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HAMMOND HISTORY

(written for the 175th anniversary of the town of Hammond)

Mohawk Natives first laid claim to this fertile land.
In 1795, gave it up to US as part of a treaty plan.
Alex Macomb bought a big portion, to David Ogden he sold some,
Who sold it to a New York City merchant, Abijah Hammond.

Without ever having seen this area, being a bit darish,
Hammond sold almost 29,000 acres to Mr. David Parish.
Later he opened a small land office in Chippewa Bay.
What a kind and caring man he was, so settlers used to say.

But the actual first settler was from Vermont, William McNeil.
He lived in a niche in the rocks - hunting and fishing was his deal.
Then came William Wiley, in 1812 some village land he cleared.
After that more and more eager hard-working settlers appeared.

Scottish immigrants began coming in summer of 1818,
When times and work in Scotland were getting fairly lean.
Mr. Parish made it easy for them to own and stock their farms.
They started with log cabins & later built stone houses with charm.

Of Morristown and of Rossie, this town was a vital part
(‘Til March 30, 1827) when Hammond got its formal start.
In the county it was 20th in population, ‘twas the 21st town,
22nd in actual size, with 160 islands to abound.

Besides farming there were businesses of which we’ll name a few:
A blacksmith shop, sawmill, tannery, hotel and taverns, too.
By 1844, 6 sawmills shipped lumber as far as England and West Indies.
There were also 3 tanneries, 3 asheries, and the Calaboga Glass Factory.

By 1887 the village had a wagon shop, shoe store, hat shop and carriage maker,
Music store, newspaper, a dentist, doctor, and an undertaker,
Two hotels, a blacksmith shop, harness, hardware and furniture stores,
A clothing store, drugstore, crockery, jewelry shop, 2 groceries, need I say more?

Turn of the century - sandstone quarries operated where 600 men were hired.
Evans Manufacturing made farm implements ‘til destroyed by fire.
Ferries & steamboats carried folks & freight on St. Lawrence River & Black Lake.
There was a milk plant and 10 factories where prize-winning cheese they did make.

Churches in this growing town played a very important part.
The Presbyterian Church began with Scottish settlers with heart.
Then Congregational, Methodist, Baptist, and Episcopal,
Universalists and Roman Catholic, so Hammond folks were not unspiritual.

Schools were built throughout the town, the first in 1819.
By 1870, one-roomed schoolhouses numbered a grand thirteen.
In 1882 Hammond was the first in the county to have a graded school.
In 1907, a high school was built and Hammond Central in ‘52.

Various organizations have been active all through the years,
From Hammond Plowmen to Hammond Fair, competitions with great cheers.
The Eastern Stars & Masons, Oddfellows, Rebekahs & the Grange,
Fire Department and Drama Club, quite an interesting range.

Over many, many summers folks from all around have come
To the river or Black Lake, enjoying quiet and warmth of sun,
Going boating or fishing or just taking in the beautiful views,
Like a sunset with its deepest pinks and lightest lavender hues.

So, on this day of our town's 175th anniversary celebration,
May we all join together with great shouts of acclamation;
"Hammond is a s thriving today as it was, well, way back then.
Let's keep the enthusiastic spirit going 'til the very end!

by Donna Demick, with information taken from articles
by Valera Bickelhaupt, Maxine Rutherford and Alexander Allen

 
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