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Fertile lands along the Plattekill attracted a few settlers, mainly from Kingston, about 1740, somewhat south of Modena. Land deeds record the buying of land there by Jacob Delamater in 1743 and buildings were erected about the same time. Henry Ostrander, of the town of Esopus, bought about two thousand acres in the Marschalm tract in 1760. Captain Stephen Nottingham, early supervisor of the town of Marlborough, also resided on the Plattekill.
The Modena neighborhood was formerly called Money Stump, owing, it is said, to treasures hidden in hollow trees near the trail at that place by refugees from the Hudson River fleeing before the advance of Vaughn's fleet in October, 1777. The largest influx of new settlers came shortly after the Revolution. The families of Deyo, Brodhead, Hasbrouck, Devine, DuBois, Eltinge, Seymour and Fordham were prominent in early days and most of them still remain in the neighborhood. Methodists held meetings at the house of "Aunt Hulda" Hait as early as 1786, and that denomination has always been an important one of the locality.
Modena had many years ago a flourishing literary society which imported noted speakers, including Horace Greeley and Theodore Tilton. It now contains one of the most useful and attractive buildings in southern Ulster, the Hasbrouck Memorial Hall, erected adjoining the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1926, the gift of the late Joseph E. Hasbrouck, of Modena, and his wife Ida (Hand) Hasbrouck. It contains a stage and auditorium, a large dining room, kitchen and pantries, with other facilities, and is used not only by the church, but by many other community organizations.
Clintondale, in the northeast part of town, an old Quaker settlement, has at present the largest and most active Quaker Meeting in the county. Quaker families Thorns, Coutants, Heatons, Palmers, etc. are very prominent. The Clintondale Fruit Growers' Cooperative, Inc., is the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi. Ardonia, nearby, is a flourishing fruit center.
New Hurley is a prosperous farming region, with a Dutch Reformed Church dating from 1770, and many old stone houses.
Located in a sunny valley, protected to the east by Marlborough Mountain and west by the Shawangunk Range, Plattekill Township is a delightful place of residence. This, together with its accessibility from New York City, brings many visitors. The land has always been favorable to agriculture, and at the present time is known for the flourishing fruit, poultry and dairy industries.
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