French's Gazetteer of the State of New York., p.641
THIS county was erected from Ulster, March 27, 1809, and was named in honor of Maj. Gen. John Sullivan, of the Revolution. It contains an area of 1,082 sq. mi., and is centrally distant 85 miles from Albany. The surface is generally very hilly, and along the E. border mountainous. In the S. and W. it consists chiefly of ridges separated by narrow ravines; but in the middle and N. it assumes more the character of a rolling plateau. The highlands of this co. may be considered as the S. slope of the Catskills; and near the N. borders of the co. they divide the waters that flow into Hudson and Delaware Rivers. From this elevated portion numerous ridges extend toward the Delaware, giving the co. a general southerly inclination. The Delaware cuts these ridges diagonally, its valley forming the only division between the Catskills and the mountains of Eastern Penn. The highest points in the co. are the hills in the town of Rockland, which are estimated to be 2100 to 2400 feet above tide. Walnut Hill, in Liberty, has an elevation of 1980 feet. The lowest summit of the Shawangunk1 Mt., between Bloomingburgh and Wurtsboro, is 1271 feet above tide, and the highest summit is about 500 feet higher. This range of mountains at a distance presents a striking uniformity of outline, which is due to the evenness of stratification of the rock composing it. The lowest point in the co. is upon the Delaware, at the mouth of the Mongaup, which has an elevation of 550 feet above tide. The co. line on the Rondout is elevated 773 feet.
With the exception of a small district on its E. border, through which flow the upper waters of Shawangunk Kil and Lackawack Creek, this co. is drained by the Delaware and its branches, the largest of which are Neversink2 and Mongaup3 Rivers, Beaver Kil and Bashers Kil, and Callicoon (Caw-li-coon) and Ten Mile Creeks. The Neversink flows entirely across the co., having for its tributaries Bashers Kil, Wyncoop Brook, Bush Kil, Cherry-meadow Brook, and several minor streams. Most of these streams are rapid, and afford at numerous points a great amount of water power. In the valleys and forests of the co. are about 100 small lakes, which form peculiar and often picturesque and highly beautiful features in its scenery. Most of these ponds and streams abound in fish, of which trout is the most common. Pickerel have been introduced into several of them.
The geological formation of the co. is exceedingly simple. The whole surface is underlaid by the red sandstone of the Catskill Group and the Shawangunk Conglomerate. These rocks extend southward into Penn., and form the floor of the coal measures. Of these rocks the latter possesses an economical value for millstones,4 building stones, and the manufacture of glass. The soil is mostly a reddish loam mixed with gravel, and is generally stony; in the S. E. portion is found some clay. Grass is the staple production, and the hilly character of most of the co. seems to adapt it to grazing rather than to tillage. The facility with which the products of the dairy can now reach the great markets, by means of the N. Y. & E. R. R., has within a few years given an impetus to the prosperity of the co., while the erection of tanneries, which the same thoroughfare has encouraged, has created a home market of great advantage to the farmer. In 1855 there were in the co. about 40 tanneries, producing over $2,000,000 worth of leather annually and employing about 750 laborers. The lumbering interests also employ large amounts of capital and labor. Winter wheat, formerly considered a sure and abundant crop, is found to yield smaller returns and with less certainty as the country becomes older; and other crops, less valuable but more certain, have been substituted to a great extent. The surplus wheat of Sullivan co. was formerly transported by land to the Hudson, where it found a profitable market; but, with the increase of manufactures, there is now less raised than is consumed in the co. Grass seed of a fine quality is raised in considerable quantities. The fruits are limited to apples, pears, plums, cherries, and a few peaches. The timber along the Delaware Valley is mostly hemlock, pine, oak, and chestnut; and on the highlands it is hemlock, beech, maple, birch, ash, and basswood. The climate is cool and bracing, and the co. is remarkably healthy.
[p.642] The co. seat1 is located at Monticello, in the town of Thompson. The co. buildings, consisting of a courthouse and jail, are substantial stone edifices, erected in 1844 in place of the original co. buildings, which were burned.2 The poorhouse is located upon a farm of 100 acres 3 mi. E. of Monticello. The average number of inmates is 56, supported at a weekly cost of 75 cts. each. The farm yields a revenue of $400. A school is kept during 3 mo. in the year. No religious instruction is afforded. The house is too small, is poorly ventilated, is not furnished with water, and will not admit of a proper classification of its inmates.
The 2 great works of internal improvement within the limits of the co. are the Delaware & Hudson Canal,3 extending through the S. E. part, and the N. Y. & E. R. R., built along the valley of the Delaware.4 The former opens an easy and direct communication between the Hudson at Rondout and the Penn. coal mines at Carbondale; and the latter forms one link of the great chain of western travel. Several plank roads have been constructed, as auxiliary to this great thoroughfare, greatly benefiting the sections of country through which they pass. The first newspaper in the co. was issued in 1821. 5
Little is known of the early history of the co. Many traces exist of its occupation long anterior to that by the present race of settlers. Upon the first advent of the present settlers, a road was found to extend S. W. from Esopus, on the Hudson, along the valley N. of the Shawangunk Mts. It was known as the "Mine Road," and, according to traditional account, was built by a company of miners from Holland, before the English conquest of 1664. 6 Two mines are said to have been wrought,-one where the mountain approaches the Delaware, near the lower point of Panquaroy Flat; and the other N. of the mountain, about halfway between the Delaware River and Esopus Creek. The Minisink Flat, on the border of Orange and Sullivan cos., is said to have been settled by Hollanders many years before the date of Penn's Charter; and the settlement, which extended 40 mi. or more along both sides of the Delaware, had in a great degree become isolated from the rest of the world. When the present settlements were begun, there was a road from the E., near the central part of the co., called the "Porter Road;" and in the N. part was another, called the "Hunter's Road."
