THE TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW.
It is claimed that the name of Haverstraw appears on a map found among the Dutch archives in Amsterdam, supposed
to have been made about 1616. It may be so. We know that Hudson sailed up the river seven years before; that Adrian
Block first built on the site of the present New York City two years before; and that the permanent settlement
occurred ten years later, in 1626, and it may be somewhat of a tax on human credulity to believe, that at that
date a map was made of a wilderness in which one place is located as "the Haverstroo" or "Haverstroo,"
still such a thing is not impossible.
The first mention I find of the name is in the map of New Netherland, by A. Vanderdonck, made in 1656, and it is
there spoken of as Haverstroo." In June 1658, occurs the second mention of the name, that I have found, in
Stuyvesant's Journal of his visit to Esopus; "that the murder had not been committed by one of their tribe,
but by a Newesink Savage, who was now living at- Haverstroo, or about there;" again in 166o and 1664, the
name occurs and after that is frequently used. It is doubtless true that this name was given to the place on account
of the wild oats which grew along the river banks.
From 1686 till 1719, the present town of Haverstraw was included in the laws, taxes and militia duties of Orangetown.
But that valley was increasing so rapidly in population, the distance was so great and the trail so poor between
it and Tappan, that the inhabitants petitioned for separate existence and on June 24th, 1719, the following act
" An Act to enable the Precincts of Haverstraw in the County of Orange, to chuse a Supervisor, a Collector,
two Assessors, one Constable, and two Overseers of Highways. * * * *
WHEREAS, Several principal Freeholders and Inhabitants of Haverstraw, in the County of Orange, in Behalf of themselves
and others, have by their Petitions to the General Assembly, prayed they may be enabled to elect one Supervisor,
one Collector, two Assessors, one Constable and two Overseers of the Highways, by Reason of their great Distance
from Tappan, in the said County.
Be it therefore enacted, by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and General Assembly, and by the authority of
the same; That from and after the publication of this Act, it shall and may be lawful for the Inhabitants of the
Districts and Precincts of Haverstraw, in the County of Orange, from the Northernmost bounds of Tappan, to the
northernmost bounds of Haverstraw, and they are hereby required and impowered to assemble and meet together, at
the most Convenient place in the said Districts, and Precincts, on the first Tuesday in April, annually, and then
by a plurality of voices to elect and chuse among them one Supervisor, one Collector, two Assessors, one Constable,
and two Overseers of the Highways, and the said Officers so chosen shall be of the Principall Inhabitants and freeholders,
within the Districts above said, and also be invested with all the Powers, and be obliged to such Services and
Duties as all other and like officers in the County of Orange, afore said, are impowered and obliged to do.
And the Assessors and Supervisor so chosen shall act in Conjunction with the rest of the like officers in the said
County when and as often as occasion shall require, anything to the Contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding."
In accordance with this Act the inhabitants of Haverstraw proceeded to hold their first town meeting and elect
their town officers.
The Orangetown patent bounded the town within circumscribed limits, but the erection of the Haverstraw precinct
gave a practically unlimited area to the jurisdiction of the new town's officers. The present townships of Clarks,
Ramapo and Stony Point were all included under the name of Haverstraw, and the town possessed in 1790, 85,720 acres,
about six times the area of Orangetown.
As in the case of Orangetown, no separate census existed for Haverstraw before 1738, when 654 people were resident
within its limits. Between that date and 1790, the next census, the Pond patent, Kakiat, Scotland and Ramapo Clove
had been largely settled and the population had increased to 4,826. The separation of the present towns of Clarks
and Ramapo in 1791, brought the population of Haverstraw proper down to more moderate figures In 1738, Haverstraw
had 654 inhabitants.
U. S. Census
The same remark conthe figures census of 1820, holds true in the case of Haverstraw as of the other towns. The
change of the'figures in 1865, is due to the separation of the town of Stony Point from her territory in the early
part of that year.
As we have seen in Chapter II, the earliest grant of land in the County was to Balthazar De Harte in 1666, and
reads: "Al tract of nd ing on the weste of Hudson's river called Haverstraw, being the north side of the hills
called Verdrietig Hook, on the south side of the Highlands, on the east side of the mountains, so as the same is
bounded by Hudson's river and round about by high mountains." In Chapter III, I have spoken of the early transfers
of land in the patent, and stated the names of the original owners of the property on which the village now stands.
