Delivered Before the Herkimer County Historical Society February 13, 1904

View of Moss Island, Little Falls, N.Y.

View of Moss Island, showing proximity of early 20th century factories

Little is known of the history of Little Falls prior to the Revolution. In old patents the Astorogan Rock and "the little falls" or "the upper falls" are mentioned.

The Mohawk Valley was in the 17th and 18th centuries the gateway to the West from the settlements near the Hudson River to the fur producing Indian settlements of present western New York and the farther West.

In 1725 the German Flats or Burnettsfield Patent was granted to Germans of the early Palatine immigrations. Of this patent, lot No. 13 on the north side of the river extended from the Astorogan Rock near the paper mill, to a point east of Fifth Street. This lot was granted to Mary Eva STAURING, the wife of John Adam STAURING, who made his settlement on lot No. 28 of the north side, opposite the present Fort Herkimer. The lot next west was lot No. 12 and was granted to John Jost TEMUTH (DEMUTH), and extended from a point east of Fifth Street to a point just west of Lock Street. The next lot west, No. 11, was granted to Mary BEERMAN and includes with its eastern part, the Inland Lock, the State Dam and part of the flow caused by the Upper Dam. It is extremely doubtful that any of these three lots were used for the purpose of an agricultural settlement by the original owners. The land was extremely rough, full of rocks, pot-holes, swamps, uneven and apparently not tillable. Local tradition says that all three lots had come some time before the revolution into the possession of the PETRIE family. John Jost PETRIE was the great merchant of this locality in those days, and he may have foreseen the possibilities of using the water power of the river at this point. That the PETRIES had at an early date landed interests at Little Falls is shown by the following of which the original is in possession of Mrs. Arnold PETRIE:

          Albany, July 11th, 1761


I am directed by his Excellency General Amherst to acquaint you both of his being informed of your obstructing his Majesty's Service at the Little Falls. Together with the addition of limiting the King's highway eight yards, and offering to pull down a house erected for his Majesty's Service only, and that if you do not immediately desist from such insolent behaviour, he will treat you both with the severity your Crimes deserve.

          Your humble servant,

Outside of the Water Powers, these and the adjoining lots east were valuable as they controlled the carrying place around the Falls of the river and the leases of lands for taverns, stores and the license of passing the lands would naturally have gone with the title.

The land east of lot No. 13 of Burnettsfield Patent was part of the Royal Grant, an unnumbered lot, called by Sir Wm. JOHNSON on his maps "The Stripe" and extended along the river from the Astorogan Rock east to the present Fincks Basin Bridge. The Stripe was willed by Sir Wm. JOHNSON to his eldest son by Molly BRANT, together with other property, and was forfeited to the State of New York as Peter JOHNSON as a captain in the British Army during the war of the revolution had come under the act of attainder. There is reason to believe that Peter had assigned his rights in his Little Falls property after the death of Sir William JOHNSON in 1774 to Sir John JOHNSON.

