The History of Oakcliff

Oakcliff Bed and Breakfast prides itself on preserving the past for guests to feel as though they have stepped back in time. Four presidents have stayed here in the past -- Grand, Hayes, Arthur, and Garfield – all friends of the former owner and first speaker of assembly, T.G. Younglove. Step inside and surround yourself with period antiques and the rich music that drifts from our self-playing Steinway Grand.

The family that built Oakcliff

Duncan McMartin, Jr. (1772-1837)

Oakcliff was built circa 1830 by Ducan McMartin, Jr.

Duncan McMartin, Jr. was an American politician from New York and a Senator. He was also one of the founders of the Adirondack Iron Works. McMartin was born about 1772 and died October 3, 1837. He lived in Broadalbin, Montgomery County, NY where he had a farm and had wide ranging commercial and political interests. He was a brother-in-law of Archibald McIntyre, another partner in the iron mine.

Political History

  • Member of the New York State Assembly (Hamilton & Montgomery Co.) in 1819.

  • Member of the New York State Senate (Eastern D.) from 1820 to 1822, sitting in the 43rd, 44th and 45th New York State Legislatures.

  • Member of the State Senate (4th D.) from 1827 to 1830, sitting in the 50th, 51st, 52nd and 53rd New York State Legislatures.

Truman Giles Younglove (1815-1882)

Truman Giles Younglove was the son in law of Duncan McMartin, Jr. who became the next owner of the estate, he was an American civil engineer, lawyer and notable politician. The son of Daniel Copeland Younglove (1791-1867) and Elizabeth Stimson Younglove (1793-1850). He married first Elizabeth MacMartin on January 7, 1841; and then Jane MacMartin on November 4, 1850.

Both an attorney and civil engineer, having qualified by regular courses for both professions. His monument in Cohoes, New York is the great dam and elaborate systems of canals that gives to that city its unrivaled water power to the cotton mills. He became head of the water power company and supervised the construction of Mill #3 of the Harmony Mills. It was the largest cotton mill complex in the world when it opened in 1872, and is one of the finest examples of a large-scale textile mill complex outside of New England.

As an official at Harmony Mills in Cohoes, he was in charge of excavating for an addition to the mill and discovered a “great pothole at the foot of Cohoes Falls and “a large jawbone of some unknown beast” leading to the discovery of the Cohoes Mastodon which is now displayed in the New York State Museum.

He was an incorporator of the Cohoes Savings Institution and the first treasurer, also director of the First National Bank of Cohoes, from its organization to his death. He was buried at Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York.

Political History

  • Younglove was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868.

  • He was a Republican member from the Saratoga County of the New York State Assembly from 1866 to 1869, and was speaker in 1869.

Truman Giles Younglove, Jr. (1858-1920)

Truman Giles Younglove, Jr. was accused in 1883 of embezzlement while being secretary and treasurer of the Cohoes Straw Board Co., and fled to Illinois. Younglove, Jr. was not dissipated or extravagant, and was not suspected of having bad habits. It is rumored, however, that he speculated in stocks and that loses of over $80,000 led to his ruin.