History of Enfield


The area known as Enfield was first settled in 1804 by John Giltner and Judah Baker. The area was first registered as a Town in November 1820 and officially registered with the State of New York on March 16, 1821. The Town was formed from thirty-six lots of the southern portion of Military Township Lot No. 22, Ulysses.

Agriculture was a way of life for most residents. By 1865, 80% of the Town’s land was used for farming. By 1866, five sawmills operated on Five Mile Creek. After the Civil War, the federal government encouraged the establishment of farmers organizations. The Enfield Valley Grange No. 295 was organized and built in 1925 by local residents. By 1995, it was the only Tompkins County Grange Hall to be officially functioning.

Over the years, many businesses have thrived in Enfield. The list consists of general stores, boot and shoemakers, coopers, blacksmiths, seamstresses, broom makers, saw and gristmills, auto sales and repairs, taverns, motels, bed and breakfasts, tree farms, local golf course, computer repair/services, self-employed construction businesses and plumbing/heating businesses, a fuel company, day care providers and an adult entertainment establishment.

Enfield Falls is located in the southeastern part of Enfield. The park is named in honor of Robert H. Treman, who presented the land to New York State in 1920. The Grist Mill located there was constructed in 1838-39 and was in use until 1916. Today, tours of the building are offered when the park is open.

Enfield’s government operates like that of most other small New York State towns. The Town Board is comprised of an elected Town Supervisor and four elected Board members. The Town Supervisor is elected to serve a term of two years and Board members serve a term of four years. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Highway Superintendent are elected officials and serve a term of two years. There is one elected Town Justice, serving a  term of four years. Space for officers and employees of the Town is located at the Enfield Town Hall, built in 1966 at Enfield Center.

The Town of Enfield is located in the rural, west central portion of Tompkins County. Enfield Center is approximately ten miles west of the City of Ithaca. The Town is bordered on the east by the Town of Ithaca, on the north by the Town of Ulysses, on the west by the Town of Hector in Schuyler County, and on the south by the Town of Newfield. Enfield encompasses 37.4 square miles.

Enfield’s population was 3,512 according to the 2010 Census. The geographic area of Enfield is divided among four public school districts — the Ithaca City School District, the Newfield Central School District, the Odessa-Montour Central School District,and the Trumansburg Central School District.


Under the category “Documents” you may locate copies of the PDF chapters for the book – The Town of Enfield, New York – Christian Hill to Enfield Falls. Edited by Members of the Enfield Historical Society and Sue Thompson Enfield, Town Historian. 2002.

Place Names of Tompkins County,  edited by Carol Kammen, includes chapters written by the Municipal Historians of Tompkins Coiunty. A pdf copy of the Enfield Chapter may be found under “Documents”.


Enfield History Book:
Enfield History – Cover
Enfield History – Introduction, Table of contents, Time Line
Enfield History – Geology
Enfield History – Prehistory
Enfield History – Early Settlements and Crossroad Communities
Enfield History – Enfield Falls
Enfield History – Buildings
Enfield History – Transportation
Enfield History – Roads
Enfield History – Businesses and Doctors
Enfield History – Government Officials
Enfield History – Government – Community Council – Enfield Volunteer Fire Company
Enfield History – Religion
Enfield History – Education
Enfield History – Social Organizations
Enfield History – Military
Enfield History – Agriculture
Enfield History – Notes and Index


Below  is a picture (split) of a Schaber’s Grove Community Picnic (Corner of Mecklenburg and Enfield Main Road) Early 1930’s (est.).  Do you know anyone in the picture?  Let the Historian know, Sue Thompson at historian@townofenfield.org

schabers grove enfield 2ab   schabers grove enfield1a


Historian Job Description:

The Town Historian position is a volunteer position filled by appointment of the Town Board each year.

The town historian acts with the Enfield Town Clerk in collecting and preserving the historical records of the town; educating the public about the history of Enfield through written articles and public programs; being a resource on local history for local government officials, residents, genealogists, and the public in general; an advisor on issues of preservation of historic sites and buildings; and to interpret the past history of the Town of Enfield.

To contact the Town of Enfield Historian, email Sue Thompson at historian@townofenfield.org

  1. Current activity of the Town Historian:
    Submits a yearly report to the Enfield Town Board and the Tompkins County Historian and New York State Historian
    Answers history questions regarding Enfield and its Residents (genealogy). These questions are mainly from e-mail.
    Attends the following Meetings:  Enfield Town Board Meetings (periodically); Association Public Historians of New York State – District #10 (twice a year meetings are held);  Tompkins County Municipal Historians (TCMH) – Monthly meetings held at History Center, Ithaca NY.
    Participants in all TCMH projects.
    Enfield Harvest Festival – Enfield Community Council – Display of  Enfield History – Yearly
    Town of Enfield Community Currents Newsletter and Town Government Newsletter – submits
    Enfield Historian history articles.
    Town Historian Web page via Personal Web
    Enfield Cemetery Committee – ChairThis position description was originally adopted in December, 2009
Town of Enfield © 2014