Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led

Sullivan County
New York
Genealogy and History


History of
Sullivan County, NY


Source: "History of Sullivan county: embracing an account of its geology, climate, aborigines, early settlement, organization; the formation of its towns with biographical sketches of prominent residents", (1873) by James Eldridge Quinlan.

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Mary Saggio


CHAPTER XIII.
THE TOWN OF MAMAKATING.
(Continued)

In 1814, the population of Mamakating was 1,585. On the 24th of June, 1812, as appears from an assessment roll made by Abraham Roosa, Eli Roberts and Jacob Gumaer, there were 273 tax-payers in the town. The population shows that there were about 300 families. Consequently there were only twenty- five or thirty heads of families who were without taxable property. The following is a list of those who were assessed for one thousand dollars and upwards:

William Anderson $1,220   James E. Miller $1,400
Moses Brown 1,000   David Milliken 3,404
Peter Budd 1,501   John Milliken 2,050
John Budd 1,017   John Norris 1,489
Thomas Bull, junior. 1,162   Daniel Niven 1,000
James Beyea 1,143   Henry Newkirk 1,000
John Clinch 1,206   Daniel Ogden 1,231
Abraham Canfield 1,200   Henry Patmore 1,518
Jacobus Devens 1,500   Eli Roberts 1,200
George Duryea 1,120   Elnathan Sears 1,392
J. and O. Dunning 3,044   Wm. and Moses Stanton 1,360
David Dorrance 1,434   Samuel Smith 1,587
Jacob Gumaer 1,565   George Smith, junior. 1,000
Daniel Godfrey 1,200   Sloan and Hunter 2,000
Moses Hazen 1,183   Lawrence Tears 2,084
Horton and Lockwood 2,134   Ephraim Thomas 1,000
Jacob Masten 1,893   Theodoras C. Van Wyck 1,000
David Munn 1,592   Daniel Wilson 1,204
Ezekiel Masten 1,335   Abraham T. Westbrook 2,340

There were many worthy residents of Mamakating at this time whose estates amounted to less than one thousand dollars. Several of them have already received honorable mention in this chapter. Others of this class should be written about; but their descendants have not responded to our calls for information.
Henry Newkirk, whose name appears in the foregoing list, held the office of Town Clerk for forty years. Before his death he dissipated his property, and died poor.
Daniel Niven came to Wurtsborough in 1812, and followed the business of farming and inn-keeping. He was born in Ila, on the west coast of Scotland, and immigrated to New York in 1791, when about twenty-four years of age. Before 1812, he engaged in business in New Windsor, in the city of New York, in Newburgh, and a second time in New York. While in the city the last time, he was a merchant, when his goods were consumed by fire, without being insured. He lost nearly all he possessed, except his family. With indomitable will and buoyant spirit, he commenced anew in Wurtsborough. Here he was often visited by Samuel and Daniel Gonsalus, Colonel Mudge, and other local celebrities. One of them (Daniel Gonsalus) gave him information which led to the discovery of the Wurtsborough lead-mine.

The pioneers of Mamakating knew that the Indians obtained lead near Wurtsborough but the latter obstinately refused to reveal where it was to be found, and became angry whenever the subject was broached. A white hunter named Miller followed them at the risk of his life, until he ascertained that they obtained the ore on the west side of the Shawangunk, near a cluster of hemlocks, which was plainly visible from the valley. He heard them at work, and after they had left, found the mine. When Miller was old and infirm, he intended to show Daniel Gonsalus where the ore was. He pointed out the hemlocks, and promised that, as soon as he had visited some friends in Orange county, he would go with Gonsalus to the point where the lead was visible. Before Miller returned from his visit, he was taken sick at Montgomery, and died. Gonsalus never attempted to find the ore. In 1813, he told Niven what he knew, and after thinking of the matter four years, the latter hired Mudge to help him make a search. They were successful. A quantity of the galena was sent to Doctor Mitchell and others, chemists, who declared that it was valuable. Mr. Niven made a confident of Moses Stanton, a neighbor, who, as well as Mudge, insisted on sharing the profits of the discovery, and the three became partners. Not long after, those who had analyzed the ore were anxious to purchase the mine; but Niven & Co. could not sell it. They were not its owners, and they could not ascertain who were. So the matter rested until 1836, each agreeing to make no disclosure without the consent of all three. Their secret, however, was revealed after it had been kept for almost twenty years. Stanton had a habit of talking in his sleep, and while his eyes were closed, spoke of the mine in such a way that his son, who was present, had no difficulty in finding it! The young man found the owners, and made some five hundred dollars by keeping his ears open while his father "dreamed aloud! "*[Tom Quick. This statement was published by us upwards of twenty years ago. We have evidence of its truthfulness written by Mr. Niven in 1853.]
In 1816, Mr. Niven removed to Monticello, where he kept the hotel now owned by the brothers Morris. A few years thereafter, he became an inhabitant of Bloomingburgh. While the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company were making their canal, he was attracted to Wurtsborough once more. In 1887, he retired from business, and for nearly thirty years filial hands administered to his comfort and pleasure. He died in Monticello, aged one hundred years.
Mr. Niven was made a Free and Accepted Mason when he was twenty-one years old, and was ever afterwards warmly attached to that institution. At the time of his death, he was probably the oldest Mason in the. United States, and was buried according to the customs of that ancient order. From an early period of his life, he was also a member of the Associate Reformed Church of Scotland. He was very liberal in his religious opinions, and in his prime a sturdy defender with voice and pen of what he considered Divine verities. He was a friend and correspondent of Grant Thorburn (Laurie Todd) as long as either could wield a gray goose-quill- was urbane and companionable, and was quick and impulsive, as well as fearless.

Henry Patmore, notwithstanding his respectability and intelligence, and his comfortable circumstances in 1812, as well as the fact that he was a soldier of the Revolution, became very poor in his old age, and died a pauper. He received a small pension for his military services; but it was not sufficient to supply his necessities. Although an inmate of our county-asylum, he continued to command respect from his fellow-men, and when he died (Sept. 26, 1835) the following notice of his decease appeared in the Republican Watchman. It was written by one of the most respectable citizens of Sullivan:
"Died, in Thompson, Henry Patmore, Esq., a soldier of the Revolution, aged 79 years. He was for many years a resident of Mamakating, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen, who conferred on him the office of Justice of the Peace, to which he was elected several times. 'Peace to the ashes of the old soldier.' "
Mr. Patmore was long a resident of the town, and was elected to an office there in the year 1799.

Elnathan Sears was born at White Plains, Westchester county, New York. Soon after the Declaration of Independence, he joined the Continental army. At the fall of Fort Montgomery, he fell into the hands of the enemy, and for a long time was kept on board the "Jersey Prison-Ship," where, with other patriots, he endured what must forever disgrace British arms. Here he saw American patriots, rendered insane by the tortures of hunger, thirst and cold, scrape verdigris from the foul copper-kettles which were used to cook their food, with which they cut short their anguish. His sufferings, however, did not extinguish his ardor for liberty. No sooner was he liberated, than he hastened to peril his life again in battle. He did not lay down his arms until the last foe was driven from our soil. After the war he was united in marriage with Mary Haight, of Crum Pond, and moved to Montgomery, in Orange county. About the year 1790, he became a settler of Mamakating, where he resided until his death in 1810. In 1802, he was elected a Member of Assembly from Ulster county, and was the first resident within the present territory of Sullivan who enjoyed that honor, if we may except Cornelius C. Schoonmaker. He was re-elected in 1803, 1806, 1812 and 1813, and was made Sheriff of Sullivan in 1819. He also filled other important public stations. By economy and industry he accumulated a fortune, from which he dispensed to the poor with a liberal hand; and not until he was reduced by misfortune to actual want, did he deign to apply to the government of his country for the pittance to which he was entitled. For the last two or three years of his life, he endeavored to secure a final adjustment of his claims, and it is no less melancholy than true, that the tardiness of Congress was the indirect cause of his death.*[Mr. Sears' memorial contains the following statement: He entered the service of his country in 1776, under Captain James Milliken, of Colonel Paulding's regiment, and was in the battles of Lone Island, White Plains, and at the taking of Fort Montgomery. In the latter affair, a ball penetrated his right leg, and a bayonet his right side. While his shoes were filled with blood, he was prostrated by a blow from the but of a gun, and trampled under foot. During the next thirteen months, he was a prisoner on board the Jersey prison-ship, and in the sugar-house in Pearl street, except a short time when he was in a hospital. While in prison, he suffered everything but death from cold and hunger. His feet were so badly frozen that the ends of his toes dropped off, and he was unable to walk for three months after he was exchanged. His sufferings, however, did not extinguish his patriotism. In 1779, he enlisted in Captain Drake's company for the war, and until June, 1783, served on the Northern frontier, where his bravery, fidelity and intelligence, won him the rank of Lieutenant of his company. He subsequently received a pension; but because his commission had been destroyed accidentally, and in consequence of the neglect of his superior officers in discharging him from the army, he failed to receive the pension due to one of his rank. It was while seeking justice in this respect that he contracted the disease of which he died.] Returning from Washington in January, 1840, the cold and fatigue he endured, as well as the effects of hope deferred, terminated in a fatal disease. His death occurred on the 2d of the following February, after he had seen his four-score and third birthday.

Doctor Theodore C. Van Wyck was a gentleman of liberal education. In early life he was attached to the navy of the United States. He was descended from an old and respectable Knickerbocker family; but exhibited none of the real or fancied traits of the Dutch or any other people. He was emphatically an original character. He was upright, courteous, and refined - honorable, chivalrous and dignified, so far as his inclinations ruled him, yet his daily life was an odd exemplification of these excellent traits. He did not burlesque the social code; but he observed its requirements in an indescribably amusing manner. Many anecdotes are related of him, some of which are probably fictions; but they are so well founded on his peculiar mode of speech and bearing, that it is impossible to detect the spurious.
It is said that on one occasion, he had a fine lot of hay in cock, when a violent wind began to scatter it about. Ordering his hired man to hold on to a heap, he threw his long body upon one of the cocks, and kept his eyes upon the others. The gale increased in violence- cock after cock sailed away on the wings of the storm - the Doctor's agitation increased as his fodder diminished, and when all had disappeared except what was under the two men, he sprang upon his feet and shouted, "Let it all go to hell, sir! all go to hell, sir!"

