Shaver Town was reportedly the nickname for part of the Village of Lansingburgh. The name only seems to crop up in the Lansingburgh Democrat newspaper and even there only occasionally between 1848 and 1855, although many issues have not survived so it is impossible to state for certain how frequent its use might have been.
From a description given in 1848, it would seem to have referred to a northern part of the Village, somewhere north of 114th Street depending how many blocks “Lansingburgh proper” might be said to have occupied (at least three, perhaps?), in what had been the Village’s 3rd Ward. The 3rd Ward was later divided; 114th to 121st Streets remaining the 3rd Ward and 121st Street to the northern boundary of the Village becoming the 4th Ward.
A northern part of the Village had been named Adamsville. Whether Shaver Town encompassed Adamsville or not it is not possible to say for now. There had evidently been a newspaper article specifically about Shaver Town in 1848, but apparently in an issue not existing in any known archive.
A shaver, in the American sense of the word, is a person who buys up another man’s note at a heavy discount or more than legal interest—a practice formerly not unknown to banks even, which were then called shaving banks. The term is said to have originated at sea, where a shaver has long been the sailors’ name for a sharp fellow, derived very naturally from the delicate but cruel operation of shaving on board ship. “May I be hanged myself,” says N. Hawthorne, “if I believe Mr. Higginbotham is unhanged till I see him with my own eyes, and hear it from his own mouth; and, as he is a real shaver, I’ll have the minister or some other responsible man for an indorser.” (Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe [a short story first published in 1834].)
De Vere, M. Schele. Americanisms: The English of the New World. NY: Charles Scribner & Co., 1872. 305.
Lansingburgh proper occupied the intervening space between [114th] street and Shaver town, the southern boundaries of which we described in a former number [that must have been an issue in the week of November 28th through the week of December 26th, the week of January 9th, or the week of January 23rd; no copies of those are known to have survived]. […] Yankees who emigrated here almost invariably took up their residence in Shavertown.
“Coon Town.” Lansingburgh Democrat. February 24, 1848: 2 col 2.
In the olden time a sectional war raged in the ‘burgh which was waged with as much bitterness, between the contending factions, as ever characterized the contents North and South of “Mason & Dixon’s line.” At times victory perched upon the banner of the “Coon-towner’s,” and then again the star of “Shaver town,” was in the ascendant. The record does not inform us in what manner these bitter feuds had their origin, but of their existence the most indisputable evidence is afforded. As in the case of “Mason and Dixon,” here also there was a sort of imaginary line running from east to west, and woe betided the luckless wight who might venture to [at this point a microfilm technician carelessly lost some lines of text in a fold of the original newspaper] […] Even at the present day an appropriation from the village treasury for a local improvement in Adamsville is sure to be followed by an application from coon-town for a similar amount, and vice versa.
“The Olden Times.” Lansingburgh Democrat. August 9, 1855: 2 col 2.