveniences for travel were indeed limited, as the authorities of the mother town were little interested in the development of the region but were wholly occupied with improving the thoroughfares from the east into their immediate territory which had recently been designated the seat of justice of a new county. This is one of the reasons which made necessary the creation of a new town, but in addition thereto was the equally important fact that the proposed new jurisdiction at that time contained more than 200 qualified voters, in which respect it was exceeded only by the towns of Rodman and Rutland. Indeed, in 1807 Hounsfield contained 236 voters with requisite property qualifications, while Rodman and Rutland each contained 236. But whatever the cause the creation of the town was accomplished in 1806.

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            Organization.—According to unquestioned authority a proposition was then under advisement to create a new town from Watertown and Adams, taking therefor three tiers, or ranges, of lots from the north side of No. 7 (Adams) and annex them to No 1, and thus form a town by the name of Newport. This matter was discussed at a special town meeting held in Adams Nov. 10, 1803, when a vote was taken and the proposition was rejected. Almost three years passed before any further action was taken relating to township No. 1, but on February 17, 1806, an act was passed creating a town by the name of Hounsfield, embracing the territory of No. 1, and containing, according to Benjamin Wright's survey, 26,048 acres, but now, with its inland territory, 28,703 acres of land.
            The town was named Hounsfield at the suggestion of Augustus Sacket, and was so called in honor of Ezra Hounsfield, an Englishman, who about 1800 came to New York as agent for his brothers, John and Bartholomew Hounsfield, manufacturers and merchants of Sheffield. Ezra Hounsfield was partner in business with Peter Kimball, and the firm became owners by purchase of the south half of township No. 1, as is previously stated. Mr. Hounsfield was a bachelor and generally passed the summer months in the town, in which he took a deep interest. He died in New York about 1817, and by his will David A. Ogden, Edward Lynde, John Day and Thomas L. Ogden were appointed executors of his estate. On August 1, 1817, the remaining Hounsfield lands were sold at Sackets Harbor, at public auction, and were purchased by the executors for Bartholomew Hounsfield, in whom the title thereupon vested.
            Within the jurisdiction of the town are the Galloup islands (2,216.2 and 48.8 acres in area respectively), Stony island (1,536 acres) and Calf island (34,8 acres). These islands were patented by the state to Elisha Camp, February 15, 1823, and were thereupon annexed for jurisdictional purposes to Hounsfield. However, by an act of the legislature, passed April 21, 1818, the jurisdiction of a part of the larger Galloup island was ceded to the United States for the purpose of a lighthouse. In the history of the town these islands have been of little consequence. They are occupied almost exclusively for agricultural purposes and contain excellent farming lands.1

            1 The Gill family were among the early settlers on the greater Galloup island, and lived there many years before removing to the mainland in Henderson. The Gills set out and cultivated extensive orchards on the island. Hugh H. Gill is a descendant of this pioneer family. During    [continued]

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            The first town meeting in Hounsfieid was appointed to be held at the house of Ambrose Pease, upon the notification of pioneer Amasa Fox, but was adjourned to meet (March 4, 1806) at the house of Joseph Landon. Officers were elected as follows: Augustus Sacket, supervisor; William Waring, town clerk; Amasa Fox, William Baker, Samuel Bates, jr., and Theron Hinman, assessors; Ambrose Pease and Robert Robbins, highway commissioners; Jotham Wilder and John Patrick, overseers of the poor; Jeremiah Goodrich, collector; Jeremiah Goodrich, William Galloway and John Root, constables.
            After the election of necessary officers the assembled voters gave their attention to the matter of highways,1 and also to the equally important duty of providing for the annihilation of wild animals, such as wolves, panthers and foxes. In 1806 it was resolved "that the inhabitants of this town, who shall hunt any wolf or panther in this town (though he should kill such wolf or panther in any other town) shall be entitled to $10 bounty." The wolf and panther bounties were continued until 1816, and the fox bounty for several years afterward. In 1812 it was voted to fine ($1.00) every owner of land who failed to cut the Canada thistles growing thereon; the fines to be paid as a reward to whoever should discover some means to effectually destroy the nuisance.
            Thus was brought into existence, and thus was established the institutions of government in what afterward became one of the most historical localities in New York state. Among the towns of Jefferson county previous to about 1810, Hounsfield did not occupy a position of special importance, although its lands were as fertile and productive as any along the water front; but beginning about 1809 or '10, and from that until the present time Hounsfield has held a position of commanding prominence in this party of the country. True, in the earliest history of the town there were such earnest, active developers as Augustus Sacket, Elisha Camp and other determined men, whose work was an

more recent years, Galloup and Stony islands have acquired much prominence on account o£ the excellent bass fishing grounds of their vicinity, and it is doubtful if a better field for this rare pleasure can be found in the whole country, not even accepting the famous Great Back Bay In Lake Champlain. For the purpose of providing for the requirements of the many fishermen who annually visit these grounds W. G. Northam, of Watertown, built and equipped the noted Stony Island Inn. It is awell appointed hostelry, capable of accommodating 100 guests.

            1 Among the other important roadways which were laid out in the early days of the town was what is known as the "Salt Point" road. This highway was a continuation of the road which was built soon after 1814 from Salina (now Syracuse) to Smith's Mill (now Adams) and ran by way of Adams Centre, the General Rice place and Camp's Mill, northerly through the town. This was a part of a system of roads which it was designed to construct extending from Syracuse to Ogdensburg. The Salt Point road was an important factor in the early history of the town. Old residents relate trips made to Syracuse over this road for salt upwards of 70 years ago and at a time when the salt was boiled in kettles.

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important element in later growth and development, but the fortunate geographical location of the town, and especially of Judge Sacket's little village, was the controlling factor in making the subsequent history which has always reflected great honor on the county and its people.
            Hounsfield occupies a central position on the western boundary of the county, and is bounded north and west by the Black river and the waters of Black river and Henderson bays. The river itself has always been navigable as far as Dexter, while the bay proper has for almost a century been famed as forming one of the most safe, convenient, accessible and commodious harbors in all the great interior lake region. Its extent is ample, the distance between Six Town Point and Point Peninsula being something like five or six miles. The islands (Stony, Calf, Little Galloup and Galloup) are in the lake just outside the bay and form natural and permanent breakwaters to more securely protect the harbor.
            In the county, and in fact in the whole northern region of the state, Sackets Harbor was the central point of operations during the embargo period and throughout the second war with Great Britain; and whatever honor was gained by the village in the past belongs to the town at large, for every man in the entire jurisdiction capable of bearing arms was almost daily at the harbor or within easy call of the place; and never in the history of the town was the old warning signal gun fired without a prompt response from the loyal men of Hounsfield. However, in this work the analysis and division of the subject of the county's history has been such that the town and village are deprived of much of their interesting history. The war of 1813-15 is made the subject of an extended general chapter, while Sackets Harbor as a military and naval station forms another of equal length and importance in this volume, hence it cannot be considered within the scope of the present chapter to reproduce the narrative, however interesting it may be.
            After the close of the war and the return of permanent peace the farmer returned to his long neglected lands and devoted his efforts to re-establishing a comfortable condition for his family and children. It has been estimated that of the 1,200 or more inhabitants of the town during the war period, nearly four-fifths of them suffered actual loss as a result of the struggle, but the sacrifice was made freely and with few regrets. However, the determined settlers soon recovered the lost

