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Citizens to hail Warrensburg on its 200th birthday today

Warrensburg’s downtown — now the site of the Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand and Rite Aid Pharmacy — is depicted in this vintage photo, believed to be taken in the 1870s.

Warrensburg’s downtown — now the site of the Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand and Rite Aid Pharmacy — is depicted in this vintage photo, believed to be taken in the 1870s.

— On Tuesday Feb. 12 around dinner-time, visitors to Warrensburg are likely to experience a curious phenomena.

At 6 p.m. on that day, a chorus of church bells around town will be ringing, and local citizens — if they’ve followed the advice of the local history buffs — will be standing on their doorsteps and ringing a bell or voicing a cheer. Undoubtedly, in the town’s taverns, glasses will be raised.

The occasion? It will be 200 years to the day that Warrensburg was founded.

On Feb. 12, 1813, local leaders met in the Warren House, a local tavern and hotel, and they signed documents to form the town, according to accounts of the town’s history.

Warrensburgh, as it was known until the mid-1930s, was carved out of the town of Thurman, which from that founding day forward was known as the town of Athol. Since then, it reverted back to its former name.

Apparently no minutes were taken of this founding meeting. The first meeting of the town of Warrensburgh was held in April of that year, according to town Historian Sandi Parisi. The following meeting, held in May 1813, was the first for which minutes have been recorded. Notable action from this meeting was a vote to appropriate $50 for support of the poor, as well as establishing a $10 bounty for each wolf killed within the town limits, Parisi said this week.

The hamlet’s first settler is believed to be William Bond — he arrived in 1786. A local lake, “Bond’s Pond,” was dedicated in his honor. The name of the water body has since been changed to Echo Lake. The town’s first non-native settler was believed to be Andrew Vowers, who established his home here in 1783.

The early settlers realized the vast natural assets of the town, including lush forests as well as the Schroon River, which provided water power for various industries.

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