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Esperance Village

Esperance Village Hall is located at 115 Church Street, Esperance NY 12066; phone: 518-875-9044.

Beginnings [1]

The settlement of "State Bridge", as it was first known, was originally settled in the late 1700's and consisted of three cabins surrounded by dense forest. General William North was managing the vast Duane Estate. Travel was difficult and General North persuaded the Legislature to pass the Act of "laying out and cutting a road through Duanesburg to Cherry Valley" and building a bridge over the Schoharie Creek. This bridge, the first bridge built by the state, was completed in 1793. At which time 60 to 70 acres were made into building lots, surrounding the bridge, by Hermanus Ten Eyck.

A flood washed the original bridge away six years after being built. In 1799, the state created a committee, with a President and Directors, of the first "Great Western Turnpike". The duties of the committee were to sell stock, improve the road, put up tollgates every ten miles, and rebuild the bridge as a toll bridge. The committee immediately constructed a temporary bridge to allow traffic over the Schoharie Creek until a permanent structure could be built.

Mr. Ten Eyck, unhappy with the slow sale of building lots, sold his land holdings, 256 acres, to General William North on February 26, 1806. Mary, General North's daughter, excited by her father's plans for the village, suggested the name Esperance meaning, "hope" in French.

Daniel Hare built a home in 1793 which was later adapted into the first hotel in the Village known as the "Red Inn" located at the West end of the Village opposite Meade Dorns. The first mail route was established in 1800. Mail was carried on horseback and the villagers would hurry out when the approach of the mail carrier was made known by his blowing a horn. John Burt's Phoenix Hotel (1806) located near the bridge (approximately where the Town Offices are now located), was the halfway house between Albany and Cherry Valley. It is quite safe to assume that the mail was originally delivered at the Phoenix. Egbert Cumbleton became the first merchant in 1805 and he also became the postmaster in the same year when the first post office was established.

  1. Esperance Village Board of Trustees and Zoning Commission, Village of Esperance Comprehensive Plan, 2004, www.schohariecounty-ny.gov, accessed June 2009.
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