Dating as Old as the Country Itself,
Jefferson was unoccupied by settlers during the American Revolution. The area was part of the Strasburg Patent which was originally controlled by John Butler. He was a British Loyalist and as a result lost ownership of the land after the Revolutionary War. It was probably first surveyed and broken into lots for purchase in 1793. Lower elevation areas of the county had already been heavily settled many decades earlier. The first residents of Jefferson were generally of English origin as opposed to many other local areas of Schoharie County where Germans were prevalent. Many of the early families emigrated from Connecticut . Colonel Stephen Judd purchased 2000 acres in the area in 1797. In 1803, the town was created from part of the Town of Blenheim. Judd successfully lobbied in Albany to have it official named “Jefferson”. The Jefferson Academy was envisioned in 1812 and the building was completed in 1817. It attracted students from well beyond the town itself and at its peak 152 students attended. Attendance fell and it went out of business in 1859. By 1820 the town’s population was nearly 1600 residents many of whom were farmers. Four Methodist churches were built in the town in West Jefferson (1817), the hamlet itself (1844), the Morseville hamlet (1834) and along the Westkill drainage (1853). A Presbyterian Church on the Green burned down and it was replaced by the what is now the Maple Museum in 1837. Baptist churches were developed in South Jefferson in 1833 and East Jefferson in 1837.