Town of
Hadley
History

History

Our Town History:

     The Town of Hadley is located in the northeastern corner of Saratoga County and covers 32 square miles.  The Town is separate from Lake Luzerne in Warren County by the Hudson River and other bordering towns are Stony Creek to the North, Corinth to the South and Day to the West. 

The land is hilly with light sandy soil and boulders with the Kayaderossera Mountains forming the gateway to the Adirondack Park.

      Lands taken from the Town of Greenfield and the Town of Northumberland formed the Town of Hadley on February 27, 1801. 

      On April 20, 1818 the southern portion became the Town of Corinth and in 1819, some of the western portion was added to the Town of Day, thus reducing the Town of Hadley to its present dimensions.

In addition to a few small creeks such as Wolf Creek, are the Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers which meet to form Phelps Bay between the Hadley hamlet area and Lake Luzerne. 

Earlier, the bay had been called Ti-o-sa-ron-da, "meeting of the waters" by the Indians. 

     Palmer's Falls also known as Hadley Falls was called Kah-che-bon-cook by the Indians. Filled with Indian Lore and tradition is the historical valley of the Sacandaga River, which has been converted into the Sacandaga Reservoir with the River flowing through the construct of the Conklingville and Stewart Dams. 

     Sacandaga is an Indian name meaning, "the river of sunken or drowned lands."  This territory, prior to the coming of the white people, belonged principally to the Mohawks and Oneida Indians. 

Indians roamed all through the valley, which was a favorite route for the braves on the war path.  There were several clearings where they camped to fish or hunt.  Sir William Johnson, after the Revolutionary War, used this valley for hunting and later built two hunting lodges there, one of which he called the Fish House.

     Before settlers arrived in the Sacandaga valley, the Mohawk and Oneida member nations of the Iroquois tribes fought their enemies, the Algonquins.  The French and Indians and later Revolutionary soldiers used the same valley trails as their predecessors.  After the Revolutionary War, pioneers settled in the Sacandaga Valley. 

The early most settled areas were the hamlet center, Conklingville, which was flooded in 1930 to create the Sacandaga Reservoir.

 

     The first settler of Hadley was Richard Hilton, who came there in 1788.   Alexander Stewart settled on the bank of the Hudson in 1790 and cleared a farm of fifteen acres that Summer from May to December.

     Other early settlers were:  Henry Walker in 1790, David Dayton in 1796, Elizah Ellis in 1800, Joseph Gilbert in 1800, David Jeffers, Henry Blackwood in 1802, Jeremy Rockwell who became one of Hadley's most prominent and affluent residents, Daodatus Jeffers in 1800, Jonathon Flanders, David Kenyon, Benjamin Cowles and many more through the years. Harmon Rockwell, son of Jeremy, built the Cascade House ( a hotel ) in 1843. 

Charles Rockwell, grandson of Jeremy, along with his son-in-law Marcus Gardiner began the Rockwell Falls Fiber Company, Inc. in 1878.  This paper mill was located near the Cascade House and prospered, changed ownership several times, declined, and was finally abandoned and demolished in 1936.

    

     Another beautiful piece of architecture can be found at the currently named Saratoga Rose.  The private residence Hill Top was built in the 1880's by the Myers Van Zandt family.   Myers, a New York City businessman, married Catherine Rockwell, granddaughter of Jeremy Rockwell, the prominent 1792 settler.
Through the years the home has been the Upper Hudson Sanitarium, the home of a Paper Mill superintendent, Rozell's Funeral Home (in the 1930's) and apartments (in the 1940's).  The home was restored by Margaret and James Mandigo and opened as Highclere Inn and Restaurant in June of 1984.   Further renovations were made by Nancy and Anthony Merlino, who opened the Saratoga Rose May 31, 1988. 

Present owners are Claude Belanger of Quebec City, and Chef and artist Richard Ferrugio of NYC.  Together they have brought their passions of fine design and fine dining, creating a very special place for your very special getaways.  Have you ever wanted to enjoy a romantic Victorian setting dating back to Victorian times?  You may be a hundred years to late - or you can take a trip to the Saratoga Rose Bed and Breakfast in Hadley. 

It is a nostalgic visit to an earlier era and is ideally suited within easy driving distance to Saratoga, Glens Falls, and Lake George.  The Adirondacks, well known for both their recreation areas and relaxing surroundings, create a perfect backdrop for this Victorian Inn and Restaurant.  

 

     In 1865, the Adirondack Railway, later merged to D & H, reached Hadley.  The trains brought well known people to Hadley and Luzerne to spend their summer vacations. 

Stage coaches, and later automobiles, met the trains to take guests to the hotels and boarding houses, which provided employment for area residents.  Freight cars served the woodenware factory
adjacent to the depot, the paper mill and a grist mill.  The 518 foot long railroad trestle bridge over the Sacandaga River is adjacent to the Bow Bridge, which is on the National Register.

