|Goodsell Museum||Home Link|
|TOWN OF WEBB HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION|
|P. O. Box 513, Old Forge, NY 13420 ~ Phone/Fax: 315 369-3838|
|Museum Hours: Tuesday through Saturday - 10am - 3pm ~ or by appointment|
McKeever Early History
Transcribed by Peg Masters, Town of Webb Historian
1920s Photo of McKeever Boarding House with a Store, Railroad Station, Filling Station, & Houses across the Tracks
The Railroad Station is the only building that survives today.
"Big Land Purchase in Herkimer," New York Times, December 8, 1890, p. 6.
"Mr. Curtis N. Douglas went to Herkimer in behalf of his father-in-law Lemon Thomson, Wednesday, and purchased at partition sale ninety-five lots in Township No. 1, Moose River tract, Herkimer County, containing 15,225 acres, for $36,000. The land is growing forest, containing spruce, principally. It is particularly valuable because of the enormous use of spruce in the manufacture of wood pulp. The spruce timber is disappearing rapidly, and in a few years will be very valuable. Mr. Thomson, twenty years ago, purchased a tract in Essex County and has ever since carried on lumbering on it, being careful to take only trees of a certain size and leaving the hardwood undisturbed. Last week, Mr. Thomson sold 20,000 acres of this tract for $100,000."
"Trains on the A. & St. L. - The First Trip Made Last Friday," The Boonville Herald, July 7, 1892, p. 1.
"The first passenger train to Old Forge in the Adirondacks, or Brown's Tract, as it has long been called, was run to that point on Friday over the new St. Lawrence and Adirondack railroad. . . . The work of building the railroad has been a gigantic enterprise and thousands of dollars have been expended in its construction. . . . The train consisted of two cars, a passenger car and composite car -- baggage and smoker. The cars are made by the Gilbert Car Co. in Troy. . . . Acting manager McBeth, Trainmaster McKeever, and several newspaper representatives were the only passengers who left Herkimer."
"In the Adirondacks," The Utica Journal, Sunday, July 7, 1895, p. 3.
"Thompson & Dickson, an Albany firm, have built a large saw mill at McKeever's on Moose River, just below where the north and south branches unite. They have a large quantity of logs on hand at the mill ready for sawing and many others are scattered along the stream above their pond."
McKeever is the gateway southern community to the Town of Webb in Northern Herkimer County. It was named for Dr. William Seward Webb's railroad trainmaster R. Townsend McKeever. He was a cousin by marriage of Dr. Webb - who financed the construction of the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railroad, known locally as the Mohawk & Malone. It later became known as the Adirondack Division of the New York Central. The road opened up extensive logging operations along its entire route in the Western Adirondacks. McKeever, within a decade, was home to nearly 200 residents who worked at the mills or in the woods harvesting timber for the Moose River Lumber Company and the Iroquois Pulp and Paper Company. Following Lemon Thomson's death in 1897, the companies came under the control of his son-in-law John Alden Dix, who also was Governor of NYS in 1911-1912.
The Moose River Lumber Co. was declared bankrupt in 1915. In 1923, the Gould Paper Company bought out the Iroquois Pulp and Paper Company, and McKeever remained a company-owned lumber town until auctioned off in 1961 by Charles Vosburgh of Auburn, NY who had purchased the hamlet from the Georgia Pacific Co. Floods, fires, and demolition have significantly altered the landscape of McKeever through the years. A handful of people currently call it home and a few seasonal residents inhabit the remaining dwellings as camps.
Below are some links to Census Records to the families and workmen who have lived in McKeever. If you have photos and stories to share, contact the Town of Webb Association, Old Forge, NY. We'd love to acquire more of McKeever's rich history for our Association's files.
1905 Herkimer County Census for McKeever
1915 Herkimer County Census for McKeever
1925 Herkimer County Census for McKeever
|Goodsell Museum ~ TOWN OF WEBB HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION|
|Information provided is from the best knows sources and is subject to change.||Permission to copy any or all of this document must be obtained in writing by contacting the Town of Webb Historical Association, P. O. Box 513, Old Forge, NY 13420|
|These records are provided for not-for-profit research purposes only.|
|Please contact the Historical Associationís Director at 315-369-3838 or by E-Mail. To share additional information about information that can be added to our files.|
|Use BACK button to return to previous page or click HOME LINK.|