The first road in Haverstraw was the continuation of the King's high way, which connected the early settlers with
their neighbors in Tappan-town. This was soon followed, as the influx of settlers from Long Island to Kakiat began,
by a road from the river to the new Hempstead, a road which was later continued on to Sidman's Pass and down to
Tappan and became the military road of the Revolution. Scarcely had these lines of communication been cut through,
however, when the opening of Hassenclever mine and the erection of iron works along Florus Falls Creek, led to
the construction of a road from the King's highway along the creek and Stony brook to the mine.
Already I have made mention of the dock where Andre is supposed to have landed in Haverstraw, and of that built
by Edw. W. Kiers near the outlet of the Short Clove before the Revolution-this latter dock is now owned by Felix
About 1812, John Allison ran out a dock in front of his property, a little north of the present steamboat landing;
DeNoyelles built a dock on his land nearly opposite the end of South street, and Captain John Felter built still
a third landing near the foot of Main street. For many years DeNoyelles' landing was the most public one, and from
it the steamboats ran in early days, thus giving it the name, by which it is still known among the older people,
of the lower steamboat landing.
As in the case of Tappan Landing and Nyack, Haverstraw had its early market sloops, which amply sufficed to carry
to the city the settler's surplus products and bring back the few luxuries they wished. Until the advent of the
steamboat, these sailing vessels were the only means of communication by water, and the few travellers of those
early days found them both rapid and comfortable enough. The price of passage was a "York" shilling;
the time made depended, in great measure, on the direction and force of the wind and tide, though some of the vessels
were furnished with sweeps, and, if becalmed, both passengers and crew were expected to work their passage down.
It is said that more than once vessels have been propelled the entire distance in this manner.
While the entrance of steamboats upon the route made terribly sad havoc with the sloop owners' profits, the market
vessels were still continued. The first steamboats, landing at Grassy Point, were too distant to be a serious injury,
and even when the Rockland came, and, later, the Warren was built, these relics of an earlier age remained. I append
"Market Sloop. Haverstraw and New York. The subscribers will run for the season the new and fast sailing Sloop
Sarah Francis, leaving the Dock of Abraham Jones, formerly J. Felter's, every Tuesday at 2 o'clock, P. M., and
New York every Friday at 3 o'clock, P. M.
N. B. - All kinds of freight and produce taken on reasonable terms. The boat will run as soon as the ice will permit.
H. & W. R. KNAPP."
Haverstraw, February 22d, 1849.
Besides these market sloops, one, the J. G. Pierson, was built for the purpose of carrying the products of the
Ramapo Iron Works to the city. From the factories, the goods were brought to the Haverstraw Landing in huge wagons,
drawn by six mule teams. I have shown the causes which led to the withdrawal of this business from Haverstraw.
This village did not begin its growth as early as either Ramapo or Nyack, but for many years, until the discovery
of James Wood revolutionized brick making, remained a country hamlet. In 1855, Jacob Wan-dell wrote in a letter
to his sister Catherine Van Houten, the following description of the present village, at the close of the last
"My father removed from Tappan Sloat to Haverstraw in the year 1794. There was no village there then, only
one house. Captain Shepherd bought the field where the village is built, of Joseph Allison, for £10 ($25),
an acre. When he moved there, it was sown with rye. The river bank was the handsomest I ever saw. From Grassy Point
down to where James Wood first set a brick- yard, (this was on the river bank directly opposite the burying ground
of the De Noyelles family), was a beautiful row of large chestnuts and oak trees, growing all along the banks.
It was a beautiful walk."
Of that high river bank, the De Noyelles burying ground, still remaining on the top of a high hill, surrounded
with clay pits, and viewed by brick makers with anxious eyes, is the only relic left. I have already spoken of
the early transfers of land in the present Haverstraw village, until it became the property of Allison and De Noyelles.
In 1792, Joseph Allison sold to Thomas Smith and John Shepherd the land bounded by the Present Broadway, West street,
South street and Hudson River. In his will, Joseph Allison left to his wife, Elsie, the portion of his real estate
lying between the present Broad and Main streets, and on the west side of Broadway, all the land between West Side
avenue, (the road leading to the cemetery), and that part of Broad street which is west of Broadway.
