Hope Farm Press & Bookshop 252 Main Street Saugerties New York 12477 845-246-3522

[Table of Contents] ** [New York County Map.] **  [Comments?]


Saugerties History

Aerial view of Main Street looking South over Esopus Bend Nature Preserve and Barclay Heights to the Hudson River

1677 - On April 27, New York's Governor Andros signed an agreement with the Esopus Indian Kaelcop, chief of the Amorgarickakan Family, to purchase the land which is now Saugerties. The price was a blanket, a piece of cloth, a shirt, a loaf of bread, and some coarse fiber.

1652-1663 - Barent Cornelis Volge operated a sawmill on a stream called the Sawyer's Kill

1685 - Approximately when the Mynderse House was built by John Persen, who also built an early gristmill and sawmill in the area, and ran a ferry across the river.

1710 - The Palatine immigration of 1710. Over 3,000 Palatine Germans were sent here by the English Crown to manufacture naval stores (tar, turpentine) for the British Fleet. It was the largest single body of settlers to arrive in the New World up to this time. The Palatines were set up in camps on both the east and west sides of the Hudson River. The settlement on the west side of the river became known as the West Camp.

1727 - The Kiersted House on Main Street was built by Hiskia DuBois.

1730 - Approximately when Katsbaan was settled.

1732 - The Palantine and Dutch settlers build a stone church in Katsbaan.

1777 - During the American Revolution a British Squadron lay at anchor here (October 18-22, 1777). British raiding parties burned Clermont and Belvedere on the east side of the Hudson River. At Saugerties, the raiding parties burned sloops in the Esopus Creek and several homes and barns. Here General Vaughan learned that General John Burgoyne had surrendered his army at Saratoga on October 17. On October 22, 1777, the British fleet departed, never again to threaten the Mid-Hudson Valley.

1811 - The hamlet of Saugerties contained only twenty-one houses

1825 - Henry Barclay purchased the land on Esopus Creek and began constructing the dam and the rock cut.

1826 - 1827 - Barclay built Ulster Iron Works and a paper mill beginning what became the largest concentration of water powered industry in the world.

1830 - The village warranted a steamboat line; a night boat for freight and one for passengers to New York City.

1831 - The Village of Saugerties grew quickly and was incorporated under the name of Ulster.

1832 - Bluestone was quarried in Toodlum (now Veteran) and a powder mill was established on Fish Creek.

1838 - The first lighthouse in Saugerties was built with funds appropriated by Congress.

1851 - Henry Barclay died on January 3rd. The Sheffield Company took over his paper mill.

1855 - The name of the village of Ulster was changed to Saugerties.

1865 - The steamboat Ansonia (later called the Robert A. Snyder) began its services and remained on the Hudson for sixty-five years.

1869 - The present lighthouse was built on a massive, circular stone base sixty feet in diameter.

1870 - Saugerties Village population stabilized at about 4000 people.

1872 - In July Barclay's old mill was completely destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt out of brick within a year, with slate roofs.

1883 - The opening of the West Shore Railroad of the New York Central Railroad, which served people going north to Albany and south to New York City.

1888 - Martin Cantine built a paper mill on the North side of the dam.

1889 - On January 29, the Saugerties and New York Steamboat Company was incorporated by Henry L. Finger, Robert A. Snyder, James and William Maxwell, and John and George Seaman.

1890 - The Orpheum Theater was built by John C. (Cooper) Davis as a center for vaudeville acts, movies, roller skating, and basketball. Mr. Davis lived from 1852 to 1914,  and was a son of John W. Davis, who was the 2nd president of the  Saugerties Savings Bank, serving from 1880-1887.

1891 - February 7, the Electric Light and Power Company of Saugerties turned on the electricity for the first time.

1903 - The Cantine Company purchased the Sheffield mill.

1954 - Automation of the light made lightkeepers obsolete. The lighthouse was closed by the Coast Guard and fell into decay.

1975 - The Cantine mill closed.

1978 - In January the entire Cantine mill complex burned to the ground.

1978 - Local historian Ruth Reynolds Glunt, and architect Elise Barry, succeeded in placing the lighthouse on the National Register.

1986 - The newly formed Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy acquired the lighthouse and the adjacent wetlands.

1987 - The eight block Saugerties Village center became the first commercial district on the National Historic Register.

1989 - Pat Reppert of Shale Hill Farm and Herb Gardens organized the first Garlic Festival held in the Hudson Valley - and perhaps on the East Coast. Within a few years the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties took over, and the Garlic Festival moved to Cantine Field in Saugerties, where it now attracts as many as 45,000 on the last full weekend of September every year.

1990 - On August 4, after 36 years of a dark lighthouse, the light was restored to operation.

1994 - Saugerties is host to the Woodstock '94 festival. Largest mass gathering in this towns history.

2000 - The Saugerties Historical Society purchased the stone Kiersted house on Main Street for their headquarters.

2003 - Horseshows In The Sun (HITS) opened their 200 acre, 10 ring, Olympic-class horseshow facility on Washington Avenue Extention

2004 - The vacant Cantine mill site on Partition Street was purchased  for development.

2005 - Esopus Bend Conservancy was formed to preserve 150+ acres with 2 mile of shoreline on the upper Esopus Creek.

2006 - Saugerties Area Mobility Analysis (SAMA) received a grant to study the traffic patterns and parking problems in the Village of Saugerties with an eye towards rerouting truck traffic and easing the congestion in the Village. New crosswalks, coordinated traffic lights with walk intervals, and better traffic routing will combine with the recently completed  multimillion dollar Streetscape Beautification project to insure the vitality and livability of the community for decades to come.  

Hope Farm Press specializes in books on New York State. That includes New York Genealogy, Military History - i.e. Revolutionary War,  French and Indian War, Civil War; Native Americans (Indians) - i.e. Iroquois Confederacy, Six Nations, Algonquin, Mohawk Indians, Delaware Indians, Mohican, Seneca Indians, Oneida Indians, Tuscarora Indians; Dutch Colonial History, Folklore, Environment, Hiking, Nature, Railroads, Steamboats, and Town and County History. We also host the NYGenWeb pages for Greene and Ulster Counties, the Saugerties Kiwanis Hudson Valley Garlic Festival pages, a Community Events page, and provide tourism details and links to all the New York relevant websites.
Thank you for visiting ~ ~ Richard Frisbie

copyright 2005
all rights reserved