THE TOWN OF LORRAINE.
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This town, within its original boundaries, included all of the Boylston tract
which now forms a part of Jefferson county, or Lorraine and Worth. As now constituted it embraces the territory
of original township No 1 of the tract (or Atticus, as designated on Simeon De Witt’s map made in 1802). Township
No. 2, or Worth (Fenelon, on the De Witt map), was set off from its original jurisdiction in 1848.
Thomas Boylston, of Boston, acquired title to the tract (Dec. 20, 1792), by purchase from Samuel Ward, the grantee
of William Constable, and the latter the grantee of Macomb by conveyance dated June 6, 1792, about the time he
(Macomb) became involved in the financial difficulties which swept away his fortune. On May 21, 1794, as is more
fully narrated in another chapter of this work, Boylston gave a deed of trust of his tract to Lee, Irving and Latham,
as assignees of Lane, Son & Fraser, of London, and they conveyed the lands to John Johnson Phyn, also of London,
by deed, June 2, 1794. Phyn empowered William Constable to sell any or all of the tract, and accordingly the latter
(July 15, 1795), sold to Low, Henderson, Harrison and Hoffman the townships which formed the Black river tract,
supposed to be in extent about 300,000 acres, but on survey was found to be nearly 10,000 acres short; whereupon
township No. 2 of the Boylston tract (Worth), was “thrown in” to make good the deficiency. On April 1, 1796, Phyn
conveyed to Constable the remaining portion of the Boylston tract (400,000 acres), including the town of Lorraine
as now constituted. Constable gave a power of attorney to his brother James (March 16, 1798) to sell the lands
in Europe, but purchasers were slow and were evidently somewhat in doubt as to the validity of the titles, thus
cornpelling the worthy proprietor to procure certificates and opinions from other purchasers, eminent lawyers and
public officials to the effect that the titles were good. On May 22, 1803, William Constable died, and his executors
having afterward disposed of a part of his lands, and on April 26, 1819, the Constable heirs deeded to Hezekiah
B. Pierrepont all that remained unsold. From him the title passed to his son, William C. Pierrepont, who in this
manner became possessed of the town of Lorraine. In the meantime, however, settlement had begun under the agency
and direction of Benjamin Wright, one of the most noted developers and land surveyors in all northern New York.
The town occupies a central position on the south border of the county, and contains 24,499 acres of land, the
average of which is considerably elevated, affording excellent pasturage for cattle and stock, while in general
agricultural pursuits it produces equally with any town in the region. The land surface is much broken by deep
gorges and hilly elevations. The soil, a clay and loam of average fertility, is underlaid with shale, a soluble
rock formation peculiar almost to the town itself, and of such distinct character that similar deposits elsewhere
have been called from it “the Lorraine shale.” This yielding rock is much worn in places through the action of
the elements, thus producing remarkable gorges which are picturesque and unique from a scenic point of view, but
the source of much annoyance and expense to the inhabitants who have been compelled to pay for the construction
of secure bridges over them. Indeed, several accidents have resulted from attempts to cross the Lorraine gorges,
as they have been called. Some of these strange dispensations of nature are considered almost impassable, and have
attracted many visitors, geologists and admirers of the beautiful in nature, therefore giving the town some prominence
from their presence. In this respect at least the town is in marked contrast with other civil divisions of the
county, for this unnatural display does not elsewhere occur in the jurisdiction. The south branch of Sandy creek,
along which are found the deepest defiles, crosses the town from east to west, traversing a distance of eight full
miles in its course, throughout the entire extent of which is a succession of gorges varying in depth from SO to
180 or 200 feet, and cutting a channel in the earth’s surface in places of as great width as 300 feet, although
the average is much less. At one point in the northwestern part of the town, and along the creek, Dr. Rosa, of
Adams, in former years frequently lighted a natural gas which issued from the bottom of one of these strange depths,
thus indicating the presence of illuminating gas or possibly petroleum oil in this vicinity. Old operators, however,
always contended that Lorraine was “off the belt,” therefore boring for either of these valuable products was discouraged.
