History of Edmeston, New York/1880s

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The history of Edmeston, New York: 1880 through 1889

We were in Edmeston a year ago and when we saw the telegraph poles and telephone lines, thought it would not be long before the steam horse would arrive. And before this great change let us glance at some of the people as they are today, and whose example youth may well follow.

The owner of the splendid residence and large shoe store at the foot of the hill near the cemetery is William Joslyn, Fifty years ago he was a poor boy without parents to guide his way from the temptations that ruin so many; always kind and generous to his playmates, ready to help all and wrong none, with but little time at school, he learned the tanners and shoe trade with Mr. Bilyea about a mile from the village. Until sale shoes were made, shoe making was his only occupation, and by early learning Franklin's rule, "that he must keep his shop who would have his shop keep him," and by the superiority of his work attracting customers for miles around, always careful of unnecessary expenses, (we do not know that he ever owned a horse, for his business did not need one), he occupies a position that many, with all the advantages of wealth to start with, might well be proud of.

A short distance down the creek we find the master mechanic and Natures nobleman, Louis Green, standing perhaps at his forge, while in some of shops, iron is moulded in various forms, and in other plained as smooth as glass. And all of this machinery is run by water wheel of his own invention, said to be the best wheel in the United States. he also invented and manufactured for sale various farm implements — his plows and horseshoes are known the best in the section.

As we return, we pass the residence of James Ackerman, If fine Churches, academies, school houses, stores, hotels, and dwellings add to the beauty of the country and the welfare of the people, Mr. Ackerman should receive the thanks of the whole community, for it has been largely by his industry and executive ability, that both village [hamlet] and country presents so fine an appearance. He has been a large purchaser of timber from all sections. He paid five thousand dollars for what was on fifty acres of land. The logs were hauled to this village and sawed, and thence to his large machine shops for doors, window sash, blinds, etc. His son Burt now carries on the shops, while he farms it as health permits.

We saw at least forty bushels of wheat to the acre on his farm last year. — James Slocum

The first local paper was published in 1882; The Wharton Valley Echo — later the Edmeston Echo and finally the Edmeston Local. This enabled the recordings of history from which people can learn the interesting facts, but to the editors, their main function was record current happenings and spread the word. the Edmeston Local left Edmeston to be published in Gilbertsville during the 1940's Even with the same name, the "hometown paper" feeling was lost and the publisher sold to the New Berlin Gazette, in which the Local is now swallowed. — Sandra Lohnas Haggerty

Owners of the two Edmeston hotels up to 1883:

Benjamin Peet, a man of renown,
Built and run the first hotel in town;
Then Levi Goodsell bought the same,
He closed it up and sold him out,
Lost all he paid, I have no doubt.

This first hotel was the Pleasant Street Hotel, built around 1800 on East Street where the current fire house is. High Street was the northern way out of town at that time. Bootman's Store was across from the hotel.

W. Burlingham run it one year,
Then Benjamin Arnold’s records appear.
I think I am right, but have not the dates,

And then to Aunt Sarah Smith it was sold,
She married Dan H. and she had the gold.
A great many years it was run in his name,
At last had to rent because he was lame.

Uncle John Gaskin run it a spell,
And E.G. Waldo, how long I can’t tell.
It once was rented to Esq. Styles Gray,
And Morgan to Nelson, how long I won’t say.

It was run by Vandenburg, the miller,
And then was sold to Dr. Wheeler.
Was kept some time by his son John,
Then Adams bought it when he was gone,

By 1890, the hotel was known as the Brady house. It had many different owners, and at one time was the center of hamlet life.

And then John Davis was mine "host",
He kept it until he leaf the coast;
It next was taken by Deloss,
And he believes he is the boss.

It now is sold to T. R. Barrett,
I understand he will repair it,
He rented it to Hoffman next,
I do not mean the Governor EX.

A man by name of S. H. Preston,
Built under the hill to learn us a lesson,
That two hotels was better than one,
And kept it himself when it was done.

This was the second hotel in town. Preston bought the land from Adin Deming, the first settler in the area. He built the hotel sometime between 1840 and 1843 at the location of the current Bank/Post Office building

He run it quite a spell;
But afterwards desired to sell.

Then Lovett Hoag bought the stand,
And opened it up to try his hand.
Of course he kept a number one,
Then rented to Walter, his son.

