In 1897 Preston Hollow was the largest village in Rensselaerville Town (1897 population about 600), situated in the Catskill Valley near the Catskill Mountains, along Catskill Creek. The first settlers were Andries Huyck and Sebastian Smith. The founder of the village was Dr. Samuel Preston, who in 1798 erected the first frame dwelling in the village. Of the many prominent early citizens and business men in the village were Micah Humphrey, the Shays — Daniel and Daniel, Jr. — Alvin Devereaux, father of the Honorable Horace T. Devereaux, James G. Clock, David Davenport, Eben and benjamin White, Phineas Holmes, Robert W. Murphy, the Rickersons, Dr. Bela Brewster, Lawrence Faulk, Nathaniel Rider, Melanctho Smith, David Faulk, and Samuel Coon. Lawrence Faulk was a learned and successful attorney at the Albany Bar.
In 1897 the village contained 2 churches (Baptist and Methodist Episcopal) and a large hotel (the Park Hotel) of which a man by the name of Murphy was proprietor; it also contained a school and a classical institute.