Many of the transcriptions found here are now in published form. They have been published by the Orange County Genealogical Society (in Goshen, New York). Volume 3 includes my Volume 3 and Volume 5. Volume 4 includes my four parts of New Milford history. There is a planned Volume 5, which will include my Volumes 6, 7, and 8, Part 1, which is about 250 transcriptions. They can be purchase through the Genealogical Society. Just Google them and print out the order form. Or they can be purchased from the Warwick Historical Society. They are also on sale at the gift shop at Baird's Tavern. I would like to thank the Genealogical Society and Dan Burrows for their efforts. Started a new blog for images of Warwick. Go to:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Milford News Items of Days Gone By

This posting is similar to the previous one. All of these items appeared in the Warwick Valley Dispatch. All items are direct quotes unless enclosed in parentheses.

The dance at High Breeze on Saturday evening, was grand success, New Milford and vicinity being represented by Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Buchanan, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. John Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Hartman Utter, Mr. Roy Leeper, Mr. S. Weymer; also Mr. and Mrs. Fred Decker of Warwick.

(The Dispatch did a survey on the peach yield in Warwick and Vernon Township. The crop that year varied from one-third to one-half of the normal yield. Prices ranged from $1.25 to 2.50 for baskets, and from $2.75 to $4.00 for fancy carries. In the New Milford-Edenville district were the following growers: John C. Drew, 2000; E.G. Steibling, 6000; J.B. Rhodes, 3000; J.H. Wood, 1750; G.W. Hyatt, 4000; R. Jennings, 500; James Jeffers, 500; Wm. VanDervort, 400; J.H. Ryerson, 800; Harry Vail, 2500; Rhodes & Mott, 1500.)

(Harry Vail went to Sloatsburg with Nate Carr and John C. Drew to pick up Mr. Carr's stolen horse. Nate Carr and John Drew returned to Mr. Drew's touring car, and Harry Vail drove the horse home. In Monroe, he stopped to buy a new horse blanket. He picked a bright red one to match his ruddy cheeks and his red tie. The combination proved to be too much for a local Sherlock Holmes, who darted out in front of the rig and demanded Mr. Vail to stop. Mr. Vail had to establish his identity with the locals and explain his relationship to the horse. Before moving on, his fat pocketbook was lightened a bit to treat the members of the Monroe Horse Thief Detective Association.)

John C. Drew has sold a torpedo-type Marion car to R.D. Wallace of Vernon, for $2,000, taking in exchange Mr. Wallace's Winton.

Will VanDervort tied a couple of dogs in his peach orchard recently to watch and protect his crop, but some kind-hearted neighbors, who knew the dogs did not like the job, released them from the leash, and next morning the doggies were wagging their tails complacently on Mr. V's doorstep.

(All New Milford was in town attending the law suit between Al Phillips, the buthcher, and William VanDervort, farmer, over a cow. It seems that Phillips' cow strayed on VanDervort's farm. VanDervort sent her up to a mountain pasture and she went dry. After Phillips had claimed his cow and settled up for her keep, he sued for depreciation. Clifford S. Beattie represented Phillips and Lewis J. Stage appeared for VanDervort. The case was tried before Justice Benedict and a jury in Village Hall. All afternoon was spent on the case and the jury returned with a verdict of $10 damage for the plaintiff.)

Mr. and Mrs. Drew spent several days in the city withnessing the fine play "Rebecca," while in town.

Mr. Gilbert D. Ryerson had the misfortune to lose a $300 horse last week - on of a well matched farm team that had a leg broken from the kick of its mate. The animal was shot by Mr. J. C. Drew.

Jan 1911
(Albert Phillips, Jr., age 17, died from injuries from a farm accident.)

Mr. and Mrs. Jame Ryerson entertained the New Milford Card Culb Saturday evening. The favor winners were Mr. and Mrs. Russ Ferguson, and consolations went to Mrs. John C. Drew and Mr. Clinton Edsall.

Mr. John C. Drew is in the west looking for another carload of horses, expecting to arrive with them on Saturday, the 22nd.

Ryerson's moving pictures will be shown at the New Milford M.E. Church, Tuesday evening, Sept. 5. Proceeds for the benefit of the Church.

The clam bake given Saturday, Sept. 30, 1911, for the benefit of the New Milford M.E. Church was a great success. A vote of thanks is extended to Mr. Walter Minkler of New Milford, who baked it. About 135 people were served.

Mr. C. H. Sweezy, piano turner of Middletown, was through this vicinity Saturday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

John Helt and Sons

This is an advertisement published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated November 10, 1926. Mr. and Mrs. John Helt lived on Covered Bridge Road, across from Peachblow. An early interest in a very new field.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Milford News Items of Days Gone By

For the last few years I have been going page by page through the microfilm records of Warwick's two local newspapers. When I find an article which I consider to be an important piece of local history, I make a photocopy and from there a transcription of the article. In an earlier post I listed the names of the articles and where they can be found. Not everthing I have found has been transcribed. Some is somewhat trivial. Other items are only a sentence or two found under the New Milford reportage. Here is what I have started to do with some of that material.

All of these items come from the Warwick Valley Dispatch. All items are direct quotes unless enclosed in parentheses.

A pleasant evening was spent at the residence of Postmaster DeKay on New Years Eve. Supper was served and dancing indulged in till the dawning of the New Year.

The public school has reopened for the Fall and Winter session, with Mr. T.L. Gillison as principal.

"Our Ticket Agent" sold 25 tickets for the Coney Island excursion and a large number for the County Fair.

Rev. C.C. Miller, who comes from Edenville each Sunday to preach to the erring sinners of Jockey Holler, generally finds a large and appreciative audience.

The attendence at the singing school was not very large on Thursday evening, consequently Prof. Miller only obtained eight subscribers. There will be another meeting to-morrow night, and we hope all those interested will attend.

The old cherry tree that has stood in the sidewalk of Main Street for many years has been hewn down. It has been a faithful guide for those coming or going on a dark night, especially those that came in contact with it.

The gypsies have been encamped on Church-street, left on Monday for Newburg.

(Irvington Giveans and a team of horses was killed by a train at the New Milford crossing on Covered Bridge Road.)

Mr. S.R. Drew has gone to New York with a number of horses recently sold there.

The sporting fraternity of New Milford was well represented at the trot and ball game last Saturday afternoon at Warwick.

When you are in need of anything usually kept in a country store, give our obliging merchant, B. Scott, a call. Ed. This store was where the Stanabach store stands. It burned down in 1900.

Mr. Chas. Thompson is making cider. Price two cents per gallon. Ed. Probably the Thompson cider mill on Iron Mountain Road.

There will be a box social held at Benj. Scott's Friday evening, Nov. 18. The proceeds will be used in purchasing books for the Sabbath school library.

(A fire in Jockey Hollow destroyed the hotel/store. The store was owned by Benjamin Scott and the hotel was run by James McCann. Also lost in the fire was the hotel barn, hotel sheds, Mr. Scott's residence, Mrs. Sloan's residence, and a buildig across from the store, half of which was used for storage and the other half was the residence of John L. Springer.)

A gay gallant who rode his brave charger from Warwick town to call on one of our fair young maidens, hitched his horse to the wrong tie-post, full half a mile away from the home of the young lady. The young man discreetly declined to say whether his modesty was at fault or if he was unacquainted with the neighborhood and people.

Mr. Phillips gives a great deal of pleasure with his Edison phonograph.

(The flood of 1903 did great damage in New Milford.)

Russ Ferguson and Will Talcott expect to go west to the Dokotas in the spring, and with pocketfulls of Orange County sheckels will make a try for fortune in the lumber and milk business.

The people of New Milford have organized a singing school under the direction of Mr. Robert A. Wheat.

Capt. O.W. Ferguson , who has been enjoying a two week's visit with his family and neighbors at New Milford, after an absence of three years in the Phillipines, went to Washington Sunday evening to consult with the department chiefs of the Geodetic Survey, and receive another assignment.

Detective Work

The above is a close view of the 1863 map of Orange County. The following short article comes from the Warwick Advertiser, dated June 9, 1866:

NEW MILFORD HOUSE - We took a look upon "mine host" of this House the other day, and were exceedingly gratified with the changed and improved conditions of affairs. A new bar-room has been fitted up in good style in the basement, a large dining hall contructed and furnished, and other improvements carried out. The proprietor, Mr. Campbell, is always found obliging, and his house noted for its good cheer. We doubt not he will merit the favor of the public.

It is on the map and in the artiicle, but I don't have a clue what this place was.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2


Now that the steeple of the Old School Baptist Meeting House regilded, money must be given to pay the bil. Mrs. Lewis has had a meeting of the church committee and they will plan something to raise money. I thought maybe this article on old times interest our newcomers in past history - a new member of the antiques Club had the meeting last Tuesday, maybe other newcomers will become interested.

The Old School Baptist Meeting House on High Street, with the shining, newly covered weathervane has taken on a new lease of life with Mrs. Madison Lewis and the Warwick Historical Society taking an interest in it. The weatervane can be seen from every road leading into town and has been noticed by the older residents to see if clear weather or a storm are to be expected according to the direction of the wind. The steeple is 93 feet high.