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ground and for many years after the war peace and plenty prevailed on every hand; and between 1814 and 1820 the population increased from 1,386 to 3,429, a growth hardly equaled in any other town in the county.
            As an evidence of growth and prosperity in Hounsfield reference may be had to the census reports, from which is taken the following statements showing the population of the town at the beginning of each half decade, viz.: In 1810 the inhabitants numbered 948; 1814, 1,386; 1820, 3,429; 1825, 2,769; 1830, 3,415; 1835, 3,558; 1840, 4,146; 1845, 3,917; 1850, 4,136; 1855, 3,221; 1860, 3,389; 1865, 2,754; 1870, 2,636; 1875, 2,552; 1880, 2,770; 1890, 2,651; 1892, 2,279.
            Thus it appears that in Hounsfield the inhabitants at the present time are only equal in number to those of 1825 and also that the maximum population was attained in 1840, the number then being 4,146. The next three years showed a decrease of only ten, while since 1850 the lose has been gradual and constant. This, however, does not indicate an unfortunate condition of affairs, for at one time in its history the town's population was out of proportion with its area, considering the fact that not at any time has it been a manufacturing or important commercial village. Many of the small farmers have left the town and their lands have been annexed to those adjoining with the ultimate results of some of the largest and best farms in the county. Previous to about ten years ago hops were an abundant and profitable crop, and were grown in large quantities between the harbor and the county seat. In more recent years dairying and market gardening have succeeded as special industries, while the town at large has lost none of its old-time prominence as a general agricultural district.1
            Notwithstanding the historic interest which has ever been associated with the town, and despite the fact that it has always been regarded as one of the most productive regions of the county, it was not until 1875 that it was given the benefits of a permanent railroad. The subject, however, was discussed as early as 1837 (May 15), when the old Trenton and Sackets Harbor railroad company was formed, and organized to the extent of appointing commissioners to receive stock subscriptions; but in the way of railroad construction nothing was done. The next venture in the same direction was that of 1850, when on May 23,

            1 The south-west part of the town has extensive sandy ridges, which in former years were supposed to possess no real value, except the luxuriant growth of chestnut trees which grew on the land. From this fact the strip took the name of Chestnut ridge. During more recent years, however, this sand plain has been devoted to the growth of melons and berries, and some small fruits, and yields abundantly and profitably.

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the Sackets Harbor and Ellisburgh railroad company was organized, as a part of a system proposed to extend to Albany and Boston. After much delay the road was completed from the harbor to Pierrepont Manor, and was opened June 1, 1853. It was operated in connection with the R., W, & O. road, and also with the lake and river steamers at the harbor, but for some reason the investment proved unprofitable for the stockholders, and the road was finally abandoned in 1862. The town was then without railroad accommodations of any kind until the completion (in the late winter of 1874) of the Sackets Harbor division of the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor railroad. Along the line of the road in the town are three small stations known respectively as Warren's, in East Hounsfield; Alverson's, on lot No. 40, and Camp's Mills,1 in the western central part, where once stood a busy little hamlet, but which now exists chiefly in history.
            East Hounsfield is a hamlet in the northeast part of the town, on the line of the old Watertown & Sackets Harbor plank road, the latter having been built and opened in 1847-8. The settlement, however, is best known as "the Half-Way House," in allusion to the tavern which has been maintained here since the road was built, and which has been a convenient stopping place about half way between the county seat and the harbor. One of the first settlers in this locality was Stephen Blanchard, a Vermont Yankee, who came in 1820 and built a tavern, founding what was long known as the old Blanchard stand, Blanchard's Corners, and the Half-way House. "Steve" Blanchard was a famous country landlord, and the old house (a part of which stands) has been the scene of many joyful occasions. The settlement, under the name of East Hounsfield, became a post station in 1850, Nelson Jones being the postmaster. In the locality a cheese factory was built in 1870, and an industry of that character has since been maintained here. The only other vicinity interests of consequence are the district school, the Christian church and the splendid large farm of Anson R. Flower, the

            1 The name Camp's Mills is still preserved as a station on the line of railroad between Watertown and Sackets Harbor, although the once busy little hamlet of the same name was located about half a mile south of the railroad. In this vicinity Mill creek formed quite a large pond, and about 1820, under the direction and partial support of Colonel Camp, the water was diverted for manufacturing purposes. A large stone grist mill was erected by Colonel Camp and also two saw mills. One of the industries was a fulling mill, operated by a Mr. Finney, while Colonel Camp and one Lawton were interested in other enterprises. A store was also kept here for a time, but during the last quarter of a century or more, a cheese factory has been about the only industry of the place. The name Camp's Mills was applied in compliment to Col. Elisha Camp.

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latter being so admirably managed and cared for as to entitle it to at least passing mention.
            The Christian church of Hounsfield was organized in 1820 by Rev. Lebbeus Field, with an original membership of about 40 persons, but soon afterward a division in the society took place, whereupon a reorganization was effected. The little meeting house at Blanchard's corners was built in 1843, and cost $1,100. Elder Field was connected with the church for many years and was its mainstay and support. After his death the church was for a time prosperous but ultimately the congregation decreased in number, and at length the society could no longer support a pastor. Meetings were held irregularly but the church organization is still maintained and occasional services are held.
            In the locality which was made famous by the residence, discoveries and manufactures of Dr. Samuel Guthrie (and where his old dwelling house still stands) was once a busy little hamlet called Jewettsville, and so named after Abram Jewett, who settled in Watertown in 1800 and removed thence to the Mill creek region in Hounsfield in 1818. One of the first settlers in this locality was Silas Godfrey, who came in 1802, Benjamin Barnes came about the same time and built a framed house which he soon turned into a tavern. He also opened a brickyard and carried on a bakery for the benefit of the neighboring inhabitants. John McDole, who kept a tavern, and Nathan Jewett, brother of Abram, were other early residents here. Heman Pettit came about 1804 and settled on the west side of Mill creek. He was a millwright and built the wharves at Sackets Harbor. He also built a saw mill for Augustus Sacket, and a grist mill and saw mill near the mouth of the creek for Samuel Luff.
            At one time during its'history Jewettsville contained three brickyards and a lime kiln, which were carried on by Abram Jewett, after he had purchased Benj. Barnes' improvement; a woolen mill, owned by Jesse Stone; Samuel Ward's bakery; Joseph Kimbal's and Leonard Dennison's large brewery; several asheries; four or five distilleries; Dr. Guthrie's powder mill and laboratory; Nathaniel Nobles' malt house; Leonard Dennison's tannery; and also a gunsmith shop, glove factory, two cooper shops, a wheelwright shop, a rope factory, three vinegar factories, and several other industries of less note. But with passing years, when interests began to center in more populous and favored localities, nearly all of these were removed and abandoned, and to day the once flourishing Jewettsville is a "deserted village," without one industry to mark its former site.

