History of Kent

Putnam Valley, New York


Foshay Corners

Meads Corners


Kent Cliffs

Farmers Mills

Carmel Park Estates

Allen Corners

Berkshire Terrace


Yale Corners

Kent Hills

Lake Carmel

Maynard Corners

Kent Corners

pre-Colonial period – the area was home to the Wappinger Indians.

1679 – the area was once part of the Phillipse Patent granted in this year.

1742  --  Cole's Mills first settled by Elisha Cole. 

1750 – Zachariah Merritt made the first settlement in what became Kent. Other early family names were Boyd, Wixon, Farrington, Burton, Carter, Barrett and Ludington and they can still be found today.

1772 – foundation of the future town of Kent under its original name of Frederickstown (which contained Patterson, Carmel and Southeast).

1775-1783 – the American Revolutionary War.

1776  --  Ludington Mill built.  It was owned by Col. Henry Ludington, father of Sybil Ludington, the female Paul Revere. 

1777 – the Ludingtons lived at today’s intersection of I-84 and Ludingtonville Road now known as Ludingtonville. Col. Henry Ludington was the commander of the local militia. When the British attacked Danbury, Connecticut, teenager Sybil Ludington rode 40 miles to call up her father's militia.

1778 – death of sachem Daniel Nimham and 50 of his warriors during the Battle of Kings Heights on Cortlandt Ridge in the Bronx.

1778  --  Kent, once part of Frederickstown, named for Frederick Philipse, was organized.

1782  --  origin of the Kent and East Fishkill Baptist Church congregation at Farmer's Mills. 

after the Revolutionary War  --  brothers David and Elisha Cole operated a gristmill, sawmill and fulling mill. 

1784  --  the first mill built at the future Farmer's Mills. 

Ludingtonville named after Col. Henry Ludington, an officer during the American Revolutionary War. Ludington Mill used power from the Horse Pound Brook.  The site is now covered by Interstate 84. 

Boyd's Corners (now under the waters of Boyd's Reservoir) named for Ebenezer Boyd, a captain during the Revolutionary War.

1785-1793 – jurist James Kent began practicing law in Poughkeepsie. He served Dutchess County in the state assembly.

c. 1790  --  the patent house on Farmer's Mill Road, south section of Kent, built. 

1792  -- the first Kent and East Fishkill Baptist Church built. 

1793 – James Kent appointed one of two masters in chancery in New York City. He also became the first professor of law at Columbia College (now Columbia University).

1795  --  Frederickstown divided into four towns: Carmel, Southeast, Franklin (now Patterson) and Fredericks. 

early 1800s  --  Benjamin Yale was a state legislator.  Yale Corners was named after him.

early 1800s  --  Robert J. Lee was a successful farmer and justice of the peace.  He lived at the old patent house (c. 1790). 

1804  --  Thomas Mead, a wealthy farmer in Farmer's Mills, built a saltbox-type home that still stands today. 

until 1812 – Kent was part of Dutchess County.

1817  -- name of the town Frederick changed to Kent, in honor of the Kent family.

1820  --  Dr. Elias Cornelius donated land for the Putnam County Poor Farm (on Gipsy Trail Road). 

1838  --  an association of farmers formed the basis for Farmer's Mills (first known as Milltown). 

1848  --  Putnam County Bank originated at Farmer's Mills.

mid-1800s  --  Townsend's general store established.  It was later the Lakefront Restaurant. 

1866 –  construction began on Boyd's Dam and the creation of Boyd’s Reservoir.

1873  --  Boyd's dam complete. 

1877  --  a small part of the Town of Philipstown transferred to Kent.

late 1800s and early 1900s  --  the Steinbeck Farm on Old Ludingtonville Road was very successful. (Today it is a private residence.)

1890s  --  Dreamwold, once considered the finest restaurant in Putnam County, established. 

1900 - mid-1950s  --  one-room school house on Farmer's Mill Road built and used.  (It was later owned by the Kent Civic Association.)

1907  --  Kent and East Fishkill Baptist Church of Farmer's Mill built. 

c. 1910 photograph  --  shows Townsend's general store at Boyd's Corners.  It was located at the intersection of Old Route 301 and Peekskill Hollow Road.

1920s  -- the settlement Lake Carmel created around an artificial lake. 

late 1920s photograph  --  shows Rosetta Forshay as a child at her farm on Ninham Road.  Forshay Corners was named for her family who held such positions as school commissioner, town supervisor and county coroner.  Rosetta became a schoolteacher at Farmer's Mills. 

early 1930s  --  the Smadbeck brothers, Arthur and Warren, owned and developed Lake Carmel.  (Engineer Roy A. Burges assisted.)

1930s  --  Albert and Helen Walsh started Helen's Store.

c. 1930s  --  Family Inn, operated by Tony Randazzo, on the Kent-Carmel border, Route 52, offered good food and music. 

c. 1932 photograph  --  view of Lake Carmel and the new Route 311 from the top of Barrett Hill. 

c. 1933  --  Lake Carmel Clubhouse built for Lake Carmel property owners.  (Today it offers rental apartments.) 

1940s  --  the Slaughter W. Huff Pony Farm operated from the original home of Daniel Kent at Yale Corners (corner of Old Horsepound and Farmer's Mills Roads).

1940s to 1951  --  vaudeville performer Chic Johnson owned the Winter Garden farm on Route 52.  Very involved with the USO, the farm served as a place where show people could entertain returning and injured GIs. 

1943 picture  -- Lakefront Restaurant. 

1947 photograph  --  shows the social center of Lake Carmel, the Lake Carmel Market, located on the corner of Hillandale and Towners Roads.  (Today it houses a delicatessen.)

1950s  -- the Sedgewood Club took over the Carmel Country Club, located off Route 301, overlooking the West Branch Reservoir.   

1954 photograph  -- shows Bolla's Restaurant (formerly known as the Winter Garden Farms Restaurant).  Famous vaudeville entertainer, Chic Johnson, ran the original place. 

mid-1950s  --  Kent Historical Society takes over the one-room schoolhouse on Farmer's Mill Road. 

1960s  -- Ruth Klein, daughter of Albert and Helen Walsh, inherited Helen's Store.  Today the business is the Kent Cliff store (on Route 301) and is owned by her son Edward Klein. 

1970s  --  closure of the Putnam County Poor Farm.  It later burned.  (The place is now home to the Putnam County Memorial Park.)

1972  --  Ludingon Mill burned down. 

mid-1970s to mid-1980s  --  the Lasser family ran an antiques store on the first floor of the old Townsend's general store/Lakefront Restaurant.

1976  --  the Kent Historical Society purchased the old one-room schoolhouse on Farmer's Mills Road. 

mid-1980s  --  the Sedgewood Club damaged by fire and then rebuilt.

mid-1908s  --  after a series of fires, Dreamwold restaurant finally closed. 

mid-1980s  --  Bolla's Restaurant burned. (It is now home to the Lake Carmel Fire Department.)

Kent Lakes is home to two State Parks - Wonder Lake in the east and Fahnestock in the west.


Guy Cheli.  2004.  Images of America: Putnam County.  Arcadia: Charleston, South Carolina.