Historical and Archeological Resources of Castleton Island
Towns of Stuyvesant, Columbia County,
New Baltimore, Greene County,
and Schodack, Rensselaer County, New York:
A Preliminary Phase I Cultural Resources Assessment
by Paul R. Huey
The alluvial islands that form Castleton Island State Park consisted of rich, fertile soil ideal for farming. One or more of these islands must have been cleared and used by prehistoric Indians as well as the historic period Mahicans who lived nearby if not on the islands. This valuable land attracted Dutch traders and farmers in the 17th century, and the islands were eventually purchased from the Indians. In addition to the probable existence of both prehistoric and early historic Indian sites as well as 17th-century Dutch farm sites on the islands, there was in the 18th century a Mahican Indian village on the north end of Lower Schodack Island. Unlike Upper Schodack Island, Lower Schodack Island may not have been cleared of timber until the second half of the 17th century. Earlier in the 17th century there was probable Indian occupation as well as development by the Dutch near where the Muitzeskill presently enters Schodack Creek. This area, including a small state-owned parcel, became a center of activity as a river landing. Known as Schutters Island as early as 1672, Houghtaling Island was acquired by Volkert Jansen Douw in 1671. In 1672 he conveyed it to Barent Pietersen Coeymans. It was later owned by a series of owners, and it was used for farming. A deed in 1773 suggests there was a Mahican Indian settlement on this island, in addition to or subsequent to the one on Lower Schodack Island, and there may have been other houses on this island as well. By 1767 Schutters Island had evidently become joined to Moesmans Island. On Upper Schodack Island there was at least one structure during the Revolutionary War. In the first half of the 19th century the Shakers owned land on Upper Schodack Island, at the north end of which was a landmark tree, the Nine Mile Tree, and a modern-day tree which still grows there is of enormous size. Later in the 19th century there were many commercial ice houses on the islands, ruins of which are still visible. Elsewhere in the Park, a 19th-century frame house remained standing but vacant for many years, and nearby in Schodack Creek are sunk the wrecks of old wooden barges. The Alfred H. Smith Bridge was built across Upper Schodack Island in 1923, and also in the 1920s most of the islands were covered and historic channels filled with dredging spoil from the Hudson River. There are many basic themes in the history of these islands: agriculture and innovation, the Mahican Indian people, Dutch and Mahican Indian contact, Hudson River ice harvesting and ice houses, labor history, Hudson River navigation, commercial and economic relationships with New York City, and the railroad.
Castleton Island State Park is a new name that has been given to an area represented originally by three large, flat alluvial islands in the Hudson River below Albany. These islands were Upper Schodack Island, Lower Schodack Island, and the north part of Houghtaling Island (Figure 1). Together, they extend for a distance of 6 miles along the east side of the river and are generally less than 1 mile in width. The three islands together have been largely covered with varying amounts of dredging spoil from deepening the Hudson River channel beginning in the 1920s. As a result, the islands have been connected together, and the depth of dredging spoil deposits varies from several inches or none to about 6 feet. The total area within the Park boundaries is more than 1,350 acres, but with title exceptions of 292.43 acres the area of the Park is somewhat less (Sipperly 1976). Upper Schodack Island, which is a fertile alluvial flat that had been farmed continuously since prehistoric times (until State acquisition in the 1970s), still remains largely free of dredging spoil but is now overgrown with brush. Two bridges that cross the Hudson River pass high above the island. One is the Alfred H. Smith railroad bridge built in 1923 (Bushwacker 1983), and the other is the New York State Thruway Bridge built in the 1950s (Figure 2). In 1982 an area in Hell Gate about 2,000 feet by 500 feet along the west side of Little Schodack Island was a site proposed by the Corps of Engineers as a dredging spoil disposal site, but the possible environmental sensitivity of this site was recognized (Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. 1983: II,C-2).
Until recently there was one structure, an abandoned Victorian house with a mansard roof, still standing on what was Lower Schodack Island nearly opposite the village of Schodack Landing. Nearby, in the channel of Schodack Creek, are sunk the hulls of several large vessels, probably 19th-century canal barges, and these are clearly visible in the shallow water. Schodack Creek is a tidal channel which separates the islands from the mainland, on which stands the community of Schodack Landing. Elsewhere within the State Park area are ruins of 19th- century ice houses, and at the north end of the State Park is a massive tree, perhaps representing the historic Nine Mile Tree. Historical Significance in the Colonial Period
The Colonie of Rensselaerswyck, established by Kiliaen van Rensselaer in 1630, originally did not extend so far south on the east side of the Hudson River as to include all of the present Town of Schodack, but the area was included in the Manor of Rensselaerswyck under the confirmation patent of 1685. It is not a widely recognized fact that the area was not originally a part of Rensselaerswyck. In 1609, when Henry Hudson explored the river, he recorded the islands at Schodack and the nearby sandbar. He also visited a Mahican chief who lived in a house on the mainland near the islands.
Schodack Creek forms an inlet the full length of the islands on the east, between the islands and the mainland. Near the north end of Upper Schodack Island the Muitzeskill flows into Schodack Creek from the east, and in 1648 Jacob Jansen Flodder (also called Gardenier) purchased the Muitzeskill and several mill sites on it from the Mahican Indians. In 1650 Flodder purchased land on Upper Schodack Island from the Mahicans. In 1663 Volkert Jansen Douw and Jan Thomassen Witbeck purchased the remainder of Upper Schodack Island together with the place on the opposite mainland where a Mahican chief's house had stood. The island was divided into fields and pasture, and by 1670 Witbeck had built a house in the area. The same year, Volkert Jansen Douw's son purchased Lower Schodack Island. Flodder, meanwhile, died in 1695, leaving a house and barn with his property.
It is not known if the Mahicans in the 17th century lived on the mainland or on the island or both. In 1724 some of the Mahicans apparently went to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as Christians, and by this time the remaining Mahicans may have established their village on Lower Schodack Island. A rough map of Lower Schodack Island made in 1730 definitely shows the location of the Mahican village on that island. The area today is mostly covered with river dredging spoil of varying depth.
During the 1730s, missionaries from Massachusetts also visited the Mahican village on Lower Schodack Island. By this time, Dutch settlements were developing on the opposite mainland in the vicinity of Schodack Landing, with access to the river by way of Schodack Creek. Most of the Mahicans left Schodack Island in the 1750s and were displaced, perhaps because of the French and Indian War. They moved to the Susquehanna River as well as to Schoharie and Catskill. A structure, probably a farm house, was built on Upper Schodack Island between 1767 and 1775, evidently just north of where the village had been (Huey 1992- 1993).
The alluvial islands that form Castleton Island State Park consisted of rich, fertile soil ideal for farming. One or more of these islands must have been cleared and used by prehistoric Indians as well as the historic period Mahicans who lived nearby if not on the islands. Geologically, the area is distinctive also because of fossil clam remains that have been found at Schodack Landing. In 1973 tests on a fossilized clam found on the river bank there indicated that it was about 570 million years old, making it oldest-known fossil clam in existence (Blanchard 1973).
As early as 1844 Henry R. Schoolcraft had identified Schodack as the Mahicans' "seat of their council fire" (Huey 1992-1993: 111). It is possible the 17th-century Mahican village was in present Castleton and was moved to Schodack Island in the early 18th century. Arthur C. Parker in 1922 reported a Mahican village site in Castleton on a hill owned by Jacob Seaman. The site contained Iroquoian Late Woodland pottery but was unfortunately largely destroyed by excavation for sand. This occurred in 1848 during construction of the railroad. Railroad workers used the hill as a source of fill to create nearly 11,000 feet of railroad bed along the Hudson River through Castleton. The fill contained many human skulls and other bones associated with pipes, beads, and other artifacts, all of which still remain buried under the railroad (Parker 1922: 674; Anon. ca. 1919). The site was not entirely destroyed, however. Alanson Skinner in 1925 published his description of visiting this "high sandy hill" with Parker a number of years earlier, finding "deep refuse pits in the sand." They recovered not only the pottery mentioned by Parker but also bone implements (Skinner 1925: 91). Parker in 1922 also noted "traces of occupation" just south of Castleton on the mainland near the north end of present Castleton Island (Parker 1922: pl. 209).
The potentials for significant cultural resources on the Castleton Island State Park lands acquired by the Office of Parks and Recreation were noted in 1973 (Huey 1973a; Huey 1973b). In December 1976, the set of survey maps showing the property to be acquired by appropriation included the locations and identities of previous 19th- and 20th-century ice house sites as well as the locations of the 1889 shoreline (Sipperly 1976). This was followed in March 1980 by a draft history of the Schodack islands (Huey 1980) and a field visit to the north end of Castleton Island State Park in May 1983 (Huey 1983a). During that visit the large tree probably representing the landmark Nine Mile Tree was noted, and a small concentrated area of brick fragments observed along upper Schodack Creek indicated the location of a probable archeological site. A more comprehensive visual survey of the State Park area, resulting in field notes, occurred in October 1983 (Huey 1983b). The wrecks of barges in Schodack Creek were noted, and various areas of dredging spoil in the vicinity of the 18th-century Mahican village site were recorded. In 1988 the potential archeological resources of the Park were discussed at the annual meeting of the Division for Historic Preservation of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Huey 1988). Meanwhile, public attention and concern had focussed as early as 1982 on the scenic and historic value of the islands, which were then considered by the Corps of Engineers as potential dredging spoil disposal sites (Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. 1983: I,7-29,7-58,7-59).
