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Stephentown Town

Stephentown Town Hall is located at 26 Grange Hall Road, Stephentown, NY 12168; phone: 518-733-9195.

Beginnings [1]

Originally part of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, Stephentown was formed in 1794. In 1791 the town of Petersburgh was taken off, and in 1806 the size of the town was still further decreased by taking off parts of Nassau and Berlin.

The earliest settlements in Stephentown were made in the same year in which Berlin was first settled, 1765, but the pioneers entered the precincts of what is now known as Stephentown from an entirely different direction. Godfrey Brimmer, the pioneer of Berlin, came up the Little Hoosick valley from the north and located in the northern part of Berlin. The pioneers of Stephentown were from New England, mainly Rhode Island and Connecticut, and entered the town from the southeast, locating upon the high hills in the southeastern part of town.

It seems that the earliest inhabitants of Stephentown came, not as individuals or as single families, but in small colonies of a dozen or a score each, following some explorer who went ahead to ascertain the nature of the new country and the most advantageous site for the establishment of a colony. Asa Douglas and William Douglas were possibly the very first inhabitants; though descendants of Elnath Sweet, Benjamin Gardner, Joseph Rogers and others claimed this honor for the families of the latter. Asa Douglas came from Plainfield Connecticut, and took up a large tract of land in the southeastern part of town. His son William came with his family about the same time and became a prominent settler. Elnathan Sweet located very early in the southern part. Caleb Carr, Jonathan Howard and Joseph Rogers located in the same neighborhood. Alexander Brown came from Connecticut when a boy, about 1774, and located 5 or 6 miles west of the original settlements.

One of the earliest taverns was kept by Rowland Hall. Later proprietors of the same inn were Lawrence Van Valkenburgh and Erastus Brown. Ichabod Croffut and Abner Bull were proprietors of other early taverns, that of the latter being located at Stephentown village.

After the close of the Revolution, Dr. Baker became probably the first physician, around 1787. Soon after Dr. Nicholas Harris began practicing 5 miles north of Dr. Baker's office.

  1. George Baker Anderson, Landmarks of Rensselaer County, New York, The Troy Press, D. Mason & Company, Publishers, Syracuse, 1897.
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