After firing most of the houses and barns of the settlement, the marauders retired, leaving Behind
them a melancholy scene of havoc and desolation at the verge of an inclement winter. The dis¬
tress, thus occasioned was very great. Major Phillips arrived soon after the incursion with a com¬
pany of militia; but the enemy had fled beyond reach.
In 1777 or’78, Capt. Graham, with a party of 18 men, went to Chestnut Brook in pursuit of some
Indians who had been committing depredations upon the settlements at Pine Bush. Having
stopped to drink, Capt. Graham saw an Indian in the path, and the party fired a volley without
effect. Upon this the Indians on the opposite banks returned the fire with fatal effect, and but 3
of the party escaped to tell the dismal tale. To deprive the enemy of sustenance and the means
for further annoyance, the Legislature, in 1779,1 enacted a law directing the Governor to cause the
destruction of such grain and crops in the w. frontiers of Orange and Ulster cos. as could not
be removed to a place of safety. In 17832 the precinct of “ Mamacotting” and tbe township
of Rochester (the district of the regiment of Col. A. Hawke Hay, and that part of the Goshen
regiment on the w» side of the Minisink Mts.) were exempted from a levy then made for the
defense of the n. and w. frontiers.2
Several traces of Indian occupation were found in the first settlement of the co. About 4 mi,
from the Delaware, on the Flat, was found a brass or copper tomahawk, with a steel edge, and u
handle perforated for smoking. Stone axes, flint arrows, &c. were frequently found. In 1793, an
Indian living in Rockland, at a place called “Pocatocton,” (meaning a river almost spent,) removed
to Niagara. He is supposed to have been the last of his .race that inhabited the co. Indian trails
were found along the Delaware, the Beaver Kil, and in other sections.
The part of this co. s. of the s. hounds of Callicoon and Bethel is comprised in the Neversink
Patent, conveyed to Matthew Ling and others Aug. 28, 1704; and the remainder of the co. in the
great tract granted to Johannes Hardenbergh and others April 20, 1708, and known as the
“ Hardenhergh Patent.”3 The Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike (incorp. March 20, 1801) was
opened across the co. in 1808, and gave the first impulse to its prosperity by making it accessible to
settlers. This section continued to receive emigrants from New England and the older portions
of the State until its growth was checked hy the completion of the Erie Canal to the Genesee
country and the great lakes, hy which emigration was diverted to the new and fertile lands of the
West. Real estate in consequence declined materially in value, and many of the early settlers aban¬
doned their locations and joined the westward current. In 1819 or ’20 the Orange Branch Turnpike
was made, from Montgomery, (Orange co.,) crossing the Shawangunk Mt. at Roses Gap, and extend¬
ing across the barrels through Wakemans Settlement to the Neversink Falls, and thence to Liberty.
The charter of this road was long since given up, but the route is maintained as a district road.
B£TH£L—was formed from Lumberland, March 27,1809. Cochecton was taken oft m 1828
It lies upon the high ridges which form the watershed between Delaware and Mongaup Rivers,
a little s. w. of the center of the co. Its surface is broken and hilly, and many of the declivities
are steep and rocky. It is watered by a large number of small streams, mostly tributary to Mon¬
gaup River; and it has many small lakes, which form a beautiful and romantic feature of the land¬
scape. White Lake, near the center,—named from its white sandy shores and bottom,—is noted
for the beauty of its scenery.4 The other principal lakes are Birch Ridge Pond in the n. w., Horse
Shoe and Pleasant Ponds in the n., Mallory Pond in the w., Indian Field Pond in the s., Big and
Wells Ponds on the s. line, and Chestnut Ridge Pond and Black Lake and Lake Superior near the
center. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam, intermixed in places with clay. The settlements
are comparatively new, and the people are chiefly engaged in the raising of neat cattle, dairying,
lumbering, and tanning.5 Mongaup Valley (p.v.) contains 35 houses, and Betliel 15.
Buslivllle and Wliite Fake are p.offices. John Fuller was the first settler in the “Fuller
Settlement,” in 1806-07.6 The first preacher (Presb.) was the Rev. Mr. Green.7
sides of leather, valued at $187,000. It consumed about 5000
cords of hemlock bark, and employed 70 men, at a cost of
$12,000. There are about 102,000 sides of leather manufactured
annually at different tanneries in this town.
1 G. and C. Hurd were the first settlers at the Hurd settle¬
ment ; Adam and Eve Pentler near Bethel; and Potter and
Mattison near White Lake. The first school at Mongaup was
taught hy G. P. Price, and at Bethel by Dr. Copeland. Gillespie
& Hook kept the first store at White Lake, and J. K. Beeman
built the first saw and grist mill, on White Lake outlet. The
first birth was that of Catharine Fuller, in 1807, and the first
death that of a child of Stephen Northrup.
8 The census reports 4 churches; 2M. E., Presb., and Kef.
October 17. 2 February 21.
memorable battle of Minisink in July, 1779, are given in our
account of the towns in which they occurred.
1 Portions of the Hardenbergh Patent were settled upon
leases of long term; and during the anti rent excitement, a few
years since, the clamor against this tenure prevailed extensively,
hut without acts of open violence. The refusal to pay rents,
which this feeling occasioned, led to a great amount of litigation.
Although the excitement has subsided, the question is not fully
This lake is noticed in one of the poems of Alfred B. Street,
by the name of “ Kon-ne-on-ga.”
6 A tannery at Mongaup Valley in 1856 manufactured 50,000