Other field surveys, focussing on locating and identifying historic ice house sites, were conducted in the 1990s by Wendy Harris and Arnold Pickman of the New York District, Corps of Engineers (Harris and Pickman 1997). One of the most recent visits to Castleton Island State Park to record locations of sites and further to identify previous spoil disposal areas occurred on May 7, 1997, with the assistance of a boat provided by the Corps of Engineers.
The Statewide inventory of archeological sites maintained by the State Historic Preservation Office lists a number of archeological sites on the mainland of Rensselaer and Columbia Counties opposite the land that is now Castleton Island State Park. The four sites in Rensselaer County were reported in May, September, and October 1974 by Shirley Dunn of the Esquatak Historical Society. The four sites in Columbia County were reported by Ruth Piwonka in July and August 1987. This list of archeological sites does not include many more historic structures which are in a separate inventory, the sites of which should also be considered archeological resources. The following table lists only the archeological sites in the New York State inventory of historic resources, and they are listed in order from north to south.
Schodack, Rensselaer County
A083.13.0209 Reyer Schermerhorn house site, ca. 1762-1925.
A083.13.0210 Remains of Farmers' Turnpike bridge, ca. 1780s.
A083.13.0211 Site of Reformed Dutch Church, 1770-1810.
A083.13.0213 Site of "Yellow Store" and "Old Dock;" the Yellow Store was owned by Captain John I. Schermerhorn before 1834 and was destroyed by railroad construction, ca. 1850.
Stuyvesant, Columbia County
A021.17.00083 Shaw-Springsteen site.
A021.17.00084 William van Ness house site, early 19th century.
A021.17.00074 Broussseau Brickyard site.
A021.17.00087 Burns Dock, dwelling, and stores, 19th century.
The Schodack islands formed a series of low, flat, fertile, alluvial flood plain islands along the east bank of the Hudson River similar to the almost equally extensive Papscanee Island, located to the north. Both island areas, at Schodack and at Papscanee, are traditionally associated with the Mahican Indian people. These islands separate the higher mainland of the Towns of East Greenbush and Schodack from direct access to the Hudson River except in the vicinity of present Castleton, located on the river bank between the Papscanee Island area to the north and the Schodack islands to the south. It was in this intervening area that the Muitzeskill, Vlockie Kill, and Moordenier Kill originally flowed into the Hudson River. Excavations on Papscanee Island and the smaller, adjacent Cuyper Island have revealed important evidence of prehistoric Indian occupation as well as historic Mahican Indian occupation and contact with Europeans during the 16th or early 17th centuries (Lavin, Mozzi, Bouchard, and Hartgen 1996). It is reasonable to assume that similar evidence also exists on the Schodack islands, to the south.
1. Upper Schodack Island
When Henry Hudson in the Half Moon arrived in the vicinity of the Schodack islands on September 17, 1609, he found "shoalds in the middle of the channell, and small Ilands," but deep water on both sides. The Half Moon ran aground, first on the mainland shore and then on the shallows in the channel. After being freed from the shallows by the rising tide, the Half Moon came to anchor for the night. The next day, while the Half Moon remained at anchor, Hudson's mate went ashore "with an old Savage, a Governour of the Country; who carried him to his house." This was about 24 miles (8 leagues) north of where Hudson himself had previously landed and visited the Indians, a "very loving people," at about the present City of Hudson. This was also about 6 miles (2 leagues) south of where Hudson traded with the Indians on September 19 near the present Port of Albany. Thus, Hudson's mate on September 18 landed and visited the "old Savage" in his home either at present Castleton or perhaps on Papscanee Island (Jameson 1967: 21-22, 49).
Although additional archeological data on Indian settlement locations and dates are needed, it appears that Hudson may have anchored in the Half Moon between the Papscanee Island area and the north end of Upper Schodack Island opposite present Castleton, where his mate probably went ashore to visit with the Mahican chief who lived there. If there was a settlement or village of Mahicans on the hill in Castleton, those Indians most likely grew crops conveniently nearby on Upper Schodack Island. It is noteworthy that in 1640 Kiliaen van Rensselaer complained that the English on the Connecticut River were trading for furs with the Mahicans who lived about 6 miles (2 leagues) south of Fort Orange and got the furs from the Mohawks (van Laer 1908: 483-484). Jacob Jansen Gardenier (Flodder) purchased from a Mahican Indian in 1650 a parcel of land on Upper Schodack Island. The Mahicans later disavowed this sale, explaining they had only rented the land for Gardenier to plant oats; Gardenier also built a rick on the land in which to store his grain (Dunn 1994: 177- 178). It was in 1663, however, when the Indians along the Hudson River temporarily abandoned their settlements and corn fields during a time of great fear of attack, that Volkert Jansen Douw and Jan Thomassen Witbeck took advantage of the situation and purchased all of Upper Schodack Island (Huey 1992-1993: 100).
Upper Schodack Island apparently was divided initially into north and south portions, with a common pasture in the middle called the "Green Flat" or "Calf Pasture" ("Calverway"). By 1664 Douw and Witbeck had already leased several farms on Upper Schodack Island, and houses and barns were probably built. Witbeck had a house by 1670, and it may have been on the island. Douw and Witbeck divided the island lengthwise, reserving the Calverway as a common pasture, with Douw taking the west side of the island toward the Hudson River and Witbeck taking the east side toward Schodack Creek. Douw sold his west half to Jacob Jansen Gardenier in 1673. Witbeck's east half was evidently occupied by Jacob Jansen Schermerhorn, who in 1676 allowed some French refugees to plant corn, peas, cabbages, and buckwheat there. Witbeck sold his east half to Schermerhorn in 1681, and the sale included a house, barn, and hay rick (Huey 1992-1993: 100-102). These buildings may have been on the mainland, but it is possible, perhaps likely, they stood on the east side of Upper Schodack Island. Schermerhorn leased the farm to Lawrence Jansen van Wormer, who in 1685 complained "that the floor of the barn was unfit for threshing" (van Laer 1932: 524).
Gardenier's land on the west side of the island was divided into four lots and passed to his son Hendrick. Hendrick died in 1694 or 1695 leaving a house and barn possibly on this land (van Laer 1919: 123-124; Huey 1992-1993: 102). Land on the southwestern part of Upper Schodack Island, along the channel of "Hell Gate" (Figure 3) which separated Upper Schodack Island from Lower Schodack Island, had passed to the Coeymans family by 1739 and then to the Ten Eyck family. Jacob C. and Anthony Ten Eyck, both "shopkeepers," divided this land in 1754. They were sons of Coenradt Ten Eyck of Albany, a "mariner" and also a silversmith. Coenradt Ten Eyck was grandson of Barent Pietersen Coeymans, and his wife, Geertje van Schaick, was a daughter of Anthony van Schaick who in 1682 had acquired from his stepmother the title to Van Schaick Island and Haver (Peebles) Island north of Albany. Jacob C. Ten Eyck was not only a "shopkeeper;" he was also a silversmith who had been apprenticed to Charles Le Roux, and he was Mayor of Albany in 1748 (George 1932: 158-159, 164; Ten Eyck 1754; Huey 1996b: 22-23).
Two parcels in this area of Upper Schodack Island amounting to 80 acres, called the "Broad Streak" and the "Wy," were further divided among the Ten Eycks and Daniel Schermerhorn in 1775. Anthony Ten Eyck evidently purchased additional shares of this property, consisting of lots numbered 2 and 6 amounting to 29 acres, later in 1775. He may have built a new house about this time near the old Calverway to the north at the center of Upper Schodack Island, as shown on maps made in 1775 and 1779. A traveller on the river in 1769 had recorded that Upper Schodack Island was a fine, cleared flat partly planted with wheat and partly plowed. There was also "one rich Meadow improved," which was perhaps the old Calverway. Ten Eyck still owned lots 2 and 6 on the south part of the island in 1786 (Huey 1992-1993: 106-107, 110-111; Ten Eyck 1816; Ten Eyck 1786).