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            The only other settled localities in the town are the portions of Brownville and Dexter villages, lying south of the river (each of which is treated at some length in the history of the town of Brownville), and Field's Settlement and Stowell's Corners, which are mere cross roads hamlets, named in allusion to prominent families, but otherwise are of little consequence in the history of the town. Another locality is known as Sulphur Springs, and is situated south of Alverton's station and west of Stowell's Corners, in the vicinity where once much fame was hoped for on account of the valuable properties of a certain sulphur spring. Here is an excellent farming region, and the thrifty inhabitants for their own convenience in December, 1847, organized a Seventh-Day Baptist society, Benj. Maxson, Elias Frink, John Utter, Nathan Truman and John Witter being the leading members and trustees. The meeting house, which still stands, was soon built and the society was reasonably prosperous until about 1870, when it began to decline, and at length gave way to the Methodists, the latter having been organized as a society in 1877, although preceded by a class. The old house of worship soon passed into the hands of the new society, whose members hold regular meetings in the building. The church now forms part of a joint charge.
            Sackets Harbor.Augustus Sacket was the founder of the village settlement on Black river bay, and in allusion to him the name Sackets Harbor has ever been applied to the place. A doubt has always existed as to the grammatical accuracy of the name, which undoubtedly should be rendered "Sacket's Harbor." On various occasions modification of the name has been under consideration by the department in Washington, and some suggestions have been made. In 1886 the postal authorities ordered the name changed to, or at least spelled as, "Sacket Harbor," but throughout this work (and the writer proposes to so continue) the old historic and truly honorable nane of Sackets Harbor is adhered to.
            As has been mentioned on a preceding page, in 1801 Augustus Sacket purchased at public sale a considerable portion of the town of Hounsfield, including all that now comprises the village tract. Mr. Sacket at once came to the lands with a sufficient corps of employees and began the erection of a saw mill and other necessary improvements to attract settlers to the locality. The mill stood near the mouth of the stream known as Mill creek, on which pioneer Samuel Luff (one of the worthiest of the English colony which came 1805), also built the first grist

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mill, and Solon Stone, another early settler, erected a small cotton factory. About this same time, or in 1804, Elisha Camp, who was brother in-law to Judge Sacket, came to the settlement and was appointed resident land agent, under whose direction the last of the proprietary lands were sold just previous to 1850.
            Some of these men were such worthy factors in the early history of the village and its vicinity that a brief mention of their work is appropriate. Augustus Sacket was born in New York city, Nov. 10, 1769, and was educated for the legal profession. In 1810 he came to Hounsfield to develop and dispose of his vast tract of land, and thereafter lived in the village until 1809, when his interests were sold, and he returned to the east and took up his residence at Jamaica, Long Island. In 1812 he became largely interested in Pennsylvania lands, and in 1820 bought a vast tract in South Carolina. Later on he became interested in certain of the St. Lawrence river islands, whereupon he returned to the harbor, remaining until 1827, when he removed to Newburgh. In that year, on April 29, at Albany, Judge Sacket died. Notwithstanding the magnitude of his business operations, Mr. Sacket was ultimately unfortunate, but throughout his career he commanded respect for honor, integrity and worth. On the organization of the common pleas court in Jefferson county, he was the first judge, appointed February 26, 1807, and served until 1810, when he was succeeded by Moss Kent. From this service Mr. Sacket was always afterward addressed and referred to as "Judge Sacket." On the formation of the customs districts (under the act of March 3, 1803) he was appointed collector of the port at this place.
            Elisha Camp, who was frequently known in later years as Col. Camp, came to the harbor in 1804, equipped for the practice of law, and in connection therewith acted as agent for the Kimball & Hounsfield lands; also assisted Mr. Sacket in developing his lands and the company of purchasers who succeeded to the Sacket interests. In 1807 Mr. Camp was appointed town surveyor, an office rarely named or filled at that time. He was thenceforth one of the leading men of the county, and was interested in many public and private enterprises. In 1811 he organized an artillery company, and was an important factor in the success of the American arms in the war which followed. Later on in establishing schools, academies and churches his generosity was appreciated all through the county. In 1816 he was one of the company which built the Ontario, the first steamer on the lake, and the success

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of the enterprise stimulated other efforts in the same direction until the harbor as a ship building and general navigation point rivaled any on the river. When the canal (which, for many years was known as "Camp's ditch,") was completed in 1832, a grist mill, two saw mills, a plaster mill, a paper mill and a furnace were built along its borders in the village, and were, with the canal itself, chiefly the results of the enterprise of Col. Camp. This worthy developer and upright citizen did much for Sackets Harbor during its early history and was one of its foremost men. He died January 25, 1866.
            In 1805 the little settlement founded by Judge Sacket was increased by the arrival of several Englishmen, a number of whom brought families, and all of whom were more or less prominently identified with the early history of the village. Their names are mentioned on a preceding page, hence need no repetition here. Just previous to the arrival of the colony Dr. William Baker had come and began practice, Ambrose Pease and Stephen Simmons had opened inns, and Loren Buss and Hezekiah Doolittle were doing business as tradesmen. Judge Sacket had become customs officer, and the harbor was perhaps one of the most important places in the county, having about 20 families and 100 inhabitants. The growth during the next four or five years was rapid, and the healthfulness of the locality made it noteworthy even at that early day. Between February, 1805, and January, 1809, but one death (except of infants) occurred, and that was the result of an accident. About this time the Black river country was leported as very unhealthy and the reverse condition existing about the harbor drew to it many residents.
            On March 5, 1809, Judge Sacket sold the village tract, including about 1,700 acres, to Cornelius Ray, Wm. Bayard and Michael Hogan, in trust for themselves and Herman Le Roy, James McEvers, Joshua Waddington, James Lenox, Wm. Maitland, Wm. Ogden, ——McLeod, Benj. W. Rogers, Duncan P. Campbell, Samuel Boyd, Abraham Ogden, David A. Ogden and Thomas L. Ogden, each owning a fifteenth part, except the two last named, who together owned one such part. Ray, Bayard and Hogan were the trustees, and soon after their purchase was completed Colonel Camp was appointed local agent to sell, settle and develop the tract. He engaged actively in this work and succeeded in attacting to the village many men and enterprises of value, but in the meantime other events of a political and military character were taking place, and soon all growth and increase of interests was destined to be

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dwarfed in importance by the struggle and confusion of another war with Great Britain, However, among the interests then existing, in addition to those noted (owing to the disturbed condition of affairs at that time exact dates have not been preserved) was the little store owned by Charles Berry (sometimes called Barrie) which stood adjoining the site of the Eveleigh house. Berry at length sold to Loren Buss, whom we have recalled. Hezekiah Doolittle, a later prominent character in village life, had charge of the store.
The interests thus described were small, comparatively, but were sufficient for the time and its requirements. The first large mercantile enterprise of the village (which, indeed, was one of the most extensive in the county), was that started by Samuel F. Hooker, who began business here in 1808, and who in after years was one of the largest lumbermen and operators in that part of the county, his interests extending into other towns besides Hounsfield. In his mercantile business at the harbor Mr. Hooker began with about $20,000 invested in stock, but so great were his dealings that within two months his sales amounted to $17,500.
            Just previous to the enforcement of the embargo laws, pearl and potash were staples in trade handled by all dealers, and large quantities of this commodity were shipped from the harbor. Even after the law was passed the traffic continued, though every trick was resorted to to evade the vigilance of the officials.1 To check these unlawful operations Capt. William P. Bennett with a detachment of artillery, and Lieut. Cross with a company of infantry were stationed at the harbor in 1808 and part of 1809,
            At that time Sackets Harbor was the seat of the customs district, and all captured boats and contraband wares were brought here for appraisement and sale. As is stated, the customs district was established in pursuance of the act of March, 1803, and soon after the law went into effect. The office during the embargo and war periods was of great importance, but in later years, as lake and river commerce became divided and lessened, the local station lost nearly all its old-time prominence, and on March 3, 1863, it was consolidated with and made subordinate to the Cape Vincent district, the latter having been organized

            1 Whisky was also a staple article of trade. Just north of where the old stone distillery building now stands Gen. Leavenworth built alarge dwelling on the dock, close to the water's edge. The house was so constructed that by opening doors on the bay side a boat could be sailed in or out. The building was used during the embargo period and was the seat of many smuggling operations.

