District #5 Lumber City

There is another school photo of Lumber City students before WWII on display in the Lindley Town Hall Lobby. Two young boys standing next to each other were both causalities of WWII. Donald Walch -a glider pilot was killed in Germany. The historian files currently does not have any information on Robert Blackman's military service.
Did you ever wonder how Lumber City School  received it's name?
  A short history to explain how this occurred.
           A deed in the Steuben County Clerk's Office states that on April 12, 1792, Col. Lindsley sold the northern half of the Town of Lindley to  Hermanus Garrison and Gozen(John)Ryers. Garrison was the grandfather of the members of the Harrower and Mersereau families who were to become active locally in the lumbering business. Garrison acquired about 3,000 acres or 1/4th  of the land  on the West side of the Tioga River-extending from about the present Stowell Hill north to the Erwin town line and west from the river to the Tuscarora town line.  Many old deeds refer to this as the Mersereau Tract since Joshua Mersereau who was the son -in law of Garrison ended up owning much of the property.  
           John Ryers acquired the eastern 1/4th about 3000 acres which went east from the river to the present Caton line, north from the present Tannery Creek Road to the Erwin town line. His son John P. Ryers came to Lindley in 1797 and died in Campbell in 1839. There is a large grave stone (now fallen) on his grave in Hope Cemetery in Corning,  N.Y.  Ryers  Creek Road is named for this family.
           On the 1793 map , the name Fox, Weston-Bronson  is found close to a schoolhouse on Ryers Creek Road just off from the present River Road. A research of this business turned up all sorts of interesting information. (The name appears on many deeds for that area. These deeds ,also, mention a Ryers map which is on file in the  Steuben County Clerk's office. The map which  covers the entire 3000 acres owned by Ryers is divided into 39 lots.)
            .In the early 1800's,Weston was a business man in Painted Post. In 1846, a man by the name of Fox purchased much of the Erwin estate from the Erwin heirs and began a lumbering business with a sawmill in the present Gang Mills with Weston as a partner. The sawmill would have been about where the railroad yard is today -(there used to be a street called Mill Street there) Later a Bronson joined the company. Sometime after John Ryers' death, The Fox Weston, Bronson company acquired most of the Ryers property as well as land on the west side of the Tioga River in Presho and began an extensive lumbering business in the area. Early records mention the area on Ryers Creek as Lumber City which one would guess is why the company name appears on the 1873 map. And so we have Lumber City School.
          As an added note, the Young family who still own much of the land in that area often mentioned finding rails for a railroad back on the hill. In doing the research, I found that the FWB Company  operated a steam locomotive in the Town of Lindley-Steuben in 1860 .It disputes a statement by William Freeman Fox  in A History of the Lumber Industry in New York  " The first railroad for hauling logs was built in 1852 by Fox-Weston-Bronson in the Town of Lindley,Steuben County, New York. It was constructed of wooden rails and was equipped with platform cars and a locomotive which bore on its cab the name" BULL OF THE WOODS". The railroad was not used as a substitute for log driving ,but for hauling logs to the bank of the Tioga River whence they were driven to the large Gang Mills at Painted Post." The article goes on to say that this idea was soon copied in the Adirondacks and other timber localities.
          About 1876, when most of  the Lindley hills were bare (denuded) due to the trees being removed, the Fox-Weston-Bronson Company now one the largest lumbering companies in the United States and Canada  moved their operation to Michigan with many local families going with them.(Many Michigan families trace their roots back to Steuben County, N.Y.) It was at this time that the FWB company began selling off the land  shown on the Ryers Estate map.
            Since My Gt. Grandparent's deed of the 40 acres that they purchased in 1878 from Fox-Weston-Bronson mentioned the Ryers map, and another old deed of 40 acres, also, mentioned the map, we made the trip to the County Clerk's Office. It was exciting to find the map and it is informative about Lindley  history.
               Lumbering was the first major business in Lindley and the information that I found by using Google and the Internet provided some interesting reading.
             Things we would never know about our community if someone hadn't taken time to record the facts.
P.S. Weston was ,also important in Ingersoll-Rand history.
Who says history is boring..


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