In the south part of Upper Schodack Island a narrow stream flows south to the south tip of the island, and this north-south stream evidently formed a part of the boundary between the east and west halves of the island originally owned by Douw and Witbeck. This stream was commonly called the "Binnekill," and it still exists. The Schermerhorns continued to own the east half of Upper Schodack Island, including the southeast portion between the Binnekill and Schodack Creek, through most of the 18th century. In 1786 Dirck Schermerhorn sold one morgen (about 2.1 acres) of land "fit for plowing or mowing" at the south point between the Binnekill and Schodack Creek to Benjamin Springsteen of Schodack, a blacksmith (Schermerhorn 1786). Benjamin Springsteen in 1784 had married Annatje Schermerhorn (Harris 1970: I,69). She was a daughter of Hendrick J. Schermerhorn and Cornelia Lansing of Schodack. Benjamin Springsteen was born across the river in Coeymans and had served in the Revolution (Morrissey 1980: 68-87). He acquired additional land on Upper Schodack Island to the north, some of which was divided into lots, and in 1838 sold part of his property to John S. Springsteen, his 28-year-old son who married Clarissa Schermerhorn (Springsteen 1838; Harris 1970: I,28, II,64). By 1842 Abraham B. Vanderpoel had acquired 3 acres on the south point of Upper Schodack Island between the Binnekill and Schodack Creek. This parcel was later sold to James A. Dumont in 1864, who included it in a larger parcel he sold to Nathaniel G. Spalding in 1868 (Vanderpoel 1842; Reed 1864; Dumont 1868). In 1837 John J. and Peter Schermerhorn sold a 3-acre lot called "Ryers Kelder" located evidently farther north along Schodack Creek to Abraham L. Ackerman, who in 1838 sold it to Abraham Mull (Schermerhorn 1837b; Ackerman 1838). By 1855 the Mull family owned other former Schermerhorn lots both between the Binnekill and Schodack Creek and farther to the north, and in 1859 Abram Mull sold his portion to David S. Gardenier. Gardenier sold it to George and Susan Karner in 1863. The Karners sold it to Jane E. Dumont in 1864, and in 1868 James A. Dumont sold at least part of it to Nathaniel G. Spalding (Mull 1855; Mull 1859; Gardenier 1863; Karner 1864; Dumont 1868). The area was clearly of commercial value for farming and was also the subject of considerable speculation for profit. By 1870 James Dumont was listed as a farmer at Schodack Landing with only 4 acres of land, but he was also "custom house store keeper at New York" (Child 1870: 206).
The southwest point of Upper Schodack Island, between the Binnekill and the Hell Gate channel, the former Douw-Gardenier portion, was also subject to land speculation because of its commercial value. Barent Vanderpoel lost 2 acres of land there through a sheriff's sale to Abraham I. van Vleck in 1812 (Turner 1812), and Abram I. Mull owned it in 1859 when he sold it to David S. Gardenier. From Gardenier it passed to George and Susan Karner in 1863; it passed from the Karners to Jane E. Dumont in 1864 and from James A. Dumont to Nathaniel G. Spalding in 1868. To the north, the Ten Eyck family had continued to own lots between the Binnekill and Hell Gate. Anthony Ten Eyck's property had passed to Egbert Ten Eyck, who in 1861 sold 6.3 acres there north of John D. Schermerhorn's property to Charles H. Lent, of Newtown on Long Island (Ten Eyck 1861).
Much larger lots were bought and sold on the north part of Upper Schodack Island. On the east side, John J. and Peter Schermerhorn sold lots of 14.25 and 19 acres to Abraham L. Ackerman in 1837 (Schermerhorn 1837b). A lot of 11.343 acres that was acquired by John S. Springsteen was sold by him in 1861 to Benoni Clapper (Springsteen 1861). Benoni Clapper was a farmer who by 1870 owned a total of 133 acres of land in the Town of Schodack which he leased to John Clapper (Child 1870: 206). On the west side of Upper Schodack Island, Robert J. Johnson by 1835 had acquired 7 acres which he sold to Anthony Ten Eyck and Andrew J. Johnson (Johnson 1835). Other property there owned by Anthony Ten Eyck included 17.53 acres known as "the Upper Island Lot" which passed to Egbert Ten Eyck. He sold it in 1861 to Charles H. Lent, and it was west of land owned by Ryer B. Springsteen "and now occupied by Asa Bennett Springsteen" (Ten Eyck 1861). Asa Bennett Springsteen had inherited that land from his father, Ryer B., who had died in 1858. Ryer B. Springsteen was a son of Benjamin Springsteen (Morrissey 1980: 88-89). The Shakers also had become owners of land on the west side of the island. In 1845, Joseph Patten and Nathan Holland, Trustees of the United Society of Shakers in Hancock and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, sold 20.25 acres of land in the northwest part of the island to John R. and Russell Downer of Schodack (Patten and Holland 1845).
John R. Downer, born in 1804, had come to the United States in 1823 and married Mary, the daughter of John Smith, keeper of the original Tammany Hall in New York City. With his son James R. Downer, Frank P. Harder, and John V.D. Witbeck, John R. Downer was a partner in Witbeck & Company, forwarders and dealers in produce based on River Street in Castleton (Figure 4). They also had an office at the foot of 10th Street at the Hudson River in New York City, and they owned and operated the barge Chicago. They were "dealers in hay, straw, potatoes, And all kinds of Country Produce," as well as fertilizers, Buckeye mowers and reapers, wheel hay rakes, hay hoops, and other goods. John R. Downer owned a mill near Castleton, and he was "the inventor of the first revolving hay rake." In 1855 John R. and Russell Downer sold the 20.25 acres they had purchased from the Shakers to Gouverneur M. Herrick. Gouverneur M. Herrick was to become a family in-law, for in 1864 James R. Downer married his daughter Margaret N. Herrick. By 1870 his sons John A. and William I. Herrick in company with William H. Schermerhorn at Schodack Landing operated the barge J.R. Baldwin, also based with the Chicago at the foot of West 10th Street in New York City. Gouverneur M. Herrick was born in East Greenbush in 1803 and came to Schodack in 1840. He was the manufacturer in Castleton of the "Standard Fence Making Machine," a machine which produced "Standard Combination Fence" consisting of vertical strips of wooden lath held by wire comparable to a modern snow fence. This newly-invented fence was "dog proof, protecting sheep from dogs and wolves," and it was "firm, strong, durable, visible and cheap." Herrick promoted the fence as "just the fence for low lands, high water will not wash it away" (Figure 5). Later, on July 4, 1876, his inventive son William I. Herrick patented a potato-digger. James R. Downer, meanwhile, as a partner with Captain John V.D. Witbeck and Joel D. Smith, had built the propeller steamboat Andrew Harder which was chartered and used by the United States government as a transport during the Civil War. Beginning in 1870 the Andrew Harder was used to transport freight formerly carried by barges between New York City and Stuyvesant Landing (Anderson 1897: III,112, 134; Doolittle 1877: 86; Child 1870: 207, 208, 214; Downer 1855; Anon. 1977a: 4-5; Ellis 1878: 357).
John R. and Russell Downer's deed in 1855 to Gouverneur M. Herrick for the 20.25 acres of land specifically reserved the crop that was then growing there. The deed also reserved a large elm tree standing on the bank of the island and known as the Nine Mile Tree, together with 30 feet of land around the tree "for the purpose of docking for its preservation granting ... the use of the land above reserved except what may be necessary for the preservation of said tree." This large tree was protected by subsequent owners of the land after 1855, and a large tree (Figure 6) that is still growing on what was once the north end of Upper Schodack Island consequently may have been preserved. It is exactly 9 miles from Albany. It is an Eastern cottonwood, a type less hardy than the elm mentioned in the 1855 deed. The tree is more than 6 feet in diameter and nearly 20 feet in circumference (C&S Engineers, Inc.). Gouverneur M. Herrick in 1873 sold the 20.25 acres for $200 less than he paid for it to Benoni Clapper (Herrick 1873). Herrick died less than a year later, on January 9, 1874 (Anderson 1897: III,134).
Farther south along the west side of Upper Schodack Island, James A. Dumont in 1868 sold 16 acres to Nathaniel G. Spalding, mentioned earlier (Dumont 1868). Nathaniel G. Spalding was born in Beekmantown, New York, in 1826 and graduated from Union College in 1852. He became a Methodist minister and served a number of churches. He married Harriet Dorr, a daughter of Doctor Russell Dorr of Chatham, New York. Doctor Russell Dorr is perhaps most famous today for the series of portraits of him and his family painted by the artist Ammi Phillips. Doctor Russell Dorr was also a writer and the inventor of the first American threshing machine. In 1862 Spalding was stricken with a disease that made him an invalid. He left the ministry and became a farmer and an agent for the Home Life Insurance Company (Sylvester 1880: 416-417; Black and Holdridge 1969: 45).
The islands at Schodack were soon to become an important center for harvesting and storing ice from the Hudson River, primarily to supply New York City. In April 1880 Spalding sold for $1,500 the northern 7.6 acres of the land he had acquired from James A. Dumont to Mrs. Christiana Warren of the City of Albany, and with it Spalding conveyed his "Ice Right" to a large area of the Hudson River extending west to the center line of the river. Mrs. Warren was required to pay an annual rent of $100, unless or until she paid Spalding the additional sum of $1,665 (Spalding 1880). This property was apparently asociated with the operation of an ice house by Clement Warren & Son of Albany on the west side of Upper Schodack Island; it is illustrated (Figure 7) in a panoramic photograph published in 1888 (Shear 1888). Clement Warren & Son in Albany and in Greenbush (present Rensselaer) were operators of a steam saw mill and timber yard and were dealers in ice and lumber. The Warren family lived at 65 Clinton Avenue in Albany (Davenport 1881: 268).