Beyond using mild expletives of which Hades and perdition are synonyms, he had no vices. He paid much respect to the practice of public worship- was a regular attendant and a liberal supporter of the Church of his fathers; but beyond a respectful and dignified, but silent demeanor in church and prayer-meeting, he was not known to go more than once. There was a lively interest in religious affairs in Bloomingburgh. Prayer-meetings were frequent - several made a profession of religion - the zeal of the Church increased day by day. The Doctor attended the meetings, and his devout manner led his pastor and others to hope that he was about to seek the good way; yet meeting after meeting was held, and it could not be said of him, "Behold, he prayeth!" So devout and exemplary seemed the Doctor, that the reverend gentleman believed that but a little extra effort was needed to make him openly profess a desire to join the ranks of the elect: so one evening, when all, including the Doctor, were on their knees, the Dominie asked him to lead in prayer. There was a solemn pause - a grave-like silence - the tympanum of every ear was eager to catch the first utterance from the Doctor's lips. But he was as silent as a graven image. Thinking he had not heard the first request, the good man repeated it; whereupon the Doctor spoke. "Damn it, Sir! Damn it, sir! I pay you to pray, sir! you to pray, sir!" He was not asked to pray publicly again.
The Doctor was an admirer of the ancient Greek poets, and from them learned that the goad was in vogue among classic Jehus. His mare - the animal he used when making professional visits on and at the foot of the Shawangunk mountain - was a staid and undemonstrative beast, whose epidermis was insensible to the lash. He manufactured a goad, and found that its application greatly accelerated her pace. He was delighted, and thereafter, like one of Homer's heroes, when he wished the mare to "devour the road," he thrust half an inch of cold iron into her hams. One pleasant day he determined to treat his son Charles to a ride. The lad's mother arrayed the boy in his most stylish finery - the Doctor ordered a spirited young horse known as "the colt" to be harnessed and attached to his best buggy, and away the father and son went. Both enjoyed the ride very much until the Doctor fell into what is known as "a brown study," when he gave the colt a vigorous thrust with the goad. Instantly there was a vision of iron-shod feet thrust violently through a dash-board - a man and boy flying through the air - an overturned and wrecked buggy - and a dissolving view of splintered thills attached to a frantic horse. Charles landed where some vagrant cows had deposited plenty of the material from which modern chemists extract the "balm of a thousand flowers." Into and over this he rolled in such a way that he was smeared with it from head to foot. The Doctor, who was uninjured, cast a rueful glance at the fleeing horse, and then turned his attention to the boy. Finding that the little fellow, though frightened and filthy, was free from contusions and broken bones, he took him up on the palms of his hands, and holding him out at arm's length, made long but dignified strides homeward, knowing that Mrs. Van Wyck would be greatly agitated and alarmed as soon as the colt reached its stable. Into her presence he strode, still holding the boy on his extended palms, and with the deferential courtesy of a Chesterfield, calmed her fears: "He is not hurt, madam - not hurt; but damnably besmirched, madam - damnably besmirched!"
Charles not only survived this, but other perils, and became a Representative in Congress, and a Brigadier-general of the army of the Union.

Whether these anecdotes are true or not, with others of a similar character, they have been current many years; and their relation cannot detract an iota from the respectful memory of a man whom we esteemed highly through the changes and vicissitudes of a quarter of a century.

Wurtsborough is situated on an inclined plane formed of the debris deposited by Sawmill brook. The valley at this point bears evidence that it was once much deeper than it is at present, when the Neversink and perhaps the Delaware washed the base of the Shawangunk. The streams from the western hills have plowed deep gorges, and brought to the valley sufficient material to cover and conceal primeval forests. Those who estimate this material properly, will see that it is sufficient to raise the valley to its present altitude above the Delaware and Neversink. Jacob Helm, an early settler of Wurtsborough, in digging a mill-race, found it necessary to remove a large white pine stump. Underneath this, about five feet from the surface, he uncovered another stump as large as the other.

It has been said that each stratum of rocks is a leaf in the history of the earth. In the mystical time when "darkness was upon the face of the deep," what is now the summit of the Shawangunk was the bed of a watery abyss which extended from the Barrens eastward. The mountain is capped by Hudson-river slate, which covers its eastern side, while its western declivity is of a different geological formation. On the western side of the valley, in digging wells, the Hudson-river slate is found. It dips under the bed-rocks of the Barrens, and is evidently but a continuation of the upper stratum of the Shawangunk. The texture of this slate shows that it was formed under deep and quiet waters, while the rocks which overlap it at Wurtsborough exhibit traces of more energetic pluvial action. Hence we conclude that, in the pre-Adamite days, the great north or north-western current spoken of by geologists, after passing over Sullivan, found rest in a vast reservoir of which the Barrens was the western boundary, and that when the Creator made the rivers to flow oceanward in their appointed channels, and the mountains to rear their majestic forms, those dynamic forces which he employed to accomplish his purposes rent the rocks asunder, and caused the Shawangimk to rear its head above the turbid waters, and greet his elder brothers of the west. Our conclusions may be fallible; but of this we are sure: if the book of nature is read aright, it will not differ from the inspired volume.

In 1833 or 1834, Washington Irving, in company with Vice- President Van Buren, visited Wurtsborough. Soon after he wrote a sketch in which he describes what he saw there in his ever facile manner. After declaring that the descendants of Diedrich Knickerbocker were the first to discover and improve this rich alluvial valley, he says:
"The traveler who sets out in the morning from the beautiful village of Bloomingburgh, to pursue his journey westward, soon finds himself, by an easy ascent, on the summit of the Shawangunk. Before him will generally be spread an ocean of mist, enveloping and concealing from his view the deep valley and lovely village which he almost beneath his feet. If he reposes here for a short time, until the vapors are attenuated and broken by the rays of the morning-sun, he is astonished to see the abyss before him deepening and opening on his vision. At length, far down in the newly revealed region, the sharp, white spire of a village-church is seen, piercing the incumbent cloud; and, as the day advances, a village, with its ranges of bright-colored houses and animated streets, is revealed to the admiring eye. So strange is the process of its development, and so much are the houses diminished by the depth of the ravine, that the traveler can scarcely believe he is not beholding the phantoms of fairy-land, or still ranging in those wonderful regions which are unlocked to the mind's eye by the wand of the god of dreams. But as he descends the western declivity of the mountain, the din of real life rises to greet his ear, and he soon penetrates into the midst of the ancient settlements, of which we have before spoken."

Johannes Masten came to Wurtsborough sometime during or soon after the French war, and bought one thousand acres of land of Elias and Moses Miller. His tract was situated principally north of the turnpike, and a considerable part of it was very productive. He was a native of Kingston, of Dutch and French ancestry, and a man of large means. A person of that name was a freeholder of Kingston in 1728 - probably his father.
At the time Masten came to the valley, (according to a statement of Mrs. Daniel Litts, his daughter), the Hollow was a dense wilderness, except where Jacobus Devens and Manuel Gonsalus and his sons lived. She makes no mention of Conrad*[The early scribes of Mamakating sometimes spelled this name Coonraught! See Town Record.] Bevier, although he must have lived south of Wurtsborough at the time, and says that Peter Helm, a son of Michel Helm, resided near her father's. She says that Devens' "fort" was built around his house, and that soldiers were stationed there during the Revolution to watch the Indians. Two of these soldiers were her brother John and a man named Jacobus Van Campen, a cousin of Abraham Van Campen, who was with Lieutenant Graham's party when the latter were masacred in the town of Neversink. John and Jacobus were in the woods hunting partridges, one day, when John advised the other to avoid places where there were dense undergrowths. This advice was not followed. They became separated, and soon Litts heard Van Campen scream. He ran towards him, and discovered that the careless fellow had been taken prisoner by a party of Indians. He could afford him no aid, and returned to the fort. For seven years Van Campen was missing, when he returned to the valley.

A gentleman and his wife, who were traveling toward Peenpack to visit their relatives, were murdered by the savages during the war for independence. Their names are not remembered.

Living in the valley was so dangerous, that Johannes Masten, whose age rendered him exempt from military duty, removed to Shawangunk, where he remained with his wife and such of his children as were not in the army, until the declaration of peace.†[ His sons Ezekiel, Jacob and John were in the American army. The first two received pensions. Ezekiel removed to Thompson, lost all his property, and died poor.] He then returned and re-occupied his farm. The Indians at this time were so obnoxious that they did not dare to visit the valley openly. Those who had been non-combatants during the war, and had never met the savages in battle, were implacable; while the brave men who had roamed the western hills with them in search of game previous to the war, and threaded the intricate mazes of the Foul woods beyond the Barrens to slay them at a more recent time, now met them amicably. Mrs. Litts, about the year 1786, was asked by Samuel Gonsalus whether she had ever seen an Indian. As she was an infant when her father removed to Shawangunk, she had seen none of that race, and told Gonsalus that she had not. He then said to her that if she would go to Peter Helm's, and look through a "chink" in the wall of his house, she would see one. With other children, she went to Helm's and discovered seven savages eating then supper. This circumstance led her to believe that Gonsalus and Helm were both tories, and she denounced them as such to the day of her death, although official records prove that they were whigs.
Johannes Masten paid five dollars per acre for the first land he bought in the valley, and afterwards paid as high as ten. It bore heavy burdens of wheat and Indian corn. After his return from Shawanunk, he carted seven hundred bushels of wheat to Esopus in a single year. This he had raised on his homestead, besides what was consumed by his family, slaves and horses. He probably owned more negroes than any other resident of the county.
Notwithstanding his large possessions, he was a veritable Nimrod. We are assured that he once killed three deer at one shot. The manner in which this was done is as follows: The animals came to one of his maize-fields at night to feed on the silk, of which they are very fond. He laid in wait for them, armed with a musket which was heavily charged with buckshot. After watching an hour or two he saw a respectable drove of antlered bucks and their demure consorts, and at a favorable moment fired between two rows of the maize. The next morning, he and his negroes found the three deer dead in the field. Jacob Gumaer, a descendant of one of the original proprietors of the Peenpack patent, Wilhelmus Kuykendall, a man named Litts, and other settlers of Dutch and French extraction, were added to the settlement from time to time. Litts removed to Pennsylvania; but his son Daniel returned and married a daughter of Johannes Masten, and became an early settler of Thompson.
Mamakating at this time was emphatically a Dutch neighborhood. Dutch, with an admixture of French, was the common language, and Yankees were seldom met with. The dwellings were in the Dutch style, and constructed more for utility and comfort than beauty. Washington Irving, in his Legend of Mamakating Hollow, says they were modeled after a hen-coop. Of course, he slanders these simple and worthy people; for their houses were as good and better than their neighbors.

In 1799, a school was opened near Wurtsborough by John King, who received one dollar per quarter for teaching each pupil, and was boarded by his patrons. He was thus employed for one year, when he was succeeded by John Youngs, of Fishkill, who continued the school for thirteen months, when he died. Previous to 1790, it does not appear that the means of education were better than what was afforded in the home-circle. That some of the children were taught to read and write is proved by the Town Records; for the first white child born in the valley discharged official duties for several years which required at least a limited education.

The young undoubtedly labored under many disadvantages, particularly if they were anxious to consummate their matrimonial inclinations. "When an amorous jeugd wished to convert a kerel into a wiif, he was obliged to travel many miles to find a dominie or a civil officer to forge the marriage-chain. As late as 1796, Daniel Litts had to take his betrothed to Hopewell, where they were married.

Manuel Gonsalus 3d, at an early day, built a grist-mill on Gumaer brook. The bolting was done by hand, and the establishment was of no importance beyond being convenient to the few settlers of the valley.

