The thriving economy of downtown Bovina

Circa 1855, that is. Nineteenth-century Bovina had double the town's current population--and enough local purchasing power to support several shoe stores, a woolen factory, and no less than four wagonmaking blacksmiths, town historian Ray LaFever writes.

Citizens of the town were not too likely to go very far to purchase clothing and footwear or to have their grain made into flour. They had to rely mostly on their local businesses. It would be several decades before transport and roads would allow Bovina residents the option of going to Andes, Delhi, Oneonta or beyond for their purchasing needs.

Also noted: A harness cost a month and a half's pay. Five months, if you were a woman.

Image from David Murray's Centennial History of Delaware County, New York: 1797-1897. Thanks to Tamara Sanford for making this excellent historical resource available online.