It is now proper to introduce certain other personages closely connected with the history of titles at Little Falls. James ELLICE and company were during the middle part of the 18th century an important firm of merchants connected with the general merchandise, forwarding, importing and exporting trade. PHYN and ELLICE were also a large house pursuing a similar mercantile career. Alexander ELLICE, a native of Edinburg and a close friend of Sir William JOHNSON, was also an important and wealthy merchant. All these ELLICES were of the same family and they and their descendants were the pioneer stock of the large fur companies, which later on became such a powerful factor in the West and Canada. Alexander ELLICE was a large landholder. He acquired several patents in his own name and owned a large share in patents acquired by Sir William JOHNSON and others. Most diligent search in the office of record in this State and also correspondence with the descendants of the ELLICES' in England and Scotland, have failed to reveal where Alexander ELLICE obtained title to lots No. 12 and 13 Burnettsfield and the Stripe in the Royal Grant. The plausible interpretation is the following: Sir John JOHNSON acquired from his half brother, Peter, the Stripe and from the PETRIES their title in the Burnettsfield lots and transferred all these lots to Alexander ELLICE. Alexander ELLICE returned after the revolution, or perhaps during the revolution, to Europe and remained there for some time. He was probably loyal to the British Crown, but avoided committing such overt acts which would bring him under the ban of attainder. This is plainly shown by the fact that he was permitted to hold his various landed interests in this State unmolested and that he was even permitted to acquire additional lands which had been sold by the commissioners of forfeitures. The other person connected prominently with the earliest history of our City is John PORTEOUS, a native of Perth, Scotland, who came to America in 1761. After passing the early years of his life in the occupation of an Indian trader in the then far West, near Detroit, he settled as a merchant in New York before the revolution. He was also a seafaring man as shown by a log book still in existence. Whether true or not, local romance connects him also with the business of privateering during the revolutionary war. After the revolution we find him in Nova Scotia and until about 1790 as a merchant at the City of Schenectady. In 1790 he came here to Little Falls where he kept a store at Fifth Street just north of the present Watchman' shanty at that crossing. His house stood there within memory of living men and was known as the PORTEOUS house, or the Yellow house. PORTEOUS was an educated man of literary taste, a fluent writer, a federal in politics and connected with the politics of the time, and a special friend of the patroon of Albany. Many of his papers have come into the writer's possession and they fully bear out that John PORTEOUS was a man of high attainments for his time. His papers show that he had been closely connected with the interests of the ELLICES for many years past and that he acted for them in a confidential capacity. All the first elements of lasting settlements of this town are due to John PORTEOUS. An original map, now in my possession shows that there was in 1790 only one mill and no other building at this place. Another original map in possession of Mr. LOOMIS, made between 1790 and 95, shows on the north side of the river some 12 or 15 houses. The first entry on public records concerning the property at Little Falls, north of the river occurs in 1801, book 13 of deeds at page 292, when William ALEXANDER and Henry FREY, as executors of the will of John PORTEOUS (who had died in 1798) conveyed to Alexander ELLICE the Little Falls property. This deed refers to a lease made by Alexander ELLICE to John PORTEOUS in 1794 which conveyed lots 12 and 13 of Burnettsfield and the Stripe, stating "Deemed to have become forfeited by the attainder of Sir John JOHNSON." From this period on the chain of title to all Little Falls property is traceable.

On the south side of the river the land is embraced in the patent granted in 1752 to John Jost HERKIMER and others and commonly known as the Fall Hill Patent. The patentee was the father of the general, not the brother. When he, John Jost died in 1775. He left lots 15 and 16 to his daughter, Odelia HERKIMER, the wife of the revolutionary soldier, Colonel Peter BELLINGER, whose homestead was located just west of the Foley Place on German street and is now occupied by the West Shore railroad and has entirely disappeared from view. Lot 15 extended from a point west of the Driving Park to about the TRASK Ice House. Lot 16 extended from the latter place to about the Warrior Mower Shops.

Lot 17 extended from the Warrior Mower Shops to Perry's lock and was divided into 12 subdivisions; it fell to the share of George HERKIMER and through him got as small parcels into different branches of the HERKIMER family. Lot 18 extended east from Perry's lock, embracing both what is known now as SEELEY and MOSS Island and the STAURING farm. It was originally the property of the ROSECRANTS family, the wife of the Rev. Mr. Abram ROSECRANTS, being a sister of General HERKIMER.

The islands in the river were patented by the colony of New York to Peter WINNE in 1741 and this patent was also acquired later on by Alexander ELLICE.

After viewing so far the titles let us consider the question whether or not a settlement existed at Little Falls prior to the revolution, and if so of what extent was the same. The name of Little Falls was given to this locality in order to distinguish it from the great carrying place at Cohoes. In the very early records the name is used in such a way as to indicate a small settlement. The carrying place on the north side certainly necessitated some buildings. The traffic along the Mohawk grew with the extension of the settlements towards the west and the necessity of supplying the garrisons and carrying on the trade of exchange with the Indians. Heavy and bulky loads must have been sent around by wagon or by sleds, and shelter for the horses and teamsters must have been provided. Early church records show that there was here a tavern kept by a man of the name MAC QUEEN, who figures as a witness at several baptisms and weddings. There was a garrison of soldiers here, as some of them were married by the Stone Arabia Pastors. In the first survey of the Royal Grant in 1764, Isaac VROOMAN the Colonial surveyor states that on Friday morning he intended to finish his survey from the Little Falls down the river to the land granted to VAN DRIESEN, but the Indians had hunted some Beaver and Martins during his survey and had sold the same at Little Falls for rum and got drunk that it was out of my power to do anything with them. Consequently somebody must have dealt in furs and whiskey here then.

