Orange County, New York

Today’s Route 209 is believed to be the Old Mine Road.

pre-colonial times – the Lenni Lenape Indians inhabited the area. Chief Penhorn and his tribe lived on the east side of the Neversink River.

1690 – the Indians asked William Tietsoort to move to the area to build a blacksmith shop, thereby making him the first European inhabitant in the Neversink Valley.

1697 – a 1,200 acre patent granted to Dutchmen Jacob Codebeck, Thomas Swartwout, Anthony Swartwout, Bernardus Swartwout, Jan Tyse, Peter Germar (Gumaer) and David Jamison.

1700s – farmhouse and old gristmill built in Huguenot.

From this early start, seven hamlets developed in the town of Deerpark:

Cahoonzie is named for its location. It is where Chief Cahoonzie of the Cahoonshee Indians is buried. (It is believed that the chief was born and died on the Bauer farmland in Cahoonzie.)

Cuddebackville is named for William Cuddeback. He was a descendant of the first settler in the area and was a colonel in the War of 1812.

Godeffroy is named for Adolphus E. Godeffroy, who had a mansion and estate in the area.

Huguenot was named for the refugees who came to the area in search of religious freedom.

Rio was named for Ben Ryal, the postmaster who organized the local post office. (The name distortion was a result of the prohibition of naming a post office for a person.

Sparrowbush was named for the land known as Sparrow’s Bosh owned by Henry L. Sparrow.

Westbrookville was named for Dirck Van Keuren Westbrook, an early settler.

c. 1740s – Jacques Caudebec built a small stone fort in the Peenpack area (Godeffroy). It still stands and can be seen on Route 209.

French and Indian War – preparation for this war caused the Lenni Lenape to move west.

New York/New Jersey boundary War – this boundary dispute involved property destruction, fights, kidnapping, and even killing.

1773 (September 1) – the king of England established the present boundary line between New York and New Jersey.

Revolutionary War – construction of Fort Westbrook (that still stands today).

1778 (October 13) – Mohawk chief and Colonel in the British army, Joseph Brant and his followers attacked the Neversink Valley. They attacked Huguenot, then Fort DeWitt in Cuddebackville. The birthplace of DeWitt Clinton was part of the Captain Jacob Rutsen DeWitt Fort still stands near the Neversink Bridge at Roses Point. During the Brant raid, the fort sheltered about 100 people from harm.

1778 – after the Brant raid, Benjamin DePuy built a stone house upon the ruins of the original fort and outbuildings that stood here. It still stands.

1779 (July 20) – Brant returned to the attack and won the Battle of Minisink Ford near the Delaware River.

1798 – the state legislature created Sullivan and Rockland Counties from land in Orange and Ulster Counties. What became known as the northern part of Deerpark was taken from Ulster County.

1803 – Peter E. Gumaer bought the DePuy stone house .

c. 1814 – Peter E. Gumaer built a large homestead near the corner of Guymard Turnpike and Canal Drive in Godeffroy. Later the D&H Canal flowed past the farmhouse. Gumaer’s Store served the canal workers and passengers.

1828-1898 – construction and maintenance of the Delaware and Hudson Canal to bring anthracite coal primarily from Honesdale, Pennsylvania to Kingston, New York, from where it was taken down the Hudson River to New York City. It followed the Delaware River and then went northeast along the Neversink River.

The canal went through the Town of Deerpark.

1845 – Peter P. Swartwout built the Seneyaughquan Farm. It at one time had a 200-year-old walnut tree. (The farm is now owned by the Orange County Department of Parks and Recreation.)

1850 – Maurice M. Schultz built the Sparrowbush Tannery next to the D&H Canal. It was the town’s first and only factory.

c. 1850 – the Cuddebackville suspension bridge built.

mid-1800s – Jeremiah Patterson opened his quarry and supplied stone to the Raymar Hotel in Sparrowbush.

second half of the 1800s – Deerpark was home to some 22 boardinghouses and hotels.

