Grace Greylock Niles.

The Hoosac Valley, its legends and its history online

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New York City, contained a tract seven miles long by three
and a half miles wide, having The Falls as its centre. The
course of Hoosac Falls forms a perfect letter "S," as the river
descends through the rocky gorge originally adorned with
pine and oak. Augustus Van Cortlandt and Augustus
Van Home, heirs of Jacobus Van Cortlandt, leased Jona-
than Fuller the first farm on the manor in 1772 for twenty-
one years. Isaac Turner and Joel Abbott from New London,
Ct., later located at The Falls and opened a store and black-
smith shop. Fuller's farm contained two hundred and
twenty acres on the east bank. It began at a marked birch
tree below The Falls and extended south to a point near
J. R. Parsons's residence. It covered the site of the present
village of Hoosac Falls.

Jonathan Fuller died in 1790 and the sea-captain, Henry
Northrup from Rhode Island purchased his farm. Fuller's
log house still stood on the north end of his farm near the
site of C. A. Cheney's residence, when Captain Northrup

238 The Hoosac Valley

built his log house on the hill overlooking Falls Quequick.
A lane, opening near the site of Wood's Block, lead to Capt-
ain Northrup's cottage. He died in 1797 and the "God's
Acre" of Fuller and Northrup proved the first burial-field
within the limits of Hoosac Falls Village. Judge Levi
Chandler Ball purchased the Northrup Farm in 1833 and
recorded in his Annals of Hoosac that he found several
unmarked graves, fruit trees, and stone walls near the site
of Fuller's and Northrup's dwellings. At the opening of
1800, Henry Barnhart also owned two hundred and fifty
acres on the east bank of Hoosac Falls, west of the present
Main Street.

The patroons of Dutch Hoosac manorlands during the
Revolution included : Stephen Van Rensselaer of Rensselaer-
wyck, born in New York City in 1764; Bamardus Bratt,
known as the " Patroon of Hoosac" ; Augustus Van Cortlandt
and Augustus Van Home of Falls Quequick ; Garret Cornelius
Van Ness of St. Croix, and Philip Van Ness of Tioshokc.
Their sons and daughters inherited thousand-acre farms,
located along both banks of the Hoosac, between the Owl
Kill and the headwaters of Little Hoosac. Young Stephen
Van Rensselaer's Manor of Rensselaerwyck was superin-
tended by chief farm-master, Peter Simons, until the "Anti-
Rent War" and the adoption of the Federal Constitution
and township system in New York. Bamardus Bratt le.'"t
four sons and two daughters : Daniel B . and Garret Tunisson
Bratt, located on farms at Hoosac Four Corners; Johannes
Bratt at Buskirk Bridge; and Henry Bratt in Albany.
Maria Bratt married Robert Lotteridge of Falls Quequick,
and Elizabeth Bratt married her cousin, John Bratt, ofl
Petersburgh Junction. Mrs. Samuel Gardner,' a lineal
descendant of the "Patroon of Hoosac," resides on the Bratt
homestead, although the Patroon's colonial Dutch-roofed

'Granddaughter of Daniel B. Bratt.


■■^ Co

fictitious "Tndirms" ate up the farmers' dinner in true
savage style.

After the Revolution Ma j. -den. Aaron Worthington built
the tavern of Rensselaer Mills, still standing in South
Petersburgh, north of the Baptist Church. Although he
had served during the War of 181 2, he won his military title
during general training days of the State militia, after the
close of hostilities. He became first ix)stmaster of Peters
burgh in 1822 and the post-office was located at his inn.

The first town-meeting of Rensselaer Mills was held in
March, 1791, at Hezekiah Coon's Inn, built by Cornelius




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Online LibraryGrace Greylock NilesThe Hoosac Valley, its legends and its history → online text (page 17 of 41)