All the principal streams of the town possess the gulf peculiarities, but none have the prominence of the south
branch of Sandy creek.
Settlement in what is now Lorraine (then a part of the old town of Mexico, Oneida county) was begun in the fall
of 1802 by James McKee and Elijah Fox, brothers-in-law, who came from Vermont originally and settled in the south
part of Oneida county, and thence came to the township called Atticus of the Boylston tract. These pioneers built
a log house on a fifty acre lot of land, on the line of the state road as laid out two years later. About this
time Benjamin Wright, the agent, by his certificate system had drawn many prospectors to the region, and our pioneers
turned their log house into a tavern for the accommodation of travelers. When McKee and Fox first came the country
was a densely wooded wilderness, where the foot -of white man had not trod, except as Surveyor Wright and his men
had explored the lands and established town and lot lines. The pioneers remained at their cabin through the winter
and made a substantial clearing, but during the time Fox sold his interest to McKee and soon returned to the south
part of the county, where he married, and in the following spring brought his young wife to the spot where he made
the permanent improvernent which led to the Fox homestead of later years. George A. Fox, son of the pioneer, still
lives in the town, and is one of four oldest children of the first settlers now living in Lorraine. He was born
in 1814. His father, the pioneer, died in 1862, but during his long life in the town was one of its most prominent
and useful men. He had ten
children, but of his many descendants only a few are left in this part of county. James McKee lived in the town
a number of years and raised a large family of children, but later on removed to Canada, where he died.
The news of a settlement in this part of Mexico, and on old township No. 1 of the Boylston tract, seemed to spread
throughout the south part of the county and also in the east, and the McKee tavern was greatly taxed to furnish
accommodation for all travelers who sought its entertainment. Prospectors and settlers even then were numerous
in the region. Benjamin Wright was also active in bringing purchasers to the locality, and introduced a system
of issuing certificates, allowing an examination of lands before purchase and giving long time for payment at moderate
prices per acre. This new idea seemed to find favor and drew many persons to the locality who sought to make actual
settlements, and still others who secured the time certificates for purposes of speculation, selling them to new
corners at advanced prices. This abuse of generosity was the source of much annoyance to the agent and proprietary,
but the result was to accomplish the sale and settlement of the lands of the town as rapidly as any in the Black
river country. In the meantime Adams on the north, and Ellisburgh on the west were settling rapidly, and those
who came, hearing of the cheaper and more elevated lands of this town took certificates and either made settlements
or sold to others. But whatever may have been the cause, in two years after the pioneer improvement was made it
became necessary to create a new town in this part of Oneida county, and Lorraine under the original name of Malta
was the result. In 1806 the town contained 128 families or settlers, and in the next year the same territory had
161 legal voters with property qualifications. The construction of the old turnpike or state road, from Rome to
Brownville in 1804 (the route being afterward changed to Sackets Harbor, and the thoroughfare known as the military
road) had much to do with this remarkable development. However, let us recall some of these early settlers by name,
and also something of their lives.
In the early spring of 1803 a number of native New England families who were then living in Herkimer county, N.