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from the former April 18, 1818. Subsequent to 1863 the local customs office has been in charge of a deputy collector. During the period in which the principal office was maintained at the harbor, the collectors were:
            Augustus Sacket, Hart Massey, Perley Keyes, John M. Canfield, Thomas Loomis, Danforth N. Barney, Leonard Dennison, John O. Dickey, Otis M. Cole, Daniel McCullock, Abram Kromer, Thomas M. Hall, William Howland and Cornelius W. Inglehart.
            Perhaps the most eventful period in the history of Sackets Harbor was that of the war of 1812-15. At the outbreak of hostilities the village had no defenses whatever, and only the old brig Oneida (with an armament of sixteen guns), was available for harbor defenses. On the other hand, the British were well prepared for the contest, and early threatened the harbor with destruction by an overpowering fleet. Col. Camp soon organized an artillery company, and Col. Bellinger was sent to assist in defending the place. Ordnances and military stores were greatly needed, whereupon a letter asking for these supplies was sent to the governor. In the meantime, while awaiting their arrival, Fort Tompkins was built, and afterward became one of the most noteworthy and historic fortifications on the frontier. More than three-quarters of a century have passed since the fort was constructed, and while not a single vestige of it is now visible, its earthworks outline is yet plainly to be traced on a rising mound of earth. Considerate persons have faithfully preserved this old relic of the war period, and quite recently the generous owner (Col. Walter B. Camp, executor,) of the surounding lands has publicly given the old battle-ground to the village and county historical society.
            During the period of the war, several other forts were constructed in this immediate vicinity, and the village was the central point for both military and naval operations, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of troops and marines quartered and rendezvoused here. No less than three times the village was threatened with British invasion, and on one occasion (May 29, 1813) the historic battle of Sackets Harbor was fought with disastrous results to the enemy.1 However, the story of

            1 "Soon after the battle of May 29,1813, a breastwork of logs and earth was built around the village, one end touching the bay, about half-way between the harbor and Horse island, and the other at the site of Madison barracks. No opportunity was afforded subsequently for the use of these defenses. The village contained at the close of the war several block houses and cantonments, a considerable quantity of military stores, and a large fleet of vessels which were laid up at the place." (Hough.)

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the war is told in an earlier chapter, wherefore in the present connection any detail of the events of the period is at the hazard of repetition

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The struggle had its reverses and fatalities, but at length victory rewarded the efforts of the Americans and a long era of peace followed.
            Immediately after the war Sackets Harbor was made a permanent naval station and has been so continued to the present time, although no government vessels have been kept here for many years, and the only duty of the shipkeeper is to live upon the reserved tract and keep the building in order. This subject is fully treated in another chapter, hence a passing allusion to it in this place is sufficient.
            Madison barracks is one of the most interesting localities within the town, and its garrisons have been for many years one of the chief supporting elements of the village. The original barracks were begun in 1815, on the order of Gen. Jacob Brown, and have ever since been maintained here. Madison barracks as a military station is also made the subject of a special chapter in this volume, to which the attention of the reader is directed for a detailed narration of its history.
            Previous to the outbreak of the war the village had gained considerable importance as a shipping and ship-building point, and as a result a large commerce had been built up on the lake, the greater portion of which business was done at the harbor. Among the vessels in trade which touched at the harbor (many of them having been built here) were the Genesee Packet, Capt. Obed Mayo; Diana, Capt. A. Montgomery; Fair American, Capt. Augustus Ford; Collector, Capt. Samuel Dixon; Experiment, Capt. C. Holmes; Charles and Ann, Capt. Pease; Dolphin, Capt. Wm. Vaughn, and others of less note, the names of which have not been preserved. During the war, Henry Eckford was the shipbuilder of the harbor, and one of the most energetic men of his times in the country. To him more than to any other one person is due the credit of having built up and maintained the American navy on the lake and river, and in the village it was not unusual for him to have 2,000 men employed in shipbuilding at one time. Nearly all the prominent sloops, schooners and frigates in the service on the lake were the results of his handicraft, but of all of them not one remains. The famous New Orleans was unfinished at the close of the war, and by careful housing and attention was preserved until quite recent years. But, as is elsewhere stated, the old ship was at length sold and torn to pieces, and with it passed away almost the last remaining relic of the war.
            After the war the harbor retained its supremacy as a lake port for many years, and during the time several boats of importance were

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built here. Among them was the Ontario, the first steamer, which was begun by a stock company in 1816, and was launched in 1817. She run until 2832, when she was broke up at Oswego. About the same time the Woolsey, Rambler, Farmer's Daughter, Triumph, Commodore Perry, Dolphin, and others were run on regular packet lines to this port. It is said, too, that the first trading vessel to enter the river at Chicago—the Ariadene—sailed from Sackets Harbor under Capt. Pickering, and carried a cargo of pork and flour. A regular line of steamers—the Bay State, Cataract and Ontario—run between St. Lawrence river ports and Chicago for many years, and made regular stops at Sackets Harbor. During the 'forties and 'fifties, these boats afforded the only ready means of travel for persons going west from this region. During the latter part of the 'fifties the regular operation of the line was discontinued. But as a lake port the harbor in later years has lost much of its prestige through the decline of lake and river navigation and the corresponding increase in shipping facilities by railroad.
            Incorporation.—Sackets Harbor is the oldest incorporated village in the county. The creating act by which it was brought into municipal existence was passed April 15, 1814. Its territory comprised great lot No. 22 and the west half of No. 54; subdivision lots Nos. 1 and 2 in great lot No. 52 and a narrow strip off the north side of No. 23, of Hounsfield. By an act passed April 18, 1831, all that part of the village north and east of Mill creek was restored to the town. Unfortunately, in Sackets Harbor the village records have been imperfectly kept and not carefully preserved, hence much which might be of historic interest has thus been lost.
            The fire department, which has been one of the enduring institutions of the village, had its inception in the primitive bucket brigade which was formed soon after the war of 1813. The village trustees subsequently resumed authority over the company, and in Nov., 1817, ordered all persons who had not furnished themselves with stout leathern fire buckets to provide the same immediately. The old apparatus served the requirements of the time, and at length gave way to more modern equipment. In 1843 a disastrous fire occurred, after which a hand engine was secured. From these beginnings the present department has grown, but the absence of reliable record prevents better detail to our statements. In 1889 the trustees purchased a good Clapp & Jones steamer, which, with the hose cart and the old brake engine, comprise the present department apparatus.

