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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tidbits from "History of the Towns of Rensselaer County"

Page 117:
... When the declaration of Independence was received...
Much deprivation and suffering were in every part of the county.  Every able-bodied man was serving his country, either at home or abroad.  The lands were neglected, families left in want, but all was with a willing heart for independence.  The women did not withhold; they applied their hands to the tilling of the lands, etc., to keep a starving family alive, and a famishing soldier.

THE NAMES OF THE FIRST SETTLERS
Godfrey Brimmer is accorded the honor of being the first settler located on the territory now embraced within the boundaries of the town of Berlin.  He is said to have made his home in the northern part of this portion of the manor of Rensselaerwyck as early as the year 1765.  Reuben Bonesteel came shortly afterwards.  In 1769 Peter Simmons, Jacob O. Cropsey and Joseph Green were numbered among the persons occupying farms in this part of the county.  Col. Caleb Bentley took to farming in the northern and Thomas Sweet  in the southern part about this time.  Paul Braman, James and Daniel Dennison, Nathaniel Niles, Peleg Thomas and Joshua Whitford were also early settlers.

Nelson Hull in his reminiscensces thus refers to the tide of emigration in this vicinity:

After the revolution new settlers began to come in and enlarge the boundaries of cultivation.  MEchanical arts began to increase.  A saw miss was built near the year 1780 by Amos Sweet, in the hollow east of the Christian chapel.  A blacksmith shop was opened by Thomas Sweet, on the east side of the road, a short distance north of Sweet's Corners.  This was much earlier than the above date.

The early inhabitants of the country were generally quite healthy and athletic, but a doctor was fit to settle here, whether for weal or woe, near the year 1775 - Dr. John Forbes - at Sweet's Corners.

The first frame house in the present limits of the town of Berlin was built by Daniel Hull, near the close of the revolution, on the same ground where now resides Daniel J. Hull.

In 1813 an epidemic made its appearance in the valley of the Hoosick and swept through the country like a tornado.  *** There was little or no exception as to age; the young and the athletic fell before the destroyer.  Mourning was in almost every house; but few families escaped.

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