|The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lets drive along the Horseshoe Trail from Elmira to Mansfield. After we go about 16 miles, we come to a big elm in the middle of the road. Now we will drive more slowly, and look at the old, weather-beaten homes, some, however, painted and well kept up. Just a little way beyond the trees we see a big dirty brown building on the left. It is the old Grist Mill. Further on, half way round a bend in the road we see the remains of a dam, overgrown with moss. On around the bend, we come to two or three more houses, and then several in a group. We see a lodge hall, built in 1868; next a village store where lettuce can be gotten in December and-fresh steak in July. Farther on we see a blacksmith shop, quiet looking, but inside horse shoes are being tempered and bent. Further on we come to a garage which was the original blacksmith shop. Here we will turn up the road to the right for a ways.||
Photo by Joyce M. Tice
On the left is the Parsonage,- small, white, old and cold. On the left is the garage for the minister's car. It was once a weave shop. On the right as we drive across the creek, is a well-kept home, over 70 years old. On the left, one nearly 75 and on up the hill we find two other homes, old and grey. Farther up on the right we find the school, set back from the road. It is white with green shutters, and has a big bell on its roof. Above the school is a white church,- the windows covered with heavy wire so baseballs will not go through them. In the belfry there is a bell 60 years old. It was the first church bell rung in Jackson Township. Every Sunday morning at 9:30, 9:45 and 11:00 o'clock, the bell is rung to call the laggers in to worship. Across from this quiet scene is a big, rambling red-brown house, badly in need of repairs. One man, so the story goes, is said to have shot himself there. Later on another committed suicide, by cutting his throat, and a woman hung herself. The family living there now is not even interested in all the tales that can be told about their home.
But let's turn around now, and go on up the road toward Jobs Corners. After we leave the Corner that goes to the church we see on the hill on our left the "Big House", built by the Old Doctor Voorhees when he came to Daggett. Farther on we come to a bridge. Just before crossing it, we look on the left and up. There is a row of pin-cherry trees, some berry briars, and so forth, but if we climb up through all of these, we will find deep hollows, marked by field stones with the names, Lefler (3) Daggett (3) Wells (1) Updyke (2) Roberts (3) Vaughan (2) Sturtrant (2) Corzatt (1) and Holdridge (1). There are several other graves unmarked and several marked, but so old one can't read the names. These are the graves of the first pioneers. All the people's ages on the tomb stones are either in the late 60's, 70's, and 80's, and the other ages are from birth to 10 years. One tomb stone tells us that the person was born in 1776. This cemetery overlooks one of the mill ponds. No remains can be found to show where the Dam was built, but this mill pond flat still raises excellent corn.
As we go farther up the road, we see a very old house on the left. It is low and overgrown with vines and if we could go inside upstairs and take down the finishing to the rafters, we would find they were put together with wooden pegs. We would find no nails in the beams, just wooden pins. That house is about 110 years old. If you looked carefully you would also find a clock which has run by weights over 100 years. It was a wedding present which a pioneer gave to his daughter. An old rocker could be seen which was made by hand and the sugar bowl and spoon holder came to Jackson Township in 1793, and at that time were old relics. But we will leave there. If you were acquainted with the hamlet, you could find an old lime kiln which looks like a pile of well layed rocks. About 300 feet farther and over the knoll, you would find another mill race, but no signs of a dam. There we would have to stop because that is all there is, or ever has been to Daggett. It is just a long, narrow hamlet, winding its self along the trail which in 1797 Reuben Daggett, a huge pioneer from New Hampshire, wound his way slowly along.
It required real skill to get his two-wheeled Ox-cart and team of lumbering oxen along that narrow trail without tipping over or getting stuck. He traveled for two days after leaving the trading post at Newtown. This trail which he followed was a typical Indian trail winding in and out keeping near the edge of a narrow clear, cold creek, abounding in fat brook trout, and long tasty eels, suckers, etc.
At last, foot sore and weary, Reuben Daggett came to a slight rise of ground. The trail wound close around a high hill on his left and dropped about thirty feet or more on the right, with the creek tumbling along a few yards beyond the foot of the hill. As though in answer to his prayer a sheer 100 feet of woods and rocks raised on the opposite side of the little stream. Unable to believe his eyes, he trudged on ahead, leaving his three stalwart sons, Rufus, Reuben, Jr. and Seth; with their mother to bring the cart and all their possessions on around that bend, wither to find a hope gratified or to continue traveling.
Scarcely had the cart rounded the bend when the Old New Hampshiren returned to his family, who silently awaited his verdict. Much to the delight of all, he said he had found what he had been looking for,- a stream that could be damed and used for power and for timber, and miles of the best pine and hemlock, oak, birch,and maple that Pennsylvania could grow. Reuben turned the cart around with the oxen and their precious load and retraced his steps around the bend and about six hundred feet beyond it he made camp for the night. Watch had to be kept, though, because they were now in the favorite hunting and fishing grounds of the Seneca Indians. The next day was spent in real and careful exploring of the surrounding territory, the sons taking an active part. That night while they were sitting around the camp fire, the day's adventures were discussed. No signs of Indians had been seen, (and at the trading posts they had been told that the Indians used the painted post trail mostly,) but lots of game of all kinds,- plenty of deer, small game, and on top of the nearest hill a big moose track had been found. Besides the game, three places were found that dams could be built within a mile of each other. A wealth of the virgin timber covered the valley and hills. A paradise had been discovered especially if the pioneer had a big wood saw that could be run by water power.
Very little had been brought in that two-wheeled cart,- a saw, some tools, a few cooking utensils, and a bit of bedding. The mother rode in the cart where the going was comparatively easy.(1)
In a few days, work was started on a log cabin; this cabin was undoubtedly shaded by the Big Elm which now stands in the middle of the road. This log house was for several years the only one in that part of what is now Jackson Township. The struggle to really settle the little village of Daggett was hard work, even for a pioneer with creative vision. In 1812, there were only four houses in the settlement, the original 1og home and the ones belonging to the sons who married pioneer girls,- one from Vermont and one from New Hampshire. Their families were large. Rufus had five children and Reuben, Jr. had nine, while Seth had seven children. (See Genealogy of this family)
Twenty years after Reuben Daggett made camp by tbe Big Elm Tree, he was an old, grey haired man, but he saw his dream coming true when be watched from his cabin window, on a bright spring morning of 1817, when the big water wheel started the first saw mill in Daggett, and incidentally Jackson Township. The saw he had cared for so carefully was at last cutting its teeth into virgin pine. The wood mens axe had rung on the hills all winter, but now the spring rains had come and the water wheel was doing its duty.
