The hamlet now know as Pumpkin Hook was originally named New Salem and at one time was called Farmington Village. The work on lot 136 on which the village now stands was commenced in 1808 by Otis Hathaway, brother of Isaac Jr. He was the founder of the village, and gave it its name of New Salem after Salem, Massachusetts. He built the first store building and sold building lots to others, and it is noted to be the only village in the Town of Farmington. It grew rapidly and was quite a business center prior to the construction of the Erie Canal.
In the early days there were a great many pumpkins grown by the Hathaway’s for the feeding of stock, and one day a man from a distance came with team and wagon and purchased a load of pumpkins which he intended to take where they were less plentiful and sell them. He put up at a hotel for the night. When the good people of New Salem were quiet in slumber, some fun seeking boys prowled around and hooked the pumpkins. Upon arising early in the morning, the man found an empty wagon, and every resident in the "Berg" had two or more pumpkins on their porch. The news soon spread about and many were asked if they had been down to the "Pumpkin Hook". “So you were down to the pumpkin hook?” Thus originated the popular name "Pumpkin Hook".
Our little hamlet still is called "Pumpkin Hook". Randall Phetteplace related this story to Charles H. Gardner when Mr. Gardner was a young boy (around 1860). Mr. Phetteplace died January 1, 1888.
Town of Farmington Bicentennial 1788-1988