Zebediah Gates Cabin (Cuyler, NY)
In 1807, Zebediah Gates came to Cuyler from Colrain Massachussetts and lived in lot 88 for the rest of his life. He actually lived in the town of Truxton, but due to the towns borders changing, his cabin is now part of the town of Cuyler. The Gates Cabin is marked as the beginning of one of Cortland county's most popular and largest families of the county.
Backstory and Context
In 1807, Zebediah Gates left Colrain, Massachusetts and moved to Cuyler. He lived here at lot eighty-eight his entire life. There is a lot of undiscovered information about Zebediah Gates himself. However, we do know that the Gates family was popular and a large family throughout Cortland County. His family is one of the "leading families of New York for thrift and prosperity." They were so popular, in fact, that on August 26, 1939, the Centennial Pagent of Cuyler Methodist Church presented a play and the characters in Mabyn Keeney Whitmarsh's play were of Cortland County's first families, including Zebediah Gates and his wife as characters. The people of Cortland County enjoyed the Gates family's company, and their family reunions always brought about big turnouts. The newspaper article "Gates Family Reunion Brings Large Turn-Out" states "The program included a business session, games, and a general good time." The Gates family was beloved by all, so much so that the town's newspapers always gave very long and heartfelt obituaries, which were nine paragraphs long at times. When one young boy of the Gates family died at age eight, the newspaper stated that no children of their age were better known in the town and entire county. Also, when Frank Gates died in 1919, they stated that he was "highly esteemed."
According to the United States Federal Census of 1830, we found that Zebediah actually lived in Truxton. This must be due to the town's border changing with Cuyler, which is directly next to Truxton. There is extensive information about the Gates family's genealogy at the Cortland County Historical Society, and where they lived throughout the centuries. We know that Zebediah Gates had a son, Zebediah Jr. However, we are unsure what happened to him. Many believed that he died or disappeared in either 1838 or 1839. The reason for this historic marker is due to the Gates family being one of the first big, wealthy, and popular families of the entire county. The New York State Education Department placed this marker to permanently recognize the Gates family legacy. It is uncertain when this marker was placed.
. "Death of Arnold Gates. Eight-Year-Old Son of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Gates." August 22nd 1916. Newspaper clipping article found in the Gates family folder at the Cortland County Historical Society.
. "Funeral of F.I. Gates. Many Friends Present to Pay Farewell Tribute." June 6th 1919. Newspaper clipping article found in the Gates family folder at the Cortland County Historical Society.
. "Gates Family Reunion Brings Big Turnout." Newspaper clipping article found in the Gates family folder at the Cortland County Historical Society.
Hanchett, Catharine. July 29th 1996. E-mail sent to the Cortland County Historical Society found in the Gates family folder.
. History of Cortland County New York 1885.
New York State Education Department. "Historic Markers in Cortland County as Listed by State Recorder of Public Records."
Through the Years. Whitman, Mabyn Keeney. 1939. Cast listing of a play found in the Gates family folder at the Cortland County Historical Society.
. United States Federal Census 5th Census 1830 Cortland County.