That same year, Old Reuben saw the first Grist mill of the Township erected and operated within 300 feet of his door. Reuben Jr. had built it with lumber his brother Seth had sawed. It was a water mill and had lots to do to grind grain for the pioneer families around the country. Practically all the grist was brought on horse back over narrow wooded trails.
This same year, Miller Vaughn came to Daggett as a woodsmen and a farmer.
Some time before 1820, the old pioneer Reuben died. He was buried on a knoll near another mill race. In 1820 Reuben Jr. died, leaving everything to his widow Hannah. She controlled the mill until 1849, when their son William Daggett rebuilt it and operated it until 1853. William put in a third run of stone and a roller process that would grind 200 barrels of flour a day. Steam and waterpower were both used. The last owner was G. W. Eighmey; The Old mill still stands today.
Seth ran the first saw mill and others until 1843, when he moved to Tioga. In 1832, there were three saw mills on Seeley Creek;- the one owned by Foster Updyke was between Daggett and Jobs Corners ( a tiny hamlet just two miles south of Daggett on the same trail). The Updyke Mill was run until 1847, when Mr. Updyke died.
In 1820, a log school house was erected about three quarters of a mile south of the first two mills. Miller Vaughn being the only man with enough education to teach, became the master. The school was typical of the time. It had a bench on each side of the room,- one for the girls on the right and one for the boys on the left. The desks were long, smooth, planks. A fire place heated the room in winter. About 10 children attended school,- Daggett's, Well's and Reynolds'. The children were taught to read, write and cipher. The school was supported by subscriptions. Miller Vaughn died in 1842. He was the first schoolmaster of the township.
In 1823, Samuel Reynolds came to Daggett, as blacksmith. He was a traditional smithy and made plenty of money.
In 1824, Seth Daggett became Justice of the Peace.
In 1827 Seth Daggett had the first post office and was post master. Millerton, Jobs Corners, Maple Ridge, Judson Hills, etc. all got their mail from Daggett. Daggett mills kept the post office until 1897.
By 1831, there were about 14 or 15 large families in Daggett. A tannery was established in 1831, by John H. Hubbell. In 1838, Hiram B. Roberts became the proprietor. He kept it until 1844. The workers in the tannery got $1.50 a day, and the bark peelers got $1.75 a day for 70 days. Hiram B. Roberts came to Daggett in 1830 as the first resident physician of Jackson Township- and he found so few sick that he had to go into the tannery business to make a living.
In 1841, Ralph D. Shepherd came and stayed till 1843; in 1856 Charles Voorhees came to Daggett and built a "big house" on a hill overlooking the valley he practiced there till his death. (He was also a good farmer). His son Sherman was also a Doctor and stayed at Daggett. Sherman's son was a doctor, and lived in Elmira and his son is a doctor in Elmira today.
1834 was another "red-letter" year for Daggett, but Daggett was changing its name. A lot of Spencers were moving in and Daggett Mills became Spencer Mills. Now in 1834, Joshoua Spencer opened the first tavern,-good food, several bed rooms, and a large bar. He operated the tavern for several years. His successors were Andrew Murdough, Albert Jones, S. S. Roberts, James Clinton, Jacob Corzett, A. Minear, Gates and Bird was the last land lord who kept the tavern for his life time. The actual last owner was Samuel Reynolds, Jr., who never rebuilt the tavern after it burned during his ownership.
In 1834, Richmond Jones started the first store. He sold every thing from molasses to dress goods. Hiram B. Roberts took the score in 1836, Wells and Spencer in 1838, and several others controlled it. Then D. H. Scott ran it and the post office. The last owner was Lewis Daggett. The Daggets are the merchants today.
Around 1840, there was a passable dirt road from the York State line through Daggett to Roseville and on to Mansfield. Seth Daggett was the first man to drive a real four wheeled wagon over this road. The road ran close to the foot of the Big Elm which had guarded the Indian trail for so long.
In 1848, the Tioga and Elmira Plank Road company was formed. And a plank road was built from the State Line to Moserville. Sometime before 1848, coal was being mined extensively at Blossburg. Therefore, some enterprising men were trying to make the Tioga River navigable, so as to send coal into New York State.
Moreover, in 1836, Daggett or Spencerville was asked to build in their sawmills, several arks for use on the river for transporting the coal from Blossburg to Syracuse, N. Y. They were built but never used.
By 1854, Daggett as it was again called, was far enough advanced to think about a Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church was built for $1500, and joined the Genessee and Tory Conference. Daggetts and Garrisons were the real founders of the Church. Reverend Mr. Sweet was the first minister. By 1854, the forests were beginning to get thin and the nearby slopes were fertile farms.
Until 1860, Daggett was the leading business center of Jackson Township. Daggett had been called, Daggett's Mills, Spencerville, Dallasville, Daggett's Mills again, and finally Daggett. But by 1860 was the turning point; the forests were nearly exhausted, the mills began to close down one by one. The tannery lasted a little longer but not much; the grist mill continued.
Sometime before 1868, the tavern burned, and the log school house, which had since been abandoned, and rebuilt, again underwent a change and a new school was erected at the hill by the church.
More farms were worked and Daggett gradually became a farming village. July 24, 1868, the Seely Creek Lodge No 641 was organized; A building costing $2,000 was erected in 1876, and in 1897, 56 members were enrolled. Lodge was held every Saturday night. Today Lodge meets every Saturday night in the original building.
Daggett started from a log cabin on an Indian trail and developed into the most prosperous communities of the Township, and then when its resources were exhausted, it settled back into a small farm village.
Candles light the early homes, communications were made by letter, or as in the case of the Civil War, news was brought in by horseback, (because it was faster) to the Hamlet. Mail was carried to Maple Ridge from the post office at Daggett on horseback over a narrow trail. Peddlers going from door to door carried lots of the news.
Transportation was by foot, horseback, ox team or wagon.
Daggetts social life was amply developed. The Lodge always had a picnic every year in a grove of apple trees. A basket lunch with everybody bringing everything and all eating at long tables was the high light of the day. It was at these picnics that the choice receipts for baking, pickling, and drying were exchanged. The picnic always ended in a big dance with a couple of fiddlers to furnish the music and every body got drunk on hard cider and whiskey.
The fourth of July was another big time when four o'clock in the morning the black smith would shoot a big anvil into the air with a lot of powder.
Horning bees were the most exciting things of all. Guns were shot and the shells weren't blank. Circle saws were pounded, Church and school bells were rung, besides all the Cowbells were brought to ring.
When the new minister came to town, he was always given a Pound Party.
The Church included ell who wished to come. The Ladies Aid included the Elite. Every woman and Child wore a hat to school, or else she didn't go.