The early Dutch inhabitants of Peenpack, and the occupants of the Mamakating Farms, gave names to all the streams, (kils,) brooks, (kiltjes,) mountains and hills, (bergs,) in their neighborhoods. These old names have generally been forgotten; but there are yet (1873) a few descendants of the pioneers of the valley who are familiar with them. One of these persons (Colonel Masten of Wurtsborough,) an intelligent gentleman of the old Dutch school, has furnished us with most of the following facts, which were told him by Samuel Gonsalus and others in his youth:
1. Bashaskill north of Wurtsborough, was known as Lysbets' kil, (Elizabeth's creek). There was generally but one daughter in each Gousalus family, and she was christened Elizabeth. The stream was named after one of these girls. (This cannot be so, because Lysbet, Betje, Basha, Bessie, etc., are equivalents, and the name was known in the valley before the Gousalus family located there. See Minisink and Hardenbergh patents. If Betje or Bashe was a white woman, she lived at Peenpack.)
2. South of Wurtsborough, the stream was called Mamacotton river. Mamacotton, (or con-ectly, Mamakating,) is an Indian word, the meaning of which is lost.
3. Pinekill. This was the true Bashaskill. On it was the tract of land known as Basha's land. Westbrookville was once Bashasville. Tradition says that Basha was a squaw who was the Queen of her tribe or clan, and lived on the banks of the creek. According to a descendant of Dirck Van Keuren Westbrook, the first white settler at Westbrookville, her name was Baha Bashiba, and her bones may be found in an old Indian burial-place in that neighborhood. Notwithstanding all this, we believe the word Basha is the Dutch diminutive for Elizabeth. Almost every Dutch woman of that name is still designated by the pet sobriquet of Betje or Bashee, and in the old records of the precinct the valley in the vicinity of the creek is styled by an English clerk, Bessie's Land. Nothwithstanding the word Basha is of Dutch origin, the name may have belonged to a s'unk squa or squaw-sachem, as the aborigines sometimes bore the names of white people. That an Indian Queen had her seat of government at Bessie's Land is a favorite tradition, and the antiquarian who proves that it is a baseless fiction will not be honored in the valley of Mamakating.
4. Oak Brook, by the Dutch, was called Aka kijlte, from the oak trees which grew by it. Aka is a corruption of the Dutch name for that tree, (eik.)
5. Manarza Smith Spring. This was the Groot Yaugh Huys Fontaine - Great Hunting House Spring. The last word (fontaine) is French, and is equivalent to the English word fountain. There were numerous yaugh or hunting-houses in old times, along the frontier from the Paaquary mountains to Albany. A yaugh house was as uncertain a monument by which to bound land as a blue mountain.
6. Grahams Brook was the Olietje kil (Oil creek) of the Dutch - not because petroleum, but the butternut, was found there in abundance. The early settlers extracted oil from this nut. Hence the name of Oil creek.
7. Sandy Brown Brook- Lang Steen kiltje, (Long Stone brook,) from a peculiarity of the stones found there.
8. Page's Brook. On this was bestowed the somewhat profane cognomen of Roumaker's Hel, (Saddler's Hell,*[We suspect our informant is mistaken. Is not a reumaker, a noisy, turbulent fellow?]) from the following incident: A saddler traveling through the neighborhood on a lean and half-starved horse, had occasion to cross the brook at the usual fording-place. At this point the mud was very deep and very adhesive. These difficulties were easily overcome by the powerful, well-fed animals of the Dutch farmers; but they were too great for the lean beast of the roumaker. When it reached the middle, it was irretrievably mired - fast in the mud - with its rider on its back! In vain the unfortunate saddler thumped with his heels, and applied his whip with all the force of his arms. His horse could not move a step, and he was afraid to alight in the mud. There was danger that he would sink into it too. He hallooed. No one replied. He screamed; he yelled; he cursed; he blasphemed until he was hoarse and exhausted. How he was extricated tradition does not inform us; but we presume he was finally rescued by a traveler; otherwise his adventure would not have been known, nor the name of Saddler's Hell given to the birook to commemorate his misfortune.
9. Stanton Brook. This was Scufftite kiltje or Breakfast brook. The people of Peenpack, when they started for Esopus, generally managed to get here in time to eat their morning meal. Hence the name.
10. Saw-Mill Brook was the Cline Yangh Huys kiltje, or the Little Hunting House brook. It runs near the site of the old Cline Yaugh Huys up da berg, or the Little Hunting House on the hill, the spring of which is so well known to surveyors.
11. Abraham Stanton Brook. On the banks of this brook was a dense growth of rhododendrons and other evergreens, which completely overshadowed it. Hence it was called Donkera Gat kiltje- - Dark Hole brook. It is sometimes styled Laurel brook in the ancient records of the precinct.
12. School House Brook. This brook was the Maritje's kiltje of early days. It was so designated because Samuel Gonsalus, when a young man, in crossing it with Maritje, the daughter of Michel Helm, applied his whip to his horses, which, being spirited, started suddenly, and she was thrown into the brook. She was on the back seat, and went over the tail-board. When Gonsalus checked the speed of his horses, and looked for her, he found her comfortably seated in the brook, enjoying what is known in these days as a sitz or hip-bath. The accident was the source of much merriment at the time. The place where it occurred is the Maritje's Gat*[We applied to an ancient Dutch matron for a translation of this name, first giving her a brief history of this particular gat. Our simplicity or something else, caused her to laugh so immoderately, whenever the gat was alluded to, that she failed to enlighten us.] of the old records. Maritje's kiltje was subsequently called Witch's brook.
13. Gumaer Brook was Manuel's kiltje, and named after Manuel Gonsalus.
14. Devens' Brook was Devens' kiltje.
15. Roaring Brook is a translation of the original name - Rousika kiltje.
16. Henry's Brook was Platte kiltje; i. e. Flat brook, which indicates that it has but little, if any, current.
17. Summitville Brook was Lang Brug kiltje, or Long Bridge brook. For some distance there was a swamp on each side of it, over which a causeway of logs was built.
18. Sandburgh. The Dutch name was Zontberg, or Sand-hill. It was applied to a hill, and as the appellation of a stream of water is ridiculous. No creek can be a hill of sand. The original name of the creek was Zontkil, and it is so designated in old maps.

The Dutch element predominated in Mamakating Hollow until the close of the last century. The settlers were generally substantial and prosperous, but lacked the restless energy and untiring activity of the Yankees. It may be said of them that they acquired wealth by slow and sure means. Notwithstanding they were plodding and laborious, they were not destitute of enjoyment. In them Dutch stolidity was ameliorated by a slight infusion of French vivacity, so that they possessed a quiet capacity for happiness, and were content in their limited sphere. They were satisfied with their daily blessings and comforts, and did not long for pleasures which many ever seek, but never enjoy.

The influx of Yankees commenced about the year 1790. The first of importance was Captain David Dorrance, a native of Windham county, Connecticut. His family took a conspicuous part in the colonization of the territory of Wyoming by the people of his native colony, and he had served with much credit m the Revolutionary army, which he entered as a sergeant, and was soon after promoted for meritorious conduct. In 1776, while his regiment was engaged at Morrisania, in Westchester county, he was so severely wounded that he was unable to perform military duty for more than a year. When he recovered, he rejoined his regiment, and was selected by General Washington to serve with other officers and soldiers in a corps under the Marquis de la Fayette. The troops of this corps, as a compliment to their distinguished general, were the finest of the army. Dorrance was soon after made a lieutenant, and then a captain, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. He was in the battle of Monmouth and other important engagements, and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis. After peace was declared, and our country freed from the dominion of Great Britain, he found that the effects of his wound and the hardships he had endured, rendered him unable to endure the fatigues of physical labor. Under these circumstances he was advised to apply for a pension; but with that greatness of soul which marked his character, he refused to do so, alleging that he would never become an expense to his country so long as he could avoid it.*[Sullivan Whig, July 3d, 1852.]

Some time previous to 1790, he visited Southern Ulster for the purpose of buying furs and peltries of the frontier-trappers and hunters. Finding the unoccupied land south of Mamakating Farms, cheap and fertile, and covered with a heavy burthen of white pine, hickory, oak, and other valuable timber, he determined to buy a large tract, and settle on it, with such of his old neighbors of Connecticut as he could induce to join him. With this object in view, he bought one thousand acres of Colonel Ellison, an extensive operator in real estate of that day. This lot was south of the turnpike, and embraced the farm now owned by the Morrison family of Wurtsborough. Captain Dorrance paid one dollar per acre for it. He soon afterwards bought 613 acres of Hendrick Smith. The last mentioned tract adjoined the other on the south, and covered the Chichester farm. For three hundred dollars, he sold 150 acres of this land to Ephraim Smith, and for a like sum the same quantity of land to Cogswell Kinne, a brother of Nathan Kinne, one of the early settlers of Thompson.
Samuel Dimmick, the progenitor of the well-known family of that name, was then a young physician in Dorrance's native place, and Charles Baker was a young man of stalwart frame and fine education. Dorrance induced them to remove to Mamakating by offering to pay the expenses of their journey. Dimmick at first found but little employment in this new and sparsely inhabited region. Patients were few in number, and the people generally poor. However, he met with so much encouragement that he went back to Windham county to fulfill a matrimonial contract with Sophia Greenslip, an amiable and excellent lady, who proved a helpmeet indeed to the struggling young doctor, as well as the mother of a very respectable family. There are people yet living who bear testimony in favor of this brave and accomplished woman, who did not consider it beneath her station to teach a school, when the money thus earned was necessary to the support of herself and husband. The exertions of the young couple in time were well rewarded, and they found the wherewithal to secure a comfortable subsistence. At an early day he became a resident of Bloomingburgh, where the name of Dimmick has since been synonymous with social and intellectual excellence.

The difficulties in reducing the wild lands of Captain Dorrance to cultivated farms may be estimated from the annexed facts: On his premises, nearly opposite Doctor Morrison's south barn, was a white pine tree which measured twenty-one feet in circumference. This giant of the woods was prostrated by first applying the axe to its immense bole as long as practicable, and then finishing the work with a cross-cut saw. About fifteen feet from the ground it had two branches, each as large as an ordinary tree. It made ten logs, the largest of which was five feet in diameter, and it was necessary to hew away its upper and lower sides before it could be cut into boards. This tree was sold for ten dollars as it stood - a sum equal to what ten acres of the land had cost Dorrance. Portions of its stump and roots were, visible a few years ago. Such a tree would now be worth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars.

Captain Dorrance for a considerable time was the only Justice of the Peace in the town. As clergymen were scarce, he was often called upon to many the sons and daughters of the valley, and the dwellers of the woods west of the Hollow. Doctor Silas Loomis, Eli Roberts, Charles Harding, Colonel Mudge and other local celebrities were married by him.
Wilhelmus Kuykendall, Zachariah Durland and David Dorrance, were the original owners of the Stanton graveyard. The latter died June 23, 1822, aged 71 years, and was buried in this yard. During his residence in Mamakating, he was honored and respected. He contributed much to the growth and prosperity of the valley. Ann, his widow, survived him fourteen years. Their children were, 1. Elisha H., born September 23, 1787; 2. John, March 23, 1789; 3. Benjamin B., June 2, 1791; 4. Samuel, January 23, 1793; 5. George, March 17, 1797; 6. Nancy, May 26, 1799; 7. Frances, August 30, 1800; 8. Catharine, February 17, 1803; 9. David, July 30, 1805; 10. Charles, January 30, 1808.
Of his ten children, George is the only one who is now a resident of Wurtsborough. Benjamin B. was a respectable physician, and has been dead many years. John died on the 7th of December, 1854, and was a man highly esteemed and widely known. He was noted for his business-enterprise, as well as for his wit and reminiscences of old times. He well remembered the friendship of Governor Morris for his father- a friendship which led him while passing from Albany to New York, in the early days of this century, to turn from his route and travel forty miles to visit Wurtsborough. He came in great state, with a retinue of outriders and other attendants, filling the breasts of all with awe, and particularly the youngsters of the Hollow, who, in their seclusion, had never dreamed of such state and splendor. John and his brother Elisha retreated, as they supposed, to secure hiding places; but were found by their father, who dispatched them to the Basha's kill to catch trout for the dinner of the great man and his family.

