Founded: The town of Preston was founded from the town of Norwich on April 2, 1806. On April 17, 1816, McDonough was annexed from the town of Preston to give Preston its present configuration. Hamlets within the town: Georgetown on the southern end of County Route 4.
Named after: Preston derives its name from Preston, Conn., the origin of the early settlers. The name originates in Preston, Lancashire, England.
Current population: 1,044 (2010 U.S. Census)
Notable people: Jane Fisk Hadley (1733-1819), with her husband, operated a tavern in Lexington, Mass. during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. This tavern was a meeting place for early patriots. On April 18, 1775 she was a witness to the Battle of Lexington and the English march to nearby Concord. Later in the war, it is alleged that Hadley spied for the Americans. After the war, the Hadleys moved to Battleboro, Vt. and later to Preston. She is buried in the Mason-Packer Cemetery in Preston.
Interesting facts: Preston, being town number 14 of original 20 towns, places it in the geographical center of Chenango County. Thus, Preston has been the location of the county home, Preston Manor, for more than 100 years. The manor was once a full working farm. The Ross Schoolhouse was relocated to the Chenango County Historical Society campus in 1979 and preserved.
Industry past: Preston was once the home of one of the state’s largest tanneries. On a tributary of Fly Meadow Creek, the dam and many of the check dams that regulated the waterwheel’s speed to power the tannery are still able to be located. Louis Dunckel once owned the largest chicken farm in New York state. It later became Preston Egg – its off shoot, Egg Low Farms, is still operating in Sherburne.
Industry present: Turner Mills offers for sale portable bandsaw mills ranging from a basic ground unit to a full hydraulic trailer model.