Saturday, June 7, 2014

Some Industries of Upstate New York

This post uses the Turner History of the Pioneer Settlement of the Phelps-Gorham Purchase to give an account of how early industries in the Purchase; it is a cross-reading, and not an exhaustive list yet.
  • Asheries: In Monroe county, "at Irondequoit Landing, ... [there was, RCK] ... an Ashery, the first established in all this region. It worked up the ashes and black salts of the new settlers for a great distance around it ; shipping at the early period, in 1803, 108 barrels of pearl ash to Montreal. Ashes being a shilling per bushel, enabled the settlers, generally destitute of money, to get some store trade." (p.427) This was probably the ashery that belonged to Judge Tyron (p.429).
  • Canal Construction: Culver built the combined locks at Lockport (p.427).
  • Distillery: In Brighton, the distillery was part of Judge Tyron's store (p.429). 
  • Flouring Mill: Can be used distinctly from grist mill (p.397).
  • General Stores: (See also Indian Trade Stores)
  • Grist Mills: Since one needed boards before one needed to replace hand mills, grist mills were usually built after saw mills [e.g. see Allegany, (p.449)]. The first in Allegany was opened in 1803 by Judge Church (p.449). The mill irons had to be transported, sometimes by boat, and accidents were possible, as the loss of Andrews going over the Genesee falls shows (the boat and the irons were retrieved, however) (p.406 Dagger-Note). Judge Church had them brought in from Albany and paid $6.00 per cwt [= centum weight]for the transport (p.449). Some pioneers like Francis Brown brought the mill wrights and irons with them (p.593).
  • Indian Trade Stores: Culver accepted furs from the Indians, as well as whiskey and cider brandy, and butter and cheese and honey; (p.427), bringing in apples and white fish from Detroit. Culver sold salt for $3.00 the bushel. Judge John Tyron built a store house at Brighton (p.429) and traded goods brought by sledge and by boat from Schenectady (at $3.00 per 112 lbs) for furs with the trappers. With the moving of the shipping business to the mouth of the Genesee river, the store declined and was demolished in 1818 (p.430).
  • Iron Forges: Old iron could be found either where ships went down (p.27) or when old fields were plowed to reveal French axes (p.377; p.472f). William Nixon Lomis built the first near present-day Rochester (p.398). Since iron tools were needed to build frame houses and mills, one could bootstrap the process with an anvil and bellows, as the example of Mr Mann shows (p.525 Note).
  • Mail: Oliver Culver carried mail with skates on ice in the winter of 1805, from Cleveland to Huron (p.429), in four hours.
  • Salt Making: In 1792, Col. Danforth carried his five pail bucket to the Salt Springs to boil up some salt (p.124). In 1806, Norton & Richards of Canandaigua bought the English saltwork tracks and used deep wells to get to the brine (p.525). August Elliot built the first iron forge in Penfield (p.537).
  • Saw Mills: Initially the irons had to be imported by the owners (p.347), e.g. with ox teams from Connecticut. Culver built the first saw mill on Allen's Creek in 1806 (p.429). The first in Allegany was opened in 1802 by Judge Church (p.449).
  • Sheet Metals: Ebenezer Watts started the first copper, tin and sheet iron business in 1817 (p.611).
  • Shipyard: Culver built a lake Schooner, drawn with 24 yokes of oxen (p.427) as well as packet boats for the Erie canal (p.428). 
  • Shoe-Making: Stephen Lusk started the first tanning and shoe making store in Brighton  (p.429).
  • Taverns: Asa Dayton opened the first tavern in Brighton near Irondequoit (p.429). 
  • Tanning: Stephen Lusk started the first tanning and shoe making store in Brighton  (p.429).
There were also "inofficial" industries in Upstate New York, such as 
  • Banditry: General Schuyler and his house were attacked, but due to the defense mounted, only the plate was ransacked and the silver taken on the way out (pp.490-491).

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