When the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike was surveyed, John carried the chain from Bloomingburgh to Cochecton, and during his life was more or less identified with the improvements which were designed to advance the interests of his neighbors and friends. When the first attempt was made to drain the Bashas-kill swamp, he contracted to do the work, and performed the job according to the plan of those who gave it to him. In 1826, he was extensively engaged in mercantile pursuits; but took a mile-section of the canal at Wurtsborough to construct. After this was completed, he contracted to finish another section on the Delaware river at Butler's Falls. Here, by the sliding of earth and rocks from a high embankment, one of his legs was broken and crushed, which lamed him for life. He was afterwards associated with George Law in a contract on the Chenango canal, and with Samuel Roberts on the Mauch Chunk canal, and engaged in grading a section of the New York and Erie railroad at Deposit, and another on the Newburgh branch. He also made a bid to build the Croton Aqueduct and Dam; but the contract was awarded to Roberts & Co., who proposed to do the work for a trifle less than his offer. Besides this, he was largely engaged in the lumber-business, and under a lease from Livingston, cut near the Neversink over a million feet of lumber annually for several years. From these ventures he would have secured a fortune, if those with whom he was associated had been as honorable and upright as he was himself.

John Dorrance was a prominent and reliable politician. He presided at the first meeting which nominated DeWitt Clinton for Governor. It was held at the house of Peter Miller, in Wurtsborough, and was attended by Doctor Holland of Massachusetts, General Henry Montgomery, David Hunter and other prominent men. He was also an expert angler and hunter, and countless were the victims of his rod and rifle.*[John W. Hasbrouck.]

After the completion of the Delaware and Hudson canal, Ireland added largely to the population of the valley. Among the early immigrants from the Green Isle were Felix and Patrick Kelly, who were for several years merchants of Wurtsborough. Felix became one of the most influential democratic politicians of Sullivan. In 1840, he was elected Sheriff of the county, and subsequently served three years under William Gumaer as Under-sheriff. He was nominally a Roman Catholic. At the time of his election, there was a very stubborn prejudice against men of his religion, and to defeat him, a report was circulated that he had, in burying one of his children, observed some of the customs of the Irish Roman Catholics!

Charles Baker was a native of Windham county, Connecticut, and, as we have already stated, was induced to move to Mamakating by Captain David Dorrance in 1796 or 1797. Very little is known of his early life. His father, Roswell Baker, was a small farmer - a plain, hard-working man - poor, but of excellent repute among his neighbors. Charles was a bright lad, very fond of reading, and managed in some way to acquire a better education than the generality of boys of his station in life. In 1796, he graduated at Dartmouth College soon after Daniel Webster became a student in that institution, and well remembered the puny lad who subsequently became so famous as an orator and statesman.
Baker engaged in teaching school in Mamakating and the surrounding country, and when not thus employed, made shingles, and worked for farmers and lumbermen. It was not uncommon to see him pass to and from his work with his ax on his shoulder. He was poor, and seemingly without a prospect of rising above the common level; but resolved to perform his part sturdily and bravely in whatever position circumstances assigned him.
While teaching in Shawangunk, he got acquainted with a Mr. Bruyn, who became his friend and benefactor. Through Bruyn's influence he entered the law-office of William Ross of Newburgh, as a student.
After Baker was licensed as an attorney, he returned to Mamakating and opened an office in Bloomingburgh, then the most flourishing business-place in what is now Sullivan county. He was a man of undoubted talent, of more than average learning as a lawyer, and much addicted to original thought and expression. So unusual and amusing were his sayings, that he was the central figure to which all eyes were directed in whatever society he appeared. This peculiarity became more and more obvious as he advanced in years, and the habit of intemperance, which blasted his life, gained a firmer dominion over him. Whenever intoxicated he laid aside whatever reserve characterized his sober hours, and gave a free rein to his witty and caustic propensities. He usually indulged his unfortunate habit when attending court, and some of his happiest forensic displays were made when he was under the influence of rum. We have heard it asserted that the gravity of the bench on such occasions was sometimes preserved by using a cambric handkerchief as a gag, while bar, and jury and spectators were convulsed with laughter.
Baker detested shams of all kinds. Although of humble origin - a child of the people - he was at heart an aristocrat. In politics he was a federalist, and believed that certain classes, and particularly the legal profession, should monopolize positions of honor and responsibility. This will more fully appear from the following relation:

During the first quarter of this century, Samuel Freer edited and published at Kingston a newspaper entitled The Ulster Gazette. Freer, like Baker, was of the federal party. In his old age, when he was a pauper, he boasted that Alexander Hamilton was his personal friend. In early times, post-offices were few and far between, and public journals were often delivered to subscribers by carriers. Freer was his own carrier. When each weekly edition of the Gazette was printed, he filled his saddle-bags with the damp sheets, mounted his old mare, and with his pipe in his mouth, started for Peenpack. After he reached that ancient Dutch settlement, he retraced his steps to Wurtsborough, (then Rome,) and from that point crossed the Barrens to Thompson; from thence he went to Fallsburgh, Neversink and Wawarsing, and from there home. He was. a kind-hearted, genial man. By visiting people at their homes, bringing with him the news and gossip of the day, and not assuming airs of superiority, he became very popular with the masses.
In time he aspired to a seat in Congress. The federal lawyers of the district regarded his pretensions with amazement and contempt. Should this upstart printer be preferred to one of their exclusive order? No! Heaven forbid! Away with him! There was one lawyer, however, whom Freer believed was his friend. That lawyer was Charles Baker. Freer relied on him - confided in him - counseled with him. He canvassed the district and believed that he would have a small majority in the nominating convention. Baker was a delegate, and was supposed to be Freer's friend; but in the convention turned the scale against him. Freer was indignant and reproached Baker with his perfidy, when the latter coolly told him that a man of his calling was unfit for an honorable position. Freer replied bitterly, "Such a sentiment should blister your tongue!" and was Baker's enemy to the day of his death.
Baker himself was several times a candidate for office; but was never elected until he joined the democratic party, when the voters of Mamakating made him an Inspector of Common Schools. He was run for the Assembly in 1809, 1810, 1818, 1817 and 1823; and in 1821 for Member of the Constitutional Convention. His successful competitor was generally a farmer or mechanic. In 1832, he desired the democratic nomination for Representative in Congress; but he was elbowed aside by Charles Bodle, a wagon-maker. So far as concerns him, the doctrine of compensation in this life seems to have been verified.
Baker's blows were like those given with a mace rather than a Damascus blade. His wit was ponderous and coarse; and on that account suited to the time in which he lived. His weapon was not so keen that his victims were obliged to shake their heads to ascertain whether they were decapitated. He generally reduced the head itself to a jelly with a single effort.
Sometime during the war of 1812-15, Baker received a circular from a committee of federalists, the object of which was to induce him and other members of that party to throw obstacles in the way of a successful prosecution of the war. Baker, although a federalist, was a warm friend of his country, and felt no sympathy for its enemies. The circular had an effect unlike that which its authors anticipated so far as he was concerned; for he forthwith denounced them, and with Jacksonian impetuosity induced part of a militia company of which he was a lieutenant to go with him "to the front."

This company had been commanded by Captain Thomas Bull of Wurtsborough, who had evaded a requisition of Governor Tompkins, because his wife would not consent to his going into the army.

Lieutenant Baker's company not being full, an order was issued to consolidate it with a company under the command of a captain whom Baker did not esteem very highly. Baker was indignant, and in his emphatic manner declared that his men should not be commanded by any one but himself. They were his neighbors and friends, and had volunteered to serve under him, and it was an insult to them to place over them a stranger. He called on his brigadier-general to remonstrate. A stormy interview took place. Baker was insolent and insubordinate; and was arrested and tried by a military court for his offense. He was found guilty, and sentenced to be reprimanded, and to make an apology to the insulted officer. On the day designated for carrying the sentence into effect, the regiment was paraded, and the General, mounted in full uniform, placed himself in front of the line, while his cur-dog stood by the side of his horse, regarding Baker with apparent displeasure. After a grave and formal reading of the reprimand, Baker, bareheaded and minus his sword, bowed obsequiously to his offended superior, and said: "Sir, in obedience to the order of the court-martial, I ask your pardon; and Sir, (bowing still lower) I ask pardon of your horse; and Sir, (bowing again) I also ask pardon of your dog!" An ample apology is generally satisfactory; but there was too much of this. At least so thought the General as he retired hastily from the field with his horse and dog, and a very red face, while the troops roared with laughter.*[ A similar anecdote is related in Ruttenber's History of Newburgh of Phineas Bowman, a noted legal wag of that town. This of Baker was written by us and published in a Newburgh paper thirteen years before Ruttenber's work was printed.]
Baker was a duelist. In early life, for some real or fancied insult, he challenged "William Ross of Newburgh. Ross was a man of considerable talent, had been Baker's legal preceptor and was a prominent politician. He was a Member of Assembly for several years, the Speaker of that Branch of the Legislature in 1811, and represented the Middle District in the Senate for eight years, commencing with 1815. For some cause not known to us, Ross, though not deficient in courage, refused to fight Baker. When the latter found that Ross would not meet him, his wrath was boundless, and he posted the other on the town-pump as a "poltroon, liar and coward."
Two or three years before his death, a stale practical joke was perpetrated at Baker's expense by several graceless wags of Newburgh, where he then practiced law. One of them annoyed the old man until he said something which was construed into an insult. Baker received a challenge, and promptly accepted it. The belligerents met on the ice opposite Newburgh, with seconds, a surgeon, rifles, etc. The rifles were loaded with nothing but powder. The principals were placed opposite each other, and the word given, when Baker, who was an old deer-hunter, aimed as deliberately as if about to shoot a buck, and fired. His adversary fell, groaning, and a red fluid gushed from a bladder under his vest, and made a crimson puddle beside his convulsed body. The surgeon hastily examined the apparently dying man, and then approached Baker, and said: "Sir, I regret to inform you that Mr. ____________ is mortally wounded. You will do well to avoid the unpleasant consequences which may follow his death." Baker was standing bolt-upright in his "position." "Umph!" said he in reply to the surgeon; "D - n him. Sir, I knew I'd plump him!" He then walked deliberately to his office, as if nothing unusual had happened.

In the days of Alexander Hamilton, Baker was enraged when any one spoke disrespectfully of his party or its distinctive policy. Going on horseback from Mamakating Hollow to Bloomingburgh, he encountered Alexander Brown, who was also mounted and traveling in the same direction. Their conversation was conciliatory and very pleasant until Brown, who was an admirer of Thomas Jefferson, got into a political controversy with Baker, and censured the federalists with much, asperity. Instead of the small, light whip usually carried by equestrians, Baker had one six or eight feet in length. "With, this he told Brown he would flog him if he did not there and then apologize and retract what he had said. Instead of doing as Baker required, Brown, who was greatly the physical inferior of the two, put spurs to his horse, and thus got beyond the reach of Baker's snapper. Baker at once started in pursuit. He had the best horse, but no spurs, and his whip was so long that he could not lash his animal with it. However, he found "persuaders" to rapid locomotion in his heels and the but of his whip, with which he thumped the belly and ribs of his steed until he imagined he had gained so much on the democrat that he could reach his shoulders with the lash. He would then raise in his stirrups, throw his body forward, and strike at Brown with great fury. The latter, hearing or feeling the whip, would then plunge his spurs desperately once more into his horse, and widen the distance between himself and the burlesque Nemesis raging behind him. Thus the two men tore along the mountain road, and down the declivity to Bloomingburgh, at the peril of their lives, forgetting that a misstep or a stumble of either horse would probably launch its rider into eternity. Into Bloomingburgh they came like a whirlwind arousing all the dogs and idlers of the main street of that village. The pursuit did not terminate until several citizens threw themselves between Baker and the object of his wrath.