The historical society is a group of people interested in keeping the landmarks of the early days. There is a white stone on Oakland Avenue showing the distance to Newburg. It is said there used to be such stones every mile to the Hudson River. This one on Oakland Avenue was saved by Mr. Frank Sanford who lived next door and bought a strip of land to own that old tree and stone.

The houses along Oakland Avenue were placed the same distance from the street. Those on the east side had a row of maples carefully placed in a straight line to protect those living there from the glare of the sun. The new houses were carefully placed the same distance from the street.

Mrs. Furman, whose husband was a conductor on the L. & H. Railroad, was born and lived as a young girl on High St. She remembered taking the family cow mornings down the main street and across the creek to a vacant lot for pasture.

When a cemetery was needed, it was probably Mr. Clinton W. Wisner who drew the plans for the stone entrance and the driveways. It was land belonging to the Welling family and they kept the knoll between the road and the land they sold so that a view of the cemetery was not seen from the Welling Home.

The village for years was between Colonial Ave. and High St. It was not until the early 1800's that homes were built toward the north. There are photographs in the Chester Bank of the houses between Grand St. and Welling Ave. of which the stone house owned by Genevieve

More to come when I can get it. Didn't photocopy the end of the article. What is publiished here is a transcription of an article from the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated September 15, 1971. Used with permission.

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

Drive-in re-opening under new ownership

A long established Warwick business has changed hands.

Frank Seeber of Holiday Lakes, Montaque, N.J. has purchased the Warwick Drive-In Theatre business and land from Charles Finger and has slated a Gala Re-opening for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seeber, left, and Finger are pictured above at the Drive-In.

The change in ownership, which became effective on Feb. 15, marks the completion for Charles "Budge" Finger of 52 years in the motion picture business, a career that began at the age of 12 when Budge took a job with Tom and Jeff Wisner at the old Oakland Theatre. After assisting the new owner for a brief time, he will retire.

The new owner brings to the Drive-In considerable experience as a projectionist at a number of Sussex County theatres including the Newton Drive-In. He has been associated with theatres in that area since he was 15.

He is an advertising representative for the New Jersey Herald.

Seeber is active in the Walkill Valley Rotary Club and has just retired from the Kittitiny Regional Board of Education which recently completed a $6 million school building program with the opening of a new school. Mr. Seeber looks forward to being active in the Warwick community and may relocate here at some future time. He will continue the same policies at the Drive-in as followed by its former owner.

The Warwick Drive-in Theatre, located just behind Lloyd's Shopping Center on Warwick Turnpike - Rt. 94, was established 25 years ago by Charles Finger and George Miller. Miller later sold his share of the business to Russell Eurich, who in turn sold his interests to Mr. Finger. The later operated the drive-in successfully on his own since that time offering the finest equipment and services.

This is a transcription from the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated March 16, 1977. Used with permission.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated June 2, 1976. Used with permission. This is an article about the Volga Germans founding a Church in Pine Island around the turn of the last century. It is an interesting history. I grew up with some of these families. The Schadt family was one, and I think the Scheurerman and Schmick families were part of that same group.

St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church to celebrate 75th Anniversary

On June 6, 1976, at 4 p.m., a special service will be held to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Little York Road, Pine Island, N.Y. A supper will be served in the Church Hall following the service.

The Lutheran Church was founded on June 5, 1901, by a group of Russian immigrants who were actually German.

Just about two-hundred years ago, when Catherine II was Empress of Russia, she encouraged Germans to colonize the vast unsettled lands near the Volga: Catherine, subsequently called The Great, who was born a Prussian princess, recognized the farming skills of the Germans. Conditions at this time in Germany were critical - the Seven Years' War had just ended, leaving many risidents in ruin and devastation. Catherine's invitation, therefore, brought new hope to many people.

It is known that the ancestors of the group that founded St. Peter were among a group of eighty families which left Budingen in Hessen in 1766, and a year later founded the village of Jagodnaja, approximately sixty miles north-west of Saratov on the Volga. They were granted certain privileges, as promised by the Empress Catherine, such as right to self-government, religious liberty, exemption from military service, land grants, and their own churches and schools. However, they were disillusioned in Russia and life was very difficult. With German perseverance they made the best of it, and for many years these Germans dwelled peacefully in the land of the Czars. They enjoyed their traditional German life and were progressing in all areas of life - economic and cultural, but towards the end of the ninteenth century, religious, racial, and national persecution became prevalent againist non-Russians, and eventually another eimigration was put into motion.

During the last decade of the ninteenth century many of the residents of Jagodnaja, Russia, migrated to America, and with the help of immigrant missionaries some were steered to settle in what is now known as the hamlet of Little York.

"Die Kirche" (The Church) was always the focal point of social and family life of these people. It, therefore, wasn't long before steps were taken to start a church. In 1898 land was purchased and soon thereafter a church building was started at the present location of St. Peter. By June 5, 1901 the congregation was incorporated and the first pastor was called - Rev. C. George Kaestner. Since then there have been a sucession of twelve pastors, with Rev. Phillip N. Sallach presently pastor in 1975.

At first there were just German services, but in later years English services were also held every Sunday, and in 1964 German services were discontinued.

The orignal church burned down on Christmas Eve of 1917 and the present edifice was erected in 1918. A large hall and Sunday School rooms were added in 1968.

Many of the descendants of the Volga-German fouonders are still active in the church, but as a microcosm of the melting pot of these United States, people of other religious and national origins have also become staunch members and officers of St. Peter.

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated April 14,1943. It is used with permission. The Lazear family played an important part in the history of the Village of Warwick. I believe that this family dates back to the Lazears of New Milford. There was a Lazear Tavern on Iron Moutain Road, dating back to the late 18th century.

Cornelius S. Lazear Died Suddenly Saturday

Saturday, shortly after one o'clock, Cornelius S. Lazear, popular and well-known business man of Warwick, died at St. Athony's Hospital, having suffered a stroke a few hours before while at the home of the late John Sullivan, where arrangements were being made for the funeral services of Mr. Sullivan in St Stephens's Church.

Mr. Lazear was the son of the late Wilbur C. Lazear and Jennie A. Smith Lazear, and was born in Warwick, Febrluary 25, 1886. He was a graduate of the Warwick High School and the Renouard Embalming School of New York City. He had been associated with, and finally owned, the undertaking and furnitlure business in the village which his grandfather, Cornelius J. Lazear, had established. His father, Wilbur C. Lazear, conducted the business during his lifetime and during the later years the firm was known as W.C. Lazear and Son. At his death the son took over the ownership, and the firm was known as the Lazear Funeral Service and the Lazear Furniture Store.

Mr. Lazear married Miss Ethel Howe of Warwick who survives. He is also survived by a sister, May, wife of Postmaster Wilmarth J. Tuthill of Goshen, and by several nieces and nephews. One nephew, Wilbur L. Smith, son of his late sister, Belle Lazear Smith, made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Lazear.

Cornelius Lazear was a man active in his community, civic and lodge organizations. His friends were legion and came from all walks of life.

At the services, held at his late home in Hathorn Park yesterday afternoon, the house was taxed to capacity. The Reverend Taber Knox, his pastor was in charge.

In the closing prayer of the service Mr. Knox asked for the blessing and comfort of the household where the Angel of Death had entered. Also for the comfort and blesssing for all those assembled. They were an evidence of the esteem in which the departed was held in this community. Mr. Knox said that most homes here would remember his ready sympathy, his gentle, kindly and beautiful ministrations given them during their own hours of sorrow.

Interment was in Warwick Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Mr. Thomas Lawrence, Mack Bristow, Victor A. Demouth, Charles Smith, Roy Elston and Roy Epting.

He was a member of the Warwick Reformed Church, member of the Board of Education of the Union Free School District No. 12 since 1926, a director of the First National Bank of Warwick, a trustee of the Warwick Savings Bank, a directory of the Warwick Valley Telephone Company, a member of the Warwick Rotary Club, president for the past three years of Excelsior Hose Company of Warwick, and for ten years was chief of the Warwick Fire Department. He was a former president of the Orange County Volunteer Firemen's Association. He was a life member of the Vernon Fire Department. For many years he was clerk of the village.

He was well known in masonic circles being past master of Warwick Lodge F. & A.M. No. 544 and its trustee since 1921; a member of Middletown Chapter of Mason and Cypress Commandry, both of Middletown. Also a member and past treasurer of Greenwood Forest 81 Tall Cedars of Lebanon. He was a member of Wawayanda Lodge No. 34 I.O.O.F.

He was director, secretary, and treasurers of the Warwick Building Association, a trustee, secretary and treasurer of the Warwick Cemetery Association. He was also a member of Warwick Grange No. 918 and of the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

History ... as it should be ..


We began building our house on Little York Road in March of 1924. While I helped buid the house my wife and two children stayed at her mother's. When the house was partially finished around April 15 of that year she joined me. We set up two cribs, a stove and a table and lived in one room until completion. There were many mud holes in the road hampering travel. Lumber for the house could only be delived a portion of the way onto Little York. I had to bring in the balance of the way with a team of horses. The holes were so bad at one time that they had to fill them witih gravel and stones to allow a funeral procession to pass. Our school tax that year $42 and some change.

