Town of Constantia  


View of the Stripping Station, Constantia, N.Y.
View of the Stripping Station, Constantia, N.Y.
Here is a postcard photo of the Constantia Stripping Station. I do not know the date 
the photo was taken.  The second person from the left is James Andrews (b. 1862). 
The photo was taken by A.H. Myer, Photographers, Jordan, N.Y.
Contributed by William Wallace

Postcard from the 1910's 
The Vanderbuilt Hotel, Constantia, NY
Contributed by Pat Latrell

Residence of Patrick Hopkins, Constantia, N.Y.
Residence of Patrick Hopkins, Constantia, N.Y.
(Engraving from the book, History of Oswego Co., N.Y.)

My name is Kiely Malone, and I am the editor here. I started researching my family history only a few short months ago. At first, it was curiousity. Now, a labor of love. 
Having spent my entire life on the north shore of Oneida Lake, the village of Cleveland will always be my home. My family and many generations before me were born and raised here. A place that I hope will always be a part of my family's history.
    " A man's destiny stands not in the future but in the past" 
                                            Havelock Ellis
(Found this on PA Rootsweb site-Kiely Malone )
Dear Ancestor
Your tombstone stands among the rest
Neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished marbled stone.

It reaches out to all who care
it is too late to mourn
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.

I wonder as you lived and loved
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot
and come and visit you.

Author Unknown
1860 Gazetteer
Constantia Village history and business owner names 
More history on the Town of Constantia & Cleveland Village
Bernhard's Bay history 
Personal Memories of Bernhard's Bay
1895 Landmark's History Book of Constantia
1867 Topographical Map of Bernhard's Bay
1867 Topographical Map,Village of Constantia 
1867 New Topographical Atlas Constantia East, Constantia, NY
1867 New Topographical Atlas Constantia West, Constantia, NY
1867 New Topographical Atlas of Oswego Co. Cleveland N & S, Town of Constantia, NY

Citizens of Constantia - List of early names from Constantia
Town Officers of Constantia - List of names who held office in Constantia 
Cleveland Village Officers & Businessmen -  Held office in early Cleveland, and business owners
Zachariah Fellows - biography on County Connections: Herkimer Co. GenWeb 
Solomon Waring Revolutionary Pension Records 
The Cole Family from Cleveland, NY - history & photo's
Rev. Loren Arthur Davis, Bernhards Bay, NY 

Constantia Center Cemetery May 21, 2007 
Constantia Center Cemetery Lot Owners
St. Mary's Cemetery, Cleveland, NY
Lakewood Cemetery, Cleveland, NY
Cleveland N. St. Cemetery, aka Cleveland Cem. - Part 1 - Part 2
Bernhard's Bay Cemetery 
Feeler Family Cemetery, Cleveland, NY
West Road Cemetery, Constantia, NY 

1820 Federal Census Town of Constantia

Early church histories in Constantia, Bernhard's Bay, and Cleveland
Records of the Quaker Church, Bernhard's Bay 

Will of Solomon Ferris, Bernhard's Bay 

Landgraff and Cum(m)ins Obituaries from Cleveland, NY
Obituary of Gideon Bentley
Adam Leonard
Charles Henry Leonard
Emma McCluskey Leonard
Louis Leonard
Alfred Beebe
Henry J. Beebe 
Mrs.Christina Beebe
James H. Beebe
Schuler, Schindler, Wise, Griesmyer Families
William M. Gallagher, Cleveland, NY
Miscellaneous Obituaries - New

1890 Veterans Census Schedules, Town of Constantia, NY

1869 Diary of Dell Morse, Cleveland, NY
The Constantia Flood in 1897
The History of Glass Manufacturing - Cleveland, NY 
Lakeside Press Various News Clippings
Frenchman's Love Story - Constantia 
Bernhard's Bay School House - 1950-1951 photograph

Oswego Co., NY GenWeb Archives 
--  Cleveland Village, Oswego Co., NY -  1899 Directory
--  Big Tank Employees, Cleveland, Oswego Co., NY - list of workers employed there.

Machinery used to Get Sand to the Glass Factory in Constantia
Hop-Pickers, Constantia, NY


More Photographs of Constantia, NY

Early postcard, "The Blue Spruce," 
located in Cleveland, N.Y.

Bernhard's Bay Methodist Church
Bernhard's Bay Methodist Church and burying ground in the upper left
Contributed by Claude and Merilee Freeman

Baptist Church in Constantia Center
The Baptist Church in Constantia Center and the cemetery beside it.
Contributed by Claude and Merilee Freeman

Cleveland Historical Society, Town of Constantia
Cleveland Historical Society, Town of Constantia 
Contributed by Laura Perkins

Cleveland Historical Society, Town of Constantia
Cleveland Historical Society, Town of Constantia
Contributed by Laura Perkins

Town of Constantia Resources:
Town Historian
  Joni Hinds
  RR1, Box 2821
  Cleveland, NY  13402
  (315) 675-8225
Constantia Town Clerk
  Frederick Street
  Constantia, N.Y.  13044
  (315) 623-7713
Libraries - on this site
Arts & Culture for Oswego County - Constantia, NY - offsite

Information was obtained from the Historical & Statistical Gazetteer of New York State, R. P. Smith, Publisher, Syr., 1860, by J. H. French.

