The History of Otsego, NY 
Elm Grove


Elm Grove was the name given to a little settlement about one and a half miles east of Louisville. A store was situated on what is now the corner where Mr. Ellis lives. A lane ran down to near the creek, and at the foot of the lane was Elm Grove Factory. This factory was built in 1815 by Robt. L. Bowne & Co. The company was the rest of the family. Here were manufactured woolen goods and satinets. Broadcloth was made which sold for $10 per yard. All the weaving was done by hand. This company failed in 1819. The factory was afterwards owned by Saul. Starkweather, and operated by ------- Greenwood. It was burned in 1819. It was rebuilt, but never did much business. Robt. Bowne and Co. owned the first store, and S. S. Bowne was the first clerk. This building now stands, the first house off the creek towards Pittsfield beyond Van Rensselaer - s farm. Wm. Grant, the boss clothier, lived where Geo. Haynes now lives. Here is where Dr. rice lived, and his son Thomas, who built a furnace and manufactured cast-iron plows. A tannery was also erected here by J. K. Lull and Sons. To-day there is a large chair and cabinet factory, owned by Geo. Benjamin. Jos. Bowne lived on the wheeler place. Silas Neff had a grocery-store near where Thompson Bemis is building a house. We give a few names of the persons who worked in the factory: Wm. Stewart, supervisor. Christopher Gifford, Jesse Ayers, Jas. Gledhell, Heman Lloyd, Richard and George Gibson, Peter Backus, ------ Raymond, etc.

The whole territory of Elm Grove proper was laid out into lots of one-quarter and one-half acres; many sold about home and in New York city. The three acres of Tracy - s are six building lots bought of R. L. Bowne by John Alexander. Wanton Weeden was the surveyor.

About seventy years ago one wing of the Bowne mansion was built; the main building was erected by Robt. L. Bowne (Peter Platt, builder), in 1817. The house is to-day one of the largest in the country, embracing forty rooms, some of which are very large. It is pleasantly situated on a gentle rise of ground in the valley near the Ticunderrah river, commanding a view of the valley twenty miles in extent, from New Lisbon on the northeast the hills of Sydney on the southwest. Fifty years ago it was owned by Geo. Sheppard, by whom it was sold in 1830 to the Loomis brothers, who sold it to Oliver and Joseph Somers, and they sold it to Hon. S. S. Bowne, and it is now owned by his two sons, Charles and John. A framed school-house stood on the lower side of the road, on the corner near the site of the present one. In one end was a large fireplace, and the seats were made of rough slabe from the saw-mill. Here many of the Lulls, Palmers, Aldriches, Gilberts, Alexanders, Lawrences, Todds, Moores, etc., of the district, graduated. Wm. Gilbert first settled at the outlet of a little lake in the town of Laurens; he afterwards, in 1820, moved on the farm now occupied by his son, Butler Gilbert. It was on this farm that the three towns of Laurens, New Lisbon, and Butternuts joined, and a large butternut-tree was made the corner; hence the name Butternuts. The tree was cut down, and three large trees grew from the stump, one of which is standing to-day. Mr. Lull lived where Mr. Whitcomb now resides. Nathaniel Moore lived where his son Nathaniel now lives, Squire Moore lived where Kirkland lives, Amos Palmer lived where Mr. Hall resides, and Dr. Yates owned 1,000 acres adjoining on the north.

The Quaker meeting-house was a log building situated on the Bender farm (Cruttenden), between the old burying-ground and the turnpike. The old Episcopal Church (Harmony), as it was called, after the new stone one (Zion Church) was built, stood on the south side of the road, near the corner. It was used for some years by the Methodists, and finally town down. It was built by John Aiken, by what is known as the "scribe-rule." The present Friends - meeting-house was built by Robt. L. Bowne about 1817. A road ran on the side-hill from A. G. Moore - s residence to the old church in front of the meeting-house, and the road up the hill ran on the east side of Moore - s residence. Where the factory school-house now stands there used to be a large red woolen and cotton factory. Ellis Cook and John Moore commenced it, and sold out to factory company. This company included the names of Judge Franchot, V. P. Van Rensselaer, Benajah David, Uri Jackson, Dan Smith, J. C. Moore, Joseph Gilbert, A. G. Washbon, and others. The stone factory was built in 1825, and commenced business in 1826. The cotton was shipped to Catskill, and from there hauled to the factory by horses and wagons. Asa Ames was for many yeas the teamster. It was not an uncommon thing to be two weeks making the round trip. Large quantities of the cloth wre peddled out through the country. A factory was once built between the bridge and Mr. Rotch - s farm-house (N. Lull), but the machinery was never put into it.


Transcribed by Holice B. Young

Original website created by Debbie Axtman

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