In 1892 Christiana Warren and her husband Clement sold the 7.6 acres and the ice right to Isabella F. Close and Edward C. Clifford of Brooklyn, New York, for $20,000 (Warren and Warren 1892). The 1891 atlas map shows the ice house there which is identified on a 1915 map as "Clifford's Ice House." On January 12, 1931, the Knickerbocker Ice Company of New York City sold the property to Estelle Knickerbocker of Schodack, and on January 16 she sold it to the National Dredging Company, with offices in Delaware (Harris and Pickman 1997; Knickerbocker Ice Company 1931; Knickerbocker 1931). The 1976 survey map indicates the approximate location of Clifford's Ice House, on the west side of Upper Schodack Island a short distance south of the railroad bridge and near the location of an easement for an American Telephone & Telegraph underground cable (Sipperly 1976). A visit to the site on May 7, 1997, revealed that the area is covered with dredging spoil, and no trace of the ice house was observed. An aerial photograph (Figure 8) of the Alfred H. Smith Bridge published in 1936 shows what appear to be dredging spoil piles in this area extending north of and the bridge for a short distance (Anon. 1936: J-3).
North of the ice house that became Clifford's Ice House, the 1891 atlas map also shows the "Dodd and Maloney" ice house on the west side of Upper Schodack Island about where the railroad bridge is now located. This ice house is also on a map made in 1901. Finally, the 1891 atlas map also shows an ice house to the northeast, along the west bank of upper Schodack Creek, and this was identified on the map as the "Montauk Ice House" (Harris and Pickman 1997). No traces of either the Dodd and Maloney or the Montauk Ice Houses were observed during the visit to the area on May 7, 1997. Further searching for the Montauk Ice House site should be undertaken, however, because the site would be in an area that probably has not been covered with dredging spoil. It is possible this is the site, consisting of an area of broken red bricks, that was observed during the field visit in May 1983 (Huey 1983a).
William F. Link's map of the Hudson River published in 1878 (Figure 9) clearly indicates the famous Nine Mile Tree located on the west side of the railroad. He indicates it, however, on the mainland north of the Muitzeskill and north of Upper Schodack Island. This map is not particularly accurate with regard to the islands, and this location is probably in error (Link 1878). The immense tree that still stands on Upper Schodack Island is growing at what must have been the very northern tip of the island as indicated by the location of the 1889 shoreline. The present tree is a short distance southwest of where the Muitzeskill turns and flows south into upper Schodack Creek, and it stands exactly where a tourist map (Figure 10) published in 1923 shows "Nine Mile Tree Crossing" (Anon. 1923).
Benoni Clapper's property, meanwhile, passed to Anna B. and Eliza H. Clapper, apparently his grand daughters. Anna married a Vanderpoel, and Eliza married Samuel G. Whitehead. The Whiteheads lived in Albany County and operated the family moulding sand business, which in 1897 was the largest moulding sand company in the United States (Parker 1897: III,183). In 1922 Anna and Eliza for $750 sold almost 2 acres of their land to the Hudson River Connecting Railroad Corporation of Albany (Vanderpoel and Whitehead 1922). The new "Castleton Cut-Off" bridge (Figure 11) was soon constructed high above Upper Schodack Island, and it enabled freight trains to avoid the West Albany "hill." It was named for Alfred Holland Smith, the President of the New York Central Railroad when the bridge was planned and under construction. He died in 1924 (Bushwacker 1983). North of the railroad property Anna B. Vanderpoel and Elza H. Whitehead in 1924 sold 10 acres extending the full distance between Schodack Creek and the Hudson River to Henry A. van Alstyne of New York City (Vanderpoel and Whitehead 1924). Finally, on May 14, 1942, Vanderpoel and Whitehead sold three remaining parcels of 11.3, 25.5, and 20.25 acres on the north end of Upper Schodack Island to Ferdinand Vybrial and his wife Frances, both of Schodack Landing. The deed strictly required that the historic Nine Mile Tree, standing on the bank of Upper Schodack Island, be preserved and protected (Vanderpoel and Whitehead 1942).
North of this point, the original channel that connected Schodack Creek with the river has become filled. This fill now connects Upper Schodack Island with the mainland by a nearly impassable road (Figure 12) across the Donald Walsh land parcel. Although Frank Bean's Ice House was once located on this filled land near where the road crosses the railroad, the entire area was formerly an area of water (Sipperly 1976). It is unlikely the Walsh parcel contains archeological resources earlier than the railroad or the ice house; it is possible there are Indian remains from Castleton in the fill used to build the railroad bed. There also may be sites along the original shoreline just west of Route 9J.
In addition, the original channels that once surrounded and flowed between the Schodack islands here and elsewhere may contain wrecks of early vessels and other remains deeply buried in the fill or in the silt under water. For example, a tragedy occurred on a Saturday afternoon in January 1807 "on one of the branches of the river about ten miles below town [Albany]." A sleigh travelling from Albany to Schodack "very suddenly" broke through the ice and "sank immediately under the ice." The sleigh contained Gerrit Y. Lansing with Jane Ann Lansing and two other young ladies; Jane Ann Lansing, oldest daughter of Sanders Lansing of Albany, was drowned (Harrison 1807). This might have happened in Schodack Creek, perhaps a short distance south of the present railroad bridge over Upper Schodack Island.
Upper Schodack Island clearly has an especially rich potential for significant archeological and historical resources. Those which are known to exist as well as those which have not yet been located and verified may be summarized in the following list.
2. Little Schodack Island
South of the south point of Upper Schodack Island is a small, narrow island of about 4.79 acres known as Little Schodack Island. It is a part of Castleton Island State Park (Sipperly 1976). This small island was of value and was apparently originally a part of the early Witbeck-Schermerhorn farm to the north on Upper Schodack Island east of the Binnekill. In 1785 Dirck Schermerhorn for ú173.12.2 mortgaged half of Little Schodack Island, being "the middle part," for a short time period to Jacob C. Ten Eyck of Albany. The mortgage was soon discharged (Schermerhorn 1785). Dirck Schermerhorn again mortgaged this little island, with other property, in 1789 to Benjamin Egberts, Anthony Ten Eyck, and Anthony Egberts for ú295 (Schermerhorn 1789).
Little Schodack Island continued to have importance into the 19th century. In 1842 Abraham B. Vanderpoel for $250 sold a lot on the south part of the island, south of a lot owned by Anthony Ten Eyck, to John M. Shoemaker of Claverack. At the same time, Shoemaker also acquired land on the south point of Upper Schodack Island (Vanderpoel 1842). Shoemaker then sold his property for $100 to Abijah E. Reed in 1849 (Shoemaker 1849). Anthony Ten Eyck's property meanwhile passed to Egbert Ten Eyck, who in 1861 sold the "small lot" on Little Schodack Island north of Abijah E. Reed's land to Charles H. Lent (Ten Eyck 1861).
The frequent transfers of the the land at the south end of Upper Schodack Island both east and west of the Binnekill suggest that this was an area of particular value, and it is entirely possible that the 17th-century farm buildings of Schermerhorn and Gardenier were located there. The Schermerhorns may also have occupied Little Schodack Island at an early date. It was located, as the mortgage of 1785 notes, directly opposite the mainland houses of Daniel Schermerhorn and Anthony Ten Eyck (Figure 3).
3. Lower Schodack Island
Lower Schodack Island was separated from Upper Schodack Island by a navigable sloop channel called the Hell Gate (Figure 3). Known to the Mahican Indians as Cachtanaquick, Lower Schodack Island was called Moesmans Island by the Dutch in the 17th century. It may have taken this name from Arent Jansen Moesman who arrived in Rensselaerswyck in 1663 with plans to manufacture potash. His attempts to make potash may have occurred on Lower Schodack Island, but Moesman evidently left for the Netherlands in 1664 after arranging for the purchase and shipment of lumber including oak logs for wainscoting. Lower Schodack Island was apparently not yet cleared of timber and was perhaps to be the source of Moesman's lumber. As late as 1678 wood was still to be cut on Lower Schodack, or Moesmans, Island (Huey 1992-1993: 101).
In 1670 Wisquemett, a Mahican, sold the island to Jonas Volkertsen Douw, and Douw then conveyed it to his brother-in-law, Gerrit Teunissen van Vechten. Thomas Dongan, the English governor, confirmed the title of the island to Van Vechten in 1685 (Dongan 1685). Despite these transfers of title, Mahican Indians may already have been living on Lower Schodack Island. They might have moved there as early as 1663 or 1664, perhaps from the village site in present Castleton and/or from other sites still farther north, during a time of general crisis and displacement for the Indians (Huey 1996a: 143).
A crude map made in 1730 attached to the deed from the Indians of Lower Schodack Island conveying land to Maes Hendricksen van Buren shows the location of the Mahican Indian village on the northwest corner of this island. The village is identified as including "Ampamets house" (Huey 1992-1993: 104). Ampamet was living as early as 1703 and was chief of the Mahicans living on Lower Schodack Island by 1722. They were still there as late as 1744 and probably as late as 1755 (Dunn 1994: 219-223; Huey 1992-1993: 105). The site today is mostly covered with varying amounts of dredging spoil, which will make archeological testing and identification of the site difficult. It would be, however, an extremely significant site in the study of the Mahican Indians and their contact with Europeans, and once located it should be very carefully preserved and managed.
