The Dam and Sawmill on Padgett Creek

From "Misc Records Insolvent Discharges, 1799-1820"
Oxford, January 29th day 1798

    Know all men by these presents that I, John Padgett, of the town aforesaid do firmly agree with John Padgett, Junior, to furnish him with a certain place for sawmill on my farm being on the lot number seventy four.  I am also to help him make the dam his obligation is to certify that it is their intent and meaning that I do bind my self and my heirs and assigns and administrators forever that the said John Padgett Jn. shall peaceably enjoy this certain mill plan with all the priviledges thereof forever until disolved by mutual Consent of both parties.  The said John Padgett, Jun is to draw three quarters of said mill and the said John Padgett is to have the other quarter;  the parties are to bear equal proportion according to their right in keeping the mill in repair.

Whereof I do set my hand and Seal.  Oxford January the 29 1798 David Keys,
Thomas Haren___     John Padgett L.S.    John Padgett jun L.S.

Maitland Barstow (1854-1931) on the lost portion of his mother's reminiscences:

Another part of the story that I remember --- if I did not dream it --- was that grandfather Padgett at that time [1798] was building a big stone dam on Padgett Creek for the purpose of running a gristmill; and that after William's death nothing more was ever done to the dam.  I know that the old stone dam --- what part of it was built, was still in existence in the meadow down west of Joe Rounds' place or house, and I think on Joe's land.  I have seen it there when I was a child and up to the time I came away from there when I was about 24 .  It may be there yet for all I know.

From the Annals of Oxford:

Severe Storms:  On Saturday evening, sept 17, 1853, a thunderstorm broke upon this part of the Chenango valley.  The rain commenced falling at 10 o'clock & poured without cessation until 3 AM.   Sunday morning the river was raised over its banks & swept along, a turbid flood at average high water mark.  A good many crops of corn on the low flats were flooded or carried off.  Clarke's creek overflowed its banks, filling the Chenango house cellar, & discharged its surplus over LaFayette square into the canal.  It put the Maine law in force in Landlord Hamilton's cellar, emptying sundry barrels of liquor & mixing it with rather dirty water.  The canal bank gave way near the acqueduct above the village.  The Fly Meadow brook, running into the river from the west, near Clarence Miner's, was so hight & rapid as to carry off all the bridges above the plank road, & the plank road bridge was so much undermined as to be impassable.  All the dams on this creek, except Sheldon's, were swept out as far up as Lewis's in Preston.  The shop at Wait & Guernsey's upper dam was carried away, & the dye house at their factory.  The Lyon brook carried away all the bridges above the river road, and cut out Bemis's dam.  His mill was also injured, & logs & lumber floated off.  The Padgett Brook swept off Charles Padgett's dam & sawmill, and four bridges, as well as crops and fences.

Note:  The first two of these accounts clearly describe the same thing, but it is difficult to know how to reconcile them with the third.  Charles Padgett (1820-1902) was the grandson of John Padget, Sr.  But were his dam and sawmill on Padgett Creek a separate undertaking?  Or were they the same ones begun by John, and was it the remains of a recently-ruined dam that Maitland Barstow saw as a child?


Return to Genealogy
Return to Trogholm