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This township originated from a 1762 King's grant that established a territory then known as the "Plantation of Jericho."
Asa Douglas of Canaan City, New York wound up purchasing the biggest chunk of the territory -- a whopping 1,000 acres. Also getting a piece of the pie were Samuel Hand, Captain Caleb Gardner, Deacon Samuel Brown, and David and Charles Goodrich.
Asa also headed up the area's Local Committee of Safety during the Revolutionary War and led a militia company in the Battle of Bennington. Asa Douglas' son, Captain William Douglas, moved to Jericho with his wife, Hannah, in 1765, and Asa moved to Jericho the following year.
The senior Douglas' home, Shumway Farm, stands today just across the state line in Stephentown, New York. Most who lived in the territory which would incorporate into the township of Hancock chose to settle in the valley along Post Road. Only a few of the early settlers managed to farm in the high valleys.
The Proprietor's Book for Greenoch, also known as Watsontown and then Hartwood, was begun in 1761. It was first called Washington in 1784, when it became a town. The town was divided into an upper and lower village along Frost Road. A stage route traversed the mountainous west section of town before the Pontoosuc Turnpike was built in 1830 through the valley on the east side of town.
Some of the early business were represented by a woolen mill owned by Captain Horace Herrick, a grist-saw-carding mill owned by David Higgins, a flutter wheel saw mill owned by Phillip Eames, a potash factory owned by Sylvester Arnold, and a blacksmith shop owned by John Stacy.
The only local event of the Revolution was the camp of Captain Ford's company escorting prisoners from Burgoyne's Army to Boston. Lieutenant Michael Hildreth recorded their Passage through Washington. The camp is believed to have been behind Daniel Phillips' house.
Bucksteep Cross-County Center, Washington Mountain Road
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