The land purchased by Maes Hendricksen van Buren consisted of probably the southeastern third part of the island. The west boundary of his land was probably a meandering stream, Moesmans Kill, which still runs north-south on the island and empties into Schodack Creek near the south point of the island. When he died in 1733, however, Van Buren left half of the island plus his farm on the mainland to his son Hendrick. This land continued to remain with the Van Buren family for an entire century, but by 1827 they had divided it into lots and planned to sell it. Lots numbered from north to south were laid out along the east bank of the island. Lot Number 2 was 39 acres and was north of Lot Number 3. South of Lot Number 3 was Lot Number 4 of more than 70 acres at the south point of the island, between Moesmans Kill and Schodack Creek. Early in 1829 Daniel van Buren and his wife Mariah sold Lots Number 2 and 4 to John I., John C., and Peter C. Schermerhorn. Dow van Buren confirmed the transfer in August 1830. Excepted from Lot Number 4 were 4 acres already sold to Jacob Barhyte (van Buren 1829; van Buren 1830).
Lot Number 4 was further subdivided into valuable smaller lots numbered from north to south. In 1833 John I. and Peter Schermerhorn sold lots numbered 1 and 2 (of about 14 and 10 acres, respectively) of Lot Number 4 to Bork van Alstyne (Schermerhorn 1833). Bork van Alstyne was a son of Johannes P. van Alstyne, who was born in 1770 and married Elizabeth Bork. Elizabeth was a daughter of Reverend Christian Bork, who came to America in the Revolution as a Hessian drummer boy but remained and became a noted Dutch Reformed minister. He came to the churches of Schodack and Bethlehem in 1798 and remained until 1808 (van Alstine 1974: 71; Sylvester 1880: 410).
Bork van Alstyne further divided the lot numbered 2 of Lot Number 4. In January 1834 he sold the northern 3 acres to Abraham Mull and the southern 6 or 7 acres to John Burns. These lots all extended from Schodack Creek west to Moesmans Kill. The southern portion passed from John Burns to John Ostrander, who in 1842 sold it to Venelia Fitch. Venelia Fitch, having moved to Oswego, New York, sold it in 1849 to Abijah E. Reed. Meanwhile, Bork van Alstyne sold lot numbered 1, containing 14 acres, of Lot Number 4 to Peter G. Ten Eyck in 1835. Ten Eyck sold this 14- acre lot to Jonathan Lyman in 1841 (van Alstyne 1834a; van Alstyne 1834b; Ostrander 1842; Fitch 1849; van Alstyne 1835; Ten Eyck 1841).
John I. and Peter Schermerhorn also further divided Lot Number 2 into smaller numbered lots. In 1837 they sold 5 acres of the smaller lot numbered 4 of Lot Number 2 to Peter G. Ten Eyck, and Ten Eyck also sold this 5 acres to Jonathan Lyman in 1841 (Schermerhorn 1837a; Ten Eyck 1841). Meanwhile, by 1864, possibly what had been Lot Number 3 had passed to George and Susan Karner. In 1864 they sold to Jane E. Dumont 2 acres between Schodack Creek on the east, Moesmans Kill on the west, land of Jonathan Lyman, deceased, on the north, and land of Abijah E. Reed on the south. Jane E. Dumont sold this 2 acres to Abijah E. Reed in 1865 (Karner 1864; Dumont 1865). The intensity of land speculation and subdivision of the valuable property at the south end of Lower Schodack Island is suggestive of the great value this land must have had even when it was first purchased by Maes Hendricksen van Buren farm in 1730. It is quite possible this property included buildings once associated with the Van Buren farm.
The map of Rensselaer County published in 1870 by Hamilton Child (Child 1870) shows the place name "Schodack Island" in the same large type as other villages such as Schodack Landing, Schodack Center, and Nassau (Figure 13). The islands at Schodack were soon to become an important center for harvesting and storing ice from the Hudson River, primarily to supply New York City. Initially New York City was supplied with ice mostly from Rockland Lake in Rockland County, New York, where in 1855 the Knickerbocker Ice Company was formed. In 1872 this company erected "a large and handsome storehouse for ice on Schodack Island" directly opposite Schodack Landing. This enterprise soon provided employment to a large number of men during winters, and the ice was transported down the river to New York City in barges. In the summer, the ice was loaded from the ice houses into barges, and the barges, three or four abreast, were pulled by tugs. When they reached New York the ice was quickly sold (Ackerman 1986: 104). By 1873 the Knickerbocker Ice Company had at least six offices in New York City (Stott 1979: 9; Ripley and Dana 1860: 435; Trow City Directory Company 1873: 320; Sylvester 1880: 408). In 1882, the Knickerbocker Ice Company owned the third-largest assessed amount of real estate in the Town of Schodack, after the Boston and Albany Railroad Corporation and the Hudson River Railroad Corporation (Anon. 1882).
The Knickerbocker Ice Company ice house was on the east side of Lower Schodack Island a little below Schodack Landing. This ice house appears on maps from 1891 to 1915. There is still a well-preserved section of wooden bulkhead along the shore near this location (Harris and Pickman 1997). Wrecks of wooden barges are also visible here in the water of Schodack Creek. Nearby was constructed a frame house with mansard roof; this building was still standing in 1983 but is now gone. In back of the house was a large hay barn for horses. The horses were brought up on a hay barge from New York City each fall and stayed all winter to cut and haul the ice. Bill Hamilton, who worked for the Knickerbocker Ice Company, once occupied the frame house. By the 1920s, the natural ice industry began to decline as electric refrigeration was developed, and the natural ice industry was mostly gone by 1940. In later years, however, the old house was occupied by Captain Johnson, who fixed it up; the last occupants of the house were Joseph and Mary Sukup (Boll 1997; Grooten 1997; Downey 1997).
Lower Schodack Island has several potentially very significant archeological and historical resources. Those which are known to exist as well as those which have not yet been located and verified may be summarized in the following list.
4. Mull's Plaat
Mull's Plaat was a small, narrow island located close to the northwest side of Lower Schodack Island, probably not far from the site of the Mahican Indian village of 1730. It is now connected with Lower Schodack Island. It is mentioned in the 1816 deed to Anthony Ten Eyck, whereby he acquired, for $8,000, a number of parcels from his family including half of the island "opposite to Coenrad Ten Eyck's, commonly called Moll Plaat." The island had previously been owned by Abraham Mull (Ten Eyck 1816). In 1841 Jacobus Mull sold his half of the island to Barent Mull. In 1853 Barent Mull of Coeymans, John J. Mull of Bethlehem, and their wives sold about 1 acre of the island to James J. Mull of Coeymans (Mull 1853). Finally, in 1854 Barent Mull sold his remaining half interest of about 5 acres, located south of the 1-acre parcel, for $250 to John Mull and Barent T. Mull (Mull 1854). This island must have been valuable as farmland despite its small size. The age of the island is uncertain. It appears at the northwest end of Moesmans Island on a map drawn about 1756 (Huey 1992-1993: 108), and there is the possibility it is the site of part of the Mahican village.
This island is also the site of Ziegler's Ice House, shown on maps in 1901 and 1915 (Harris and Pickman 1997). The remains of this ice house are still visible in 1997. There are traces of a brick wall and of a possible chimney base built with brick and cement (Figure 14). The Ziegler brothers of Coeymans grew broom corn on the island and manufactured brooms in their shop on Westerlo Street in Coeymans (Giddings 1973: 109).
5. Mull's Island
Mull's Island is recorded to have formed in 1753. It is located at the southwest corner of Lower Schodack Island and, when formed, probably closed the channel between Lower Schodack Island and Houghtaling Island (Huey 1992-1993: 107).
There are sites of two ice houses on Mull's Island. The northern site was the J.N. Briggs Ice House, directly across the river from Coeymans on the west shore of the island. John N. Briggs was born in Coeymans in 1838 and in 1868 purchased his father's general store and business. In 1877 he sold it and engaged in the coal trade, and in 1879 he began to develop an amusement park on Beeren Island on the west side of the Hudson River. He entered the ice business in 1881 and eventually owned a number of ice houses. By 1897 he was "a heavy dealer in coal and ice," and his photograph was published in the Albany County history. Described as "a man of sound judgment, of quick and accurate perception, of indomitable energy," he also "invented and patented several valuable facilities for the use of ice men, which have come into general use throughout the ice producing belt" (Parker 1897: I,480, II,51). At one of the Briggs ice houses, however, there was a strike in January 1904 (Giddings 1973: 122). The Briggs Ice House structures on Mull's Island appear on maps as late as the 1926 Geological Survey quadrangle map. The ice house was purchased in 1927 by Herman and Henry Knaust for growing mushrooms, but this particular ice house was not used by them for that purpose. It was eventually torn down (Giddings 1973: 62, 63). In 1997 there are remains of a solid concrete quay on the river bank at this site, and traces of a stone foundation wall and of brick and cement foundation walls are visible (Figure 15).
On the south part of Mull's Island was the Miller and Witbeck Ice House. A panoramic photograph published in 1888 (Figure 16) shows this ice house as an extensive operation (Shear 1888). It appears on maps between 1891 and 1915, and it was directly across the river from Beeren Island. The ruins of a brick chimney stack of perhaps 35 to 40 feet in height still stands at this site (Figure 17). It was apparently the chimney of the power house, of which the foundation walls of brick and concrete also remain. The steam engine in this power house would have been used to provide the power to elevate the blocks of ice and convey them into the ice house. The remains of a stone quay wall along the shoreline are adjacent to the chimney stack, which is perhaps 75 feet inland (Harris and Pickman 1997).