Y., came to the town and settled along the surveyed and partially completed Rome and Brownville turnpike, where
several of them made improvements, while others afterward removed elsewhere. These settlers had heard of the region
through the operations of the company from their county which had just purchased and settled the northwest quarter
of Worth (then Fenelon), the township adjoining on the east. The settlers of this year in Lorraine were Comfort
Stancliff, Benjamin Gates, Seth Cutler and John Alger, the last mentioned of whom in that year built a dwelling
on the site of Lorraine village. His home was soon turned into a tavern, and stood at the forks of the road, on
the site where a public house was kept many years afterward. Not all of these settlers remained in the town, but
some of them sought homes in other localities. Clark Allen also came in this year, and took lands on Sandy creek,
in the northwest part of the town, where he died in 1855. He was in many ways prominent in political affairs in
Lorraine, a noted federalist, but is said to have served loyally in the army during the war of 1812. His title
of general was honorary, however. He was supervisor six years. Another prominent family of that or the next year
was the Lanfear surname, the pioneers being William and Isaac. The name is still known in the town, but is not
The Brown family, of whom Aaron was always regarded as the pioneer, although his father, Ebenezer Brown, afterward
removed to the town, were originally from Connecticut, but came to this region about 1803 or 1804 from Washington
county, N. Y. The brothers who came were Aaron, Ebenezer, Walter, Parley and Joel Brown, all of whom first settled
in Adams with their parents, and thence, except Joel, removed to Lorraine. Aaron married with Betsey Burpee, one
of the early school teachers of the south part of the county. Their children were Moses, Levi H., Henry M. and
Allena, now Mrs. Bishop, one of the few surviving children of pioneers still living in Lorraine. Aaron Brown was
a farmer, miller and merchant, and withal one of the most prominent men of his time in town, was justice of the
peace from 1820 to 1828; town clerk in 1827; commissioner of highways from 1818 to 1826, and member of assembly
in 1830. He was in trade during the war of 1812—15. He died in May, 1870. Ebenezer and Walter Brown were farmers,
good substantial men, but not specially active in town affairs. Walter Brown died Dec. 24, 1875. Parley Brown,
grandfather to Senator Elon R. Brown, of Watertown, was a clergyman of the Baptist church, and spent a portion
of his useful life in the north part of the county. When Levi H. Brown was a boy his father had a grist mill, two
saw mills, a store and a distillery in the town. Levi, who is now the senior member of the county bar, left his
native town about 1S37 or 1838. Moses Brown, also son of Aaron, was a merchant of Lorraine village, and mentally
was one of the strongest men the town produced. He went into trade about 1840, and died in 1853. At one time he
was county loan commissioner. Philo M. Brown, now of Lorraine. was a son of this worthy pioneer.
About this time settlement in the town became very rapid, and within the five
years following 1804 the lands were fairly well occupied. The numerous streams furnished abundant water power,
and lumbering was almost as much an established pursuit as farming until the forests were in a measure cleared
Among the more prominent names of settlers during this period may be recalled, in addition to those already mentioned,
Hezekiah Lord Bushnell (who came from Norwich, Conn., about 1810), William Hosford, Asa Brown, Ormond Butler, Asa
Sweet, William Hunter, Calvin Clifford, John Griswold. James Perry, Elnathan Doane, Ozias Barton, Michael Risley,
Thomas Stancliff, Oliver Miller, Allen Hill, Henry Von. ers, David Steadman, Charles Thompson, Nathan Gould, Britell
Minor (settled 1813; removed to Henderson 1814), John Cowles, Hubbard Randall, Abner Baker, Dr. Isaac Weston, Timothy
Heath, David Webb, George Sampson, John Brewer, Joseph Stud. ley, Allen Pitkin, William Adams, Benjamin Gates,
and perhaps others whose names are now forgotten or who lived in the town for a time only and then sought homes
Those who have been named and their cotemporaries in early life and development in Lorraine were as sturdy and
earnest a set of men as either Oneida or Jefferson county could then boast. Their town was not possessed of all
the advantges or possibilities of development which were found in the lake and river towns, and pioneership here
was quite monotonous when compared with regions more favored by nature. Yet for moral and physical courage and
worth, Lorraine was the equal of any, and the period of its history has shown the town to produce as strong and
faithful men in public life as any division of the county.
This spirit of courage and patriotism was pretty well displayed at the outbreak of the second war with Great Britain,
for when the news was carried to the little settlement a meeting was at once assembled, a military company was
quickly formed, and a message was dispatched to Gen, Jacob Brown, as follows:
"Lorraine, July 21, 1812.
“Dear Sir—Viewing our country in danger, and feeling a willingness to defend the same, sixty men assembled in this
place and made choice of Joseph Wilcox as captain; James Perry, lieutenant; Ebenezer Brown, jr., ensign. This is,
therefore, to desire your honor to furnish us with arms and ammunition, while you may have the assurance that we
shall be ready on any invasion within the county of Jefferson at a moment’s warning to defend the same. The above
men met at the house of John Alger, on the 16th inst., and may be considered as Silver Grays, that is, men who
are exempted by law from military duty. We wish you, sir, to forward the arms to this place as soon as possible,
and be assured we are, with respect, your humble servants.
