HISTORIC NOTES ON WATERTOWN, JEFFERSON CO. NY

from WATERTOWN RE-UNION NEWSPAPER


Part 1, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12


February 20, 1873, p. 3: Part 10:

The first frame building put up on within the bounds of the present city of Watertown was just in front of the present Arcade entrance. It was built for HART MASSEY and intended for a blacksmith shop, but was soon after moved up to the log house and made an addition to the dwelling. In 1802, Mr. Massey built a new and better frame house where is now the L. PADDOCK house on the west side of Washington Street. It was afterwards sold and moved into Sterling Street. A few years later the frame was taken down and removed over into Pamelia where it is still doing service.

In the fall of 1802, AARON KEYES, by trade a cooper, built just such a house directly opposite on the lot where is now MRS. O. V. BRAINARD'S brick dwelling. The Keyes house was afterwards moved down into Factory Street where it now stands just at the south end of the stone dam. The oldest house in the city now standing where it was built is now owned and occupied by MR. SWEENEY on the corner of Washington and TenEyck Streets. It was built by JESSE BISSELL for himself, but he never lived in it. There is a number of frame dwellings in the city now standing and occupied as such that were erected between the years 1803 and 1805--good substantial and comfortable dwellings, generally only one story high. The first frame barn in Watertown was built by JOTHAM IVES, on the hill just south of Field's Settlement. The barn is still standing in good condition, and it and the farm are now owned by his grandson, FRANK IVES. The barn was built in the spring of 1804. One or two days before raising the barn, Mr. Ives took a five gallon keg and went through the woods and across the big swamp to Brownville, where he bought his keg full of New England rum, (there was no whiskey in market then) and started to carry it home on his back and shoulders. By the time he got back to the edge of the swamp, somewhat more than half way home, it got to be past sundown and growing dark and he made so much haste to get through that he soon lost the line of marked trees on the town line, that he depended on as a guide through the otherwise trackless, wet and busy swamp. He soon found that he had got lost and after vainly trying to find the line of marked trees he stood still awhile to consider the situation. The conclusion was that he had better leave his keg of rum at the foot of the largest tree he could find and then, relieved of his heavy burden, he might make better progress through the gloomy forest of willows, alders and ash trees. Having placed his keg where he thought he could find it again, he started to try and find his way out of the swamp. After traveling some time it now being quite dark, he became quite discouraged, when he thought it best to try a little strategy. Now Mr. Ives was a large, strong man with a voice that could make itself heard a long distance, and lungs that could blow a bellows, and he soon began to halloo with all his might, and then listen for an answer, which he soon got from some men who were out that evening between the Field's Settlement and the swamp--just where Mr. Ives wanted to go. Each party kept calling to the other and going towards each other, guided by the voice, till they met, to the great relief of Mr. Ives who soon found his way home. The next day in company with some of his men he went to find his keg of rum which he succeeded in doing after a while. In due time he had his raising of the barn and rum enough to treat the men all around to their heart's content, after the custom of the times.



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