1868 - 69 Gazetteer - Georgetown

Gazetteer of Towns

    GEORGETOWN was formed from De Ruyter, April 7, 1815. It lies upon the south border of the County, west of the center. The surface is hilly upland, broken by the valley of Otselic Creek into two ridges, whose summits are 500 to 600 feet above the valleys. The principal streams are Otselic Creek and its branches. The soil upon the hills is a yellow loam, and in the valleys a gravelly alluvium.

    Georgetown (p. v.) contains three churches, and about 300 inhabitants. There are two tanneries, a grist-mill, several saw-mills and a cheese box factory, also the town.

    The first settlement was made in 1804, by Ezra Sexton, on lot No. 58. Matthew Hollenbeck, Jacob Bishop, John C. Paine and Billy Carter, settled the town in 1804; and Michael Atwood, William Paine, Bethel Hurd, Joseph P. Harrison and Josiah Purdy, in 1805. Ebenezer Hull, Apollos Drake, Elijah and Alfred Brown, Jesse Jerrold, Zadock Hawks, John Gibson, David Parker, Philetus Stewart, Calvin Cross, Dr. Smith, Benjamin Bonney and Capt. White, were also early settlers.

    The first birth was that of Weston Paine, in 1805, and the first death that of Mrs. Ezra Sexton, in 1807. Mitchell Atwood built the first saw-mill, in 1806, and Bishop & Hunt the first grist-mill, in 1807. Mr. Atwood still survives, and lives upon the same farm upon which he first settled. J. C. Paine was an early innkeeper. The first religious services were conducted by Ezra Sexton, at the house of Bethel Hurd, in 1805.

    The census of 1865 gives the town population of 1479, and an area of 22,893 acres. There are twelve school districts, employing twelve teachers. The whole number of pupils is 463, and the average attendance 153. The whole amount expended for school purposes in 1867 is $1,234.96.

    About the year 1810, a gentleman of wealth and refinement, who seemed to seek a retired home among Georgetown hills, created no little interest in this town. He called his name Lewis Anathe Muller, and was considered an exile from France. With that force which wealth can command, he cleared three hundred acres of his land, lying about three miles west of the village of Georgetown. He built a house unlike anything ever seen in this region before or since. It was 70 feet by 30, constructed of massive sills, resting on a foundation of solid masonry. The superstructure was of cherry timber, eight inches thick and eleven feet high, framed into the sills side by side around the entire building. These were all planed and tied together by slats, dovetailed into each. All the brick, lime, iron work, nails and ornaments, were from necessity brought over the hills on backs of horses. The fire places were trimmed with black marble, and the most costly furniture completed the interior arrangements. A brook passing through his grounds supplied an artificial pond, stored with fish. Around this pond a great variety of fruit trees was planted. He erected two storehouses, a grist-mill and several dwellings in the vicinity. He was fond of hunting, but would attack no game while it was at rest, though it stood little chance of life under such circumstances when his rifle was in his hands. In 1814, when Bonaparte abdicated, Muller returned to France, leaving his wife and family in New York. After an absence of two or three years, he returned to dispose of his property here. Upon his arrival in Georgetown, his house was stripped of furniture, his stock and all movable property had disappeared, his mill was deserted, and desolation and ruin marked everything around. The agent in whose care he had left his property, had disappeared. In mute dismay he viewed the wreck of his former home. He returned to New York, disposed of his land, and then returned to France, not having been heard of since. It is supposed that he brought $150,000 to Georgetown, and that he left with scarcely the hundredth part of that sum.

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