A little hamlet aptly named for one of its main products, Plasterville is nestled in the southeastern quadrant of the Town of North Norwich. In fact, it is so well nestled that it is had to see. Today the name is used to designate the area around the intersection of Whaupaunaucau Road and County Road 32 (alias East River Road). Its most prominent landmark is the ever expanding BOCES complex. However, Plasterville once sprawled all the way west to State Route 12.
The heart of modern day Plasterville hosts a splendid diversity of scruffy bushes and struggling trees. It could legitimately qualify as boondocks, except for the audible traffic noises from the nearby roads.
I try to imagine what it was like when 200 people lived here. At least, that is what Roy Gallinger claims in his 1970 book, “Smoke Rings Over The Valley”, pages 24-26. He should know because I understand that he lived here on Whaupaunaucau Road. His information seems to have been lifted from an anonymous article in the Syracuse Herald-American (1950 January 8 Sunday page 30). Gallinger once wrote for that newspaper, so I suspect he wrote this article. He says there were 20 houses. That would translate to 10 occupants per house, seems somewhat crowded. However, I heard the place was occupied by a lot of wood shacks, and we still have hovels throughout our country where multiple residents cram together and share beds, for example, tenements and college dormitories.
The best, and most reliable, account of Plasterville is by Mildred E. Hazard in the 1999 sesquicentennial book, “Next Stop Galena ...”, pages 57-59. She provides a vivid description of the hamlet. Mildred was not around in the early 1800s when Plasterville was being developed, so she depended on what the contemporary residents wrote. Unfortunately, they did not do much writing.