Founded in 1795, Chatham is full of history and charm and is home to just shy of 4,200 people as of 2010. The town is comprised of several villages and hamlets.
The Village of Chatham is the central community with its eccentric collection of specialty shops, art galleries, cafes and fine restaurants. The iconic Main Street Clocktower dates back to 1872 and is the only of its kind still in original condition. It was originally home to Ocean Fire Co and millinery shops.
In 1912, the beautiful Tracy Memorial Village Hall was a gift from the Tracy family. It is now home to the police department, clerk’s office, and town court in a magnificent, once ballroom on the second floor.
There is an energetic and fun sense of community in events like Chatham Summerfest. Summerfest takes over Main Street and the surrounding area with live music, street fare and artisan goods.
Old Chatham, the most rural and equestrian hamlet, is also home to The Shaker Museum and Library. They exhibit and tell the story of the area’s first inhabitants.
Originally Groat's Corners, Chatham village was incorporated as Chatham Four Corners in 1847. It received its present name in 1869. Chatham was a main station of five railway lines on the Boston & Albany route. More than one hundred trains arrived and departed daily.
Built in 1887 and used during Chatham’s heyday, Union Station closed in 1972 and reopened in 1999 as a Union Bank. In 1902 a red oak was planted at the Chatham Public Library and is now the oldest Arbor Day tree in New York. The library was completed in 1905 with a grant from John Wheeler, William Howland from Andrew Carnegie. Still present today is an original Tiffany window titled “Instruction” which was donated by Wheeler’s widow.
In operation since 1926, the Crandell Theatre one of the country’s few remaining independently owned movie houses. The Crandell shows first run films, and hosts free and ticketed events of the Columbia Film Festival for four weekends annually.