Whether a settlement existed or not at that time, the barren, rocky land was not an inducement for the German Peasant to settle on. The location of all those lands, deep in the gorge between the mountains, provided a very unsafe place for a settlement, as the Indians and other enemies could creep from all sides stealthily upon any settlement existing there. Tradition tells us that after the Germans began to settle around that part of the northerly hills formerly known as Riemenschneiders Bush and on the southerly side on top of the Fall Hill, that the demand for a mill grinding grist, and flour became so great that the ELLICES, under some agreement with the JOHNSONS or possibly with the PETRIES, established a mill on the north side of the river, which took water from the river by a small wing dam and also utilized the water of Furnace Creek. It was a small mill which must have been located somewhere west of Fifth Street, south of the New York Central and west of the GILBERT Knitting Mill. It is generally believed that the so-called Stone Mill on Mill Street (now the property of the Little Falls Packing Company) is built on the original of the ante-revolutionary mill. I think that this is an error. I have before me the obituary of Gersham SKINNER, a revolutionary soldier and a native of Connecticut, who died on February 13th, 1824. In the article appearing in the "Peoples' Friend," a few days later it is stated that he was in the Little Falls mill "which stood formerly on the spot now occupied by the pond" when Tories and Indians set that mill on fire and killed Daniel PETRIE, son of Joseph PETRIE, the founder of Herkimer and Little Falls.

It is claimed by some that Alexander ELLICE had an interest in that old mill before the revolution, though proof of this statement is lacking. After careful researches on this subject I have come to the conclusion that the firm PHYN & ELLICE of New York, rebuilt immediately after the revolution, the mill burnt down at the time of Daniel PETRIE'S death. A mill so located would use only very little of the flow of the river and it is probable that a new and better located mill was not erected until about the time of the arrival of John PORTEOUS as agent for the ELLICES and owner of the land by lease. The mill then erected is substantially the mill as represented by the foundations of the mill variously known as the "Stone Mill" or "MONROE Mill." Let us now consider the situation on the south side before we look into the developments of the water powers. Colonel BELLINGER lived at the west end of our present city. There were probably one or two houses on that side, among them the VROOMAN House, a tavern standing just west of the West Shore crossing on German Street, and a JOHNSON family lived south of the river just opposite Perry's Lock. Christopher P. BELLINGER and JOHNSON are said to have been in control of the carry on the south side of the river which was established by the HERKIMERS prior to the revolution. It led from Perry's Lock up to the School House, then along Casler Street past the VROOMAN House and from there to TRASK'S Ice House. It was established to compete with the Petrie carry on the north side. The late Sandy CASLER told me that Colonel Peter BELLINGER and some of his sons built a grist mill west of the present Rockton Mill which was destroyed either by fire or water. He was under the impression that the mill had been destroyed twice and then was never rebuilt. After the death of Odelia BELLINGER, the property, that is lots 15 and 16 went to her children, agreeably to a clause in the will of John Jost HERKIMER.

In 1801 Peter BELLINGER conveyed to Christopher P. BELLINGER, his son, that part of 15 and 16 between the landing place and lot 17. This grant was probably intended to convey all the water power rights which Peter BELLINGER claimed. Before the death of Colonel Peter BELLINGER the heirs must have found out that the title was not in their father, but rested in themselves through their mother and on January 26th, 1811 all the children of Peter BELLINGER and their husbands and wives, conveyed to him lots 15 and 16; in that way he was enabled to divide his property according to his own notions and he willed lots 15 and 16; to Christopher P., his son. From subsequent transactions, it appears that between 1801 and 1814 Christopher BELLINGER and some of his brothers had erected a grist mill. The grist mill occupied the ground on which the easterly part of the Rockton Mill now stands.

