History of Putnam Valley

Putnam County, New York


Gilbert Corners


Oscawanna Corners

Crofts Corners

Putnam Valley

Lake Peekskill

Christian Corners

Adams Corners

Tompkins Corners

c.  1740  --  the first settlers came to the area.   One of the first inhabitants was Thomas Bryant (of Bryant Hill and Bryant Pond). 

mid-1700s  --  Abraham Smith of Suffolk County, Long Island built a house on the corner of Bryant Pond Road and Wood Street.  Saxton Smith, his grandson, grew up here and later was elected to the state assembly in 1839, 1843, and 1862. 

1780  -- the Barger family arrives from Germany (of Barger Pond).   

1788-1938  --  the Rundle Mill (on Mill Street) operated as a gristmill.  Also on the site were a sawmill and cider mill. 

late 1700s  --  John Horton purchased the land around what was then known as Horton's Pond (later Oscawana Lake). 

by the early 1800s  --  Adam's Corners (at the south end of Putnam Valley) had a general store, post office and a schoolhouse.

1835  --  the Tompkins Corners Methodist Church built (on land acquired from Bartholomew Tompkins).    

1839  --  before the separation, the town of Putnam Valley was a part of Philipstown.  Then it was called Quincy.

1840  --  the name was changed from Quincy to Putnam Valley.

1840  --  Saxton Smith elected supervisor of Putnam Valley.   He was elected state senator in 1845, 1847 and 1863. 

c. 1846  --  Adams Corner Schoolhouse built. 

mid-1800s  --  thousands of tons of iron ore taken from the Denny Hill Mine (in Clarence Fahnestock State Park). 

mid-1850s  --  Oscawana Lake House opened  --  first summer resort.

1860s  -- there was a general store at Adams Corners.  (It later housed the town's first telephone exchange.)

1877  --  the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund originated and used Camp Rossback on Peekskill Hollow Road, near Tompkins Corners. 

1883  --  the Tompkins Corners United Methodist Church listed as an historical site. 

by late 1800s  --  the trolley line ran from the Peekskill train station to Oregon Corners (with connections to the stage coach). 

late 1800s to mid-1900s  --  many boardinghouses, inns and camps were built at Oscawana Lake, which was a popular resort at this time. 

late 1800s-1920s  --  the Lewis brothers operated the Lewis Brothers Toothpick Factory (on Peekskill Hollow Road).  The toothpicks were made from white birch trees. 

late 1800s  --  Ruban Gilbert purchased the old Abraham Smith property (then known as the Interlake Farm).  

1891  --  Tompkins Corners Methodist Church rebuilt after being destroyed by fire. 

1897  --  Putnam Valley Grange No. 841 was organized.

1897 picture  --  John T. Barger with horse and wagon rides along Barger Road with Barger Pond in the background. 

1900  -- Grange building erected.

c. 1900  --  Absolem Sherwood ran a stagecoach from Peekskill to the summer resort hotels at Lake Oscawana.

1905  --  the Oregon School established in Oregon Corners (in the northwest corner of the town). 

1910 picture  --  Vincent Crawford delivered mail via horse and buggy to Adams Corners, Oscawana and Tompkins Corners post offices. 

1920-1933  --  during Prohibition, New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth rented a summer house in Lake Oscawana.  He liked the place because it was not a dry town.  A picture shows him playing ball with neighborhood kids. 

c. 1921  --  man-made Lake Peekskill developed by the McGolrick Real Estate Company. 

late 1920s  --  Camp Rossback became known as Camp Madison Felicia.  It was under the guidance of Israel Ben Shieber.  (Today it is Camp Combe and run by the YMCA.)

1929 Clarence Fahnestock State Park created.

1929  --  Putnam Valley Free Library started in the summer home of Rhea K. Johnson.

1931  -- ground broken for the Taconic Parkway to cut through Putnam Valley. 

1933  -- Lake Peekskill Post Office established.

1934  --  Putnam Valley Central School district created.

1935  --  Putnam Valley Central School dedicated.  Israel Ben Shieber was president of the school board.  (Five schools were combined to form the Putnam Valley School District.)

1936  --  Putnam Valley town hall building.

1937  --Putnam Valley Free Library obtained a provisional charter.

1938  --  the Taconic Parkway completed through Putnam County. 

1940s picture  --  a picture of Oregon Corners shows O'Connor's Tavern and the IGA store. 

1946  --  Putnam Valley Volunteer Fire Department established.

1947  -- Putnam Valley Post Office established at Oregon Corners.

1947 picture --  the first Putnam Valley fire engine shown.

late 1940s and 1950s  --  a popular resort for mainly New York City residents was the Cimarron Dude Ranch.

1950  --  a church building deconstructed and then reconstructed in Putnam Valley to establish St. Luke's Church. 

1968  --  Putnam Valley Historical Society created. 

1983  --  Tompkins Corners Methodist Church put on the National Register of Historic Places.


Stephen Andersen, Town Historian.  http://www.putnamvalley.com/history.htm

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