Bob sled parties were for the young; Sleigh rides for young and old. Many a winter night was spent at some old couple's home by a group of good neighbors, who brought enough for refreshments and plenty extra to last the old ones through to an easier day. There was no relief in that day. Every man, young and old, worked for his living.
Chicken Roasts were great sport in the maple sugar season, and very seldom were the chickens bought or even owned by the roasters. Chicken theives are not modern criminals.
On Hallowe'en, all the cranks, misors, and men who were mean to their hired men, suffered. Rotten eggs, tomatoes, and pumpkins were thrown at the houses and a well-killed skunk was lain on the front porch. Horse blocks were carried away, wagons were put on top of sheds, steps carried off, etc. One man who was mean to his hired men was run out of town by the young men of the town who harressed him by yelling in front of his house everything he ever said or thought to his hired men. They put tick-tacks on his windows and signs in his front yard. This was kept up for about two weeks. So the man moved out and built another home just below the village.
One Garrison sent five sons to the Civil War. He told the community if all his sons returned alive, he'd roast an ox. Every son came back alive although one only lived a short time after his return.
The ox was the finest; big, young, and fat. A huge bonfire was made and the ox was killed, cleaned, skinned, etc. T'hen it was hung whole over the giant bonfire. It roasted two days and two nights. The second and third night and day were attended by every man, woman and child for miles around. Everybody came whether they knew the family or not. Today that ox roast is almost a legend. It has been told by the older people who are all gone now, and the living ones retell it. The children of today are as fond of the of the Roast Ox as they are of the "three little pigs".
But Daggett today is more calm. The same names are to be found,- Daggett, Garrison, Wells, Eighmey, and Voorhees. The Rumseys, Thorpes, Watts, and Schofields are all relation to the Wells, Daggetts and Garrisons. There are not more than five families that can prove they are not direct descendants of original ones.
Theve are only five homes less than fifty years old. The present families are living in the old homes of eighty years ago. But they do not group around the candle. Of the twenty-seven homes now in Daggett, twenty-four of them have electric lights; eighteen have running water, botl hot and cold; two others have just cold running water; four have pumps in the kitchens; twenty-four of the homes have radios; three electric refrigerators; one has a twelve by fifteen foot room in his cellar especially insulated to keep meat, etc., fresh during the summer. Two of the farmers have individual water cups for each cow. One of these farmers has blooded stock; his barn is equipped with everything from an electric milking machine to an electric cooler, separator and churn. Like the rest of the farmers, (in Daggett) he raises, practically all of the grain, hay, straw, etc., that the cows need. There are only four homes without electric washers; twenty-four homes have electric toasters; and irons; two families have electric stoves, all have hot plates. And just to be funny, three families have electric angle-worm diggers.
The old homes have become modern on the inside. Fifteen of them have modern kitchens. The old parlor is gone from them all and one of those downstairs bedrooms has become a den. The other is a bath room.
There are now eight full time farmers, five who work on their farms part of the time, one of them works in Elmira, one drives a truck, one hires out by the day, one is a Dealer and another has a grist mill on wheels which he drives from farm to farm to grind grain. There are five old families who have retired. There is one black smith who averages more clear money a day than any one else in Daggett. He puts his equipment for shoeing in his car and drives to the different farms. There is one store, one gas station, one garage, several men working in the latter. There are two school bus drivers, a minister, and a man who is a Baker in Elmira.
Daggett has advanced somewhat in transportation. There is a good macadam road which follows the old trail exactly through Daggett. The road even divides and goes on each side of the Big Elm which guarded the first cabin.
There are thirty one cars, counting the trucks, fourty-two horses; one team of oxen and four tractors; two threshing machines; three silo fillers and seven hay loaders.
The children still go to the white school on the hill by the Church. Eight of the Desks are over fifty years old. The rest are more modern, but all are double seats. About twenty-five children go there now. The school is heated by a stove. There is a large lawn boardered by ten large maples which were set out by school children fourty-four years ago.
The Church welcomes all to worship and the ladies aid welcomes all too. The younger people do not wear hats every Sunday. Dress is no longer a mark of rank.
The lodge still meets on Saturday night and the membership hasn't greatly increased.
A new organization is present. It is the Big Elm Tree Rod and Gun Club, started Nov. 7, 1921. It had 163 members at first, and has four times that many today. The club is very active. It has restocked streams, raised pheasants, grouse and wild ducks. It protects wild life and sponsers conservation movements.
Men, women and children are all interested members of the above mentioned club. Once a year they have an outing with a basket lunch. Their entertainment is a contest in marksmenship, of clay pigeons, running deer and long distance shooting. Fox and Coon chases are the most exciting of all.
Aside from the gun club, very little social life is carried on at Daggett. They still have horning bees, but guns and circle saws are not used. Now they go into the newly married's homes, eat all they can hold, and turn the house upside down.
Every summer there are three or four Ice Cream socials, a Hallowe' en social in the fall, but nothing exciting ever happens.
The missionary society has combined with the birthday club and gives the women plenty of gossip and food to eat. The church has a new year's dinner every year and seldom ever serves less than 200 people.
The largest amount of social life is carried on in Elmira, where movies, dances and rollerskating are indulged in. A trip to Elmira is nothing today.
Daggett has a park used wholly by the men to practice shotting clay pigeons. From the first day of deer season, to the last day, it would be hard to find five men over eighteen in Daggett.
Daggett supplies the surrounding farms with blacksmith, garage, and grocery service, although the majority of the grocieries are gotten in Elmira.
Daggett is very much interested in reforesting. The hills that cannot be farmed are being reforested. There now are eighteen acres planted to red and white pine and European birch. Daggett today is quiet and old. Everybody knows everybody else, and there is just enough discord and gossip to give a little spice. Daggett is just an old man who likes his newspaper fresh from Elmira each night and strong electric lights to read it by.
Daggett has had its youth and hey-day. It is now 142 years old and is
leaving to the present generation long years of experience, thrilling stories,
fertile farms, and reforested hills. Who knows what the next 142 years
will bring,- new mills? Dams? New Tanners? We wonder!
Vennetta Scott Baker
1. Much of the genealogical material relative to Reuben Daggett needs to be looked at closely. The issue of the wife is at least one question. See the attached genealogy of the family. Although this writer does not bother to mention the name of Reuben's wife who rode so comfortably in her cart (sure she did) she may not have existed at all in the true version of this fictionalized account. Reuben's first wife, Esther Cobb, died in Dec 1798 in Paris, Oneida County, New York. His Second marriage to Kezia Darby, which also occurred in Oneida County did not occur until December 1800. If the 1797 date given here as the migration date is accurate, then no wife was present either in the cart or walking as is the more likely method by which she would have transported herself.
