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August 2010


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Jim Folts <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 17:26:42 -0400
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I have never heard of a town official called the "foremaster." In the early 19th century there were town officials called "path master" (roughly overseer of highways in a particular part of town, responsible for coordinating road work by property owners in lieu of taxes) and "pound master" (responsible for maintaining stray animals in the town pound).

The duties and responsibilities of the town supervisor were outlined in the Revised Statutes of 1829, which largely reenacted statutes enacted earlier (1813 and 1801). The 1829 Revised Statutes are available full-text via the online catalog of the New York State Library http://www.nysl.nysed.gov (or search under "Digital Collections"). The duties of the town supervisor are found in vol. 1, p. 348.

Jim Folts
New York State Archives

>>> The HealthField Alliance <[log in to unmask]> 8/10/2010 10:35 AM >>>


I am contacting you at the suggestion of Robert Weible, State Historian and
Chief Curator New York State Museum.


My mother, Dorothy Jandrew, was town historian for Dickinson Center, New
York, for many years.  I am helping her do research for a book on the
history of Dickinson Center.


Records show Town Supervisors, Assessors, etc.  However, there is an 1809
listing for an official entitled "Foremaster."  I cannot find a reference to
this anywhere and was wondering if you can tell me what the duties of a town
Foremaster were?


Also, I would like to obtain a "job description" (of sorts) or list of
duties of a Town Supervisor during the 1800's.  Do you know of any resources
for me?


In fact, any information regarding Dickinson Center would be most welcome.




Wanda Parker