With the exception of the vague traditions of early settlement by the Dutch along the Delaware, the first location of a permanent white inhabitant is said to have been made about the year 1700, by Don Manuel Gonzales, a Spaniard, who, having married into a Dutch family in Rochester, (Ulster co.,) removed to Mamakating Hollow, where he erected a house and raised grain. He opened a trade with the neighboring Indians, who were then friendly; and other settlers were induced to follow. Mamakating Precinct was formed in 1743, and until after the Revolution it embraced nearly all of the present co. of Sullivan. About 1750 a number of German families settled upon the W. frontiers of Ulster co. They suffered greatly from Indian hostilities. The first Indian incursion took place in 1777, when the family of Mr. Sprague, in Mamakating, was attacked. The next year the family of Mr. Brooks was attacked, some members were killed, and others taken prisoners.
On the 13th of Oct. 1778, a party of nearly a hundred tories and Indians, under Brant, invaded the settlements, first falling upon the family of Mr. Westfall, and killing one man. They next attacked the house of Mr. Swartwout, who was at home with his sons, (the women having been previously removed to a fort,) and killed all but one, who escaped. The firing alarmed others, who fled to the forts at Gumars and De Witts, where, by a skillful display of force by Capt. Abraham Cuddeback, who commanded at the former, the enemy were deterred from making an attack. [p.643] After firing most of the houses and barns of the settlement, the marauders retired, leaving behind them a melancholy scene of havoc and desolation at the verge of an inclement winter. The distress thus occasioned was very great. Major Phillips arrived soon after the incursion with a company of militia; but the enemy had fled beyond reach.
In 1777 or '78, Capt. Graham, with a party of 18 men, went to Chestnut Brook in pursuit of some Indians who had been committing depredations upon the settlements at Pine Bush. Having stopped to drink, Capt. Graham saw an Indian in the path, and the party fired a volley without effect. Upon this the Indians on the opposite banks returned the fire with fatal effect, and but 3 of the party escaped to tell the dismal tale. To deprive the enemy of sustenance and the means for further annoyance, the Legislature, in 1779,1 enacted a law directing the Governor to cause the destruction of such grain and crops in the W. frontiers of Orange and Ulster cos. as could not be removed to a place of safety. In 17832 the precinct of "Mamacotting" and the township of Rochester (the district of the regiment of Col. A. Hawke Hay, and that part of the Goshen regiment on the W. side of the Minisink Mts.) were exempted from a levy then made for the defense of the N. and W. frontiers.3
Several traces of Indian occupation were found in the first settlement of the co. About 4 mi. from the Delaware, on the Flat, was found a brass or copper tomahawk, with a steel edge, and a handle perforated for smoking. Stone axes, flint arrows, &c. were frequently found. In 1793, an Indian living in Rockland, at a place called "Pocatocton," (meaning a river almost spent,) removed to Niagara. He is supposed to have been the last of his race that inhabited the co. Indian trails were found along the Delaware, the Beaver Kil, and in other sections.
The part of this co. S. of the S. bounds of Callicoon and Bethel is comprised in the Neversink Patent, conveyed to Matthew Ling and others Aug. 28, 1704; and the remainder of the co. in the great tract granted to Johannes Hardenbergh and others April 20, 1708, and known as the "Hardenbergh Patent."4 The Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike (incorp. March 20, 1801) was opened across the co. in 1808, and gave the first impulse to its prosperity by making it accessible to settlers. This section continued to receive emigrants from New England and the older sections of the State until its growth was checked by the completion of the Erie Canal to the Genesee country and the great lakes, by which emigration was diverted to the new and fertile lands of the West. Real estate in consequence declined materially in value, and many of the early settlers abandoned their locations and joined the westward current. In 1819 or '20 the Orange Branch Turnpike was made, from Montgomery, (Orange co.,) crossing the Shawangunk Mt. at Roses Gap, and extending across the barrens through Wakemans Settlement to the Neversink Falls, and thence to Liberty. The charter of this road was long since given up, but the route is maintained as a district road.
Footnotes for county description:
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1. Pron. Shon-gum; said to signify "white stone."
2. On Sauthier's Map, 1779. Mahaickamack, or Never-Sink
3. On Sauthler's Map, 1779, Mangawping, or Mingwing.
4. Esopus millstones, formerly in high repute, were made from the Shawangunk grit.
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1. By the act of incorporation the Gov. and council were to appoint 3 commissioners to locate the county seat, and the Board of Supervisors to locate the county seat, and the Board of Supervisors 3 others to superintend the erection of the courthouse and jail. Wm. Ross, Jos. Morrell, and Abraham H. Schenck were appointed for the former purpose, and David Hammond, John Linsley, Malachi West, John Newkirk, and Davies Martin successively for the latter.