(handwritten at top of document: Preliminary Work Draft)
Grist Mill, Saw Mill, Store and Tan Yard
According to most accounts, the first Grist Mill in Jackson Township
was the Mill built along the east side of the road now known as S.R. 549
just north of what was once known as Eighmey’s Bend. That area was originally
part of a tract of land known as Lot 116 of the Bingham Lands of Jackson
Township and a part of Warrant 1410 called “Agrigentum.”
By deed dated May 17, 1810, the Trustees of the Bingham Estate sold Lot 116 to David Moss for the sum of five shillings plus an amount as set forth in an unrecorded agreement between the parties dated January of 1808. While the Bingham Map lists the acreage as 188.6 acres, the deed lists it as 190.4 acres. The deed also states that by the date of the agreement, David Moss was “seated” thereon. It is likely that Mr. Moss was in the area prior to 1808.
By an instrument of even date with the deed, Mr. Moss gave the Bingham Trustees a mortgage secured by Lot 116 in the face amount of $235.60, and he received five shillings in cash for doing so. Between the deed and the mortgage, the five shillings was a wash transaction and was what is referred to as a validation device. Validation devices are legal requirements needed to make the deeds and contracts legally binding and enforceable. The interesting thing about the transaction is that the validation device was in British currency, while the mortgage was in American dollars. That probably had something to do with the nationality of the Trustees. Two of them were from London, two from Philadelphia and one from Baltimore. I guess there was a global economy even back in 1810.
As the agreement of January, 1808 was not recorded and was just referred to in general terms, by the deed, we do not know if the $235.60 was the full purchase price of the property. If it was, the lot was sold for approximately $1.24 an acre.
The mortgage was payable in four yearly installments due on the first day of February of each year beginning on February 1, 1813, together with interest at some unspecified rate to be computed from February 1, 1813. The mortgage was never satisfied in the records at the Courthouse in Wellsboro.
The Lot was rectangular in shape with a triangular piece cut out from the northeast corner. The southern boundary of the Lot was 164 perches (2706 feet) wide and ran along the northern boundary of Lot 151 of the Bingham Lands surveyed for Miller Vaughan. That is now the northern line of lands of Tracy Garrison et ux.
The western boundary of Lot 116 was 227 perches (3745.5 feet) long and crossed what is now known as the Eighmey Road (T- ) and adjoining the creek to a point north of the creek. It was bounded by all of Lot 117 and a part of Log 118 of the Bingham Lands surveyed for Thomas Taber, and now owned by Gordon Martin et ux and .
The eastern boundary ran from the Miller Vaughan Lot 118.5 perches (1955.25 feet) and was bounded by Lot 506 of the Bingham Lands surveyed for Benjamin Smith, now Mary Ed. Brees.
The line ran diagonally from that point in a northwesterly direction 142 perches (2343 feet). Part of that line is the northern boundary of Michael Fleming et ux. The line ran from there 73 perches (1204.5 feet) on a line perpendicular to the western boundary of the Lot to the western boundary forming the northwest corner of the Lot.
The following parcels are part of the Moss Tract:
1. Michael Fleming et ux
2. Bernal Eighmey et ux
3. Curtis Voorhees
1. Gordon Martin et ux
2. Jerome Eighmey
At the time of the 1810 transfer to Mr. Moss, what we now recognize
as Jackson Township was part of Tioga Township. The early assessment records
of Tioga Township are missing from the Courthouse,
By the 1812 assessment record was printed in Brown’s History of Tioga County. That assessment record shows David Moss still owning the 190 acres.
Jackson Township was formed in 1815 and issued its first assessment in 1816. David Moss is not listed on that or any subsequent assessment record for the Township. The 190 acres never shows up again after the 1812 assessment record as a single complete lot.
The Grist Mill makes its first appearance on the 1817 assessment record for Jackson Township. The Mill, together with 130 acres, are assessed to Reuben Daggett, Jr. The acreage was listed as being twenty acres improved with the remainder being wild land.
No Estate was ever filed for Mr. Moss in Tioga County, nor is there any conveyance of the 190 acres recorded. Likewise, there is no recorded conveyance of the 130 acres into Reuben Daggett, Jr. recorded. As of yet, I have been unable to find any additional information on Mr. Moss or how the land ended up being assessed to Reuben Daggett, Jr.
In 1820, the assessment changes to Rufus Daggett with no recorded documents to show a change in ownership. According to the Daggett Family History, Reuben Daggett, Jr. moved at some point in time to Cattarauges County, New York. The 1820 Census lists a Reuben Daggett as living in the Township and gives his age as being over 45. Reuben Daggett, Jr. was born on February 19, 1781, so that would make him around 39 at t he time of the 1820 Census. Therefore, the Reuben listed must have been Reuben Daggett, Sr. Reuben Daggett, Sr. or Reuben Daggett, Jr. never again show up in the Census records for Jackson Township. Perhaps it was around 1820 that Reuben Daggett, Jr. moved to New York State.
The assessment continues in the name of Rufus Daggett from 1821 to 1826 with the 1824 and 1825 records not listing the Grist Mill. In 1826 and 1827, the assessment records show the property and Grist Mill to be owned ½ by Rufus Daggett and ½ by Theodorus Larrison. For two years, Rufus and Mr. Larrison must have operated the Grist Mill as partners. Mr. Larrison was a local farmer and more will be said about him in another section. Again, there are no recorded documents to show any change in ownership.
On June 2, 1827, Rufus Daggett and his wife, Hannah, conveyed 131.8 rods (0.82 acres) of the Grist Mill lands to Jonathan Whittlock. That lot was located west of the Mill and west of the highway. More will be said about that conveyance later on.
The 1827 assessment shows the Grist Mill being completely owned by Rufus Daggett after two years of co-ownership with Mr. Larrison.
On Christmas Day of 1830, Rufus and Hannah Daggett, for the sum of , conveyed 133 acres and 40 rods to Jeremiah Ayres. This tract was rectangular in shape being 164 perches (2706 feet) east to wesst, and 130 perches (2145 feet) north and south. This is the first deed description we have of the acreage that appeared in the 1817 assessment.
The southern boundary of this tract was the southern boundary of the Moss Lot previously discussed. The western boundary was a part of the western boundary of the Moss lot.
As you will recall, the eastern boundary of the Moss Lot was only 118.5 perches long, so this conveyance extended beyond that by 11.5 perches (189.75 feet). Therefore, this conveyance was a part of the Moss Lot and a part of the Tract cut off from the northeast corner of the Moss Lot.
The 1831 assessment records for the Township reflect the transfer of ownership to Mr. Ayres, and for the first time, show an assessment for a Saw Mill on the property. Most of the accounts of the early history of Jackson Township credit Set Daggett with building the first Saw Mill in the Township prior to 1817. Some of the authorities locate that first Saw Mill at or near the Grist Mill site.
