Villages and Hamlets
The region encompassed by New Hartford has undergone many changes since the town's founding in 1788. Many of the early settlers hailed from Connecticut. The unincorporated hamlets and population centers that make up the township co-exist with vast swaths of farmland that have been farmed successfully for centuries. Then, as now, agriculture is a major contributor to the area's mixed economy.
On May 13, 1890 Butler Hall was gifted to New Hartford from Morgan Butler. The beautiful Hall was for the community to enjoy music, plays, socials, reunions, and banquets.
This church was the first religious house of worship in New Hartford. Construction started in 1791 and the building was completed in 1797. The towering steeple remains today as the village's focal point, and can be seen from miles away.
Sarah Eames was the only daughter of Jedediah Sanger. For her wedding gift, this home was built for her and her husband John. Sarah lived in this home until her death in 1861.
The village of New Hartford has had a citizens band for over 100 years; this image dates from around the time of its founding in 1915.
This photo of Genesee Street looking west was taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The village center has always been a site of commerce with numerous businesses coming and going over the years.
Jack and Andy Gunn ran several diners from 1932 until the late 1950s, including their diner on Genesee Street.
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Jedediah Sanger is the “Father of New Hartford.” Bankrupted from a fire on his New Hampshire farm, Sanger purchased 1,000 acres of land from White on either side of Sauquoit Creek in March 1788. This land, part of the Coxe Patent, came to be known as New Hartford.
Sanger heavily invested in the area erecting a saw mill and a grist mill by the beginning of the 1790s. He also partnered with Charles McLean, Samuel Wells and Elijah Risley to establish the first newspaper east of Albany in 1793, and he became engaged in the manufacture of cotton in the first decade of the 1800s. Sanger eventually sold his land on the east side of the Sauquoit Creek to Joseph Higbee for a tidy profit. Higbee became the second person to settle in New Hartford.
Chadwicks/Willowvale is a village of about 1,600 inhabitants, located on the Sauquoit Creek in the Town of New Hartford. In 1813 John Chadwick, Abner Brownell and Ira Todd came to Chadwicks and founded the Eagle Cotton Factory and the Willowvale Bleachery. These two companies built homes for their employees, near their place of work, many of which remain in existence today.
Eventually a number of small businesses were established to serve the needs of the residents. This community became self-sustaining with a drug store, grocery store, post office, bakery, dairy store as well doctors, dentists, and other businesses.
The Willowvale Bleachery was built in 1880 by George Chadwick. The mill initially made sheeting for beds. It later become a dye mill and then a bleachery.
Willowvale Bleachery workers in front of the building in 1906. The Bleachery was the one of the primary employers in Willowvale with 300 workers.
John Chadwick Sr. was born in Lancashire England in 1783 and after coming to America, he learned the textile trade.
In 1813 John Chadwick Sr. and his partners bought a strip of land along the Sauquoit Creek and built a wooden frame cotton mill. It burned down in 1844 and was replaced with the stone structure pictured here. It was known as the Eagle Cotton Factory and was equipped with the latest machinery.
Located on Elm Street in Chadwicks Johnson's was a general store and the building was also home to the Post Office.
The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Station on Elm Street, was built in 1905.
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Located on the Sauquoit Creek on Kellogg Road from 1840 to 1879, the A.T. Stewart Woolen Mill produced men’s woolen underwear and suits in addition to women’s cloaks.
In 1884 this building was a variety store owned by James T. Davies. The upstairs was used as a meeting space for the Masonic Lodge until 1918.
The Durrenbeck Hotel was a going concern in 1894 when this photograph was taken of Mrs. Durrenbeck and her children. The family lived upstairs.
This one room school house on Chapman Road was built in 1910. It employed two teachers and was last used in 1945.
The Washington Mills train depot was located on Kellogg Road and was in use until the 1950s. Subsequently, it was used for many years as a community building by the Town of New Hartford.
The first record of the Washington Mills Methodist Church was in 1872, when it was the First Baptist Church Society of Washington Mills.
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The hamlet of Washington Mills stretches along Route 8 and Oneida Street from Utica's city limits to the railroad track crossing going south—a distance of about 3 miles.
The center of this hamlet is at Oneida Street and Kellogg Road/Chapman Road. Connecticut native Solomon Kellogg settled in this part of New Hartford in the late 1700s and built a woolen mill along the Sauquoit Creek, which was later to become Stewart’s Woolen Mill.
Farms developed in this area due to good soil and water runoff into the creek. The Sauquoit Creek supplied all the power needed for the mills.