2. The first buildings, erected in accordance with an act passed March 22, 1811, were burned Jan 13 1844. The first court was held, and the first Board of Supervisors organized, as the house of Curtis Linsley. They county officers first appointed were Wm. A. Thompson, First Judge: Samuel F. Jones and Elnathan Sears, Associate Jedges; John Conklin, Jabez Wakeman, and David Hammond, Assistant Justices; James S. Dunning, Surrogate; Uriah Lockwood, Sheriff; and John P. Jones, Clerk.
3. The Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. was incorp. April 23, 1823. The work was commenced in July 1825, and completed in Oct. 1828. It was of great importance to the early settlers of the Co., as it opened an easy and cheap avenue to market.
4. This R.R. enters the Co. in the town of Tusten from Penn. It having been found difficult to construct the road on the N.Y. side of the river, the right of way for a short distance was solicited from Penn. The petition was granted, and for the substantial benefit which the R.R. confirred upon that State, the company was subjected to an annual tax of $10,000. This road forms a direct and speedy communication with N.Y. and has been of great value to the co. in stimulating its settlement and developing its resources.
5. The Sullivan County Whig was started at Bloomingburgh in 1821, by John J. Tappan. It was removed to Monticello in 1828, and its name changed to The Republican Watchman. Frederick A. Devoe and James E. Winslow were successively its editors and since 1843 it has been published by J.E. Quinlan.
The Sullivan County Herald was commenced at Monticello in 1833, and published by M. Smith. S. Phelps, and others, about 4 years
The Sullivan County Whig was published at Bloomingburgh in 1844, by J. S. Brown, and subsequently by John Waller, Jr. In 1855 it was changed to the Sullivan County Democratic Republican, under which title it is now published by Waller.
The Union Democrat was established at Monticello in 1854, by 1854, by F.A. Devoe, and was afterward united with The Whig.
6. See Eager's Hist. Orange Co., P. 50, where will be found a letter from Samuel Preston giving the substance of the tradition. It is from Hazard's Register.
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1. October 17
2. February 21
3. Incidents connected with these events, and the details of the memorable battle of Minisink in July 1779, are given in our account of the towns in which they occurred.
4. Portions of the Hardenbergh Patent were settled upon leases of long trm; and during the anti rent excitement, a few years since, the clamor against this tenure prevailed extensively, but without acts of open violence. The refusal to pay rents, which this feeling accasioned, led to a great amount of litigation. Although the excitement has subsided, the question is not fully settled.
BETHEL-was formed from Lumberland, March 27, 1809. Cochecton was taken off in 1828. It lies upon the high ridges which form the watershed between Delaware and Mongaup Rivers, a little S. W. of the center of the co. Its surface is broken and hilly, and many of the declivities are steep and rocky. It is watered by a large number of small streams, mostly tributary to Mongaup River; and it has many small lakes, which form a beautiful and romantic feature of the landscape. White Lake, near the center,-named from its white sandy shores and bottom,-is noted for the beauty of its scenery.5 The other principal lakes are Birch Ridge Pond in the N. W., Horse Shoe and Pleasant Ponds in the N., Mallory Pond in the W., Indian Field Pond in the S., Big and Wells Ponds on the S. line, and Chestnut Ridge Pond and Black Lake and Lake Superior near the center. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam, intermixed in places with clay. The settlements are comparatively new, and the people are chiefly engaged in the raising of neat cattle, dairying, lumbering, and tanning.6 Mongaup Valley (p.v.) contains 35 houses, and Bethel 15. Bashville and White Lake are p. offices. John Fuller was the first settler in the "Fuller Settlement," in 1806-07.7 The first preacher (Presb.) was the Rev. Mr. Green.8
Footnotes for Bethel:
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5. This lake is noticed in one of the poems of Alfred B. Street, by the name of "Kon-ne-on-ga."
6. A tannery at Mongaup Valley, in 1856 manufactured 50,000 sides of leather, valued at $187,000. It consumed about 5000 cords of hemlock bark, and employed 70 men, at a cost of $12,000. There are about 102,000 sides of leather manufactured annually at different tanneries in this town.
7. G. and C. Hurd were the first settlers at the Hurd settlement; Adam and Eve Pentler near Bethel; and Potter and Mattison near White Lake. The first school at Mongaup was taught by G. P. Price, and at Bethel by Dr. Copeland. Gillespie and Hook kept the first store at White Lake, and J. K. Beeman built the first saw and grist mill, on White Lake outlet. The first birth was that of Catherine Fuller, in 1807, and the first death that of a child of Stephen Northrup.