"JOSEPH WILCOX, Captain.
“JAMES PERRY, Lieutenant.
“E. BROWN, JR., Ensign.”
This notable military organization of men of mature years held themselves in readiness for action during the trying
period of the war. They also held regular meetings for exercise and drill, and on the occasion of the battle at
Sackets Harbor started for the place, but did not reach it until after the British had retreated. This martial
spirit among the settlers was only natural, for among the pioneers were several who had served during the revolution.
They were Elijah Fox, Jacob Weaver, Benjamin Fletcher, Caleb Tiffs:, Martin Rice, John Wiswell, Ebenezer Brown
and Ebenezer Burpee.
At an early period, but perhaps a little later than is indicated in preceding paragraphs relating to settlement,
still other men and families came to the town, and were in after years closely identified with its events and history.
In this connection may be recalled John Boyden, who carried on a carding and fulling machine; was supervisor several
years, justice of the peace, and otherwise prominent in town affairs. Silas Lyman was another prominent figure
among the settlers, a farmer and devoted member of the Congregational church; a strong anti-slavery man and one
of the pioneer abolitionists in the county. State excise commissioner Henry H. Lyman, of Oswego, was the son of
a worthy settler. Sardis Abby succeeded John Boyden in the carding mill and was otherwise prominent in local affairs.
Joseph Grirnshaw was also a well known figure in early history in the town. Daniel Caulkins was a good farmer.
His sons and descendants are still in the county. Loren Bushnell is recalled as an early and prominent merchant
of the village, partner with Luther Lamson. He was father of Albert Bushnell, a leading business man of the county
seat. He afterward removed to La Fargeville. Simeon Parkhurst was the first mail carrier on the old turnpike road.
Elijah Fox, the pioneer, had the contract to carry mail between Rome, Brownville and Sackets Harbor, but the service
was performed by his son, George A. Fox,
In the same connection we may also recall the names of still other factors in early life, mentioning them briefly
in this place, for in another department of this work will be found extended recollections of pioneers and early
settlers. Dr. Isaac Weston, the first physician, built a tavern in the village in 1807, being the first regular
public house in the town. David Webb was also an early hotel keeper. A Mr. Frost (whose first name is thought to
have been Michael) in 1804 built a dam across Sandy creek, and ‘erected the first saw mill in the town, His buildings
were soon taken away by high water, and having no means with which to rebuild, the mills were not replaced until
1810, when Mabb & Aldrich built the afterward known Gen. Allen mill. This building was burned during the war
of 1812 but was at once replaced, and was run by Allen until about 1820, when Jared and Asa Gleason became proprietors.
Seth Cutler built the first grist mill about 1805, on what was called Hull (now Deer) creek, on lot No. 45, and
operated it about 1.0 years. In 1805 Thomas Stancliff built a saw mill on the same stream, but within two years
afterward he was killed by a falling tree. Comfort Stancliff then run the mill. John Alger had an early mill on
Deer creek, on lot No. 31. Other early saw mills in the town were those owned and known as Gilman’s, Lyman’s, Bartlett’s,
Lapper’s and Nathan Gardner's, Many years ago one S. Warner had a chair factory on upper Deer creek, David Smith
had a saw mill on Abijah creek. Sylvanus Lockwood, Daniel Wheeler, Newman Hawley, Mr. Chafin, C. R. Totman, Nelson
Cox, J. O’Neil, Win. Standish, John Brigham and Eli Moore were also connected with saw mills in the town more than
25 years ago.
Having thus recalled as many as possible of the early settlers of Lorraine, and having in the same manner referred
to the early institutions which were factors in local annals, the reader will see that in spite of the disadvantages
of location and the absence of attractive features which always draw settlers to a new region, the lands were rapidly
occupied by a class of inhabitants as determined and energetic as those of any town in the Black river country.
One hundred and twentyeight settlers were developing the lands within four years from the time the first improvement
was made, and within five years 161 legal voters with the requisite property qualifications were living in the
territory. It is not surprising, therefore, that the people should seek a division of Mexico and the creation of
a new town from the territory.