We had a herd of about 29 cows on 147 acres of land, 11 acres of which were black dirt. We raised onions, potatoes and carrots. On Aug. 15th of that year heavy rains caused a flood that ravised our entire crop. We had just hauled a load of oninon sets up to the yard before the rains came. It was sold for $1.35 per cwt.

Floods hit us again that year, during June. We had no sets that year, just regualar onion seed. We paid the Lust girls $4 dollars per day to help us with the weeding but lost the entire crop in the flood. Frank took sick in
August and was unable to work. I took care of the dairy with a hired man and hung on until Jan., 1929. We sold the dairy and some hay, managed to pay the taxes and lived on the $4,400 we realized from the sale. We also had chicken, pigs, ducks and geese and kept two cows for milk. Frank began to improve around 1930 and borrowed $3,000 and went to Owego with George Feagles and Bill Janiak and bought 27 cows. They were delivered to Pine Island by train. With the stock market crash of 1929 milk was cheap. We sold it for 89 cents per cwt. Complaits came in that the farmer's milk was of poor quality at that time so we had to drain off the poorer milk from the bottom of the milk cans with a special pipe. We fed that to the the pigs. Standards were set on the milk by the Dariymen's League that regulated the price. For 30,000 lbs.of milk our check was not enough to pay our way around. We needed about $75, so we renewed our note at the bank, paid the interest and borrowed on our life insurance policy to buy 4 tons of fertilizer for the black dirt. The cows took care of the fertilizer for the corn and hay fields. The Florida National Bank closed on Mar.3,1933 and we had $89 in our checking account that was frozen. It was reopened in November of that year. We sold our onions for $1.35 per cwt. that year. We lost our onion crop in July 1942 to the floods again. We fell back on the dairy.

All the work was done by hand on the black dirt and on the dairy farm. We gathered and raked hay by hand. Then in 1935 or 1936 we purchased a Bolens tactor, a hay tether and a set planter in 1937 and a hay loader in 1941. It was in 1937 witih the Rural Electritification Act that we received electricity. With the help of the Farm Bureau who prodded Orange & Rockland we were able to get the electricity and then get a milk cooler. Before that kept the cans of milk in a nearby spring to keep it cold. It was a thrill to get electricity, we can remember going from room to room putting on light switches.

We carried our milk to the Big Island creamery with horse and wagon. When my husband was sick I took the milk in myself. I can still remember one bad mud hole on the way that I thought I would never get through. After that creamery burned down we hauled it to one in Edenville and then to the one in Pine Island. The creamery in Edenville was closed when the Dairymen's League bought it. On our trip to town, it was a thrill to watch the locomotives turn completely around on the turnstyle in Pine Island which was located next to where the Pine Island Liquor Store is located today.

A total eclipse of the sun stands out in our minds that appeared on a cold January morning about 9:30 either in 1925 or 1926, we can't remember which year. It was beautiful, it was very cold, the snow crunched as you walked. My husband took the milk to the creamery with the horse and sleigh at the time. The corona was beautiful and it was like dusk. It was the only one we have ever seen.

We can still remember the taxpayers' meeting, with people complaining about the closing of the Mt. Eve School around 1938. It had been built around 1928. We took our horses for shoes to Felix Aelaskowski in Pine Island. The blacksmith shop was run by Pete and Stanley Majek before Mr. Zelaskowski operated it. We also took them to Mr. Ruszkiewicz in Florida. Life was simple in those days, we don't regret a day of it. The kids were home and were good. As parents we didn't have as much worry about as parents do today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2


Name selected by the Warwick Building Association for the Wood Tract - Fourty-four Choice Lots Offered - $800 Asked for Choice of First Six Lots Sold - Contract Let for Five New Houses on Sayer Tract.

The Building Association has nearly completed the new street through the Wood tract and the extention through to the Bellvale road, and invites the public to drive through the tract and admire the choice lots which are now ready for sale.

The name of Hathorn Park has been given to the whole tract, and Park avenue to the street leading from South st. to Galloway road. The street running east and west through the center has been named Burt street, in honor of the late Senator Jame Burt, and his descendents, whose old homestead lying to the east of Hathorn Park, may at some future time be required for our rapidly growing village for building purposes.

There are 44 choice lots in Hathorn Park; the Association reserves 10 of these for the surplus material, which will be needed for the grading and filling other lots. With the exception of these ten, any six of the remaining 34 will be sold to the first buyer at $800 each; no buyer to be permitted to buy more than one lot. After the sale of the first six lots the price of the balance will be increased.

All lots will be restricted, houses to cost less than $4000.00, and to be located not less than 50 feet from the street, stables and barns not less than 100 feet, no ales or liquors to be sold on the premises or at any part of the tract.

The Association has just completed 9 houses, 3 sungle and 3 double on Orchard street, all of which have been rented, except one.

Contract was let last night to Welch Brothers t to build a single house on Wheeler avenue to be completed by October 1st.

The Association will have for sale within a few days about 30 lots on the Sayer tract, on Wheeler avenue, which are much cheaper than those in Hathorn Park.

For maps and particulars enquire at the office of F.V. Sanford, or of either of the undersigned committee.

Mr. Samuel Armstrong knowing a good thing when he sees it has bought the first $800 lot in Hathorn Park.


This is a transcription from the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated July 31,1907. Used with permission.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription from the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated April 4. 1979. Used with permission.

The Filipowskis first Polish settlers in Pine Island

The Filipowski family, whose roots were implanted in Pine Island at the turn of the century, holds the distinciton of being the first Polish family to settle in the area. Leo and Anna Filipowski settled in Pine Island in 1903 and bore twelve children, seven of whom are still living. All reside within a 20-mile radius of Pine Island, with the exception of one daughter, who resides in South Carolina.

Mr. Filipowski had first moved to Florida, near the Jessup swamp area, alongside the creek, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Prior to coming to Florida, he had obtained employment in a sugar wharehouse, where "they won't hire a Pole - only Germans." He had been born in Germany to Polish parents and spoke both languages. To get the job, he added a few years to his age and changed his name to Reynard Arndt.

While living in Florida, Mr. Filipowski worked on the James Finn farm, which was devoted to onions. He later met Floyd Teather, an owner of a grocery store in Florida and the owner of a farm in Pine Island. He became a sharecropper with Mr. Theater and also helped to clear swampland for crops. As a scrarecropper, Mr. Filipowski lived in a home near the Lehigh and New England Railroad which was located near the Teather farm. Teather had also been the owner of a sawmill, which was located at the junction of the Erie and L. & N.Y. RR in the vicinity of the Joseph Hucko farm on Pulaski Highway. Several years later the Filipowskis moved to living quarters located on the sawmill property. He later purchased a house on Pulaski Highway in the vicinity of the Krasniewicz home, from Jack Cook, a man of German descent, who moved to the Little York area. He later built a home near the Kaminski residence and remainded there until his death. Only the foundation remains today.

Most of the settlers in the Pine Island area upon the Fillipowski arrival had been of German descent. However, he blended in with the community because he was bilingual.

Mr. Filipowski helped with the excavation of St. Stanislaus R.C. Church using a pick and shovel. He also planted the maple trees that surround the church and served as its janitor and custodian.

Prior to the construction of the church, which was dedicated in 1912, Mr. Filipowski and his wife, and children walked the six miles by railroad track or the seven miles by black dirt to attend Mass in St. Joseph's Church in Florida. St. Stanislaus Church was contrusted on property owned by the Knapp family, also former owners of the Joseph Huko farm.

Mr. Filipowski, a six-foot tall, robust man, was known for his good humor, his love for music and hard work, a philosophy he has instilled in his children. As a clarinet player, he had formed a three piece band, including a base fiddle and violonist , the only band in Pine Island. Consequentlly he had been contracted to play for many of the Polish and German weddings in the area.

His son, John, recalls playing with his father on the bass fiddle at the age of 14. His first professional engagement was the Victoria and Chester Smolinski wedding in 1910. "Wedding took place on weekdays in those days," Mr. Filipowski said. "Mr. Smolinski, who resided in the Mission Lands area, owned a team of bay horses and a nice fringe carriage." So they drove to Florida," Mr. Filipowski continued, "and we sent them away playing march music and in about four hours they returned. We greeted them music and played for dancing which was held in the barn near the Smolinski home." he concluded. It was not so uncommon for weddings in those days, according to some oldtimers, to last as long as three days. One Polish man in the area renting a tuxedo for his wedding in 1933 for $3.00 and wearing it for three days. Mr. Filipowski's son, Tony Phillips, provided the music for that reception which was held in his father-in-law's barn. Because of a chill in the autumn air, the musicuans wore gloves to keep warm.

The Smolinski family was the first to settle in the Mission Lands area, according to Mr. Filipowski, and they were followed by the families of John Brozdowski, Frank Bogdanski, Paskiewicz, Staskewwicz, Roman Czubak, Theodore Bastek, Peter Grusz, and Adam Foremny families. Mr. Filipowski, who had been a 30-year salesman for the Metropoitan Life Insurance Company and a resident of Goshen for most of his life, married one of the Foremny girls of the Mission Lands. Like the elder Filipowski, he too raised a large family and led a productive and fruitful life. He devoted much of his time to community affairs and played important behind-the-scenes roles in projects as the paving of Pulaski Highway and the erection of the Polish Legion of American Veterans monument at St. Joseph's Cemetery. He also served as the first commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, Post # 16, which was first organized in Florida. Its home is now Pine Island.

