Otsego Town, Otsego, NY
Early Prominent Pioneers
By Holice and Debbie

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Early Prominent Pioneers

John Adams, a pioneer, located in Fly Creek valley in 1790. A descendent, Aden Adams, aged eighty-two years, resides in Cooperstown

Other actors in early-day scenes were Esek Bradford, Gideon Wood, Abraham Bliss, Colonel Eldredge, Timothy Sabin, Stephen Allen, Leutenant Loomis, Zebulon Gibbs, Henry Garlick, J. Fisk, P. Gardner, and G. Herrington.

TheVan Horns were also prominent and early settlers. Numerous descendants of the family are residents of the town.

In the early days, when "going to mill" meant a journey of from ten to fifty miles, and all wool used in the manufacture of clothing was "carded" by hand, the erection of a grist- or saw-mill was an event of no small importance, and when the first carding mill was built by Leander Plumb, near Oaksville, it was hailed with satisfaction, and rendered substantial benefit to the settlers. Plumb was also the first clothier in the town.

Benjamin and Michael Keyser settled in Fly reek village in 1816. The latter served in the War of 1812, and was with the army at Plattsburg. In the year 1813 Clark Brow came to Fly Creek as a workman in the machineshop of Jarvis & Todd. He built and operated the first cotton machinery in this section of country.

Fly Creek and Oaksville are pleasant hamlets, the former located on Fly creek, and the latter on Oaks creek.

At "Five Mile Point" is located a delightful summer hotel, which was erected in 1850, by its present popular and gentlemanly proprietor, Mr. J. D. Tunnicliff. This is one of the most picturesque localities for which Otsego lake is celebrated, and has been rendered famous by the American novelist, J. Fenimore Cooper. Near "Five-Mile Point" is the canon through which "Deerslayer" makes his escape when pursued by the Hurons. The Hurons were whooping and leaping behind him. He saw, by the formation of the land, that a deep glen intervened before the base of a second bill could be reached. A fallen tree lay near him, in a line parallel to the glen at the brow of the hill. To leap on it took but a moment. Previous to disappearing from his pursuers, however, "Deerslayer" stood on the height and gave a cry of triumph, as if exulting at the sight of the descent that lay before him.

The Five-Mile point was the place selected by "Hetty" for landing, after her escape from the ark. The point in question was the first projection that offered on that side of the lake where a canoe, if set adrift with a southerly air, would float clear of the land, where it might be no great violation of probabilities to suppose it might even hit the castle. Such then was Hetty's intention, and she landed on the extremity of the gravelly point beneath an overhanging oak ("Deerslayer").

H. Gates Spafford, in 1810, says, "Otsego, a township, the capital of Otsego county, with a post-office called Cooperstown, is situated at the head of the Susquehanna river, sixty-six miles from Albany, and twenty-eight miles from Utica, bounded north by Herkimer county, east by Otsego lake or Springfield and Middlefield, south by Hartwick, west by Richfield, Exeter, and Burlington. Its extent north and south, eleven miles, with a medial width of five miles. In the northwest corner is Canaderaga or Schuyler's lake, which discharges Oaks' creek centrally across the town to the head of the Susquehanna, just below its origin in Otsego lake. This is a fine stream for mills, and there are superior advantages also for waterworks at the outlet of Otsego lake, which is in the southwest cornerof this town at the village of Otsego or Cooperstown. The surface is considerably diversified with hills and valleys, but the lands are arable, or fit for meadow or grazing, and are well cultivated. There are in all three houses of worship, two of which are in Cooperstown, ands fourteen or fifteen school-houses. There are eight gain-mills, eight saw-mills, three fulling-mills, three carding-machines, an oil mill, paper-mill, and two nail-factories."

The Hope cotton-mill, located in this town, was built in about the year 1815. It is now owned by Mrs. Jane A. Carter of Cooperstown. (The History of Otsego, NY, by Duane Hamilton Hurd, 1878)

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Transcribed by Holice B. Young

Copyright Debbie Axtman and Holice B. Young

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