8. The census reports 4 churches; 2 M. E., Presb., and Ref. Presb.
CALLICOON 1-was formed from Liberty, March 30, 1842. Fremont was taken off in 1851. It lies in the W. part of the co., about the sources of the N. branch of Callicoon Creek. It is watered by numerous streams flowing into the Delaware, the valleys being mostly narrow ravines, and the hills rising in steep declivities 200 to 600 feet above them. In the N. E. are Shandler and Sand Ponds, the latter affording a pure white sand, formerly used in making glass. The soil is mostly a sandy loam, and the hillsides and summits are generally capable of a good degree of cultivation. The settlement is recent, and the people are about equally engaged in lumbering, farming, and tanning.2 Jeffersonville, (p. v.,) on the line of Cochecton, has a population of 433, of which 305 are in this town. Youngsville, (p. v.,) North Branch, (p. v.,) and Callicoon Center (Callicoon p. o.) have each about 30 houses. The first settlers were Wm. Wood and his sons, Gerrett, Edward, and David, who arrived in town May 19, 1814, and lived 15 years in the wilderness.3 Rev. Mr. McClary, pastor of the Asso. Ref. church of Bethel, was the first preacher.4
Footnotes for Callicoon:
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1. Caw-li-coon. This name is said to signify "Turkey" in both Dutch and Indian. The Dutch for turkey is "Kalkoen." In the statutes and official publications of the State the name is commonly written "Collikoon." -- Harper's N.Y. & E. R.R. Guide, p. 84.
2. There are 5 large tanneries in town, which manufactur about 125,000 sides of leather annually.
3. Edward was a cooper; the others were farmers. The first child born was John Wood. Jacob Quick built the first sawmill, and Samuel Young kept the first store and built the first mill, at Youngsville. In 1833-34 settlers began to come in from Conn. and the N.; and in 1840 Germans began to settle in the town in Considerable numbers. The latter Class now form about one-third of the population.
4. The census reports 2 churches: Luth., Assoc. Ger. Meth.
COCHECTON5-was formed from Bethel, March 25, 1828. It is situated upon the band of the Delaware, in the W. part of the co. Ridges of hills, with narrow valleys between, cover the entire surface of the town. The principal streams are the Callicoon and its branches, and several small tributaries of the Delaware. The mouth of the Callicoon is 777 feet above tide. Pike Pond in the E., Perry Pond in the S., and Mitchells Pond and Lake Huntington in the center, are the principal sheets of water. A large part of the surface is still covered with forests. The soil is mostly a gravelly loam, and best adapted to pasturage. Lumbering and tanning form the leading objects of industry. Cochecton (p. v.) contains 269 inhabitants, Pike Pond (p. v.) 188, Callicoon Depot (p. v.) 207, and Stevensburgh (Cochecton p. o.) 209. Beech Wood and Fosterdale are p. offices. Settlements were begun on the Delaware before the Revolution, but were broken up. The pioneer settler was N. Mitchell, who located near Cochecton Village.6The first church (Presb.) was formed in 1839, and the Rev. Mr. Cummings was the first pastor.7
Footnotes for Cochecton:
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5. Co-shek-tun. Originally called "Cush-nun-tunk," or low grounds.
6. Among the other early settlers were David Young, at Big Island; John Ross, at Callicoon Creek; Nicholas Conklin and ______ Tyler, at Cochecton. Job Jones taught the first school, near Cochecton; Maj. Ebenezer Taylor kept the first tavern and store, at Cochecton; and Mitchell Conklin built the first sawmill, on Mitchells Pond Brook. On Big Island, 2 mi. above Cochecton, was an extensive Indian burial place, of which traces are occasionally plowed up at the present day. There are about 900 Germans in this town.
7. The census reports 3 churches; M. E., Presb., and Ref. Prot. D.
FALLSBURGH-was formed from Thompson and Neversink, March 9, 1826. It derives its name from the falls in Neversink River at Fallsburgh Village. Its surface is hilly and rolling. It is drained by the Neversink and its branches. Sheldrake Pond, (named from the wild ducks that formerly frequented its waters,) Smith, Hill, and Brows Ponds in the W., and East Pond, in the E., are the principal lakes. The soil is a gravelly loam. The people are chiefly engaged in lumbering, dairying, and tanning.8 Woodbourne (p. v.) contains 30 houses, Neversink Falls (Fallsburgh p. o.) 25, Hasbrouck (p. v.) 25, Loch Sheldrake (p. v.) 15, and Sandburgh (p. v.) 15. It is said that settlement was commenced in this town by Germans previous to the Revolution,9 but the settlers were driven off during that war. Soon after the peace 3 brothers by the name of Baker located in town and commenced the first permanent settlement.10 The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was built at Hasbrouck.11
Footnotes for Fallsburgh:
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8. At Fallsburgh is an extensive tannery, that manufactures 40,000 sides of leather annually; and another of the same size is located at Woodbourne.
9. Fruit trees planted by these settlers are said to be still standing.
10. Thomas Rawson came in 1787 or '88; Thomas Grant located in 1789. Samuel Thaddeus, Obadiah Brown, and James Hill settled a little N. of Fallsburgh, and James Nicoll, Peter Ferdon and Mr. Brush on the site of the village. The first sawmill was built in 1808, and the first grist mill in 1809, by Philo Ruggles. Matthew Seeley kept the first inn, at Hasbrouck, and Robt. Reading the first store, at Fallsburgh. In 1797, the nearest mill was at Napanock, in Ulster Co.; and for many years the nearest market was Newburgh. In 1786 or '87, an extraordinary and destructive flood occurred upon this valley.
11. This curch was burned in 1837, and was rebuilt at Woodbourne. The census reports 3 churches in town; 2 M.E., and 1 Ref. Prot. D.
