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During the Revolution, a band of Indians appeared near the house of Frederick Bush, who lived near old Brown's Station (now under the reservoir) and carried away with them the three young Bush boys, Stephen, Isaac and Cornelius, the latter a mere baby, while the father and elder son were looking for a bee tree just above Bishop's Falls. They were later returned to their homes.
Shokan had its Revolutionary fort, built in 1781, of logs with a picket palisade, by order of Congress in an Act passed in Philadelphia in June, 1780. It was maintained at the expense of the United States. From this fort scouts operated about sixteen miles north and twelve or fourteen miles west. The site is now under the reservoir.
A number of new settlers came to Olive immediately after the Revolution, most of them from Dutchess County, a few from New England. The Winchells, from Northeast, had an early gristmill at Winchell Falls and the first iron foundry in the northern part of the county. Asa Bishop, from Connecticut, started a gristmill at Bishop's Falls. Olive long retained its old-fashioned customs. In 1876, the women of the farmhouses daily spun wool and flax and wove cloth on looms made by their husbands, even after the Ulster & Delaware Railroad was bringing crowds of summer visitors. (Article in "Harper's Monthly" of that year.)
Olive scenery is exceptionally beautiful. Without being overcrowded or excessively organized, it retains great popularity as a vacation resort. On Labor Day the town holds annually a reunion of the old residents who had homes there before the flooding of the Ashokan Reservoir.
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Copyright © 1995 by Richard Frisbie -- All rights reserved.