Thomas Smith, who was the patriot brother of Joshua Hett Smith, previously mentioned, built a house where the United
States Hotel now stands. This was the first house built on the lot, and was two stories in height, with a flight
of stairs outside leading to the second story. It was burned early in this century. Smith died in November, 1795.
In 1803, this lot was surveyed and divided into house lots by Teunis Smith, of Nyack.
A street, now called Middle street, was run through the centre of the property from east to west, and numbered
streets, beginning with First street, next the river front, were run across this. The price of a lot on the present
Front street was $50. Before the beginning of the century, a lot on this property had been given for the Methodist
church, and a house of worship was erected in 1800.
From a letter signed "Epsilon," written for the Rockland County News, November Toth, 1846, we get the
following description of Haver-straw village in early days: "The farm of Thomas Smith covered the village
before it was laid out in 1803. In 1804, there were only four houses in the place - Mrs. Green's, a short distance
above Mr. Prall's; an old house on Martlin's corner, kept as a tavern and store; a small old house on the corner
near Mrs. Martha De Noyelles, kept as a tavern; Judge De Noyelles' below J. S. Gurnee's. Only four buildings existed
between the Hudson and the present Garner's factory." I may quote still further from "Epsilon,"
and give his description of the village in 1846, in this connection. "Now, there are three hundred dwellings
in Haverstraw, including Samsondale and Gamerville, beside factories. There are five churches, two being built,
one academy, twelve stores, one printing office, four clergymen, four physicians, one attorney. The amount of capital
invested in Peck's iron and chemical works, Garner's calico, and Higgins' carpet factory, is $1,000,000. The annual
product is $1,500,000. The number of hands employed is 1,000. There are 27 brick yards in operation, which employ
650 hands, and produce about 70,000,000 bricks a year."
By 1837, almost all the land between the present Main street and the neck of land known as the "Narrow Passage,"
was owned by George S. and Michael Allison. In that year, following the mania for real estate speculation then
prevailing, these men had this tract surveyed and cut into building lots, and streets were run through and given
the names, many of them still retain. The new village was called Warren, after the doctor General Joseph Warren,
who was killed at Bunker Hill, and the development of the brick industry caused a rapid growth of the place.
The first store in Haverstraw was opened by George Smith, before 1815, and stood on the south corner of the present
West Broad street and Broadway. Smith, it is said, charged so high a price for everything; that an opposition store
was started by George S. Allison across Broadway. Liquor held a prominent place as a commodity at that time, New
England rum seeming to be the favorite beverage. If we may judge from a remark I recently heard, that purchasers
would produce a shilling and ask for "a penny worth of tobacco, a penny worth of sugar, and the rest in New
England rum;" the business of those days was not in the nature of dry goods. The first hotel in Haverstraw
was built on the spot where Thomas Smith's house had burned, and was kept by Samuel Johnson, as the Johnson Tavern.
The present United States, built in 1852, stands on the same site. The American Hotel was preceded by the Temperance
House, opened in 1848, by C. A. Rand and C. T. Mills. Where the saloon of Levi West stands on Main street, Abraham
Van Tassel kept a tavern in 1819. It was here that the first meeting of the Free Masons was held in 1853. About
1820, De Noyelles and Gurnee opened a store at their dock, later, the steamboat dock. This was the principal store
in the village at that time. Perhaps, although we have read "Epsilon's" letter, a view of the village,
which has changed so radically and rapidly, as seen by Rev. A. S. Freeman, D. D., in 1846, may be of interest.
Where the Central Presbyterian Church now stands was an open field and fields of grain stood between it and
Main street. From the village to Grassy Point stretched a bautiful grove of pine trees, and back of Grassy Point
Landing was a sloping bank with gardens and shade trees. Front street, now filled with handsome residences, had
then a few inferior buildings. On the corner of Main and Front streets, on the site of the present United States
Hotel, stood a dilapidated wooden tavern kept by J. Marting, and from that corner, up Main street, to the National
Bank building, stood a row of wooden buildings, which were swept away by fire in 1850. Almost all the village north
of Main street, including Rockland, Broad, Division, Clinton, was a farm. Near the present residence of Ira M.