FORESTBURGH-was formed from Thompson and Mamakating, May 2, 1837. It lies principally upon the high ridges between Neversink and Mongaup Rivers, and has a broken surface and an average elevation of 1400 feet above tide. In this town are several small lakes, the principal of which are Ruddicks Pond in the N. W., Beaver Pond in the S., and Panther Pond in the center. The town still retains the character implied by its name. Mongaup Falls, on Mongaup River, 3 mi. above Forestburgh Village, are worthy of note. The river here falls into a chasm 70 feet deep, and the banks below the falls are more than 100 feet high. Lumbering, [p.645] tanning,1 and dairying constitute the employments of the people. Forestburgh (p. o.) contains 10 houses, Oakland 15, and Hartwood 10. Settlement commenced before the Revolution, and recommenced in 1795 on the Mongaup River. Zephaniah and Luther Drake were pioneers in the S. W. part of the town, and Elisha Smith near Oakland.2 Rev. Isaac Thomas (Meth.) was the first preacher.3
Footnotes for Forestburgh:
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1. About 100,000 sides of leather are annually manufactured in this town.
2. Miss Moore taught the first school, at Drakestown; S. Conant kept the first inn, and Thomas Alsop the first store, at Forestburgh. The first sawmill was built at Oakland.
3. There are no church buildings in town.
FREMONT-was formed from Callicoon, Nov. 1, 1851, and named in honor of John C. Fremont. It lies in the extreme W. part of the co., upon the bank of the Delaware. Its surface is broken and hilly, the summits rising 600 to 1000 feet above the valley and 1500 to 1800 feet above tide. Its waters are Basket and Hawkins Creeks, a great number of smaller streams, and numerous small lakes, the principal of which are Long Pond, Round and Basket Ponds in the N., Lox Pond in the E., and Trout Pond near the center. A large share of the surface is still a wilderness and is too rough for tillage. Tanning and lumbering form the principal employments of the people. Fremont Center (p. v.) contains 141 inhabitants, and Obernburgh (Fremont p. o.) 20 houses. Long Eddy (p. o.) is the Basket Station on the N. Y. & E. R. R. Hankins is a station on the same R. R. The first settlers were Joseph Green, at Long Eddy, John Hankins, at Hankins Depot, Benj. Misner, at Long Pond, and Zach. Ferdon, at Round Pond.4
Footnotes for Fremont:
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4. Sarah Phillips taught the first school; John Ranfiesen kept the first inn, and John Hawkins kept the first store and built the first sawmill. About one-third of the population are Germans. The census reports 1 church; R.C.
HIGHLAND-was formed from Lumberland, Dec. 17, 1853. It is an interior town, lying in the S. part of the co. It is named from the character of its surface, which consists of high ridges between Delaware and Mongaup Rivers, 600 to 1,000 feet above the canal at Barryville and 1,200 to 1,600 feet above tide. There are a great number of small lakes in town, the principal of which are Washington and Wells Ponds on the N. line, Mud and Hagan Ponds in the E., York Pond in the S. W., Washington Pond, used as a canal feeder, and Blind, Little, and Montgomery Ponds near the center. The people are chiefly engaged in lumbering and the rudiments of farming. Barryville, (p. v.,) a canal village, contains 25 houses, and Lumberland (p. v.) 15. The first settler was John Barnes, who located at Narrow Falls.5 Rev. Isaac Sargent (Cong.) was the first preacher, about 1797.6 The battle of Neversink, in the Revolution, took place within the limits of this town.7
Footnotes for Highland:
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5. Among the other first settlers were John Carpenter, Wm. Seeley, N. Patterson, and Wm. Randall, at Beaver Brook; and Benj. Hayne at Handsome Eddy. John Carpenter employed Nat'l Wheeler to teach the first school, before public schools were organized. G. Ferguson kept the first inn, in 1830, and Phineas Terry, the first store, in 1928. N. Patterson built the first sawmill, on Beaver Brook.
6. The census reports 3 churches; Cong., N.E., Union.
7. This battle took place on the n. side of Beaver Brook, on lot 17 of the 7th div. Of the Neversink Patent. The scene of the action is the top of a hill 3 miles from Barryville and half a mile n.w. from Dry Brook. The battle took place between a party of tories and Indians, under Brant, -- who were retreating, after having destroyed the settlement of Neversink, -- and a party of American militia, who pursued them. The battle was long and bloody, and resulted in the retreat of the Americans with the loss of 44 killed, The 1822 the bones of the slain were collected and interred beneath a monument at Goshen. An address was delivered on the occasion by Gen. Hathern, who had taken a leading part in the engagement.