John still remembers working in the black dirt fields from 7 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. at 10 cents an hour to help his family. He had also worked at Borden's creamery in Pine Island at the rate of $1.50 per day.

While Leonard Filipowski busied himself with providing for his family, his wife, Anna, also played an important role in the community. As a mother of a large family, she automatically became the midwife for the Polish community and supervised the birth of many of the older members of the community including the Hucko and Labanowski children, and "never lost a mother or a baby," in spite of the fact that she had no formal training.

Daughter Julia Kobylaski clearly remembers the days of her mother's duties as midwife. "I was a little girl and could not understand why my mother had to suddenly leave. A knock would be heard on the door in the middle of the night and off she went."

The Filipowski's, who enjoyed a long and productive life together, had also met with tragedies and setbacks. A flood hit the area when they lived in Florida that had Mrs. Filipowski scurrying about moving what she could to the upper floor of the home, including the children and their pigs and chickens. A hurricane destroyed their home on the sawmill property leaving them without furnishings and clothing. They had also lost a son while Mr. Filipowski worked on the excavation for St. Stanislaus Church, who had drwoned in the river.

Mr. Filipowski died at the age of 97 on Jan. 6, 1962. His wife preceded him in death. The seven remaining sons and daughters are Frances Kerstanski, Sophie Evansky, of South Carolina, Julia Kobylaski, Rose Lowkis, Anthony and Adam, all of Pine Island, and John, of Goshen. Mrs. Kerstanski's son, Joseph, followed in his grandfater's footsteps in his love of music and formed a band - Jolly Joe and His Sons - and is widely known in the area.

Anthony, another musically inclined member of the family, formed an orchestra known as Tony Phillips and His Orchestra and like his father, also played at many Polish weddings and affairs for several decades. His grandson, Leonard, 13, of Middletown, N.Y., has become an accomplished pianist and appears with his grandfather on many of their public engagements. Leonard is also the organist for his parish church.

Daughter Julia and her husband, Michael Kobylaski, had for many years operated a trucking firm which was located on Pulaski Highway near her father's home. She was one of the first women in the history of the Town of Warwick to ever serve on a jury for justice court.

Leonard Filipowski had been described by an Orange County historian as a man who "had a Santa Claus beard and plenty of white hair, a twinkling eye and a merry manner, as any Santa Claus person should; and a love of live and black dirt farming." He exemplifies the legacy of black dirt farming as well as the heritage of the Pole who contributed mind and muscle toward the establishment of the black dirt community as it stands today.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

History as it should be ...


Over the years since the Warwick Historical Society bought The Shingle House in 1915, families with deep roots in the communtiy have generously donated more and more things to the Society - and so many of them were part of the "working" side of the early settlers' lives that a building in which to display them became a real necessity. Accordingly, the Society searched for, and found on the old Sly farm, in 1965, an old red barn (circa 1825) that would make a good campanion for the old house; then through the Lewis family, had it taken completely apart, piece by piece, even including the hand-cut stones of its foundation, and carefully re-assembled it behind the house; and soon it was overflowing with interesting early American tools and agricultural implements you will find here today - most of them from farms in the vicintiy of Warwick.

In the early days, the men of Warwick were definitely "of the land." Most of them had dairy herds; and also raised for their own use, such crops as hay, rye, corn, oats and wheat, along with what we now call "truck" vegetables - peas, beans, carrots, squash, potatoes, and so forth. Many farmers had apple and peach orchards, too. Back then, a man's tools were extremely important to him, since he had to depend on them so completely; and many of them he made entirely, or personalized by making handles for them to fit his own hand.

So here we find his farming tools - such a adzes, sickles, axes, flials (for threshing wheat), hay knives, corn kinves, pitch forks (including a rare 2-pronged one), grain forks, scythes, including a big cradle scythe, rakes (one of them a sheaf-rake), and many others. Then there are larger implements, like wheel-barrows, ploughs, seeders - plus things for making crops usable, like a fanning mill to take the chaff out of the wheat, a grain cradle, a beet press (for sugar beets), a corn-sheller; also a feed carrier for taking feed to the cattle, and an old Amish handdrawn combination cart for corn, hay or grain.

Hand tools are here in profusion; buck saws, hammers, mallets, chisels, pliers, cutters, planes, bits, tool sharpening grinder to keep edges sharp - many of these necessary items in several styles, forms, sizes. Also milk cans, early lanterns (some very primitive), harnesses and bridles.

And there are countless thing that the early settlers needed, to get along; such as a candle-making rack, spinning wheels, yarn carders, butter churns, cider vats, a wine press, maple syrup kettles, old wood stoves, a sausage grinder, cistern pump. And children's thing, like a very old rocking horse, old skates, sleds, school desks with seats attached, small wagons, a baby carriage.

Also, here are household appliances that are of later vintage, but still from seventy to a hundred years old; a vacuum cleaner, an old telephone, Warwick's first bath tub, (zinc, inside a wood frame), old birdcage, a clothes-drying stand, an early wasing machine, a later model butte churn with a side handle, a screened closet for storing food, and old sewing machines.

Two special groups of great interest are found on the ground floor; a collection of ice cutting and storing implements - a big sledge, many huge saws, hooks, tongs, rollers and picks, all of which saw a lot of use back when the cutting and storing of ice was a big industry. And there's an unusual group that includes two carriages - one a phaeton with handsome top and uphoistery, the other a rubber-tired runabout with candle lamps; and six old sleighs - two 2 seaters, a fine single-seater with striking red upholstery, a racy cutter and two workday wooden sleighs.


The construction of The Shingle House began in 1764 - 11 years before the Battle of Lexington and Concord; George
Washington, 32 years old, was raising livestock and crops at Mt. Vernon; Thomas Jefferson, 21, was just 2 years out of college. The 13 original colonies, of which New York was the 2nd oldest (1614 - Virginia was 1st in 1607) had to wait a full 23 years more before they formed the beginning of what is now the United States.

Daniel Burt, building this house for his son, Daniel, Jr., chose an excellent location - practically where the Kings Highway from Newburg and the old road from Goshen joined together to make their way to Trenton and beyond. That explains why the 2nd oldest house in the Village, built originally by Francis Baird as a residence, in 1776, became Baird's Tavern a little later with the addion of a story-and-half frame kitchen. Old timers used to speak of these two homes as being opposite each other "across the square." Daniel, Sr., lived in a house on the site of what is now the McFarland house on Galloway Avenue; and in going back and forth between his own house and The Shingle House, he created what was called Burts' Lane, now known as Forester Avenue.

The Shingle House, with its shingled sides and saltbox outline, reveals its New England heritage, as do many of the early Warwick homes. And, accordingly to authentic tradition, the shingle for sides and roof were hewn from a single tree - few of them have had to be replaced in the house's 211 years. A small side porch is the only exterior alteration.

Within, the original stairway, the characteristic paneled wainscoting, the built-in-coner cupboard with its attractive shell top, and the remarkable central chimney, with its 4 fireplaces and its hidey-hole, are still just about as they were when Daniel, Jr., moved in, in January, 1770.

The house has six rooms, four of them on the first floor. The two front rooms were both living rooms. The fireplace in the left hand room was closed up many years ago, and a Franklin, cast-iron stove place in front of it. It is on the paneling behind this stove that one sees the remarkable and rare primitive painting of the Battle of the Hudson River, said to have been done by a Revolutionary soldier in gratitude for having been nursed back to health by the Burts.

The Shingle House became the property of The Warwick Historical Society in 1915, and since that time, considerable restoration has been done. A combination of judicious purchasing and generous giving has resulted in a collection of fine old furnishings that stand as a monument to Warwick's early years. Such unusual pieces as a Chippendale Governor Winthrop drop desk, a Hepplewhite cherry Pembroke table, a Chippendale mahogany bookcase-desk, a Sheraton mahogany chair, are among the many things that make a visit to these rooms most rewarding.

The huge kitchen, with its tremendous open hearth for cooking, its bread oven, its Dutch walnut kaas, old table and bench, and dozens of other home-making necessities of the late 1770's, is most interestng. And the first-floor "borning-room," and the two bedrooms upstairs, are also very appropriately furnished.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated February 18, 1976. Used with permission.

History as it should be ...

From the diary of C. J. Benedict


In 1926, I obtained a contract to wire the farm home of Mr. Weiss on Big Island Road out of Edenville. He was getting a home lighting plant.

I completed the contract and filed an application for inspection with the New York State Fire Insurance Rating Organization of Syracuse, New York. In a few days, Mr. William Bliven came to inspect as he had many times before. When he arrived, he asked me to go with him and be prepared to spend the day. We drove to Mr. Weiss' home and Mr. Bliven inspected the job.

When he finished, he came out and got to his car and reached into the back seat. Handing me a clipboard, he asked me to draw a rough map of the road from there to Edenville, the streets of Edenville, then on to Amity and the streets there. Then from Amity to Little York, Little Brooklyn, Pine Islalnd, Hoopstick, Snufftown and Big Island.