 

     The Bow Bridge in 1885 replaced the burned 1813 built covered bridge.

                                                        

      In 1898, a gold mine, the Sacandaga Mining and Milling Company started operation in a three story mine building with three terraces and  was located 1 1/2 miles from the Hadley hamlet.
The gold fever lasted only two decades.  Hematite  Iron Ore was mined from Mt. Anthony but it too was unprofitable.

 

     A tannery and a woodenware factory were very successful in Conklingville (now gone) as has been the logging in the Township throughout the years.

 

     The 1903 and 1908 forest fires were the most devastating fires in the Adirondack Mountains.  Thereafter, State Laws were passed to reduce the effects of forest fires.
Fire Towers were built, first of wood and later by steel.  Marked trails were constructed and were used by hikers who registered when using the trails.

 

     Today, Hadley hosts a variety of outdoor activities for all seasons.   The great Sacandaga River allows for kayaking, canoeing, rafting, tubing, power boating, swimming and fishing.  Sacandaga Outdoor Center is just one of this area's water sport outfitters.   Winter's are filled with snowmobiling and snowshoeing among other things to do in this pristine wilderness.    Accommodations galore, Hadley offers a quiet place to get away from the city noise and bustle.  Friendly and welcoming, this town is full of rich
history that can still be seen among its architecture and scenic rivers. 

 

 

Sources: The Early History of Corinth 'Once Known as Jessup's Landing' By Mabel Pitkin Shorey, Corinth,
NY 1959
Hadley-Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Bicentennial Booklet)
October 23, 1998 Newsletter from the Hadley-Luzerne Historical Society By Lee Butler Feb 8, 1988
The Post Star Wednesday September 1, 2004 By Jason McCord
50 Years A Trapper - Treasure Hunter By Johnny Thorpe

Historic Bow Bridge:

Hadley Bow Bridge

History Summary

(rev. 8/8/06)

 

1813 - First wood covered bridge located at the site of the current bridge. Built under the supervision of Obadiah Wilcox. Known at the time as Jessup's Landing. It was destroyed by fire in 1885.

 

1885 - The Board of Auditors of the Town of Hadley authorized John Holleran, the town's commissioner of highways to "proceed at once" to build an iron bridge at the location of the former wood covered bridge. The bridge was built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company, Connecticut. It was built upon the abutments of the former covered bridge.

 

1972 - Closed by the town because it was deemed unsafe to carry the additional traffic caused by the temporary closing of the Route 9N bridge below Lake Luzerne. Emergency repairs were made to the trusses, the bearings were rebuilt and the bridge was reopened to one-vehicle at a time, 10 mph traffic.

1977 - The bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

1983 - The bridge was closed to all traffic.

 

1994 - Historic American Engineering Record recorded the Bow Bridge

 

1999 - The ownership of the bridge was transferred to Saratoga County.

 

2000 - Saratoga County made preparations to remove the bridge. Ultimately and due to public sentiment, only the deck was removed and the bridge was stabilized secured and protected until it was decided what to do with the bridge. Saratoga County accepted a $15,000 grant for the Preservation League of NYS and the New York State Council on the Arts for an Historic Structure report.

 

2001 - The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors adopt Resolution 135-01 supporting the rehabilitation of the Hadley bow bridge and obligate up to $350,000  in matching funds for the rehabilitation. The Historic Structure report was completed by Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C., Troy, New York.

 

2002 - Saratoga County received a Federal and State Transportation Enhancement Program Grant for $1.38 million dollars for the rehabilitation of the Hadley Bow Bridge.  

 

2003 - Saratoga County entered into an agreement with Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C. for the design of the rehabilitation of the Hadley Bow Bridge.

 

2005 - Bids were opened by Saratoga County for the rehabilitation construction contract. The low bidder was D.A. Collins Construction Co., Mechanicville, New York. Construction began in  the spring of 2005.

 

Historic Hadley Bow Bridge Ribbon Cutting Photo taken by Kathy Trackey 2006 - Construction completed and the bridge is reopened to unrestricted single lane vehicular traffic. 

 

 

Some notable facts about the bridge:

  • Type: pin-connected, parabolic (a.k.a. lenticular), mid-height (i.e. the bridge deck passes through the mid-line of the truss), wrought iron truss.
  • The main span is the only remaining one of the three of its type which were known to have been built with the bridge deck at the mid-height of the parabolic truss. 
  • No. of Spans: 2
  • Total span: 183 Feet
  • Width: 13.1 feet clear, 16 feet overall
  • The site of the bridge is also historic, since there has been a bridge there for almost 200 years.

 

The above information was compiled from:

The Art and History of the Bow Bridge compiled by Tom Ryan, Published by Watercolors by Tom Ryan

Final Historic Structures Report for the Old Corinth Road Bridge over the Sacandaga River, Saratoga County, New York

Saratoga County Records