About – History

dsc_0497Easton’s historical highlights include:

Birthplace of George H. Corliss (1817-1888), prominent engineer and inventor of the Corliss steam engine;

Birthplace of Grandma Moses, (1860-1961) celebrated primitive artist whose work reflects the life she knew as a frugal farm woman;

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), women’s rights leader, spent formative early years in Easton. At the age of 13 she joined the Easton Society of Friends. At 17 she taught school in Easton for $1.00 a week;

Recognizing the need for an institution for learning where advanced subjects could be taught, Easton citizens established Marshall Seminary in 1863. This was destroyed by fire in 1873 and rebuilt in 1874. It later became the Friends’ Seminary and later still Easton Union School. With the exception of temporary closings this was an active school until 1907;

1891 – Easton Political Equality Club formed with the encouragement of Mary S. Anthony, Secretary of the State Woman’s Suffrage Association and sister of Susan B. Anthony. This club was for years the leader of the Suffrage movement in Washington County. The present day Easton Book Club, a hold over from the P.E.C., formed sometime after the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The purpose was to continue the social gatherings for well-earned relaxation and enjoyment. This group is responsible for writing Some Chapters in the History of Easton, N.Y. published in 1959 by the Washington County Historical Society. They continue to meet today, each member reviewing a book once during the year.

Additional details of local history may be explored at the Easton Library, located on Route 40 directly across from Burton Hall.

Places of Interest

Burton Hall was erected in 1901 through the generosity of Isaac Burton. It became the center for numerous community activities. From 1902 to 1955 Burton Hall housed the Easton Library and the name was changed to Burton Free Library. When the library moved to its new location, the charter was changed back to Easton Library again. Presently, Burton Hall houses town offices and is the principal meeting place for many functions.

The first organization of the Methodist Church in Easton was at Crandalls Corners in 1824 when meetings were held in the homes or at the schoolhouse. The present day white, two-story church in North Easton was completed in 1850. Its 600-pound bell, installed in 1899, was cast in Troy, N.Y. The cross-and-flame emblem adopted by the United Methodist Church in 1982 has special meaning to the Easton church. It symbolizes the declaration of a circuit rider preacher serving Easton in 1790: “a flame of fire runs through the heart of these people.”

Nestled in a beautiful mountain valley in Easton, the Willard Mountain Ski Area is the closest ski area to the Capital District, offering varied terrain, an extensive ski school and economical winter-long skiing fun for the whole family. Get a report on skiing conditions at Willard at http://www.sanyips.com/sany

Each year, in August, Easton hosts Washington County’s premiere event, the Washington County Fair. Come visit the livestock displays, exhibits, farm museum and live demonstrations. Learn about agriculture and have fun too! Visit the Washington County Fair at http://www.washingtoncountyfair.com