Wednesday, December 15, 2010

History of Sharon Springs

Sharon was part of Tryon County from 1772-1784. Tryon was renamed Montgomery on April 2, 1784. On February 16, 1791, part of Carlisle, Seward, and Sharon formed the town of “New Dorlach”. When our county was formed, Sharon was annexed, and it’s boundaries were defined in 1797.
All the immigration stopped during the Revolution, but afterwards people started to go to Sharon. Peter Sommers kept the first store in the town, but went to Canada during the Revolution, and never returned. William Beekman was the first judge in the Court of Common Pleas, which he held until 1833. Beekman was also elected to the Senate in 1799, 1800, 1801, and 1802. He also built a mansion west of Beekman’s Corners, and died on November 26, 1845.
Many of the Indians and Germans remained loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. In 1777, some people answered the call of the Crown. On July 10, 1781, the battle of Sharon took place, in which Colonel Willett of Fort Stanwix battled a man named Dockstader, a Mohawk Tory. Although Dockstader commanded over 400 Indians and Tories, and Willett commanded under 300, the patriots took only five losses, while Dockstader took over 70. After the war, a few people petitioned the legislature to be compensated for things lost during the war.
At Moak’s Hollow, the Mynderts and other people were captured by a band of Indians and Tories. Mrs. Myndert was allowed to go, but the rest were taken to Niagara. They were still held after the war, but escaped by digging under their prison’s wall. William Kneiskern, who was taken to Rebel Island, escaped by binding three brandy casks together, and floating to America.
Previous to the Revolution, many of the settlers were well-to-do people, but the Revolution left them in poverty. By 1800, most, if not all, of the town was occupied. In 1793, the “Great Western Turnpike” ran through Sharon, and the thoroughfares that ran through the town gave a major business boost.
Beekman’s Corners was a booming town in the first quarter of the 1800s. This is where Judge Beekman lived. Dr. Sylvanus Palmer, whose pen-name was Peter Paradox, called Governor Bouck, soon after he was elected, a “Sour Kraut”. Peter A. Hilton built a brick mansion and storehouse in Beekman’s Corners.
Peter, Martin, Mathias, and Jacob Engle settled in Sharon in 1798. Peter built a grist-mill in 1810. Inside Sharon was the hamlet of Leesville, where it’s post office was located, and was where the town’s main business took place. Located in Leesville were three hotels, two stores, a tannery, and a blacksmith.
The springs of Sharon were highly acclaimed, for they were believed to hold disease curing abilities. Indians used them, in fact, long before the whites came. Provisions for accommodating settlers were started around 1825, by David Eldredge, who started to take in boarders, and added rooms upon his home to provide room for extra travelers. A major boarding home was constructed by a company from New York City, and afterwards, many more hotels were built by various people and companies. The book lists the minerals found in the springs.
Christian Myndert was the first to settle in Sharon, whose farm was purchased by Tinas Pynneo. Another name for Sharon is Moak’s Hollow. Some of the first settlers in Sharon were the Loucks, the Davenports, and the Klings, who still remain in the county. It’s amazing that the book devotes a big section to local graves.
It’s too bad that Sharon never became a big city. People have their theories why this never happened, but mine is that it didn’t happen because of the smells.

1 comment:

ckburns said...

Carol Burns here - relative of Zenas Pynneo Burns - from Currytown at the time of the revolution. Interesting history - always thought the name "Zenas Pynneo" was a family name.