Mission Statement:
"The Fort Brewerton
Historical Society will
strive to collect and
preserve history for
the education and
entertainment of the
public at large. We
shall also endeavor to
maintain and expand
existing facilities and
historical collections."

Oliver Stevens Block House
Brewerton, New York

Oliver Stevens settled on the 400 acre military land boundy of Barent I. Staats that surrounded the old Fort Brewerton. Staats refused to sell the land so Stevens and Bingham rented the land for an annual rent of twenty pounds. The first documented white man to settle in Brewerton was Oliver Stevens, of Canaan, Connecticut; located on Colonel Staat’s property close to “Old Fort Brewerton”, in 1788. He built a house large enough for his wife and three children. They made room for trading merchandise and to accommodate the transient guest or two.

About 1794 the Indians had become very troublesome and fear of open hostilities was steadily increasing. Stevens applied to Governor Dewitt Clinton for permission to erect a blockhouse at the expense of the state, for protection. Permission was granted and he erected it near the fort grounds. He constructed a log house between the north shore of the Oneida River and south of the fort site. The blockhouse was built of hewn square timbers, two stories high. It has been recorded that when completed it was surrounded at a distance of four rods by a palisade of logs 12 feet high. It was used as a dwelling place until 1828. After that it was put to various uses, such as a barn and at the same time as a cider mill with a one-horse sweep. The end of the blockhouse came with the erection of the Fort Brewerton House (Hotel) in 1849.

Here Oliver opened a tavern for accommodation of the bateaux-men that navigated the route. He also began a thriving trade with the Indians; exchanging rum, ammunition and provision for their furs, pelts, etc. The nearest market where he could purchase his supplies and dispose of his barter was Fort Stanwix in Rome.