Pierce is described more or less flatteringly in various accounts of the
infant village, but there's no dispute that he was the first blacksmith
to settle here. Of course smiths were as necessary to viable settlements
then as filling stations and garages are now; perhaps more so, since they
made and repaired far more than horseshoes and running gear for vehicles.
shop was located at the southeast corner of his property, fronting on Main
Street in the shade of a huge pine tree that features rather prominently
in some of the reminiscences mentioned, particularly as it stood at least
partially in the right of way.
said by at least one commentator that it was Pierce who took up the slack
when Robert Chissom, the village's first settler and only tavernkeeper,
died unexpectedly in 1806. Taverns in those days were more than just bars
and way-stations; they always had at least a small stock of other goods
for sale, and as yet Penn Yan had no other store.
case, Pierce sold the corner lot to storekeepers, and within a few years
it became a well-known (and presumably well-used) tavern house. By about
1815 there were either stores or taverns on all four corners, and others
along both streets. The mills were nearly a mile away at the foot of the
street; a few commercial ventures were fighting for light nearby. Practically
all the activity took place around the intersection of Main and Head Streets,
still both without official names. Abner Pierce moved on before all this
prosperity arrived, for he lost his remaining land to debt in 1814.