Colden was founded by a man named Richard Buffum. He left Rhode Island with his children and some others to move west in order to find a new home. They carried everything in an ox cart, and a some of the possessions they took with them are still in existence today. They settled in what is present day Colden. Buffum purchased 2,000 acres of land from the Holland Purchase Company.
First Birth and First Death
The first birth in Colden was the daughter of Thomas Pope in 1811, and the first death was Nathaniel Bowen, a hired hand, in 1812. The first marriage was when James Sweet married Charlotte Buffum, Richard’s eldest daughter.
Buffum and James Bloomfield, a hired hand, built a grist mill, and the settlement there was then known as Buffum’s Mills. The mill was rebuilt twice and moved once. The first school was taught by Mary Eddy. Buffum and others then built houses farther away and built a road leading to them.
On April 2, 1828, the town was organized. It contained 22,704 acres and Silas Lewis was the first supervisor. The first post office was established in 1830 in Leander J. Robert’s house and was called Colden After Cadwalder D. Colden, who was a State Senator. Three years later, it was moved to Buffum’s Mills, and Buffum became postmaster. The post office kept the name Colden, and gradually, the settlement accepted the name.
Timeline of Colden Events:
1831 E. P. Hatch opened the first store.
1833 First tannery built; it was rebuilt twice.
1850 John Hedges built the present hotel.
1852 Livingstone Lodge No. 255, F. & A. M. organized.
1857 Joslyn M. Carbin built a shingle mill, changed into a cheese factory. It burned down in 1867 and was rebuilt in 1869.
1858 Richard Shelley built the brick store. The Bricks were burned on a farm on the Hayes Hollow Road and hauled over the hill by ox teams.
1859 Methodist Church built.
1838-1858 Dr. Philo Baker was first physician here.
1868 Dr. Strong came. He truly was, “The Grand Old Man of Colden.”
1881-1884 B., R. & P. R. R. built. Now B. & O.
1885 Present School Built.
If you have any questions or want to find out more, contact the town historian, Joe Marren (716) 941-5022