Charles B Knox Gelatine Co. Inc.
Edition of
The Old Mohawk-Turnpike Book

"Canajoharie."
The original Can-a-jo-har-ie, meaning in the Mohawk
language, "the pot that washes itself" or  "the boiling point".
This famous pothole is at the lower end of 
Canajoharie Gorge.

   

CANAJOHARIE - PALATINE BRIDGE.
continued.

(Montgomery County)

Return to Part I

 

Canajoharie, "the Pot That Washes Itself."

At the western village limits of Canajoharie, the creek flows from its picturesque gorge. A short distance above is located a giant pot hole, about ten feet in width, worn by the action of water and pebbles in the limestone bed. This is the original Canajoharie, which Brant, the Mohawk chieftain, defined as meaning "the pot that washes itself." The Iroquois (like all Indians) had a keen eye for unusual landscape features and this curious "Canajoharie" gave its name not only to the stream, but to at least four of their castles (of different periods and different locations) and to the entire river district from the Noses (between Sprakers and Yosts) to Fall Hill (east of Little Falls).

The name Can-a-jo-ha-rie, has also been translated as "the boiling pot."

The Canajoharie is remarkable for its salt spring, its remarkable mineral springs, its gorge and falls and its unique pothole.

Because the name Canajoharie was applied to so many points in this section, the loose use of the name has given rise to many historical errors. In Revolutionary times the Canajoharie was known as Bowman's creek.

  

Canajoharie Shale and Mohawk Valley Geology.

The general rock outcrops in the Mohawk valley are as follows: The Clinton sandstone and limestone cap the western Mohawk - Susquehanna divide, while the Helderberg limestone caps the eastern valley watershed rim (except the Schoharie valley). The Clinton sandstone and limestone occupy the southern Oneida county section. The southern Mohawk river shore section is generally of Ordovicic shales (Canajoharie, Utica and Frankfort). The northern river shore is generally of Ordovicic shales and the Trenton series limestones. The northern valley has the Adirondack pre-Cambric surface rocks. From north to south, Schoharie county has the Helderberg limestones, the Hamilton shales and limestones and the Devonic rocks of the Catskill region, where at Gilboa, Schoharie county, the oldest fossil trees in the world were found in 1869, now on exhibition in the New York State Museum, Education Building, Albany.

  

Shaper Pond or Quarry, Where the Brooklyn Bridge stone was Quarried.

On West hill, Canajoharie, is a stone quarry, known as Shaper's Pond, because it is unused and is now filled with clear spring water, making it a picturesque pond in summer and a good skating rink in winter. It might well be called "Brooklyn Bridge Pond," because here was quarried the stone which was used in the building of the Brooklyn bridge; this stone having been shipped from Canajoharie to Brooklyn by Erie canal boats. Much early Erie canal construction and the stone used in building many famous New York city buildings, of the middle nineteenth century, were taken from the Shaper Quarry, which has been unworked since about 1900. The stone is a calciferous sandrock of the Lower Silurian era, belonging generally to the Trenton limestone period. It is known locally as limestone. This fine building stone has outcrops on the north side, as at Frey's Quarry, and many of the old Colonial stone houses of this valley section - such as the Van Alstyne House (1750) in Canajoharie and Ft. Frey (1739) in Palatine Bridge, were built of it, as well as the later houses and buildings of Canajoharie. It merits a general use for house and building construction today - in fact, Canajoharians are proud of this splendid stone and of their fine stone buildings, which give their town an architectural distinction above most other valley towns.

   

Canajoharie -- Historical.

In 1634 the Mohawk castle of Canagere was located to the east of present Canajoharie, while, between here and Fort Plain on the south shore the tribe had its middle castle of Sochanidisse. There was a small group of Mohawk cabins on the banks of the creek here when the site of present Canajoharie was settled about 1730.

  

Hendrick Frey, 1689 -- First Settler in the Middle Valley.

