|Oxford Yesterday - Forthill - Notable residents|
"Rich history is a source of local pride"
Oxford is one of the townships of the "Chenango Twenty Towns" ceded to NY State by the Oneida Indians in a treaty made by Governor George Clinton at Fort Schuyler, (Utica), September 22, 1788. On January 19th, 1793, the township of Fayette and an area then known as Gore, were incorporated into the town of Oxford, also formed from Union, Broome county, and Jericho (now Bainbridge). At this time Oxford was in Tioga County. The first town meeting was held at the Oxford house of Benjamin Hovey, Town Supervisor, on June 17th, 1793.
History of Transportation-Rail Road and the Chenango Canal
Because of its position at the intersection of the east-west Catskill-Ithaca turnpike and the north-south Utica to Binghamton route, Oxford became a trading center early on, by stage coach.
In the 1800's the bluestone quarries of Oxford were booming. Oxford
was fortunate enough to have many quarries, owned by different
companies. But two of them were the most productive quarries in
the United States, and they were owned by the F. G. Clarke Blue
Stone Company. The "bluestone belt", which ran along
the west bank of the Hudson around Coxsackie, NY, southwest just
past PA, seemed to have inexhaustible deposits in Oxford, adding
to the prosperity of the village. The success of the mines was
partly due to the fact that it was close to transportation.
Railroads expanded in the 1870's, and the O. & W. and the D.
L. & W. railroads came in and replaced the need for the canal.
The trains had some problems with the huge pieces of bluestone
that the Clarke Company needed shipped. This was soon remedied
with a creation by J. J. Treanor of Hurst and Treanor of Hastings-on-Hudson,
NY. He designed a special railroad car that held stones, ordinarily
too wide, up on its edge from the side of the railroad car. It
was an ingenious invention that perfected the stone shipping business.
In 1888, the F. G. Clarke Co. began expanding their business by
purchasing lots of modern stone cutting equipment. It replaced
the need to send stone pieces east for cutting, reducing their
expenses. As expected, business grew and grew. They had around
300 employees, many were immigrants from Ireland and Germany, but
chiefly from Lipari, Italy.
One fine example of bluestone work still stands in Oxford. It
was the First National Bank of Oxford, built in 1894, which is
the Town & Village Hall, and the Law offices of Roger Monaco.
It was a Richardson Romanesque design. The architect was Isaac
and the contractor & builder
was James M. Wright, both of Binghamton. The three story building
was constructed of brick with Oxford bluestone on the front, furnished
by the F. G. Clarke Blue Stone Co.. Not only are the stones shaped
on the facade, but it is accented with two elaborate stone carvings
just below the balcony. The carvings are of two faces, surrounded
by oak leaves, that appear to be English "Green Men",
the nature spirits of the forest. They were popular designs of
the period. One face, complete with a wart was carved by
Theodore D. Wands and the other face (shown at left) is by
a Mr. Conroy.
More history can be found on the following pages:
Now-thru-Oct. 31, Masks of Etosha Exhibit at 6 On The Square.
Thursdays at 6:30 PM, Rotary Club Meeting (every Thurs.) at American Legion Post #376.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 7 PM, Lions Club Meeting at Fred's Inn Restaurant.
Thursdays "Trapshooting Thursdays" at the Oxford Rod & Gun Club. Check with them for scheduled times.
Sept. 6 & 20; Oct. 4 & 18, 7:30 PM, Karaoke at Legion Post 376. Open to public. (1st & 3rd Saturday/mo.)
Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, 7 PM, A.L. Legionnaires Meet at Legion Post 376.(3rd Mon/month)
Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 10; 7:00 PM, AL Auxiliary Unit 376 meets (2nd Monday/mo.) in Legion Post 376. (Sept. is delayed due to Labor Day.)
Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3rd, 2014, 7:00 PM, American Legion's SAL Meets at Post 376. (1st Wed/monthly. Not in Jan. or Feb.).
Oct. 11, Nov. 8, & Dec. 13, 2014, 5-7 PM, Second Saturday Spaghetti Dinner at St. Paul's Church.
Oct. 4, 5-7 PM, Oxtoberfest dinner at Legion Post 376 sponsored by ALA.
Oct. 4, 7:30 PM, The Grand Slambovians at 6 On The Square.
Nov. 12, 2014, 10 AM, OIDC meets (quarterly mtgs.) at Village Hall.