LIBERTY-was formed from Lumberland, March 13, 1807, and Callicoon and a part of Thompson were taken off in 1842. It lies N. of the center of the co., upon the watershed between the Mongaup and Beaver Kil. Its surface is rough and broken. Walnut Hill, s. of Liberty, is 2,000, and Libertyville 1,467, feet above tide. The N. and W. parts of the town are still covered with forests. The principal sheets of water are Lillie Pond in the N., and Broadhead Pond near the center. The soil is good, but stony; and the people are chiefly engaged in lumbering, dairying, and tanning.8 Liberty (p. v.) contains 364 inhabitants, Parksville (p. v.) 40 houses, and Liberty Falls (p. v.) 25. Robertsonville and Stevensville are p. offices. The Liberty Normal Institute, at Liberty, is a flourishing academic institution.9 Stephen Russell (from Conn.) settled near Liberty, in 1793 or '94.10 Rev. Wm. Randall (Bap.) was the first preacher.11
Footnotes for Liberty:
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8. About 106,000 sides of leather are annually manufactured in this town.
9. Incorp. by law, April 12, 1848; the Hon. John D. Watkins, the founder, being sole corporator.
10. Among the other first settlers were Nathaniel Perry, Josiah Whipple, and Nathan Staunton, who came from Preston, Conn., in the spring of 1795, and settled on lot 12; John Groton and Edward Swann, who settled on lot 3; Ebenezer Gree, on lot 4; Isaiah Whipple, on lot 10, of tract known as the 3000 acre lot; and Stephen Benton, who located at Benton Hollow. Aviar Whipple taught the first school, at Blue Mountain Settlement; Roswell Russell kept the first inn, Stephen Russell the first store; and Chas. Broadhead built the first grist and mill, on the mountain in 1797. The first child born was Sally Staunton, in 1797; the first marriage, that of David Rowland and Aviar Whipple, in 1797; and the first death, that of Sally Staunton, or a son of William Aby, 1798. The first house that was erected about half a mile s. of where Presby. ch. now stands. Most of the first settlers afterward moved west.
11. The census reports 4 churches; 1 Bap.; 2 M.E. and 1 Presb.
LUMBERLAND-was formed from Mamakating, March 16, 1798, embracing all the co. W. of Mongaup River and S. of the present N. lines of Liberty and Callicoon. From it were erected Liberty in 1807, Bethel in 1809, and Highland and Tusten in 1853. Its surface is rugged and [p.646] broken, and much of it is yet a wilderness. The name of the town still suggests the leading pursuit of the people. A large number of small lakes, with their outlets, form the principal waters. The principal of these lakes are Lebanon Pond in the N., Round, Sand, and Hogais Ponds in the W., and Long Pond in the center. Metauques Pond, in the E., lies about 2 mi. W. of the Mongaup, and 300 feet above it. On its outlet is a beautiful cascade. Mongaup and Pond Eddy are p. offices. There is but one church, (M. E.) The Delaware & Hudson Canal extends through the town along the course of the river. It is supposed that settlement was commenced before the Revolution; but the names of the first settlers are not preserved.1 In the survey of the Minisink Patent by Charles Webb in 1762, mention is made of "Reeve's Sawmill."2
Footnotes for Lumberland:
Originally Page 646
1. Among the early settlers since the Revolution were John Showers and Joshua Knight, at Mongaup, S. Gardner and Elnathan Corey, at Pond Eddy, P. Van Vauken, above Mongaup, and John Rinck and Wm. Ryarson, in other parts of the town. The first school was kept in a barn by Mr. Farnham; the first inn was kept by E. Cory, at Pond Eddy.
2. Mr. Webb lived at Otisville, (Orange co.,) at died at an advanced age in 1814.
MAMAKATING,3 said to have been named in honor of an Indian chief, was erected into a precinct by the General Assembly, Dec. 17, 1743, and embraced all the present territory of Sullivan co. and a portion of Orange. It continued as a precinct until organized as a town, March 7, 1788. It was reduced to its present limits by the erection of Deerpark (Orange co.) and Lumberland in 1798, Thompson in 1803, and a part of Foresthurgh in 1837. It lies upon the highlands between Neversink and Shawangunk Creeks. Two parallel ridges, separated by the valley of Bashers Kil, extend through the town in a N. E. and S. W. direction. The eastern of these ridges is known as Shawangunk Mt. The declivities of this mountain are gentle upon the E., but abrupt and broken on the W. It attains an elevation of 1100 feet above the summit level of the canal, and about 1700 feet above tide. In the N. W. part of the town is a mountain of nearly equal clevation, known as Panther Hill. The principal streams are Shawangunk, Bashers, and Pine Kils, the last of which is the outlet of a small lake in the W. part of the town, known as Yankee Pond. The summit level of the Delaware & Hudson Canal, 17 mi. long and 525 feet above tide, is constructed through the valley of Bashers Kil. Masten Pond, in the W. part, is used as a reservoir. About 2 mi. N. of Wurtzboro a vein of lead was discovered several years since, and was worked to a considerable extent. After an abandonment of several years, preparations are again being made to work it. The soil is a sand and gravel loam, in some places intermixed with clay, and best adapted to pasturage. The census of 1855 shows that this town is second only to Thompson in the amount of dairy products. Bloomingburgh4 (p. v.) contains 365 inhabitants, and Wurtzboro5 (p. v.) 491, Summitville (Mamakating p.o.) 20 houses, and Phillipsport (p.o.) 10: the three last named lie upon the canal. Burlingham (p.v.) contains 130 inhabitants. West Brookville (p. o.) is a hamlet, and Homowack is a p.o. The early settlement of this town has already been noticed,6 but most of the details have been lost. On the approach of the Revolution the Indians became hostile, and several blockhouses were erected on the frontiers of Ulster co., one of which was at Wurtzboro. On account of the distressed condition of the people by reason of Indian hostilities, they were favored by the supervisors in the apportionment of taxes. Many persons in those days accounted wealthy were reduced to poverty, and but little that could be destroyed remained on the return of peace. Gonzales, the pioneer settler, is said to have built the first sawmill, at Wurtzboro. In 1792 this town contained 182 taxable persons, of whom 34 were in the present towns of Lumberland, Tusten, and Highland. In 1794, Capt. David Dorrance removed from Windham, Conn., and purchased 1000 acres immediately S. of the site of Wurtzboro.7 John Dorrance, with Elijah Perry, also from Conn., erected the first bark mill in Sullivan co. Rev. Mr. Freleigh was the first pastor of the Ref. Prot. D. Church, built in 1793.8
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3. Written Mame-Kating, Mame-Cotink &c. in early records.