Hendrick Frey, a Swiss, came up the Mohawk in 1689, made friends with and bought lands of the Mohawk Indians and settled in present Palatine Bridge, where he built a log house. He was an intrepid pioneer who located in a wild, unbroken wilderness, peopled by savage red men and the wild animals of the Adirondacks. The nearest settlements were those of the Holland-Dutch in the Schenectady neighborhood, thirty miles eastward. Frey was an Indian trader and "kept store" in his log cabin, as did his grandson, in Fort Frey, which was also a famous frontier general store. A ferry was located here across the Mohawk and during the Colonial and Revolutionary period Palatine Bridge was known as "Frey's."

  

Fort Frey -- 1689-1739.

Just north of Palatine Bridge and a few yards north of the railroad in an open field, stands Fort Frey, a quaint stone house built in 1739, on the site where Hendrick Frey located in the wilderness in 1689. This is a typical Mohawk valley house of the time. It suggests vividly the times when the hardy Mohawk Dutch farmers, clad in buckskin and homespun and with guns, bayonets and knapsacks, gathered here and at scores of other vicinity centers on the alarm of "To arms, to arms," given by some neighborhood rider. The Frey property is still held by the Frey family (1924). For a time Fort Frey was palisaded and garrisoned by British troops during the French and Indian war of 1701-1713, known as Queen Anne's war. The history of this interesting house is practically the history of civilization along the middle Mohawk valley.

The Queen Anne's War fort here located, consisted of the first Frey log house palisaded and fortified. Present Fort Frey, erected in 1739, was a British army post, at least during the early part of the French-Indian war of 1754-1760. Both the Fort Frey and the present Frey mansion are built of the native calciferous sandrock, which outcrops at the Frey Quarry here and at the Shaper Quarry on West hill, Canajoharie. The old fort has an interesting cellar, with strong stone fireplaces, which well served the Freys of Colonial and Revolutionary days in the mighty cold winters of the pioneer days in the wilderness for those hardy pioneers lived much of the rime in the cellars of their stone houses during the worst of the winter, or, as one of their descendants puts it, "they would not have lived at all." Present stone Fort Frey is loopholed for defense.

The name fort applied here has been questioned but as it is the site of an earlier fort and probably had such use later, as aforementioned, the term is justified.

Major John Frey (1740-1833) was a member and chairman of the Tryon County Committee of Safety and major of the Palatine regiment of the Tryon county brigade of American militia. He fought at Oriskany where he was captured by the enemy and, as a captive, narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Indians and his own Tory brother who fought on the enemy side. Major Frey succeeded the Tory White as the sheriff of Tryon county under American rule. The major was a historian and assisted Campbell in the preparation of "Annals of Tryon County," published 1831, which was the first Mohawk valley history. Major Frey was born in Fort Frey in 1740 and died in the Frey (1808) mansion in 1833 at the age of 93, he being one of the last surviving Revolutionary Mohawk valley officers.

  

A World War Post.

During the World war, New York Guardsmen occupied (1917) Fort Frey for a time, while guarding the Barge canal here. The Frey property today is in the possession of the seventh generation from Hendrick Frey, who located (1689) here, 235 years prior to this writing (1924). Mr. S. Ludlow Frey, here resident in 1924, is a historian who has been the valley's greatest authority on Mohawk Indian history. With General John S. Clark, he has done a great work in studying and locating Mohawk village sites in the valley.

  

Frey Homestead, 1808.

The larger stone Frey house was built in 1808. However it is a true type of Colonial architecture and one of the Mohawk river's most interesting homesteads. It stands on a sightly river slope in a grove of locust trees to the west of Fort Frey.

  

The King's Highway, 1739.

Fort Frey stands close to the Central railroad because, when it was built in 1739, the King's Highway from Palatine Bridge to near St. Johnsville generally followed the present railroad bed. In later turnpike construction, this section of the Mohawk turnpike was located as at present, on higher ground eastward from the railroad.

