The Burhans Tannery - The first sole leather tannery in Warren County was the Warren Tannery in Warrensburgh, built in 1831 by H.S. Osborn and Company. The original owners did not succeed and the tannery was taken over by H. J. Quackenbush in 1834. It went through various joint ownerships of “Quackenbush & (Thomas) Gray.” In 1836 Colonel Benjamin Peck Burhans moved to Warrensburgh from Ulster County where he was in the manufacture of sole leather. At that time, the firm of "Burhans & Gray" was established, with Col. Thomas Gray. The name changed to "Burhans, Gray & Co.,” which continued for 25 years more. In 1860, Col. Burhans bought out Gray and changed the name to "B.P. Burhans & Son.” Col. Burhans died in July of 1875, and his heirs continued to run the tannery for ten years until it closed in 1885. The tannery had a capacity of about 3,500 hides per year.
In 1831 the first sole leather tannery in Warren County was built. Some Tanneries dealt with other types of leather. In 1832 they first put the hidesin the water. We had no cattle industry in this country at that time. The West was not settled much, and hides were imported from South America; Mexico, and what is now California. The hides came to New York by ship, up the canal to Glens Falls, and were teamed up from there. The original owners not succeeding in business, it was taken over by Quackenbush and Gray. Col. Burhans purchased Quackenbush's interest. April 1, 1864, Fred Burhans changed the name to E. P. Burhans & Son. The business was carried on by the Burhans heirs until 1885. An Account Book, neatly kept in great detail in beautiful handwriting, says the last hides were put in the water August 1, 1865. It had a capacity of over 3000 hides per year and employed 30 people. Dismantling of the tannery was started in 1886 by the predecessors of Niagara Mohawk.
Colonel Benjamin Peck Burhans was born near Rensselaerville, N. Y., on October 9, 1798. His parents were John C. and Clarissa Burhans. He received his education in Litchfield, CT. In 1827, he was Colonel of the Third Regiment, New York State Militia. Early in his career, he was employed by Palen and Company in Greene County, where he became a partner in 1831. In 1836 he moved to Warrensburgh and purchased controlling interest of H. J. Quackenbush in the leather manufacturing tannery. He was elected a member of the New York State Assembly in 1842, and was the Democratic nominee for Congress in 1862. By 1860 (with his son Frederick), the business became known as B.P. Burhans & Son. For many years, he was president of the Glens Falls National Bank. Instrumental in building the plank roads to Chester and Caldwell, he became President of the Lake George and Warrensburgh Turnpike Company. Upon his death on July 16, 1875, he was one of the wealthiest men in northern New York.
Smith Sawmill - John G. Smith leased the Burhans mill property in the spring of 1893. The sawmill was known to be procuring logs from 1893 through 1904, which included oak, black ash and other hardwoods, as well as doing custom sawing. After leasing the mill he rebuilt it and equipped it with all the necessary machinery for electric power generation which continued until 1898, when the electrical facilities were moved 200 yards downstream. (See Electric Light Works.)