A walk through history: Visitors get a look at a former settlement

Bradley Shane reads from a pamphlet he provides to participants in the Johnstown Historical Society’s walking tour of the Kingsborough Settlement. (Photo submitted)

GLOVERSVILLE — “The future you don’t have, the present is gone instantly, and the past is all you have.”

Area native Bradley Shane put that philosophy into action with a historical walking tour on Sept. 9 of the Kingsborough settlement, which is considered the oldest settlement in what is now Gloversville.

The tour started at the Fulton County Museum, which itself is the historic site of Kingsboro Academy, built in 1831.

It was Shane’s fourth annual tour of the Kingsborough settlement, which dates back to at least 1786.

“People love to know what was,” Shane said. “The typical response was ‘I never knew this was there.’”

Originally, there was no Gloversville, just three separate settlements — Kingsborough; Mill Settlement, located west of what today is called the four corners of downtown Gloversville; and the Settlement on the Hill, situated about here Prospect Hill Cemetery is, Shane said.

Shane is a Kingsborough resident and a self-described history buff who is involved in Revolutionary War reenactments.

The participants stopped at more than a dozen sites to learn about the settlement, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The name Kingsborough derives from a patent of Sir William Johnson and was originally settled by pioneers from New England.

The district is located on the northeast corner of the city at the point where Kingsboro Avenue meets East State Street. The Kingsboro Historic District contains all the properties which face onto Kingsboro Avenue Park and also includes five properties along Kingsboro Avenue to the south of the park.

Included there are one-

and two-family residences, a church, a cemetery, a monument in the park and a school which now houses the Fulton County Museum.

Europeans lived on the landholding known as Kingsborough Patent early in the 18th century. Kingsborough Settlement came into being with a church, school and store only after the American Revolution when it was settled by New England migrants.

The museum itself is built on the site of the 19th century Kingsboro Academy. The academy was demolished in 1900 and replaced by the Kingsboro Elementary School which served the city’s children until 1970.

By Kerry Minor

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