  

Hendrick Schrembling, Canajoharie's First Settler, 1730.

About 1730, Hendrick Schrembling, a Palatine German, and Marte Janse Van Alstyne bought of Cadwallader Colden 775 acres at Canajoharie. Schrembling settled on the east side of the creek, while his brothers, George and John, located on the west bank. In 1750 Schrembling sold the east side property to his partner, Van Alstyne, who then came to live here. Schrembling moved to the west bank farm, where he kept a tavern, store and mill. The Schremblings left Canajoharie and the Valley at the close of the Revolution.

Gose Van Alstyne built another grist mill on the creek about 1760. Col. Hendrick Frey built a grist mill and a house here about 1772 and the Van Alstyne, Schrembling and Frey families were the residents here prior to the Revolution. In 1778 Johannes Roof came to Canajoharie and bought out Schrembling and conducted the inn. He had lived at Ft. Stanwix, where his property was burned during the seige of the fort in 1777.

About 1775, Gose Van Alstyne, son of Martin Jan Van Alstyne, built a stone house near the present (1924) Martin Smith house on Front street. This was stockaded about 1780 and became Fort Van Alstyne of the Revolution, with which the Van Alstyne house of today has been frequently confused. After the Revolution the Gose Van Alstyne house was torn down and its stone used for the building material, some of which is said to have been used in the present Hayes house.

  

Van Alstyne House, 1750.
Built by Marten Janse Van Alstyne.  The favorite meeting place of
the Tryon County Revolutionary Committee of Safety.  Washington
stopped here in 1783.  Now the home of the Fort Rensselaer Club.

The Van Alstyne House, 1750 --
Meeting Place of the Tryon County Committee of Safety.

During the Revolution Marte Jans Van Alstyne here lived in the Van Alstyne house, which he had built in 1750. It was not palisaded but must have been considered as a strong defense otherwise even its central Mohawk valley location would not have made it the favorite meeting place of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, which is known to have here held 16 meetings. Fort Frey, across the river, was not palisaded but it also was considered a strong defense and both were never attacked.

As related later, General Washington reached Canajoharie August 1, 1783, and here he was a guest at the Van Alstyne house of Col. Clyde and Mrs. Clyde, as well as of the Van Alstynes. The General and his staff took dinner here and some of them also lodged here - as many as the house could accommodate. This is one of perhaps four valley houses now standing which were visited by Washington on this trip. The others were probably the Shoemaker house in Mohawk, the General Herkimer house at Fall Hill and the Volkert Vrooman house at Randall. General Washington also visited Fort Herkimer Church.

Many distinguished men and women of Colonial, Revolutionary and American days have visited the Van Alstyne house. Among them was the Irish poet, Tom Moore, who stopped here on a trip from Canada to New York. He is said to have here begun his famous poem, with the following opening lines:

From rise of morn till set of sun,
I've seen the mighty Mohawk run.

 

Moore continued writing the verses on board a river boat in which he made the trip from Canajoharie to Schenectady, where he finished the poem. Another version is that Moore wrote this poem at Cohoes Falls.

A handsome ball room stone addition has been built on the rear of the house, in harmony with the architecture and masonry of the original structure. The Fort Rensselaer club has furnished the place in Colonial style and it is one of the most artistically appointed club houses on the New York to Buffalo highway. It houses interesting historical collections and the nucleus of a splendid art gallery. Besides the painting of Washington by Stuart, here is a series of paintings by Wyeth illustrating Stevenson's "Treasure Island," all of these works of art being the gift of Mr. Bartlett Arkell.

  

Canajoharie and Palatine Districts of Tryon County, 1772.

The Mohawks called the river region between the Noses and Fall Hill (present Little Falls) by the name of Canajoharie and so did the pioneers from 1662 until 1772, the year of the formation of Tryon county.

