Thursday, January 7, 2021

HISTORICAL PROFILE: Bartonville Mountain of Brant Lake

Brant Lake in the Town of Horicon, Warren County, offers opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast to kill some time and enjoy a relaxing day. One can indulge in canoeing, kayaking, or fishing on the lake, or venture to Bartonville Mountain to go mountain biking, trail running, hiking, or, in the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The trailhead for Bartonville Mountain is in back of a business called The Hub, located on 27 Market Street in Brant Lake, by Mill Pond. The Hub is a bike shop, restaurant, and bar, so after expending some energy outdoors, one can head to The Hub to enjoy a good lunch or refreshment.

NYS DEC’s map of land tracts, showing the approximate location of Bartonville Mountain

The Hub had professionally-built biking and hiking trails constructed on the mountain which, according to Protect the Adirondacks, were built by Wilderness Property Management in North Creek. On June 22, 2017, The Hub announced that the Bartonville Mountain hiking trail was open for the public to enjoy. While on the 0.7-mile, red-marked trail, which provides a gradual ascent to the summit, one will come across an open area which provides a scenic view of Brant Lake.

The summit itself is wooded, and just off the summit one will find the remains of an old television station transmitter (which I will discuss further).

In this historical profile, I will delve into the name origin and history surrounding this unassuming peak, especially the person connected with it.

Location in the Ancient Land Tracts

In regard to the ancient land tracts, Bartonville Mountain lies in or around Lot 214 of the Brant Lake Tract. Knowing the location of a peak on a land tract can give one clues as to whether the peak was used in a survey, such as Verplanck Colvin’s Adirondack Survey, or for whom it was named, such as who acquired the tract or who settled upon the tract.

A History of the Name

Bartonville Mountain takes its name from the hamlet once known as Bartonville, located at the foot of Brant Lake. The hamlet is named for Judson Newell Barton (10/7/1820 – 4/14/1887), who was originally from Bolton Landing and later migrated to a small farming settlement called Hayesburgh, near Brant Lake, in 1831. According to Henry P. Smith’s 1885 work, ”History of Warren County,” when Barton arrived in Hayesburgh, there were only two or three frame houses; no other amenities, such as a store or a church or a post office. The principal businesses of the area were farming and lumbering. Pine timber grew in great abundance at the time but just was just about harvested out of existence by 1885.

Photograph of Judson N. Barton, the founder of the hamlet of Bartonville in the Town of Horicon.
(Source: FindaGrave)

About seven years after Barton’s arrival, the Town of Horicon was established on March 29, 1838, being formed from the towns of Bolton and Hague. Judson would act as Town Supervisor from 1869-1870, and in 1880.

In either 1844 or 1846, Barton married Lucretia Smith (1827-1901). The couple had five children: Scott, Julia, John, Smith, and Emma. Judson and Lucretia are interred at Pitt Cemetery in South Horicon.

Another early settler to the area, Moses Stickney, operated a saw-mill and grist-mill at the time Barton arrived Hayesburgh. The two operations were acquired by Barton in 1865. They were later acquired by Barton’s son, Smith, in June 1885. According to H.P. Smith, the capacity of Smith Barton’s saw-mill was about 2,500 market logs annually.

Judson Barton and his partner, Albert Rand, started a general store in Bartonville in 1869; Rand was also Barton’s partner in running the grist-mill acquired by Stickney. The general store also served as a polling place, post office, and town hall. In 1882, Barton sold his interest in the store to his two sons, Scott and John.

The residential structures owned by “J.N. Barton” are denoted in the 1858 “Map of Warren Co., New York” by J. Chace, Jr., and in the 1876 Atlas of Warren County by F.W. Beers and Company.

The first appearance of Bartonville Mountain on a map is the 1958 North Creek, N.Y. U.S.G.S. quadrangle (1960 printing).

The metal enclosure mounted to the bottom of the wooden pole near the summit of Bartonville Mountain. John Sasso photo.

Bartonville Mountain Serves Television Broadcasting

About thirty feet off the summit are the remains of a transmitter on a tall, wooden pole and a large, metal enclosure mounted at the bottom. Within the enclosure is a model UT-99 VHF TV translator, manufactured by the Television Technology Corporation, along with other electronic gear. According to the March 21, 1974 edition of “The Warrensburg-Lake George News,” they appear to be those of a one-watt television broadcast translator to serve Brant Lake and South Horicon, for station WMHT (Channel 17, Schenectady). This was referred to as TV translator station W07BG.

Encounters in New York State Surveys

There is no evidence that Bartonville Mountain was used in Verplanck Colvin’s Adirondack Survey or other survey in New York State. No survey markers or other evidence of a survey were found on the summit.

Photo at top: View of Brant Lake from a lookout point off the slope of Bartonville Mountain. Photo by John Sasso.

Related Stories

John Sasso is an avid hiker and bushwhacker of the Adirondacks and self-taught Adirondack historian. Outside of his day-job, John manages a Facebook group "History and Legends of the Adirondacks." John has also helped build and maintain trails with the ADK and Adirondack Forty-Sixers, participated in the Trailhead Steward Program, and maintained the fire tower and trail to Mount Adams.

One Response

  1. Mary Scott says:

    Good info! Looking for places to hike; I’m organizing a week-long hiking camp based out of Warrensburg for friends from the West Michigan area in August.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox