Town of
Pompey Historical Society

    Established 1976

 

Our Hamlets

Delphi Falls ~ Oran ~ Pompey Center ~ Pompey Hill ~ Watervale


Pompey’s Hamlets in 1868


Pompey Academy in 1890

      Anyone familiar with the history of Onondaga County knows the name of Pompey’s native son, Homer D.L. Sweet. It was he who produced an atlas of the county in 1874 that is still the standard for accuracy of survey and information. In addition to being a surveyor and cartographer, Homer Sweet was well known as a poet and journalist. During 1868, he produced a series of articles for the Syracuse "Standard" called “Pen Sketches of Onondaga County”. Each town in the county was dealt with under the headings of history, natural scenery, archeology, agriculture, geology and population. Here are his accounts of the five hamlets of the Town of Pompey from the “Standard” of March 4 and 5, 1868 – in his own words

"Delphi - this pretty village in the south-east corner of the town has wonderfully improved within the last ten years, in all that tends to the progress of society.
The streets are fine and the sidewalks first rate. The ladies of this place,
whose energies are only exceeded by their beauty, have, with commendable zeal, raised money enough to purchase plank, and have laid sidewalks over the entire village. This example might be followed with a great degree of credit by nine tenths of the villages in the county."

elphi -this pretty village in the south-east corner of the town has wonderfully improved within the last ten years, in all that tends to the progress of society. The streets are fine and the sidewalks first rate. The ladies of this place, whose energies are only exceeded by their beauty, have, with commendable zeal, raised money enough to purchase plank, and have laid sidewalks over the entire village. This example might be followed with a great degree of credit by nine tenths of the villages in the county.

Delphi House early 1900's, (also known as the Ozark Inn - building burned)

    Oran Station circa 1900
Located on Oran Station Rd.


Oran – This is the little hamlet in the northeast corner of the town that has been growing less and less for forty years until at the present time there is only a church, a school, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and wagon shop, that are worthy of mention and about twenty dwellings.The street is wide, without shade trees or walks, but the dwellings and yards are in pretty fair condition.”

Oran’s claim to fame came when the Chenango Branch of the West Shore Railroad Co. was completed to Oran in 1872. Now connected to Syracuse, farmers could get their products, dairy particularly, to Syracuse and beyond on the Canal. It was also a convenient means for business and shopping trips.


Pompey Hill – This is the oldest village in the county, and was one of the leading places for this whole region of country. People came here for legal advice, they came here for medical advice and to do their trading; and they came here for fashions, they came here for military parades, for political discussions, and for general consultations of a public nature: they came here to engage in all the amusements and duties of a public character. But the old place has sadly deteriorated. The large dry goods stores of the ancient days have dwindled and the mechanics shops have grown small and beautifully less, until at the present time, there are four churches, an Academy, a hotel, three stores, two blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, two shoe shops, a harness shop, a milliner's shop, a jeweler, three clergymen, an old physician and a young one and about fifty dwellings. The village was originally laid out handsomely with broad streets and ample squares, but the streets are nothing extra, the sidewalks merely passable, and the shade tree, taken as a whole, abominable."

 


Presbyterian Church - built in 1818
Burned from lightning in 1946

       Pratt's Falls (137") 

Watervale – This little cluster of farm houses and mechanic's residences, at the forks of the west and middle branches of the Limestone Creek, contains a school, a hotel, a grist mill, a saw mill, two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop and about twenty dwellings. The streets are fair with a few shade trees; the dwellings, with one exception, nothing extra, and yards that, as a general thing, could be improved wonderfully.”

(William G Fargo, of Wells and Fargo, was born in Watervale in 1818 and lived and worked in Pompey until he moved to Weedsport in 1840. He got his start here.)

At left is a depiction of Pratt's Falls in the hamlet.  One of the key attractions of Pompey to settlers was various waterfalls and streams that provided power for numerous mills.

 

 


Pompey Center
One Room Schoolhouse # 10


Pompey Centre
- according to Homer Sweet "was a little hamlet consisting of a church, a school, a hotel, a store, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, and 10 dwellings.  It is a pretty good spot to hold town meeting."

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2016