The evening of Baker's life was overshadowed by the mists and clouds which usually obscure the close of an improvident and dissipated career, he was poor and alone. 'Tis true, he was not friendless; neither was he an object of public charity. Friends managed in some way to give him professional employment in Newburgh, so that he obtained the necessaries of life, and to a certain degree preserved his self-respect. The heart of the proud old man would have broken if he had been a pauper. But he was a sad wreck, and more than anything else resembled a mangy old lion - majesty and degradation were so mixed up in him. While strolling through the streets of Newburgh, in the fall of 1837, we saw him through the open door of a low saloon, surrounded by worthless negroes and more worthless whites, who were teasing him to elicit those amusing outbursts of passion which rendered him so unlike other men. He died in Newburgh on the 7th of May, 1839.

The valley from Basha's-kill swamp to the Shawnee's-bergh, or Couucil-hill, was known as Mamakating Farms to the early settlers. When the Yankees obtained a foothold in the Hollow, they counted all the mountain-peaks they could see, and with ambitious views, called the place, Rome, hoping no doubt that it was the site of a future city which would include in its boundaries the surrounding hills. It retained the name of the eternal city as late as 1812, in which year its first church (Dutch Reformed) was built. This edifice, after a profane rite then too much in vogue, was named the Church of Rome,*[It was then a custom, when the frame-work of a church was raised, for one of the workmen to ascend to the highest point, where he swung a jug of rum a certain number of times around his head, throwing it to the ground when the last circle was performed, and shouting the name of the church.] a designation which foreshadowed its ultimate use, for it has been owned and occupied by the Roman Catholics for many years.

Some time after the completion of the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike, and the establishment of a post-office, the official designation of the village was Mamakating, while the popular appellation was "Mammy Cotton Holler." Mamakating consisted of about a score of houses clustered around the corners of the turnpike and the old Minisink road.

When the Delaware and Hudson canal was opened, those who controlled that improvement believed that this point would be the most important one on the line of their work, and they gave it the name of Wurtsborough, as a compliment to the gentleman who had originated the canal, and without whoso indefatigable labors it would never have been constructed. It was pronounced the most important point between the Delaware and Hudson. Maurice Wurts himself, in company with a gentleman named Draper, engaged in business here as a merchant, and probably would have become a resident, if he had not been compelled to abandon other pursuits, and devote his entire powers to save the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company from financial ruin. If he could have assisted in developing the natural advantages of the place, it requires no effort of imagination to estimate the result. It would now be the most flourishing business locality of Sullivan.

Wurtsborough was originally confined to a small space on the berme side of the canal. It was gradually extended westward until the gap between it and the old village of Mamakating was filled up. In 1830, the name of the post-office was changed from Mamakating to Wurtsborough. Lyman Odell, who was noted as the village-poet, as well as a profuse essayist, was the first post-master after the alteration of the name.

As early as 1774, the eastern side of the Shawangunk was settled from the Plattekill to the line between the old counties of Ulster and Orange. The Records of Mamakating show that the territory between the river and the summit of the mountain was known as Shawangunk. In the year named, Benjamin Depuy, Philip Swartwout and Jacob Gumaer put upon record a road survey, in which they described the highway as running from the line of Colonel Thomas Ellis and Mr. Cornelius Bruyn, at the Plattekill, through the premises of Robert Milligan, Stephen Carney, Solomon Terwilliger, widow McBride, Jonathan Strickling, Samuel Palsen, Phineas Thompson and John Young, to the precinct-line at Samuel Daley's. This road ran "under the foot of the mountain," *[In 1789, the Commissioners of Highways of Mamakating note the fact that the Legislature of 1788 added to the town so much of Wallkill as was west of Shawangunk river.] and there were other settlers on it, as is proven by the records of the next two or three years.

Robert and Peggy Milligan located on the Stephen Norris place before the savages abandoned that part of the country. Their log-hut was in front of the Norris house. The alluvial banks of the river were dotted with wigwams. There was an orchard in the vicinity, which had been planted by the red man, and which was afterwards known as the Indian orchard. The whites were careful not to offend their savage neighbors, and consequently lived on good terms with them until the latter were induced to take up arms in behalf of the enemies of the country. They then removed beyond the mountain, and never returned except on predatory excursions. An account of one of these will be found in our chapter on the Lenni Lenape.

On the Keeler Norris farm was found a vault or cache, which had been used by the Indians for storing maize. Its walls were formed of split logs, and it was four feet wide and six long. Around it were dug-up stone-pestles and imperfectly shaped Indian arrows.

Searsville commemorates the memory of a gentleman named Sears. It is a pleasant village, near the county line, and was at one time known as Burlingham. The latter name was given in honor of Walter Burling, a director of one of the turnpike companies which were chartered in the present century.

Alfred B. Street, than whom no man has a more fond eye for beauty, thus describes what is to be seen on ascending the Shawangunk mountain from Bloomingburgh:
"We will suppose it to be about sunset. You are climbing the ascent by the steep, crooked, but wide and well-built turnpike. Every now and then, if you turn your head, delicious fragments of rich scenery, will strike your eye - a roof or two - a spire - a stretch of meadow, with silver curves of running water. Higher you ascend; and turning, broader prospects spread out to your sight, until, arriving at the first and broadest summit, you pause and look back. Upon each side of you are the oaken woods of the mountain, their tops gilded with the mellow sun. Beyond, from the foot of the mountain to the faint blue waving hue that proclaims the Hudson hills is a landscape as glowing and lovely as ever blessed the eye, and gave a shock of pleasure to the heart. There lies the beautiful village of Bloomingburgh, with its roofs, its steeples and its rows of poplars; thence extend league upon league of meadow, and pasture, and grain-field, and clustered woodland, smiling in all the witchery of those long-reaching black shadows - vistas of soft, rosy light - dimpled spaces and flashing gleams, which that splendid painter. Nature, scatters in the sweet hour of sunset so profusely from her palette. Looking more intently, the eye at length reaches out and detects the minute and delicate touches in the lovely picture. The dotting homesteads, set like birds' nests amid their trees - the crouching barns - the scattered hay-stacks - the grouped cattle - the myriad lines of fences crossing each other - the gray roads with black dots of travelers, striping hill and valley - the green lanes - the differing colors of the com and grass, and wheat-fields - the turns and reaches of the flashing brooks - in short, all that make up a landscape of exquisite rural beauty."

Bloomingburgh stands on elevated ground midway between Shawangunk mountain and Assining river, and commands an extended view of the highlands and lowlands in its vicinity. The mountain-range for twenty miles or more is within sight, as well as a considerable portion of Orange county and southern Ulster. Fertile upland, forest-heights, rocky escarpments, a winding river, and fruitful intervals, please the eye by giving variety to the scene, which is rendered still more striking by the iron-horse which thunders along the mountain side, and plunges into the bosom of old Shawangunk. Well did Washington Irving, in one of his celebrated "Sketches," *["Hans Swartz, a marvelous Tale of Mamakating Hollow.'] pronounce it "the beautiful village of Bloomingburgh."
The first house erected within the bounds of the village, was built by Captain John Newkirk, on what has since been known as the "North Road." It was there in 1776, when William Ellis settled in the neighborhood, and was in the old precinct of Wallkill until the line between Wallkill and Mamakating was changed from the foot of the mountain to the Shawangunk or Assining river. Its site is a little back from the road, and, unlike many first buildings in new localities, it was a frame-house. It was one story high, and in it Captain John Newkirk kept the original tavern of the place. A few years since, the bar was still where the customers of Newkirk took their daily potation, its owner. Doctor Van Wyck, though a strict temperance-man, having sufficient respect for antiquity to let the relic of old days remain - a sad monument of many squandered estates and wrecked lives.

William Ellis moved from Peekskill, and settled on the farm now (1873) owned by James Hare. At the time he came, there was but one house in Bloomingburgh - the old Newkirk tavern. He was the only support of his aged father and mother, and therefore did not enlist to perform regular service in the Revolutionary army; but turned out with the few scattering militia-men of his vicinity to defend the Mamakating frontier whenever it was attacked by savages or threatened, as well as to chastise tory marauding-parties. They were often called to do duty at Fort Devens, in Mamakating Hollow, Fort Gumaer, at Peenpack, and the fortified house of Dirck V. K. Westbrook, at Bessie's Land. When the British General Clinton was making hostile demonstrations upon the banks of the Hudson, these militia-men marched for Fort Montgomery; but when they got within three or four miles of it, they learned that it was in possession of the enemy, and returned to their homes. If they had reached the fort before it was taken, Ellis would have been killed in battle, or perhaps died in some loathsome prison from starvation and exposure. This sturdy patriot lived in Mamakating sixty-eight years, and died there on the 24th of February, 1845, aged 90 years. During a long life, he sustained the reputation of a truly honest man, and an uncompromising, unflinching advocate of political and religious liberty.

Soon after the Revolutionary war, William Wighton & Co. opened a store about a mile south of the village, William Harlow a tavern two miles north, and "Cronimus" Felter near the Plattekill. In 1784, a school was opened in Bloomingburgh by a Mr. Campbell, and a grist-mill built on the river by Joshua Campbell. These facts indicate early and rapid advances in that locality.
The name of Bloomingburgh was bestowed on the Fourth of July, about the year 1812, when it was proposed by James Newkirk, and selected from a number of others suggested by residents of that period. Samuel King, of Revolutionary memory, who had repeatedly held the offices of Town Clerk and Supervisor, was the orator of the day, and acted as sponsor.
The village was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed April 26th, 1833. At the first election, the following officers were chosen: Alpheus Dimmick, Cornelius Wood and Stephen Belknap, Trustees; Gabriel S. Corwin, Clerk; and Theodore C. Van Wyck, Treasurer. The corporation seal "is the impression of that side of a United States dime on which is the figure of an eagle." The bounds of the village extend one mile west from the centre of Shawangunk river, and north and south on each side of the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike about one-third of a mile.

Until the completion of the Hudson and Delaware canal, Bloomingburgh was a place of considerable business. Its merchants dealt largely in lumber from the interior of the county. Those who manufactured and carted it over the mountains, generally exchanged it for grain, groceries, etc., and the dealers of the village either sent it to New York by the way of Newburgh, or sold it to local customers. In its best days, the merchants of the village were well known throughout the county, and exercised a controlling influence in the various affairs of local interest. Those who were residents from forty to fifty years ago, will readily recognize the names of Sloan & Hunter, Morton & Lockwoods, the Dunning Brothers, Stewart & Gillespie, John Roosa, and others, although the descendants of but few of these persons now have in either the town or county.

The first printing-office and the first academy of Sullivan were at Bloomingburgh. The academy was situated in the north-east part of the village, near the river, and was erected in 1810 or 1811; but by an advertisement inserted in the Watchman of October 20, 1829, it seems it was incorporated on the 5th of April, 1828. Its first Trustees were Jonathan Mills, David Hunter, Charles Baker, Henry Linderman, Alpheus Dimmick, T. C. Van Wyck, Gabriel H. Horton and Samuel Van Vechten. Its first Principal, after the act of incorporation, was Samuel Pitts, a graduate of Union College. Previous to this time several gentlemen of fine scholastic attainments had had charge of the school as teachers. The first was Alpheus Dimmick. John Burnett succeeded him, and taught several years. Then came Samuel Mosely for about six years. He was succeeded by Alexander Patterson and others. Rev. H. Connelly was for a considerable time one of its Principals. The decline in the business-importance of the village, and the lack of specific accommodations for pupils from other places, operated unfavorably. The institution became of a lower grade than it once occupied; and finally the common school of the place was kept in the building. At one period, the attendance at the academy was very large, and it sent forth pupils who won useful and eminent positions.*[Sullivan County Whig, September 4, 1846.]

