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Putnam County, New York

Footnotes to French's Gazetteer of NY State

This page was last updated: Tuesday, 23-Apr-2013 12:54:19 MDT

Putnam County, page 540

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  1. Named from Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam, who was stationed in the co. a part of the time during the Revolutionary War. In the act of Dec. 16, 1737, the co. was styled "South Precinct;" March 24, 1772, it was subdivided into "Southeast,"  "Fredericksburgh," and "Philips" Precincts. The first of these precincts included the present towns of Southeast and Patterson, the second Carmel and Kent, and the third Putnam Valley and Philipsburgh.
  2. On Sauthier's map of 1779 this word is written "Macookpack."
  3. This lake was formerly called "Hortons Pond." It is now frequently called "Oskawano," from an Indian chief said to have resided in this locality.
  4. Formerly called Shaw's Lake.
  5. Magnetic oxyd of iron is the most important of the ores found, although limonite and other varieties are obtained. A bed of magnetic ore was opened several years since on Breakneck Mt.; but is has not been extensively worked. Another bed has been opened on Constitution Island, opposite West Point Foundery. The Simewog vein was formerly worked at the Townsend Mine on Simewog Hill. The Philips vein has been traced at short intervals a distance of 8 mi., and several mines have been opened along its course. The Stewart Mine is the principal of these. Large quantities of ore obtained from the Denny Mine, in the N. part of Putnam Valley, were formerly used at the Cold Spring Furnace. Coal Grove and Gouverneur Mines are in the neighborhood of the Denny Mine. The "Harvey Steel and Iron Co." have opened several mines in Southeast, from which an excellent quality of ore for the manufacture of steel was obtained; but they are not now worked.
  6. Blunt's Quarry, on the S. side of Breakneck Point, near the line of Dutchess co., affords a bluish gray granite, which as been extensively used for the Delaware Breakwater, Fort Calhoun, and Fortress Monroe. The Highland Granite Co.'s quarry, principally owned by Howard & Holdane, is near the Hudson River, a short distance from Blunt's Quarry. It is elevated about 200 ft. above the river. Stony Point Quarry, on a rocky peninsula extending into the Hudson, Philips Quarry, on an estate of the same name, and other quarries in the co., have been worked. Marble is found in the N. part of Patterson.
  7. Among the minerals of the co. are arsenicla and common iron pyrites, arsenite and chromate of iron, pyroxene, tremolite, arragonite, graphite, kerolite, brucite, actynolite hornblende, albite, laumonite stilbite, chabasite, epidote mica, zircon, sphene, and diallage.
  8. The principal localities where peat is found are near Patterson and on the E. side of Lake Mahopac.
  9. The first courts were held at the Baptist Church. The first co. officers were Stephen Barnum, First Judge; John Jewett, Co. Clerk; Wm. H. Johnston, Sheriff; and Joel Frost, Surrogate.
  10. The courthouse is a wooden building, erected in 1813, at cost of $2,500. Joseph Crane, Stephen Barnum, Joel Frost, Jonathan Ferri, and John Jewett were appointed to superintend its erection.
  11. The jail is a stone building, erected in 1844. It adjoins the courthouse on the E.
  12. The clerk's office is a stone fireproof building, located a few rods S. of the courthouse.
  13. The average number of inmates in the poorhouse is 52, supported at a weekly cost of 43 cts. each. The income from the farm is $600 per annum. A school is taught throughout the year.
  14. The Putnam Co. Courier was published by Thos. Smith; and The Putnam Democrat, published by W. H. Sloat, and afterward by Elijah Yerks.   James D. Little succeeded Yerks, and changed the paper to The Democratic Courier; and again, in 1852, to The Putnam Co. Courier. By this name it is now published. The Putnam Free Press was commenced at Carmel, June 12, 1858, by Wm. J. Blake, by whom it is still published.
  15. See page 18. [Web editor's note: Only the section relating to the Connecticut Boundary has been transcribed below.]