6. Houghtaling Island
Known as Schutters Island as early as 1672, Houghtaling Island was acquired by Volkert Jansen Douw in 1671. In 1672 he conveyed it to Barent Pietersen Coeymans. A 1704 conveyance by Barent Albertsen Bradt to Myndert Schuyler and others was for a "Schutters" Island located elsewhere. By 1767 Schutters Island had evidently become joined to Moesmans Island, and a traveller in 1769 noticed the rich bottom land there "fit for Meadow and some of it improved" (Huey 1992-1993: 101, 103, 109). A map of the island in 1769 (Figure 18) shows Houghtaling Island as three islands. The farthest north island was called Vief Hook (meaning in English perhaps "Lively Point"), and it was owned by John Jonas Bronck and his wife Charlotte. This was separate from Schutters Island to the south, much larger and owned by Thomas Houghtaling and John Barclay; Houghtaling owned the south portion and Barclay owned the north part. Just to the west of Schutters Island, separated from it by a narrow channel, was a long, narrow island also owned by Thomas Houghtaling and a very small island to the north owned by Peter Ten Eyck (Gambino 1975: 1769). The long, narrow island slowly disappeared so that by 1840 only 7 acres remained. By 1884 it was gone. Houghtaling Island was valuable for its land and has had many different owners; it is possible there were barns, houses, or other structures there soon after Volkert Jansen Douw acquired it in 1671 (Beers 1884: 370).
The island parcels were formally divided in 1770 between Thomas Houghtaling, John Jonas Bronck, Peter Ten Eyck, John Barclay, and Mayke Witbeck, the widow of Andries Witbeck (Houghtaling, Bronck, Ten Eyck, Witbeck, and Barclay 1770). John Barclay was married to a daughter of Pieter Barentsen Coeymans. His second wife was Anna Margarita Ten Eyck, whom he married in 1771. She was a daughter of Coenradt Ten Eyck, the silversmith, and Geertje (van Schaick) Ten Eyck. Barclay was Mayor of Albany during the Revolutionary War, and he was the first individual of English origins known to have been an owner of part of the Schodack islands (George 1932: 159). In 1773 John and Anna Margarita (Ten Eyck) Barclay sold their share of the estate of Pieter Barentsen Coeymans for ú1,200 to Cornelius van der Zee, Jr., and Albert Storm van der Zee. This included land that is now the site of the village of New Baltimore and the north part of Schutters Island. The north part of Schutters Island was "divided from the Southern Part by a line run from the South end of the lange Rack at a place where an Elm Tree stands to the Mouth of the Creek of the Wilde Huysen" (Beers 1884: 367; Ackerman 1986: 15; Gambino 1975: 1773). The lange Rack would be the "Long Reach" in English, while the term "Wilde Huysen" refers to "Indian Houses." This suggests there were Mahican Indian houses on Houghtaling Island as well as on neighboring Lower Schodack Island.
Sometime between 1798 and 1804 Albert Storm van der Zee apparently acquired by default an additional 50 acres on the island from James Keeler, John Brower, and William Badeau (Keeler, Brower, and Badeau 1798). They had mortgaged it to Van der Zee for $1,150 in 1798, and apparently the debt was not paid. This land was located north of Thomas Houghtaling's land and the Wilde Huysen Creek; it was between the "Schutters Kill" on the west and Schodack Creek on the east, and north of it was land owned by Edward Hallock.
The Van der Zee family still owned part of the island in 1824, when Andrew A. van der Zee of New Baltimore, old, infirm, and unable to manage his affairs, conveyed a lot there as a trust to be managed for him and his family by his wife Anna, Andrew A. Ten Eyck of New Baltimore, and Benjamin B. Vredenburgh of Coeymans. Land to the north was owned by Johannes P. van Alstyne, and land to the south was owned by Thomas C. Houghtaling (van der Zee 1824). Johannes P. van Alstyne was the father of Bork van Alstyne and died on March 2, 1831 (van Alstine 1974: 71).
More research is necessary to document the ownership history, past uses, and potential for sites on Houghtaling Island during the 18th and 19th centuries. The survey maps of the property to be acquired by appropriation for the State Park in this area show precisely the locations and identities of two 19th- and/or 20th- century ice house sites as well as the locations of the 1889 shoreline (Sipperly 1976). On the east shore of Houghtaling Island are identified the remains of the former McCabe Ice House. This was perhaps the ice house built in 1881 by Peter McCabe with a capacity of 10,000 tons of ice (Beers 1884: 373). However, Harris and Pickman (1997) suggest that in this general area was the site of a facility operated by the Vanderpoel, van Orden, and Sherman Ice Company, founded in 1881 by Augustus Sherman. The remains of a wooden quay are visible from offshore. Harris and Pickman place the McCabe Ice House site farther south on Houghtaling Island.
Farther north along the east shore of the island was recorded in 1976 the site of Gardenier's Ice House. This ice house also appears on the 1926 Geological Survey map (Figure 19). Harris and Pickman (1997), however, identify this site as that of the National Ice Company ice house in 1915. Remains of a wooden quay are visible from offshore.
At the former north tip of Houghtaling Island Harris and Pickman have estimated the location of a third ice house, but this one is not noted on the 1976 maps. This was an ice house operated by "Schermerhorn & Gardinier" in 1891, noted in 1915 as the "Gardinier Ice House." Sections of a concrete wall are visible at the site, and from offshore the remains of a quay are visible.
Finally, on the west shore of Houghtaling Island, Harris and Pickman have estimated the location of the "J.H. Horton & Company Ice House" shown on the 1891 map. This company may have been J.M. Horton & Company of New York City who in 1873 were ice cream dealers at 305 Fourth Avenue (Trow City Directory Company 1873: 320). A structure still stood there in 1915. No remains were observed at the site, however.
7. The Muitzeskill
The Muitzeskill presently flows into Schodack Creek at a point just north of the original north end of Upper Schodack Island. Old maps show that a large area west of the mainland and north of the original north end of Upper Schodack Island is filled land of relatively recent date. A small parcel of land, part of the original mainland and located along the north side of the Muitzeskill between the railroad and Route 9J, is a part of Castleton Island State Park. A visual inspection of the area during a visit on January 24, 1997, showed that this is a fertile, low-lying area of woods and brush.
It was possibly in this area, somewhere north of Upper Schodack Island, that Henry Hudson anchored the Half Moon and on September 18, 1609, sent his mate on shore to meet with the "old Savage," probably a chief, "who carried him to his house." On September 4, 1648, Wanemenhett and three other Mahican chiefs sold the Muitzeskill with land north and south of it to Jacob Jansen Gardenier. The Mahican name for the Muitzeskill was "Paponicuck," described as a "river with bordering thickets." Years later, the Mahicans disputed the extent of Gardenier's purchase of land north of the Muitzeskill. They claimed he had acquired only a small piece of land north of the creek to make a garden, for which the Mahicans received only a piece of cloth as rent. A short distance inland is a substantial water fall, and here Gardenier soon built a mill. In 1650 Gardenier purchased a part of nearby Upper Schodack Island, together with a small parcel on the mainland on the east side of Schodack Creek (Huey 1992-1993: 99-100; Dunn 1994: 175-176).
For a time, the water power on the Muitzeskill was apparently leased to Gysbert Cornelissen van Breuckelen, whose farm was on the south part of Papscanee Island, but this lease was not renewed in 1654 (van Laer 1908: 770). Mahicans still lived near the Muitzeskill, then called the Goyer's Kill, in 1656 when a drunken Indian named Macheck Sipoeti was arrested and brought to Fort Orange. Macheck Sipoeti was interrogated by Jan Thomassen Witbeck, who was "well acquainted with the Mahican languages," and it was learned that Macheck Sipoeti had been drinking brandy "in an Indian house, situated near the Gojer's Kill." The Indians had obtained the brandy from the Dutch who lived on the east side of the Hudson River; Macheck Sipoeti said he did not know their names (Gehring 1990: 255). When Volkert Jansen Douw and Jan Thomassen Witbeck in 1663 were granted Upper Schodack Island, the patent described it as "an island in the North River at the Gooyers Kil named Schotack in the Indian language, otherwise Aepjes Island, together with a parcel of land on the east bank of the stream [Schodack Creek] where the house of Machak Notas stood" (Gehring 1978: 28). It is thus possible that both events referred to the same Indian house, which must have been located near the Muitzeskill on the east bank of Schodack Creek and that Macheck Sipoeti and Machak Notas were related.
A half interest in "the two mills at Shotak, on the east bank of Hudson's river," were part of the estate in 1695 of Neeltie Claes, the widow of Hendrick Gardenier. The other half interest had been set aside for the children by their guardians (van Laer 1919: 123). The name for the Muitzeskill had been given as early as 1704, when the will of Andries Gardenier of Kinderhook mentioned the "Mutsjes kill" (van Laer 1919: 157-158). The name comes from the Dutch word "mutsje," meaning a little bonnet or cap. A "mutsje" was also a unit of measure for brandy, as in 1658 when the price of a beaver skin was 20 mutsjes of brandy (Gehring 1990: 388). On May 6, 1707, Ampamet and four other Mahicans conveyed to Kiliaen van Rensselaer all of the creek called Paponicuck (the Muitzeskill) and the land north and south of it as originally sold to Jacob Jansen Gardenier (Aquootch, Ampamet, Penonaemp, Tawaheese, and Mahatawee 1707).