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            A mention of the fire department naturally suggests an allusion to some of the more disastrous fires which have visited the village in the past. The first fire of serious consequence was that which accompanied the battle of May 29, 1813, in the burning of the military storehouse with the captures of York. This, however, was not an accidental nor incendiary fire, but was started to prevent recapture of the stores by the British. May 33, 1838, Colonel Camp's paper mill was burned; loss from $7,000 to $10,000. August 21, 1843, a fire originated in a storehouse on the wharf and caused the destruction of nine buildings on the north, and eight on the south side of Main street, besides many other structures to the total number of about forty. In the fall of 1851 the Ontario house, barns and several stores on Main street were burned. Six weeks later Buck & Bert's large general store was burned, together with nearly half the square on which it was located. During the next thirty years the village was occasionally visited with a fire of minor importance, but no serious conflagration occurred until June 11, 1883, when the large Clark & Robbins storehouse, well filled with grain, was destroyed. January 3, 1886, a fire started in an unoccupied building on Main street, and burned Stokes' hardware store, the Robbins block (Lane's dry goods store, Ontario hall, etc.), Dennison's malt house, McEvoy's grocery and much other property. May 29, 1886, a fire destroyed the historic old warehouse built by the government during the war of 1812-15. The old building had been variously occupied throughout its existence; by the navy; a bethel house for seamen, 1828; Knickerbocker bowling alley and sail loft; Hooker & Hopkins, merchants; steam flouring mill; warehouse and sail loft, and finally as a skating rink and band practice room. August 11, 1889, a fire started in the Boulton store, adjoining the malthouse walls, and burned McEvoy's store, Conlin's store, Hastings' saloon, Clark & Bowe's fish house, railroad passenger and ticket office, telegraph and telephone offices on Main street, Rowlson's store and dwelling, Jeffrey's store, a dwelling and boat house, Drake's store and dwelling, Madigan's saloon, the McGuire block, Eveleigh's stone stores (hardware and meat market), warehouse containing grain and other property; Hooker & Crane's warehouse, the custom house, market house and town hall. This disaster led to measures to increase the efficiency of the fire department, and resulted in the purchase of the steamer.
            Another of the important local institutions, and one which antedated the village incorporation, was the public school. The first school here

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is said to have been taught by one Mitchell in his dwelling house about 1807 or '8. No school house was built in the village until after the close of the war, when a one story building was erected on the present academy site, and was used as school, church, lecture room and for public gatherings. The old structure stood the wear of years, but about 1840 was replaced with the large, comfortable brick building which, with subsequent modifications and repairs, is still in use. For many years the village has maintained an excellent union free school (District No, 1 of Hounsfield), and in 1896 was taken under the supervision of the state regents. About 200 pupils are now enrolled, and five teachers are employed. The present board of education comprises L. W. Day, James A. Wilson and H. J. Lane.
            The hotel interests of the village are also worthy of mention. They have been few in number, but of much importance. As we have stated, the first village hotel stood on Main street, and was built and opened previous to 1805 by pioneer Ambrose Pease. About the beginning of the war one Kelsey bought the property and run it as Kelsey's hotel. The old building was finally burned, and after about twenty-five years the sons of Capt. Daniel Reed purchased the site and erected store buildings. About 1806 one Lanning, whose first name is not recalled, came to the village and began the erection of a hotel on the present Eveleigh house site, but before it was completed Stephen Simmons bought the property, finished the work, and kept the house several years. The Eveleigh house was built by Ambrose H. Dodge in 1843, and was opened the next. The Earl house was built in 1817 by Elijah Field (one of the prominent characters of the village), and was opened in December of that year, with considerable formality. The occasion was a memorable one, and Capt. Reed, who then run the packet boat between the harbor and Kingston, was charged with the important duty of bringing the whisky from Canada to the village in time for the celebration. The Eveleigh house and the Earl house are yet in existence and are excellent public houses, although during their time many repairs and alterations have been made, and the management has frequently changed. Another old and prominent hotel was that built in 1817 by Frederick White. It was of stone, a large substantial building', and within its walls President Monroe was hospitably entertained in August of that year, on the occasion of his visit to the northern frontier. The house was originally called Union hotel, and afterward Mansion house, but in later years the name was frequently

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changed. It was finally discontinued as a hotel and passed into the ownership of the local masonic societies, by whom it is now occupied. In this connection it may be stated that Frederick White, who built the hotel, was at the time reputed to be one of the wealthiest men in the county, but subsequent excesses led to his downfall. At one time he was president of the Jefferson county bank.
            One of the early institutions of the village, and one which was productive of much good in its time, was the Union library, which was organized September 13, 1815, and included in its managing board Justin Butterfield, Elisha Camp, Amos Holton, Daniel McGiven, James Goodhue, Andrew B. Cook and Samuel Bosworth. Notwithstanding the laudable objects of the society, it survived only a few years and was then (April 10, 1827) succeeded by the Hounsfield library, in which Alexander W. Stowe, John McMillan, Nathan Bridge, T. S. Hall and Dr. Samuel Guthrie were the leading spirits and trustees. This society accumulated a library of about 500 volumes, but after running a course of several years it was dissolved. Then followed the old and still remembered Watertown and Hounsfield library, which was organized Jan. 11, 1831, with Eliphalet M. Howard, John C. Herrick, Chauncey D. Morgan, Obediah Brainard and Oliver Grow as trustees. This was a partially village institution and continued in existence less than fifteen years. The Young Men's Association for Mutual Improvement was a social and benevolent rather than literary institution, and was incorporated March 2, 1843, by Augustus Ford, M. K. Stow, Walter Kimball, Edward M. Luff, Jonathan W. Turtle, John O. Dickey, Edward S. Robbins, Roswell C. Bosworth and Wm. H. H. Davis. The association continued only a few months.
            In writing of the early institutions of the village mention must be made of some of the more important fraternal bodies which have had an existence here. Indeed, Sackets Harbor was the pioneer home of free masonry in the county, old Ontario lodge having held its first meeting in the village April 4, 1805, although we have no data by which the date of organization can be fixed. At the time mentioned, the officers were Augustus Sacket, master; J. Seaman, S. W.; "Brother" Pike, J. W. B. Allen, treasurer; Isaiah Massey, secretary; Hart Massey, J. D., and A. Bassinger, tiler. According to imperfect data obtainable, the lodge was a strong organization, and included in its membership many of the leading men of the county at that time. Among them was General Jacob Brown, also B. De Witt, Wm. Waring, Col. Gershom