The building was destroyed by fire several years ago.
The academy was probably at first a select school of high grade, and originated in the necessities of Alpheus Dimmick, a student in the law-office of Charles Baker. While preparing for legal pursuits, he was obliged to "paddle his own canoe," and hence engaged in teaching. He was, as boy and man, remarkable for his integrity. The honest and faithful manner in which he performed his duties as a teacher, gave the school such an excellent reputation, that after he was licensed to practice as an attorney in 1814, others, who were noted for their erudition, as well as success in teaching, were induced to continue the school.
As a lawyer, Mr. Dimmick was not brilliant. He was unlike a flame which attracts a multitude of silly moths to destruction. He was a calm, steady, safe guide, who never for his own profit involved his clients in inextricable labyrinths. Throughout his life, he maintained the calm serenity and self-poise which is exhibited only by true excellence. Official position was awarded to him as a tribute to worth. In 1828, he was a Member of Assembly; from 1836 to 1847, District Attorney of the county; and from 1847 to 1851, County Judge and Surrogate. His death occurred in January, 1865.

Previous to the erection of the Court-house at Monticello, courts were sometimes held at Bloomingburgh, in the tavern of P. & M. Miller - the same subsequently kept by Christian Shons. We are informed that the first Circuit Court of the county was held in this building, and that Joseph C. Yates, a Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court, who had been appointed to discharge judicial duties in the Middle District,†[ The State was then divided into four districts - the southern, the eastern, the middle and the western. Sullivan was in the middle. Judge Yates, who held this court, was elected Governor in 1822, when he received 125,000 majority over Solomon Southwick.] presided. The court was held in the ball-room, in a part of the building which was afterwards detached from the main part of the tavern, and removed to another lot. It was subsequently occupied by the pastor of the Reformed Church. At the time Judge Yates held the Circuit Court in Bloomingburgh, the county-seat was not established.

A County Court had previously been held in Monticello, William A. Thompson, First Judge.

The early residents were not only noted for their business-enterprise and thrift; but for their good taste. At one time a row of Lombardy poplars - then very high in public estimation, but in the end not as popular as the elm, sugar-maple, locust and black walnut - adorned each side of the principal street for about a mile.*[Sullivan County Whig, September 4, 1846.] They gave the place a highly romantic appearance; but becoming unfashionable, they were gradually removed until but few of them are left. To a considerable extent, other trees have taken their place, and give a more diversified aspect to the village.

No village in the county has had more distinguished residents than Bloomingburgh. Among those who have held high official position, we may mention Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, who was a Member of Assembly from Ulster, from 1777 to 1790, and again in 1795; a Representative in the Congress held in Philadelphia in 1791, 1792 and 1793; and a Member of the Convention which met in Poughkeepsie in 1786, to deliberate on the adoption of the Federal Constitution.† [The members from Ulster were John Cantine, Ebenezer Clark, Governor George Clinton, James Clinton, C. C. Schoonmaker and Dirck Wynkoop. Excepting Governor Clinton, who was President of the Convention and did not vote, they opposed the adoption of the Constitution.] He lived two miles from the village, on the Burlingham road, in the house since owned and occupied by Alfred Norris. The precise year or years when this was his residence we cannot now determine; it was probably after the close of his official career.‡[C. C. Schoonmaker died about the commencement of the present century. His son, Zachariah Schoonmaker, sold the farm near Bloomingburgh to John Norris, on the 15th of July, 1806. From the recitals of the deed, it is clear that C. C. Schoonmaker was then deceased.] Tradition says that, through tax-sales at Albany, he acquired a large estate, and that he attempted to establish on his lands the leasehold-system with its feudal abominations. He was a man of weight in his day, as is proven by the offices he held; but his memory is gradually fading from the public mind. Like all public men of the past, whose rank in society had a mere material basis, and who used no part of their fortunes to benefit mankind, he has left no monument of his wisdom or virtue. How true it is, that material wealth alone is generally a vulgar acquisition, the offspring of fraud and oppression; the badge of a mean and sordid soul; and that its possessor must in the end put aside his pride and pomp, and go to oblivion like the beggar who sleeps in an unmarked grave; while virtue and genius, though they may have been fed at the rich man's table, and been the recipients of his ostentatious benefactions, will secure to their possessor the admiration and gratitude of endless ages! Who would not be an Oliver Goldsmith, hungry and in rags, rather than the proud aristocrat, swelling with self-assumed superiority, and the lord of the fairest estate of his country? The one has a title to immortality which the wise and good of the universe will forever respect and glorify; while the other can enjoy for but a brief period the homage of fools like himself.

Charles Baker, the eccentric but able lawyer; Samuel E. Betts, the able jurist; Alpheus Dimmick, the venerable and honest attorney, etc.; Archibald C. Niven, whose laborious and useful life has not yet terminated; George O. Belden, whoso early years gave promise of so much distinction in public affairs; and Charles H. Van Wyck, the successful politician and soldier, have been among the residents of Bloomingburgh.

Lemuel Jenkins, who represented Sullivan and Ulster in Congress from 1823 to 1825, was a lawyer in Bloomingburgh, and was elected by the Bucktail party. He had been a partner of Samuel R. Betts. The paths of the two down life's descent were far apart. Betts became one of the distinguished jurists of the nation; while Jenkins discharged the unimportant duties of a Notary Public in Albany.

Charles Bodle, a wagon-maker of Bloomingburgh, was chosen a Representative in Congress from Ulster and Sullivan in 1832. He served during the first session; but was unable to attend the second. While on his way to Washington, he was detained in the city of New York by illness. After remaining there several weeks, he returned to his home to await the issue of his disease, "with the composure and fortitude of a man and a Christian."*[Republican Watchman, November 5, 1835.] He died on the 30th of October, 1835. He was an estimable citizen - honest and upright in all things. So conscientious was he, that it was said of him that he never permitted a piece of poor timber to be used in the manufacture of a vehicle in his shop, and that a wagon or sleigh made by him always commanded a better price than if it had been made by another. In his official capacity he was equally worthy. He was never brilliant - never attempted to dazzle the eyes of the multitude - never resorted to the artifices of the demagogue. He was simply an industrious, intelligent and courteous man, with a true heart and sound brain. A short time before his death, he relinquished his mechanical business in favor of Alanson Everett and Cyrenus Van Keuren.

At a late period Verdine E. Horton became a prominent man of the place, and it was believed that he would add to the number of Congressmen who had resided in Bloomingburgh at the time of their election; but his career was cut short, while he was yet a young man, by a cancerous affection.

Thornton M. Niven, who was a member of the Legislature in 1845, and was at one time an Inspector of State Prisons, resided for several years at Bloomingburgh, and while he lived there was the candidate of his party for a seat in the national Legislature; but owing to a feud in the democratic ranks, was defeated. He was a man of wealth, a vigorous writer, and a fine public speaker. His defeat would not have been a final one, if it had not soured his mind against official position, and led him into an unwise habit of nursing his own sores.
This village, though situated on the border of the county, and at present outside the central point of political influence, has furnished more Representatives in Congress than all the other localities of Sullivan combined. Samuel E. Betts, Lemuel Jenkins and Charles Bodle, each served two years; and Charles H. Van Wyck six years. Total, 12 years.
George O. Belden, Archibald C. Niven, and Daniel B. St. John, of Monticello; and Rufus Palen, of Fallsburgh, each served one term, making eight years in all. Niven and Belden were law-students in Bloomingburgh, and practiced law there for a short time. Monticello, therefore, should divide its honors with its ancient rival.

Westbrookville was first known as Basha's Land, Bessie's Land and Bashusville. It was finally named in honor of Dirck Van Keuren Westbrook, the first white man who lived there. He was the son of Dirck Westbrook of Esopus, who removed to Sussex county, New Jersey, where his son Dirck Van Keuren was born. The latter bought previous to the Revolutionary war, sixty acres of land of Thomas and Edward Ferris of Westchester county, and he and his son Abraham T. Westbrook purchased of the same proprietor about three hundred additional acres, and upwards of two hundred more, of a man named Hezekiah Morris. At first their nearest neighbors lived at Cuddebackville, three and a half miles distant. Soon after Westbrook came, a family of Gilletts settled on the Pinekill, where they afterwards built a saw-mill, one of the first in that part of the country. A grist-mill was also erected on that stream at an early day.
The Westbrooks were enterprising, industrious and thriving. They built a stone-house on their land, which was used as a fort during the Revolutionary war, and is still standing. During that contest, they were obliged to leave their possessions, and go over the mountain to Shawangunk, where the son (Abraham T.) met Mary Van Keuren, whom he afterwards married. When they left, the Indians were killing and destroying throughout the valley, and when they returned, they found but little except their land and house.
Dirck V. K. Westbrook had other children, who were daughters, named Sarah and Maria. Maria married Daniel Westfall, and removed with her husband to western New York. Sarah became the wife of Ferdinand Van Etten, who settled in the State of Kentucky. As an example of the endurance and courage of the women of that day, we record the fact that Mrs. Van Etten rode on horseback from Kentucky to Westbrookville, taking with her a babe only three weeks old.

After the war, strolling Indians passed through the valley occasionally. They were intensely hated, especially by those who had had relatives killed by them. On one occasion, Dirck V. K. Westbrook gave three or four savages permission to sleep on his premises, and his wife during the night proposed to cut their heads off with an ax, if he would take away their bodies. At another time, an Indian, while passing, threw a dead snake into her lap, when she hurled a large pair of shears at him, a point of which narrowIy missed his temple.
The settlers of Westbrookville at first attended the old Maghackamack Dutch Reformed church, at Carpenter's Point. Afterwards the gospel was expounded in barns at various places in the valley.
Mrs. Peter E. Gumaer, who was born in the Peenpack neighborhood near the close of the last century, and resided there more than seventy-five years, relates the following of the Indian woman Basha:

Basha, an old squaw, and her husband lived a long time by Basha's kill, after their tribe had gone west. The old chief was a good hunter, and when after game was generally accompanied by Basha, who carried home what he shot. During one of his tramps, he killed a large deer, and tying its legs to a stick, she took it on her shoulders, and started homeward, he following slowly along the path. Her way was over the stream, which was crossed by a log reaching from bank to bank. While on this log, she fell, and the stick caught her fast by the neck. When her husband reached the place, she was dead. And that is the way the stream got its name.*[Stickney's History of the Minisink region.]
An incident of this character may have occurred; but the Minisink patent proves that the region in the vicinity of the Pinekill was known as Basha's land nearly a hundred years before Mrs. Gumaer was born, and that that stream must have received its name from the territory through which it ran.

Phillips Port is about five miles from Wurtsborough and two from the county-line. The valley here is about one-half mile in width, and is bounded on one side by the Shawangunk mountain, and on the other by the Sandbergs. In the vicinity, a handsome stream of water comes foaming down successive falls, which are equally pleasing to the utilitarian and the lover of the picturesque. There is sufficient hydraulic power hero for extensive manufacturing purposes. Along the stream winds the road which leads to the old Branch turnpike. The latter crosses Fallsburgh and penetrates Liberty. About half a mile south of the village the summit-level commences, and continues seventeen miles, the longest on the canal. The original prosperity of the place was caused by the Hudson and Delaware canal, and will be greatly increased by the Midland railroad. Boat-building has been carried on here extensively. Phillips Port was named after James Phillips, who was the principal business man there when the canal was opened.*[John W. Hasbrouck.] The canal company at first called it Lockport; but by the general consent of the public, it is known by its present name.
Near the commencement of the present century, a family named Budd, settled in this vicinity. The name has become quite common in the north part of the town, and is a synonym of industry and usefulness. The Caldwells, Bloomers, Toppings and Tices, who have long been settled here, also deserve a place on our pages.