He then took his speedometer reading which I marked down at the Weiss farm. Then Mr. Blivan stopped at each house of farm on the road and gave me the mileage from one to the other which I wrote on the map.

When we had made the round trip to Big Island and back via the Weiss farm to Edenville, Mr. Blivan stopped and told me he knew the Orange and Rockland Electric Company had had meetings in Seeley Everrett's store in Edenville and Dick Seeley's in Pine Island trying to get the people of the area to sign up for electric service at a cost of $300 per home plus wiring and fixtures.

Mr. Bliven also said he knew that the Orange and Rockland Electric Company had signed a contract to run a high line to the Amity stone quarry for Atlas Cement Company. The same high line would cross Mr. Weiss' property and the Jake Feagles property.

Our survey that day proved there were more than enough homes and farms per mile than the Orange and Rockland Electric Company charer called for, therefore, they could be compelled to run the electric lines and hook up all the places we had marked on the map free of charge.

He advised me to have contracts printed similar to those we already had, but with the following clauses added:
1. Electric service guaranteed at no cost to customer.
2. No money to be paid until current is turned on.
3. Customer agrees to sign right-of-way permit for the Orange and Rockland Company to run pole lines.

I did this and in about two months I had 250 wiring contracts signed with four churches and two schools. In passing, I would like to mention Mr. Martin Schmick paid for two of those church jobs and he was not in politics at the time.

I took the contracts to the Orange and Rockland Electric Company offices in Monroe, New York and both Mr. William Kehl and Mr. Roscoe Smith (President) looked them over and concluded they would have to run the line and would do so. They asked me to do them a favor and get the right-of-way contracts signed, which I did.

There were two property owners who refused to sign right-of-ways. One was the richest man in Edenville who made me install a new service in his house free as he already had a lighting plant and his house had been wired for several years. I had to do this as he owned the land on both sides of the road right in Edenville.

The other owner who refused lived in Pine Island. His home set back 150 feet from the road and the Orange and Rockland Electric Company charter allowed them to charge for any service that was over 100 feet from the road. I protected myself there and the Orange and Rockland did not charge me.

I had just wired the Hamilton Avenue School in Warwick and in 1927 won the contract and did the Burt Street School. I also won the contract to do the Pine Island School. I must say the Pine Island School Board had my name put on a plaque. The Warwick Board did not and I was the only contractor left off.

It was a busy time for me and I got to know nearly everyone in the area.

Old timers like Seely Everett, Cliff Quakenbush and Helen Houston can verify this story.

Christmas Exercises at New Milford M.E. Church

This was published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated December 30, 1964.

Schilling Farm in Florida

I believe this photo was taken on the Schilling farm. I can identify one Aunt. Probably 1920's or 1930's.

The Schilling Farm in Florida

Top photo is from Wheeler of Goshen, N.Y. When I showed this photo to my aunts, they came up with Aunt Minn & Uncle Ott. However, this guy looks like the guy in the other photo, so they could have been mistaken.

Bottom photo is from Wheeler of Goshen, New York. For me this all started with family genealogy and then went from there. I think this is photo of Carl Krause and his three sons, Daniel, Charles and Freddie. Carl Krause was born in Germany November 20, 1848 and died on February 14,1922. He is buried in the Florida cemetery. His first wife was Caroline Mowitz (Movitz). Their children were: Daniel, Augusta, Minnie Julia, Lena, Charles, Anna and Freddie. My grandmother, Lena Krause, married Curtis Schiling. I did not know my mother's parents, since both of them died before I was born. The Schilling Farm is on Route 94, going toward Florida, Once you pass Ackerman Road, it is on the right. It is now a horse boarding business. This is an old house and it is being researched.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Advertiser, dated July 31, 1902. The listing of businesses and individuals was actually the phone book for Warwick at that time. The phone numbers have been left out.


The Warwick Valley Telephone Company have joined with the Highland Company and purchased the Conkling & Strong private lines between Warwick, Bellvale, Greenwood Lake and Monroe, The Warwick Company buying to Greenwood Lake from this end, and the Highland from Monroe. This gives the Warwick Company the Greenwood people on their line and opens up a big territory for development.

The deal gives Warwick a connection with Highland System, and will enable patrons of our lines to talk to Monroe, Chester, Blooming-grove, Washingtonville, Vail's Gate, Central Valley, Cornwall-on-Hudson, Highland Mills, Turners, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston and many other places in Orange, Dutchess and Ulste counties. Connections will be made with the Orange County system at Goshen, which will give us Middletown and Pine Bush, and in a short time Port Jervis and the northern end of the county will come into the combination, thus giving the independent telephone companies what their patrons have long desired - a comprehensive county system.

Cut out this list below and subititute for list previously published. The new names are included. (Ed. Phone Numbers are not included.)

Advertiser - Office
Anderson, W. T. & Co. - Store
Balley, W. E. - House
Benedict, J.W. - House
Bennett, C. H. - House
Bradner, Dr. H. K. - House
Brien, George - House
Bunn, Isalah - Bottler
Campbell, L.J. - House
Carmady, W. - Saloon
Cary, F.C. - House
Chamberlain, J.A. - House
Colwell & Lawrrence - Store
Conklin & Strong - Office
Cummins, Drs. F.M. & J.S. - Office
Cummins, Dr. F.M. - House
Cummins, Dr. J.S. - House
Decker, Charles - House
Demerest House - Hotel
Demerest P.S. - House
Dispatch - Office
Dught L. - Store
Duncan G. - House
Dutcher, Dwight - Store
Eager, W.C. - Store
Edsall, E.C. - Store
First National Bank
Gullman, A.C. - Bakery
High School
Hotel Welling
Hynard Brothers - Store
Hynard, W.A. - House
Kane, M.N. - Office
Kane, M.N. - House
Ketchum, G.F. - Office
Ketchum, G.F. - House
Knox, Taber - House
Lazear, W.C. - Store
Lawrence, J.B. - House
Lawrence, R.B. - House
Lucha, L. - Bakery
Maines & Son, D.W. - Livery
Minogue, Rev. P.J. - House
Nichols, W.W. - House
O'Brien, M.J. - Bottler
O'Hehir, P. - Saloon
Ogden & Pelton - Store
Pierson's Creamery - Office
Pierson, C.G. - House
Pitts, Dr.G.F. - House
Primary School
Quakenbush, D. - Store
Raynor, F.C. - Store
Rogers, J.B. - House
Richardson, - Laundry
Rightmyer, S. - Store
Rightmyer, S. - House
Rutherfurd, M. - House
Sanford, F.V. - House
Sanford, J.W. - House
Sanford, J.W. & F.V. - Office
Sanford, M.L. - House
Sanford, P.E. - House
Sanford, S.H. - Office
Sanfrod, S.H. - House
Smith, F.S. - House
Smith & Son, Ira S. - Store
Strong, G.H. - House
Tate, H. - Office
Tate, H. - House
TenBroeck, F.F. - House
Tilt, Sheldon - Office
Vail, B.F. - Office
Vail, B.F. - House
Vandervort, W.B. - Store
VanDuzer, W. W. - Office
VanDuzer, W.W. - House
Vanness, J.W. - Livery
Vanness, J.W. - House
VanSaun, S.S. - Store
W.V. Light & Power Co. - Office
Webster, H.T. - House
Wendover, Dr. W.W. - House
Welch Brothers - Office
Welling, T. - farm
Well-Fargo Express - Office
Wheeler, Mrs. I. V. - House
Williams, G.A. - House
Wilson, J.C. - House
Wisner, C.W. - House
Wisner, H.S. - House

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article from the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated February 5, 1975.

A bit of Warwick history preserved

"Only the most perceptive eye could have appreciated the simplicity of starkness of that magnificent building. I am shocked at the way our historic monuments are allowed to deteriorate and eventually be destroyed."

So said Ann Lye, resident of Church Street, Warwick, and a member of the local historical society when she heard that the Veterans of Foreign Wars had made a decision to destroy their large Georgian Colonial building located on the corner of Church Street and Forester Avenue in the Village of Warwick.

The VFW Post could no longer financially support the large structure and decided to replace the old historic building with a contemporary meeting house.

Mrs. Lye quickly joined with David Brandt, a local land planner, and David Hull, an orchardist and real estate associate, to see what could be done to save the builing that had historical lineage dating back to the 1800's.

The building was the first of Georgian style architecture to be built in Warwick, according to Betty Rutledge, who studied the deed and historical background of the property for the local historical society.

John W. Smith, a successful merchant from Long Island, purchased the vacant property in the early 1800's and established a business on the corner of Colonial Ave. and Forester Ave., the site of the present Professional Building. His trade was general merchandise and stables. Mr. Smith, a raconteur and real estate entreprenur, dazzled the young ladies of the day and in 1813 married the gorgeous Kathleen Welling. The mansion was erected shortly thereafter. Mr. Smith, a civic minded individual, was Supervisor of Warwick for six years. He served on the school board and as Trustee of the first Warwick library. The famous naturalist Frank Forester mentions, "The magnificent mansion built by John Smith" in his book Warwick Woodlands published in 1836. M.R. Bradner, M.D., established Warwick's first hospital in the mansion in the early 1900's. It remainded a hospital until 1939. The property was purchased shortly thereafter by the Veterans of Foreigns Wars.