When the great county of Tryon was created, in 1772, it was divided into five districts. From the present Schenectady county line westward to the Noses was called the Mohawk district, including in it Fort Hunter, Johnstown, Caughnawaga.

Between the Noses and Fall Hill the region south of the Mohawk was created the Canajoharie district and that on the north shore, the Palatine district. West of Fall Hill, the south shore settlements became the German Flatts district and the north shore the Kingsland district. These districts continued during the Revolution and the creation of the Canajoharie district has caused much historical confusion. (See Johnstown.)

At the beginning of the Revolution, the houses hereabout suited for defense were Fort Ehle (one mile south of Canajoharie), the Van Alstyne house, Fort Frey and Fort Keyser, north of Palatine Bridge. All were stone houses and formed a refuge for neighbors in time of valley raids.

  

1779 -- Gen. Clinton's Army at Canajoharie -- Portage March to Otsego Lake.

In 1779 Gen. Washington directed that an American expedition be sent against the Iroquois country on account of the outrages committed by these Indians along the New York and Pennsylvania frontiers - particularly at Wyoming, Pa., and Cherry Valley, N.Y. The army was under the command of Gen. Sullivan and Gen. James Clinton was directed to proceed up the Mohawk river with the New York detachment of the army (1,500 men) and cross over to the headwaters of the Susquehanna and down that river, combine with Sullivan's army and together march against the Iroquois. Clinton's men assembled at Schenectady and marched up the Mohawk to Canajoharie. Gen. Clinton (June 17, 1779) left the Mohawk and marched across country to Otsego lake, about 25 miles, carrying his 200 bateaux and supplies on carts and wagons. Clinton and Sullivan's American armies combined and decisively defeated Indians and Tories near Elmira, August 29, 1779, after which the Americans thoroughly devastated the country of the Six Nations. At Canajoharie, on Academy hill, two Tory spies, Lieut. Newberry and Sergt. Hare, were hung by Gen. Clinton's orders, in spite of the pleas of their wives for mercy. Both men had been guilty of atrocities in Mohawk valley warfare and their fate was well-merited. The capture of Sergt. Hare by a fifteen-year-old Revolutionary "boy scout," Francis Putman, is mentioned elsewhere, under Amsterdam.

Clinton's army consisted of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, (with artillery) N.Y., 4th Penn., 6th Mass. Line (regulars) regiments, with a force of Tryon County and Schenectady militia, attached to the 3rd N.Y. The center 3rd N.Y. (Col. Gansevoort) and 4th Penn. (Lt. Col. Wm Butler) convoyed the wagon train, consisting of 220 batteaux loaded on eight horse team wagons and oxcarts, and other supply wagons, on the 25 mile portage from the Mohawk at Canajoharie to Otsego lake. The 4th N. Y. (Col. Weissenfels) formed the left wing. The 5th N.Y. (Col. Dubois), with artillery, formed the right wing and was deployed over the Otsquago Trail near Summit (Mud) lake to guard the center from expected attack from the west (See Fort Plain.) The 6th Mass. (Major Whiting) marched from its post at Cherry Valley to the lake. Camps were made on the march at Buel, Sprout Brook, Starkville, Browns Hollow and Springfield. Gen. Clinton reached the head of Otsego lake , July 2, and on the 4th of July, 1779, all the American troops there camped held a great celebration of the third Independence day. Clinton dammed the lake outlet and the expedition sailed in its batteaux and marched down the Susquehanna, Aug. 9, 1779, and joined Gen. Sullivan at Tioga, Aug. 22.

John Fea, the Amsterdam historian, who has made a fifty-year study of this portage - one of the most remarkable American army feats of the Revolution - says that the center went from Canajoharie over the Happy Hollow road, the left wing over the Cherry Valley road (built 1773) and the right wing over the Otsquago Trail. All these roads were then in existence and only short stretches were cut and made by the troops. The 3rd N.Y. was camped on the flats at Canajoharie and the 4th Penn. on the flats between the 3rd and the Happy Hollow road. Regiments numbered about 250 each. Clinton's force on the portage numbered about 2,000, including batteaux men, artificers and about 200 Mohawk Valley farmers, who with their horses and oxen assisted in this historic and famous portage march.

