History of Olive, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
Of Ulster County, N. Y. For 1872-2.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY 1871



OLIVE was formed from Shandaken, Marbletown and Hurley, April 15, 1823. A part was annexed to Woodstock and a part of Woodstock was annexed in 1852. It is an interior town, lying a little north-west of the center of the County. The surface is mountainous in the north and west, and hilly in the south and east. The towns of Olive, Rochester and Denning corner on a hill which is about 2,700 feet above tide. Shokan Point is about 3,100 feet high, and the average elevation of the low lands is about 800 feet above tide. A considerable portion of the mountainous region is too rough for profitable cultivation. Esopus Creek flows south-east through the town, a little north of the center. The soil is a sandy, gravelly and clayey loam. Lumbering and tanning are carried on to some extent, but less than formerly. The Rondout & Oswego Railroad extends through the north part of the town.

Shokan, (p.v.) on Esopus Creek, a little north of the center of the town, contains two churches, a tannery and about thirty houses. It is a station on the Rondout & Oswego Railroad.

Samsonville, (p.v.) on the south border, was named from Gen. Henry A. Samson, and contains a church, a tannery and about thirty dwellings.

Olive, (p.m.) in the north-east part, contains a church and about thirty houses.

Olive City, (Olive Bridge p.o.) is near the center, on the creek.

The first settlements were made in the Esopus Valley in 1740. Among the early settlers were George Middagh, who settled in 1740, Samuel Cox in 1742, and William Nottingham, in 1745, at Olive Bridge. John Crispell settled in 1747, a little east of Shokan and Hendrick Crispell, at Shokan, in 1760. John Coons and Thomas Bush settled at Olive City, the former in 1775 and the latter in 1755. The first inn was kept at Olive Bridge, by Conrad DuBois, and the first store by Lemuel Winchell, at Winchell's Falls, where the first saw mill and grist mill were erected by Mr. Winchell. Two sons of Frederick Bush were carried off by the Indians in 1781.

The Reformed Church, the first in the town, was organized at Shokan in 1800.

The population in 1870 was 3,099, and its area 37,603 acres, with an assessed value of $199,240.

There are fifteen school districts, employing sixteen teachers. The number of children of school age is 1,488; the number attending school, 987; the average attendance, 385, and the value of school houses and sites, $5,935.

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