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Haverstraw Town


Haverstraw Town Hall is located at 1 Rosman Road, Gamerville, NY 10923; phone: 845-429-2200.

Beginnings [1]

The name Haverstraw appears on a map as early as 1616. It is a Dutch word meaning "oat straw," which describes the waving straw of the river meadows.

A precinct named Haverstraw was established in 1719 and included the present day towns of Clarkstib, Ramapo and Stony Point.

The location of Haverstraw was important to the defense of the colonies in the Revolutionary War because of its place on the banks of the Hudson, the main artery of trade between New York City and Albany and the dividing line between New England and other colonies.

Between 1771 and 1941 Haverstraw was the greatest center of brick production in the nation if not the world. Immense clay beds along the Hudson's shores and beneath its surface formed the raw material for this huge industry.

In 1771 Jacob Van Dyke began the industry by making bricks by hand. James Wood started the first brickyard in Haverstraw in 1815. In 1852 a fresh impetus was added to the industry by Richard Ver Valen's invention of the automatic brick machine. In 1883 there were 42 brickyards in the area, which manufactured 148 brands of brick. In a single year over 300 million bricks were shipped out of Haverstraw Bay for the New York City area. At one time over two thirds of the buildings in New York City were constructed of Haverstraw brick.

  1. Welcome to The Town of Haverstraw, Rockland County, NY: The History of Haverstraw, www.townofhaverstraw.org, accessed November, 2012.
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