In the late 1700s, the land that was to become the town of Hunter was part of a vast land grant, the Hardenburgh Patent. The wildness and poor suitability of the area for agriculture delayed settlement until the early 1800s. According to Beers's History of Greene County (1884), the only settlers in the area were Tory refugees from Putnam County and people who fled New England in the wake of Shays' Rebellion. Abundant hemlock trees and the physical beauty of the area brought people to Hunter in the first half of the 19th century. Jessie Van Vechten Vedder, Greene County historian in 1927, wrote, "The scenic wealth of the Catskills lies within the borders of the Town of Hunter. It has been more richly endowed in this respect than any other town in Greene County." Three cloves with their streams, ravines, and cliffs are located here, along with impressive vistas of the Hudson Valley.
About the Author
Town of Hunter historian Dede Terns-Thorpe and Mountain Top Historical Society (MTHS) president Cyndi LaPierre use vintage images from the MTHS archives and other sources to share the 200-year story of the area, highlighting the resourcefulness of local people earning a living in a wild and beautiful part of New York State.
Table of Contents
1 The Earliest Settlers 11
2 Building Roads and Growing Villages 17
3 Earning a Living 35
4 Boardinghouses, Resorts, and Railroads 49
5 Community Life 83
6 Good Times 99
About the Mountain Top Historical Society 127