Postcard from the 1910's
The Vanderbuilt Hotel, Constantia, NY
Contributed by Pat Latrell
(Found this on PA Rootsweb site-Kiely Malone )
More Photographs of Constantia, NY
Town of Constantia Resources:
Information was obtained from the Historical & Statistical Gazetteer of New York State, R. P. Smith, Publisher, Syr., 1860, by J. H. French.
CONSTANTIA4 ----was formed from Mexico, April 8, 1808. Hastings was taken off in 1825, and West Monroe in 1839. It lies upon the N. shore of Oneida Lake, in the S. E. corner of the county. The surface is nearly level, and is slightly inclined toward the south. The principal streams are Scriba and Black Creeks, flowing into Oneida Lake. Iron ore is found in the Clinton group of rocks, which extend through the south part. The soil consists of clay, gravel, sand, and vegetable mold, and in general is fertile. Most of the interior is unsettled. Frenchmans Island, in Oneida Lake, about 4 miles from Constantia, belongs to this town; it contains about 28 acres.5 Lumber, leather, glass, and iron are extensively manufactured.6
Cleveland,7 (p. v.,) incorp. April 15, 1857, is located on Oneida Lake, in the East part of the town. It contains 2 churches, 2 glass factories, and several other manufactories. Pop. 1,005. Constantia, (p.v.,) in the west part, on Oneida Lake, contains 2 churches and has a pop. of 600. Bernhards Bay, (p.v.,) on the lake, contains 2 churches, a glass factory, and 360 inhabitants. Constantia Center is a p.o. Soon after the purchase of Scriba's Patent, in 1790, Mr. Scriba commenced the first settlement of his lands at Constantia, and established agents and laborers there in 1793.8 There are 7 churches in town.9
4. Named by the proprietor, George SCRIBA
5. "During the French Revolution of 1793, when the French nobility were compelled to seek safety in flight, and the trains of exiles to this country were crowded with dukes and princes of the blood, the COUNT ST. HILARY, a young Frenchman, and his beautiful and accomplished wife, a daughter of the noble house of Clermont, landed upon our shores. Following the trail of emigration westward, they reached Oneida Lake, then on the great thoroughfare of travel; and, attracted by the beautiful island and its primitive forests, they landed upon it, and concluded to make it their future home. Here in the deep solitude of nature, they enjoyed for many months, perfect peace and quietude.
Their place of residence was at length discovered by Chancellor LIVINGSTON, who had formerly enjoyed the elegant hospitalities of the lady's family at Paris. He visited them in their rural home, and, after spending some time with them, he prevailed upon them to return with him to his mansion upon the Hudson. There they continued to reside until Bonaparte had put an end to the reign of terror and restored much of the confiscated property to the exiles of the Revolution, when they returned to France.
Several years after, as Livingston stood upon the bank of the Seine, amidst a crowd of distinguished Parisians, to witness the first experiment of Robert Fulton in steam navigation, he was recognized by the Count, who at once took him to his residence, and treated him during his stay at Paris as a generous benefactor and an honored guest. Livingston's mansion upon the Hudson and the first steamboat of Fulton and Livingston were both named, in honor of the lady's family, "Clermont."
6. There are 34 sawmills, 2 flouring mills, 3 glass factories, 2 tanneries, an iron foundery, and other manufacturing establishments in town.
7. Named from James CLEVELAND, who settled here in 1828.
8. Solomon WARING, Joshua LYNCH, and Dr. VANDERCAMP settled in town in 1793; and John BERNHARD in 1795.
The first birth was that of George WARING, April 11, 1796.
The first store was opened in 1793, by Mr. SCRIBA, and the first inn in the same year, by Major Solomon WARING.
In 1794 -95, Mr. SCRIBA erected in this town the first sawmill and gristmill built in the county.
The first school was opened in 1797, at Constantia.
9. Presb., Prot. E., M. E., Asso. Presb., Friends, Ref. Prot. D., R. C.
The village of Constantia, a station
on the New York and Oswego Midland railroad, pleasantly situated at the
mouth of Scriba creek, was incorporated in 1836, but has since ceased to
exercise its corporate rights. The population in 1870 was five hundred
and eighty-seven. There are within its limits one lawyer, two physicians,
three churches, five stores, one hotel, two Blacksmith-shops, two wagon-shops,
several mills, and a large tannery. The present business men are
The tannery is owned by Robinson & Bros. It was built in 1850, and has been twice burned and rebuilt. The present building is one of the largest in the county used as a tannery. The establishment consumes annually from four to six thousand cords of bark.
