Passing through——Tinkertown

By Kelly Dickerson

Staff Writer/The Spectator

Tinkertown - Tinkertown starts somewhere around Alfred Stations and ends right at the Alfred village line.

For the nearly 100 years of its existence, it’s boasted a variety of businesses. In fact, that’s probably how the neighborhood got its name.

Thelma Palmiter, historian of Baker’s Bridge, the original name for Alfred Station, said the stretch of road has long been known for its businesses. At one time, it boasted a washing machine factory, grist mill, machine shop, ironing board and potato planter manufacturers and box factory.

The stretch of highway was the first in Allegany County to have a macadamized road.

Today there are still many small businesses along the road including a print shop, hardware, grocery store, motel, liquor store, poultry farm, concrete block plant and a variety of retail shops.

None of the owners could be classified as tinkers - unskilled, itinerant workers.

Passing through Tinkertown

For a time, the name of the area was changed to Mechanicsville, because “Tinkertown wasn’t sophisticated enough for some of the residents,” Palmiter said.

Present day residents are proud of their community.

“We’re a major trade route between Chicago and New York City,” said the unofficial mayor of Tinkertown, Brent Reynolds.

However, Reynolds is only major of half of the community - the right side. Jim Palmer claims the mayorship of the left side.

Although the U.S. Postal Service won’t allow residents to use Tinkertown as their official address, they can use Tinkertown Road as part of their address. More and more residents of the area are doing just that.

“The baby boomers aren’t going to let it die,” Reynolds said.

The self-proclaimed mayor predicts big things for his hometown. “There may come a day when Hornell becomes a suburb of Tinkertown.”

Palmiter, who is also a native of Tinkertown, said it’s “just a nice neighborhood.”