The Town of Trenton encompasses some twenty-seven thousand acres in upstate New York. Located in east-central Oneida County, the Trenton Township incorporates a large share of the Holland Patent and the greater part of the Servis Patent, land grants which date from early 1769.
The origin of the township dates from March 4, 1797, when it was separated from the Town of Schuyler in Herkimer County. The first town meeting was held on April 4, 1797, in the home of Col. Thomas Hicks and it is believed that the town name was chosen to honor the soldiers who fought at the battle of Trenton in the Revolution.
The Town also gave its name to the underlying limestone beds which are known as the “Trenton Group” which extend as far west as Ohio and North to Minnesota. In the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, the rock of the Trenton Group achieved some degree of economic significance. While never highly prized as a building stone, the beds were extensively quarried through the early 20th century. Abandoned quarries sprinkled throughout the Town give mute testimony to these activities. Most notable examples of the utilization of Trenton limestone are the nationally renowned Utica State Hospital, ten locks on the Black River Canal, several elegant homes and numerous house and barn foundations throughout the community.
The first settlement in the Town was established on the site of present day Barneveld by Gerrit Boon who came from Holland as a representative of the Holland Land Company. In 1793, Mr. Boon came to the village that became Oldenbarneveldt in memory of a Dutch hero. He had a budget of $30,000 (approximately $4 million in today's dollars) to hire carpenters, masons and other workmen to create a village for the affluent.
In the ensuing years Barneveld was soon joined by the villages of Holland Patent (1797) and Prospect (1803) and a number of hamlets came into being; Hinckley, South Trenton, Trenton Falls and Wethersfield. The evolution of the Town saw the rise and decay of a number of industries, most notably the grist mills, saw mills, blacksmith shops, cheese factories, lime kilns and other local endeavors that dotted the landscape.
The Town of Trenton of today is largely a rural, picturesque residential venue with a significant dairy farming industry in addition to limited manufacturing and localized commercial zones.