As you will see in another section, in 1817, Set Daggett owned land located at the present site of the Village of Daggett when he was first assessed for a Saw Mill. Ownership of that land and the assessment for that Mill continued beyond the time the Saw Mill assessment for the Grist Mill property was discontinued. Therefore, I believe that the Saw Mill assessment that first appears in 1831 was not the pioneer Saw Mill credited to Seth Daggett, although it may have existed prior to 1831. It may also be possible that this Saw Mill was present when the Grist Mill was built, and if so, may have predated Seth’s Mill.
By deed dated September 10, 1832, Jeremiah and Lucinda Ayres, for the sum of $1,600.oo, reconvened the property and Mills back to Rufus Daggett. That deed lists several conveyances made out of the property by both Rufus and Jeremiah. Those conveyances will be discussed later on.
From September 10, 1832 until his death on January 31, 1835 at the age of 42 years, Rufus Daggett was record owner of both the Grist Mill and the Saw Mill. Rufus was survived by his wife, Hannah, who was about 38 years old at the time of his death. Rufus was buried in the Daggett Family Cemetery. The 1835 assessment was placed in the name of Hannah Daggett as a result of the death of Rufus.
The History of Seven Counties published by the Elmira Weekly Gazette states that Reuben Daggett, Jr. and Seth Daggett erected a Grist Mill in 1836. The millwright work was done by Allen S. Gibson and Lyman Gibson.
If the book is referring to the pioneer Grist Mill, the assessment records for the Township clearly show that the book is way off on the date. If the book is referring to another Grist Mill, there is no record of another Grist Mill in the assessment records covering the time around 1836. Also, Reuben Daggett, Jr. had probably moved out of the Township long before 1836. There was an Allen S. Gibson who at one time owned the Saw Mill built in the Village of Daggett by Joshua Spencer.
Tradition has it that the pioneer Grist Mill was rebuilt or reconstructed in 1847 and 1853 by William Daggett. Maybe the book was referring to that. In any event, I do not put much faith in The History of Seven Counties.
The 1837 and 1838 assessment records assess Hannah Daggett for the land upon which the Mills were located and assess Alexander Bentley for the Mills and the land. If those assessments were correct, the tax people were taking a double dip. For those two years, Mr. Bentley must have had an interest in the Mills. There is nothing in the Courthouse records, other than the assessment records, to indicate that he did.
In 1839, the assessment for the land and the Mills is solely in Hannah Daggett’s name. The assessment for 1841 lists William Daggett as the owner with Hannah as the owner the following year.
In 1846, the assessment records list the Saw Mill as “rotten” and permanently remove it from the assessment records.
William Daggett was the oldest of eight children of Rufus and Hannah Daggett. He was born December 26, 1817, and was 17 years old when his father died. On February 21, 1849, he filed a petition with the Orphan’s Court of Tioga County requesting the Court to partition or divide up 33 1/3 acres of land in Rutland Township and 450 acres of land in Jackson Township owned by his father at his death.
The Sherriff of Tioga County impanelled a group of local landowners to assess the properties. Upon their recommendation, the 450 acres in Jackson Township was divided into five tracts. Tract No. 1 and the 33 1/3 acres in Rutland Township were given to William Daggett and to Runnels Sixbee for the care of his wife, Hannah. Hannah Sixbee was a sister of William Daggett.
Tract No. 1 contained 90 acres and 17 rods and was the tract upon which the Grist Mill was located. Tract No. 1 was taken out of the southern part of the Moss Lot, and is the basic tract that has survived to this day.
The 1850 assessment records reflect the results of the partition action by showing William Daggett as the owner of 90 acres and a Grist Mill. That assessment continues until 1853 when the assessment was changed to William Daggett and Runnels Sixbee. That assessment continued until 1861 when it was changed to Solomon Bennett without any change in record ownership.
William Daggett died February 21, 1887 in Marinette, Wisconsin at the age of 69. Perhaps it was at the time of the Civil War that he left the Mill and moved westward. He is listed in the 1860 Census for the Township, but not the 1870 Census. His wife died in 1856 and was buried in the Daggett Family Cemetery along with their son, Lyman.
Let’s stop here for a moment and go back to the various lots that were conveyed out of the 133 acre tract by Rufus Daggett and Jeremiah Ayres. If you remember, Rufus Daggett sold to Jonathan Whittlock 131.8 rods of land June 2, 1827. That lot was located west of the road and west of the Grist Mill.
Jonathan C. Whittlock died on February 19, 1835 leaving as his sole heir, his wife, who was listed as being insane at the time. Dr. Hiram B. Roberts and Erastus Kellogg were appointed as Administrators of his Estate.
The inventory they filed contained scores of accounts that were owed to Mr. Whittlock. The list is a who’s who of the residents of the area. The Administrators characterized the accounts as being “good,” “doubtfull” or “bad.” One list of “bad” accounts was attributed to judgments held by Rufus Daggett that were transferred to Mr. Whittlock. The “good” accounts ranged from 1833 to 1835 time wise. Therefore, due to the location of his property, the number of the accounts and the assigned accounts from Rufus Daggett, I believe that Mr. Whittlock was operating the Grist Mill and/or Saw Mill at the time of his death.
The inventory of his personal property included 27 ½ pounds of plug tobacco plus a large supply of dress material and dress making supplies. His wife must have been a seamstress. The inventory is interesting because it gives a great deal of insight into what a household of the times must have contained.
In April of 1843, Polly, widow of Whittlock, requested the Orphan’s Court to appoint a new Administrator of the Estate as Dr. Roberts was dead and Mr. Kellogg had moved away. On August 10, 1843, Benjamin B. Smith was appointed Administrator.
There is no record of any conveyance of the lot from Mr. Whittlock, his Estate or his Heirs. The property has obviously been reincorporated back into the Grist Mill property, but I am unable to determine how.
On the same day that Rufus Daggett conveyed the 133 acres to Jeremiah Ayres, he conveyed 2 lots out of the property to John G. Hubbell. For $25.00, he sold Mr. Hubbell a ¼ acre lot on which Mr. Hubbell resided at the time. That lot was located on the west side of the highway. For $104.00, he sold Mr. Hubbell 2 1/8 acres on the east side of the highway below the Grist Mill on which Mr. Hubbell had erected a Tan Yard and Currying Shop (basically a Tannery).
