My Hometown

East side of Main Street

 Newark, New York was founded in 1819.  Early settlement in the Upstate New York area began in the 1790’s but the survival and development of the present village can be directly attributed to the “digging of a ditch” that became the Erie Canal- the idea of NY Governor DeWitt Clinton.

Barge Canal Park

Newark was originally called Miller’s Basin named after Captain Joseph Miller who was contracted to build one  and one fourth miles of the Erie Canal through the forests and wetlands so prevalent in the area. 

Captain Miller purchased 102.5 acres of land from the Lusk family. (The Lusks were very early settlers in the area) Captain Miller had his newly acquired land plotted off into streets and lots and built a small house for his family. The influx of workmen and their families that arrived to dig the ditch took up residence on the Miller land and, appropriately at the time, the little community was named Miller’s Basin in 1819. 

A similar scenario was taking place about one mile east of Miller’s Basin where another canal created hamlet was formed and named Lockville.
The Erie Canal, also referred to as the Barge Canal 

Erie Canal

 The construction of the Erie canal took eight long years to complete in 1825 canal traffic went from Buffalo to New York City.

The work was done but the majority of workers chose to remain in Miller’s Basin and Lockville. They sought other employment opportunities which within a year became plentiful in the area. The opening of the canal and the New York Central railroad nearby literally put shipping in the backyard of these hamlets and industry began to flourish. 

Life was good, jobs were plentiful, and even farmers from the NYC area began to migrate to this Upstate area which boasted of rich soil and plentiful harvests. In 1853 the communities of Newark, formerly called Miller’s Basin, and Lockville merged to become the present Newark, New York.

Bloomer Bros. Co.

Newark’s early industry centered on agriculture as the growing of fruit trees and berry bushes were made available  by direct sale to customers. 

The C.W. Stuart Nursery which began in 1864 evolved into one of the largest and most diverse direct selling enterprises in the country. Following closely in its footsteps were the Jackson and Perkins the ”World’s Largest Rose Growers” and others.

Attribution to Mary E. Smith 11/08/07, Postcards are courtesy of B. R. Forbes (, Village Of Newark site [edited by Mayberry to shorten for convenience of reader]