The Town of Ancram was founded in 1803, and was originally part of Gallatin. In 1814, Ancram separated from Gallatin and became an independent Town. The name was derived from the Livingston homestead in Anchoram, Scotland. Robert Livingston, first Lord of the Manor was the son of a Scotch clergyman, born in Anchoram, Scotland in 1654. The town comprises 27,000 of the total 160,000 acres the Livingston family had held from the initial grant by the English Crown in 1686. Philip Livingston, grandson of Robert, founded the first iron works in 1743, the only one of its kind on the banks of the Roeliff Jansen Kill and in the NY Colony. There were four forges, a blast furnace and a refinery forge that employed 75 to 100 men at full operation. Three iron mines and a lead mine supported the iron works.
The Ancram Iron Works later became important as an early “defense plant”. It was in Ancram that iron was made for the cannon balls for the Continental artillery and the links for the great chain that was stretched across the Hudson River between Anthony’s Nose and Fort Montgomery, to keep the British fleet from sailing up the Hudson to attack West Point.
This Iron Works became a paper mill in 1854 and still operates as a paper mill today. It is the longest continuously operating mill in New York State and one of the largest employers in Columbia County.