A Brief History of Fleischmanns
in the Town of Middletown
The following piece was given to me by my cousin Charles Persons in Albion, NY. It was handwritten on lined paper with no date or author's name. --Joyce Persons Riedinger, December 17, 1996
The village of Fleischmanns was originally known as Griffin Corners, named in honor of the honorable Matthew Griffin, who was the first postmaster here, besides being one of our first business men.
Mr. Griffin served as postmaster from the establishment of the post office in 1848 until 1879, a period of thirty-one years.
The first post office in this vicinity was located at Clovesville. John Beadle was postmaster there and held that position for thirty years. Mr. Griffin, a lawyer by profession, conducted a general store upon the location which Dr. Wilson's residence now occupies, from 1833-45.
At the end of that time, Mr. Griffin built a store known as the "Old Red Store", upon the site now occupied by the Banker residence. This store was conducted as such until the Banker house was built about twenty years ago.
In 1848, the Griffin Corners Hotel was built by Mr. Griffin and conducted until 1855.
Griffin Corners, and the surrounding territory was originally owned by Gen. Henry Armstrong, and comprised a tract of 9,999 acres of land, known as the Armstrong Tract.
This land, for many years, was rented to individuals who settled here for the purpose of carrying on agriculture or seeking employment at the Humphrey Tannery located at Clovesville. later, the land was bought for permanent homes by most of the tenants.
The Ulster and Delaware Railroad
was begun in 1869, under the name of the New York and Oswego. The name was changed many times until finally the present one was adopted. The first train passed here, Oct. 24, 1871.
Before the coming of the railroad, communication with the outside world was carried on by means of a Delhi-Kingston stage line. Two stages each drawn by four horses made daily trips, going in opposite directions, carrying passengers and mail.
The road from Kingston to Delhi was constructed of planks. The expenses of maintaining this road, were defrayed by means of numerous toll gates located along the stage route.
the first church built here was the Methodist Episcopal church. It was built in the early eighties, due to the efforts of the Rev. P.N. Chase, pastor of the Clovesville church at that time. The building project was greatly promoted by a contribution of one thousand dollars, made by a wealthy Grand Hotel guest.
The Clovesville church was used by the Griffin Corners and Clovesville Methodists, until the new one at Griffin Corners was built. Upon the completion of the new church, the one at Clovesville was sold to, and used by the Baptist people. The Clovesville Methodist Episcopal cemetery was set off in 1835. The first adult interned there was Baxter Mulnix on May 5, 1837.
The first school here was located upon the site now occupied by Engleman's store. In 1851, a new school building was built upon the land now known as the Sameth property. The first term in this building was taught by Jas. Taylor for fifteen dollars per month. This was first a one room school, later two more rooms and additional teachers were added.
The present school building was completed in 1909. Mr. Harkness was principal at that time.
The Skene Memorial library was erected during the fall of 1901. Andrew Carnegie donated the sum of five thousand dollars for the erection of the building, as a memorial to the late Dr. Skene, who was formerly a summer resident in this locality, and a boyhood friend of Mr. Carnegie.
Lake Switzerland was built in 1908 by Mr. C. H. Vermilyea.
The first National bank was the first one in town. It was located in the building now owned by Mr. Kaufman, and being used as a market. Mr. J.L. Keator was president of this bank. later another one was started in the building now owned by Mr. N. Silver, the tailor. This was at first a private bank. Later it was chartered as a state bank, and called Citizen's Bank. In 1911, the two banks were moved to the new and present buildings.
In 1913, Griffin Corners became incorporated under the name of Fleischmanns, in honor of Julius Fleischmann, who at this time presented the ball ground to the village. The first village president was Mr. C.H. Vermilyea.
There were two post-offices being conducted here prior to this date. One was located at the Ulster and Delaware station and called the Fleischmann's post-office. The other one was located in the Barrett block, where Gold's hardware store now stands, and was called the Griffin Corners post office. After the incorporation of the village the two were combined.
Fleischmanns first became a summer resort in 1875, when three boarding houses, namely the Brihler, Banker, and Vermilyea residences opened for business, each accomodating about a dozen guests. Since then, yearly additions to that list have been made, until now there are about thirty summer hotels and cottages within the incorporation. The accomodating capacity varying from fifty to three hundred guests. The latest and largest hotel is The Takenassee
, which accomodates approximately three hundred guests.
So, Fleischmanns has grown from a small settlement to a thriving village and summer resort, of which the residents may be justly proud.
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