Folklore: Slab City

The following excerpt is from the Journal of Roy Van Hosen (1873-1964). Roy was a printer and publisher in the village of Franklinville, New York.


This is but a memory, as no sign, no photographs nor description nor remnant of the place remains. The location was on a road leading from Franklinville to Cuba. Turn right at the Roy Hane farm on the Lyndon Road and the next left hand road not far from the farm home of Huson Case in his youth. You will be driving through the “Slab City” community. A century and a half ago a saw mill was in operation in this neighborhood, and the early settlers were short of cash. They used the slabs sawed from the outside of the logs that were waste, for wood in the home fireplace. The slabs were rough bark on the outside, irregular in width, length and thickness, with irregular edges. All buildings were made of this timber, and it made a very grotesque group of buildings-houses, barns, sheds, hog pens, and poultry houses. All homesteads were similar. The name of the group “Slab City” was most fittingly given. The buildings have been gone for generations but the name remains.


Information came from Maggie Frederickson, Village of Franklinville Historian


Note:  A road in the town of Lyndon exists in the area described above and is known as Slab City Road. It can be assumed that may be the area of which Mr. Van Hosen was speaking.  It has also been brought to our attention that the community of Cottage was once known as Slab City. One can ponder whether a similar occurrence was the reason for the name in that vicinity also.



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