Organization.— The act creating the town was passed by the legislature March 24,
1804, at which time several other towns were also erected. The portion of the act relating to this town was as
“And all that part of the said town of Mexico known and distinguished by townships Numbers one and two of the Boylston
tract, shall be and the same is hereby erected into a separate town by the name of Malta; and that the first town
meeting shall be held at the dwelling house of John Alger.” It was found, however, that on March 3, 1802, a town
named Malta had been created in Saratoga county, and duplicate naming of towns could not be permitted on account
of complications which were apt to follow. Therefore, on April 6, 1808, the name of the new town was changed to
Lorraine. Several years before the town was erected, and as far back as the time of the surveys on the Boylston
tract, the territory now comprising Lorraine was designated by the name of Atticus, and was so known until created
a separate jurisdiction under the name of Malta. Worth was also a part of Malta, or Lorraine, but was made a separate
town April 12, 1848, as previously stated. -
The first town meeting was held at the house of John Alger on March 5, 1805, when
the following officers were elected, viz: Asa Brown, supervisor; William Hosford, town clerk; Clark Allen, Ormond
Butler, Warner Flowers, assessors; Ormond Butler, collector; William Hunter, C. Allen, poormasters; William Husford,
Michael Frost, Asa Sweet, commissioners of highways; William Lanfear, Joseph Case, Elijah Fox, fence viewers; James
McKee, John Griswold, poundmasters.
The settlers were fortunate in haying laid out and opened through the town the
state road between Rome and Brownville, as they were thus afforded a good and convenient route of travel to business
centers. Still, the opening of highways was one of the first matters to receive attention from the town officials.
In 1805 the town comprised six road districts, but in 1807 the number had increased to eighteen. In this year also
the first school was opened in a log house standing on the village site near the Baptist church property. Betsey
Burpee is said to have been the first teacher. In 1813 the town, then including Worth, was divided into eighteen
Other than as indicated in preceding paragraphs, the civil and political history of Lorraine have been uneventful,
and during the period of its history no unusual events have marred its progress. The enforcement of the embargo
laws caused some temporary inconvenience in certain localities, yet the inhabitants never wavered in their loyalty
and and patriotism during that period and the important struggle which followed. Lawlessness in any form was frowned
upon, and in 1806 the town meeting voted to set up “a pair of stocks in Malta, at the crotch in the road near John
Alger's" This was for the public good and was aimed expressly to warn a certain character that his presence
in the community was not desired. The effect was salutary, for the person at once departed from the town.
After the close of the war of 1812—15 there followed an era of peace and prosperity, in which the resources of
the town were developed to their full extent. The condition came slowly yet surely, as the statistics show that
during the years 1810 and 1814 there was no increase in population, tile number of inhabitants in the first mentioned
year being 812 and 810 in the last. In later years the various fluctuations in population are best shown by extracts
from the census reports. In 1820 the population was 1,112; 1825, 1,400; 1830, 1,727; 1835, 1,615; 1840, 1,699;
1845, 1,640; 1850, 1,511; 1855, 1,470; 1860, 1,687; 1865, 1,580; 1870. 1,377; 1875, 1,275; 1880, 1,435; 1890, 1,174;
From this it is seen that the greatest population was attained in 1830; the territory of the town then included
both Lorraine and Worth. The latter was set off in 1848, yet in 1850 Lorraine had 1,511 inhabitants. Since that
time the greatest number was reached in 1800. Later years have shown a gradual decrease, a condition due to the
same causes which have in like manner reduced the population in nearly every interior town in the state, and particularly
in localities where agriculture is the only pursuit of the people, Indeed, Lorraine is in all respects a purely
agricultural town, producing abundantly in hay, grain, potatoes and corn, but the lands are specially adapted to
grazing, hence butter and cheese have become staple products of the soil.