A monument in the Canajoharie public square marks the beginning of Clinton's wilderness march. It was erected by Canajoharie Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

  

Currytown Massacre and Battle of Sharon Springs, 1781.

Currytown is a little hamlet about five miles southeast of Canajoharie, which was the scene of an Indian-Tory massacre, July 9, 1781. The valley American troops from Fort Plain pursued the enemy and routed them at the Battle of Sharon Springs, July 10, 1781. A little boy named Devendorf, was scalped by the Indians that day, but recovered and lived for seventy years after. There were numerous instances of people scalped hereabouts who survived thereafter many years.

  

Washington at Canajoharie and the Van Alstyne House, Aug. 1, 1783.

In the summer of 1783, Gen. Washington made a tour of the Mohawk valley, with a military escort, westward from Schenectady to the site of Fort Stanwix (burned 1781), at present Rome. Washington made this trip in connection with one to Crown Point and the battlefields where Burgoyne and the British cause met defeat. In a letter to Gen. Schuyler, Washington writes of this trip as:

"A tour to reconnoitre those places where the most remarkable posts were established and the ground which became famous by being the theatre of action in 1777. On our return from thence, we propose to pass across the Mohawk river, in order to have a view of that tract of country, which is so much celebrated for the fertility of its soil and the beauty of its situation."

General Washington went west to Fort Stanwix from Schenectady, probably following the Mohawk Turnpike on the north shore, a great part of the way. On his return east, Washington dined at Fort Plain (Fort Rensselaer) July 31, and, in the afternoon, rode to Cherry Valley where he spent the night.

On August 1, the party rode to Otsego lake and, from thence, passed over the route taken by Gen. Clinton's army in his Canajoharie-Otsego march of 1779. Col. Clyde then commanded Fort Plain (officially known as Fort Rensselaer). At the close of hostilities he brought his family up to Canajoharie and installed them in the Van Alstyne house. Here Gen. Washington and his staff dined with Col. and Mrs. Clyde on the evening of August 1, 1783, and here the General remained over night, while his staff took quarters in the Roof tavern. On August 2, Washington and his party rode eastward down the valley. Nowhere, except at Canajoharie, Cherry Valley and Fort Plain, have we any detailed record of this valley trip.

At all valley points people gathered to greet their national hero. At Canajoharie Washington is said to have addressed the crowd from a store near Roof's tavern, and later is said to have patted the head of a little negro boy. An eye witness says that this kindly act so displeased some "prideful whites" that they left the scene in disgust. From Albany Washington returned by boat on the Hudson to Newburg.

Washington regarded this tour as most important and wrote to the Congressional president concerning it. He paid particular attention to the Mohawk river-Wood creek route and the possibilities of its water transportation, as well as the "portage between that [Otsego] lake and the Mohawk river at Canajoharie."

  

Canajoharie - Palatine Bridge, 1783-1920.

After the Revolution the settlement here, known as Roof's village, and also as Canajoharie, numbered about a dozen houses.

The first merchants to settle in Canajoharie after the Revolution were the Kane brothers, who located in the Van Alstyne house about 1790, later removing to Van Alstyne's ferry, one mile east. Others soon followed. Historical Canajoharie dates of interest follow:

In 1790, first turnpike mail stages run from Albany through Schenectady and Johnstown to Canajoharie; later extended to Utica and Geneva. 1800, Great Western Turnpike (parallel route to Mohawk Turnpike, 10 to 15 miles south) connects at Canajoharie with Turnpike stages. 1800, about 12 houses here. 1803, bridge built across Mohawk. 1817-1825, Erie canal construction booms village. 1818, Union (first) church built. 1829, village incorporated. 1859, manufacture of paper bags begun by James Arkell. 1867, Palatine Bridge incorporated as a village. 1882, West Shore railroad line run through Canajoharie business section. 1890, food packing industry started. 1916, silk industry started in Palatine Bridge.

