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Carpenter House at North Norwich

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[From: Next Stop, Galena - A Historical Perspective of North Norwich, New York 1849-1999]

Carpenter Hotel in  North Norwich. Notice Post Office sign at far left side of building. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hayes are among those on the porch balcony. Chenango County Historian's office           By Mildred Hazard     Stephen Merritt built a two-story hotel in 1816 on the southeast corner of Main and Cayuga Streets. In its early history it was called Tavern Stand. Merritt kept it until about 1840, and then sold it to John Wight. (1)     In 1865, a North Norwich native, Lewis E. Carpenter, became the proprietor for 12 years. He was a popular and entertaining landlord of what became known as the Carpenter House. Lewis Carpenter was engaged in lumbering, operating a sawmill (2) and was a carpenter by trade. He added a third floor to this building and made extensive alterations and improvements. The 1869-1870 Gazetteer and Business Directory lists Mr. Carpenter as proprietor of “North Norwich House…

When Crane and Dickinson Were Actual Ports

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Binghamton Press November 24, 2015                         By Gerald Smith, Broome County Historian     When you try to describe where things are in a particular area, you begin to fall into the common habit of speaking in the vernacular — using the local lingo to tell that person how to get somewhere. Of course, those of us who have grown up here have no problem with that, but consider the stranger and the often-confused looks we see after using that local description.     In two instances, we might get those strange looks. It has happened to me when I tell them about taking the Brandywine Highway up past Port Dickinson and then Port Crane. In the first instance, some people are aware that the village of Port Dickinson was named in honor of Daniel Dickinson, our leading political figure for much of the 19th century.     The other question arises when you try and describe Port Crane. First, it is not an incorporated place,  there are no specific boundaries, mayor or local council. It …

Armour Was Hoggie on Chenango Canal

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Philip Danforth Armour Sr., the famous meat packing magnate,  was born in Stockbridge, Madison County, on May 16, 1832. He was the son of  Danforth Armour and Juliana Ann Brooks and one of eight children who grew up on his family's farm.
 Armour was descended from colonial settlers of Scottish and English origin, with his surname originating in Scotland. He was educated at Cazenovia Academy until the school expelled him for taking a ride in a buggy with a girl. Among his first jobs was that of driver on the Chenango Canal. 
Mrs. Fannie J. Bailey who celebrated her 103rd birthday January 27, 1935, was a student at Cazenovia Seminary in 1847-48. Wholesome good times were enjoyed by male and female students, despite the seminary’s strict rules. Buggy rides and walks were popular. Her first boyfriend was Armour. But she gave up her friendship with him because “I couldn’t stand the grease he used on his hair.”
   When Armour was a boy he and his family attended the Congregational Church…

Chenango Canal at Bouckville

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Landmark Tavern Dates to Canal Days

















  The history of the beautiful and historic Landmark Tavern building begins with the efforts to procure a canal route from Binghamton to Utica. This route would join the coal fields of Northern Pennsylvania with the recently-opened Erie Canal.The farms, hamlets and villages of the Chenango and Oriskany river valleys, through which the proposed canal was to be constructed, had the potential for great prosperity if this new transportation route were built.
  The canal would also bisect the Third Great Western Turnpike (today’s Rt. 20), which ran through the hamlet of Johnsville.  Johnsville was later renamed Bouckville.  Johnsville in the 1820’s and 1830’s was a small cluster of homes and businesses, mainly on the eastern end of the hamlet.  The western end of present-day Bouckville (formerly Johnsville) was referred to as a “cedar swamp” in newspaper accounts of the 1820’s.  Farms in the area had originally been established on the hillsides to avoid d…

Chenango Canal in the Oriskany Valley

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Model of a Chenango canal boat displayed at Hamilton Public Library made by Lee Brown Coye. Note the sweeps on the sides to enhance navigation.     It is so easy to whisk up the Oriskany Valley these days in a motor car that you probably don’t think of the place as ever having been isolated. But back in the 1820s, when the main stream of Erie Canal commerce was passing it by, the hinterland folks began to get a persecution complex.     Obviously what was needed was a canal for everybody. And particularly a North-South canal connecting the Erie with Binghamton, the Susquehanna, and the Pennsylvania coal country.    So up and down the Oriskany and the Chenango, folks organized themselves into a mass “pressure group.” They hired their own engineers to make surveys. They sent out promotion “literature” to everyone of any importance. They bombarded the newspapers, and generally launched a lo-year struggle to “sell” the idea to the Legislature. (You didn’t think “lobbying” was something new…