In his will dated 1718 and proved in 1720, Kiliaen van Rensselaer left to his son Jacobus "the creek called Scotack Creek [Muitzeskill], on the east side of Hudsons River, about eight miles below Albany, with a grist mill on said stream" (Pelletreau 1894: 217). Soon Jacobus van Rensselaer also had a saw mill there, for on June 24, 1744, Doctor Alexander Hamilton records that his sloop anchored in the river, and the next day he "went ashore this morning upon a farm belonging to 'Cobus Ranslaer, brother to the Patroon at Albany. ...There is here a fine sawmill that goes by water" (Hart 1907: 71). The saw mill became an important source of lumber during the French and Indian War, for in March 1760, for example, Tobias Ten Eyck transported 999 boards in the sloop Christina from Schodack to the British Army at Albany (Ten Eyck 1760).
The map of Rensselaerswyck by John R. Bleecker in 1767 clearly shows "Schotack Mills" on the north side of the Muitzeskill, east of the river and west of the road (Bleecker 1767). In March 1768, a road was planned to be built from Lanesborough, Massachusetts, located north of Pittsfield, eastward "to the old Saw mill called Schotack mill" (Munsell 1865: 185, 190, 191). Stephen van Rensselaer in his will dated 1769 and proved in 1770 left a tract of 1,500 acres of land at Schodack "with a grist mill and sawmill on Scotack creek [Muitzeskill], with the priviledge of getting logs on any part of my Manor" to his son Philip S. van Rensselaer (Pelletreau 1900: 291). The map of New York published in 1779 shows the Muitzeskill as "Middle Kill," now with two buildings on its north side east of the river and west of the road along the river (Sauthier 1779). In 1797 Philip S. van Rensselaer conveyed to his brother Stephen van Rensselaer for $20,000 the same land in Schodack that had been left to him in 1770, but in 1820 Stephen van Rensselaer conveyed it back to Philip for $1.00 (van Rensselaer 1797; van Rensselaer 1820).
The valuable water power on the Muitsezkill continued to support industrial development in the 19th century, and by 1850 there was a small community below the falls. Maps in 1854 and 1861 show residences owned by John R. and Russell Downer and by A. Sage, in addition to a grist and plaster mill, a machine shop, and a saw mill (Rogerson 1854; Lake and Beers 1861). Stephen Callanan bought the property from the Downers in 1866 (Figure 20). The 1876 atlas map shows the Callanan residence and that of J. Collins, together with a grist mill and a saw mill (Beers 1876: 81-82). For a time sickles were manufactured there, but in 1880 it was written that "Stephen Callanan operates the `old Schodack Mill' now, and besides using it as a grist-mill, grinds large quantities of plaster for the farmers each year" (Sylvester 1880: 413). In 1929 the mills partially burned but were rebuilt (Anon. 1977b). Today the Butts Farm Service still operates a business there, east of Route 9J at 1421 Muitzeskill Road.
Parts of the remaining mill structures, despite the fire of 1929, appear to be very old. These mills stand at the center of an area with a high potential for significant archeological resources. There have been mills at this location on the Muitzeskill probably from as early as 1648, and even the present buildings may contain elements from some of the earliest colonial mills known to have existed there. This area was a focus of activity by the Mahican Indians and by Europeans before 1650. The state-owned land north of the Muitzeskill and west of Route 9J therefore could include evidence of Mahican Indian occupation in addition to development and activity after 1648 by Jacob Jansen Gardenier and his successors at the mills. Part of it may have been Gardenier's garden on the north side of the Muitzeskill, for which, according to the Mahicans, he paid only a piece of cloth as rent. In any case, as the mills developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, the original junction of the Muitzeskill with Schodack Creek must have become an increasingly significant and active landing place. This was the general area where the Mahicans had traded Mohawk furs with English traders from the Connecticut River (Dunn 1994: 175), and in 1768 this point was to be the terminus of a major road from Massachusetts to the Hudson River. It is not difficult to imagine sloops loaded with merchandise arriving in Schodack Creek at the mouth of the Muitzeskill at high tide, then unloading their goods at low tide, and leaving at the next high tide with cargoes of lumber and flour. Recommendations
Beyond the initial explorations and inspection of parts of Castleton Island State Park for visible remains of cultural resources, no systematic archeological surveys have yet been conducted on the Park property to attempt to locate 17th-century Dutch house sites, the 18th-century Mahican village site, or the site of the colonial house built before 1775. The depth of dredging fill will make testing difficult, but it also protects the sites. There are many other problems, such as access to the island, that must be resolved to facilitate careful archeological surveys.
Since the Schodack islands evidently served as the traditional central council fire place of the Mahican nation, Mahican descendants today are very concerned about park development and preservation of the island, the village site, and Indian burials. Most of the Mahican people today live in the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, but they have a strong interest in any new information that may be generated from archeological surveys about the little-known culture and history of the Mahican people. They should be brought into the planning process at an early stage.
When and if archeological surveys successfully locate sites such as the Mahican village sites or colonial house sites, it will be important to develop a plan for responsible resource management and research to insure the protection and conservation of these sites. Also, technological development in the future will greatly improve the capability of archeological field work to locate sites and recover data non-destructively. In addition to the establishment of a working relationship with the Mahican people, the following are some recommendations for further research and development with reference to cultural resources:
There are many historical topics and themes that provide the potential for further research and public interpretation at Castleton Island State Park. Some of these have been listed previously. In addition, however, some of the existing archeological collections in the Archeology Unit of the Bureau of Historic Sites are already a potential source of material for interpretive exhibits and comparative research. These collections include material that relates to families such as the Douws, Schermerhorns, van Vechtens, and van Burens. Some of the collections that relate to Castleton Island State Park are as follows:
Figure 1. Map of the Hudson River from Albany (Beverwyck) to Houghtaling Island (Huey 1992-1993: 98).
Figure 2. View southward from the east side of Upper Schodack Island along upper Schodack Creek, with the New York State Thruway bridge and the Alfred H. Smith Bridge behind it, May 7, 1997.
Figure 3. View southward of the Hell Gate channel toward Schodack Landing from the northeast bank of Lower Schodack Island, May 7, 1997. At left center of the picture is the north gable end of the Anthony Ten Eyck house, built perhaps in the 1770s.
Figure 4. Advertisement for Witbeck & Company of Castleton and New York City, 1870 (Child 1870: 208).
Figure 5. Advertisement for the "Standard Combination Fence," manufactured by Gouverneur M. Herrick of Castleton (Anon. 1977a: 4-5).
Figure 6. View of the present-day Nine Mile Tree, an Eastern cottonwood, on Upper Schodack Island, May 7, 1997.
Figure 7. Panoramic view of the Clement Warren & Son Ice House, later Clifford's Ice House, on Upper Schodack Island in 1888 (Shear 1888).
Figure 8. Aerial photograph of the Alfred H. Smith Bridge published in 1936 in The Knickerbocker Press (Anon. 1936: J-3).
Figure 9. Detail from the map of the Hudson River by William F. Link published in 1878 (Link 1878).
Figure 10. Detail from a tourist map of the Hudson River published in 1923 (Anon. 1923).
Figure 11. View northward on May 7, 1997, along the west bank of Mull's Plaat and Upper Schodack Island from the site of Ziegler's Ice House to the Alfred H. Smith Bridge, built in 1923. Behind it is the New York State Thruway Bridge built in the 1950s.
Figure 12. The north entrance road to Upper Schodack Island on May 7, 1997.
Figure 13. Detail from the map of Rensselaer County in 1870 by Hamilton Child (Child 1870).
Figure 14. Wall remains at the site of the Ziegler Ice House, May 7, 1997.
Figure 15. Wall remains at the Briggs Ice House site, May 7, 1997.
Figure 16. Panoramic view of the Miller and Witbeck Ice House, on the south part of Mull's Island, in 1888 (Shear 1888).
Figure 17. Brick chimney standing at the Miller and Witbeck Ice House site, May 7, 1997.
Figure 18. Map of Houghtaling Island drawn in 1769 (Gambino 1975: 1769).
Figure 19. Detail of Lower Schodack Island and of Houghtaling Island from the 1926 Geological Survey Coxsackie Quadrangle.
Figure 20. Photograph perhaps in the 1890s of the old Schodack Mills on the lower Muitzeskill below the falls. Curiously, the photograph includes six women as well as small children (Anon. 1977b).
Figure 21. Brick base of the standing chimney at the Miller and Witbeck
Ice House site, with Arnold Pickman, May 7, 1997.
Ackerman, Abraham L.
1838 Deed to Abraham Mull, May 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 55, Page 21.
Ackerman, Elizabeth Barclay, comp. and ed.