With this long introduction I have brought my statement up to about the year 1825, that is to the period at which ELLICE owned only the Grist Mill on the north side and had not given any leases for other mills. On the south side Christopher P. BELLINGER had brought out his brothers and owned the riparian rights and a grist mill and perhaps an uncompleted saw mill on the south side of the river.

Alexander ELLICE died in 1808 and the property went to his wife and children and Edward ELLICE, his son, bought out the other interests and became the absolute owner in fee of it. Sir Edward ELLICE did not visit the property very often. He lived in England. He was a member of Parliament and a man of great wealth. His main interests being in the development of the fur trade and he was one of the leading members of the Northwest company and later of the Hudson Bay Company. Through his influence the great companies were consolidated in 1821.

The growth of the country had demanded and accomplished the canalization of the Mohawk by means of building the locks on the north side of the river at Little Falls and at other places. This canal did not prove sufficient and the first Erie Canal was constructed, to be followed almost immediately with the demand and agitation for an enlargement. At that period of 1825, from which I propose to start, the first or Clintonian canal had been finished on the south side of the river. At Little Falls the settlement had grown up with the old canal on the north side of the river, and in 1824, in order not to injure the part of the village on the north side, the state was prevailed upon to construct the aqueduct. Mr. ELLICE gave the land and a liberal contribution, and the citizens and the State furnished the rest. The aqueduct of which the remains still stands, for many years connected the mills, the manufacturing and the shipping of the north side with the Erie Canal on the south side. To those not familiar with the locality, I state that from the upper lock of the Inland land and navigation company of Lock Street, the old canal was used to a point south of the present New York Central Depot; from there a connection was made turning at right angles and joining the Erie Canal a little ways west of the present lock 38. The basin as an inland harbor was also constructed on land given for the purpose by Mr. ELLICE. The site of the basin is now occupied by Clinton Park.


The natural height of the fall at Little Falls was at the time before the inland canal was constructed according to the engineers report 4 feet and 7 inches. The erection of the upper dams has raised the pond west of the city somewhat and the Five Mill Dam east of the city changes also the level of the river below several feet. I have not been able to obtain accurate data in regard to these changes, those which I have been able to get were contradictory.

At the west end of the city in the river is located an island called Lock Island. It lies closely to the northerly shore. From that island to the north shore is a dam built and maintained by the State and known as the "State Dam." From the pond created there water runs through the uppermost lock into the mill race, which carries it some distance east to the GILBERT Knitting Mill, is there utilized and empties into the river. From the south side another dam reaches over to Lock Island known as the "Bellinger Dam." It is of the same height as the State Dam and from the pond created water is taken into the feeder of the Erie Canal which enters just east of Lock 39. There is also water taken from this pond for a number of mills which are located along the original BELINGER mill race. This water is carried further east and does not enter the pond created by the middle dam, but the last of it enters the Mohawk River at about the same level of river as the waste water of which powers 9 to 15 on the north side of the river.

The middle dam furnishes water on the north side for the 22 water powers of the Powell map, on the south side for the Loomis power now occupied by the Kingston Paper Mill. The third dam is the so-called lower or GILBERT-LOOMIS Dam. A fourth dam is still traceable under the surface of the water and was erected by Richard Ray WARD at a point just below the Gulf Bridge, for the purpose of creating a series powers of low head and large volume of water along the present location of the New York Central Railroad.