The Warwick Historical Society, in an effort to save the building, decided to take an option with the Veterans to purchase the property. The option was for a period of one year. The Society listed the building for sale. It was felt that a suitable buyer could be found that would restore the exterior of the building to its original architecture and use the interior and grounds for functional use. The property, one acre in size, is zoned for apartments, office space, medical clinics, retirement home. It is one of the largest parcels of land remaining in the village.

A revolving fund was created by the Historical Society under the chairmanship of Mr. George Bensen, treasurer of the Society. The general purpose of the revolving fund is to supply low interest, long term loans to owners of designated hitorical buildings in Warwick and to aid the owners with exterior restoration of their buildings. The fund has been enormously successful in raising over 8,000 dollars through community contributions.

The year's option with the Veterans failed to produce a suitable buyer for the property. The Historical Society was given notice that the mansion was to be destroyed within a week. Mrs. Van Leer, president of the Historical Society, called an emergency meeting of the executive committee. It was decided at the meeting to purchase the property. The Veterans were asked for a delay of one week before destroying the building. The asking price of 60,000 dollars was met quickly by several large cash loans from local concerned citizens and Main Street businessmen who strongly felt that preservation of this building would contribute much to the character and environment of the community. "It would save a legacy for future generation."

Today you can easily preceive and appreciate the vision that Mrs. Lye, Mr. Brandt and Mr. Hull had for this building more that two year ago. The Georgian mansion has taken on a new life. The brick walls have been sandblasted, cleaned and preservered. The roofs have been repaired, window panes replaced, A replica of the front entrance is being made. The trim, shutters and attached meeting hall will be painted in the spring. The building has been received by the New York State Historical Society. The John W. Smith mansion may become an historical landmark in the very near future.

The Warwick Revolving Fund is hard at work and asking for further contributions to carry on its task of preservation. If you're looking for an architectural tearsure, the John W. Smith mansion is for sale.

(Ed. When I think of the Welling Farm, I consider it in the area of the Pioneer Farms Restaurant. But I think the original tract of land that Thomas Welling bought from Burt was rather large. According to the Assessment Roll of 1775, District # 2, Thomas Welling was accessed 24 pounds and 8 schillings. This was the highest for this district. I think his holdings included a large section of the present Village of Warwick.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, date August 24, 1974. It is used with permission. I have been thinking of this as the Servin Mansion, but it appears it goes back to another builder.

First brick house in Warwick redesignated Smith-Welling house
by Betty Rutledge

The house-warming and open house festivities must have been quite exciting for the inbabintants of the Town of Warwick in 1830 when the properous merchant John W. Smith and his wife, Catharine Welling Smith, moved into their new brick mansion in the village.

The members of the Wheeler clan would have called on Mary Wheeler Smith, John W. Smith's mother. Catharine Smith's many Welling relatives would have whished them happiness. Catharine's Post cousins across the lane in the Shingle House would have helped them celebrate. Down the road a piece Catharine's Burt retatives would have come to the quest list. In the countryside the Wisners, Blains, Bairds and Forshees would have hitched up their buggies to visit their relatives' new home. Dozens of cousins and uncles and aunts representing most of the early pioneer families of Warwick must have toured the mansion - "the pride of the Village" according to Frank Forester's account in his Warwick Woodlands, a book about his first visit to Warwick around 1831. No doubt hospitaliy was shown to the customers of John W. Smith's thriving store and stables next door.

John W. Smith was active in civic responsibilities during his lifetime. He served as Town Supervisor from 1831 - 1836. He was the School Supervisor and Inspector of the schools at various times. He was an original trustee of the first Warwick Library.

History books seldom mention the wives of illustrious forefathers. Yet this first brick home in the tiny village of Warwick was as much a contribution of Catharine Welling Smith as of her husband. It was through her family that the land was acquired and very likely some of her inheritance paid for and furnished the home.

The Historical Society of the Town of Warwick has decided that this historically signifcant building should be designated for landmark statuss as the Smith-Welling House.

Those of us latecomers and recent newcomers are very fortunate that the home is still standing as a reminnder of the heritage of the past. Many of us can relate to it in its use as Warwick's first hospital and more recently as the headquarters of the V.F.W., where so many persons have contributed to the welfare of the village through service and recreational projects.

The next time you pass the Smith-Welling House let your imagination soar and picture the mansion as it was in the early days - the focus and nucleus of the social life of the orginal Warwick Village.

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated Mar 2, 1979. Used with permission.

Hylah Hasbrouck, Warwick school teacher 30 years

Miss Hylah Hasbrouck, 96, a school teacher for 41 years, 30 of which were spent in the Warwick school system, died April 25, 1979, in Newton (NJ) Memorial Hospital. A former resident of Maple Avenue, Warwick, Miss Hasbrouck had resided in recent years at the Andover (NJ) Nursing Home.

Many Warwick resedents remember Miss Hasbrouck fondly as their fourth and fifth grade school teacher. In all her years in Warwick, 1910 - 1941, she was absent only 44 1/2 days. Twenty-five of them were taken in 1931 due to illness.

Miss Hasbrouck was born June 21, 1882, in New Platz, N.Y., the daughter of Josiah and Margaret DeKay Hasbrouck. After the death of her father, she and her moter lived with her grandmother on the old DeKay farm on the Jersey line.

She graduated from Warwick Institute in 1901 with a Regents diploma. In 1904 she graduated from New Platz, taking the "Classical Course." She did summer work at Oswego Normal in 1919 and 1928 and in 1935 spent five weeks at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She also took a course at New York University, toured Great Britian in 1938, and in 1939 visited Bermuda, Nassau, Jamaica and the New England States.

She started teaching sixth grade in Chester, N.Y. in 1904 for $400 a year, ten months a year. She taught in Chester until 1909. In 1910 she started teaching fifth grade in Warwick for $500 a year, she taught various combinations of grades, third through sixth. When she retired July 1, 1941, she was making $1600 a year.

Miss Hasbrouck was interested in children, teaching basket weaving at her home on Saturdays. She was also a member of the Women's Auxiliary of the YMCA wich sent holiday baskets to needy families. She joined the Reformed Church on June 3, 1899 and belonged to the Missionary Society and the Eendract Guild. She was also a member of the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick, the Hasbrouck Family Association and the Huguenot Historical Society of New Platz.

Miss Hasbrouck and her mother lived in the Hasbrouck House at 3 Maple Avenue which was in the family for 150 years. In the fall of 1967 the Chester Bank purchased the property and remodeled the home for use as a bank, for which they received an architectual award. It is now the Key Bank of Southeastern New York.

There is a special Hylah Hasbrouck room in the bank, with a portrait of Miss Hasbrouck over the mantel.

Miss Hasbrouck is survived by several cousins.

Funeral services were conducted Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Lazear-Smith Funeral Home, Warwick, by the Rev. James Vincent.

Burial was in Warwick Cemetery.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

McCann Hotel, New Milford

This is a transcription of a New Milford column from the Warwick Advertiser, dated May 3, 1900. The two local papers covered the happenings in the hamlets of Warwick Township and parts of New Jersey. This is a short reportage from New Milford

New Mildord
Correspondence of the Advertiser

James M. McCann, who was burned out at this place, is now arranging to open a hotel in his home at the bridge, near the railway station. This is one move out of the old "Jockey Hollow" village, caused by the fire. Those of us who are left hope that there will be but few to follow this lead, as we prefer the old "Hollow" to be rebuilt.

With our water power this place should have some manufacturing business.

We are waiting to hear how the matter of moving the postoffice will come out - will it go to the bridge or remain in the "Hollow."

(Ed. Jockey Hollow is sort of downtown New Milford and the original site of much of the activity of the hamlet in its early days. The Bridge is sort of the uptown part of New Milford, which includes the old covered bridge, the mill, and later the train station, creamery and Conklin & Strong store. The McCann hotel is currently owned by Mrs. Claske Franck. Known for years as "Pacem in Terris."

New Postcard

This is a postcard of the Stanabach store on Ryerson Road in New Milford. I had seen this card before, but didn't persoanally own it . I do now; came in the mail today. It is unused with a divided back (1907 - 1914). The 1900 fire destroyed the orignal store and Jacob Stanabach rebuilt in 1903. Don't know why it was looking like this at the time.

I love old postcards when it comes to local history. They manage to capture images of days gone by. Family pictures can do the same, but for some reason these are hard to come by. I think many people think that their old photos are of interest to family members only and that no one else would be interested. My opinion is that if you lived in Warwick and were part of the Warwick communtiy, your old photos are part of Warwick's local history. This means old photos of ancestors from Warwick even if you don't know where Warwick is. Please dig them out and share them. Please let me know what you have and I will do my best to help you share them with the rest of us. Email me at:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

James Henry Nanny House, 4 Blooms Corner Rd., Edenville

Got an email today from Chris Finney from Maryland. Chris is related to the Edenville Nannys and found my Blog on the Web. He emailed seven pictures and some information on the family and has given his permission for me to share this. Thanks Chris.

