THE STORY OF TINKERTOWN
Hobart is situated on the Delaware river, four miles below Stamford Village. That part of it lying east of the river was in Ulster county, and that on the west side in Otsego county. Settlers came here prior to the Revolution, and commenced a small settlement; but during that unhappy period they were obliged to return to their former homes, or ender the bloody contest, either for or against the crown. Soon after the declaration of peace, the falls at this place, which afford the best water power on the river, attracted the attention of the settlers, and soon the hum of machinery was heard. The place was early known as "Waterville," which name it retained for may years. It Was afterward called Tinkertown, from the fact that a man living here appropriated to his use a full set of tinker's tools belonging to another man, with which he set up business at this place. When a post-office was to be established, a name was wanted, and Rev. Philander Chase, rector of the Episcopal church at that time, proposed the name of Hobart, which was at once accepted.
The first tavern at this place was kept by George Foote, where the Mansion House now stands. Other taverns were opened soon after, and previous to 1975 there were enough for the accommodation of all who might call.
The first store in this place was kept by Cyrus Beers, where J. W. Griffin's store now stands, on main street.
Andrew Beers built the first grist-mill in Hobart, afterward owned by George Foote, on the site now occupied by Frank Mayham's grist mill.
The first carding mill was built by George Foote, where the furnace now stands, or a little below. He also built a woolen factory at the same place, and the water to run the two mills was taken from the same dam. The dam is the same as when first built. The lower dam, at the grist-mill, has been built anew, but occupies the same place as the one built by Beers in 1793.
The first distillery was also built by George Foote, between the upper bridge and the blacksmith shop, near the dam. He also built the first saw-mill and furnace in Hobart. The Furnace then stood where Rich's store now stands, and the saw-mill stood between that and the woolen factory.
Foote More also had a trip hammer shop on Town brook, the place now owned by T. L. Montgomery, where he manufactuered cut nails, the first made in the United states. This was previous to 1800. Foote also had a cabinet shop in connection with his other manufactuering.
The first tannery at this place was where Dr. Reynold's residence now stands.
John Foote was the first blacksmith. He worked in the trip hammer shop, and also made grass scythes.
The pioneer tailor was one Gregory. He lived where John Robinson now lives, on Main street.
The first lawyers here were J. B. Spencer, who lived where E. Barlow now lives, and Andrew Beers, who was also known far and wide as the almanac maker. Some of his almanacs are still in existence. He lived on the corner of River and South streets, where John Handford now lives.
Charles B. Perry, afterward a clergyman, had a storehouse in 1810. It stood on the corner of Pine and River streets, where is now the corner of Mrs. Foote's front yard.
The first physican of Hobart was Dr. Joshua H. Brett, who was also the first judge of Delaware county. He lived in what is now the wing of the old two-story house opposite the M. E. church. Dr. Gregory was the next. He lived where John Robinson now lives, on Main street. then came Dr. Hanford, Dr. Howerd, and Dr. J. S. McNaught, the last of whom has also been a supervisor of the town and a member of the Assembly from his district. His son is connected with him in the practice of medicine.
William Trotter was the first postmaster at this place, and William S. Foote is the present one.
At present there is in the village a population of about 400, with three churches -- Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Episcopal, and Presbyterian; a school-house, a grist-mill, a saw-mill, and a hotel; two banks -- the First National, established in 1863, and Frederick W. Foote's Bank, established October 1st, 1872; a marble shop, a foundry and machine shop, a carriage and sleigh factory; four dry goods stores -- M. Lowenstein's, Kilpatrick & Griffin's, R. S. Rich's and M. Lawrence's; two hardware stores -- W. S. Foote's and A. G. Silliman's; two grocery stores, kept by A. Mull and A. Y. Thompson; two saloons, two cooper shops, one tailor, one jeweler, one harness maker, two shoe shopes and two blacksmith shops.
Reprint from Delaware County History on file at Dept. of Education, Albany