Bainbridge Historical Society

Founded: In 1791 as the “Town of Jericho” in Tioga County before the formation of Chenango County in 1798.

Hamlets within the town: Bennettsville, Union Valley and West Bainbridge.

Named after: Commodore William Bainbridge in 1814.

Current population: 3,308 (2010 U.S. Census)

Notable people: Birthplace of Jedediah Strong Smith (1799-1831) frontiersman and explorer who discovered the South Pass along the Oregon Trail allowing pioneer wagon travel across the Continental Divide.

Interesting facts: The town was settled around 1788 by “Vermont Sufferers” who received land from New York as remuneration or consolation for their efforts in supporting New York during a boundary dispute with Vermont. Vermont prevailed in the land dispute and those who supported New York suffered losses of land, possessions and position. The lands comprising much of present-day Bainbridge and Afton were conveyed to the Vermont Sufferers. Each Memorial Day weekend, Bainbridge hosts the General Clinton Canoe Regatta which features the world’s longest single-day flat water canoe race.

Industry past: The American Separator Company was formed in 1895 and produced cream separator machines. It closed in 1950. The Gilbert Manufacturing Company (1883) made children’s sleds and carts, and larger items.In 1904, the Casein Manufacturing Company of Bainbridge used milk by-products to produce adhesives. The company later became a part of Borden, Inc. The Erinoid Company of America opened in 1925 and became the American Plastics Corporation in 1939; it has since closed.

Industry present: Paynes Cranes, Inc. whose specialty is in moving structures and in demolition across the East Coast.

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