Been away for awhile. This is from the Warwick Advertiser, dated April 4, 1889. This is really about New Jersey, but so close to New York (and hamlet of New Milford), that it needs to be included here.
THE WAWAYANDA FURNACE
Historical Collection No. 1 - by Camera Crayon of New Foundland, N. J.
The lake and village of Wawayanda are situated upon an elevated plateau in the the northeastern part of Vernon township, Sussex Co., N. J. The present lake is estimated to contain about 240 acres and has an elevation of 1,152 feet above the water. About two and a half mile southwest is the the highest point of the New Jersey highlands, having an elevation of 1.496. The water shed of the lake being limited to about three square miles, it is evident that the lake is fed by immunerable springs. It was originally two ponds, connected by a small stream no more than two hundred yards in length and near its rocky shores it has a depth of over sixty feet. The Wawayanda creek proper, its outlet, flows north, and enters the Warwick creek, near New Milford. In this narrow, winding, rocky passage, the stream makes a discent of over 700 feet in about four miles, and presents some of the most picturesque scenery; a succession of rapids, falls and cascades as only be found in the Wawayanda region.
The earliest settlement at Wawayanda probably dates long before the Revolution. I have found nothing among the people of to-day to give the precise dating. The family traditions of the present inhabitants furnish the only data of the people who first entered into the then unbroken wilderness; their trials and experiences, hardships and privations have not been recorded. The local historian was too busily employed in making his own clearing and providing food and shelter for his own family, to note the characteristics of his neighbors. Had he succeeded in taking notes, they would have quite likely been destroyed as old papers are a kind of trumpery that no one here seems to care for; having passed its usefulness it must give place to something new.
The first clearings made near the present village were probably those of James Paddick, located about one mile west; "Russel Paddick, located near him, and John, his brother, located on the Hendrick Young farm near Cherry Ridge, now owned by Forgerson. The brothers came from New England, inherited the true Yankee vernacular and shrewdness, and their families became quite numerous. The names of James and John were so often repeated in the different families that nicknames became very numerous. Thomas Mann located a clearing near the present school house at Cherry Ridge, and William Utter also located near by, so that he and Mann and Utter neighborhoods are found lying south of the present village, and Paddick, Parker and Williams neighborhood west.
David L. Yea became the owner of a large tract of land located near the ponds, afterward known a Double Pond, soon after the Revolution. It was afterward owned by Fred Stinard, and about 1790 it became the property of Capt. Jeremiah Eads, who constructed a dam across from the point near the outlet of the two ponds, some two or three yards above the present dam. The two ponds were then united, and the water utilized to furnish power for a saw mill. He also erected and lived in a double log house - a mansion in those days - near the present store and post office. A grist mill was erected soon after. The business enterprise had secured for it a local name, that of Double Pond, while the family names were attached to the neighborhood in which the resident of the section resided.
Samuel Richards became the owner of Double Pond in 1828; John Smith in 1830; Samuel Hunt in 1830; and Rogers in 1843. William L. Ames, son of Olive Ames, of Massachusetts, purchased the property and organized a stock company in 1845, with a capital of $100,000, for the building of the blast furnace. John Rutherford, of Vernon, Oliver Ames & Sons, of Franklin Iron Co., were the principle stock holders. New dwellings were erected, a furnace was constructed after the most approved plans and the present permanent dam was built, so that the lake was made to furnish ample power for the mills and furnace. The expenditure of capital had brought enough people there to make quite a village. Scarce half a dozen dwellings in 1845 had increased tenfolds, and the work in construction gave employment to 200 to 300 men, and its pushing influence was felt in the immediate section for miles around.
The cost of building of the furnace and its appliances were estimated at $52,000. The tract of land then contained 4,900 acres, including the Acker farm and the site of the Wawayanda iron mines. This great enterprise had only occupied a year in building. The works were completed and on the 9th of November, 1846, the great wheels which set the machinery in motion began to move. They had then deposited upon the bank ready for use 563,630 pounds of ore, or about 251 tons, and the large coal houses were being filled with charcoal from the woodland sections nearby.
The expenditures of the general concern had reached the full amount of its capital. The profits returned more slowly. Feb. 1st, 1847, they estimated a value of $4,250 on the 850 tons of iron that had been made, deducting only the expense of ore, coal and labor used in its manufacture. The blast continued to March 12th, 1850; the concern then having mined and used 8.957 tons, 15cwt., 1 qr and 19 lbs. of iron ore, which, if we allow two tons of ore to make one on the average, we have about 4,479 tons of iron, estimating $5.00, net $22,395. Time nearly three and one half years.
On the Acker mine lot, when left, March 1st, 1850, there had been eight shafts sunk, or mines opened and worked; in all of which were veins of ore of good quality and large enough to be worked to good advantage. The mine on the west side of the engine house was the last opened and was worked during the years 1848, '49, '50, to March 1st at which time the iron business was so depressed that there was little demand for iron and consequently no demand for ore. While working this vein of ore there were 5000 tons of ore taken from one opening alone. There were three veins of ore deposits in this opening, with an aggregate width of from 25 to 30 feet, and they were worked to a depth of fifty feet.
More to come on this one.
Many of the transcriptions found here are now in published form. They have been published by the Orange County Genealogical Society (in Goshen, New York). Volume 3 includes my Volume 3 and Volume 5. Volume 4 includes my four parts of New Milford history. There is a planned Volume 5, which will include my Volumes 6, 7, and 8, Part 1, which is about 250 transcriptions. They can be purchase through the Genealogical Society. Just Google them and print out the order form. Or they can be purchased from the Warwick Historical Society. They are also on sale at the gift shop at Baird's Tavern. I would like to thank the Genealogical Society and Dan Burrows for their efforts. Started a new blog for images of Warwick. Go to: www.imagesofwarwicknewyork.blogspot.com.