1853 – on the hill, the Cuddebackville Reformed Church was built by Martin Wheeler in the Greek Revival style.

1863 – construction of the Mineral Spring House (a.k.a. Hotel Huguenot) constructed in Huguenot as a summer resort advertising the healthy qualities of the Chalybeate Mineral Springs.

1868 – arrival of the Monticello & Port Jervis Railroad Company create a resort industry in the Deerpark area. Dairy farming was another profitable business.

1868 – the Sparrowbush Methodist Church built. In the 1800s, Methodism spread across the country.

Early 1870s – in Sparrowbush, John R. Patterson built the town’s first boardinghouse on one end of his 100-acre Eddy Farm. It became a resort that offered boating on the Delaware River, bathing, fishing, tennis, croquet, and baseball.

1875 to mid-1930s – the Lewis family owned a homestead and Buttermilk Falls (the tallest waterfall in Orange County) in Oakland Valley.

c. 1880 – a photograph shows guests at Camp Deerpark, a working farm and boardinghouse, on Brandt Road in Port Orange.

1881 – Quarry Hill Methodist Church dedicated. (Name later changed to the Rio United Methodist Church.)

Late 1880s or 1890s – a photograph shows guests at the YMCA Camp Talcott at Sand Pond in Huguenot.

1885 – a severe storm caused a breach in the D&H Canal at Bolton Basin in Sparrowbush.

1889 – a photograph shows a one-horse carriage being pulled along a very narrow road, the one that is now known as the Hawk’s Nest Drive. The road originally went from Sparrowbush to Mongaup.

late 1800s – the Raymar Hotel (later known as the Alexander Hotel) built in Sparrowbush. (It is now an antique shop.)

Late 1800s – the Port Jervis, Monticello, & New York Railroad Company reorganized and purchased the Port Jervis & Monticello Railroad Company.

1900 – in Huguenot the H&D Canal was filled in, the bridge removed and the old Route 209 road built. Until the 1960s, Route 209 was closely lined trees creating a tunnel effect.

Early 1900s – the Cuddebackville suspension bridge replaced by the first one-lane iron bridge. It lasted until 1928.

1901 – a photograph shows the dumping of calcareous shale into gondola cars of the new York, Ontario & Western Railroad in Godeffroy.

1903 – a map of this year shows a number of hostelry places: Hotel Huguenot, Pine Grove Inn and Cottages, and Ruth’s Place on Route 209.

1905 – a photograph from this year shows the 80-guest Caudebec Inn as it once stood on Oakland Valley Road (between the two entrances of the Rural Valley Cemetery in Cuddebackville).

1907 – first major auto accident (killing two people) occurred in Cuddebackville.

1909-1915 – famous film director D. W. Griffith made many films in the Deerpark area. Many of the stars (Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Florence Lawrence, Mack Sennett and Henry Walthall) stayed at the Caudebec Inn.

1912 – the Cahoonzie Inn destroyed by fire. It was built by Jacob Bauer on a farm previously owned by J. L. Chase. After the fire, Bauer built the Bauer Hotel across from the Erie Depot in Port Jervis.

by 1930 – Eddy farm had become a hotel.

1944-45 – the Cuddebackville firehouse built.

1946 – first fire truck for the new firehouse.

1950s – the Pattersons ended their farming business and Eddy Farm increased its resort offerings.

1955 – Hurricane Diane caused severe damage in Sparrowbush.

late 1950s to early 1960s – old gristmill in Huguenot burned down by an arsonist.

1979 – the Mineral Spring House (Hotel Huguenot) burned down.

2002 – the Hawk’s Nest designated as part of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.

what years? – in Godeffroy, just across the Neversink bridge on Guymard Turnpike, was a grand estate of 800 acres owned by Otis Plock. The mansion was known as Minqua Park.

(Source: Brian J. Lewis. 2002 Images of America: Deerpark. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.)