The first cheese factory in the town, and one of the first in the region, was
the Maple grove factory, built in 1865 by Joseph Grimshaw and L. D. Reed, and was raised the day President Lincoln
was assassinated. It is located on the Worthville road about a mile and one-half east of Lorraine village. It has
been in continuous operation to this time, and is now owned by Adelbert M. Brown. The Pitkin factory on the old
state road was built the same year by Webb & Pitkin, and is now owned by Erwin Pitkin. The Lorraine central,
or village factory, was established in 1868 by Ira Page, and was burned in 1875. The present village factory was
started as a creamery by J. D. Grow and was by him converted into a cheese factory. It is now owned by W. R. Grow,
E. A. Harding, L. F. Caulkins and M. H. Fox. The other present operating factories are the Winona, in the southwest
part of the town, owned by Mr. Anthony, and the E. L. Stone factory in the extreme southwest corner of the town,
both of which are comparatively new industries. Among the other old factories were those owned by G. A. Fox, and
the Excelsior (both started in 1870); the A. J. Bettinger factory, and the Tifft factory, the latter established
about 1866, and burned in 1869. It was replaced in 1873 by John Wilcox.
One of the early institutions of the town, but not now in existence, was the Congregational society formed in-
1829, but dating back in its history to the year 1807 when meetings were held by Elder Spear and other clergymen
of that denomination. On Dec. 3, 1829, the church society was regularly formed, Silas Lyman, Wm. Carruth and Alfred
Webb being the first trustees. In 1830 a small meeting house was built in the south part of the village, which
was occupied by the society as long as its existence was maintained. But at best the members were few in number
and in the meantime other societies had sapped the strength of the old organization, therefore about 1850 it was
In 1847 the legislature passed an act authorizing the electors in any town to vote a sum of money in dollars to
double the number of voters, for the purpose of a town house and site. At the town meeting in 1858 a resolution
was passed to purchase the old Congregational church property for a town hail, which was done, but through some
defect in givthe notice of the meeting the legality of the proceeding was questioned. Thereupon recourse was had
to the legislature, resulting in another act legalizing the proceeding, and appointing Sardis Abby, John Boyden,
Silas Lyman, E. R. Fox and Joseph Grimshaw a committee to procure title to the church property (taking title to
the town), to repair the same and convert the building into a town ball, agreeable to the resolution of February
16. Thus was the town hall brought into existence.
The Lorraine rural cemetery association was another of the old and permanent institutions of the town, and was
formed January 8, 1852, by Aaron Brown, John Boyden, John Bentley, Eben Brown, Knapp Macomber, Joseph Grimshaw,
Allen Pitkin, Lorenzo Reed, John Hancock, Moses Brown, Elihu Gillett, Sardis Abby, Augustus L. Baker, Peter Hanson,
Leonard A. Parker, Joel Buel, Latham Lanfear and Parley Brown.
Lorraine Village.— This pretty
and interesting little hamlet, which has never attained the importance or dignity of the corporate character, but
which is nevertheless recognized as one of the cleanest and best regulated rural villages of the county, dates
its history to tile first settlements in the town. Its population was perhaps never greater than now, nor have
its business interests been more extensive and diversified, yet in Lorraine, as in all similarly situated hamlets,
it seems as if the good old days of long ago were the best and most prosperous, especially during the period in
which the mail stages were in active operation on the old state road.
The village is pleasantly situated at the point where Hull creek empties into Deer creek, John Alger made the beginning
of the settlement in 1803 when he built a log tavern. Soon afterward other buildings were erected, and the little
settlement thus established became known as the “Huddle,” or” Lorraine Huddle,” a name which was applied for many
years. The old Alger tavern was afterward occupied by Pardon Peck and Lemuel Hunt, both for terms of years until
about 1865, when it was used as a dwelling and grange hail. Dr. Weston, physician and inn keeper, opened a public
house about 1807. The old building stood the wear of time, enjoyment and mirth for many years, and was the scene
of all the dancing and merry-making parties of early days, events equally trying to the patience of the worthy
doctor. The building was removed about 1850 by Daniel Caulkins. David Webb’s tavern stood two miles above the village,
and was opened about 1816. Gillman’s inn was opened in 1841 by Chester Giliman. Later proprietors were D. B. Lockwood,
0. C. Tucker, C. J. Snow and Horace Streeter. Elisha Allen’s old tavern was below the settlement. The present hotel,
the Grow house, is one of the best country hotels south of Black river. The proprietor is G. F. Grow.