  

Susan B. Anthony, the Great Suffragist, a Teacher in Canajoharie Academy in 1848.

In 1848, Susan B. Anthony, the later suffrage leader, was a preceptress or lady principal and teacher in Canajoharie Academy. In the history of women's suffrage, Canajoharie takes a prominent place as it was, while living here in Canajoharie, that Miss Anthony became interested in the anti-slavery cause and later in that of women's political rights. Susan B. Anthony finally gave up teaching in 1850, left Canajoharie and joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton at her home in Seneca Falls, where Mrs. Stanton was already advocating women's suffrage. Together these two intellectual leaders made a strong plea for their cause, which might not have succeeded without their united strength. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a native of Johnstown and there developed her ideas of women's political and legal rights, and, as Miss Anthony became interested in the same subjects here in Canajoharie - the Mohawk valley may be truly said to be the cradle of the cause of women's suffrage and of women's political rights- progressive politics and political ideals which have become the political creed of women the world around. (See Elizabeth Cady Stanton under Johnstown.)

Miss Anthony was born in 1820 and died in 1906, aged 86 years, at a time when many of the western states had adopted women's suffrage.

  

Canajoharie - Palatine Bridge in 1840.

In 1840, Canajoharie is described as follows: "The village is situated on the south side of Mohawk river. Incorporated in 1829. It has 4 churches - 1 Presbyterian, 1 Dutch Reformed, 1 Lutheran and 1 Methodist - an academy, 10 stores, 2 grist mills, 2 distilleries, 1 brewery, 1 furnace, 2 saw mills. It furnishes fine stone for building and for the construction of locks in the Erie canal. The Erie canal passes through the center of the village. The Catskill and Canajoharie railroad will terminate here." No population is given but about 800 in Canajoharie and 1,000 in Canajoharie-Palatine are indicated. In 1840 Palatine Bridge is thus described as being "opposite the village of Canajoharie with which it is connected by a bridge. It contains 1 church, 3 stores, 30 dwellings and about 200 inhabitants. Here is a fine quarry of building stone."

 

Webster Wagner's Sleeping and Parlor Car Inventions, 1858.

Palatine Bridge was the home of Webster Wagner (1817-1882) , a prominent railroad man of the mid-nineteenth century. Mr. Wagner manufactured one of the first practicable sleeping cars made in America. In 1858 Mr. Wagner formed a company and four cars were produced, which began running over the New York Central railroad, Sept. 1, 1858. Finding the cars' occupants suffered from defective and insufficient ventilation, Mr. Wagner in 1859, invented the elevated car roof, placing ventilators in the elevation. This invention which has worked so much for the benefit and comfort of the traveling public, has had a general and world-wide adoption. This same traveling public should gratefully think of its benefactor. In 1867 Wagner produced the first drawing room coach or palace car. Pullman introduced a similar type in Europe and about 1890 the two companies producing the Wagner and Pullman cars were merged into one concern under the name of the Pullman Palace Car Co.

Hon. Webster Wagner (State Senator from this district) was burned to death in one of his palace cars in the Spuyten Duyvil railroad accident of 1882.

In 1878 Senator Wagner built the Wager House in Canajoharie, one of the first modern hotels in the Mohawk valley.

  

Wagner and Schenck. 

It is remarkable that Palatine Bridge is so closely connected with the beginning of Central freight traffic and also with two men so vitally identified with transportation interests -- Webster Wagner and Martin Schenck. Wagner's work was for the promotion of the comfort and convenience of railroad travelers, while Schenck's Barge canal plan has untold future possibilities for the movement of heavy freight. Webster Wagner was born near Palatine Bridge, while Martin Schenck was born in the Schenck homestead four miles east, and the lives of both men were spent largely in this locality. Schenck was State Engineer in 1892, when he made his Barge canal plans public in his annual report.

