Town Of Barton celebrates 200 Years

Town Of Barton celebrates 200 YearsThe Town of Barton celebrated its 200th birthday last Saturday at the Waverly Historical Society Museum. (Photo by Nicole Lamberti)

By Nicole Lamberti — 

The Town of Barton celebrated its 200th birthday with a special celebration at the Waverly Historical Society Museum last Saturday.

On March 23, 1824, the Town of Barton was founded and officially became its own municipality. Officials and residents of Barton and the Village of Waverly celebrated the bicentennial milestone with a birthday party.

In addition, the Barton Town Board recently adopted a proclamation to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the town.

For two centuries, the Town of Barton has been nestled between the Susquehanna and Chemung River in the southwestern corner of Tioga County.

The Town of Barton was incorporated in 1854, which includes the Village of Waverly and the hamlets of Barton and Lockwood, also part of Halsey Valley, according to information provided by Barton / Waverly Historian Ron Keene.

Most of the early settlers in the Town of Barton came from New York, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania. A prominent settler in Barton was John Shepard, who bought 1,000 acres in 1796 that covered all of the land on which the Village of Waverly now stands, according to Keene.

Town Of Barton celebrates 200 Years

Barton Town Supervisor Donald Foster speaks at the Town of Barton 200th birthday celebration, held at the Waverly Historical Society Museum last Saturday. (Photo by Nicole Lamberti)

Others living in Barton before 1795 operated farms and sawmills. These operators included Luke Saunders, John Hanna, Samuel Ellis, Ebenezer Ellis, James Smartwood, and Stephen Mills.

Businesses in the 19th century included Novelty Furniture Works, the Butter and Oyster Pail Manufactory, and Sayre Butter Package Company. Additionally, there were grist and flouring mills, sawmills, creameries, and wagon and blacksmith shops.

Flash forward 200 years later and the Town of Barton has 94.345 miles of roads in the Town of Barton (excluding the Village of Waverly) and a population of 8,858, with 4,444 being within the Village, according to Keene.

On Saturday, March 23, residents and officials blew out the candles for Barton’s 200th birthday and explored the Waverly Historical Society Museum to learn more about where they reside.

Barton Town Supervisor Donald Foster spoke at the celebration.

“This is definitely an historic occasion,” Foster said. “At 200 years old, the Town of Barton is still going strong and hopefully, with any luck, it will still be around in another 200 years.”

Keene and the Barton Town Clerk, Arrah Richards-McCarty, spearheaded the event to ensure a memorable and respectful celebration for the municipality.

“It’s quite an accomplishment to be able to put something on like this for 200 years,” Keene said. “It amazes me how many people have come in (to the museum) and looked at the different things here and have asked questions.”

The Waverly Historical Society and Museum stands at 435 Chemung St. in Waverly and includes an extensive collection of historic items from both Waverly and Barton’s past.

“They need to come in and see what is here,” Keene, who is also on the museum’s board, said. “The community does not realize what is here. There is so much history here, it is just amazing.”

The Founder of the Waverly Historical Museum, the late Donald L. Merrill, provided most of the items in the museum for the public to view and learn from.

“We were happy to do it here so people that have been wanting to see the museum had a chance to visit and celebrate with us,” Richards-McCarty said. “I’m all about community and it’s so fun to see everybody come together. We had a great turnout. It was nice that everyone could come out.”

Dozens of attendees at the event enjoyed birthday cake and various food options as they celebrated Barton’s bicentennial milestone.

Mayor of Waverly Andrew Aronstam was in attendance of the celebration and spoke positively about the Village’s neighbor.

“I think it’s really impressive that this many people have come out to celebrate the Town of Barton, which the Village is a big part of,” he said. “I’m very proud of our relationship with the Town of Barton. They have been great friends to us and I think the people in the Village appreciate the services we share with them. We just couldn’t be happier and we really appreciate their support and we hope they have another 200 years.”


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