Yates County, New York

Businesses in the Town of Torrey

From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich



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Businessesof Torrey    

DresdenVillage � With the building of the Crooked Lake Canal, in 1830-1833, there wasabout the same time built up at its eastern termination, a thriving, prosperousvillage to which was given the name of Dresden; but why so named there appearsno present satisfactory explanation.  Thevillage of Dresden, as originally established, occupied the part of the thentown of Milo that bordered upon Seneca Lake, and in close proximity to the canalline, but as the hamlet increased many fine houses an a number of publicbuildings were erected on the more elevated lands north of the village proper,and all were included within corporate boundaries in 1867. 

Asearly as the erection of Yates County, Dresden village had an existence and thegood people of the locality presented to the commissioners selected to designatea site for county buildings their claims to the seat of justice of the county. The broad table-lands overlooking the beautiful waters of Seneca Lakepresented a most attractive situation, not only for the buildings themselves,but as well for the gradual building up of a municipality of considerable sizeand importance.  But, unfortunately for Dresden and its people, the then ownerof this table-land refused to part with any portion of his possessions for lessconsideration than $1,000 per acre; nor would he sell his entire tract foranything less than a fabulous sum.  Theresult was that the county buildings were given to Penn Yan, and thepossibilities of a future Dresden of some note were practically destroyed. However, during the early canal days of Dresden, in a way, was animportant place.  On the outlet weresaw and grist mills, a woolen factory and other industries, while a boat-yardand dry-dock on the canal added to the business of the locality. But when canal boating on and between the lakes began to decline, andyielded to the more rapid transportation by rail, there began also a decline inthe importance of Dresden and her business interests. The old industries were changed in occupancy, and a number of them weredestroyed by fie; and the only manufacturing concerns now within the village arethe Russell & Birkett mills, and one other not in operation.

Onthe 16th of July, 1867, the village of Dresden was incorporated. To accomplish this a numerously signed petition was presented to theCounty Court and five months later the application was granted. At that time the territory sought to be incorporated contained apopulation of slightly more than 300 persons, and the survey made by LorimerOGDEN included within the village limits a little more than 200 acres. The committee to superintend the survey and census taking comprised ofJacob VAN DEVENTER, Charles W. BROWN and George S. DOWNEY. The first officers elected were: Trustees, Luther HARRIS, Edward M. VANCLIEF, Charles W. BROWN, George W. BRUNDAGE and James THOMAS; assessors, AaronM. DAVIS, Charles F. SISSON and Albert G. PROSPER; collector, George W. HAZARD;treasurer, Francis HOOD; clerk, Aaron R. MC LEAN. The officers for 1891 are: President, Benjamin F. PADDOCK, and trustees,Christopher HALPIN and Michael KINNEY; treasurer, George C. SMITH; collector,Charles C. CARR and clerk, Seth YOUNGS. 

Thebusiness interests of Dresden now comprise the general store of Caleb BRUNDAGEand Denniston & Son; the post office and grocery of C. A. DAVIS; the drugstore of Edward CASTLE; the Dresden Hotel of George R. HAZARD; the AmericanHotel, kept by Albert NORMAN; the elevator of Denniston & Birkett and themills before mentioned.  The publicbuildings of the village are the large brick school house and the churches ofthe Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal societies. These, although located in the village, are institutions of the town, andas such will be treated.  



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