Quincy Square Museum
East Main Street
Earlville, New York
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In the Beginning - Part I
Earlville, unlike many villages, was never nursed and mothered by a township. Like Topsy, it has "just growed".
Because of the confluences near here of the two Madison county branches of the Chenango River, the first name was
Madison Forks, and The Madison Forks Obituary Society was the name given the present Earlville cemetery when its
charter was issued in 1824.
The Chenango Canal, connecting Utica and Binghamton, was begun in 1834 and finished in 1836. The canal
commissioner, or else the contractor, who built the section through here, was a man named Earl. So appreciative were
the people of the great benefit to be gained by the coming of the canal that they named the little cluster of houses
"Earlville". The canal cost $2,316,188. It was operated forty years and was officially abandoned in 1878.
A blind man named Benjamin Thetge had a small store about where now stands the Central Hotel. Strange though it
may seem the colloquialism of the time transformed the name Thetge into "Teeky" and for many years the nickname
Teekyville was used locally about as much as Earlville. It appears to have been a fad of those days to have a nickname
for nearly every village. Eaton was called Log City; Georgetown was Slab City and Lebanon, Toad Hollow.
Some personal memoirs written by Deacon Simeon A. Benton. Sr., says in 1810 there was no road where now is West
Main street. There was then only one house and that a hotel on the corner which is now the village park. The hotel
was owned by Charles Otis. In later years it was rebuilt and for years was called the Felt house.
About 1804, a tavern was built where now stands the home of Avery Reynolds on North Main Street. Squire James
Eldredge was the proprietor and he was also the postmaster. This was the only post office in this locality at that time.
In 1808 Erastus Daniels came from New London, Conn., and built a distillery just east of Mr. Reynolds' barn. He died in
1819. The distillery passed to others and was soon discontinued. Jared Pardwee arrived from Herkimer in 1811 and
because of a wonderful spring nearby built a tannery a short distance southeast of the Daniels distillery. An ashery
was built directly south of the distillery where they manufactured potash from hard wood ashes. A blacksmith shop
was operated on the corner of Mr. Avery Reynold's lawn by Edward Hayward and someone had a store nearby. Surely
they had a good start for a village and for years that settlement was called Red City because red was the color on all
the buildings. (Red City is the area of Earlville now known as North Main Street. The original hotel was located at the
site of 114 North Main Street, east side.)
(To be continued)
Earlville - Past, Present, Future.
Historical and Prophetic Sketch Being Prepared by Mr. John R. Parsons.
John R. Parsons Historical Writings Revisited