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Homer-Cortland Plank Road Minute Book

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 24 Feb 2010

Biographical History

Homer and Cortland are towns in Cortland County in Central New York. Both were part of the Central New York Military Tract. The town of Homer was established in 1794 and the village of Homer was incorporated in 1835. Cortland was settled in 1791 and incorporated as a village in 1853.

Hailed as a solution to the problem of stagecoaches, wagons and other transportation (both personal and commercial) bogging down in muddy roads during the rainy season, plank roads inspired an investment boom across the country in the late 1840s. The first plank road in the country was built in North Syracuse, New York to speed the transport of salt and other goods. Unfortunately, despite millions of dollars in investments, plank roads did not fulfill their promise due to rapid deterioriation and high maintenance costs, and by 1900 the boom had become a bust.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Homer-Cortland Plank Road Minute Book is the minute book of the board of directors of the Homer-Cortland Plank Road, Cortland County, New York, covering operations of the road from notice of a meeting to open books for subscriptions to stock for its construction.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Plank roads -- New York (State)
Roads -- Design and construction.


Cortland (N.Y.) -- History.
Homer (N.Y. : Town) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Minute books.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Homer-Cortland Plank Road Minute Book,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1968.

Table of Contents

Minute books