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Did You Know

that New York Mills was incorporated as a village on the 4th day of April l922. The first mayorwas Dr. Dean Harrison.

that Twin Ponds Golf Course was called Arhicapa Golf Club, then Utica Country Club

that mules and horses pulled wagons that hauled cotton and supplies from one mill to another

that one of the three boarding houses was in the 300 block of Main Street later house the post office, a grocery store, a private apartment and a restaurant

that another boarding house on Mill Place and Main Street was purchased by Albert Slitz and was called Slitz Hotel, now an apartment house

that there was a theater on the corner of Main and Greenman Ave., was owned and run by John Sroka

that Stella Furgal remembers a zoo at the then picnic grove at the end of Porter Street. The name Wilson’s Grove most recently was known as the National Park

that the middle Mill No.2 is on the New York State Historical register. It was built in l825 of locally quarried limestone in the Federal style architecture

that at one time the fire department was completely composed of volunteers who ran to the mill barn where the pumper was held and would hand pull it to the site of the fire.

That the bells on the mill tower signified a 9 PM curfew. Two night watchmen patroled the streets after dark. The curfew was strictly enforced and all the lights had to be out in the homes at l0 o’clock

That there was a park called Dike Side Park at the end of Garden Street where baseball games were played. Dike is another name for canal

 That the brick apartments on the lower Main street was a grade school and that the brick apartment house on upper Main street was the former New York Mills High School

that the middle Mill #2 was built in l825 and Mill #3 was erected by the same builder in l842. A new building at Mill #3 was built in l868. The bleachery, adjacent to Mill #1 was in construction from l855 to l859. Employees began work ther in l860.

that it cost 5 cents to ride the trolley and prior to this there were horse drawn street cars

that the parishioners purchased the Warner property to build St. Mary’s Church in l913 before the village incorporated. The parish was originally named Parafia Matki Boskiej Czestochowskiej. The property included large grounds on a hill, a house, horsebarn and a servant’s building.

That the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, dedicated on September 6, l925, was formerly St. James Episcopal Church.

That the original settlers of Dutch ancestry had a church. It was referred to as the Hollanders’ Church. It was located on Cottage Street. Peter Kozak later established a grocery store there, now a private  establishment.

That Benjamin Stuart Walcott contributed $10,000 to the building of the Walcott Memorial Presbyterian Church in l881. It is located on Main and Church Streets. The Calvary Pentecostal Church began to use it in l970.

That the First Methodist Episcopal Church was first built in l826 on Main Street across the present library. The village purchased it and now it is used as a community and arts center.

That the Welsh Salem Congregational Church was founded June l, l847. Benjamin Stuart Walcott was its trustee. Later sold to private owners

That the original school houses were built privately by Walcott and Campbell. In l827 there was a school on the now Burrstone road that burned and was never rebuilt and schools on Prospect and lower Main Streets.

That the machinery for the early mills was assembled under great difficulties. The mule spinning was built at Willowvale in a shop constructed for this sole purpose. The carding machinery was built in Matteawan, NY and the roving machines in Auburn prison.

That the name of New York Mills began to be used in l840 by Walcott & Campbell and that in l884 the mills became incorporated with the capital of one million dollars.

That there was a Polish-American Workmen’s Grocery store with a large hall located 2nd building north of Porter street on Main St. The hall was used to teach children on weekdays, wedding receptions and dances on Saturdays and Catholic Mass on Sundays. Anna Ryczek was the grade school teacher. The grocery store was first owned by John and Mary Pezdek; became jointly owned by John Pezdek, Szymon Lichorowiec, Antoni Knutelski, Wladyslaw Furgol, Michal Wojciszyn and Ludwik Swierczek on November 20, l923.This grocery was referred to as the Company store. This large building is no longer

That in l916, Benjamin Walcott sent William Copley to infiltrate a Rhode Island mill so he could learn the secret of the new power loom. Copley returned with the secret information and the Walcott mill had the first power loom in N.Y.State.

That the first mills were a small enterprise, which adopted the Rhode Island system of employing the entire family. In l831, a Utica newspaper had an ad that read “A few sober and industrious families of at least five children each, over the age of eight are wanted”. Records show that an expert earned a dollar per day and that the members of his family earned 50 cents to $l.75 per week.

that during the Civil War, abolition attracted manufacturers such as Walcott and Campbell. Clergymen also favored abolition.

