Notes on Rutland, NY

Rutland Notes

1. About 1804 Mr. Bronson donated to the public a tract of land for burial purposes, being the first cemetery in the town. It was located on the middle road, opposite the Hopkins place. There was no regular organization previous to 1890, when the Rutland Maple Hill cemetery association was duly incorporated, followed by deed to it by the supervisor acting under the authority of the town meeting of June, 1892. About this time the cemetery tract was enlarged by the addition of two acres.

2. Rutland has a somewhat interesting history relating to roads, in which connection the recollections of Washington Tucker are appropriate. He says the state road as laid out run through Rutland Center up to "Harpers Ferry," to Champion village, and thence through Denmark to Lowville and Utica. The middle road run to Copenhagen, striking the present road from Watertown to Copenhagen, near where the Col. Elias Sage residence now stands. The south road run through Burrville to South Champion and thence to Copenhagen, from which the route lay through Martinsburg to Utica. The state road did not originally run to Copenhagen, but soon after it was laid out the turnpike road was projected. There was a great strife between the three roads to secure the location. Through the influence of Judge Bronson, Col. Tucker and others the middle route was selected as the road, and an act of the legislature was passed authorizing its construction. It was delayed by the war of 1812 corning on and was never completed.

About 1810 a road was cut through and opened from the Harpers Ferry state road, striking the middle road near the present Col. Sage place, which is now the direct road from Watertown to Copenhagen. This road was completed by the residents of the state road region for the purpose of avoiding the toll gates which wore projected on the turnpike road, and hence took the name of "shun pike," by which it was known for many years.

3. Col. Tucker, according to the reminiscences of his son, Washington Tucker, came to Rutland from Oneida county in the spring of 1800, and brought his family to the town in October following, locating on the middle road, on the David Hamlin farm. In 1803 he sold his improvements to Ethel Bronson, and then bought and settled on land (now owned by Mrs. Talcott Merwin) just east of the Hopkins place. Col. Tucker was born in Massachusetts, and lived for a time in Russia, Herkimer county, before coming to Rutland. He died in 1843. Washington Tucker is now the oldest living native in Rutland, having passed his ninetieth year.

4. The mention of this old industry recalls the tannery which Anson Smith built about 1805, on the state road, and also the brick house (erected by the same worthy pioneer) where Charles Ferguson now lives. The tannery was sold to Mr. Pool and was operated until about 1855, when it was discontinued.

5. In relation to the early hotels of Rutland, Washington Tucker, who still lives in the town and possesses an excellent memory of early events therein, says, that Gershom Tuttle opened a tavern on the south road about 1802, and that the bnilding stood a short distance east of the Kimball place on the south side of road and opposite where the highway to Watertowa branches off to the north. Tuttle kept this house until the war of 1812, when he sold out. It was afterward kept by Zebedee larned. Jonathan Porter kept a hotel about 1812, a little further east than the Tuttle house, and on the opposite side of the road where Charles Sherman now lives, Further up the south road David Conklin kept a hotel on the hill in the bend of the road a little southeast of the Alfred Isham place and James Brown kept a hotel near Champion peak. The south road was much traveled during the war of 1812, as it led from Watertown through Burr. ville to Copenhagen and Utica. From the same authority we also learn that the first hotel at Rutland Centre was kept by Butterfield, and later by Penniman and Dr. Samuel Tucker. Richard Hurlburt built a hotel further up the state road at Harpers Ferry soon after the war of 1812, 'This house was kept later by Elisha Andrus, John Hill and Col. Carter (Harpers Ferry is the name given to the corners where the state road branches off to Champion from the road leading to Copenhagen).

6. The first school house in the town was built in 1803 on the farm of Col. Tucker, on the north side of the middle road, a little east of the cemetery and about opposite where the Tylerville road branches off from the middle road. This school was built of logs, and was also used for religious services. (Reminiscences of Washington Tucker, prepared solely for this work) over the territory was unnecessary. In 1800 townships Nos. 1, 2 and 3 (Hounsfield, Watertown and Rutland) of the Black river tract, then forming a part of the old town of Mexico, Oneida county, were erected into a separate town by the name of Watertown. On April 1, 1802, Watertown was divided, and township No. 3 was set off and created a separate town under the name of Rutland, so called in allusion to Rut-. land, in Vermont, from whence came several of the prominent early settlers. In this year Simeon De Witt made a general survey of the state, and in designating the several townships traversed by him and his assistants gave to No. 3 the name of Milan. In the civil history of Rutland, however, the name Milan was not recognized.

7. The inhabitants voted a bounty of $10 on wolves in 1803, '7, '8 and '14, and of $15 in 1805 and 1806. Fox beuntics of 50 cents were offered in 1816, and of $1 in 1818. In 1811-12 the meeting passed a resolution requiring Canada thistles to be cut "at the full moon in June, July and August," under a penalty of $1, to be paid by the person owning lands having this noxious weed growing thereon.

8. Washington Tucker, in his reminiscences of early history of Rutland, relates that the 76th regiment of militia was mainly officered in this town, Gershom Tuttle being colonel; Amariah Tucker, lieutenant-colonel; George White, major; William Coffeen, adjutant; and Dr. Crafts P. Kimball, surgeon. All were residents of Rutland. Mr. Tucker further says that previous to the descent of the British on Sackets Harbor in 1812, the militia had been ordered to hold them.

9. The Tucker narrative informs us that the first store opened in the town was on the David Hamlin farm on the middle road. It was opened about 1806 by Erastus l3ronson, a son of Judge Ethel Bronson, in the wing of his father's house and was run a few years and then discontinued. Daniel C. Sherman kept store across from the Tuttle tavern during the war of 1812. A store was kept at Rutland Centre by Joseph Graves previous to or about the time of the war. Tt was kept later by a Mr. Johnson and closed up about 1830. It was a full line country store. No store has been kept there since except the shoe shop of Mr. Scott, from about 1847 to 1850. Dr. Samuel Tucker kept an apothecary shop at Rutland Centre from about 1820 to 1825. A union store was opened on the middle road, a little east of the church, about 1853. Stockholders put in $35 each and a great many residents of the town took stock in the enterprise. The name was "division 429, New England Protective Union." J. Bennett Tyler was treasurer, and the business was managed by a board of directors. The agents in charge of the store came in the following order. S. F. Pierce, H. N. Kimball, Hurbort C. Kimball, Henry Orvis and O. P. Hadcock. The store was closed under the agency of Oscar P. Hadcock about 1858 or '59.

10. The N. R. church in Rutland dates back in its history to about 1806 when a meeting house (said to have been the second in the county) was built in Rutland Hollow, a short distance north of the point where the Black River road leaves the Rutland Hollow road. The building was burned, but was replaced in 1821, and was used as a house of worship many years. It became dilapidated, services were discontinued, and, about 1884 the structure was torn down. The Hollow was for many years a part of a circuit with Black River, Felt's Mills and Sanford's Corners. The pastor generally lived in Black River village, although Rev. Mr. Salisbury, who was once on the circuit, lived in the Hollow.

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