The Town of Athens consists of what was formerly parts of Coxsackie and Catskill. An Attempt to erect a new Town was brought to the attention of the public in 1814.

The Catskill Recorder of November 16th,1814 the following advertisement ran for several weeks.

"The following resolution passed by the Legislature of the State of New York at their session in 1814. Resolved that the further consideration of the bill entitled An Act to erect a part of the Town of Catskill, and a part of the Town of Coxsackie, into a separate town by the name of Athens, be postponed till the next session of the Legislature, and that the applicants cause notice of their intention to be published for eight weeks, next and immediately preceding the next session, together with a Copy of this resolution to the end that the parties interested may be fully notified of Such application."

"Notice is hereby given that the application referred to by the above resolution will be renewed accordingly at the next Legislature. Athens, November 3, 1814."

"Joseph Groom, President of the Trustees of the Village of Athens."

The act erecting the new Town was passed February 25, 1815.

The line seperating the town began at the mouth of Murderer's Creek and ran across town to near its southwest corner; the Town Minute Book states "it begins on west bounds of the Hudson River, near southerly point of Paddock's Island, intersecting Schoharie Turnpike Road, to Potick Creek to the corner of the Town of Catskill, Coxsackie and Canton (now Cairo) to Athens Turnpike Road to what is called Corlaer's Kill, crossing stream to the Hudson River. At the first Town meeting Issac Northrup was elected Supervisor, Henry Wells as Town Clerk.

Athens township in 1830 had precisely the same limitations as today and included but one other settlement besides the Village of Athens. This settlement, now known as Lime Street, was then called Colleberg, meaning Kalkberg or "limehill," and referring to the great limestone cliffs that overshadow the Hans Vosen Kill on it west. The Dutch pronounciation of this name is best represented by the somewhat familiar spelling, Callabarrach. Prominent residents at Lime Street in those days were Col.William Edwards and the Perry (or Parry) family.

In the 1880's Lime Street entered a period of great prosperity. There was Day's General Store, a blacksmith shop, a gristmill, a tavern and a hotel. Lime Street had many farms and some lime kilns.

Four highways of major importance ran through the town.These were the state road or Old King's highway, and the three turnpikes, the Albany and Greene, Schoharie and the Athenian or Athens turnpike.The last named ran just over into Catskill at Leeds, to connect there with the Sesquehanna turnpike. The Schoharie turnpike was Athens' pet project, reaching back into the rich Schoharie valley and on to the Mohawk, and bringing a good amount of traffic into the river landings of old Loonenburg.

Located on the Old King's Highway was an inn called the The Black Horse Inn, built in 1791. Here Governor Clinton of Ulster County often spent the night while en-route from Albany to Kingston.This is on the Prentiss Hallenbeck farm on Rt. 9W. Today it is the site of Black Horse Farms.

Located in the town is the High Hill United Methodist Church, located on Schoharie Turnpike. It was built from 1857-1858. At the present time it is served by the Rev. John Capen.

Fire Coverage for the Town of Athens started in 1951 when a group of men who desired to create a fire company west of the railroad tracks off of Schoharie Turnpike and Leeds-Athens Road to the top of High Hill in Athens. They met several times at the Loonenburg Grange Hall, the White Swan Inn and Haeussler's Gas Station to formulate their plans. The west-Athens Lime Street Fire Company was Organized on March 13, 1952.

The Town of Athens will celebrate 200 years of History in February, 2015.

Lynn J.Brunner, Historian
Town of Athens