Village of Cairo Formed in 1803,
By Grace Story Webber, Cairo Township Historian
Published in the Catskill Daily Mail February 7, 1952
Newspaper article courtesy of Linda Larsen. Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin
(Editorís Note: this is the first of a series on the history of Cairo Township. Other articles now being prepared by Mrs. Webber will appear from time to time.)
The present town of Cairo contains seven villages with a population of about 1,925 according to the official figures to the 1950 census. Cairo, formerly called Shingle Kill, the largest and most important of the villages, was formed in March 23, 1803, from portions of Catskill, Coxsackie, and Freehold (now Durham) being taken, and it was called Canton. On April 6, 1808, when the people of the village wished a post-office they changed the name of the town to Cairo.
The town contains over 36,000 acres of land and a considerable portion was held under the Salisbury, Van Bergen and Barker patents, the Barker patent of 1691 being over 6,000 acres. This extended from Woodstock or Woodsack (the name of his, Barkerís estate in the county of Nottingham, England) to Durham.
James Barker was a member of the English bar, and came to this country previous to the Revolution. He settled first at Catskill and then came to Cairo. There were 23 families, his former tenants, that came to this country with Mr. Barker. James Barker and his wife belonged to the Church of England and every Sunday they conducted services. This was the beginning of the Episcopal Church of Cairo.
The first frame house erected within the boundaries of the present village stood on the site of the home of Mrs. Grace Persons and the old Dutch oven is still in the cellar. It was built by Mr. Zebulon (or Francis) Carbine, who was killed when a shed fell on him.
The first hotel was built and occupied by Major Dewey. According to history, it stood at the lower end of the village.
According to a deed executed by George A. Crooker and Nancy Crooker, his wife, a certain parcel of land was deeded to David Johnson, Edmund Z. Carbine and John Lennon, Trustees of said Baptist Church and Society dated Oct. 25th, 1833. Very little is known of this church except what is learned from the following deed dated December 6th, 1866. The Cairo Baptist Church and Society deed the property to the Trustees of the Cairo Village M. E. Church for the sum of $1,000. Walker Noble, John C. Lennon, and George K. Noble of the town of Cairo, Trustees of the Cairo Baptist Church and Society meeting in Cairo Village deed to Orrin Slater, David Kipp, Henry Steele, John Greene and Henry Bross, Trustees of the Cairo Village Methodist Episcopal Church the above property. At this time there was a Baptist Church in Acra but all of the members did not transfer to that church.
George A Crooker was the great grandfather of Mrs. Clara Crooker Turner who resides on Main St. (Note: Hand written in margin-- Orrin Slater was the great gre___ grandfather of Mrs. Edna Miller Cozin. Feb 10, 1952)