Whitaker Park


 

One of Lewis Countyís best views of the
Black River Valley!

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About Whitaker Park

 

DANIEL WHITAKER

Daniel Whitaker, a man of distinguished New England lineage, who was born at Trenton, N.Y., April 14, 1818, and came to Martinsburg with his father Clemmence, in 1835 acquired the Charles Lee Martin mansion. After purchasing the mansion, he accumulated a farm of 550 acres. On April 10, 1849, he married Ruth Ann Powell of Trenton. He was an outstanding citizen of Lewis County and for many years a director and President of Lewis County Agricultural Society.

He died June 23, 1887 and the mansion went to his daughter, Mary Alice. He did many things for Martinsburg village. One of these was the building of a beautiful stone bridge over the Roaring Brook that passes through the municipality. He planted trees along the highway and improved the Town Hall at his own expense.

In his will, he placed a provision that if his daughter died without children, the house and broad acres should go to the Town, but he imposed the condition that the Town should build and maintain stone bridges, convert a large and picturesque section of the farm into a sort of public park and maintain it. This the Town Board did not do, although it attempted to assert itself as residuary legatee after his death with the result that Miss Whitaker took the case to the courts and won the old mansion and a large part of the farm for herself.

In the beautiful gorges on the property, the Whitakers had, themselves, maintained a public recreation ground with fireplaces and benches for general enjoyment and was long frequented by many people. This was left to the Town by Miss Whitaker on her death in 1927, in her fathers name.


 

 

 

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