  

Birth of New York Central Freight Traffic, 1836.

In the fall of 1836 (the year of the opening of the Utica & Schenectady railroad) the freight business of the New York Central had its inception at Palatine Bridge.

At this time the idea of carrying freight was not entertained. The charter forbade it, consequently no preparations for the transmission of merchandise had been made by the company. The desire of the superintendent seemed to be to confine the business of the road to the carrying of passengers. The occasion for handling freight, however, of course, arose on the closing of the canal in 1836. On the very day that frost stopped navigation in that year, a German family, wishing to convey their effects from Palatine Bridge to Schenectady, were permitted to ship them on a car, and this, it may be said, was the beginning of the way freight business of the Central railroad. The conductor in this case, having no tariff of rates to guide him, made the rather exorbitant charge of $14. The legislature, in 1837, authorized the company to carry freight and subsequently made the regulation, allowing passengers to have a specified amount of baggage carried free of charge. The first freight cars were called "stage wagons."

May 18, 1914, a "test" train of 125 freight cars passed up the Mohawk valley over New York Central R.R. Up to that date this was the longest train which had passed over this road, it being nearly a mile in length.

  

Sochanidisse, Middle Mohawk Castle of 1634.

On the southern Mohawk shore, in the Happy Hollow section a mile of so west of Canajoharie, on a high hill overlooking the river, the Mohawks had their castle of Soch-an-i-dis-se in 1634. This was their great middle castle and had 32 houses. John Fox, the historian, locates Sochanidisse on the Brown farm. All the high ground between Happy Hollow brook westward to Prospect hill, Fort Plain, was called Tsi-dros-o-wen-gen by the Mohawks and the Hog's Back by the white settlers. It is thickly covered with Mohawk remains, indicating a considerable Indian population and long occupancy. Near here the Mohawks had a pow wow place which the Dutch pioneers called de Danskammer (the dance chamber), where the Indians held their savage rites and wild dances.

  

Van Slyck Patent, 1716.

In 1716, Capt. Harmanus Van Slyck of Schenectady was granted, by the Mohawks, all the land bordering the north bank of the river, from the Big (or Anthony's) Nose westward to the present eastern limits of the village of Nelliston, a distance of seven miles. This grant was made because of Van Slyck's Mohawk Indian relationship, his grandfather, Cornelisse Antonsen Van Slyck, having traded near here and married a Mohawk woman abut 1640. Harmanus located on the river over a mile west of the Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge Central station where hebuilt a house and saw mill. Only a foundation marks the site. His son, Major Harmanus Van Slyck, was a prominent Revolutionary patriot and soldier.

  

DETOUR TO STONE ARABIA CHURCHES.

The tourist going west, can take a detour 4 miles north from Palatine Bridge to the historic Stone Arabia churches. He can return to the Mohawk Turnpike at Nelliston, 4 miles west from the churches.

On clear days the Cherry Valley mountains, 12 to 15 miles southward, may be seen rising over a fertile farming plateau. The Stone Arabia section. with its two interesting old churches, is historically most important. As previously mentioned it was one of the first (1711) locations of Palatine German settlement in America and it was an important Revolutionary point.

The outcrop of the surface rock is the Trenton limestone in the river sections of the Palatine township of Montgomery county, which covers the old Stone Arabia section. The upland rock is Hudson river shale. The Palatine township stone fences are noticeable features of the landscape all through this section.

In the detour north, the tourist rises from a Mohawk Turnpike sea elevation of 340 feet, to a sea elevation of 820 feet at the Stone Arabia Reformed church, close to which Nelliston creek has its source.

  

  

  

      

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