The history of the beautiful and historic Landmark Tavern building begins with the efforts to procure a canal route from Binghamton to Utica. This route would join the coal fields of Northern Pennsylvania with the recently-opened Erie Canal.
The farms, hamlets and villages of the Chenango and Oriskany river valleys, through which the proposed canal was to be constructed, had the potential for great prosperity if this new transportation route were built. The canal would also bisect the Third Great Western Turnpike (today’s Rt. 20), which ran through the hamlet of Johnsville. Johnsville was later renamed Bouckville.
Johnsville in the 1820’s and 1830’s was a small cluster of homes and businesses, mainly on the eastern end of the hamlet. The western end of present-day Bouckville (formerly Johnsville) was referred to as a “cedar swamp” in newspaper accounts of the 1820’s. Farms in the area had originally been established on the hillsides to avoid disease-carrying mosquitos. The construction of a canal offered the chance to drain the swamps and create lowland farms that could use the rich alluvial soil of the Bouckville area.
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