It seems like the family history bug has bitten our family. My son spends a crazy amount of time on Ancestry.com, my wife is reading through her grandmother's war-time diaries, and I've had my head wrapped around our family reunion. A few weeks ago we loaded up the family and did a "Hoosier roots tour" for my dad's side of the family.
Given that we are celebrating our country's birthday today I thought I would write about one of my Revolutionary War soldier-ancestors, Nathaniel Cole. Cole was born in 1747 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts and was descended from Mayflower stock. Their family moved to Connecticut where Cole enlisted in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War from 1775-1783. After the war Cole received for service to his country a section of land in New York State. He selected a hill at the crossroads of two market routes and constructed a home in 1795. Cole led a small entourage of other settlers from Connecticut and they named their new settlement "Cole's Hill" which is now known as Colesville today.
In 1800 Nathaniel Cole enlarged his house and constructed the first tavern in the area. The tavern was used for military housing and the grounds were used for training. During these post-Revolutionary War times military preparedness was the law of the land. The tavern served as the area's post office beginning in 1806. The tavern stood at the top of Cole's Hill and was two stories tall and painted red. Large fireplaces were at either end of the building and a grand staircase led to a ballroom on the second floor. A schoolhouse and church were built opposite the tavern at the crossroads.
Nathaniel Cole's Grave
Nathaniel Cole died in 1832 and was buried in the community cemetery. Much of the estate once owned by Nathaniel Cole is now part of a Broome County park that bears the patriot's name. The tavern was razed sometime after 1870 but the schoolhouse and church are still standing and are interpretive museums. Cole was my great x6 grandfather on my paternal grandmother's side.