Hedges, was a little school house kept by D. B. Loomis, after he left the Academy. Later this site was occupied
by the Warren Hotel. Opposite Felter Bros. bakery, where L. D. West's restaurant stands, was the blacksmith shop
of Amos Allison. The present steamboat landing was not used as such till 1865, when it was rebuilt by D. D. &
Among the store keepers of those days were: Wm. R. Lane, hardware; J. F. Mills, who opened a book store and restaurant,
and whose rhyming advertisements, together with those of his rival in business "Uncle Benny" Smith, who
was located on Main street, can be found in the files of the Rockland County Messenger of those days. Dr. Charles
Whipple opened the first regular drug store in the village but drugs had previously been sold by Mr. Sherwood.
In 1848, this store was bought by S. C. Blauvelt, who still carries on the business. In 1847, the store keepers
of Haverstraw, announced in the Messenger, that thenceforth business should only be done on a cash basis.
The brick industry, which has made Haverstraw, we have already considered. Another manufacturing interest developed
by the brick industry I am now to mention. In 1848, Myron Ward and R. A. VerValen, opened the Warren Foundry immediately
south of the steamboat dock for the manufacture of stoves and ploughs. Upon the invention of the Automatic Brick
Machine by VerValen, in 1852, their manufacture was begun in the foundry and has been continued till the present
time. This industry employs from twenty to forty men. Myron Ward left the business in 1851.
The first school house in this village, built in 181o, stood opposite the site of the present M. E. Church. The
first teacher was a young Irishman named Quinn. While Quinn was teaching the "young idea how to shoot,"
Cupid shot, and the pedagogue fell in love with and married one of his pupils, Eliza Wandell.
Whether such a startling, albeit romantic, termination to the course of education led the parents of that time
to hesitate about sending their daughters to school or not, cannot now be answered; but certainly little further
record of educational matters in Haverstraw exists till the year 1847.
In 1847, D. B. Loomis was principle of the public school. He resigned later and took charge of a school held in
part of an old house, which stood near the present residence of I. M. Hedges. Loomis was followed at the Academy
by I. I. Foot, Sheldon, Rev. S. W. St. John, George Secor, L. Wilson, Austin, W. P. Fisher. In 1847, Mr. Sanford
opened a boarding and day school, and with his literary work combined dancing lessons.
In 1852, H. M. Peck, Amos Briggs and others invited Lewis B. Hardcastle, at that time teaching in Nyack, to open
a school of advanced grade in Haverstraw. Accepting the invitation, Hardcastle purchased the property now known
as the Mountain Institute from Geo. E. De Noyelles and erected beside the house a two story school building. The
Institute was opened Oct 31st, 1853. Among the corps of teachers at the beginning of the school were; C. M. Dodd,
Mr. Jamieson, H. B. Millard, and Miss Mary Rutherford. Hardcastle continued the school till the fall of 1856, when
he was succeeded by H. B. Millard, who kept it till the spring of 1857. L. H. Northrup assumed charge of the Institute
May 4th, 1857, and continued till the fall of 1860. For some months the Institute remained closed. It at length
was re-opened April 16th, 1861, under the present principle, Lavalette Wilson.
Up to 1854, Haverstraw was without fire apparatus of any sort; then the burning of Geo. De Noyelles' barn on the
evening of Jan. 22d, roused the people to a recognition of their insecure condition. A meeting of the citizens
was called at the ball room of the American Hotel on the evening of Jan. 28th, 1854, and the necessary funds for
a Hook and Ladder truck subscribed. Rescue Hook and Ladder Co. was organized with Asbury De Noyelles, Foreman,
and James Creney, Assistant Foreman. The company remained in existence till April, 1859, when it was compelled
by financial difficulties to transfer its apparatus to the village authorities who assumed the liabilities. In
August 1881, a Holloway's fire extinguisher was obtained and attached to Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. The first
truck house was situated in the M. E. Church shed yard.
Warren No. I Engine Company, was organized May 15th, 1854, with G. S. Myers as Foreman, and obtained its hand engine
in September, of that year. In 1881, the company was disbanded by the Board of Trustees, because of personal ill
will among its members. On December 13th, 1881, Warren Company was re-organized with Fred. Glassing, Jr., Foreman;
John Braham, Assistant Foreman.
Lady Warren, Steam Fire Engine Company, was organized in July, 1869, with James H. Fleming, Foreman. It was reorganized
February 20th, 1871, and a steamer obtained; this engine was rebuilt in 1876. The engine house of the company stands
on Division street.