    The boundaries of the State have been settled from time to time by commissioners appointed by the several governments whose territories are contiguous. In several instances long and angry controversies have occurred, which have extended through many years and almost led to a civil war. The boundaries are all now definitely fixed, except that of Conn., respecting which a controversy is now pending. -- .

    Connecticut Boundary. -- By the charter of 1662 the territory of Conn. Extended to the "South Sea;" and by patent granted in 1664 the territory of the Duke of York was bounded S. by Connecticut River. Commissioners sent over in 1664 settled upon a line 20 mi. E. of the Hudson as the boundary, fixing the starting point on Mamaroneck River. The decision proving grossly erroneous, the controversy was renewed, and in 1683 another commissioner was appointed to settle the matter. It was finally agreed to allow Conn. To extend her boundaries W. along the Sound, and N.Y. to receive compensation in the N.; and the line was definitely established May, 1731. By this agreement a tract called the "Oblong," containing 61,440 acres, along the N. part of the W. Border of Conn., was surrendered to N.Y. The exact line of Conn. has to the present day been a subject of controversy, and in 1856 commissioners were appointed by each State to effect a settlement, but without success. N.Y. owns all the islands in the Sound to within a few rods of the Conn. shore.

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Putnam County, page 541:

  1. The Philipse Patent was granted June 17, 1697, to Adolph Philipse, a merchant of New York, who died, in 1749, without issue, leaving his estate to his nephew, Frederick Philipse. The latter had 5 children, -- Frederick, Philip, Susannah, Mary, and Margaret. By his will, dated June 6, 1751, Frederick was disinherited, and, Margaret dying young, the property was equally divided among the remaining three. Philip left a widow, who married one Ogilvie; Susannah married Beverly Robinson, and Mary married Col. Roger Morris. On the 7th of Feb. 1754, the patent was divided into 9 lots: 3, each 4 mi. square, bordering upon the Hudson and denominated "water lots;" 3, each 4 mi. wide by 12 long, extending N. and S. across the patent, and denominated "long lots;" and 3, each 4 mi. sq., upon the E. border, denominated "back lots." Philip, Susannah, and Mary Philipse each owned one of each kind of lots. On the 14th of Jan., 1758, previous to the marriage of Mary, a deed of marriage settlement was executed, by which her estate was vested in such children as might be born under the marriage, reserving only to herself and husband a life interest in the property. When Robinson and Morris and their wives were attainted, their property was sold, chiefly to the former tenants. In 1809, John Jacob Astor bought the interest of the heirs of Morris in this property for £20,000. The State, to protect those who held title from the Commissioners of Forfeiture, passed a law, April 16, 1827, directing 5 suits to be prosecuted to judgment in the Circuit Court of the S. Dist. Of N.Y., and presented by writs of error to the Supreme Court of the S. for review and final decision. If against the defendants, the State agreed to pay $450,000 in 5 per cent stock, redeemable at pleasure; and if the decision included the improvements that had been made by occupants, $250,000 more. Three suits were tried, each resulting in favor of Astor; upon which the Comptroller was, by act of April 5, 1832, directed to issue stock for the full amount, with costs. The amount issued was $561,500. Few suits have been tried in the State involving larger interests to greater numbers, or which were argued with more ability, than this. In the suite against James Carver the counsel for the plaintiff were Messrs. Oakley, J.O. Hoffman, Emmet, Platt, and Ogden; and for the defendant, Talcott, (Attorney Gen.) Webster, Van Buren, Ogden Hoffman, and Cowles. See Report of Trial, by E.V. Sparhawk; Legis. Doc. 1830, V., 347; Sen Doc. 1831832, 1I., 24, 28; Assem. Doc. 1832, 149, 205; Peters' Reports U.S. Supreme Court, IV., I.
  2. Among the principal peaks in town are Round, Turkey, and Comus Mts., and Goose, Barrett, Burned, and Prospect Hills, in the N. part; Pisgah, Watts, Pond, and Drew Hills, in the E.; Ball, Watermelon, Indian, and Round Hills, in the S.; Austin, Golden Root, and Hemlock Hills, in the W.; and Rattle and Hazens Hills, and Adams Ridge, in the central part.
  3. Lake Mahopac is 9 mi. in circumference, and in it are 3 beautiful islands, -- Big, Petre, and Goose Islands. Around the lake are several large hotels and boarding houses, which are thronged during the summer season by visitors from New York and Brooklyn. A number of beautiful summer residences have been erected on the surrounding heights.
  4. Lake Gleneida covers an area of 170 acres, and is 130 feet deep.
  5. The Raymond Collegiate Institute was built in 1851, at a cost of about $40,000, by James Raymond. It is now owned by the Presbyterian Synod.
  6. A gristmill at this place was filled with Government grain at one time during the Revolution, and soldiers were stationed to guard it. When on his way to West Point, André lodged one night at the house of Jas. Cox at this place.
  7. George Hughson settled near Lake Mahopac, and Wm. and Uriah Hill at Red Mills. The first mill was erected at the latter place.
  8. 3 M.E., 2 Bap., and 2 Presb.
  9. "Frederickstown Precinct" was formed March 24, 1772, and was named from Frederick Philipse. The town received its present name from the Kent family, who were early settlers.
  10. The other ponds and lakes are Barretts, China Forge, and Drews Ponds, and Lake Sagamore.
  11. A fulling mill, sawmill, gristmill, and tannery.
  12. Familes named Boyd, Wixon, Farrington, Burton, Carter, Barrett, Ludington, and others, from Mass. and Westchester, were early settlers.
  13. The town was first named in honor of Dr. Franklin. Its present name was derived from a family of early settlers.