That it took three days by stage coach to Albany. The canal boat, “The Cotton Queen” was owned by the Company.

That the mills were powered by water taken from the Sauquoit Creek and conveyed by canals to the mills. The creek was dammed at the end of the present Greenman Avenue, the abuttments are still visible on the west  side of the stream. Before electricity all power came from the use of stream provided by the Sauquoit Creek.

That Seth altbie was the first postmaster in New York Mills. Previously mail was brought in from Whitesboro.

That Porter street was named after Dr. Norton Porter, one of the first physicians to settle here.

That the stepple on the First Methodist Episcopal Church had a spiral that went up 150 ft. The steeple was struck by lightening and burned. John Edwards salvaged a rectangular block. A fine brick church was rebuilt in l872. Now village Community Center & Arts Center.

That there were five mansions in this community built by the Walcotts and Campbells.

That Agnes and Samuel Campbell had 8 children, 2 sons and 6 daughters. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in l881. The party was very festive and many notables were invited.

That part of Samuel Campbell’s bucolic pastures, where his prized Durnham short horned cattle roamed, eventually became an exclusive golf course. His estate had a back yard that stretched for miles. Prized sheep were also grazing in the meadows.

that music was written to honor New York Mills and the Sauquoit Creek around l855. The music title was “Les Bords due Sauquoit” translated means “The banks of Sauquoit”. The arrangement was  dedicated to the Misses Mary Campbell, Agnes S. Campbell and Elizabeth Walcott.

that there was an article in the Utica Observer Dispatch dated June 3, l990 because Prof. James Pula and Eugene Dziedzic wrote an in depth book entitled “United we Stand” researching the background and conditions in A>.D.Juilliard during the strike of l912, when the National Guard was sent to intervene.

That Mill #3 was devoted mostly to the manufacture of colored fabric. It employed 450 employees.

That the Campbell livestock was auctioned off in l873 at the unprecedented prices for a total of $4000,000 dollars. Campbell Ave., was named for Samuel Campbell and his familty.

that the population of New York Mills is approximately 5,000.

That the first Bell telephone was used in New York Mills at the Walcott home. It is said that the Walcotts were cousins to Alexander Graham Bell. Mr. Bell gave the Walcott family two telephones to amuse themselves with. The phone was connected from the Walcott home to the house next door, known as the Honeymoon Cottage. This happened before l876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where the new invention won great fame.

the mills were incorporated in l884 under the name of New York Mills Corporation and did not become A.D.Juilliard & Co. until l906, when the common stock was sold.

That the Walcott street was named for Benjamin Walcott and his family.

That there were many wonderful physicians in New York Mills. They include Drs. Ira Comstock, Kilbourn, Harrison, Gifford, Leo P. Jankiewicz, Elias, Walter Karwowski, Wm Ryan, etc.

that after Otto Endres, John Kielbasa was appointed police chief, He was called John the Law by the kids. He knew all the children and rode a motorcycle.. He served in that capacity until he retired after 25 years.

That the village has almost twelve miles of streets and roads that need constant maintenance and improvement.

That this community existed before the Revolutionary War as evidenced by the markers on the beautiful Glenside Cemetery. The word glenn is a Gaelic word that means a narrow secluded valley. This historic Glenside Cemetery is situated spaciously at the top of Cottage Street.

That Walcott and Campbell were both Scots. That Scotland is a division of Great Britain, north of England and its capital is Edinburg and its area is 30,405 sq. miles.

That the original fire station was lt in l844 before the village was incorporated. Now the new reconstruction and addition houses the Village board room, the courthouse, the police department.

that the Company’s first mill, built in l808, was named Oneida Manufacturing

Society, later known as the Oneida Bleachery Inc. They were dyers and finishers of sheeting, shirting, broadcloth, sheets and pillow cases. They had an output of fifty million yards.

that there was an advertisement in the paper on November 13, l809 stating that there is a mill now in operation and it invites the public to aid and to cherish this institution which is calculated to support the independence of this country.

That there is evidence that fire houses were scattered throughout the community. There was one on Burrstone Road, New Hartford Streets besides the one on Main St.

