Richford, New York

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Richford is a town in Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 1,170 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Ezekial Rich, an early settler and benefactor of the town.

The Town of Richford is the most northerly town of the county and is southeast of Ithaca, New York.



Settlement began around 1808 when Evan Harris brought his family here. Samuel Smith was the first to settle within the present village site in 1813. The first tavern was built in the village in 1817 at the site of the Richford Hotel (now the Richford Quickway) by Beriah Wells. Ezekial Rich moved to the town in 1821 when he purchased the tavern from Beriah Wells. He established a glove and mitten factory, and later opened a general store. The town was first formed from the Town of Berkshire as the "Town of Arlington" in 1831. In 1832 it changed its name to the Town of Richford.[1]

Local oral history links several properties in Richford with the Underground Railroad.[2]

In 1816, the Catskill Turnpike was brought through the village on its route to Ithaca bringing considerable traffic to the village.[3] This was the dominant route into or out of the village until 1869, when the Southern Central rail line was completed between Auburn and Owego. [4]

Notable residents

John D. Rockefeller

Oil titan and founder of the Standard Oil company John D. Rockefeller was born in this town and returned to visit during the summer. The foundation of his childhood home is located adjacent to Rockefeller Road on land that is now part of Griggs Gulf State Forest, and is marked by a sign which designates the historical site.[5]

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