1986 The Heritage of New Baltimore. The Heritage Society, New Baltimore, N.Y.
Anderson, George Baker
1897 Landmarks of Rensselaer County, New York. D. Mason & Company, Publishers, Syracuse, N.Y.
1882 Journal of the Board of Supervisors of Rensselaer County, 1882. Troy Daily Press Printing House, 225 River Street, Troy, N.Y.
1919(?) "Indians Buried at Castleton: New York Tracks Run Over Two Miles of Bones." Typescript in files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1923 Tourist's Map of Hudson River. Rand McNally & Co., New York.
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1977a Castleton's Sesquicentennial Program, Castleton-on- Hudson, New York, May 21, 1977. KNE Printing, Albany, N.Y.
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Aquootch, Ampamet, Penonaemp, Tawaheese, and Mahatawee
1707 Deed to Kiliaen van Rensselaer, May 6. Collections of the Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, N.Y.
1876 County Atlas of Rensselaer, New York. F.W. Beers & Co., New York.
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Black, Mary, and Barbara C. and Lawrence B. Holdridge
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C&S Engineers, Inc.
1997 Environmental Assessment Report (Phase 1): Castleton Island State Park, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Prewservation. C&S Engineers, Inc., Syracuse, Buffalo, Binghamton.
Child, Hamilton, comp.
1870 Gazetteer and Business Directory of Rensselaer County, N.Y., for 1870-1871. Printed at the Journal Office, 23 & 24 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, N.Y.
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1685 Patent to Gerrit Teunissen van Vechten, August 28. Patents, Book 5, Page 203. New York State Archives.
Doolittle, William H.
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Downer, John R. and Russell
1855 Deed to Gouverneur M. Herrick, October 22. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 99, Page 34.
1997 Personal interview, Schodack Landing, April 23.
Dumont, James A.
1868 Deed to Nathaniel G. Spalding, July 30. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 140, Page 519.
Dumont, Jane E.
1865 Deed to Abijah E. Reed, March 8. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 126, Page 427.
Dunn, Shirley W.
1974 Spalding-Van Santvoord House Building-Structure Inventory Form, September 18. Unique Site Number 08313.000134, New York State Inventory of Historic Resources, Bureau of Field Services, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1994 The Mohicans and Their Land: 1609-1730. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, N.Y.
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1849 Deed to Abijah E. Reed, March 2. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 73, Page 56.
Gambino, Anthony J.
1975 Town of New Baltimore and Vicinity: A Historical Atlas. Privately printed, New Baltimore, N.Y.
Gardenier, David S.
1863 Deed to George and Susan Karner, May 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 120, Page 299.
Gehring, Charles T., ed.
1978 A Guide to Dutch Manuscripts Relating to New Netherland in United States Repositories. University of the State of New York, The State Education Department, New York State Library, Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y.
Gehring, Charles T., trans. and ed.
1990 Fort Orange Court Minutes: 1652-1660. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse.
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1932 "The Ten Eyck Family in New York." The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 63(2): 152-165.
Giddings, Edward D.
1973 Coeymans and the Past. Published by the Tri-Centennial Committee of the Town of Coeymans, Coeymans, N.Y.
Grooten, Albertus ("Dutch")
1997 Personal interview, Schodack Landing, April 23.
Harris, Lauretta P., comp.
1970 Vital Records of the Town of Schodack, Rensselaer County, New York, Prior to 1880. Gateway Press, Baltimore.
Harris, Wendy, and Arnold Pickman
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1807 "Albany Jan. 19." New-York Weekly Museum, Saturday, January 24. Page 3. Published by Margt. Harrison, No. 3 Peck-Slip, New York.
Hart, Albert Bushnell, ed.
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1873 Assignment to Benoni Clapper, March 22. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 204, Page 339.
Houghtaling, Thomas, John J. Bronck, Peter Ten Eyck, Mayke Witbeck, and John Barclay
1770 Partition deed, September 5. Albany County Deeds, Book 8, Page 274.
Huey, Paul R.
1973a Historical Significance of Schodack (Castleton) Island. Memorandum to Will Butterworth, March 30. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1973b Historical Significance of Schodack (Castleton) Island, and Plans for Acquisition and Development of the Area. Memorandum to Lester Nimsker, April 6. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1980 Historical Notes on the Schodack Islands, Located in Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene Counties, New York. Waterford, N.Y. March. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1983a Castleton Island. Memorandum to Cheryl Gold, May 10. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1983b Castleton Island. Memorandum to Harry Earle, October 28. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1988 Castleton Island State Park: A Discussion of its Historical Significance and Archeological Potential for the Division for Historic Preservation Annual Meeting, March 28, 1988. Files of the Archeology Unit, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
1992- "The Mahicans, the Dutch, and the Schodack Islands in 1993 the 17th and 18th Centuries." Northeast Historical Archaeology, 21-22: 96-118.
1996a "A Short History of Cuyper Island, Towns of East Greenbush and Schodack, New York, and its Relation to Dutch and Mahican Culture Contact." Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology, 12: 131-147.
1996b An Archeological and Documentary History of Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y. Peebles Island Reference Library, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
Jameson, J. Franklin, ed.
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Johnson, Robert J.
1835 Deed to Anthony Ten Eyck and Andrew J. Johnson, January 24. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 36, Page 96.
Karner, George and Susan
1864 Deed to Jane E. Dumont, September 5. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 125, Page 242.
Keeler, James, John Brower, and William Badeau
1798 Mortgage to Albert S. van der Zee, February 2. Albany County Deeds, Book 18, Page 589.
1931 Deed to National Dredging Company, January 16. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 487, Page 85.
Knickerbocker Ice Company
1931 Deed to Estelle Knickerbocker, January 12. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 485, Page 79.
Lake, D.J., and S.N. Beers
1861 "Map of Rensselaer Co. New York From actual Surveys." Smith, Gallup & Co., Publishers, Philadelphia.
Lavin, Lucianne, Marina E. Mozzi, J. William Bouchard, and Karen Hartgen
1996 "The Goldkrest Site: An Undisturbed, Multi-Component Woodland Site in the Heart of Mahikan Territory." Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology, 12: 113-129.
Link, William F.
1878 The Hudson by Daylight Map from New York Bay to the Head of Tidewater. Published by Wm. F. Link, Office of New York & Albany Day Line Steamers, Pier 39, Vestry St., New York.
Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.
1983 Hudson River Federal Channel Maintenance Dredging Final Environmental Impact Statement. Prepared for Department of the Army, New York District, Corps of Engineers, by Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., White Plains, N.Y.
1980 Some Descendants of Casper Josephs Springsteen. Peebles Island Reference Library, Bureau of Historic Sites, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, N.Y.
Mull, Abram I.
1855 Deed to Myndert W. Mull, May 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 115, Page 438.
1859 Deed to David S. Gardenier, September 22. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 110, Page 101.
Mull, Barent, Rachel, John J., and Catherine
1853 Deed to James J. Mull, February 15. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 86, Page 132.
1854 Deed to John Mull and Barent T. Mull, September 26. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 94, Page 125.
1865 Collections on the History of Albany. Volume I. J. Munsell, 78 State Street, Albany, N.Y.
Ostrander, John and Jane
1842 Deed to Venelia Fitch, June 6. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 53, Page 183.
Parker, Amasa J., ed.
1897 Landmarks of Albany County, New York. D. Mason & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N.Y.
Parker, Arthur C.
1922 The Archeological History of New York. Part 2. The University of the State of New York, Albany.
Patten, Joseph, and Nathan Holland
1845 Deed to John R. and Russell Downer, July 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 65, Page 23.
Pelletreau, William S., ed.
1894 Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York. Volume II (1708-1728). Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1893. Printed for the Society, New York.
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Reed, Abijah E.
1864 Deed to James A. Dumont, June 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 123, Page 234.
Ripley, George, and Charles A. Dana
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Schermerhorn, John I. and Peter
1833 Deed to Bork van Alstyne, May 1. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 33, Page 336.
Schermerhorn, John J. and Peter
1837a Deed to Peter G. Ten Eyck, January 14. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 43, Page 82.
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Shoemaker, John M. and Maria
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Springsteen, Benjamin and Jane
1838 Deed to John S. Springsteen, July 3. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 45, Page 455.
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Ten Eyck, Catharine, Egbert, Rebecca, Jacob, Sarah, Maria, and Coenrad
1816 Deed to Anthony Ten Eyck, August 21. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 77, Page 67.
Ten Eyck, Egbert
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Ten Eyck, Jacob C.
1754 Deed to Anthony Ten Eyck, June 25. Albany County Deeds, Book 10, Page 59.
Ten Eyck, Peter G.
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van Buren, Daniel and Mariah
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van der Zee, Andrew A.
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van Rensselaer, Stephen
1820 Conveyance to Philip S. van Rensselaer, November 15. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 27, Page 267.
Vanderpoel, Abraham B.
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Vanderpoel, Anna B., and Eliza H. Whitehead
1922 Deed to Hudson River Connecting Railroad Corporation, July 5. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 404, Page 244.
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1942 Deed to Ferdinand Vybrial and Frances Vybrial, May 18. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 661, Page 464.
Warren, Christana, and Clement Warren
1892 Deed to Isabella F. Close and Edward C. Clifford, August. Rensselaer County Deeds, Book 239, Page 256.