Friday, November 28, 2008

History of Richmondville

Contrary to popular belief, Richmondville was not formed on April 11, 1845, but rather April 11, 1849. All of Richmondville was taken from Cobleskill, when it was originally founded, and in October of 1851, part of Seward was also annexed.

The first settlers were Germans named George Warner and John Zea, who settled near what is now Warnerville. During the Revolution, the Warners were patriots, and, in fact, the first building that the Warners built here was the first in the county to be burned by the enemy. During the same war, John Zea Jr. War killed at Cobleskill, and his brother, Nicholas, was a Tory who fled to Canada. Now, there are no more Zeas left in the county.

In 1778, a small group of Indians was spotted by patriots. Although cautioned not to follow, a group of about sixty patriots pursued the Indians. The patriots were ambushed, and many were killed, while some escaped. During the escape, four heroic souls gave their lives, as decoys, to save the lives of their fellow comrades. The Tories and Indians proceeded to burn homes and barns, but luckily few, if any, women and children were killed.

George Snyder, a Cobleskill native, was born in 1833, and was a veteran of Fort Sumter, where, as you know, the Civil War began. A seminary was built in Richmondville in 1853. Richmondville also had a paper mill, an Iron works, a hotel, and even had the first mail carrier in the county, who delivered his mail by horseback. The town had four churches, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, The Baptist Church, and the Christian Church of Warnerville. The town also had a bank and a schoolhouse.

One of the citizens of West Richmondville was once a plantation owner, who was spared from a revolt thanks to a friendly slave. Richmondville also had a water-powered facility fed by two reservoirs. In the town and it’s hamlets were various industrial people, including a photographer, and a hop-press maker.

I find it interesting that in every chapter that gives the history of a town, it’s churches are also mentioned. It shows the religious tendencies of the earlier Americans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find it so interesting that my home town had such a large past and yet sadly today is wasting away due to stale politics and over taxing of local business. Thank you for this bit of history!