Downsville, NY is a small town in Delaware County with a rich history that dates back to the 18th century. The area has witnessed some significant historical events, from the days of the American Revolution to the industrial era. In this article, we will explore seven of the noteworthy historical events that have taken place near Downsville, NY.
1. Battle of Bunker Hill (1775)
Although the Battle of Bunker Hill did not take place in Downsville, it played a significant role in American history. On June 17, 1775, American soldiers fought against the British army in Boston. Among the soldiers were several members of the Ulster County Militia, which included men from Delaware County. The battle resulted in a British victory and set the stage for the Revolutionary War.
2. The Great New York Fire (1835)
On December 16, 1835, a devastating fire broke out in New York City that destroyed over 600 buildings and displaced thousands of people. Many of the buildings that burned down were in the financial district, including the Merchants Exchange, where many businesses kept their records. As a result, many businesses relocated to neighboring towns, including Downsville.
3. Downsville Bridge Completion (1856)
The Downsville Bridge, also known as the Delaware County Bridge, is a wooden-covered bridge that spans the East Branch of the Delaware River. The bridge was built in 1856 and was used for vehicular traffic until the 1930s when it was closed to vehicles. The bridge was restored in 1998 and is now used as a pedestrian walkway.
4. Civil War Draft Riots (1863)
In the summer of 1863, a draft was instituted to fill the Union Army's ranks during the Civil War. The draft was widely unpopular, particularly among working-class New Yorkers who opposed the war. Riots erupted in New York City and quickly spread to other parts of the state, including Delaware County. The riots resulted in the death of over 100 people and caused widespread destruction.
5. Erie Railroad Completion (1869)
The Erie Railroad was a massive engineering project that began in 1832 and was completed in 1869. The railway line ran from New York City to Dunkirk, NY, and was instrumental in the development of the western United States. The line passed through Delaware County, and Downsville was one of the stops along the route.
6. Sullivan County Steam Engine Locomotive (1888)
In 1888, the Sullivan County Steam Engine Locomotive was built in Oneonta, NY, by the Glen Manufacturing Company. The engine was designed for logging operations in the area, and it was put into operation on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. The engine was later sold to the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, where it was used until the late 1920s.
7. Downsville Schoolhouse Fire (1953)
On the night of February 6, 1953, the Downsville Schoolhouse caught fire and was destroyed. The school building had been in use since the early 1900s and was a significant part of the community. No one was injured in the fire, but the loss of the school was a blow to the town. The community rebuilt the school, and it remains a vital part of Downsville to this day.
In conclusion, these seven historical events have all played a role in shaping the history of Downsville, NY, and the surrounding area. Although these events happened at different times and places, they all demonstrate the importance of the area to the development of the United States. The history of Downsville is worth exploring and learning more about for anyone interested in American history.
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