Did not exceed his father a bit,
Then E. G. Waldo hired it,
He run it some years then left it off,
It was then rented to Risedorf.

In the time when things looked blue,
It was rented to Donahue.
I think that Waldo had it again,
And run it and sold it to Chamberlain,

I forgot to mention P. E. Kenyon,
Remembered by all in this dominion,
Then Chamberlain built over the whole,
And sold it to Mr. Cole.

Cole run it for a term of years;
But did not make much it appears.
He sold it to Hatheway & Co.,
The price he got I do not know.

Then Barton bought and owned it through,
Until the Spring of eighty-two,

It was then sold to Arthur Wells,
I need not tell of anything else.
Except to stop all further asking,
It now belongs to John S. Gaskin.

Gaskin, from New Berlin, New York was the owner in 1883.
New Berlin Gazette, Jan. 23, 1883

Subsequent owners of the Gaskin House included:

  • Not many wanted the business for more than a year or two.
  • In 1903 an addition was made to the west side (back).
  • By this time a couple of fires had caused the elimination of the third floor. The Tasior family resided on the second floor. Porches were removed and the only business transacted was a bar.
  • Joseph Tasior sold it to Central National Bank in 1987. They tore it down and put a new bank and post office on the site.

Some topics covered in the Wharton Valley Echo, Published in Burlington Flats, NY, Talbot Bros. Proprietors

Vol. 1 No. 9 — Jan. 13, 1883

  • Family Dr. corner features home cures
  • Dr. Lough has purchased the Merison Smith home and will leave Burlington

Vol. 1 No. 10 — Jan 20, 1883

  • Arthur Wells has sold his hotel to John Gaskin for $4,000
  • Hopkins taking inventory preparatory to a change in his firm
  • Shall we allow New Berlin to compel us to go to Silver Lake to attend the Edmeston Burlington Fair? I guess not.
  • Homer Underwood preparing to plaster his new house.

Vol. 1 No 11 — Jan 27 1883

  • A.A. Wells has sold his hotel to John Gaskin of New Berlin
  • The donation of Elder Santee held last Thursday evening passed off very pleasantly, the proceeds being about ninety dollars.
  • Shall we compel several mechanics and laboring men to leave town for want of a house to live in? We hope not.
  • There has been some talk of opening a new street across the lands of Mrs. John Barrett, if that should be done, it would make several splendid building lots, and business for our mechanics and at the same time help to build up the village. We think the idea a good one and hope all business men will work for it. [The street would have run from Donnie Talbot’s house on South Street west behind Chesebrough’s ending on Dutch Valley Road (1990)]

Vol 1 No 18 — Mar. 17, 1883

  • George Coman to work for N.N. Talbot — $28 per month for 8 months

Vol. 1 No.14 — Feb. 17, 1883

  • Comments on buying and selling being the order of the day

Vol. 1 No.16 — Mar. 3, 1883

  • List of people with measles
  • Mention of bad weather

Vol. 1 No. 23 — Apr. 21, 1883

  • George Hecocks sold his sawmill a short time past, two or three weeks ago, the latest freshet took away his dam, a great loss to him. John Lathrop says it was built 51 years ago

Vol. 1 No. 24 — Apr. 28, 1883

  • One would think Edmeston to be a city with the number of drummers in town

Vol. 1 No. 26 — May 12, 1883

  • The Underwood boys are nearly finished with Bramer’s Dam
  • John Gaskin took out a license
  • Cheese factory making 24 cheeses a day. Brockway was in town and shipped 75 boxes 13 1/8 cents per pound
  • Dr. has taken 40 feet of tape worm from Lynn Hopkins

More topics covered in the Wharton Valley Echo, Published every Saturday at Burlington Flats, NY, Talbot Bros. Proprietors

Vol. 2 No. 4 — Dec. 8, 1884

  • The hammer rings, and the rearing of new structures goes on, and it is the prayer of our business men that it may never stop.
  • The hill west of the new hotel is gradually becoming "NON EST."
  • Pro baseball in Edmeston was mentioned

Vol. 2 No. 19 — Mar. 22, 1884

  • Truman Barrett has sold his hotel to Lyman Barrett, his brother.
  • Quite a number of sales of real estate this week
  • Delos Smith bought Ackerman’s house
  • Henry Williams bought the house of Richmond Talbot
  • Dr. Chesebro purchased house of Homer Underwood
  • Dr. Sumner Arnold is moving to Mt. Vision.
  • N.L. Greene is hauling stone for his house on South St.
  • C.W. Hopkins and son have timber for their new store. and Lucas boys for their marble shop.
  • Elwain Southerland to carry milk From North Edmeston for neighboring farmers