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Tuttle, Giles Hamlin, Abram Lippett, Squire Read, J. Simmons, C. Mills, Joseph Perry, Daniel Potter and others, many of whom were men of influence in the early years of the county's history. In 1805 (Dec. 27) the lodge resolved to place the first unappropriated $100 of its moneys toward the erection of an academy at Sackets Harbor, and designated Brothers Merrick and Waring to see that the fund be duly appropriated. However, this useful old pioneer organization suspended operations during the excitement of the war of 1812-15,
            Athol lodge, No. 308, F. & A. M., was instituted at the harbor in 1818, and was a virtual revival of the old lodge. Hiram Steele was the first master, but all other knowledge of the lodge history is clouded in obscurity, the records having been lost or destroyed. The organization was maintained and meetings were held until 1827, when, on account of the anti-masonic feeling, the lodge was forced to suspend. Among the members may be recalled the name of David Millington, a once well known personage at the harbor, he having settled here in 1814; Leonard Dennison, who came herein 1812; John Walling, who came in 1819, while a later prominent member was Capt. Daniel Read, who lived many years in this vicinity.
            Sackets Harbor lodge, No. 135, F. & A. M., followed Athol lodge and was organized May 12, 1848, when these officers were elected: Samuel Lyons, W. M.; John S. Hall, S. W.; Chester C. Simonds, J. W.; Elijah Field, treas.; and Isaac Van Vleck, secretary. From that time the lodge has been in continuous existence, although in 1858 a difficulty arose which was not finally settled until 1861. During a portion of this time work was done under the temporary charter of Hounsfield lodge, No. 495, and was continued until June, 1861, when the charter of the old lodge was restored. The lodge occupies rooms in the old hotel building mentioned on a preceding page. This property was purchased by the masonic bodies of the village during the winter of 1864-65.1 The present lodge membership is 146.
            Since 1848 the masters of Sackets Harbor lodge have been Samuel Lyons, Jason Phelps, Isaac Van Vleck, Thos. T. Gurney, Wm. Puffer, Richard Hooper, Stephen W. Flower, Norman Gurney, Geo. E. Butterfield, Stephen Washburn, Elisha C. Soule, Edwin C. Knowlton, Warren Walsworth, John T. Hooper, James Boyd, Henry J. Lane, James A. Wilson, Richard Washburn, John G. Eveleigh, E. H. Chamberlain, B. C. Scroxton.

            1 In 1897 the lodge rooms were refitted at a considerable expense, and are now as large and well adapted to their intended use as any in this part of tlie state.

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            Sackets Harbor chapter, No. 68, R. A. M., was organized February 8, 1820, on the application of a number of the leading masons of the village, among whom were Commodore Melancthon T. Woolsey and Captain John Clitz, of the U. S. navy, and also William King, a civilian of prominence. Com. Woolsey was the first high priest; Wm. King, king; John Clitz, scribe; Leonard Denison, treasurer; Henry Smith, secretary; Asahel Smith, C. of H.; George W. Jenks, P. S.; Alvah Kinney, R. A, C.; Capt. Wm. Vaughn, M. 3d V.; Zeno Allen, M. 2d V.; Hunter Crane, M. 1st V. The chapter maintained a flourishing existence for several years, but at length, through some lack of interest, its affairs were neglected and the organization was virtually dissolved, but never wholly lost its identity. In 1849 it was revived and a new and permanent interest was awakened among its members. From that time the chapter has been one of the strong masonic bodies of the county, and in its membership has been found some of the foremost men of the region. The present number of members is 96.
            In succession the high priests have been Malancthon T. Woolsey, William King, John Clitz, Asahel Smith, Alon Kinney, Hiram Steele, William Tyron, Thomas S. Hall, Samuel Lyons, Jason Phelps, Isaac Van Vleck, Theodore Gurney, Norman Gurney, L. H. Humphrey, George E. Butterfield, James Boyd, Edwin C. Knowlton, James A. Wilson, John A. Baldwin.
            As residents in one of the growing and progressive villages of northern New York, the people of Sackets Harbor early realized the importance of establishing manufacturing industries within the corporation; but unlike the majority of villages, this possessed no rivers or creeks, the waters of which were sufficiently strong to furnish motive power. This was the one serious obstacle which worked against Sackets Harbor during the period of its early history, and the best means to supply this much needed auxiliary was long a subject of earnest discussion among the leading business men and capitalists. The harbor was one of the safest and largest on the lake front, and it was believed that an abundant water power for manufacturing purposes would result in the rapid growth and increased commercial importance of the place. As early as 1823 it was suggested that the waters of Black river be diverted from the lower pond (or level) in Watertovvn, and conveyed by a raceway to the harbor and there discharged into Pleasant or Mill creek. The matter was presented to the attorney-general for an opinion as to the legality of such a proceeding, and while that officer decided that private lands could be taken for purposes such as this, a further agita-

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tion of the question met with such determined opposition from prominent persons through whose lands the "sluice-way" was proposed to be opened, and also from Brownville citizens, who saw the possibility of their village being injured by the growth of the harbor, that a bill before the legislature was defeated.
            In 1825 another attempt was made to procure an incorporating and enabling act, and on April 20 a bill was passed authorizing Joseph Kimball, Amos Catlin and David Hall, jr., to divert the surplus waters of Black river into Pleasant and Stony creeks (in the town of Adams, Hounsfield and Henderson), for hydraulic purposes, and appointed Egbert Ten Eyck, Clark Allen and Joseph Hawkins commissioners to assess the damages to lands through which it was proposed to convey the water. But the act was coupled with a condition that the water should not be taken away from any dam then existing "without the written consent of the owners," which effectually defeated the measure so far as existed a possibility of procuring a water supply from any point below Watertown.
            Notwithstanding these obstacles the projectors of the scheme were determined, and on April 17, 1826, procured an amendment to the act of 1825, but did not remove all of its objectionable features. In this year (1820) congress passed an act appropriating $3,000 to clear out the harbor, and two years later authorized a further expendittire of $3,000 for harbor improvements. These things, all of which were for local as well as public benefit, stimulated still further efforts in behalf of the water power enterprise, and it was suggested (to remove the objections) that a navigable canal be constructed between Carthage and the harbor. Accordingly, on April 15, 1828, the Jefferson county canal company was incorporated, with $300,000 capital, by Vincent Le Ray, Philip Schuyler, Egbert Ten Eyck, Elisha Camp, Jason Fairbanks, Levi Beebee, Arthur Bronson, John Felt and Joseph Kimball, but even under the energetic action of these influential men nothing substantial was accomplished. However, about this time it was learned that Col. Camp would assume the work of construction, at his own expense, but subject to certain conditions. On Dec. 30, 1829, a public meeting was held in Watertown, and substantial encouragement was offered in behalf of the work. This was followed by an act (April 28, 1829), authorizing a special tax on all Sackets Harbor real estate, and also on the mill sites on Pleasant creek (amounting to $3,000 in two years) to be assessed in proportion to benefits received.