We will now consider the various water rights as they were established by the Grants. Christopher P. BELLINGER conveyed in 1826 to Alanson INGHAM the necessary water, "for the sole purpose of erecting carding machine, fulling mill and turning lathes and no other or different machinery or purpose whatsoever, excepting water enough for a grist mill with two run of stone and a slit mill." From the deed it appears that Ingham had built his mill prior to the conveyance of the land. The amount of water is very indefinitely described. It reserves to BELLINGER all the water except what is necessary to carry the above machinery of INGHAM. The INGHAM property was to pay one-third of all necessary repairs and maintenance of Dam, etc. INGHAM sold the property in 1831 to Milton D. PARKER of Utica. In the meantime (1829) Arphaxed LOOMIS had purchased of BELLINGER all his water rights and he conveyed in 1831 to PARKER "forever the right and privilege of using upon the lands now owned by Alanson INGHAM and occupied by him, for his clothing works and machine shop and which the said PARKER contemplates purchasing, from the water above as granted from LOOMIS by BELLINGER, sufficient to carry three run of stone in a flouring mill when used on the most approved and economical principle, to use, have and enjoy said water as the same flows to the extent above mentioned, for himself, heirs and assigns forever, over and above the quantity which said INGHAM has used in said works and to which he is entitled by his deed, but it is distinctly understood if not sufficient water can be had, that said PARKER is to bring in said water at his own proper cost and expense, through any channels through which said LOOMIS is by his deed entitled to bring in the same which privilege of bringing in said water LOOMIS grants to said PARKER in common with LOOMIS." In this way the Ingham-Parker Power and Right was described and no change has been made since. This property passed from the daughters of PARKER to George ASHLEY in 1863 and he sold it in the same year to C. B. LEIGH and William H. ROBINSON. The latter conveyed in 1873 his interest to C. B. LEIGH, who conveyed in the same year to Michael REDDY and it has been used by the REDDYS and by the late and lamented Superior Furnace Company.

At about the time of INGHAM'S purchase, Henry HEATH had leased some power and erected a furnace on what is now known as Loomis Island. The furnace was later on, in the early thirties, removed to the present location of the Warrior Mower Shop on Mohawk Street, and the water rights were merged and need not be considered here. A turning shop existed also in the vicinity of the Warrior Mower Shop and was abandoned when LOOMIS purchased and the water right was merged with the division created by that purchase.

In 1827 David SPRAGUE and Jesse C. DANN bought by contract of C. P. BELLINGER the site and the water right now known as the Satterlee Mill. SPRAGUE and DANN failed and the foreclosed property was bought by Robert and George A. BARTOW, and to them C. P. BELLINGER gave a deed in which he refers to the contracts existing between him and SPRAGUE and DANN and describes the power as follows: "For the purpose of erecting a paper mill thereon and for no other purpose, together with the use of any surplus water for a paper mill to manufacture paper and for no other purpose and in quantities sufficient to propel on that fall three engines and a machine for said mill of the size and power of those constructed by said SPRAGUE and DANN, said surplus water to be no other than that required for a grist mill and a plaster mill." It also obligated the purchaser to bear one-third of all the expenses and repairs of maintenance. The BARTOWS sold their property in 1838 to PRIEST and PAGE, and from them it passed through various conveyances in 1854 to John SATTERLEE, who conveyed it in the same year to the firm of PEASE, STONE, SATTERLEE and TURNER. In 1860 the mill had become the property of REED and TURNER and in 1861 the same was sold at mortgage sale to William I. SKINNER, who conveyed in 1862 to James A. CROSBY, who sold it to CHRYSLER and MANGAN in the same year.

In 1828 General BELLINGER conveyed to William J. PARDEE certain land and "the right and privilege of building and keeping a flume and conducting water from the dam above along the rear of the Ingham buildings and to use sufficient water for the machinery of the paper mill now erected. If the PARDEES wish to substitute other machinery for the kind now in their mill they can do so to the extent of the same quantity except that they are prohibited from running a saw mill or a grist mill to grind for customers." There is no guarantee of the sufficiency and PARDEE is given the right to enjoy his supply from Bellinger shore if he does not injure thereby the rights granted prior December 17th, 1827. Here again BELLINGER reserves the right to use the water below PARDEES power. PARDEE made in 1832 an assignment to Henry P. ALEXANDER, William SMALL and Parley EATON who sold the property in the same year to Martin W. PRIEST and William PAGE.

Moses DRAKE ran at that time a distillery at the west end of the present Rockton Mill and it is probable that he used some power. Some say that he did get his power by a connection from the grist mill adjoining, others that he used an independent wheel. After investigating this subject quite fully, I have come to the conclusion that DRAKE had no wheel and if he used any power that it was furnished from some other wheel. It is certain that his deeds gave him no right to any water.

