The Town of Edinburg was first settled during the 1790s. A cluster of dwellings and small manufacturing shops soon grew up at Beecher Hollow, where settlers erected a dam across Beecher's Creek near its confluence with the Sacandaga River. The dam furnished power to local industries for nearly a century. Despite a promising start, Beecher Hollow gradually declined as a community. During the 1880s a series of devastating fires destroyed the mills, forcing more than half the local population to relocate. A massive state reservoir project begun in the 1920s further curtailed growth in small communities of the Sacandaga watershed. The Conklingville Dam completed in 1930 flooded the Sacandaga River valley, eliminating much of the region's agriculture and timber based industry.
Recognizing the economic prospects of Beecher Hollow as a growing, rural manufacturing center, John Barker of Edinburg erected a general store in 1847. With its dominating wood portico and molded architraves, the building incorporates elements of the transitional Classical Revival styles brought to the region by settlers from New England. The Barker General Store is an important artifact that illustrates the vernacular adaptation and migration of urban stylistic influences into rural areas of New York State during the 1940s.
The Barker family sold the store in Beecher Hollow in 1890 to Charles Sumner. In 1910, Charles Brooks purchased the property, which he retained until his death in 1943. Marshall Robinson purchased the vacant store building in 1945. Since that time the building has been rented to several commercial tenants and the second floor renovated for residential use. Despite these changes, the Barker General Store has retained a high level of architectural integrity to its mid-19th century appearance, and remains an important landmark attesting to Beecher Hollow's former prosperity as a seat of local industry and commerce.
Military Road • Pucker Street • Route 4 • Shore Road North