The Pioneer History of
 Orleans County, NY
Eagle Harbor

By Arad Thomas

Online Edition by Holice & Deb



Eagle Harbor, a thriving village on the Erie Canal, in the town of Gaines, is said to have been so named because a large bird's nest was found in a tree growing there about the time the canal was surveyed, supposed to have been built by an eagle.

The land on which the village is built was for a number of year at first held under articles from the Holland Company.

Harvey Smith took a deed of eighty acres on the south-east corer of lot thirty-six, November 1, 1819. Stephen N. Chubb took a deed on fifty-three acres next north, September 6th, 1834, and Macy Pratt, of on hundred and thirty-eight acres north of Chubb, November 29th, 1819.

On the east side, Asahel Fitch took a deed of one hundred twenty-five acres, part of lot twenty-six, February 20th, 1821. James Mather took a deed of two hundred acres next north of Fitch, November 27th, 1829; and Robert Hunter, one hundred and seventy-six acres next north of Mather, January 31st. 1828.

South side of Canal, fifty acres of lot thirty-five were deeded to Amos S. Samson, December 22d, 1836.

Stephen Abbott took up the land afterwards deeded to Harvey Smith, and commenced cutting down timber on it in the winter of 1812. This was probably the first clearing done in Eagle Harbor.

Little improvement was made until work was begun on the canal. The high embankment over Otter Creek was constructed by a man named Richardson. He opened a store here to accommodate his workmen, which was the first store.

Hicks and Sherman bought Richardson's store and continued it after him.

A Mr. Hicks built the old red warehouse, the first in the village, south side of the canal, where Collins' warehouse now stands. This was owned and occupied by A. S. Samson afterwards.

In 1832, this warehouse was sold to Willis P. Collins, who opened a dry goods store in it and continued it about six years, then built a store and warehouse on the east side of the street and moved there.

David Smith built the first sawmill about forty rods north of the canal, on Otter Creek.

James Mather built a sawmill on the south side of the canal in 1826.

N. Pratt, J. Delano and L. Northrop, built the lower dam and sawmill in 1825.

James Leaton bought the Hunter farm, and he in company with W. P. Collins, built the north flouring mill in 1837. This mill was burned in the fall of 1839, and re-built immediately.

A large flouring mill on the south side of the canal was built by General E. S. Beach, in 1847. This mill has since been burned.

The brick church was built in 1827 by the united means of Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptist, and owned half by Methodist, and one-fourth each by the other denominations.

The first meeting house was taken down and rebuilt in 1845, the same parties building and owning the new house, as they did the old one.

The Wesleyan Methodists erected their church edifice in 1845-6.

Eagle Harbor post office was established about the year 1837, with W. P. Collins first postmaster.

The first school house was built in 1822, on the west side of the street.

The second schoolhouse was built on the lot now owned by the district, 1841; and the third school house in 1846.

Col. Jonathan Delano was the first carpenter and joiner.

Samuel Robinson was the first shoemaker, and David smith, the first tavern keeper.

Col. Delano and Sam. Robinson the first grocers. Mr. Hurd the first blacksmith, and Dr. James Brown the first physician.

The growth of Eagle Harbor has been greatly promoted by the large capital employed there by Gen. Beach in erecting mills and manufacturing flour, and by the active business energy of Mr. Willis P. Collins, for many years a resident in the village, and the foremost man in every enterprise tending to add wealth and importance to the place.

The Pioneer History of Orleans County, NY, By Arad Thomas


Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

You are the Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since January 9, 2002.

January 2002