4. This village was settled by J. Newkirk, about 1780, and was incorp. April 26, 1833. It contains 3 churches, 4 hotels, and 5 stores.
5. Named from Maurice Wurtz, grantee of a canal privilege in Penn., afterward merged in Del. and Hudson Canal Co.
6. See page 642.
7. A road was constructed at an early day, by Ananias Sacket, from Mamakating westward, passing about three-fourths of a mi. s. of Lords Pond, and continuing to Nathan Kinne's Flats, from which place Capt. Dorrance made a road to Cochecton for £5 per mi. This road opened a communication from the Hollow to the Delaware River, a distance about 33 mi. A portion of it is still in use, but the greater part was taken up by the Newburgh & Cochecton Turnpike. The village of Wurtzboro is built upon the land and erected a sawmill. Westbrookville (formerly "Bashshusville") was settled about the same time, and the first house built of stone and used as a fort to shelter the settlers. Mr. Felton was a pioneer near Burlingham. And J. Newkirk at Bloomingburgh. The early town records have been lost. The first school was kept at Bloomingburgh in 1784, by Mr. Campbell. Wm. Harlow kept the first inn, 2 mi. n. of Bloomingburgh; Wm. Wighton opened the first store, 1 mi. s. of the same place; and H. Newkirk build the first gristmill, on the Shawangunk, within this town.
8. The census reports 11 churches; 6 M.E., 2 Ref. Prot. D., 1 Bap., 1 R.C., 1 Asso. Ref. Presb.
NEVERSINK9-was formed from Rochester, (Ulster co.,) March 16, 1798. Rockland was taken off in 1809, and a part of Fallsburgh in 1826. The whole town is elevated, and the surface [p.647] is very hilly and to a considerable degree covered with forests. It is watered by the Neversink and its branches, and by the Lackawack, or W. branch of the Rondout, which flows to the Hudson. Denman Hill, 3300 feet, and Thunder Hill, 2500, above tide, are the principal elevations: the latter received its name from the fact that one of the early settlers was frightened away from the place by loud thunder. The soil is generally a gravelly loam, and best adapted to pasturage. The people are chiefly engaged in lumbering, tanning,1 and dairying. Grahamsville2 (p. v.) contains 40 houses, Neversink Flats (Neversink p.o.) 35, and Claryville (p.v.) 30. The first settlement was commenced on the Lackawack, 2 mi. below Grahamsville, by the Hornbecks, Clines, Clearwaters, and Lowes, who obtained an Indian title in 1743, and were driven off during the Revolution. Mr. Larrabee, on Thunder Hill, and Benj. Gillett, John Hall, and Wm. Parks, on the 1000 acre lot, were the pioneer settlers after the war.3 The first church (Meth.) was located at Grahamsville; and the first preacher was Rev. Samuel M. Knapp.4
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9. This name, first applied to the river, is said by some to be derived from the Indian "Ne-wa-sink", or Mad River, and by (continued on next page)
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(Continued from previous page) others to be so named because the stream is less affected by the drought than others.
1. About 95,000 sides of leather are manufactured each year.
2. Named in honor of Lieut. Graham, who was killed in a skirmish with the Indians near the present site of the village.
3. The first child born was Elijah Parks. Christopher Darrow taught the first school; Mr. Larravee kept the first inn, on Thunder Hill; Richard Childs kept the first store; and Wm. Parks built the first gristmill, 3 mi. s.e. if the Flats. There are no town records earlier than 1814,
4. The census reports 5 chruches; 3 M.E., 2 Ref. Prot. D.
ROCKLAND-was formed from Neversink, March 29, 1809. It lies upon the headwaters of the Popacton, or E. branch of the Delaware, in the extreme N. part of the co. It is a rough, wild region, very hilly and mostly covered with forests. Its principal streams are Beaver Kil and Williwemack Creek. A chain of small lakes extends through the town, the principal of which are Upper, Mongaup, and Hodge Ponds in the E., Big and North Ponds in the S.E., Shaw Pond in the S., Burnt Hill and Jenkins Ponds in the W., and Sand, Mud, and Knapp Ponds in the center. Lumbering, farming, and tanning5 are the principal pursuits of the people. Westfield Flats (Rockland p.o.) contains 28 houses, and Morsston (p.v.) about 12. Beaver Kill, Purvis, and Shin Creek are P. offices. Settlement was begun in 1789, by two families named Stewart and West, from Middletown, Conn.; they located near the middle of the Big Beaver Kil Flat.6Rev. Mr. Conkey (Meth.) was the first preacher.7
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5. One of the most extensive tanneries in the State is in the w. part of town. About 170,000 sides of leather are manufactured each year in town.
