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Durham Town

Durham Town Hall is located at 7309 Route 81, East Durham, NY 12423; phone: 518-239-6122.

Beginnings [1]

Settled in the late 18th century, the inland town of Durham is characterized by hilly and mountainous terrain crossed by numerous creeks and streams draining into the Catskill Creek, Greene County's most important waterway. Durham abuts Rensselaer County and is about 24 miles northwest of the Village of Catskill, the county seat, and 30 miles southwest of Albany, the state capital. The foothills of the Catskill Mountains spread across the western end of the town.

The town was first settled by mainly by New Englanders who migrated west after the American Revolution. What was virtually a wilderness in 1783 was substantially cleared and cultivated by 1820. Those who settled in what would become the Town of Durham were largely from Connecticut. The township was formed from Coxsackie in 1790 and originally named "Freehold." In 1795 the name was changed to Durham to honor Durham, Connecticut. The earlier name, "Freehold," is said to reflect the town's status in the settlement era. Parts of Cairo and Greenville were broken off from the town in 1803, when Durham reached its current size.

  1. Kathleen La Frank, New York State Historic Preservation Office, Woodward Road Bridge, Greene County, New York, nomination document, 2008, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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