It is very hard to determine the succession of rights granted by BELLINGER. The first right was the one granted to INGHAM, but too indefinite to give us at the present time any idea of the quantity of the water. The next right was by virtue of the contract between BELLINGER and DANN and SPRAGUE, the one of the SATTERLEE Mill. It would be a hard task to state at this present time the quantity of water which it would require to drive three engines and a machine at a fall which cannot be ascertained now. The next power in succession of priority would be the PARDEE Mill. After LOOMIS'S purchase of BELLINGER'S rights, PARKER obtained from him a deed defining the amount of water and quantity of machinery and giving him the right of manufacturing other things besides what INGHAM produced. These conveyances of course, cannot affect the rights of those obtained by PARDEE and SPRAGUE and DANN. All these three rights are of course subject to the reservation of BELLINGER in favor "of the grist mill," and some to the reservation in his favor "of a saw mill and a grist mill" or "a grist mill and a plaster mill."

The PARDEE Mill has been used as a paper mill; it had burned out twice but had been rebuilt in nearly the same place. In 1862 William BUTCHER, Robert LAMB and Francis SENIOR purchased that property and they sold it in 1876 to Henry I. PETRIE and John A. OWENS, who sold in 1868 to Joshua J. GILBERT, who conveyed the property to Michael REDDY. The additional purchase of REDDY from LOOMIS does not carry any additional water rights.

In 1829 General BELLINGER and wife sold to Arphaxed LOOMIS certain land adjoining the river, and all the right and privilege of the water running in the Mohawk River and the water power that exists and can be made or created therefrom to the full extent, that the said first parties now have the right to conduct the water from each of the dams above and adjacent to said premises and conducting the water into said dams and to and upon said premises by flumes, aqueducts or otherwise from and across the land above from the grist mill of the said BELLINGER and from his dam and through the channel where the present supply flows and also from the dam running along the river bank and also the right to widen the channel to four rods without interruption to the mills. "BELLINGER excepts in the LOOMIS deed the water used by a saw mill with other machinery to that extent." He warrants the title of the land but not of the water. By this purchase LOOMIS came into possession of all the water on the south side of the river of the upper and the second level and of all the land from the INGHAM guarddam to the east line of lot 16, and he also purchased from BELLINGER and from some others some lands at the north west corner of lot 17 which gave him the full drop of the river.

The LOOMIS property was surveyed in 1837 by Timothy B. JERVIS. The land and water rights were divided and the engineer made the map known as the Jervis map. The water from the upper dam was used by various factories of which only one is remaining now. It is the Riverside Mill. The Warrior Mower Factory, once a very prosperous concern, has long since been shut down and the old plant is used for storage only. It occupied partly the buildings erected for the second Heath furnace. The water of this mill is the tail water of REDDY'S.

The heirs of Christopher P. BELLINGER got into litigation over some of his property and sold in 1843, as a result of it, the "Grist Mill" and water privilege appurtenant thereto to Nicholas P. CASLER, Peter WALRATH and Henry EYSAMAN; from them it passed in 1844 into the hands of Stephen W. BROWN, who sold it in the same year to the Astorogan Company. By a number of conveyances this property passed into the hands of Thomas GARNER of New York.

In 1883, General BELLINGER conveyed to Christopher P. SMITH, the land and saw mill and saw mill privilege built by William H. LEIGH and the right "to use so much of the surplus waters of the said mill race for the use of said saw mill as said mill race may contain over and above what may be necessary for C. P. BELLINGER'S Grist Mill as it now is or may hereafter be extended, excepting the rights heretofore granted to LOOMIS, SPRAGUE and DANN, William G. PARDEE, Alonson INGHAM and the Grist Mill, with the obligation of paying one-sixth of the repairs." This saw mill right was conveyed 1837 and 38 by SMITH to Benjamin and Charles LEWIS and by various transactions became the property of the Astorogan Company. Henry P. ALEXANDER acquired the saw mill under mortgage foreclosure and sold it in 1854 to Thomas GARNER who thus became the owner of the Grist and Saw Mill lot. The former, it seems, being the lot of first priority but being indefinitely described, and the other being a right following after all the others and being also indefinitely described as to quantity.