That N.Y.Mills’ former mayor, Hon. Stephen Zurek published a book titled”Memoirs of Stephen Zurek, a small town politician” It is a delightful autobiography full of cherished memories of the village and his many experiences in the political arena.

that Amos Wetmore and his large family settled this area on the east side of Sauquoit Creek in l785. Wetmore Street was named afterthe Wemore family.

that in l806 – l812, yarn from the Capron Mill was sent into the surrounding area to be woven on hand looms by the settlers’ wives and children at homethere was an Indian village to the west of this early settlement known as the Oriska Tribe, now renamed Oriskany.

that in l825, the mill operation was spread out in the manner to take full advantage of the natural fall of the Sauquoit Creek and these locations were made possible a fall of twenty-five feet at each of the  water-wheels.

That the first power looms were introduced to America in l812. The mills installed them during the winter of l817-l818. The Walcott Campbell mills

Were the first cotton mill to use them in NY State.

that the stage trip to Albany from the mills took l8 to 24 hours each way

that Walcott’s son, Benjamin Stuwart Walcott, married the Revolutionary War General George Doolittle’s daughter from Whitestown.

That in l839-40 a mill of stone was built to abutt the original grist mill. It was four stories high with a basement and attic. The mill was 230 feet long, 40 feet wide. This building was completely destroyed by fire on February 29, l904.

That the beautiful two circular ponds in front of the present Twin Ponds golf course once served as reservoirs for the lower mills and the company homes nearby.

That the upper mill #3 had spring fed reservoir on the south side of Burrstone road and that the water was piped to furnish drinking water for the mill and the Company homes nearby.

That the Erie Canal, Buffalo on Lake Erie to Albany on the Hudson was opened in l825. Its length is 525 miles.

that in l880 after the steam engine was installed, records show that 6,000 tons of coal were burned to run the mills. Coal was barged in on the Erie Canal.

That Samuel Campbell and his wife had applied for work in l842 at the middle mills as mule spinners and were hired. At that time they lived in a small house in a small settlement southwest known as New York Mills  Gardens.

That in l90l, the name of the Mills was changed to the Fustian Plant, fustian a French word for a thick cotton cloth with a short nap, as in corduroy and velveteen.

That Walcotts and Canpbells built five mansions, 124 company homes and 3 large boarding houses for housing.

that the first board meeting was held at the high school on upper Main on April 15, l922.

That the first public library was begun in l930 prompted by librarian Elizabeth Dunster Radley with the help and urging of Alice Finnegan, an energetic and caring teacher.

That our present New York Mills PublicLibrary was constructed in l973 on the corner of Main and Maple streets. The library is on the Mid-York system and contains more than 24,000 books, records and tapes.

That in l960, the present US Post Office was moved from the 300 block to a new building on the corner of Main and Church Streets.

That there is a magnificent bronze statue of a Union soldier dedicated to the memory of the Civil War veterans on Glenside Cemetery donated by the Hon. Samuel Campbell and dated May l871.

 that the Junior Senior High School was built in l958 off Burrstone Road on Marauder Blvd., and that in l982 it was enlarged to accommodate also kindergarten through sixth grades.

that in l736, the  Sauquoit Creek was called Sadequada, an Indian term for smooth and round pebbled stream and that Sauquoit is also an Indian word meaning short and rapid.

Trivia compiled randomly from sources indicated in bibliography

 BIBLIOGRAPHY

The History of Oneida Couty, Adeline Kielbasa Chaplo, History of NYM
Commemorating the bicentennial of our national independence
The Upper Mohawk Country by David Ellis
Whitesboro, NY celebrates America Bicentenial
 New York Mills by Louis Kallas l976
Whitestown Settlement Days – 200 Years l784-l984
New York Mills History – papers from files of late Robert Willard, Professor emeritus,
 General Education of Utica College

 A Story of a Village is based on fact. The sequence of events at every stage is rich in history. It evolves like a kaleidescope of events. Each piece contributing greatly to the  story. A story of a village could become an inspiration for a hundred more stories or even novels. Each one could be developed and finely-tuned from a different perspective. More than two centuries and the lives of thousands of people cannot be condensed into a few pages of a story. This story is always subject to revision and correction as unraveling and uncovering of more facts permits. If you know a story about the village of New York Mills and would like to share it, please submit it to the new York Mills Community and Arts Center.

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