The Newark Valley Historical Society, with technical assistance from the Cornell University Graduate Program in Historic Preservation Planning, initiated the present reconnaissance level survey of the Town and Village of Newark Valley in the summer of 1994. The survey is a first step towards the comprehensive identification and evaluation of historic built resources in this rural township. It is intended to provide the groundwork for future,intensive level surveys, and later, for nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the survey is not specifically designed to be part of the current comprehensive planning efforts by the Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning, it should prove useful to those committee members developing plans for historic preservation and heritage tourism in the county.
The present survey expands on an earlier survey that was limited to the Village of Newark Valley. In 1979, at the request of the Newark Valley Historical Society, graduate students in Cornell University’s Historic Preservation Planning Program surveyed portions of the village. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the survey resulted in the completion of 79 New York State Building/Structure Inventory Forms, which were subsequently published in book form. One purpose of the 1979 survey was to identify potential historic districts to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. No districts were nominated at that time, however, due to budgetary constraints and the decision to expand the survey to include the entire township.
Between 1979 and 1994, members of the Landmarks Committee of the Newark Valley Historical Society solicited historical information from property owners, conducted original research, and carried out a photographic survey of many historic properties in the village and township. This information was used extensively during the preparation of the present reconnaissance level survey.The present survey was initiated by members of the Landmarks Committee of the Newark Valley Historical Society. Committee members contacted Barbara Ebert, a Visiting Lecturer in Cornell University’s Historic Preservation Planning Program, who assumed the role of project coordinator.
Ms. Ebert, a36 CFR 61 qualified architectural historian, supervised the grant application process that secured the project’s funding, selected the consultant who conducted the reconnaissance level survey and supervised the first phase of an intensive level survey that builds on the present survey. The consultant hired to prepare the reconnaissance level survey, a 36 CFR 61 qualified historian, is currently completing a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation Planning at Cornell University. This survey was funded by grants from the Rural New York Historic Preservation Grant Program, the Newark Valley Historical Society and the Newark Valley Town and Village Boards.This reconnaissance level survey follows guidelines set by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
A reconnaissance level survey is designed to identify and describe themes and contexts significant in the prehistory and history of a designated survey area and to determine the range, number and geographic distribution of archaeological and historic resources related to those themes and contexts. Although prehistoric and historic archeological sites are mentioned in the Historic Overview section of this survey, they are not considered systematically in the Existing Conditions section.The survey is divided into four parts. The Methodology outlines the purpose of the project, its anticipated uses, and the methods used to undertake the survey. The Historic Overview outlines themes significant in Newark Valley’s history, and provides a historical context for the township’s built environment.
The Existing Conditions section catalogs the types of historic built resources extant in the township and summarizes their distribution and present condition in narrative form. Finally, the Recommendations section suggests ways to build on the reconnaissance level survey to further document and protect historic resources in the township.Supplemental to the survey is an annotated bibliography of works relevant to the history of Newark Valley’s built environment.
This bibliography was compiled by Virginia Mullen and Dorothy Torrey of the Landmarks Committee of the Newark Valley Historical Society. Additional entries and annotations were supplied by the consultant.The consultant conducted a preliminary visual survey of Newark Valley between May 28 and May 30, 1994 to form an initial impression of the range and distribution of the township’s built resources. Using the data gathered during this survey and the sources identified in the bibliography, the consultant then prepared the Historic Overview. The Historic Overview was completed in draft form in September, 1994.
Before preparing the Existing Conditions section, the consultant conducted a second comprehensive visual survey of the township on September 6and September 13, 1994, to confirm initial impressions and to gather additional data. A similar survey of the village was undertaken on September19 and September 22, 1994.To facilitate future National Register nominations, all buildings and farm complexes more than fifty years old (i.e., pre-1944) were included in the Existing Conditions survey.
United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps from the 1950s, used in conjunction with current tax records-and data gathered during the visual surveys, provided the base list of historic properties summarized in the Existing Conditions section. Also useful in the preparation of this section was the large collection of relatively current (post-1986)photographs and other information on individual properties collected by members of the Landmarks Committee of the Newark Valley Historical Society.In a few cases, the list of properties was supplemented by evidently historic buildings that were not depicted on the USGS maps. The final list of properties was limited to buildings and other built resources visible from public roads.The survey was originally designed to identify and evaluate individual farm buildings with the same thoroughness devoted to residences and other major building types, but a comprehensive survey of outbuildings was determined to be beyond the scope of the project budget.
Therefore, the locations of barns and farm complexes appearing to be more than fifty years old were recorded, but outbuildings were not classified and analyzed as rigorously as were other building types. The reconnaissance level survey was completed in November, 1994. For more information visit: Newark Valley Historical Society