A Brief History of Earlville
"A place where time has moved slower"
Earlville area was originally settled in the late 1700's in an area north of the
Village of Earlville. This settlement became known as Red City. The area that
the village is now located was known at times as Forks and Madison Forks
because of its location north of the fork of the Chenango River. In 1834 the
Chenango Canal was constucted and this sparked the growth in residences
and business in the Main Street crossroads area which straddles the two
counties of Chenango to the south and Madison to the north, and includes
the four towns of Hamilton, Sherburne, Lebanon, and Smyrna. In honor of
Canal Commissioner Earl, the village was renamed Earlville. The trains came in
1868 (Utica, Chenango, & Susquehanna Valley, later Delaware, Lakawanns, &
Western) and in 1873 (Midland, later Ontario & Western). The canal faded to
abandonment while Earlville flourished having a railroad line on both the east
and the west sides of the village. Earlville was incorporated in 1887. Time
passed and brought many changes. From the mid-1930's through the 1950's
business slowed. Roads and the Interstate Highway System (and some would
also include taxes) were instrumental at reducing the train service which
resulted in a blow to the commerce of Earlville. Not just Earlville, but central
New York in general, was affected as well.
Although there were some slow times for Earlville, there has also been some
positive seen since progress, which is inevitable, has been slower. Slow
change has allowed history to be preserved in a way. This area of New York
can be thought of as "a place where time has moved slower." It is even
reflected in the pace of daily life.
Many businesses presently reside within and nearby the village of Earlville.
And from the above brief history of its settlement, one can understand how
the many interesting and unusual divisions of Earlville have occurred.
Detailed history of Earlville and the area is available through website links and
local museum and library visits.