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            With the fund thus created Col. Camp began the construction of the canal (20 feet wide at the top, 12 feet at the bottom, and 4 feet deep) and completed the work during the next two years. It began near Huntington's Mills, about two miles above Watertown, and extended thence following the level in the south part of the village by the most convenient route to the harbor. Water was turned in for power purposes in 1832 and immediately thereafter the milling and manufacturing industries previously built by Col. Camp were largely increased in importance and value. Then our little village became one of the thriving places of the county.1 However, difficulties soon arose; the course of the canal at its source lay along the river, where the banks were subject to annual wash, and only by great care and large expense were they kept from continual breaks. At the same time the act was found to be so loosely framed that much litigation followed the construction of the canal, and after about ten years the enterprise was abandoned at considerable expense to its proprietors. Nevertheless the project was a worthy one, and attested the public spiritedness of Col. Camp, in allusion to whom in derision the canal was commonly known as "Camp's ditch."
            In 1838 Colonel Camp's paper mill was burned, and in later years the other old industries passed out of existence, not having the requisite propelling power for machinery. In 1843 McKee & Hammond started a foundry which has been maintained to the present time. McKee became sole proprietor about 1858 and carried on the works until succeeded by the firm of David McKee & Son, the present owners. The building now occupied as a planing mill by James A. Wilson was formerly run by Sloat & Greenleaf. Still earlier it was a distillery.2 In a corner of this building the workmen caused the traditional bottle of whiskey to be securely "walled in;" and unless broken by the action of the elements is yet probably intact.
            The Sackets Harbor bank was incorporated April 28, 1834, with

            1 These industries were begun by Col. Camp about 1H33, when the subject of a water supply was first discussed. Col. Camp never once entertained a doubt regarding its ultimate construction, and even anticipated the water way by erecting two saw mills, a grist mill, plaster mill, paper mill and a furnace near the terminus o£ the proposed route. The enterprise displayed by this worthy founder was truly praiseworthy, yet his venture was unsuccessful as he lost about $60,000 in the investment. These mills all stood between the present railroad station and the planing mill location, but not one of them is now in existence.

            2 This old stone building was formerly known as the distillery. It wag built by Alfred Guthrie (son of Dr. Guthrie) as a dwelling and rectifying house. The distillery building stood just north of dwelling.

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$200,000 capital, and with Thomas Loomis, Jesse Smith, Daniel Wardwell, Thomas J. Angell, Azariah Walton, Joseph Sheldon, Woodbridge C. George, Henry H. Coffeen and Noadiah Hubbard commissioners to receive subscriptions to the stock. This was quickly done and in a few weeks the bank began business. It was a successful institution, but in the early part of 1837 charges of irregularities and malfeasance on the part of managing officers were made, and an application was made to the legislature for a repeal of the charter. This was vigorously opposed, and the alleged wrong action was fully explained, yet on May 12, 1838, the charter was repealed, and the directors were made trustees to settle the business. The charter, however, was soon afterward restored and business was continued until 1853 (March 35) when the bank was removed to Buffalo.
            The State Bank at Sackets Harbor, of which Edgar B. Camp was managing owner, began business May 17, 1853, with a capital of $50,000. It failed Nov. 1, 1856, and its bills were redeemed at Albany Union bank until Nov. 11, 1862.
            During the last 40 or 50 years there has been little material growth in population and business interests in Sackets Harbor, except as one generation has succeeded another and as one proprietor has followed in the tracks of his predecessor. However, Sackets Harbor is to-day a quiet, healthful, well-ordered and prudently governed village of between 1,000 and 1,100 inhabitants. As a place of residence it is not surpassed in the county, and on every side are seen the substantial old buildings and structures to constantly remind the observer of the historic associations of the locality. Indeed, in no other village in the county have the people shown the same care in preserving recollections of the past as in Sackets Harbor, and all the scenes, localities and buildings which thus remind us of by-gone days and times, and the men and families of former years, are refreshing and entertaining to the student of history, and especially to the descendants of the substantial old families for which this village has been noted.
            Among the religious societies which have had an existence in the village, only four remain. It is said that the first service of public worship was held by Edmund Luff, of the colony of English pioneers, who built at his own expense a substantial meeting house, and conducted services there several years without pay of any sort other than the consciousness of doing good. This house still stands on Broad street although converted into a dwelling. Mr. Luff was a Restorationist,

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approaching Universalism in his teachings, and was in all respects a worthy and upright man. He generously opened his meeting house to all denominations who sought its use, but much of the time during the war of 1812-15 all services were irregularly held. Mr. Luff died at the harbor in 1822. In 1820 a sect of Unitarian Immersionists held meetings and formed a temporary society. It did not become permanent, however, and passed out of existence in a few years. A Universalist society was organized about 1822, and continued several years.
            The Sackets Harbor Presbyterian church is perhaps the oldest and most historic religious body in the town, dating back to January 12, 1816, when a public meeting was held in the village to discuss the subject of such an organization. Com. Woolsey and Enoch Ely were chosen as presiding and returning officers of the meeting, and chiefly through the efforts of certain prominent army and navy officers then stationed here a society was formed at the time indicated. The first trustees were Com. Woolsey, Samuel Bosworth, Samuel F. Hooker, Elisha Camp and Enoch Ely. Rev. Samuel P. Snowden was employed as minister and began his services March 1, 1817. In the same year Thomas L. Ogden donated a site for a house of worship, and immediately after ward a building fund was created. The "raising" took place Sept. 23, 1819, and the old edifice stood until the disastrous fire of 1843, when it was destroyed. For a time the society occupied the Episcopal church edifice for service, but in 1846 the new brick edifice at the corner of Broad and Main streets was completed. It cost $6,000, and although more than fifty years old is still an attractive, comfortable and substantial structure, and one of the interesting landmarks of the village. The beautiful chime bells which now hang in the tower were the generous gift of Mrs. Marietta Picketing Hay, of Tarrytown, and were presented by her in memory of her father, Capt. Augustus Pickering, who commanded the first vessel that ever visited Chicago (the Ariadne, which carried a cargo of pork and flour) and was sailed from this village. The presentation ceremonies were held February 23, 1894,
            The church has a present membership of 77 persons, and in its Sunday school are about 50 pupils. During the period of its history the pastors of the church have been as follows: Samuel P. Snowden, 1817-26; J. Burchard, 1826-37; J. R. Boyd, 1827-30; B. Spencer, 1880-81; J. W. Irwin, 1831-35; J. R. Boyd, 1835-36; G. Wilson, 1836-39; S. Sturgis, 1839-41; E. G. Townsend, 1841-49; L. E. Sawyer, 1849-54; G. F. Brownson, 1855-57; W. W. Warner, 1858-59; A. J.Young, 1860-64; Henry Hickok, 1866-82; A. W. Allen, 1882-86; Lewis R. Webber, 1886-94; Bailie Brown (licentiate), 1895-96; William H. Niles, Sept. 26, 1896, the present pastor.

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            The Methodist Episcopal church at Sackets Harbor was organized May 9, 1831, with fifteen members, but in its history the church dates to about 1820, when Samuel Lyon at a meeting of the then existing Christian society expressed a desire to establish a Methodist church in the village. A class was soon afterward formed, and among its members were Elijah Field, John Waling, Alvah Kinney, Asahel Smith, and their wives, and others. The class continued until it developed into the church in 1831. A reorganization was effected in 1834, and in 1841 the church edifice on Main street was erected, at a cost of $3,000, The building was materially repaired in 1881. In numbers this is the strongest church in the village, having 113 members and 16 probationers. It is under the pastoral care of Rev W. E. Reynolds.
            Christ's church (Episcopal), of Sackets Harbor, dates back in its history to May 14, 1821, when an informal meeting was assembled to discuss the subject of a church, and when Elisha Camp, Samuel O. Auchmuty, William Kendall, Robert M. Harrison and John McCarty were chosen a committee to look to the interests of the proposed society until a vestry should be regularly constituted. The legal and formal organization was accomplished August 6, 1821, the wardens being Zeno Allen and Elisha Camp; the vestrymen, Robert M. Harrison, Samuel O. Auchmuty, William Kendall, John McCarty, Hiram Steele, Thomas J. Angell, Hiram Merrill and Thomas Y. How. Bishop Hobert held services here in September, 1821, and subsequently meetings were held regularly in the Presbyterian church, and in the school house, until the occupancy of the stone edifice in 1826, the corner stone being laid May 26. The structure was fully completed in 1832. From that time the church has maintained a continued existence, although the number of communicants never has been large. The present number is 70. The wardens are E. P. Evert and B. C. Scroxton. Rector, Rev. Burr M. Weeden.
            The Roman Catholic church and parish of Sackets Harbor were organized in 1886, under the charge of Rev. Eugene I. V. Huiginn, but has not advanced beyond the condition of a missionary station. It is at present under charge of Rev. Father John Corbett.
            In closing the present chapter it is proper that there be made at least a brief allusion to some of the prominent men and families of Hounsfield, who, while perhaps not pioneers nor early settlers, were nevertheless so closely identified with the subsequent history of the town and village as to entitle them to recognition. One of these conspicuous