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Putnam County, page 542:

  1. Pine Island is a rocky ledge 200 ft. high, containing about 30 acres, in the middle of Great Swamp.
  2. Prot. E., Bap., Friends, and Presb.
  3. Named from Adolph Philipse, patentee of the Philipse Manor. The Philips Precinct was formed March 24, 1772.
  4. "Martlaers Rack," or the Martyrs Reach, was a short stretch of the Hudson just above West Point, where early navigators were often retarded by baffling winds. There were 13 racks, or reaches, on the Hudson, known to sailors as "Horse,"  "Sailmakers,"   "Cooks,"  "High,"   "Fox,"  "Bakers,"  "John Pleasures,"  "Harts,"   "Sturgeons,"  "Fishers,"  "Fast,"  "Martlaers," and "Long" Reaches, the last named extending from Pollepels Island to Krom Elleboogh. -- Benson's Memoir, p. 42.
  5. Among the peaks of The Highlands in this town are Anthonys Nose, Sugar Loaf, Breakneck Mt., and Bull, Hog-Back, Vinegar, Cot, Pine, and Fort Hills. Anthonys Nose is 1228 feet above the Hudson, and Sugar Loaf 800 ft.
  6. This promontory was called "Martlaers Island" before the Revolution. In July, 1775, a ort was built upon it, under the direction of Bernard Romaine; and in 1778 a heavy chain was stretched across the Hudson from this fort to West Point. Col. Timothy Pickering, appointed to have charge of this work, in March, 1778, contracted with Peter Townsend (the Sterling Iron Works at Warwick, Orange co.) for the construction of the chain. The task was done in 6 weeks, and the huge chain carted in sections to West Point. The links weighed from 100 to 150 pounds each; and the entire weight was 186 tons, and its length 1,500 ft. It was buoyed up by large spars, a few feet apart, secured by strong timbers framed into them and firmly attached to the rock on both shores. In winter it was drawn on shore by a windlass, and replaced in the spring. It was never disturbed by the enemy, and continued in use until the peace. A similar chain, of half its diameter and 1,800 ft. in length, (made at the Ringwood Iron Works, N.J.,) was stretched across the channel from Anthonys Nose to Fort Montgomery, in Nov. 1776. It parted twice, and the enemy broke and passed it in the fall of 1778. Another, stretched from Pollepels Island to the W. shore, consisted of spars, pointed, and their ends united by iron links. There were also chevaux de frise sunk at the same place to prevent the passage of vessels. Most of these works were constructed and placed under the immediate direction of Capt. Thomas Machin, an engineer in the service. Traces of Fort Constitution and the outworks are still visible.