The top photo is the Nanny (aka Nanney) manor in Nannau, North Wales, England. The Nanneys were a prominent family there for many centuries. The manor house still stands. The branch of the family that ended up on Blooms Corner Road came from near Huntington, Long Island. David Nanny built the house in 1790.

The bottom photo show James Henry Nanny (far right) and Henry Johnson Nanny (third from right).

Warwick Historical Papers Volume 6, Part 2


This is an article on Bellvale. It was part of a series of articles on the villages and hamlets in Warwick Township published in 1950. This is a transcription of that article that appeared in the December 13, 1950 edition of the Warwick Valley Dispatch. The photos are of poor quality because they come from photocopies from microfilm. I post them because they were part of the original article. All is used with permission of owner.


By rights, Edgar Houston should be writing this story. For no one can extol the virtues of Bellvale liked the belove Ringmaster of the Bellvalle Circus (Photo 13). Most everybody who heard the Ringmaster goes away convinced that no place but Bellvale (Photo 1) has such fertile farms and green fields, such pictureque surrounding mountains , such breathtaking views, such handsome men and beautiful women. We can't describe it as the Ringmaster can blut we'll attempt to portray in pictures and words a bit of its natural beauty, traditions and charm.

Motorists who traverse the state highway between Warwick and Greenwood Lake, on which Bellvale is located, often pause by the dam of the former sawmill pond (Photo 2) delighted with the glimpse of the verdant woods and the splashing waters of Long House Creek (named for a long, narrow log structure which stood near the site of the Bellvale church and in which a tribe of Indians lived.) In the early days of the communtity, the dam supplied power for some of the many mills that flourished here. Many of us remember the pond as a weedy but wonderful place to swim - you could always hike here for a dip if you couldn't get to Greenwood Lake. Now dredged, cleaned and beautified, it graces one of the scenic entrances to Cascade Park, popular mountain development in which many city residents have erected cabins, and year-round homes.

Center of the communtiy is the post office and well stocked general store (Photos 3 and 4) operated by Arthlur Quackenbush for the past 40 years. Here residents pause to read letters and local papers or try their skill on the store's famed checkerboard. Here is another of the few remaining country general stores . Here one can do his shopping chat with his neighbors about all the local doings and expound his theories for solving the world's ills. In a rural peaceful community, it's hard to believe that the world has ills, that there are wars going on. Perhaps the world knows more of serenity of life without hurry, of the communal fellowship of a friendly country store.

There's a real "little red school house" in Bellvale (Photo 5). All Bellvale students now attend school at Warwick but the quaint red brick building was in use from 1879 until this year. We've often been told that George F. Ketchum, founder of the Dispatch, fell in love in that little red school - the shiny red apple he had brought for the teacher going to Squire Wilson's fair young daughter, Evelyn, instead. Schoolday romances, pranks or a beloved teacher are often recalled by Bellval residents - old and young. Modern schools offer better equipment and wider fields of training to our youngsters, but none leave more cherished memories than "the little red school."

The present Methodist Church building (Photo 6) is relatively new one, built to replace the original structure which burned January 17, 1940. But it has all the historic dignity of the original building and its simple services today recall those of the old circuit riders who rode between Bellvale, Sugar Loaf and Chester, the same circuit that exits today with one pastor, the Reverend Kenneth Sprague, administering to each. The church story goes back almost a century to 1852 when trustees met and started a subscription to build a church. On February 11, 1853, it was resolved to build the church on the lot given by Samuel Wilson. The cornerstone was given by David Stevens and laid by Rev. J.B. Wakely of New York City. Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson, wife of David Wilson, gave the bell and the altar rail was a gift from Henry Wisner, having been made from apple tree wood grown and fashioned on the Wisner farm. The parsonage was built in 1870.

A State Education Department marker (Photo 7), secured through the efforts of the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick, will help to acquaint young members of the community with the history of Bellvale. This one, near the lower village bridge, reads:

"Site of
Built 1745
Closed About 1750 by
Crown Order Forbidding
Manufacturing of Iron
Implements in Colonies

From No.2, Part 1 of the Warwick Historical Society Papers we learn of the dedication of this marker May 26, 1933, and of an address made by Chairman Octavious Applegate in which he told how Laurance Scauley in 1745 built a tilt-hammer forge for working on pig iron, the only mill of its kind in the state. The making of iron implements was forbidden by the Crown, one of the many restrictions that led to the Declaration of Independence, but Scrauley took the chances of his seclusion in this valley to go beyond the two inch limitation in iron sheets and his forge was closed in 1750. Chairman Applegate noted that, according to Headly, tweny-five years previous, the ruins of the hearth, the raceway and pit for the wheel and the mudsill of the dam was still visible.

The Thomas Powell home (Photo 8) is typical of two things - the many fine old home of Bellvale and the interesting indurtries that once hummed busily in the valley. In this building Philip T. Smith carried on his organ reed manufacturing business. It is said that some of the reeds, designed by Mr. Smith, were used in the organs of the Fifth Avenue Cathedral, St. Paul's M.E. Church and the Brooklyn Tabernacle. In addition, there are visible and historical records of other enterprises including the saw, flour and woolen mills of Daniel Burt, built around 1760; Bellvale's first store establshed by Stephen A. Burt in 1815; a harness cutlery manufacturing business conducted by Abijah Peck on the Floyd Quakenbush place about 1800 and supplying American armies in the War of 1812 and the Hiram Flagler chair factory which existed in 1840. Some of the chairs are at present in the Fred Houson home. One of these chair manufacturing businesses was on Mount Peter and was operated by John DeG(?). These chairs were made of maple from the Wildcat Swamps and when finished were taken to New York City for sale. Furniture was made on the Wisner place by John G. Schroder. Some of this furniture is in the Wisner home at present.

Horseradish was once raised for commerical purposes by William Clark. He grew it on what is now the Fred Houston farm and ground and bottled it at his home, now the Purcell place. Daniel Sayre built a mill to grind "Land Planter" from Planter rock brought from France. This product was to have been used on the ground now, but proved to be unsucessful. The mill was later used as a grist mill.

Hoop poles were made in three different places - by Cooper DeGraw near the millpond, on the place now owned by Miss Edna Sayer (this was run by Stephen A. Weymer and his son), and at the Harry Quackenbush place. The identity of the latter manufacturer is unknown.

There was at one time a still in Bellvale. The business was legal at that time (about 1850) and the still was used commercially. The pond used to provide the water power is still on the Dr Houston farm. The still made peach brandy, since peaches were as numerous as apples are now. It closed because growers could get better prices for their fruit elsewhere.

A sleigh manufacturing plant was run by Nathaniel Wright in the early part of the nineteenth century, the sleighs taken to New York as soon as the first heavy snowfall came . There was also a blacksmith shop, two carpet weaving businesses, charcoal manufactoring, and several lime kilns.

Two of the communtity's stalwart older residents are pictured in Photos 9 and 10 - Miss Emma Wisner, Bellvale's oldest inhabitant and member of one of the original families of the area and Dan Horton who lives next to the store and is known affectionately as "The Pioneer.'' It is a familiar sight to see him sawing firewood about his place. Having helped make their community's history, Bellvale elders are proud of its traditions and love dearly the land on which they have abided so long as no other spot on earth. Thus is the life of a communtiy stabilized and enriched. To them also, one is indebted for much knowledge of interesting things of which no record or landmarks exist.

In a pupil's history essay we find much information of this sort, as well as the one of the curious legends of which every neighborhood boasts. For example, "There is a legend told of an Indian chief from the Long House who upon his death, was buried sitting upright on a horse. He was buried in the Indian burying ground which is on the Wisner farm. Miss Emma Wisner tells us how she and her brother, as small children, dug faithfully but were never rewarded by finding the Indian chief" and "To the right rear of the pond up on the bank there is an old graveyard which belonged to the Nobel family. Miss Emma Wisner says can remember a woman being buried in that graveyard when she was a child" and "The Wisners have in their possession a bill of sale for two slaves sold to their family in the year 1819."

Bellvale is one of the few small communities to have its own newspaper. John Croker (Photo 11) owns one of the few complete volumes of "The Rising Star," published monthly during the year 1889 by John B. Bradner, editor, at a subscription price of 25 cents per year. Among other things, it brought readers social notes, family histories, Lehigh & Hudson timetables including Stone Bridge stops, wedding and obituary notes and poetic tributes to the beauty of the community and to Bellvale boys who were wounded and killed at the battle of Chancellorville.

The Benjamin Sayer homestead at "Sayrevill" (Photo 12) is close to the site where a small block house or fort cabin used to stand. Writing for Historical Papers, the late Mr. Sayer said, "Just when the log house known as the fort cabin was built is unknown, but it was some time between 1712, when the first settlement was made in the Warwick valley, and 1760...Daniel Sayer occupied the fort cabin for many years but in 1783 built the stone house just west of it. The cabin remained standing for a number of years thereafter and the well was only partially filled up when I was a boy. The fort cabin was built with a projecting upper story with loop or post holes through the floor through which the defender could shoot down of the besiegers who might gain the protection of its walls and thus prevent their burning the cabin which stood in the southeast corner of my yard - near the stream, about two hundred feet east of the stone dwelling house and fifty feet north of the highway. There were also two smaller log cabins on the opposite side of the road. The fort cabin was to furnish refuge for all three families in case of attack."

