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 Table of Contents 


Chapter 1 - Geology, Prehistory and Historical Background

            Ancient seas and glacial lakes.  A hilltop stone workshop and other ancient relics.  From Henry Hudson to the French and Indian wars.  Arrival of the Palatine Germans.  Sir William Johnson, Joseph Brant, and the Adaquitingues.  Parceling out the Indians’ land.  


Chapter 2 - Settling the Land

            Fur trade and pursuit of other riches.  Davenport ’s first known settlers.  Scotch Highlanders in the Charlotte Valley .  Loyalists, rebels and Indians in the American Revolution.  Scalps and more scalps until it was all over.


Chapter 3 - Organization of the Town of Davenport

            Post-Revolution population growth.  Organizing a new town.  Officials and functionaries.  First schools.  Evolution of the town government.  The choosing of town officers.  A chronicle of long-serving town officials.


Chapter 4- Trails, Rivers, Roads and Rails

            Indian trails and rivers.  Paths, turnpikes and roads.  The coming of the Charlotte Turnpike.  Stages and inns.  The coming of railroads.  The C. & C. V. reaches Davenport Center …and stalls.  First, stagecoaches, then a train from Stamford .


Chapter 5 – Trade and "Manufactories"

            Timber and ashes.  Whiskey, leather, wool, and ice.  Fergusonville and Simpsonville in the 1800s.  Davenport village (once “ East Davenport ”), 1800s.  Butts Corners, 1800s.  Davenport Center (“Centre” until the 1900s), 1800s.  West Davenport , 1800s.  East Meredith[1] (“ Briar Street ” until 1868), 1800s.  South Worcester [2].  Goodrich/Strader/Sherman Lake ice harvests.


Chapter 6- The Changing Face of Agriculture

            Cereal production: wheat, oats, buckwheat, rye, , corn.  Potatoes.  Butter and cheese.  Flax and wool.  Apples and apple cider.  The rise and fall of hops.  Poultry.  Where did all the maple sugar go?  Farming at the millennium’s end. 

Appendix: Davenport ’s farms in 1865 and the Golden Age of Davenport’s agriculture.


Chapter 7 - Hotel Keepers, Blacksmiths, Carpenters and Shoemakers

            Jobs in the mid-19th century.  Job changes over time, 1850 to 1905.  Jobs, trades and services in Davenport ’s several hamlets, about 1869.  West Davenport .  Davenport Center . East Meredith. The hamlet of Davenport .  Davenport ’s brief “newspaper age.” Fergusonville.


Chapter 8 - Schools, Doctors, Firefighters, and a Water Company

            Davenport ’s schools.  The Fergusonville Academy .  Davenport ’s medical services.  Fires and water: Davenport in the early years.  Fire and water: Davenport in the modern era.  Davenport ’s “First Responders.”  Firefighting by East Meredith and Pindars Corners.  Firefighters and the community.


Chapter 9 - Religion, Social Life and Play

            Methodist circuit riders.  That old time religion.  Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and Catholics.  After the Congregationalist lesson.  The IOOF and Rebekahs.  The Freemasons.  The many roles of the church.  The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).  Family organization.  Christmas celebrations—or not.  All sorts of bees.  No longer so sinful dancing.  Sugaring-off and coon hunting.  Courting and weddings.  Funerals.


Chapter 10 - Old Wars and the Great Depression

            The Delaware County militia.  The great anti-rent war of 1845.  Volunteers, draftees and substitutes in the Civil War.  Even before Teddy’s “Rough Riders.”  The war to end all wars.  The Great Depression in Davenport .  Welfare and public works.  Milk strikes of the 1930s.


Chapter 11 - Davenport's Four Granges and a New Town Hall

            The Davenport Grange.  The Granger movement and earlier Davenport Granges.  Local grange rivalries and an unexpected schism.  The rebirth of Davenport ’s Grange Hall.


Chapter 12 - How Landscape and Wildlife Have Changed

            Where did all the deer go?  Floods and flooding.  Davenport ’s dam battle.  The motorization of America —and Davenport .  Modern improvements to rural roads: the Urwin and Donovan Plans.  The friendly skies above Davenport .


Chapter 13 - Tent Shows, Plays, and Visitors

            Fairs and tent shows.  Old Home Days.  Plays and shows in Baldwin ’s Hall.  Boarding houses and hotels.  City folks in Fergusonville.  Davenport ’s ponds and lakes.  Pine Lake (once Stroder, Goodrich, Sherman).  The Dan Shermans of Sherman Lake .  Beaver Spring Lake .  Sexsmith Lake .


Chapter 14 - Davenport’s World War II and Its Aftermath

World War II comes to America —and Davenport .  Davenport civilians soldier on.  The end of WWII and afterwards.  From the fire to the frying pan: the Cold War and Korea .  Still more wars and conflicts.


Chapter 15 — The Times They Are A-changing—Once Again Davenport in the Modern Era

            Some things change but little.  Davenport ’s Bicentennial Celebration.  The CVCS as a case study of changing times.  What wonders modern times hath wrought.  Population growth, decline, and re-growth.  Land use and ownership.  Commercial changes.  The 2003 property reassessment.  How farming has been revolutionized.  The lumbering and lumber mill revolution,  A subtle but important development—philanthropy.


Epilogue - Where Do We Go From Here?

            What of Davenport ’s future?  Climate change.  Future population growth.  Other rural changes.   Will planning help?  Can “Smart Growth” be the answer?

            Appendix: Davenport ’s Land-regulation History.




Book Index




    Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley RR meets Ulter & Delaware RR, Davenport

    Fergusonville, NY - 1900s

    Davenport - 1800s

    Davenport - 1900s

    Davenport Center, NY - 1800s

    Davenport Center, NY - 1900s

    West Davenport, NY - 1800s

    West Davenport, NY - 1900s

    East Meredith, NY - Late 1800s & Early 1900s

    Town of Davenport, NY, roads and place names (Fold-out map inside rear cover)

    Detail of Town of Davenport, NY, including 2002 property lines)



CD-ROM Insert: (this CD)  Complete text of each chapter in “WebPage” format, with “search” capability.  Includes a detailed, multi-color map of Davenport and surrounding areas, listing of Davenport town officers by name and year, listing of Davenport postmasters, listing of WWI and WWII participants from Davenport, and genealogical material on John Davenport (from contributor Jeffrey Griswold ).  Also included are technical papers on estimating Davenport ’s population in the early years and a complete account of all Davenport farms, sorted by last name and by farm size, for 1865.  The CD-ROM also includes down-loadable images of all the maps and photographs found in the book, including the collection of smaller images reproduced at the end of some chapters.


[1] Although part of the Town of Meredith , a close neighbor of Davenport Center .

[2] Not a part of Davenport but a neighbor of Davenport ’s Fergusonville and Simpsonville.


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