Homowack, is a hamlet situated on the Delaware and Hudson canal, and partly in Ulster and partly in Sullivan county. It contains several stores, hotels, shops, etc., and is the natural outlet of the valley of the Lunankill as well as that of the Sandkill. The prosperity of the place has been considerably promoted by the opening of the Midland railroad to Ellenville.

In 1850, William E. Palmer and his brother Timothy, purchased a tract of land south of Wurtsborough, adjoining the Stewart Rafferty place. Both lived on the premises in houses four or five rods apart, and attempted to manage their affairs as co-partners; but they differed as to the proper and best way of doing so, and frequent disputes and quarrels took place between them. From being brotherly, they became enemies, bitter and complaints for assault and battery, perjury, etc. William wished to preserve the timber and bark on the place, while the other persisted in cutting and peeling. This led William to declare repeatedly that he would shoot Timothy, if he did not stop destroying the timber. In January, 1851, he said in the presence of James Larkin and Albert Squires, that "he'd be d____d if he would not shoot him." Similar declarations were made to others at later periods. On the 16th of May, 1851, Timothy left his house after eating his dinner, to go to the woods on the mountain for the purpose of peeling bark. The woods were on the lot owned by himself and William. The house owned by William was occupied by his brother Joseph, the wife of the latter, their three children, and the father of William, Joseph and Timothy. Soon after Timothy left to engage at his work, William took his gun and proceeded to the bark-peeling, but by a different route. Between two and three o'clock, the wife of Joseph Palmer heard the report of a gun, and the cry of murder, in the direction the brothers had gone. A little dog belonging to William barked and came running from the woods. Stewart Rafferty and others of the neighborhood also heard the dog bark and the report of the gun. About 5 o'clock, Joseph Palmer saw William returning to the house, where they eat their supper. Joseph then plowed in a field near the house, and the other assisted him in various ways. At 7 o'clock, the wife of Joseph called for Timothy to come from the woods, as she had been in the habit of doing. Receiving no reply, the wife of the missing man became alarmed, and ran to Stewart Rafferty's. She asked Mr. Rafferty to go with her to the woods to look for her husband, as she feared he was shot. He made a search for Timothy in company with a son of the latter, and found him dead, with the trunk of a tree across his body. Subsequent investigations proved that he had been shot in the breast, the tree raised with a handspike, the body dragged three or four feet and placed under the tree, and the trunk lowered upon it in a way which was intended to create the impression that the murdered man had been killed by an accident. The blood on the ground where Timothy fell when he received his death-wound was carefully covered with leaves, and other things done to prevent suspicion. Mr. Rafferty, after a hasty survey of the scene, returned to the valley. A messenger was sent for Doctor John A. Taylor, and Eli Bennett, the nearest Coroner, and Mr. Rafferty with Abijah Loder and others of the vicinity, returned to the bark-peeling, and, after raising the tree from the corpse, removed the latter to the house where William resided. When they reached there, William had been arrested by Sheriff Wells, and was in custody. The prisoner was taken to the bed on which the dead body was placed, and gazed on it unmoved and with an unchanged countenance. He was searched. Nothing was found on his person to implicate him; but a pair of pantaloons which he had worn through the day, and left in an upper chamber, were brought down, and found to be stained with blood. He declared that he did not know how it came there. On the next morning an inquest was held by Mr. Bennett, and an examination of the body made by Doctor Taylor. It was found that a quantity of shot had entered the body - one rib was severed, the left lung lacerated, etc. In the wound was found a piece of paper which had been used as a wad. It also appeared that at the time he was murdered, Timothy had in his pocket a double-barreled pistol, which was loaded and capped. The evidence against the prisoner was circumstantial; but the circumstances pointed him out as the murderer with a certainty which left no room for doubt. He was committed to jail; soon after indicted, and at the September Circuit of 1851 - William B. Wright, Judge - put upon his trial. Charles H. Van Wyck, the District Attorney, appeared for the people, and George W. Lord for the prisoner. The following gentlemen composed the jury: Levi E. Lounsbury, Peter Ackley, Thomas Whipple, John D. O'Neill, William Young, Levi Barton, David K. Perry, Andrew Hardenbergh, Robert Stewart, John H. Clayton, David Smith and George Adams. After a fair and impartial trial, the prisoner was found guilty of murder, and sentenced to be hung on the 20th of November, 1851. The sentence was enforced on that day by Sheriff Wells. Palmer made no public confession; but while he was hanging by the neck one of the officiating clergymen (Rev. Mr. James) stated that a few hours previous, Palmer had requested him to announce that he was guilty, and the sentence just.

Religious service according to the forms of the (Dutch) Reformed Church must have been performed at Mamakating Farms previous to the war of the Revolution. Clergymen of that faith passed through the valley in traveling to and from Minisink, and the first settlers were generally of the Protestant Church of Holland. In 1805, the first regular organization was formed. For this statement, our authority is the Manual of the Reformed Church, a reliable and standard authority.
In 1812, the first church was built. Until 1820, there was no settled pastor. Clergymen of other parishes, however, visited the society at stated times, and preached and administered the sacraments. Among them was Rev. Moses Frśligh, of the Church at Montgomery, who was of prepossessing appearance, and of good mind and enunciation; but whose exuberance of wit and sarcasm somewhat lessened his usefulness. Old age toned down these traits, and made him more reverential and serious.*[Sprague's Annals.] Although he died in 1817, anecdotes illustrating his character are yet heard in the valley, of which the following is a specimen: He found that mental darkness in this then secluded neighborhood, too often obscured gospel-light, and declared that the ignorance of one old Dutch woman was invincible. He endeavored to instruct her in the catechism, but he found her soul so bound up in worldly affairs, that he gave up the job, exclaiming, "Ah, sister, I am afraid you are a weak vessel!" When she defended herself by saying, "If you hat hat de pack door trot as long as I pe, you't pe weak, den, too!"
Although the records cannot be found, it is believed that the first deacons were Wilhelmus Kuykendall, Lawrence Tears and Peter Crance.
After worshiping in the old edifice for nearly one-third of a century, the society became indebted to Smith Benedict, who caused the church to be sold to satisfy his claim. In consequence of this sale it passed into the hands of the Roman Catholics. In 1845, a new building was erected. Pastors of the Reformed Church of Wurtsborough: George Dubois from 1820 to 1824; Samuel Van Vechten, 1824-9; Thomas Edwards, 1831-4; Francis T. Drake, 1842-4; Alexander C. Hillman, 1846-9; William Cruikshank, 1849-53; Stephen Searle, 1858-9; John Dubois, 1859-66; J. H. Frazee, 1866-70. Edward G. Ackerman is the present pastor.
William Cruikshank was a popular minister of Newburgh, New York, when ill-health induced him to remove to Mamakating. He was of graceful person and manner, devoted to his calling, a genial companion, and possessed an extensive store of knowledge. He published several papers on religious, moral and antiquarian subjects; †[Manual of the Reformed Church in America.] and it is said prepared a dissertation on the early settlers of Mamakating Farms. We hope the latter may yet be found and printed; but we fear that, unless he deposited it in the archives of the New York Historical Society, it has been destroyed by some person who did not appreciate its value.

The Baptists claim priority of all others in organizing a Church in Sullivan. On the 2d of March, 1785, a society was formed at New Vernon, under the watch of Rev. Eleazer West. It may be questioned whether the organization took place within the limits of Mamakating; but it is quite certain that their church-edifice is in the county. It is located in the extreme south-eastern corner of the town. The first house of the society was built in 1800 - the last in 1853. During the eighty-eight years of its existence, this Church has had but three pastors. Elder Benjamin Montanye succeeded Elder West, May 15, 1794, and continued in office until his death on Christmas, 1825. He was followed by Elder Gilbert Beebe, whose pastorate dates from May 1, 1826. He has consequently had the oversight of this flock nearly forty-seven years.
Elder Montanye deserves honorable mention in the history of our county as well as the history of our country. In 1781, he was a trusted confidential agent of General Washington, and was employed to deliver dispatches to the commanders of forces in different sections of the country. When the commander-in- chief of our armies resolved to capture or destroy the army of General Cornwallis, he deceived the British General Clinton as to his own plans, by writing deceptive letters to General Green, and forwarding them in such a way that they would be taken by the enemy. These letters were carried by Benjamin Montanye. While traveling on horseback across Bergen county, New Jersey, he was intercepted by a company of British Rangers under Captain Moody, his horse shot through one of its knees and turned loose, and his dispatches taken from him. He was then hurried to New York, and thrust into the infamous sugar-house prison. The British considered the taking of these papers so important that they illuminated their houses, while Washington was making the well-known movement which terminated in the surrender of Cornwallis. Montanye was a prisoner about two months, when he was exchanged. Three common soldiers were considered a fair equivalent for the daring young courier.
Several years after his death, his heirs petitioned Congress for a pecuniary reward for his services; but, we believe, without success.

An Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was formed at Bloomingburgh early in the present century, and soon afterwards its house of worship was erected. Being the only religious society of the place, for several years it prospered greatly. In 1819, its list of members exceeded that of any Protestant Church of the county, before or since. About that time a defection occurred, which led to the existence of the Dutch Reformed Church, and which reduced its membership. In 1825, John Kennedy, an eloquent and popular Methodist preacher, labored here, and made many converts. This in the end weakened the old society. In 1834, a new and commodious house of worship was erected. Several of its pastors have been eminent for talent and piety. A few years since, the society changed its ecclesiastical relations, and became attached to the Old School Presbyterian Church. It now has about forty members.

The Reformed Church of Bloomingburgh was formed January 30, 1820. Its pastors have been George Dubois, 1820 to 1824; Samuel Van Vechten, 1824-41; S. W. Mills, 1843-58; Jeremiah Searle, junior, 1858-62; Hasbrouck Du Bois, 1863-66; J. H. Frazee, 1866-70; R. H. Beattie, 1870. This Congregation was an outshoot of the Associate Reformed Church of the place. The names of those who seceded and formed the new organization are as follows: Peter Weller and Lawrence Tears, elders; Solomon Brink and Moses Jordan, deacons; Alcha Brown, Catharine Puff, Barbara Brink, Lorenzo Quackenbush, Nancy Shelp, Nancy Duryea, Catharine McLochlen, Daniel Brush, Iscorreth Dimmick, Rachel Strickland, Lozie Townley, Leah Brink, Sarah Tidd, Jonathan Mills, Charles Tears, Mary Tears, Hannah Wilkin, Hannah Gillon. The church-edifice was erected in 1821-2. This Church has one hundred and thirty members.
George Dubois was but twenty years of age when he assumed pastoral charge at Bloomingburgh. After leaving Sullivan, he took charge of the Franklin-street Church of the city of New York, where he labored until 1837, except when disabled by ill-health. His preaching was marked by rich and holy unction, and he enjoyed the cordial affections of his people, he died of bronchial consumption in Tarrytown in 1844.*[Manual of the Reformed Church in America.]

