Village of Alfred
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  Village History (Cont.)
  Village HistoryIn 1809, Clark Crandall built a pail factory, probably
the first of several small "tinker" businesses which
later lent their collective identity to the hamlet
between Bakers Bridge and Alfred Centre now
known as Tinkertown. A diverse economy followed
it, in home-building, tanneries, sawmills, cooper
shops, carding mills, and asheries, all preceding the later manufacturing in brick and ceramic products.

The first religious society was formed in 1812, bound together by a covenant of high moral standards and strong community dedication.

The inhabitants, many being church members, built a school in 1816. The first frame house built in what became the center of Alfred business became the home of the select school for male and female students in 1836, which emerged as the nation's second co-educational college. The private college evolved into Alfred University, chartered in 1857, from which was formed the New York State College of Clayworking in 1900 (now known as The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University), and New York State College of Agriculture, which became an independent institution in 1948, now known as Alfred State College.

     Alfred Station's residents founded the Alfred Clay Company, and Alfred (Centre)'s inhabitants founded the Celadon Terra Cotta Company, both of which produced roof tile which is still an Alfred distinctive, although both companies ceased operations in this area many years ago. Celadon was bought by Ludowici after the tile works were destroyed multiple times by disastrous fires. The operation was moved to Ohio, where manufacturing continues.

     Other businesses sprang up to meet various needs, and some gained national prominence. They included the Rogers Machine Works, the Sabbath Recorder Publishing House, The Alfred Sun Publishing House, Glidden Pottery, Southern Tier Concrete Products, Hi-Tech Ceramics - Vesuvius, Buffalo Crushed Stone, Alfred Atlas Sand and Gravel, and many others.

     The Celadon Company built a small office building about 1890 using decorative roof and wall tiles, as a means of displaying their products. The Alfred Historical Society saved it from destruction in the 1970s, moved it to the grounds of the College of Ceramics, where it serves as a small museum. The Society has also assembled a collection of artifacts, periodicals, and documents, which are housed in Hinkle Memorial Library on the campus of Alfred State College, and assembled a history of the town, for which many families submitted their own (hi)stories.

     At the turning of the new century and millenium, Alfred retains much of that tradition and unique character that has made it a dynamic rural community, while it embraces the new possibilities that present themselves.

Written by Douglas Clarke

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If you would like more information, you can contact the Baker's Bridge Historical Association at P.O. Box 13, Alfred Station, NY 14803 or at