A water-powered mill was founded on this site by Elisha Smith in 1802 (The Town of Smithville was named for Elisha Smith.) The mill has gone through various owners and suffered numerous catastrophic events, but has operated virtually continuously since 1802.
The mill was purchased by Leon Beardsley in 1918. The mill was operated by his sons for many years (the Beardsley Brothers; Raymond, Ralph, Paul, and Glenn) and eventually was operated by Raymond Beardsley until he sold it to John Buck in 1997. John Colasanto is the sawyer and mill manager.
A more complete history of this historic site on the Genegantslet Creek is available on request
Our mill site on Genegantslet Creek is one of the most historic in the area. The Genegantslet Creek headwaters are in East Pharsalia, NY in northern Chenango County. The "Genny" flows southerly through McDonough, through Smithville Flats, and continues south to our mill site in Genegantslet, NY (sometimes called "Upper" Genegantslet). The Genny flows on to meet the Chenango River near lower Genegantslet (a few miles south of Greene, NY) and the Chenango meets the mighty Susquehanna near Binghamton, NY. Use this link to view an historic timeline. (popup window)
A historical narrative and map of all the known water-powered mills on the Genegantslet can be viewed with the following linked PDF (Mills on Genegantslet).
The photograph here was taken in approximately 1885-1910 and shows the water powered mill looking toward the northwest. While the three story mill building and the Catskill Turnpike bridge were carried away in the flood of 1935, the Daniel Bradley house (behind the mill) and the Bradley/Kinsman house (right) are still in Genegantslet. The house behind the Daniel Bradley house (faint) also remains. Interestingly, most of the trees in this photo can still be identified today. The open field in the foreground was planted with red pine in the 1950's by the Beardsleys and is still a part of the sawmill property today. The Genegantslet Cemetery is uphill behind the photographer and was originally a Bradley family plot. Some of the mill's sawyers and owners are buried in the Cemetery including Carter, Birdsall, and Daniel Bradley. Sawyers Hayes, Huntley, and Beardsley are buried in other nearby cemeteries. The western end of the mill dam exists in 2000 and the bridge abutments are still used by area fishermen.