Vol. 2 No. 21 — Apr. 5, 1884

  • Half a column was devoted to people who recently moved into Edmeston
  • The Lucas Boys’ shop is nearly finished
  • Homer Underwood is remodeling the old hotel barn to be used by the new hotel

Vol. 2 No. 22 — Apr. 12, 1884

  • Now published in Edmeston by the Talbot Bros.
  • Edmeston Enterprises — Edmeston is a pleasant village situated in the Wharton valley and contains between four and five hundred inhabitants, and carries on quite an extensive business.
  • Wm. Talbot & Sons have one of the finest and best stocked store to be found in any country town; their stock consists of dry goods, groceries. drugs, medicines, crockery, hats, caps, ready-made clothing, paints, oils, etc.. They are also proprietors of the Edmeston Mills, where you get all kinds of feed, corn meal, flour, etc., and on with Mr. A. Voorhees as a miller you can get all custom work in a workman like manner.
  • Wm. Joslyn runs a first class boot and shoe store, and any one that has ever worn goods of his make will be likely to call him a second time.
  • C.W. Hopkins & Son are doing a heavy trade in stoves; their shelves are filled with as good goods and as fine an assortment as one is likely to find outside the city.
  • Wm. Humphry, our harness maker, keeps a well stocked harness store and anyone wanting a heavy or light harness cannot do better than to call on Will; he keeps on hand, whips, robes, blankets, etc.. He also deals in buggies and cutters.
  • T. Barrett deals in general merchandise, drugs, boots and shoes, flour and he has a heavy stock of wallpaper.
  • Joseph Talbot has just opened a store on South Street.
  • Homer Bilyea has a first class insurance office; he represents fifteen fire insurance companies.
  • L.D. Smith deals in musical instruments; he is having a store fitted for him; he is selling at present quite a number, and when he gets fairly settled in his new rooms we bespeak for him a heavy trade.
  • C.H. Horton is also a dealer in musical instruments. He also sells the "White" family sewing machine, and to anyone that is in want of a machine before you purchase I would say just step in Henry’s room, in Bilyeas’s block and he will very soon convince you that the “White” is the machine.
  • S.B. & E.L. Ackerman employ quite a number of men in the sash and blind shop, they manufacture a large amount of sash, blind, doors, mouldings, and are dealers in lumber. They have connections in what line of goods you may want. They also do undertaking business.
  • If you want painting, kalsomining, white washing, or if your furniture wants retouching call on Halsey Underwood, he will do you a first class job.
  • Lewis Spencer has the tannery, where you can get the highest price for your deakin skins, hides or pelts.
  • If you want your horses shod call on Levi Brown or Aurthur Wells and you will get a job that will please you, or any other job in the blacksmithing line.
  • If you want any castings you can get them of Lewis Green, who runs a foundry and machine shop; and by the way Lewis is a “heavy weight” blacksmith, and what he does for you will be done in a mechanical and workman like manner.
  • If you want a house built you want to remember that Homer Underwood is the man that can do it in a manner that will please the most fastidious, both in design and finish. He has on hand a heavy stock of lumber and timber, and is prepared to furnish anything in that line. He employs some fifteen men in the coming season.
  • Richmond Talbot employs quite a number of men and is doing a good business as a carpenter.
  • Brown Hopkins as wagon Maker is turning out some very well made wagons this spring. He has in his employ, Jason Powers who is as good a wagon maker as is to be found anywhere, and any one that is the least skeptical I would like to have them step in and see a light buggy that he is building for Dr. Lough, and be convinced.
  • The Lucas boys, manufacturers of marble work, can do a nice job, and at prices that will be satisfactory.
  • Dr.s Lough, Chambers and Chesebrough are physicians that are practicing medicine here and are men of skill in their profession.
  • We have two hotels; the Gaskin house and Lyman Barrett is about to open the new one on the hill, and then we will have the accommodations that will be second to none, and any one that has ever stopped with uncle John Gaskin well knows this to be a fact.
  • Erwin Davis has a meat market under the telegraph office where you can get the choicest cuts of veal or fresh pork.
  • If you want any mason work done Brooks and Morton are the men that can just do it all for you.
  • Gillas Hudson as stage proprietor is doing a paying business; all express matter entrusted to his care will be strictly attended to. He also draws the freight from Unadilla Forks to this place.
  • If your watch needs fixing or you want a good cigar, just step into the telegraph office and S.C. St. John can accommodate you.
  • Or if your hair needs cutting, or you want a nice shave, D.B. St. John in the same building can do it for you.
  • If you have any pictures that want framing or you want to surprise your wife when you get home, by binging her one of those large pictures that Lewis Gates is selling, then just step up North St. and he will show you a very nice line of goods.
  • We have two dressmakers, Mrs. George Brooks and Mrs. John Webster in the east part of the village, where you can get both cutting and making with neatness and dispatch.
  • In the millinery department Mrs. John Wood or Mrs. Emma Brooks can furnish the ladies with anything in this line of goods.
  • And last, but not least, when you come into town just step into the printing office on South St., and get your printing done, and patronize the printers leaving them a dollar and by doing so receive the Wharton Valley Echo for one year.
  • Lemons are being sold for 1 cent
  • The Cheese Factory started last Monday morning with 1900 lbs. of milk, the most they ever took in the first day.
  • Joseph Talbot is filling up the store formerly occupied by his son John with a general stock of merchandise.
  • Over 100 window frames at a time is the way the Underwood boys hand in their orders at the sash factory.
  • The barn for the new hotel is being refitted and Lyman expects to have the "Hotel Barrett" open soon to the public.
  • Wm. Talbot has bought the lot, opposite Lewis Gates house, of A.T. Gates, and is going to move the dwelling house near his store on to it. Homer Underwood is to move it for him and with his help is getting the rollers today.