CONSTANTIA4 ----was formed from Mexico, April 8, 1808.  Hastings was taken off in 1825, and West Monroe in 1839.  It lies upon the N. shore of Oneida Lake, in the S. E. corner of the county.  The surface is nearly level, and is slightly inclined toward the south.  The principal streams are Scriba and Black Creeks, flowing into Oneida Lake.  Iron ore is found in the Clinton group of rocks, which extend through the south part.  The soil consists of clay, gravel, sand, and vegetable mold, and in general is fertile.  Most of the interior is unsettled.  Frenchmans Island, in Oneida Lake, about 4 miles from Constantia, belongs to this town; it contains about 28 acres.5   Lumber, leather, glass, and iron are extensively manufactured.6

  Cleveland,7  (p. v.,) incorp. April 15, 1857, is located on Oneida Lake, in the East part of the town.  It contains 2 churches, 2 glass factories, and several other manufactories.  Pop. 1,005.   Constantia, (p.v.,) in the west part, on Oneida Lake, contains 2 churches and has a pop. of  600.  Bernhards Bay, (p.v.,) on the lake, contains 2 churches, a glass factory, and 360 inhabitants.  Constantia Center is a p.o.  Soon after the purchase of Scriba's Patent, in 1790, Mr. Scriba commenced the first settlement of his lands at Constantia, and established agents and laborers there in 1793.8  There are 7 churches in town.9

4.    Named by the proprietor, George SCRIBA 

5.  "During the French Revolution of 1793, when the French nobility were compelled to seek safety in flight, and the trains of exiles to this country were crowded with dukes and princes of the blood, the COUNT ST. HILARY, a young Frenchman, and his beautiful and accomplished wife, a daughter of the noble house of Clermont, landed upon our shores.  Following the trail of emigration westward, they reached Oneida Lake, then on the great thoroughfare of travel; and, attracted by the beautiful island and its primitive forests, they landed upon it, and concluded to make it their future home.  Here in the deep solitude of nature, they enjoyed for many months, perfect peace and quietude. 

  Their place of residence was at length discovered by Chancellor LIVINGSTON, who had formerly enjoyed the elegant hospitalities of the lady's family at Paris.  He visited them in their rural home, and, after spending some time with them, he prevailed upon them to return with him to his mansion upon the Hudson.  There they continued to reside until Bonaparte had put an end to the reign of terror and restored much of the confiscated property to the exiles of the Revolution, when they returned to France. 

  Several years after, as Livingston stood upon the bank of the Seine, amidst a crowd of distinguished Parisians, to witness the first experiment of Robert Fulton in steam navigation, he was recognized by the Count, who at once took him to his residence, and treated him during his stay at Paris as a generous benefactor and an honored guest.   Livingston's mansion upon the Hudson and the first steamboat of Fulton and Livingston were both named, in honor of the lady's family, "Clermont."

6.  There are 34 sawmills, 2 flouring mills, 3 glass factories, 2 tanneries, an iron foundery, and other manufacturing establishments in town.

7.  Named from James CLEVELAND, who settled here in 1828.

8. Solomon WARING, Joshua LYNCH, and Dr. VANDERCAMP settled in town in 1793; and John BERNHARD in 1795.

The first birth was that of George WARING, April 11, 1796.

The first store was opened in 1793, by Mr. SCRIBA, and the first inn in the same year, by Major Solomon WARING.

In 1794 -95, Mr. SCRIBA erected in this town the first sawmill and gristmill built in the county.

The first school was opened in 1797, at Constantia.

9.   Presb., Prot. E., M. E., Asso. Presb., Friends, Ref. Prot. D., R. C.


   The village of Constantia, a station on the New York and Oswego Midland railroad, pleasantly situated at the mouth of Scriba creek, was incorporated in 1836, but has since ceased to exercise its corporate rights.  The population in 1870 was five hundred and eighty-seven.  There are within its limits one lawyer, two physicians, three churches, five stores, one hotel, two Blacksmith-shops, two wagon-shops, several mills, and a large tannery.  The present business men are as follows:

General merchants:
Robertson & Brothers
Dewayne MILES


Hon. W. H. BAKER



   The village meat-market is kept by J. R. DECKER.  The grist-mill is owned by J. CARTER'S sons.  The wagon-makers are Stowel & Brown, and A. DUFFLER. 

   The tannery is owned by Robinson & Bros.  It was built in 1850, and has been twice burned and rebuilt.  The present building is one of the largest in the county used as a tannery.  The establishment consumes annually from four to six thousand cords of bark.