The narrow flume and the improper construction of the race leading from the BELLINGER dam to the LOOMIS rights below made it necessary for Judge LOOMIS to avail himself of his rights and to widen the channel, etc. When Loomis' workmen began actual work they were stopped by the owners of the Cotton Mill. This happened in about 1860, while the title of that property was in James P. CHRYSLER and Darius R. MANGAN of New York. A long drawn out litigation followed. Experts were examined. The oldest inhabitants related their knowledge of the plants and powers as they had existed with the usual contradictory result. The suit promised fair to be a lengthy and expensive one. At this junction, in about 1862, James A. CROSBY sold the Satterlee Mill Right to CHRYSLER and MANGAN. This gave them in their suit a better standing than they had theretofore. The result was that Judge LOOMIS agreed to a compromise, which was expressed in the deed of Arphaxed LOOMIS to CHRYSLER and MANGAN in 1862 in which was stated that after the purchase of the SATTERLEE rights the litigation is settled by that deed and that CHRYSLER and MANGAN are limited "to draw and use water from the river pertaining to the south shore, sufficient to propel and drive the machinery of the cotton factory with 125 looms for the manufacture of cotton goods known as print goods 28 inches wide with 56 x 60 threads to the inch, and about 7 yards to the panel, to be run at a speed of 145 to 155 picks to the minute, with all the machinery requisite for the preparation, carding and spinning the cotton for that number of looms and of that quality" etc. "The water power to be used and applied economically and without waste." "The above defined water power includes both that which pertains to cotton factory and SATTERLEE paper mill." LOOMIS grants by this deed the priority and the second party grants all the surplus water. LOOMIS also releases the SATTERLEE mill property of the restriction of not manufacturing anything but paper. In exchange LOOMIS was permitted to construct a 30 foot channel through the lands of the other party.

CHRYSLER & MANGAN sold the next year to GARNER & Co., and GARNER & Co., in 1864 to Thomas GARNER. In 1885, the property, having long stood idle, was sold by the executors of William T. GARNER, to James W. MAGILL and W. W. WHITMAN and it is now and has been for some years the property of the WHITMAN Brothers. It is run as a cotton and sweater mill. The mill uses one Fuller and Safely wheel under about 7 feet head and developes about 73 horse power. The wheel was put in 1864, it is a seven foot wheel.

While this settlement with the owners of the cotton mill settled the respective rights of LOOMIS & CHRYSLER & MANGAN, it did not settle or attempt to settle the rights of the present owners of the INGHAM & PARDEE privilege, which privileges were owned by the late Michael REDDY. This has become a source of friction, periodically arising anew and ought to be settled by a general agreement of all parties, especially as the quantity of the power of the cotton mill by looms and spindles and threads is one that could not now be sufficiently ascertained.

The REDDY Mill uses in the machine shop under about 8 foot fall a 60 inch diameter Samuel DAY wheel which was probably made at Little Falls about thirty years ago. This runs the fan for the foundry. Another 55 inch wheel under 8 foot fall runs the machine shop. The wheel in the former Superior furnace shop was a 50 inch wheel under a 6 foot fall, it has now been removed.

I will not at this point go into the disputed quantity of water of the LOOMIS Estate on the south side of the middle dam.

Old maps show that a dam across the river at and near the place where the present dam was in existence in the early thirties. Probably a cheap structure and at times washed out by the river. Water being more plentiful in those days, repairs were not made so frequently.

In the forties a Flar Mill operated by HOVEY, although destroyed by water twice, was operated extensively and was followed at various times by other users of the water power. For the last twenty years or more it has been used by the KINGSTONS as a paper mill, for the manufacture of building and other heavy papers. They use now one 30 inch, one 32 inch and one 36 inch wheel, all horizontal, eight foot head and of the make of the Holyoke Machine Co. The bottom of the race-way of the KINGSTON Mill is 3 feet higher than the bottom of the raceway on the north side and the channel of the river is much more obstructed on this side. Below the paper mill a Last Factory has been operated from the same dam but has been abandoned for years.

Continue on to Part 2

Source: "Papers Read Before the Herkimer County Historical Society Covering the Period From September 1902 to May 1914, Volume 3"
Compiled by Arthur T. Smith, Secretary of the Society
Citizen Press, Herkimer, 1914

Unusual spellings and punctuation are as in the original article.

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