In 1806 the hamlet was made a post station on the Rome and Brownyule stage road. Simeon Parkhurst was the first
postmaster, while William Carruth afterward served in the same capacity. About 1808 Aaron Brown started a distillery
on Deer creek, from which fact that stream took the name “Still creek.” In the next year Mr. Brown opened a store
at the huddle and afterward took Joel Brown as partner. The building stood on the site of the Elijah Bellinger
residence of later years. About 1815 John Caulkins and Alanson Russell began trading, but their store was burned
in 1825. After it was rebuilt Loren Bushnell and Luther Lamson opened store and were in business until 1840. Baker
& Gillet started in trade soon afterward. The junior partner, Elihu Gillet, afterward became sole owner and
continued business until succeeded by Caulkins & Brown. The building in which they traded was torn down in
1870. Moses Brown and Luther Lamson began business in 1840, but after seven years Mr. Brown succeeded the firm
and kept the store until his death in 1853. Philo M. Brown followed and was in trade until 1867. Later proprietors
in the same location were A. W. Grow, Brown & Moore, Moore & Grimshaw, and Charles D. Grimshaw, the present
owner and leading merchant of the town. He began business alone in 1877.
In early village history Aaron Brown was a prominent figure, and in addition to his other interests built a sawmill
in 1807 and a grist mill in 1808, both of which industries under many successive ownerships have survived to the
present time, but to follow all their changes would be difficult. However, the old name “Brown’s Mill” was preserved
many years. The present owner of the grist mill is H. A. Cross, who purchased from Joseph B. Wilcox. The saw mills
of the village are owned by Abel Wagoner, who also makes cheese boxes, and L. L. Bateman, who has a planing mill
attatchment to his plant.
Among the mechanics of early days Ward Fox was the first blacksmith, followed by William Carruth, Elihu Gillet
and Joel Buel, all previous to 1850. H. B. Harrington came later, as also did Almon W. Harrington, his successor.
The present village blacksmiths are Mr. Harrington, Slack & Schell and F. D. Spicer. The first wheelwright
was one Curry, who worked in the rear of Gillet’s blacksmith shop. Thomas White and Asa Copeland also followed
the same trade. In the gulf below the old Fox blacksmith shop stood John Boyden’s fulling mill, but as his business
increased a larger building was erected on Hull creek. Sardis Abbey succeeded Boyden, but the property afterward
became the Bateman saw and planing mill, to which reference has been made.
Thus is recalled in a brief way the early industries and interests of the village, which, as may be seen, have
not at any time been extensive. Yet they were sufficient for the time and the requirements of the people. The present
village population is about 200. The public buildings comprise the Baptist and Methodist Episcopal church edifices,
a good two-room school (Dr. W. C. Fawdrey, trustee), and the town hall, to which reference has been made.
The mercantile interests of the present time are represented substantially as follows: Charles D. Grimshaw, general
store; J. L. Shelmerdine, grocer; 0. L. Shelmerdine, wagons and agricultural implements; C. L. Tucker & Co.
(successors to W. R. Graves & Co.), general store; L. H. Odell, grocer; A. C. Reed, furniture and undertaking;
J. D. Grow, hardware (also postmaster); H. A. Cross, grocer and feed mill; Mrs. Nancy Macomber, variety store;
Fred. B. Reed, meat market; Mrs. Ophelia Lanfear and Julia Overton, milliners and dressmakers.
