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Sherburne Town

Sherburne Town Hall is located at 1 Canal Street, Sherburne NY 13460; phone: 607-674-4481.

Beginnings [†]

The first white people to settle in Sherburne came from Connecticut via Duanesburg, New York, where they had lived for a short time on Judge Duane's extensive manor. Chafing under the semi-feudal leasehold system, a group of twenty Duanesburg families determined to purchase property in the newly opened territory known as the "Governor's Purchase." Governor George Clinton bought this land in northern Chenango and southern Madison counties from the Iroquois Indians in 1791 and advertised it to be sold at auction. The Duanesburg group selected 6000 acres and between 1793 and 1974 all twenty families settled on the land. In 1795, the New York State legislature officially recognized the township of Sherburne. The name, according to James Smith's History of Chenango and Madison Counties, is derived from the English hymn "Sherburne" which gave these pioneers inspiration. [1]

By this time, while living in log cabins, these first settlers had organized church and school meetings, established saw and grist mills, and built a 10-mile road from Sherburne Quarter to the Unadilla River. Regular town meetings were held soon after.

Transportation systems are especially influential in the development of rural areas and Sherburne's early settlement owes much to turnpikes. In 1801 the Second Great Western Turnpike Company received a charter to extend the Albany-Cherry Valley road through Cooperstown to terminate in Sherburne. This east-west road was naturally placed between the hills where State Route 80 (East and West State Streets) runs today, incorporating the settlers 10-mile road. Instead of extending to the settlement known as Sherburne West Hill, this lower branch of the Cherry Valley Turnpike stopped short at a logical junction with the north/south valley route; this is where the present Sherburne village developed.

Endnote

  1. James H. Smith, History of Chenango and Madison Counties, page 449.

Breyer, Lucy A., New York State Division for Historic Preservation, Sherburne Historic District, nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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