And now we come to the Ringmaster again and the famed Bellvale Amateur Circus presented each year by the Bellvale Epworth League for the amusement of Bellvale residents and its neighbors. In early summer, Bellvale folks put their heads together to think up clever new antics and from then on rehearsal schedules are posted at the Quackenbush store. In August the big event takes place. Lately the show has been held on Arthur Quackenbush's hilltop lot where the audince can view the scenic beauties that Ringmaster Houston so eloquently describes. As familiar as his top hat, cane and boots and his growing praises of Bellvale are the Ringmaster's warning to stay seated during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner lest a sudden shift of weight bring the bleacher fans to grief. Tom Powell's spirited peddling of ice cream and pop is another unforgettable part of the scene. All in all, its a delightful event in which just about everybody in the community has some part.

Community pride and enthusiam is as strong in Bellvale today as it was in the days of "The Rising Star." Somebody once came up with a slogan that residents still love to repeat with a twinkle in their eye, "It's Bellvale Ag'in the World.."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Col. V.A. Wilder

Col. Wilder is not a native of Warwick. He was born in Maine in 1844 and came here in the late 1880's. He bought the 200 acre farm of the late John M. Burt and enlarged and remodelled the house. This is currently the Chateau Hathorn on Route 94. Donald Clark, County Historian, in 1976, puts Col Wilder as the original owner, but I think it goes back beyond the 1880 date that he cites. I think this is the date of the enlarging and remodelling. Mr. Clark also cites E.G.W. Dietrich as the architect, who also did the Reformed Church and many other homes in this style and date in Warwick.

This is a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated March 30, 1927. Used with permission.


Col. Victor A. Wilder, gentleman, scholar, died at Suffern, N.Y. Thursday, aged 83 years. Col. Wilder was living with his only son, Donald, at Suffern, moving there last fall.

Col. Wilder was the son of M.A. Wilder and Mary Stevens Wilder, and was born at Dennisville, Maine, July 1st, 1844.

He came to Warwick in the late eighties and leased the Wisner estate known as "Robin Brae" for a year, the Campbell residence in the village for a year, and then bought of the late John M. Burt his 200 acre farm on the New Milford road; remodelling and enlarging the house and making a beautiful estate there. For about five years Col. Wilder held title to the 5000 acre tract including Wawayanda Lake. Several years later Mr. Wilder sold his residence and some 12 acres to Mr. Howe, retiring to the farm house nearby. Following adverse decisions in several expensive litigations for coal lands in West Virginia, Col. Wilder sold his Warwick farm home and moved to California and later to Arizona, where he was interested in silver mines. But owing to the increased infirmities of age and the delicate health of Mrs. Wilder, both longed to return to Warwick, and about two years ago "coming home again."

Col. Wilder's wife, Lilian, daughter of Runsom Macdonald and Marcin A. Evans died last June. He is survived by one son, Donald, of Suffern, and one sister, Miss Agnes, of Nantucket, Mass.

Col. Wilder's life was rich in experience. He serverd with the 44th Massachusetts Infantrly during the Civil War, and was an honered and beloved veteran. He was a man of intense nature, warm in his friendships and dislikes, valiant and fearless in his faith. Politically a Republican, he served that party in town politics with all the ardor of his personality. He was a fine public speaker, and for many years no public gathering was quite complete unless Col. Wilder made an address. He was a deep student of religion, and at one time gave a series of addresses at the Warwick Refromed Church on "Why I am a Christian." These were keenly followed.

In his early youth Col. Wilder travelled alone on horseback to the coast, a trip which in itself must have brought much joy to him.

The body was brought to Warwick for burial and on Saturday at one thirty o'clcok furneral services were held at the Reformed Church, of which he was a member. The Rev. Taber Knox, his pastor and friend, officiated.

Mr. Knox selected as his text, 2d Samuel, 3rd - 38: "Know ye not that a prince and a great man is fallen this day in Israel."

Mr. Knox said Co. Wilder was his beloved friend, one who had been closer to him than any other man, and having thur revealed unto his pastor the intermost thoughts, hopes, and aspirations of his soul, Mr. Knox had loved him for his sincerity, his honestly, his zealous devotion to what he believed to be right, and withal for gentleness and courtesty and innate chivalry. Mr. Knox related how, some 30 years ago, Col. Wilder came to accept and devote himself to the Christian faith, to which he had adhered steadfastly.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Warwick Valley House

This is an article published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated December 7, 1977. I didn't use the photo from the article because the quality was really poor. I used a scan of a postcard that I own, which is postmarked 1908.

Taken from the Warwick Valley Dispatch May 6, 1903 edition.


"One of the four good hotels that have made Warwick famous for many years as a good town to stop in. The present owner, E. F. Ryerson, of "Uncle Ed," as he is familarly called, purchased the property of Manning F. TenEyck in 1887 for $10,000. Mr. Ryerson has extended full as much as the original cost in improvements and additions since that time, and now has the satisfaction of owning one of the best located and best equipped country hotels in the State. There are 42 rooms in the house including 24 bedrooms. The appointments throughout are modern and up to date. Last year a new dining room and kitchen
was added to the main floor, in the rear, with several new bedrooms above, at a cost of over $3,000. The house is lighted with electricity, has a modern steam plant, hot and cold water throughout, and is connected with the Warwick Valley telephone lines. The bar and cafe is a convenient and neatly kept affiar, under the supervision of Mr. Richard Ryerson and the barber shop on the main floor, conducted by Mr. Albert Wright, is a convenience alike for the quests of the hotel and the public generally.

"The Valley House has a pleasant location facing Oakland and Railroad Avenues and overlooking the pretty park of the L & H. On the south side is the handsome lawn and residence of Mr. W. H. Chardavoyne, a view of which is obtained from the dining room. The rooms are cool in summer and will no doubt be in good demand to accommodate the many people who still want to spend the summer in Warwick. "Uncle Ed" is to be congradulated on building up such a fine property and it is the hearty wish of the DISPATCH that he may live long to enjoy and entertain others at the comfortable, home like hotel."

The Nanny Farm Boarding House

This was published in the Warwick Advertiser, May 25, 1899.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Milford Fire of 1900

This a transcription of an article published in the Warwick Advertiser, dated March 29, 1900. There is some confusion as to the date of the New Milford fire. I run into 1898 and 1900. I can't find any newspaper evidence of a fire in 1898; neither paper has a complete microfilm record for that year. I would guess an article on a fire in 1900 would mention a previous fire two years previous. This article doesn't mention a previous fire. My quess is that people writing about the fire may have got the date wrong.


Nearly Half of the Village Burned to the Ground - No Means of Fighting Fire.

The little village so long called Jockey Hollow, and more recently, New Milford, about a half mile from the station of New Milford, on the L. & H., was nearly destroyed by fire last Thursday. The fire was discovered about noon in the upper part of the store of the postmaster, Benjamin Scott. The room was blazing fiercely at the time and the the flames were soon spreading out to each side for the buildings adjoining.

Mr. Scott discovered the fire from the opposite side of the street, and ran in to put his books, stamps, etc., in the safe, taking the mail pouch and keys out to another house. On returning the fire had broken into the lower room and he was compelled to flee with very few things. His safe proved defective and the stamps, postal cards, etc., were destroyed, and his books so near ruined that but a few pages are legible.

So rapid was the spread of the fire that little was saved from the store or the hotel, kept by James McCann, on the south side, which was separated only by a partition. On the other side of the store was the hotel sheds and barn, which was soon in flames. Next, on the north, came Scott's house and then Mrs. Sloan's house, each of which in turn caught fire and was burned to the ground. The flames also reached across the street, taking another house belonging to Scott's property, filled on one side with hardware and other store goods and occupied by a Mr. Springer's family. To these the fire was continued. The store and postoffice, the hotel, with its barn and sheds, and the three dwellings destroyed, make about one-half of the little village. The Labar hotel, the tannery and blacksmith shop, the little church and the old grist mill, with a few dwellings farther separated, are about all that is left.

The Emil Kunath house, about 75 feet away from the hotel, was saved by careful work, being favored by the wind.

How the fire started is not clearly stated. Some claiming that it came from the store room first, others that it started in the chimney in the hotel, which was joined to it. But as contridicting this, we are told that a Mr. Moore, who roomed in the hotel where the chimney went up. went into his room and saved his clothes after the alarm had been given from the store, and found no fire there.

There was no appartus to put out the fire with, although the stream was close. The firemen from this village, four miles distant, were ready to go as individuals to join the bucket brigade, but had no pumping apparatus.

Scott loses heaviets, and will probably have nothing left, although insured for near $4,500. His real estate was heavily mortaged and had cost him over $3,500.

McCann had contracted for the hotel for three years to cancel a second mortgage claim, which he held. The insurance carried will probably not more than pay the first claim.

Pine Island School, 1927

This is a photo published in the Warwick Valley Dispatch, dated December 3, 1952. This is a newspaper photo saved on microfilm, not the best quality. If original photo is still available, let me know and a much better copy can be made. Used with permission.