Vol. 2 No 27 — May 17, 1884

  • Stage — a weekly feature
    • Edmeston Ma??s –Stage leaves Edmeston for Unadilla Forks at 7 AM. connecting with the morning train to Utica. Leaves Unadilla Forks on arrival of morning train from Utica, arriving at Edmeston at 1:30 PM
    • Stage from New Berlin to Cooperstown, leaves Edmeston on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9A.M.
    • From Cooperstown to New Berlin, leaves Edmeston on Tuesdays Thursday and Saturdays at 11AM
  • Anyone wishing to purchase a bicycle should call G.D.Barrett
  • The Ackerman Bros. Furniture wagon I s on the road every day now delivering the goods.
  • The carpenters have commenced framing Hopkins & Son’s new store. The masons have the wall nearly complete.
  • W.D.Medbury is having an attack of the improvement "fever", and judging by the fence in front, and the trees in his grounds, he is having it hard.

Vol. 2 No. 44 — Sep, 1884

  • The Edmeston Burlington Agricultural Society held its 18th annual fair. [the paper had a description of the three days]
  • The Edmeston Band had an out-door concert
  • Ely Chamberlain has a new store opened.

Vol. 2 No. 48 — Oct. 11, 1884

  • List of Premiums awarded by the Edmeston and Burlington Agricultural Society from animals to fruits and vegetables, to arts (including penmanship)
  • F.Hinman’s Comedy Company will give an entertainment in this village this (Friday) evening.
  • Lewis Spencer is having his house raised up from the foundation. Homer Underwood is doing the job.

The Erie Canal was of tremendous importance to New York’s commerce and to farmers near its route, but it brought ruinous competition from the Western States to this remote region and others. The coming of the steam engines, which could operate in these regions and during the winter as well as in the summer, soon triumphed over river traffic. In 1889, the railroad was extended from New Berlin to Edmeston; it reached to Sidney at the opposite end. The coming of the railroad led to the building of a shipping station in 1890 for the exporting of milk. Farmers could then dispose of their milk more easily and get a better price, for instead of carrying their milk to cheese factories as they had to do, they could ship fluid milk directly to New York City; even then, Edmeston was recognized as one of the finest dairying section in New York State. The railroad meant much to the town. Edmeston was the rail head for a rich farming territory and the freight hauled was tremendous, both out and in. But with the coming of good roads "probably is only a short time until the right of way will be abandoned" F.T.50 This prediction was correct — in the late 1940's the tracks were removed.

The worst and first flood was in 1889; not much is recorded about this tragedy.— Sandra Lohnas Haggerty