Stony Creek is a town in the southwest part of Warren County, New York, United States. It is northwest of the city of Glens Falls and is part of the Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 743 at the 2000 census. The town is named for a stream that flows through it. Stony Creek is within the Adirondack Park.
The town was first settled around 1795. Stony Creek was established as a town in 1852 from a remainder of the Town of Warrensburg called "Athol."
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, when a tannery existed at the confluence of Roaring Branch and Stony Creek near the center of town, the peak population of 1,250 was attained. During that time extensive logging was done in western Stony Creek. Once many of the hemlock trees were taken out, and tanning practices changed, the tannery closed and Stony Creek's population decreased significantly and has remained at lower levels since then.
The center of town – referred to by residents as the "four corners" (where the roads from nearby towns Hadley and Warrensburg intersect and continue on to Wilcox Lake/Harrisburg and Lens Lake, both of which teriminate at those destinations) – includes the main business and social area of town. The Stony Creek Inn, the Creek Center Mercantile and the Post Office now occupy three of the four corners and a small park adjacent at Roaring Branch occupies the fourth. Tavern 16 is a more recent addition to the four corners, just a few doors down from the Mercantile and on the banks of Stony Creek itself.
The Stony Creek Inn, currently owned by Dorothy (Dot) Bartell and John Fickel since 1980, has been a mainstay of Stony Creek for more than 100 years, providing a few rooms on the second floor, a popular bar, music on weekend evenings (mostly country, square dancing, folk and rock and roll), food, and a weigh station during hunting season. Over the years the Stony Creek Inn has attracted numerous musicians from around the northeast, and is a kind of destination for many New York and New England residents seeking an out-of-the-way place to relax and listen to music. Notably, the Stony Creek Band got its start at the Inn in the 1970s, when fiddlers and folk musicians regularly jammed for many hours into the evenings, and has continued to play together ever since, cutting records and becoming significantly popular across the Northeast.
The Creek Center Mercantile, formerly "Winslow's Store" and "Floyd's Mall" named after Floyd Winslow, its now deceased but longtime owner, has been for many years the main general store in town. The Mercantile is closed but owned by Floyd's daughter's family, the Harringtons. Both the Winslows and Harringtons have lived in Stony Creek for many generations.
Prior to the Post Office, the third corner of the four corners was occupied by the Stony Creek Lodge (also known as "Ethel's" after its proprietor), the counterpart of the Stony Creek Inn. Like the Inn, the Lodge included a bar, a stage for music, and was a destination for locals, hunters, and those just traveling through. The Lodge burned down in July 1990.
Tavern 16 is a small bar built, owned and operated since the early 1990s by Henry ("Hank") and Toni Soto. Tavern 16 features impressive handcrafted woodwork, a collection of local art, and a very popular pool table (overseen by Henry Soto, Hank's father and area pool shark) and juke box. Hank is lead guitarist in the Stony Creek Band.
In addition to the four corners, the other main area of activity in Stony Creek is the John T. O'Neill Green Meadows Park (aka "rec field") which is situated just west of the four corners and along Stony Creek itself. The rec field includes a swimming hole (below a small low-head dam on Stony Creek), basketball court, softball diamond and backstop, a large pavilion under which every Tuesday night in July and August the town presents Music in the Park, playground and covered area with picnic tables.
The "rec" field is also the site of the longrunning annual Mountain Festival. In the past, the original Mountain Days celebrated the 100th anniversary of the town and paid homage to the area's rich logging tradition, attracting thousands of attendees. It included competitions such as the greased pole climb (where competitors stood on each other's shoulders to get to the top of a debarked, greased pole where a $100 bill was nailed), chainsaw and bandsaw speed competitions, wood chopping competitions, axe throwing competitions, and greased pig chases. In recent years Mountain Days now called Mountain Festival has become a more traditional and smaller festival, with music, food and activities for kids and stands selling various local arts and crafts. The festival continues to grow with added attractions each year.