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characters was Dr. Samuel Guthrie, of whom mention is made at some length in the medical chapter, but who was of such marked prominence in the profession in this town that some mention of him in this connection seems necessary. Dr. Guthrie came to the harbor during the war of 1812, and was an army surgeon. He had previously given some attention to the manufacture of gunpowder and other explosives, and, in a small way, he continued making them in this village. After the war the doctor continued his residence in the town, and was the owner and occupant of a fine residence on the road leading to the county seat, about a mile east of the village. The large brick house still stands, while on the opposite side of the highway, and some rods back therefrom, is an excavation in the hillside where once stood his laboratory, and wherein he brought fame to this county in his discovery of chloroform and the invention of percussion caps. These alone place the name of Samuel Guthrie among the foremost men of his time. This worthy man lived in the village and town until his death, Oct. 19, 1848.
            Another prominent figure in the early history of Hounsfield was Samuel F. Hooker. He was a lineal descendant of Rev. Thomas Hooker, who in 1634 founded the Connecticut colony. He came from Hartford, Conn., and settled in Sackets Harbor in 1810 where for many years he conducted a very extensive mercantile business. He also had large contracts with the U. S. government for army and navy supplies during the war of 1812, was an extensive land holder and was otherwise identified with the principal business interests of the locality for nearly half a century. He married Martha Smith Brewster, who was a lineal descendant of William Brewster who came over in the Mayflower and was a leader among the Pilgrim fathers.
            Mr. Hooker was an old style country gentleman and a generous entainer. His home is said to have been proverbial for the hospitality and good cheer which reigned within. In fact, all through the war of 1812, he kept an open house to the many officers of the army and navy who were stationed at this place. He died at Sackets Harbor in 1864, but the family name is still prominent in our county. He was grandfather of George S. and Harold L. Hooker, now well known lawyers of Watertown.
            George Camp was the head of one of the most worthy and prominent families of the town and county in later years, but when he came to the harbor in the early part of 1817 it was as a journeyman and practical printer, whose aim was to establish a newspaper in the then flourishing

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village. On March 18, 1817, Mr. Camp issued the first number of the Sackets Harbor Gazette, a noted paper in its day, federalistic in sentiment, but generally devoted to the interests of the county and town, Mr. Camp was in all respects a worthy and upright citizen. His sons were Talcott H. Camp, who was for many years identified with banking interests at Watertown, aad particularly as president of the Jefferson County National bank; George Hull Camp, a prominent manufacturer, living in the south; and Walter B. Camp, more frequently known as Col. Camp, organizer of the 94th N. Y. Inf. during the war of 1861-65, and identified with every measure which has for its end the welfare of both the town and county. Col. Camp was born in Sackets Harbor, Oct. 1, 1822, and his whole life has been spent there, excepting the time he has devoted to travel in quest of pleasure and health. He has been actively identified with various public enterprises, beginning with the building of the railroad from Sackets Harbor to Pierrepont Manor, and continuing thence to the present time. Throughout the general chapters of this work (both civil and military) the name of Walter B. Camp is found mentioned with various important undertakings, hence to repeat them here is unnecessary.
            John M. Canfield was one of the early lawyers of the village, a former yet temporary resident of Watertown, and a native of Connecticut. Mr. Canfield was made collector of customs at this port in 1819 and held the office until 1828. He afterward lived at the harbor but was not actively engaged in professional business. His wife was Fanny Harvey, by whom he had eleven children. Of these children Theodore Canfield alone survives. He was born at Sackets Harbor March 6, 1823, and for a period of more than twenty-five years after reaching his majority was closely identified with business and political life in the village. Every worthy enterprise found in him an earnest supporter. He was supervisor several times; served in the assembly in 1866, and was for eighteen years one of the directors of the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor railroad.
            In the same manner may be recalled the names of John R. Bennett, who in later years gained a position of prominence in judicial circles in Wisconsin, and who was also a native of this town; D. M. Burnham, a native of Adams and for many years a successful lawyer at the harbor; John Pettit, another native of Hounsfield, who went to La Fayette, Ind., and ultimately became chief justice of the Supreme court of that state; Sanford A. Hudson, who began life as a blacksmith, but after-

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ward made a mark as a lawyer; George H. Harlow, a native of the town, who became secretary of state in Illinois. There may also be recalled the names of such men as Cornelius W. Inglehart, Merrick M. Bates, Daniel McCulloch, Jay Dimmick (in the assembly in 1869-70), Enoch Barnes, the family of Heman Petit (William S. and John Petit), Newman H. Potter, Nathan Ladd, Benjamin Maxon, Lebbeus F. Allen, Bernard Eveleigh, Richard M. Earl, David McKee, Henry J. Lane, Albert Metcalf and a host of others equally worthy of notice, perhaps, and of whom mention will be found in the department of this work devoted to personal and family history.
            Supervisors.Augustus Sacket, 1806-8; Elisha Camp, 1808 (special election) and 1809-18; Hiram Steele, 1819; Elisha Camp, 1820-33; Daniel Hall, jr., 1824; Elisha Camp, 1825, succeeded in same year by Wm. Baker; Daniel Hall, jr., 1820-27; Elisha Camp, 1828; Daniel Hall, 1829-41; Seth P. Newell, jr., 1842; Benj. Maxon, 1848; Daniel Hall, 1844; Augustus Ford, 1845; Benj. Maxon, 1846-47; Jesse C. Dann, 1848-50; Samuel T. Hooker, 1851; J. C. Dann, 1852; Edgar B. Camp, 1853-56; Daniel McCulloch, 1857-58; Theo. Canfield, 1859; Sylvester I. Lewis, 1860; Andrew Smith, 1861; Luther Barrows, 1862-64; Jay Dimick, 1865; Walter B. Camp, 1866; J. Dimick, 1867-68; Theo. Canfield, 1869-73; Wm. B. Tyler, 1873-75; Samuel N. Hodges, 1876-79; D. C. Read, 1880; W. E. Taylor, 1881-82; T. C. Dempsey, 1888; L. W. Day, 1884-85; Henry J. Lane, 1886-88; Josiah A. McWayne, 1889-97; J. M. Fitzgerald, 1898-99.

 

 

 

 

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