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Bloomingburgh was organized in 1825, while Rev. John Kennedy was on the circuit. Its church-edifice was built in 1848, during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Isham, a converted tanner, whose business capacity rendered him very efficient where a new building was desirable. The society now numbers eighty-five members.
Rev. Horace Weston and Rev. James Quinlan, itinerants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, traveled through the valley in 1819, and held meetings once in three weeks. Others preceded them, who were better preachers than either Weston or Quinlan; yet tradition makes the latter gentlemen the founders of Methodism at Wurtsborough, where they formed a class of twenty converts. In 1831, Rev. Samuel Law and Rev. David Poor were on the circuit, which then included nearly all Sullivan county. Their labors were greatly blessed, and the cause of Methodism was much strengthened. They were succeeded by Rev. Nathan Rice and Rev. Mr. McFarland, under whose ministrations the church-edifice was built McFarland was a converted printer.

The Roman Catholic Church was planted in Sullivan by Irish immigrants. Very few of them came here previous to the construction of the Delaware and Hudson canal. That work caused several to locate in Mamakating valley. The influx of Irishmen increased as tanneries were introduced. They were generally laborers and poor. Although their love for their religious faith was intensified by the sufferings and martyrdom of many generations, and the sacraments of their church were as dear to them as their own souls, they were unable to maintain a resident priest. To go to mass and confession, and to marry, and have their children baptized, they were obliged to travel from forty to one hundred miles. Many destitute souls left this life unshriven and unaneled. The native population were unanimously Protestant, and loudly derided rites and observances which the new comers reverenced as sacred. Very often, Protestants whose houses were filled with Roman Catholic boarders, caused their tables to groan beneath an extra supply of pork and beef, on days when the Church commanded her children to fast, and openly sneered when the untimely food was taken away untasted. In time, however, these and other aggravating annoyances terminated.
The great potato famine which brought untold woes upon the Celts of Erin, set in motion a current of emigration which will in time bring to our shores all that survive of the Irish race. Sullivan received its share of these people, and soon the Roman Catholic element became an important ingredient in our religious affairs. In 1855, the Irish Catholics amounted to ten per cent, of our population.
Between 1845 and 1850, Father Brady of Port Jervis, and Father Duffey, a priest stationed at Newburgh, came into the county a few times. Rev. Mr. Anderson also came here for a time. By his efforts money was raised to buy the church now known as St. Joseph's of Wurtsborough. In 1853, Rev. Daniel Mugan took charge of the Ellenville Mission, which then included all of Sullivan county, except the Delaware river-towns. His flock must have numbered from 2,500 to 3,000 souls, scattered over 700 or 800 square miles of territory. Before he took charge of this extensive district, he was an assistant priest in one of the large parishes of the city of New York. He was in the prime of his manhood, and capable of great physical endurance, when he began to discharge his duties in his new field. Nineteen years of incessant labor terminated in his death. As a sermonizer he was florid, ornate, and fervid. So strictly did he attend to his priestly duties, that he formed but few acquaintances outside of his own communion.

Besides the churches already noticed, there are in this town three others: A Methodist Episcopal church in Burlingham, which was built in 1830-31, under the pastorate of Rev. John W. Lefevre; another of the same faith near Walker Valley, built under the charge of Rev. Mr. Curtis; and the third at Homowack. The latter was built in 1843, and is occupied by the Methodists.

There are in Mamakating two lakes, or, as they are called by old residents, ponds - Yankee pond and Masten pond. The former is the largest, and is said to be two and a half miles in length, and two in width. It received its name from the following circumstance: Previous to or about the year 1800, a man named Ellsworth made a canoe or dug-out, which he put on the pond and used it there while hunting. He was a Yankee, and the Dutch hunters consequently called the lake the Yankee's pond. Our informant (an intelligent old gentleman of Wurtsborough) in his youth saw Ellsworth's dug-out many times. In shape the lake has a slight resemblance to the partially extended wings of a bird, but one of which can be seen from any given point. It is located in a basin formed by several ridges, and covers an area of about 900 acres. There are on it several floating islands formed of tree-trunks, brush, moss, turf, etc. It is fed by one or two small streams from the north and west, and by springs beneath its surface, and is said to be about thirty feet deep. It is situated on the Barrens, a short distance south of the Monticello and Wurtsborough McAdamized road, and is owned by the Hudson and Delaware Canal Company. The latter purchased it of the Livingstons, with the adjacent lands (in all about 1,500 acres,) and converted it into a reservoir for their canal. To render it effectual for this purpose, the company constructed an embankment across its outlet 130 rods in length, sixteen feet in width at its base, twelve feet at its top, and twenty feet in height. It is a substantial and expensive work. About thirty men were employed nearly two years in building it. Yankee pond abounds in pickerel, and other fish common to the lakes of Sullivan, as well as a fish known as mullet, which is not found in other sheets of water in this region. These fish were unknown in Sullivan previous to 1830, and who or what put them in Yankee pond is a mystery. At certain seasons they may be taken in almost unlimited numbers; but although naturalists declare that the mullet is an excellent fish for the table, it is the least esteemed by our citizens of all the finny natives of our waters. This probably arises from ignorance of the proper time and manner of preparing it for food. Unlike a major number of our lakes, Yankee pond has no attraction for the lover of the beauties of nature, although there may be found here some novel and interesting features. The works of the canal company have caused it to overflow its natural boundaries. Much of it is rendered offensive to the eye by rubbish - the decaying remains of the forest that once flourished on its shores, but which has been killed by an excess of water. The outlet of the lake is the Basha's or Bessie's kill of a hundred years ago. It is about five miles in length, and except in the boating season, discharges its waters at Westbrookville into the stream now known as the Bashaskill. The Pinekill (as the outlet is now called,) is a famous trout stream, and during the proper season is a favorite resort for anglers.*[See Sullivan County Whig, August 6, 1847.]

MASTEN POND is another large sheet of water. It is between one and two miles north of the McAdamized road, and is reached by the highway leading from the residence of William Marshall. In early days, the men of the Gonsalus family were so successful while hunting deer west of Mamakating Hollow, that the Mastens believed that there was a lake somewhere in that quarter to which the descendants of the old Spanish Lutheran resorted for the purpose of killing that animal. This led them to search for it, and after some time they discovered it. They found deer very plenty there, and visited the lake so often that it became known by their family name. Our informant, (a Masten) says that in the end they ascertained that it was but one of two lakes visited by the Gonsalus hunters. The other was Foul Wood or Lord's pond. Manuel Gonsalus and his descendants, by their intimacy with the Indians, undoubtedly were acquainted with many other lakes west of the Hollow, as well as the streams in that quarter which afforded the finest prizes to the trapper. The waters of Masten pond are remarkably transparent and pure, and are stocked with pickerel and black bass of a very superior quality. The latter were introduced by George Olcott, of Wurtsborough. The shores and bed of the pond are composed of firm and compact sand and gravel. Like Yankee pond, it has a substantial embankment across its outlet, built by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, and its waters are reserved for the use of the canal when other sources of supply fail, and find their way to the village of Wurtsborough. On this stream, which crosses the road near the Munn tavern, were at one time two tanneries and a grist-mill. It runs for two or three miles through a deep gulf, and has a fall of several hundred feet, which may yet be economized for extensive manufacturing purposes.

BASHASKILL. - The magnitude of this stream has diminished considerably since the whites came to the valley. This is caused principally by the works of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, and the mill-dams which have been erected on its tributaries. Once it was considered large enough for rafting purposes. In 1825, Adolphus Van Duzer, assisted by John Masten, drew white pine logs from the. vicinity of Rush Bottom brook to Brownville, where they were formed into colts, and run to the Neversink, and on that stream to the Delaware. The business was practicable, but not profitable, and was abandoned.
Between Wurtsborough and Brownville is located Bashaskill swamp. It embraces many hundred acres, which will be the garden of the valley when it is effectually drained. Several attempts have been made to improve it; but none of them have resulted in signal success. The difficulty is caused by the debris deposited in the Bashaskill by the Pinekill, which fills the channel of the former, and prevents free egress of the water. If the work were thoroughly done, a small annual tax on the owners of the swamp, to remove the stones and gravel at the lower end, would ensure them the most productive land in the county.

SHAWANOESBERG. - This is a hill near the site of the Devens' block-house. It is also known as Council Hill. The Mamakating Indians told Samuel Gonsalus that their tribe had fought a bloody battle on this hill with the Senecas, and claimed that the natives of the valley were victorious, although they suffered severely. They also said that their friends who were slain in the conflict, were buried near the brow of the hill. The lodge in which the clans held their councils was on its summit. In the old town records it is styled Shawanoesberg, or Shawnee's hill; but why we cannot explain. The name would seem to indicate that the hill was devoted to the Shawnees, who were friends and allies of the native Indians of Sullivan, and spoke the same language; or a savage of that tribe may have had his lodge there. This, however, is mere conjecture. We can only say with certainty that the origin of the name is lost, as well as the period when the battle was fought there. The latter occurrence was not later than 1650, because in that year the Iroquois or Mengwe conquered the Lenape tribes, and held them in quiet subjection for one hundred years. After the latter were subdued, they did not raise the tomahawk against their masters as long as they inhabited our hills and valleys.

POPULATION OF THE TERRITORY COMPRISED WITHIN THE ORIGINAL
TOWN OF MAMAKATING FROM 1782 TO 1870:

Year.

Population.

1782

487*

1790

1,763

1800

3,319

1810

6,076

1820

8,455

1830

11,652

1840

14,400

1850

24,855

1860

32,730



POPULATION— VALUATION — TAXATION.

Year.

Population.

Assessed Value.

Town Charges.

Co. and State.

1810

1865

$183,067

$170.10

$241.96

1820

2702

313,094

343.75

638.46

1830

3070

300,935

924.75

1,877.25

1840

3418

288,697

788.61

1,055.37

1850

4107

319,534

926.13

2,194.76

1860

3828

688,329

792.72

4,984.42

1870

4886

507,045

20,187.98

13,170.34

*Including refugees who had left their homes from fear of the enemy. In 1782, Mamakating covered a small part of Delaware county.

From

SUPERVISORS OF THE TOWN OF MAMAKATING.

To

1743

No record

1774

1774

Benjamin Depuy

1775

1775

No record

1776

1776

Philip Swartwoud

1777

1777

No record

1778

1778

Benjamin Depuy

1781

1781

No record

1782

1782

Benjamin Depuy

1783

1783

Jacob R. DeWitt

1784

1784

Benjamin Depuy

1786

1786

No record

1787

1787

Benjamin Depuy

1788

1788

Peter Cuddeback

1789

1789

Robert Millican

1797

1797

Aldert Roosa

1800

1800

Elnathan Sears

1803

1803

Samuel King

1804

1804

David Milliken

1806

1806

Samuel King, junior

1807

1807

David Milliken

1814

1814

Elnathan Sears

1815

1815

Eli Roberts

1818

1818

Peter Miller

1827

1827

Charles Bodle

1833

1833

James Devine

1836

1836

Jonathan O. Dunning

1839

1839

Verdine E. Horton

1840

1840

Halstead Sweet

1814

1844

William B. Hammond

1845

1845

William Jordan

1848

1848

William Gumaer

1849

1849

Nathaniel Beyea

1850

1850

William Gumaer

1851

1851

Alexander Graham

1853

1853

Alfred Norris

1855

1855

Lewis Brown

1856

1856

Daniel Smith

1858

1858

William Jordan

1863

1863

Rodolphus S. Smith

1864

1864

George S. Smiley

1865

1865

James Graham

1866

1866

George T. Deitz

1868

1868

Stephen Caldwell, junior

1871

1871

Henry M. Edsall

1873

1873

Lewis Rhodes

1874





BACK -- HOME



Copyright © Genealogy Trails