With the 2 1/8 acres, Mr. Hubbell also received the right to use surplus water from the Grist Mill for tanning purposes. Mr. Daggett reserved for the Grist Mill the free passage of water over the Tan Yard (Mill Race) plus the privilege of sinking the Mill Race 4 feet below the bed of its present channel. Tradition has it that the Mill Race ran along the hillside that runs parallel with the roadway. If that is true, the 2 1/8 acres must have extended from the roadway across the entire flat to the hillside.
On March 1, 1836, Mr. Hubbell sold the house and lot to Joshua D. Naramore for $400.00. On the same day, he sold to Mr. Naramore the Tan Yard for $500.00 Mr. Naramore was listed on the assessment records of the time as a shoemaker. Perhaps he was trying to control a source of supply of shoe leather for his business.
Mr. Naramore did not keep the business long however, an don March 1, 1837, he and his wife, Saphronia, sold the house and lot and Tan Yard to Dr. Hiram B. Roberts. Dr. Roberts paid $500.00 for the Tan Yard and for the house and lot.
Dr. Roberts was a physician who seemed to be more interested in business ventures than in practicing medicine. On September 10, 1932, Dr. Roberts purchased a ¼ acre lot for $20.00 from Jeremiah and Lucinda Ayres from the Grist Mill property. The lot was located on the west side of the highway. Dr. Roberts was in the process of building a store on the lot when he purchased it.
Dr. Roberts operated the store from 1832 and the Tan Yard from 1837 until his death at the age of 38 years on April 1, 1842. He was buried in the old Daggett Cemetery.
Tradition has it that his wife, Phebe, and then his son, Seth Roberts, continued to operate the store and Tan Yard until 1849 when operations ceased.
An Estate was opened for Dr. Roberts and were appointed as Administrators. The record indicates that Dr. Roberts’ Heirs were his wife, Phebe, and children Hiram D. Roberts, Sally Ann (Roberts) Atwater, Reuben Z. Roberts and Wagan Roberts. Seth was probably a brother and not a son of Dr. Roberts.
Dr. Roberts’ children were not of age when he died and in May of 1843 and May of 1844, guardians were appointed for the children.
The 1843 assessment records list the tannery and store to Phebe and in 1845, to Seth. The 1846 assessment was transferred to John Credaford. There is nothing in the Estate records, deed records or Orphan’s Court records to account for the change in assessment. The properties were not listed in the 1847 assessment records.
In 1848, the properties were assessed in the name of H.B. Roberts Estate. That assessment dropped the store designation and changed it to a house and lot. That indicates to me that the store had been closed.
On September 1, 1849, three Administrators petitioned the Court for permission to sell a 50 acre tract, a 45 acre tract and a house and lot bounded on the east by the highway and on all other sides by the Heirs of Rufus Daggett. At that time, the Estate had the store lot, now a house and lot, and the Hubbell house. The sale could have been for either of the two. On February 27, 1850, it was reported that while the other two properties had been sold to William Ingalls, the house and lot was not sold. The two house lots are never mentioned again in the Estate records. The Tannery property is never mentioned, and the 1850 assessment records dropped the Tannery assessment.
Hiram D. Roberts sold his interest in his father’s Estate to William Ingalls and Edward D. Roberts. Edward D. Roberts in turn sold his just acquired interest to William Ingalls. Mr. Ingalls resided in Wells Township, Bradford County and had been appointed as guardian for Hiram D. Roberts.
Problems developed between the parties having interests in the Estate and at No. 16 June Term of 1856 a citation was issued by the Orphan’s Court to compel the Administrators to settle the Estate. That did not end matters and the Court had to appoint auditors to prepare an accounting. The Estate was not finally settled until in 1861.
By deed dated October 16, 1873, the Heirs of William Ingalls conveyed to Lucinda Lefler a ¼ acre lot being a part of the Hiram Roberts claim of the Hiram D. Roberts Estate and being known as the Red House. This lot was the store lot. Somehow, probably by virtue of the assignment from Hiram D. Roberts, Mr. Ingalls had gained control over the old store lot.
The map in the 1875 Atlas of Tioga County shows a house belonging to a Mrs. Lefler. That house must have been Dr. Roberts’ store. It is no longer there.
By quit claim deed dated October 7, 1968, W.L. Roberts and Louise H. Roberts, his wife, of Corry, Pa., conveyed to Ellen Searles a house and lot bounded on the east by the highway, south by William Daggett and west and north by Cornelius Daggett. W.L. Roberts was probably Wagan Roberts, son of Dr. Roberts. From the description, the lost was the store lot.
By deed dated March 12, 1870, Reuben Z. Roberts and Mary, his wife, conveyed to Ellen Searles all the intereest of Reuben Z. Roberts to the real estate of H. Roberts to which he is Heir.
There are no conveyances out of Mrs. Searles for the store lot, nor was it included in her Estate. As Mrs. Lefler ended up with the property, she and Mrs. Seales must have reached an understanding about the property.
By deed dated March 1, 1865, Robert G. White and Sarah White, his wife, of Michigan, conveyed the Hubbell House and lot and the 2 1/8 acre Tan Yard property to Solomon Bennett. There is no record of any conveyance into Mr. And Mrs. White.
In a second deed dated September 13, 1865, John M. Randall and Huldah S. Randall, his wife of New Jersey, conveyed the Hubbell house and lot, the 2 1/8 acre Tan Yard and the 90 acre Grist Mill property to Solomon Bennett, again with no recorded conveyances into Mr. And Mrs. Randall.
Dr. Roberts’ death resulted in gaps in the title to the store lot, Hubbell house and lot and the 2 1/8 acre Tan Yard lot. The store ended up with Lucinda Lefler and the Hubbell house and lot and Tan Yard ended up back with the Grist Mill property from which it was originally taken.
The deed from Jeremiah Ayres to Rufus Daggett also referred to a conveyance from Rufus Daggett to an “Elder” Booth. That conveyance cannot be found in the Courthouse records, but by deed dated November 4, 1833, Raymond Booth, Elisha Boot and Phebe M. Booth, his wife, and Gifford Booth conveyed to Reuben Daggett, Sr. the “elder” Booth’s ¼ acre lot containing a dwelling house. Reuben died in 1835 and he may have ended his days in that house. The lot never is on the assessment records and there is never any conveyance from Reuben or an Estate filed for him. I assume that when he died, the property went to relatives.
By deed dated September 7, 1832, Jeremiah Ayres conveyed a ¼ acre lot to Edward D. Roberts. The lot was on the east side of the highway. Mr. Roberts was probably a brother of Dr. Roberts. Mr. Roberts is listed on the assessment records as being a tailor.
He is listed in the 1850 Census for Jackson Township as being 42 years of age. His wife’s name was Hannah. His children are listed as Elizabeth, Sally Ann, Fanny, H.C., G.W., Louisa, M.M., E.A. and E.D.