The little hamlet at this point, a station on the New York and Oswego Midland railroad, had in 1865, a hundred and sixty inhabitants. It has a general country store in connection with the glass-works, which are owned by Stevens, Crandall & Co. These works employ about sixty men, and manufacture near thirty thousand boxes of glass per year.
Source: History of Oswego County, New
York 1789-1877, published by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
The first settlement in the southeastern part of the town was made by Christopher Martin, of Vermont, who located upon "great lot No. 131," in February, 1821. Mr. Martin describes this locality as being at that time a place of great beauty. The banks of the lake were lined with chestnut- and walnut-trees, while stretching away for miles in the background was an unbroken forest of pines and other evergreens. Game was abundant in the woods, and salmon were plenty in the lake. Mr. Martin erected a frame house, eighteen by twenty-eight feet. During the same year Daniel Howard, Solomon Howard, and Isaac Ward located in the neighborhood.
The first school was kept by Mr. Martin, in the winter of 1822-23, in a log house upon the Vanderkemp farm. This was the first school taught in district No. 1, which included all of the east half of the town. The first school-house was built two or three years later, and was a log building, twenty by twenty-six feet, located on small lot No. 10. The first religious meeting in the vicinity was held in the house of Mr. Martin, in the summer of 1822, by the Rev. Mr. Keyes, a Methodist minister, on his way to attend conference.
In 1824 Nathan Beebe came on. He built a saw-mill the same year, the first one in this part of the town. During this year Mr. Horace Hitchcock located in the neighborhood, and in 1825 James Cleveland, James Dickey, Sam'l H. Stevens, and Abiethy Buck came to the same locality. Mr. Stevens built the first hotel where the village of Cleveland now is. The building is still standing, although it has been several times repaired and altered. It is now called the Marble House, and is kept by Mr. Morgan.
The first store in Cleveland village was built by Messrs. Cleveland & Stevens, in 1826. Shortly after, a post-office was established, and Mr. Cleveland was appointed post-master. It was called "Cleveland," after him, and as the village grew up it received the same name.
Although a stock company had been incorporated under the name of the Constantia iron company as early as March 9, 1814, they had not commenced operations, and it was not until they were succeeded, about 1830, by the American iron company (consisting of Nathan J. Stiles, John C. Coffin, and others) that work was begun. This company selected a site on the west bank of Scriba creek, a short distance above the mill, and immediately began the erection of a furnace. The building was sixty by a hundred feet, and their cold-blast furnace was capable of turning out three potash-kettles per day. The furnace brought other settlers into the village, and in 1834 a second store was erected by Augustus Marshall. At this time the town began to improve much more rapidly than before. The village of Constantia was incorporated by a special act passed May 25, 1836.
The American iron company sold out in 1836 to the Oneida Lake furnace company, which consisted of Moses W. Lester, C. Woodbridge, J. Tucker, and others. In 1839, while this company were engaged in building an addition to their stack, it fell to the ground, almost entirely destroying their building.
In 1840, Mr. Anthony Landgraff, a German glass-manufacturer, who had been making glass in this country since 1819, located at the village of Cleveland, and erected the first glass-works in the county. Although sand suitable for making glass was discovered as early as 1813, several miles west of Cleveland, its existence in the neighborhood of that village was unknown, and for the first year after establishing his works there Mr. Landgraff boated his sand from Verona, upon the south shore of the lake. He discovered in 1841 that his works were located upon a bed of sand far superior to what he had been using. In consequence of this discovery two other glass-factories have since been established in the town, and a large amount of sand is exported annually to other works in this State and Canada.
In 1842 the Oneida Lake furnace company failed. It was succeeded by Newton Dexter, Hiram Blanchard, and Moses W. Lester, who within a short time transferred the property to a company called the Constantia iron company. Mr. Edward B. Judson, the principal stockholder, put in a hot-air blast, and carried on the business for a number of years. In the spring of 1851, the Union glass company was organized. Their works were put up during the year, and the manufacture of window-glass was commenced in the spring of 1852, under the supervision of Charles Hoyt, agent of the company. The manufacture of glass at Bernhard's bay was commenced in 1852, by a stock company.
Since that time settlement has progressed considerably. Mills have been erected upon all the principal streams, and the forest of pines which but a few years since was undisturbed by the woodsman, has found its way in the shape of lumber to the distant markets of the Atlantic cities.
The population of the town at different periods since it was reduced to its present size has been as follows: In 1840, 1476; in 1850, 2495; in 1860, 3413; in 1870, 3437; in 1875, 3491.
The only Cleveland newspaper, the Lakeside Press, is mentioned in the chapter of this work devoted to the history of the press of the county.
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