Souvenirs of Yesteryear: Skinner Hill

At over 1960 feet elevation, Skinner Hill is the highest point in the Town of Sherburne. At least it is now. Before 1853 it was the highest point in the Town of New Berlin. Skinner Hill is in a tract of land that has moved back and forth between these two towns.

The shape of Sherburne is rooted in the 1789 survey of the original Twenty Townships, where it was Township Number 9. It adheres to the typical township plan of a square about six miles on each side. That shape persisted on the 1829 and 1839 maps. However, on the 1855, 1863, and 1875 maps it sports a panhandle protruding south from its southeastern corner into New Berlin. The law that awarded Sherburne this tract of land was passed by the New York State Legislature on November 18, 1852, effective on February 1, 1853. The tract is a rectangle about two miles across on its north and south borders, 1.8 miles on its western side, and 1.6 miles on its eastern side.

A county map in the 1902 “Chenango County Directory” shows the panhandle. The 1910 topographic map (New Berlin 15 minute quad) shows the southern border of Sherburne back where it was prior to 1853, no panhandle. A 1941 Munger map of Chenango County shows no panhandle. The 1943 topographic map (Sherburne 7.5 minute quad) also shows no panhandle. A 1974 New York State Department of Transportation map of Broome and Chenango counties shows the panhandle back again. A 1987 Chenango County Highway Department map also shows the panhandle. The 1994 revision of the 1943 topographical map shows the panhandle.

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