Mr. Roberts owned other property in the Township as well which he eventually sold. There is however, no record of any conveyance of the ¼ acre house and lot or any Estate filed for him in Tioga County. I suspect that he moved out of the area and sold the ¼ lot to the Daggett Family.
Before we try to pinpoint the location of the conveyances from Rufus Daggett and Jeremiah Ayres, we need to look at another conveyance. By deed dated December 1, 1876, Runnels Sixbee and Hannah, his wife, conveyed to Mary Jan Criss .45 of an acre of land on the west side of the highway bounded on the north by lands of Lucinda Lefler and Ellen Searles, and bounded on the south by the north line of Runnels Sixbee.
There is, of course, no conveyance into Runnels and Hannah Sixbee except for Hannah’s interest in the 90 acre Grist Mill Tract. They probably retained a piece of 90 acres on which they lived when the Grist Mill was transferred to Mr. Bennett. When George Eighmey conveyed a lot to Jerome L. Eighmey on which the current blue house owned by Gordon Martin is located, the deed referred to the lot containing buildings and fruit trees formerly owned by Hannah Sixbee. That would mean that Mr. And Mrs. Sixbee lived on the wet side of the highway along the northern boundary of the 90 acre tract.
In 1874, an assessment for a house and lot for R. Sixbee appears without any supporting documentation. In 1878, the assessment is crossed off in the assessment book and added to Benson and Ameigh (George Eighmey). There never is an assessment for Mary Ann Criss and somehow the rest got transferred to George Eighmey, or the description in the deed referring to the north line of Runnels Sixbee was a mistake and should have read south line of runnels Sixbee. The Atlas of 1875 shows a house as belonging to Mrs. J. Criss. That is the property conveyed by Runnels and Hannah Sixbee to Mary Jane Criss. That building no longer exists.
Let’s try and locate the properties. The 2 1/8 Tan Yard lot, the Booth lot and the Edward D. Roberts lot were all on the east side of the highway downstream from the Grist Mill. The Bernal Eighmey lot bounds the 90 acre Grist Mill lot on the north, and the 2 1/8 lot was out of the 90 acre tract. Therefore, the Tan Yard must have been located between the barns now on the property and the Bernal Eighmey property. Some of the barns may have been on the Tannery property.
The Edward D. Roberts lot was bounded on the south by the Tan Yard and on the north by the Booth lot. I have no way of telling whether either of those two lots were out of the 90 acre lot, but it is very probable that the Bernal Eighmey tract is either the Booth property, the E.D. Roberts property, or both. There is no way of telling from the deed records because it is impossible to trace the deed record for the Bernal Eighmey tract past a conveyance to John Eighmey dated .
On the west side of the highway, the 90 acre tract was bounded on the north by Tract No. 2 of the Rufus Daggett Estate given to Cornelius Daggett. Later descriptions of the tract exclude the ¼ acre H. B. Roberts store from its southeast corner along the west side of the highway. The Mary Jane Criss lot is out of the 90 acre tract along its original northern border and was bounded on the north by the store lot. Today, those two lots are referred to as the Fred Criss and Lefler lots amounting to about an acre and form the southern boundary of Jerome c. Eighmey along the west side of S.R. 549. The trailer spaces he is currently leasing out are located in the area of where those two lots were.
The Hubbell house and lot and the Whittlock house and lot were on the west side of the highway in the area of the Criss Voorhees property and the house of Gordon Martin. Perhaps those houses are the houses that were built on those tracts.
All of the conveyances made by Rufus Daggett and Jeremiah Ayres were done by descriptions containing distances and bearings. The monuments referred to in the deeds are gone and the roadway has changed, but it still may be possible for a surveyor to locate those lots. The important thing to remember is that during the 1830’s and 40’s there was a Grist Mill, Saw Mill, Tan Yard, store, and several houses located just north of Eighmey’s Bend. I have heard the term “Lower Daggett” or “Lower Daggett’s” used from time to time. Perhaps that term was used to refer to the small settlement that developed north of Eighmey’s Bend.
Let’s go back to where we left off on the Grist Mill lot. As you will recall, the property was assessed in 1861 to Solomon Bennett without any Courthouse record of the change in ownership. That assessment continued for 1862 and 1863, but disappeared from 1864 to 1868. In 1865, Mr. Bennett received the two deeds recited previously. The deed description now is for the 90 acres corresponding to the division of Rufus Daggett’s lands and not the 133 acres from 1817. Also, the Hubbell house and Tan Yard are back into the Grist Mill chain of title. The Grist Mill property is now entirely out of the Moss lot.
Mr. Bennett was from Elmira and was involved in many land transactions throughout Tioga County, some with Mr. Randall of New Jersey. I doubt that Mr. Bennett personally operated the Mill. To him it must have been an investment property.
Tradition has it that the Mill was very busy during the Civil War producing flour to be shipped south for the Union Troops. If so, business must have slowed after the war which may account for Mr. Bennett selling the Mill in 1867.
By deed dated June 29, 1867, Solomon Bennett and Mary E. Bennett, his wife, for the sum of $6,000.00 conveyed the property to John S. Smith. In 1868 and 1869, the assessment for the property finally returns in the name of John Smith.
Mr. Smith and his wife, Susan, on February 22, 1869, for the sum of $10,000, conveyed the property to Martha M. Oakley. For the years 1870 to 1871, the property was assessed in the name of W. B. Oakley. The 1870 Census for Jackson Township lists a William Oakley, age 61, together with Martha, age 58, Margaret, age 23, and Wallace, age 19. William and Wallace are listed as Millers. The Census indicates that the Oakleys were born in New York State.
On March 17, 1871, Martha M. Oakley and her husband, William B. Oakley, for the sum of $9,000.00, sold the Mill to Henry S. Gilbert. Notice that the purchase price was $1,000.00 less than what Mrs. Oakley had paid for the property.
From the assessment records, it appears that Mr. Gilbert did not operate the Mill himself. From 1872 to 1876 the Mill itself was assessed to Botsford & Oakley while the land was assessed to W.B. Oakley. I cannot find any record of who this Botsford fellow was.
By deed dated April 1, 1871, Henry S. Gilbert and Lucy, his wife, for the sum of $1,500.00, sold 37 acres off the east half of the property to Lorenzo Jennings. The western boundary of the parcel that was sold began at a point approximately 24 links (15.84 feet) west of the Mill Race, then followed a course of S 33 degrees W 46 perches (759 feet) to a point in the highway. It then followed the old highway to use the water and the Mill Race. This deed is further proof that the Mill Race followed the base of the hill past the Grist Mill. The western boundary that followed the highway, was south of Eighmey’s Bend and followed the old road around the base of Gordon Martin’s gravel bank.
