Generously contributed to the Tompkins County GenWeb
George TOTMAN, Secretary
McLean Fire Department
Transcribed by Terry Donlick, Groton Township Coordinator
Andrew SHERWOOD and Amasa COBB were believed to be the first settlers in the village at about 1800. Amasa COBB built the first log house where the Elm tree Inn is now located. The large elm tree which stands in front of the inn was just a sapling at that time.
The village was known as Moscow until it was changed to McLean in 1824 in honor of Judge MCLEAN. It grew to 400 inhabitants by 1900.
In the early days McLean contained five churches, a machine ship, foundry and an iron furnace, a firkin factory, two grist mills, a saw mill, a tannery, hotel and four blacksmith shops as well as two general stores and a Post Office. One of the largest and most successful cheese factories in the state was located about a mile north of the village on the Creek Road where the STEVENS farm is today.
The Baptist Society was formed in 124 and the church was built in 1828. The first Universalist Society was formed in 1832. The church was built in 1843. The Methodist Church was organized in 1830 and the church was built in 1932. The Zion Episcopal Church was organized in 1833. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse until the church was completed in 1849. The Roman Catholic Church was organized and built in 1851. None of these churches had regular pastors. They were supplied by the churches of Cortland and Freeville.
The Railroad was built through McLean in 1871 with a great deal of celebrating. In the early 1900s there were six passenger trains stopping each day. Before the railroad the horse-drawn coach came through from Cortland, stopping at the stagehouse which is now a two family apartment house.
One of the most memorable events of McLean's history was the big fire that occurred on October 11, 1897. It destroyed two homes, the old foundry, gristmill, tannery, storehouse and evaporator. All of these building were located on the south side of Gulf Hill Road, north of the railroad station.
The first school house was located where the Randalls now live. Later a new schoolhouse was built on top of the hill across the road. The cornerstone of the present school building was laid in 1930. The school district centralized with Dryden Central District in 1951.
The Fire Department was organized in 1947, using a barn east of the Elm Tree Inn as a firehouse. The present firehouse was built in 1948 on the site of Stanton's Meat Market.
In 1930 the Baptist and Universalist Churches as well as some Methodists and Episcopalians founded a Federated Church. Later the Universalist unit disbanded leaving just the Baptist unit. It could not be called a Federated Church and the name was changed to the McLean Community Church. Later the Baptists at a special meeting, voted to give the church building and parsonage to the new Community Church. Ground was broken March 1, 1957, for an addition to the Church to be called the McLean Community Hall. Most of the labor used in the building the Hall was donated by men and women of the community.
Written By John HART and Fredrick BILLARD
Written for the McLean Fire Department Booklet
Entitled - 12th Annual Tompkins County Firemen's
Association - Convention - McLean Fire Department,
McLean, New York - May 25th, 26th and 27th, 1967
Thank you George Totman, for sharing this information
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