6. Another account says the first settlers were Robert Cochran, Jehiel and Luther Stewart. In the following year, Peter Williams and Cornelius Cochran came in from Mass. Mr. Bascom settled 1 mi. w. of Purvis p. office, and Thomas Nott and James Overton 1 mi. s. of the same. The first child born was Susan Thorn; the first marriage was that of Ebenzer White and Clarissa Field; and the first death was that of Sylvanus Stewart. Sylvanus Bascum taught the first school, at Westfield Flats; Jehiel Stewart kept the first inn, Mr. Loveland the first store; and Luther Stewart built the first mill, at Westfield Flats. The settlers are said to have obtained their first seed corn from the Indians on the Susquehanna Flats, and this stock has been continued until the present time. The lumber trade began in 1798.
7. The census reports three churches; M.E., Presb., and Union.
THOMPSON-was formed from Mamakating, March 9, 1803, and named in honor of Wm. A. Thompson, first judge of the co. A part of Fallsburgh was taken off in 1826, and a part of Forestburgh in 1837. It lies principally upon the highlands between Neversink and Mongaup Rivers, and is less hilly than most of the towns of the co. The hills rise 100 to 300 feet above Monticello. Neversink and Mongaup Rivers, with several small lakes and streams, constitute the waters of the town. Kiamesha, or "Clearwater," better known as Pleasant Pond, is a beautiful little lake near Monticello. The other principal ponds are Dutch in the N.E., Lords and Mud in the E., Wolf in the S.E., and Sackets (named from Ananias Sacket, an early settler near it) in the S. W. The quiet scenery of these lakes is becoming appreciated by the lovers of nature and those seeking a retreat from the heat and dust of cities in summer. The soil is a reddish loam. The people are principally engaged in stock raising, lumbering, and tanning.8 Monticello,9 (p.v.,) the principal village, was incorp. April 20, 1830. Pop. 629. It is beautifully situated upon a ridge of highlands 1387 feet above tide, and is surrounded by hills. It is finely laid out, the main street being 1 mi. long and 8 rods wide, with flagged walks and ornamented with shade trees. It contains a courthouse, jail, co. clerk's and surrogate offices, and a banking house, all of stone; 3 churches, the Monticello Academy, 3 hotels, 10 stores, 3 printing offices, and an iron foundery. Thompsonville (p. v.) and Bridgeville (p. v.) each contain about a dozen houses. Gales and Glen Wild are P. offices. The first settlers were Wm. A. Thompson, John Knapp, and Timothy Childs, at Thompsonville.10 Rev. John Boyd (Presb.) was the first preacher.11
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8. About 35,000 sides of leather are manufactured annually.
9. Named by J.P. Jones, from the residence of Thos. Jefferson The first settlement of this village was made in 1804, by Samuel F. and John P. Jones, from New Lebanon. (Columbia co.,) who located at this place in anticipation of its becoming the co. seat of a new co. to be erected from Ulster. J.P. Jones erected the first house, in 1804, and opened the first store; Curtis Linsley kept the first inn.
10. A. Sacket and A.D. Kinne were the first settlers in w. part of town, and John Wetherlow and John Simson on the Neversink. Asa Hall kept the first school, at Bridgeville; Judge Thompson built the first mill and factory, at Thompsonville.
11. The census reports four churches; M.E., Presb., Prot. E., and Union.
TUSTEN-was formed from Lumberland, Dec. 17, 1853, and was named in honor of Col. [p.648] Benjamin Tusten, who was killed in the battle of Minisink, in 1779.1 This town lies upon the N. bank of Delaware River. The W. and S. parts are very hilly, and the E. portions belong to the plateau of rolling lands which comprises the greater part of Tusten, Highland, and Lumberland. The average height of this region is about 750 feet above the Delaware, or 1400 feet above tide. The principal streams are Ten Mile River and its branches: Half Moon and Mill Ponds in the E., and Mill, Davis, and Canfield Ponds in the center, are the principal sheets of water. The soil is a gravelly loam, and best adapted to pasturage. The people are generally engaged in farming and lumbering. Narrowsburgh, (p. v.,) containing about 35 houses, is the only village. It derives its name from the fact that the Delaware is here compressed by two points of rock into a deep, narrow channel. Over this is a wooden bridge, with a single span of 184 feet.2 The place is known to lumbermen by the name of "Big Eddy." Below the narrows the river expands into a wide basin, which in time of a freshet exhibits a stirring scene. Delaware Bridge and Beaver Brook are p. offices. John Moore kept the first inn and store, and R. Moore built the first mill. The Baptist is the only church in town.
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1. See pages 503, 643 (of French's Gaz.)
2. The "Narrowsburgh Bridge Co." was incorp. April 5, 1810 with a capital of $5,000. The bridge was to be 25 feet wide, well covered with plank, and secured by railings.