Town Of West Sparta
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TOWN OF WEST SPARTA Founded February 27, 1846

Prior to the Revolutionary war, the land that became the Town of West Sparta was part of a vast area that was home to the Seneca, the most Western of the six tribes of the Iroquois nation, known as the "Keepers of the Western Door".  The area was dotted with settlements and campsites between which the Seneca frequently traveled.  Typically the earliest white settlers were Revolutionary War soldiers who served under General Sullivan in the bitterly contested campaign against the Senecas which stretched at its furtherest point into Southern Livingston County. Having seen the "beautiful valley" as the Seneca called it, some of Sullivan's men determined to return and stake their claims. William McCartney and Andrew Smith  came from Scotland and built and occupied a cabin on the West side of Canaseraga Creek in 1791 but did not remain. By 1801 the whole of the area, which was heavily wooded, had been surveyed by John Smith and plotted for sale by the land agent Charles Williamson. Many plots were "presold", bought by Eastern speculators sight unseen. As a clue to the attitude of early land claimers, the 1822 Survey Map of West Sparta shows groups of lots that are labeled The Land Of Hope and The Land Of Promise. In truth it was a rugged land still populated by the Seneca to some extent with trails trod by the wildlife and Indians providing the only avenues for travel.

While not the first white men to build a cabin in West Sparta,  the first permanent settler was Jeremiah Gregory, who located here in 1795. He was followed shortly by Abel Wiltse, Benjamin Wilcox, Samuel McNair and John McNair.   The principle occupation of early settlers was lumbering and shingle making which had several benefits.  It provided an occupation for the settlers who hoarded the income to make the annual payments for their land and it hastened clearing the land for crops and livestock.   The Story Continues in the Museum in the Town Hall...

Town Hall
Photo taken by Marie Powell