By deed dated April 3, 1876, Henry S. Gilbert and Lucy C. Gilbert, his wife, for the sum of $5,000.00 conveyed the 90 acre Mill lot, minus the 37 acres conveyed to Jennings, to George W. Eighmey. That deed was not recorded until May 4, 1883. We do know that Mr. Eighmey took possession of the property and operated the Grist Mill at the time he purchased it.
The property was assessed in 1876 to Amy Benson and from 1877 to 1884 to Benson & Ameigh. The difference in the spelling of “Eighmey” was probably due to the fact that the deed was not recorded until 1883, so the assessment people spelled the name in the way a previous family in the area spelled their name. George’s wife, Clara, was a Benson, so George may have been in business with a relative of his wife. Kenneth Eighmey, a great grandson of George Eigmey, has in his possession a stencil that was used to letter bags. The name depicted by the stencil is “Eighmey & Benson.” In 1884, the assessment was changed to George W. Eighmey.
By deed dated January 20, 1906, George and Clara Eighmey, for the sum of $300.00, conveyed to their son, Jerome L. Eighmey, a ½ acre of land on the west side of the highway and being north of the George Eighmey home. That lot conveyed the blue house that is currently on the property as owned by Gordon Martin. Apparently, Jerome L. Eighmey and his wife, Maude, used the house as their residence.
By deed dated August 28, 1906, George and Clara Eighmey, for the sum of $1,100.00, conveyed to Jerome L. Eighmey the balance of the property George received from Henry Gilbert with the exception of the George Eighmey home, now Curtis Vorhess property, consisting of one acre and ¾ of an acre containing the Grist Mill. Excepted in the conveyance was the privilege of a dam and raceway and all stonework of a former dam and race material down to the road.
By deed dated February 13, 1911, George W. Eighmey conveyed the one acre lot containing his house to his wife, Clara. That conveyance was 10 feet shorter on the south side than the exception in the deed to Jerome L. Eighmey.
Jerome L. Eighmey engaged in farming and be necessity, he had to add to the size of the property. On April 3, 1917, Jerome L. Eighmey purchased four seven acre tracts from John Jones. Those tracts were on the north and south sides of Eighmey Road (T- ). On March 28, 1921, he purchased Lot 117 of the Bingham Lands (Thomas Taber Tract) from L. Henry Scofield. Finally, on June 17, 1922, he purchased the ¾ acre Mill Lot from his father, George W. Eighmey, widower.
According to the Eighmey Family History, George W. Eighmey operated the Grist Mill from 1876 to 1914. That is the last that the Mill was used as a Grist Mill.
Be deed dated January 25, 1943, the Heirs of Jerome L. Eighmey, deceased, conveyed the property that he owned to Norton E. Myfelt. That conveyance included Lot 117 of the Bingham Lands, the land conveyed by John Jones, and the 90 acre tract of the Rufus Daggett lands minus the 37 acre conveyance to Jennings and the one acre George W. Eighmey house and lot (Curtis Voorhees property).
Nort farmed the property and on his death, the property was conveyed by his Estate on April 3, 1970 to Gordon and Pauline Martin. Pauline Martin is a great grand daughter of George w. Eighmey. The property then consisted of Lot 117 of the Bingham Lands, 14 acres on the south side of the Eighmey Road (T- ) out of the Cornelius Daggett Tract of the Rufus Daggett lands (now Jerome C. Eighmey), and the 90 acre Grist Mill Tract, minus the 37 acre conveyance to Jennings and the one acre George W. Eighmey house and lot (Curtis Voorhees). Mr. Martin has since been able to reaquire the 37 acres that had been conveyed to Lorenzo Jennings. The Martins use the property as a horse farm and a gravel bank operation under the name of Gordon C. Martin, Construction Co.
The Grist Mill was originally powered by water suppli4ed by a dam across Seeley Creek. As you traveled the old road north out of Daggett from the north line of Tracy Garrison, the road followed along the base of Gordon martin’s gravel bank. I can still remember a laid up spring along the old roadway that has since been buried as a result of the expansion of the gravel bank. Likewise, most of the old roadway through that section has been covered up. As it passed the gravel bank area, the old roadway turned in a westerly direction and crossed where the present road was cut through the hill. At that point, you can still see parts of the old road to your left and to your right. The road continued around the bend and as it began to turn north again, that is where the dam was located. The dam was washed out in 1889, but sections of it can still be seen on both sides of the creek. The water was carried by a flume around the bend to the Grist Mill. From the Grist Mill, the Mill Race followed along the base of the hill away from the east side of the highway. Someone remarked to me what a beautiful drive it was to travel north around Eighmey’s Bend and see the waterfall that ran down the steep hillside on the left north of the Bend.
The Mill itself was around the Bend on the north side and on the east side of the road. It was a wooden structure being 2 ½ stories and was built in an exact north south direction. It was fifty foot by thirty foot and was originally powered by an over-shot water wheel. After the dam was damaged, it was powered by a steam boiler and engine.
In 1956 or 1957, the State of Pennsylvania undertook a major highway relocation project on S.R. 549. The road was straightened somewhat from the Tracy Garrison line and was cut through the hill bypassing Eighmey’s Bend. Tradition has it that the then current owner, Nort Myfelt, was forced to tear down the old Mill building because of the cut that was made in the hill. Nort built a three sided one story wooden structure on a cinder block foundation in the area of where the Mill had been located, but further east of the road. That building may have been built out of the materials of the old Mill building. My father recalled that Nort may have given the old beams from the Grist Mill to Robert C. Smith. He took them to a property he owned at the time on Tower Hill with the intention of using them to build a building there. The building was never built and Mr. Smith does not recall exactly where he got the beams, but that they could have come from Nort. On the lot at Tower Hill there are remnants of a large pine or hemlock beam.
The Mill had a three run of stone and the roller process and had a capacity of about 200 barrels of flour a day. One of the millstones weighing 1,000 pounds was sold to a Ward Bryan of Elmira, New York around 1939 to be used as a garden seat. Some of the other stones are still located on the property.
I have very little information about the Saw Mill. It was taken off the assessment records in 1846 as being “rotten”. It was therefore, part of the 133 acre tract, but I have no evidence one way or the other whether it was on the final 90 are Grist Mill Tract. An interview in an old newspaper article stated that the Saw Mill and Tan Yard were within 200 yards of the Grist Mill. The Saw Mill is never mentioned in any of the deeds.
Because of the time period that it existed, I assume that it was water powered. It is natural to assume that the water used to run the Grist Mill was also used to run the Saw Mill. If so, the Saw Mill must have been located on the east side of the highway near the Grist Mill or the Mill Race.
|The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933 email@example.com|