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Philipstown Town

Philipstown Town Hall is located at 238 Main Street, Cold Spring NY 10516; phone: 845-265-5200.

Beginnings [1]

This town by the Act of March 7th, 1788, entitled "an Act for dividing the counties of this State into Towns," is described as follows: "And all that part of the county of Dutchess, bounded southerly by the county of Westchester, westerly by Hudson's River, northerly by the north bounds of the Lands granted to Adolph Philipse, Esq., and easterly by the Long-Lot, number four, formerly belonging to Beverly Robison, shall be, and hereby is erected into a town, by the name of Philipstown." Originally it embraced more than one-third of the county, but has since been diminished by the erection of the town of Putnam Valley in 1839. Its central distance from the city of New York, is about fifty-six miles, and from Albany, ninety-four miles. Its present boundaries are as follows: On the north, by the south line of Dutchess county; on the east, by the west and north lines of Kent and Putnam valley; on the south, by the north line of Westchester; and on the west, extending the whole length of Putnam, by the Hudson River. Its face is broken by hills and mountains, presenting a rough, rugged, and forbidding aspect. Not more than one-fifth of it is under cultivation, and not more than one-third could be made productive, by the most lavish expenditure, of moneys, to the agriculturist. Let it not be supposed by the reader that it is, therefore, altogether valueless, although the plough of the husbandman would in vain, and to little profit, be held in its bosom. It contains those materials that are worth more to its owners, than if it was susceptible of the highest agricultural improvement. It is covered with timber, valuable for ship building and other purposes; and, perhaps, from no other township between Albany and New York, for its size, is so great a quantity of wood and timber carried to market. The stone quarries and mineral productions scattered in every direction over its surface, yield a large profit, without any expenditure to the owners of those locations. The burning of charcoal is a profitable pursuit to those engaged in it. The writer has been informed by a farmer owning about 200 acres of land in this town, one-half of which is unfit for cultivation, that during the last year he has realized, from the burning and sale of charcoal alone, $1000 over and above all expenses attending the same.

  1. Blake, William J. Esq., The History of Putnam County, N.Y., 1949, Baker & Scribner, New York
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