Upperville Falls

New York, New York may be one helluvah town because the Bronx is up and the Battery is down. But Smyrna too is one helluvah town, in its own way. Its eponymous village is down and Upperville is, as the name indicates, up, by about a hundred feet. Although, it does seem much higher because it is a steady grade. Upperville is the area around the intersection of Quaker Hill Road with State Route 80. The village and Upperville are both on Pleasant Brook.

Upperville is in the center of the Town of Smyrna and is labeled Smyrna Centre on the 1875 map. The 1855 map does not name it and the 1863 map calls it Upperville. Child’s 1869 Directory calls it Upperville (page 132). This little hamlet’s original name was Ladds Hollow, named for Elias Ladd, an early owner of the Towsley mill, according to Frederick Burdette Sprague in his unpublished 1963 manuscript, “Some History of Smyrna” (page 104).

As is often the case in Chenango County, what today seems unremarkable was once a thriving hotbed of commerce and industry.

Behold the beautiful Upperville Falls in the photo. Telling me about them is their proud owner, Lee Schwarting. Lee is pointing toward the north side of the stream, where a water wheel was once located. Parts of stone foundations of buildings still remain there. Those long thin strips of rusty iron he is holding are barrel hoops. A distillery is reputed to have operated here and hoops galore remain as a hangover. According to a postcard from the early 1900s, a wood flume crossed over the top of the falls.

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