Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Here's an example of why it is sometimes difficult to find the good old books filled with valuable information we seek about our ancestors. This book, titled "Marathon, N.Y." ("Marathon, N.Y., and Vicinity" on Archive.org) lurks among the millions of results produced when searching the web for the words "New York" and "Marathon". This one was Grip's "Description and Historical of Marathon". It is loaded with old photographs and lot of information about the first settlers of Marathon. When I find books like this, I add them to my list of Free Genealogy Resources.
Several of my family members from the Hollenbeck branch lived in Marathon and were large land owners in Marathon and Willet. (See the Hollenbeck page for more and subscribe for updates if you are interested!)
The town we call Marathon today was originally settled in 1794. The town of Harrison was formed from Cincinnatus on April 21, 1818, and the name was changed to Marathon in 1828 because there was another town in New York called Harrison. It is interesting to note that there were "two great floods" in Marathon - one in 1865 and one in 1868. These and other interesting facts about the early settlement of Marathon are included in this book.
"Under difficulties common to first settlers they struggled to provide shelter and clear little patches of land whereon they could raise the necessary material to sustain life".
Alternate link: https://archive.org/stream/cu31924028824519#page/n5/mode/1up