The Baptist church of Lorraine, the oldest surviving institution of the town, and one of the oldest religious societies
of the county, was formed in 1806 with thirteen constituent members. Rev. Amos Lawson was pastor from 1800 to 1815,
and was then succeeded by Rev. Solomon Johnson. Rev. Benjamin W. Capron officiated from 1819 to 1824, followed
by Rev. Parley Brown from 1824 to 1830. The society was legally organized Dec. 23, 1829, the trustees being Aaron
Brown, John Fasset, Benjamin Fletcher and James Gifford. The house of worship was built in 1830, and still stands,
having been frequently repaired. A reorganization and incorporation of the society was effected in 1854, under
the name of “The First Baptist church and society of Lorraine,” the trustees then being J. F. Robinson, Jude Lainson,
M. F. Cole, A. S. Gillet, Aaron Brown and L. D. Reed. This church now has 111 members, with 88 attendants in the
Sunday school. The pastor is Rev. E. P. Whittaker. The church property is valued at $2,500.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Lorraine was organized in 1853, although class meetings were held in the town
long before that time, for among the pioneers were a number of Methodists. The first pastor of the society was
Rev. Isaac Hall. The first trustees were Joseph Grimshaw, James Gifford, Daniel Caulkins, Sardis Abbey, Daniel
Wise, Elijah R. Fox and John Fasset. In 1856 a house of worship was begun under the direction of Joseph Grimshaw,
Sardis Abbey and Daniel Caulkins as building committee. It was dedicated in January, 1858. This society has grown
to be the largest religious organization in the town, numbering at present 117 full members and 37 probationers.
The church property is valued at $2,500. The pastor is Rev. J. W. Barrett.
Lorraine lodge No. 206, I. 0. 0. F., was organized under a charter dated August 10, 1868, with seven members. The
lodge was in existence about fifteen years and then dissolved.
Among the other hamlets of tile town are Allendale, Waterville and Winona, Allendale was so called in honor of
Gen. Clark Allen, and comprises a cluster of perhaps a dozen houses in the northwest part of the town, on Sandy
creek, two miles south of Adams. Among the early improvements here were Martin Rice’s flax mill, a worthy hut unprofitable
enterprise; Caulkins’ grist mill; A. E. Baker’s cabinet shop; George Ripley’s cider mill, and Grove Heath’s store,
all of which, except the grist mill, are now things of the past. H. B. Rogers is proprietor of the grist mill,
and E. A. Baker has a wood-working establishment. In 1871 a post-office was established here under the name of
Caulkins’ Mill, but in 1873 the name was changed to Allendale. It was soon afterward discontinued. The Allendale
school house, built in 1876 - by Martin and Ira Toole, was then considered the best in the town. Waterville is
a hamlet of about half a dozen dwellings in the southeast part of the town, on Hill creek, in the locality where
Warner’s chair factory was for a time operated.
Winona is a post station in the southwest part of Lorraine, and was recently established for the convenience of
the people of that vicinity. The business interests comprise Anthony’s store and cheese factory.
Supervisors.— Asa Brown, 1805—6; Clark Allen, 1807—13; Elihu Gillet, 1814; Clark Allen, 1815—24: John
Boyden, 1825—29; Jared Gleason. 1830—31; John Boyden, 1832— 35; Loren Bushnell, 1836-37; John Boyden, 1838; Elisha
Allen, 1839; Loren Bushnell, 1810; Elisha Allen, 1841; James Gifford, 1842—43; John Boyclen, 1844; Elisha Allen,
1845; John Boyden, 1846; David J. Redway, 1847; Moses Brown, 1848—51; James Gifford, 1852; Jno. F. Robinson, 1853—54;
Elisha Allen, 1855; Parley Brown, 1856—58; Elisha Allen, 1859; Edmund G. Remington, 1860; Philo M. Brown, 1861—62;
E. G. Remington, 1863—64; Samuel T. Tifft, 1865—66; Spencer Woodwarcl, 1867; Philo M. Brown, 1868; Alonzo W. Grow,
1869; Philo M. Brown, 1870; Alonzo W. Grow, 1871—72; Canton C. Moore, 1873—75; Orville C. Tucker, 1876; Canton
C. Moore, 1877; B. A. Caulkins, 1878—79; E. Pitkin, 1880—81; C. C. Moore, 1882; W. R. Grow, 1883; F. A. Moore,
1884; W. R. Grow, 1885; Myron H. Fox, 1886; W. R. Grow, 1887—88; Charles D. Grimshaw, 1889-.97; 0. L. Shelmedine,