Triumph Hose Company was organized September 11th, 1878, with Daniel De Groot, Foreman; John Bernhart, Assistant
Foreman. By the act of 1859, a Chief and two Assistant Engineers of the Fire Department are elected. The first
chief was Samuel A. Ver Valen. Besides the great fire of 1850, there have been few destructive conflagrations in
the village. The distance between Haverstraw and the church grave yards at Tappan, Clarkesville, or Kakiat, rendered
interments in local burial places a necessity. The Allison and DeNoyelles families located places of sepulture
for the dead of their families on their farms. The earliest record in the DeNoyelles ground is that of John DeNoyelles,
who died January 11th, 1775. The Waldron cemetery, situated by the side of the present "West Shore" Railroad,
about half-way between Haverstraw station and Stony Point, was used as a general place of burial. The earliest
record I have seen is that of Charlotte Ming, August loth, 1792. On the north side of the road from Haverstraw
to Ramapo, opposite the residence of the heirs of David Burns, and about midway between Mead's and Felter's corners
is a burial place, donated by Colonel David Burns to the public. The oldest stone found there is that which marks
the resting place of Phebe Smith, April 19th, 1803. Besides these places of interment, the church yard at the present
Garnerville, was opened in 1790; and many bodies were laid at rest on private farms.
At length, John S. Gurnee, John D. Gardner, John R. McKenzie, Isaiah Milburn, Lewis R. Mackey, Walter S. Johnson,
Silas D. Gardner, Leonard Gurnee, and Asbury DeNoyelles purchased thirteen acres of land of Asbury DeNoyelles for
$1,200 as a cemetery for the Methodist Church. On Thursday, July 7th, 1853, this spot was dedicated as Mount Repose
Cemetery, with appropriate ceremonies.
The ground was laid out in lots, and Isaiah Milburn and John S. Gurnee were authorized to give deeds for them.
At a later period trouble arose, and a partition suit was begun. The land was sold at auction by order of the Court,
and was bid in by Clarence Conger, who gave G. G. Allison power of attorney to sell the lots. Such is the present
condition of the cemetery.
The first newspaper published in the old County of Orange was the "Goshen Repository," from which I have
quoted in this work, issued at Goshen as early as August 14th, 1778. The first paper published in Rockland County
was the North River Palladium, which was started in January, 1829, by Ezekiel Burroughs, in West at the head of
North street. It had but a brief existence. The next paper was attempted in 1829. It was owned by J. T. Smith,
and was called at first the Rockland Register. This sheet was brought out by Smith, who was then District Attorney,
to aid him in his aspirations for a higher office, and was edited by Burroughs. After the election, in which Smith
was defeated, the name of the paper was changed to the Rockland Gazette. In 1833, the Rockland Advertiser was started
by John Douglass, and a year later, this paper and that of Smith's were combined under the name of the Rockland
Advertiser and Family Gazette. Soon after the paper ceased to exist. In 1834, Alexander H. Wells began the publication
of the North River Times. This paper also had an ephemeral life. During the existence of the two last named rival
papers, the public was kept interested by the spicy articles which appeared in one or the other, from the pens
of contributors. One of the most incisive of the local writers was Dr. Mark Pratt.
In 1844, a paper called the Rockland County News was begun by John L. Burtis. Thirty-two numbers of this sheet
were issued ere it died. The Rockland County Messenger was started by Robert Marshall, May 17th, 1846. Until 1852,
the paper remained under Marshall's management. It was then taken by its present veteran editor and proprietor,
Robert Smith, and for four and thirty years has been ably conducted by him. Since Mr. Smith has owned the paper
a complete file has been preserved.
In 1879, the Haverstraw Herald was begun for political purposes. It lasted through a campaign. In April, 1883,
the Sentinel was started by the efforts of Rev. R. Harcourt, as a temperance advocate. At first printed by the
Rockland County Journal presses, in Nyack; it, was at length moved to Haverstraw in April, 1884, and in the autumn
of that year was bought by its present editor, B. A. Farr. It is still conducted in the interest of the temperance
The post office at Haverstraw was established July 1st, 1815, with George Smith as first postmaster. On Jan. 1st,
1817, Smith was followed by Epenetus Wheeler and his successors have been Samson Marks, May 18th, 1818; Abraham
Marks, May 3d, 1819; Peter De Noyelles, April 9th, 1834; Lawrence De Noyelles, December 19th, 1840; Isaac Sherwood,
June 24th, 1841; Sylvester Clark, January 23d, 1845; John S. Gurnee,. January 19th, 1849; Isaac Sherwood, January
29th, 1850; Samuel C. Blauvelt, July 3oth, 1853; Isaac Sherwood, May 7th, 1861; Richard A. Ver Valen, October 22d,
1877; Isaac M. Purdy, April 17th, 1882.
