Albion is a town in the northeastern part of Oswego County, New York, USA. The population was 2,083 at the 2000 census.
Prior to 1788, Native Americans would come to the area to hunt and fish for salmon during the spawning season. They called it Alkineaur, meaning "sand bank." The territory was annexed to the state of New York on 1 March 1788.
Then, in 1791, two brothers, John and Nicholas Roosevelt bought a tract of land from the state, part of which would later become the town of Albion. They sold the land to George Scriba, a Dutchman, on 7 April 1792. In December 1794, Scriba received a patent from the state. The land was now referred to as "Scriba's Patent."
In January, the subdivision of the land started. On 24 March 1804, the Town of Williamstown was formed from Oneida County. On 20 February 1807, the Town of Richland was formed from Oneida County. Part of this would later become the Town of Albion.
In 1812, the first settler arrived. A fur trader by the name of Cary Burdick bought a parcel of land on the Williamstown road, about two miles (3 km) south of present-day Altmar. In 1813, the Lilly brothers, David, Luther and Benjamin, settled near Burdick, and built the first sawmill. This is where Luther Lilly's first son was born.
The first settler of the present-day village of Altmar arrived. Peter Henderson, from Scotland, bought 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land bordering the Salmon River, and began clearing it for farmland. In 1814, Dr. Brace, a physician, opened a tavern in the village of Sand Bank. In 1816, the first schoolhouse in the town was built, with Sylvia Breed as the first teacher. In 1819, the first marriage, between H.B. Baker of Albany and Lucy Burdick (Cary Burdick's daughter), took place. Moses Rich arrived in Sand Bank in 1822, and built the first Grist Mill. On 24 March 1825, the Town of Albion was set apart from the Town of Richland. On the original survey map of Scriba's Patent, this was known as Township 22. George Scriba called it Alkmaar after a town in his home country of Holland. The first town meeting was held in Albion on 3 May that same year. Local officials were chosen for various offices. In 1828, a native of Oneida county, Ammi Hinckley, arrived in Sand Bank and opened a general store. Another tavern, kept by William Abbott, was in business around the same time. On 27 January 1829, the First Presbyterian Church was established. Services were held in the schoolhouse. This later became the First Congregational Church. The Union Church was established on 8 January 1834 in Sand Bank. It was shared by Presbyterians and Methodists. During the summer of 1837, Albion's first post office was established. William Abbott became the first Postmaster, and William Worden became the first mail carrier. He delivered mail between Oswego, Utica and Albion. Also in 1837, the Albion Baptist Church was organized. A building was erected in 1852 at Albion Center (on the corner of Tinker Tavern Road and County Route 22). This later became known as Grange Hall, and still stands today, but not in use. In the 1840s to 1850s, there was an influx of settlers to Albion. Therefore, the lumbering industry became the predominant industry because of the extensive building in this time period. In 1850, a "plank road" was constructed between Albion and Constantia, which is now Route 13. Two toll gates at the village limits of Sand Bank were constructed. Also, the Pineville Methodist-Episcopal Church was built. The foundation was made with stones picked from the shores of Lake Ontario, and transported to Salmon River (now called Pineville) by wagon. In 1851, the construction of the R.W. & O. Railroad through Albion (Initials stand for Rome, Watertown & Oswego) began. The station at Sand Bank was completed in May. In 1852, the Chapman brothers, James, Irving and George, built the first of the many tanneries in the township. Many Irish immigrants, escaping from the Potato Famine in the 1840s, found work here. On 21 March 1853, the Sand Bank Cemetery Association was established. In 1856, the Dugway Union Church was organized and a building was erected. In the 1860s, 350 men from Albion enlisted in the Union Army and Navy. Fifty-six of these men lost their lives, and many more were permanently injured. The village of Sand Bank was incorporated on 21 February 1876. On 13 October 1885, the village was almost completely destroyed by fire. All that remained of the business district was the Congregational Church and the Episcopal Church, which was still under construction. On 17 February 1895, the Methodist Church constructed a new building. About a month later, on 18 March 1895, Sand Bank was changed to Altmar. On 14 June 1911, the Civil War Monument was unveiled in the Riverside Cemetery in Altmar. In 1918, twenty-two men from Albion served in World War I. On 15 June, that same year, Delbert Russel was killed in action. On 24 April 1936, a brick school was built in Altmar, with Elston Ecker as the first principal. It is now called the Altmar Elementary School, and will be closed in 2012 due to lack of students enrolling. In the 1940s, twenty men from Albion served in World War II. On 4 October 1944, Edgar Tryon was killed in action. He's buried in Edinburgh, Netherlands. On 28 April 1959, the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District built a new high school in Parish. It opened in the fall of 1960. The first graduating class, in 1961, included Nancy Virginia Hess and her sister Dorothy Ann Hess. Dorothy Hess died in 1963 of hepatitis. Her grave can be found in the Riverside Cemetery in Altmar. In 1979, the Salmon River Fish Hatchery began construction in Altmar. Also, Charles William August Hess, a resident of Altmar, died of cancer. He was buried next to his daughter, Dorothy, in an unmarked grave. In 1989, the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District built a new middle school, across the road from the high school.
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