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Dolgeville Village

Dolgeville Village Hall is located at 41 North Main Street, Dolgeville NY 13329; phone: 315-429-3112.

Initial settlement of the village of Dolgeville took place about 1830 and was then known as Brockett's Bridge. Located on East Canada Creek, the site became an important manufacturing center at an early time. The Herkimer County Tannery, the village's main industry, developed into one of the largest tanneries in the United States before failure of the local bark supply led to its closing in 1872. A piano felt and sounding board factory complex subsequently replaced the tannery, and in 1881, the village was renamed Dolgeville after Alfred Dolge, the manufacturer from New York City who established this new local industry. Although this important company failed in 1899, the factory complex subsequently became Daniel Green Company, felt slipper manufacturers, which continues as the single important manufacturer in the village. (The factory complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.)

Alfred Dolge was born December 22, 1848 in Chemnitz, Saxony. He attended public schools in Leipzig until he was 16 when he entered his father's business as an apprentice (A. Dolge and Company, Piano Manufacturers). He pursued high school studies in a night school conducted by the Free Masons in Leipzig and received his diploma from them. He first came to the U.S. when he was 17 and returned to Leipzig for 3 months in 1868. Then he returned to the U.S. to make it his home. He worked in piano making and importing in New York City. His felt making in Brooklyn had proven profitable enough to justify enlarging. He first came to Brockett's Bridge (now Dolgeville) in 1874 in search of a suitable location for more felt manufacturing. In April, 1875 he began manufacturing in the old tannery which he purchased. Within a few years the village grew from 325 to over 2,000 many of whom were German immigrants whom he interested in the area by advertisements and agents. Eventually he built felt mills, made felt shoes, autoharps, piano cases, piano sounding boards, piano hammers and ran lumber yards. He built a railroad, laid out the village, built two schools, installed an electric system, a water system, sewage, fire department, free library, concert hall, gymnasium, public park, a newspaper and pioneered in a pension and profit sharing system for employees. In 1887 the citizens unanimously petitioned the authorities at Washington to change the name of the place from Brockett's Bridge to Dolgeville.

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