   The little hamlet at this point, a station on the New York and Oswego Midland railroad, had in 1865, a hundred and sixty inhabitants.  It has a general country store in connection with the glass-works, which are owned by Stevens, Crandall & Co.  These works employ about sixty men, and manufacture near thirty thousand boxes of glass per year.

Town of Constantia

Source:  History of Oswego County, New York 1789-1877, published by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1877.
Generously contributed by Jim and Gaylene Banister.

  The first settlement in the southeastern part of the town was made by Christopher Martin, of Vermont, who located upon "great lot No. 131," in February, 1821. Mr. Martin describes this locality as being at that time a place of great beauty. The banks of the lake were lined with chestnut- and walnut-trees, while stretching away for miles in the background was an unbroken forest of pines and other evergreens. Game was abundant in the woods, and salmon were plenty in the lake. Mr. Martin erected a frame house, eighteen by twenty-eight feet. During the same year Daniel Howard, Solomon Howard, and Isaac Ward located in the neighborhood.

  The first school was kept by Mr. Martin, in the winter of 1822-23, in a log house upon the Vanderkemp farm. This was the first school taught in district No. 1, which included all of the east half of the town. The first school-house was built two or three years later, and was a log building, twenty by twenty-six feet, located on small lot No. 10. The first religious meeting in the vicinity was held in the house of Mr. Martin, in the summer of 1822, by the Rev. Mr. Keyes, a Methodist minister, on his way to attend conference.

  In 1824 Nathan Beebe came on. He built a saw-mill the same year, the first one in this part of the town. During this year Mr. Horace Hitchcock located in the neighborhood, and in 1825 James Cleveland, James Dickey, Sam'l H. Stevens, and Abiethy Buck came to the same locality. Mr. Stevens built the first hotel where the village of Cleveland now is. The building is still standing, although it has been several times repaired and altered. It is now called the Marble House, and is kept by Mr. Morgan.

  The first store in Cleveland village was built by Messrs. Cleveland & Stevens, in 1826. Shortly after, a post-office was established, and Mr. Cleveland was appointed post-master. It was called "Cleveland," after him, and as the village grew up it received the same name.

  Although a stock company had been incorporated under the name of the Constantia iron company as early as March 9, 1814, they had not commenced operations, and it was not until they were succeeded, about 1830, by the American iron company (consisting of Nathan J. Stiles, John C. Coffin, and others) that work was begun. This company selected a site on the west bank of Scriba creek, a short distance above the mill, and immediately began the erection of a furnace. The building was sixty by a hundred feet, and their cold-blast furnace was capable of turning out three potash-kettles per day. The furnace brought other settlers into the village, and in 1834 a second store was erected by Augustus Marshall. At this time the town began to improve much more rapidly than before. The village of Constantia was incorporated by a special act passed May 25, 1836.

  The American iron company sold out in 1836 to the Oneida Lake furnace company, which consisted of Moses W. Lester, C. Woodbridge, J. Tucker, and others. In 1839, while this company were engaged in building an addition to their stack, it fell to the ground, almost entirely destroying their building.

  In 1840, Mr. Anthony Landgraff, a German glass-manufacturer, who had been making glass in this country since 1819, located at the village of Cleveland, and erected the first glass-works in the county. Although sand suitable for making glass was discovered as early as 1813, several miles west of Cleveland, its existence in the neighborhood of that village was unknown, and for the first year after establishing his works there Mr. Landgraff boated his sand from Verona, upon the south shore of the lake. He discovered in 1841 that his works were located upon a bed of sand far superior to what he had been using. In consequence of this discovery two other glass-factories have since been established in the town, and a large amount of sand is exported annually to other works in this State and Canada.

  In 1842 the Oneida Lake furnace company failed. It was succeeded by Newton Dexter, Hiram Blanchard, and Moses W. Lester, who within a short time transferred the property to a company called the Constantia iron company. Mr. Edward B. Judson, the principal stockholder, put in a hot-air blast, and carried on the business for a number of years. In the spring of 1851, the Union glass company was organized. Their works were put up during the year, and the manufacture of window-glass was commenced in the spring of 1852, under the supervision of Charles Hoyt, agent of the company. The manufacture of glass at Bernhard's bay was commenced in 1852, by a stock company.

  Since that time settlement has progressed considerably. Mills have been erected upon all the principal streams, and the forest of pines which but a few years since was undisturbed by the woodsman, has found its way in the shape of lumber to the distant markets of the Atlantic cities.

  The population of the town at different periods since it was reduced to its present size has been as follows: In 1840, 1476; in 1850, 2495; in 1860, 3413; in 1870, 3437; in 1875, 3491.

Cleveland Village

  The only Cleveland newspaper, the Lakeside Press, is mentioned in the chapter of this work devoted to the history of the press of the county.

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 Copyright © 2007 Claude and Merilee Freeman Church Postcards
Copyright © 2007 Pat Latrell Photo Vanderbuilt Hotel
Copyright © 2007Laura Perkins 
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