At the close of 1853, the residents of this village made preparations for incorporation. A petition was presented
to the County Court by Henry P. Cropsey, Samuel C. Blauvelt, Abraham De Baun, Garret De Baun, Lewis R. Mackey,
John C. Coe, James Creney, D. C. Springteen, John De Baun, Ezra Mead, A. E. Suffern and Samuel A. Ver Valen, praying
for the incorporation of the village. A survey of the proposed limits was made February 6th, 1854, and the boundaries
were as follows:
"Commencing on the bank of the Hudson River at a willow tree standing at the southwest corner of the brick
yard of John Gardner, running thence south 61 3/4 degs. west 10 chains; thence north 20 degs. west 20 chains 384
links; thence north 51 degs. west 7 chains to a Hickory tree; thence north 384 degs. west to chains 23 links to
a fence running east and west; thence north 48 1/2 degs. west 39 chains 50 links to a chestnnt tree; thence north
28 1/2 degs. west 25 chains 18 links, to a large rock; thence north 74 degs. east 25 chains 53 links; thence north
74 degs. east 4 chains 5o links to Peck's railroad, and crossing of highway leading to Grassy Point; thence along
said railroad north 88 degs. east 48 chains; thence south 51 degs. east, still along said railroad and the bank
of the Hudson River, 18 chains 6o links to dock; then along the west shore of Hudson River, southerly to chains
to the place of beginning."
The area embraced within the limits marked by this survey was 493 acres, and the number of inhabitants was 1,760
Pursuant to an order of the Court, held February 14th, 1854, incorporating all that part of the township of Haverstraw,
described in the order, as a village by the name of Warren, provided a majority of the electors of the proposed
village should assent thereto; an election was held at the residence of John Begg, on March 11th, 1854. At this
election 187 votes were cast of which 179 were for incorporation and 8 opposed to it.
An election for village officers was held at the house of John Begg, April 8th, 1854, and resulted in the following
men being chosen:
Edward Pye, President.
H. P. Cropsey,
H. G. Prall,
George De Noyelles,
R. A. Ver Valen.
Samuel C. Blauvelt, Clerk.
George S. Myers, Collector.
Josiah Milburn, Treasurer.
Peter Titus, Pound-Master.
Isaac Sherwood, Daniel G. Smith, Andrew De Baun.
Following that first election, the Presidents of the village have been:
Edward Pye, 1855.
Cornelius P. Hoffman, 1856
John I Cole, 1857.
John L. De Noyelles, 1858-70, 1877-78.
Richard A. Ver Valen, 1871-74, 1883-84.
James Osborn, 1875-76, 1879-82.
In 1855, the village charter was amended by an act. of Legislature, so as to make it a road district, which included
the Long and Short Clove roads. In 1859, gas was introduced by E. V. Haughwout, of New York. Trouble between the
citizens and the gas company soon began, and continued till 1865, when a mass meeting was held to demand a reduction
of rates, and some other radical changes. A conference between the citizens' representatives and Haughwout followed,
and mutual concessions occurred.
Haverstraw has a complicated record of names. In another place, I have quoted an Act in which she is called Waynesburgh,
and will take an extract from this Act, passed April 1st, 1814, again: "from thence, in a direct course as
nearly as may be, to such a point in the village of Waynesburgh, late Warren, as the Commissioners, etc."
For what reason the name Waynesburgh was given to the hamlet, and the length of time it remained i83-84, have escaped
my search. Warren, the hamlet had already been called, and to Warren it was changed again. But this name was never
a popular one. People had long been accustomed to blend the name of the township and village in one, and call the
latter, Haverstraw. At the establishment of the present Stony Point post office in 1847, it was named North Haverstraw.
