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April 2001


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"Daniel H. Weiskotten" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 1 Apr 2001 21:48:20 -0400
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A few weeks ago someone, Phil Lord, I think, asked about sources for mill
stones in the early days of NY state.  While doing research on an early
road through present Madison Co. I came across this reference:

Hammond, Luna M. (1872) _The History of Madison County New York_ Truair,
Smith & Co.. Syracuse, NY

page 292

Town of Eaton, Madison Co.

"In 1800, Joseph Morse, finding an excellent mill site on Eaton Brook, as
it came swiftly down its deep vale from the westward, saw that there was a
fine chance open for the exercise of his enterprising nature, and he
resolved to improve it.  He employed Mr. Theodore Burr, who was widely
known in those days as a bridge builder and mill-wright of the first order,
to build his mill for twelve hundred dollars.  There was then great
difficulty in obtaining mill-stones; so a large boulder was dug from the
earth, and was being wrought into shape, when it was discovered to possess
a flaw, which rendered it unfit for use.  It was consequently abandoned,
and another and more perfect stone was found, which, after being fashioned
quite artistically into the desired shape, went into the mill and did good
service for many years.  The rejected stone may be seen in a stone wall, on
the farm of Geo. Cramphin, south of Eaton village; an object of interest to
those who would not forget the inconveniences to which the early settlers
were subjected.  Subsequently this mill was furnished with the mill-stones
brought by Col. John Lincklaen from Germany, from whom Mr. Morse obtained

I also recall in Lincklaen's records, and perhaps the store ledgers of
Samuel S. Forman, now in the Archives at Lorenzo State Historic Site,
several mentions of the purchase of French Burr millstones in the late
1790s and pre-1810.  I can just imagine the shipping costs for these
stones, bringing them in by the Mohawk and overland many miles, over
riffles, up hills and through woods and swamps to the far reaches of the
wilderness.  I bet that information would be found in the same records!

        Dan W.