  7. The West Point Foundery (sic) is one of the largest establishments of the kind in the country. It was established in 1817, by an association organized for that purpose. A tract of 150 acres was purchased of Frederick Philipse, and a moulding house, boring mill, blacksmith and pattern shops, and drafting and business offices, were erected. An act of incorporation was obtained, April 15, 1818; and in 1839 the finishing or machine, smiths' and boiler departments of the establishment were brought from New York. The works now consist of a moulding house, with 3 cupola furnaces; a gun foundery, with 3 air furnaces; 2 boring mills, -- one driven by an overshot waterwheel and the other by a steam engine; 3 blacksmith shops; a turning shop; a finishing shop, with a pattern shop on the second floor; a boiler shop, a punching machine house, 5 pattern houses, a fire engine house, an office, and several smaller buildings. A dock on the river belongs to these works, and a branch from the R.R. extends to them From 400 to 600 men are employed. Shafts 2 ft. in diameter, and of 15 tons' weight, have been forged here.
  8. This village, together with barracks for 2000 men, was burned in Oct. 1777, by a detachment of the enemy on their way up the Hudson to co-operate with Gen. Burgoyne. Two small forts were erected here during the Revolution, and traces of them are yet visible.
  9. Davenport built the first house at Coldspring, in 15. David Hurtis, and several families named Haight, Bloomer, and Wilson, settled in the town in 1730. John Meeks was the first settler at Continental Village, and John Rogers settled a little N. of the same place about 1730. Jas. Stanley settled in the town in 1750, and Thos. Sarles in 1756. The first gristmill was built about 1762, by Beverly Robinson, at Continental Village.
  10. Col. Robinson's house, situated at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mt., was the headquarters of Gens. Putnam and Parsons in 1778-79, and of Gen. Arnold at the time of his treason. The building is still standing, and is owned by Richard D. Arden, by whom it is carefully preserved in its original character. Col. Robinson granted a glebe to St. Philip's Church in The Highlands, 1 mi. E. of Garrisons, which was confirmed by the act of March 27, 1794. The church was used as a barrack during the Revolution. -- Blake's Hist. Putnam Co. pp. 180-209; Sabine's Loyalists, p. 562.
  11. 4 M.E., 2 Prot. E., Bap., Presb. and R.C.

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Putnam County, page 543:

  1. Canopus Lake is 2 mi. long by 2 wide. Clear, Muddy, Peltons, Salpeu, Owens, Cranberry, Bargers, and Wickopee Ponds are smaller bodies of water in the town.
  2. On the farm of Harry Gillet are the ruins of the Hempstead Huts, built in 1780 by a detachment of the Mass. Line, and one or two companies from Hempstead, L.I. -- Blake's Hist.
  3. "Southeasttown" was formed as a precinct Dec. 17, 1737, and confirmed March 24, 1772. The word "town" in the name was dropped March 17, 1795.
  4. Tonetta and Kishewana Lakes, and Covils and Peach Ponds.
  5. Among the early settlers were families named Crane, Crosby, Hall, Howes, Paddock, Haines, Howe, Carpenter, and Dickinson, from Mass. And Conn. Joseph Crane built the first mill, at Milltown, about 1730. Chancellor Kent was born in this town, July 31, 1763.
  6. The census reports 4 churches in town; M.E., Presb., Union, and Friends.

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