Commerce was carried on, not with Warren, but Haverstraw, and the name of the village post office was Haverstraw
from its organization. Influenced by these and other less important reasons, the residents of the village appealed
to the Legislature for relief, and, on April 14th, 1874, that body passed the following act:
"SECTION I. The name of the Village of Warren in the County of Rockland, incorporated under the provisions
of the Statute of the State of New York, authorizing the incorporation of villages, is hereby changed to 'Haverstraw.'
All proceedings now pending by or against the said Village of Warren shall be continued in the name of Haverstraw.
"SECTION 2. This act shall take effect immediately."
On June 1st, 1874, fire limits were established for the village which still govern the place. Under the rule of
the village officials this place increased in population and material well being. In 1865, the number of residents
had increased to 2,15o and the proportion of increase still continues.
In 1854, the second floor of S. C. Blauvelt's drug store was enlarged and fitted up as a public hall, called Warren
Hall. This was first used Oct. 26th, 1854, for a temperance meeting, at which Judge Allison presided and D. B Loomis
was secretary. Addresses in the interest of temperance were made by Edward Pye and the clergymen of the village.
The question of temperance had become one of vital interest in this section of our County before this meeting.
As early as the Spring of 1851, H. G. Prall and some thirty others had issued a call for a mass meeting to take
action on the illegal selling of liquor on the Sabbath. In response to that call a large gathering of citizens
took place in the Academy and the meeting resulted in the formation ofa vigilance committee and the swearing in
of ten special constables for the purpose of detecting and bringing to justice such people as violated the law.
Since that time the fight against the traffic had continued and resulted in the year of which I speak, 1854, in
the election of John I Suffern as Member of Assembly, on the Temperance Ticket. From that period till 1882, the
subject of temperance was agitated time and again. In this latter year it broke out with renewed violence, and
reached a vital stage in the "ballot box outrage" of March 10th, 1883.
I may be permitted to give a brief account of this affair. In the election held for town officers at the time mentioned,
two party tickets were in the field - one, the regular Democratic ticket, the other, a Citizen's ticket. Two ballots
were cast by the voters of each party - one, the General Town Ticket, containing the names of all the town officers,
except that for Excise Commissioners, this latter being on a separate ballot. The voting proceeded quietly, and
at sunset at the close of the polls, the proper officers began counting the ballots. The General Town Ticket was
counted first, and the result found to be in favor of the Citizens' Party.
The Excise Commissioner ballot was next prepared for canvassing. During the computation of the result of the Town
Ticket, the room in which the election had been carried on was gradually filled with people who had entered by
ones and twos. The canvass of the Excise Ticket had but just fairly started when the lights were extinguished,
the stove overturned and dragged to the door, burning coals falling on the floor; the table holding the ballots
was smashed and overset. Instantly there followed a rush for windows and door; missiles were thrown, chairs and
stools broken; in fact, the room was wrecked so thoroughly by riot and fire, that the completion of the canvass
Every attempt was made by the proper officials to bring those connected with this outrage to justice, but by one
means or another all escaped punishment. It was from the feeling growing out of this affair. that the Sentinel
newspaper was established.
To return again from a digression, which for the sake of sequence, it seemed wise to make; the next mention I find
of Warren Hall, is on Saturday, November 18th, 1854, when Warren Lyceum was organized in it with A. E. Suffern,
President; and Edward Pye, Secretary. Among those who lectured during the first season were: A. E. Suffern, Rev.
A. S. Freeman, Rev. J. West, Edw. Pye, Wm. E. Haeselbarth, Rev. Van Zandt, Rev. J. Cory, R. J. Ianvooski, L. B.
Hardcastle, Rev. P. J. H. Meyers, Rev. W. Van Doren, Prof. Schumacher and Samuel Osgood. Among those who took part
in the debates were: R. A. VerValen, C. P. Hoffman, and Messrs. Brower, Lilienthal, Penfield, Coleman. Previous
to the opening of this public hall, gatherings of the people for entertainment were usually held in some one of
the churches. Business or political gatherings seem to have often been held in the Union Hotel. In 1860, the Wigwam
was built on the common, south of the Central Presbyterian Church, and opened to the public on July 27th, of that
year. This became the headquarters for public meetings, and, later, for volunteers, enlisted to save our Nation.
[Continued in History of Haverstraw Part 2]