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Fabius Village


Fabius Village Hall, Post Office Box 111, Fabius NY 13063; phone: 315-683-5221.

Named for Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, ancient Roman soldier and politician, Fabius (originally known as Franklinville) was incorporated in 1880.

Beginnings []

The early development of the area that would become the Village of Fabius is closely related with the settlement patterns that commenced in this region of New York State following the Revolution. Following the British defeat, the Legislature of New York State, by an act passed in 1789, directed the Surveyor General to lay out tracts of land, now referred to as the "military lots." The military townships were ten miles square and divided into one hundred square lots. Beginning in the 1790s veterans received a one square mile share of the surveyed lands, which they either sold off to speculators and settlers, or settled themselves. The town of Fabius, representative of this surveyed military tract, was taken from Pompey in 1798, and like many other townships in the region was first settled by New Englanders. During the 1790s settlers from Stockbridge, Massachusetts and communities in Connecticut erected the first crude dwellings in the future village of Fabius, followed in 1800 by the first frame house, credited to Josiah Moore.[1] Among these early settlers was Colonel Elijah St. John, apparently a veteran of the war against England.

Fabius witnessed significant growth in the first half of the nineteenth century, and by 1810 the population of the town was upwards of nineteen-hundred.[2] The first major factor that influenced the surge in the village's settlement was the completion around 1810 of the Hamilton and Skaneateles Turnpike, one of many east-west roads that preceded the railroads and canals as the major transportation routes of the nineteenth century. The Hamilton and Skaneateles Turnpike, by all indication, formed a subsidiary branch of the extensive Great Western Turnpike, one of the two major routes west from Albany and the Hudson River. This route linked the hamlet with other small villages in the region, in addition to the larger urban areas further east, creating a viable link for the marketing of surplus agricultural products. Fabius developed at the intersection of the turnpike and the north-south road leading from Manlius. By 1820 a small business district, two inns and a tannery had developed on the east side of town, stimulated by the new turnpike and the improvement of roads between Fabius and Syracuse. On the west side, a third hotel and grist mill also appeared. New Mills, short of those distant in Herkimer, were established on the nearby Butternut Creek; the first of these, a sawmill, opened in 1800 and represented the town's first business enterprise. The Baptist Society of Fabius, organized in 1806, constructed the village's first church. Built in 1818 and known as The First Baptist Church, it reflects the traditional New England meetinghouse form common in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and carried west by transplanted settlers.

  1. Joshua Clark, Onondaga; or Reminisces of Earlier and Later Times (Syracuse: Stoddard and Babcock, 1849), 332.
  2. Ibid.

Krattinger, William E., New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Fabius Village Historic District, nomination document, 2000, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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