|Town Of Lee, Oneida County, New York||Village of West Branch|
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The village of West Branch is located in the northeastern portion of the Town of Lee, on the west branch of the Mohawk River. As with the other villages in the town, the early settlers recognized the potential water power from the river to run the mills.
The area was settled by several Quaker families and a Friend’s Meeting House was built here about 1800. The first place of worship was a log house on the hill overlooking the village. As the Quaker community grew, the log meeting house was replaced by a small frame building. There were separate entrances for men and women. Worship was carried on in silence as is the traditional manner of the Quakers. This building burnt in the 1870’s and a new Meeting House was built in 1878, a short distance down the road. Quarterly meetings were held here once a year for two and three day conferences, bringing many visitors to the area. The building was remodeled and updated in 1949. As the Quaker membership declined the building was later used by the Grange.
Among the establishments in the area was a grist mill on the west branch of the Mohawk River, and several sawmills. There were two hotels, a store, a carding mill, boot shop and blacksmith shop. A hotel was run by Mr. Sandford in the 1850’s.
A post office was established here early and remained open until September 23, 1967. In May 1878, G. Simonds was postmaster.