Your Hometown: Sandy Creek
It's a hidden treasure on the edge of Oswego County. The Village of Sandy Creek is best known today for Sandy Pond, a beautiful fishing and swim area. But before all of that, it was taking on a life of its own. In this week's edition of Your Hometown, our Joleene Des Rosiers tells us how a whole lot of character and a big piece of cheese put Sandy Creek on the map.
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SANDY CREEK, N.Y. -- The Village of Sandy Creek is small and often insignificant to those that know nothing about it. It has a sibling. A short thoroughfare known as Academy Street splits it from its twin, the Village of Lacona.
But alone, Sandy Creek holds a lot of history and it starts at its primary intersection where the Ainsworth Memorial Library Stands now, was known as the California Block in 1854.
It was named such because the builder that constructed it was from California! It was a prestigious stretch of building where dances were held, but as is the case with so much of our history, it was lost in a blaze.
"The fires wiped a lot of things out. The California block is gone. We had our first town hall, that's gone. The fires carried though into the late 40's and that's when we lost a lot of our buildings,” said Charlene Cole, Sandy Creek historian.
But some still remained, like an antique shop.
"We do have on the corner of Harwood and North Main that was the first house actually, in this town,” said Cole.
And it's just a stone's throw away from the Salisbury house. It was at this hotel where much of the traveling public stayed. Today it's the Sandy Creek Diner and Gas Station.
Behind it, was the Sandy Creek Wood Manufacturing Company, erected in the early 1880's. It was here that the first 'disposable plate' was manufactured.
Today, we call them paper plates and if you follow the tiny path next to the gas station, you'll find, beside the bubbling Sandy Creek, remains of the original Wood Manufacturing Company.
Other points of interest lie along Route 3 near a popular summer spot known as Sandy Pond. Here at Green Point, a man named Lindsey Green used to bring some real big fish stories to the public in the 1880's!
"He would literally travel to Florida, catch these big fish, bring them back and they would have a museum there, and um, he would show them and people would just be so in awe of them! They called them monster fish! They were monsters,” said Cole. "We had rail city there, too. For years and years and years. It's in very sad shape now, but Rail City was popular place for people to go."
Now likely, the most interesting story that derives from the history of Sandy Creek is the story of the big cheese. It's about one man who wanted to put Sandy Creek on the map and he did so by creating a 1,400 pound, 11 foot round chunk of cheese!
Sadly, no pictures of this hunk of cheese exist, but he wanted to create it and give it to then president, Andrew Jackson.
"Colonel Meechum was a dairy farmer in the Town of Sandy Creek. With his 150 cows, he made a 1,400 pound cheese and he had to actually build the mold to put the cheese in! It went down on a boat and it went through the canal, down the Hudson to Washington DC! When they got it there, they put it in the white house. And 1836, in honor of Washington's birthday, they actually sliced the cheese, the president opened the doors and said, let's eat cheese,” said Cole.
Before the days of the big cheese, the village was known as Washingtonville, but today it's Sandy Creek. It's a quiet place and its stories still live on.
"It is important for us to know our history and this town has so much of it. It's just amazing,” said Cole.